Amateur hour in Washington

During the emerging Watergate scandal that brought down the Presidential administration of Richard M. Nixon, FBI Associate Director Mark Felt — the shadowy "Deep Throat" source who fed information to Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward, told Woodword to ignore the myths that surround the White House.

"The truth is, these aren’t very bright people and things got out of control," Felt said.

When you work inside the government of the United States — as I did from 1981-87 — you quickly discover with no small amount of shock and dismay that Felt’s description of the White House applies to those who control our lives from both ends of the Mall in Washington.

Elected office, unfortunately, does not attract the best and the brightest. Politics is a breeding ground for the fast-talkers, the con-artists and the propagandists. The President of the United States is a master of rhetoric but a novice at the nuances of government. He built his administration by surrounding himself with a collection of Washington insiders who know how to play the system for their own advantage but have done much to contribute to the problems this nation faces.

Barack Obama is a political operatives dream: A mixed-heritage American success story with great stage presence and the ability to deliver a powerful speech when he has a teleprompter at hand.

Dreams, however, often fade under the glare of reality and Obama the President is a far cry from Obama the candidate. He is a deer caught in the glare of headlights from an oncoming car.

Obama surrounded himself with questionable key officials in his administration: Rahm Emmanuel, the take-no-prisoners Congressman and former political consultant as chief of staff; Treasury Tim Geithner, who — while at the Fed — ignored the warning signs of a meltdown in financial markets and now is entrusted with fixing the system he helped break; and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the former First Lady and Senator whose time in the Senate was only a few years longer than Obama’s and whose foreign policy experience is as skimpy as the g-string on a stripper.

Down at the other end of the Mall, Congress is under the control of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, the inept daughter of one of the most corrupt mayors in Baltimore history and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a bagman for the Navada casino industry.

Congress has long been a repository for people who failed in business life or brought their own demons with them when they came to Washington.  Several of the members of Congress that we uncovered in our 1999 series — America’s Criminal Class: The Congress of the United States — remain in their seats, including:

Rep. Jim Moran, the drunken bar brawler and wife-beater;

Sen. Robert Byrd, who uses the Constitution to avoid the law;

Rep. Corrine Brown, the con-artist who left a trail of bad checks, bad debts and failed businesses in Flordia;

The promises of change that drove the 2006 mid-term elections and 2008 Presidential election have not come. Washington remains a town where the government is run by the inept, the corrupt and the opportunistic.

A French proverb once noted that "the more things change, the more they stay the same."  Rockers The Who borrowed an old Mafia line for their song Won’t Get Fooled Again to sing: "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss."

But Mark Felt, aka "Deep Throat," put it best in a shadowy garage in Arlington, Virginia, 36 years ago when he told Bob Woodward:

"The truth is, these weren’t very bright people and things got out of control."

Sadly, the same is still true today.

22 Responses to "Amateur hour in Washington"

  1. gazelle1929  June 24, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    I think you should cut Byrd a break. He waived his immunity and stood trial. To include him in a "criminal class" seems unduly harsh. But that’s just my opinion.

  2. Doug Thompson  June 24, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Byrd waived immunity only after his attempt to avoid being charged became public. He gets no break here nor does he deserve one.

  3. Stratocaster  June 24, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    They are not only not very bright, they are naive, greedy, and corrupt. What we need is ideas that will work and electorate with the balls to stand up and demand they be put into law. If the people in Washington aren’t very bright, what can you say about the people who vote for them?

  4. ClassicLiberal  June 24, 2009 at 2:24 pm

    Time after time after time after t—

  5. griff  June 24, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    The latest supplemental to fund the wars that Obama was supposed to end includes aid money to the tune of $660 million for Gaza, $550 million to Israel, $310 million to Egypt, $300 million to Jordan, and $420 million to Mexico.

    We are giving $889 million to the UN, almost one billion to bail out foreign banks and $8 billion to Big Pharma for flu vaccines. Not to mention $108 billion in loan guarantees to the IMF.

    As I said at the time of the Bush-Obama collaborarive banker bailout, the $787 billion dollars was only the beginning. A blank check that Bloomberg is reporting totals over $12.5 trillion and counting.

    Just for a little perspective, every mortgage in the country could have been paid for a mere 9 trillion dollars.

    We’re about to hand the Federal Reserve virtually unlimited control over our economy, with absolutely no oversight or restrictions. Complete and utter secrecy.

    And following Bush’s lead, Mr. Transparency won’t even release the White House visitors log.

    Our federal deficit stands at 11.4 trillion dollars and continues to skyrocket, rapidly approaching our entire yearly GDP, which continues to fall thanks to offshoring and outsourcing.

    My conclusion is that we can no longer afford to simply blame it on incompetence in Washington. This is the willful and wanton destruction of everything this country once stood for. Everything I grew up believing in is a lie, a false reality delivered nightly to our living rooms via the television.

    They are robbing us blind, laughing and joking as they feast on the corpse of America.

  6. AustinRanter  June 25, 2009 at 1:53 pm

    Griff…Too-Shay

    Our self-will-run-riot government has as much disregard and disrespect for our citizens as does the Mullahs and Khomeini has for their people in Iran.

    Would we, as a nation, have to guts to stand up against our own tyrants and Counsel of Dictators?

    What will it take to get the message across to our public servants turned dictators, “NO MORE – YOUR REIGN OF CORRUPTION IS OVER”?

    We are witnessing the most profound transfer of wealth in the history of our nation. It’s not from the rich to the poor, but from the poor and average American to the banks and wealthy corporations. Then in return…the banks and corporations make sure those in government who are feeding their accounts, while draining ours, receive incredible rewards.

  7. ekaton  June 25, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Very well put, Griff. A handful of people, a couple thousand at most, has decided to loot this country and leave hundreds of millions destitute. Formerly, hundreds of billions were borrowed every year, and now its a trillion and a half yearly, and all of it goes into the pockets of the “capitalist” warmongering MICC (military industrial congressional complex as Ike’s first draft put it), Big Pharma, Big Insurance, Big Oil and Big Banking, and all of it has to be repaid by the rest of us. With Interest.

    Don’t forget to vote. That’ll surely help. Right?

    Kent Shaw

  8. Stratocaster  June 24, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    It doesn’t make any sense to vote for people in Washington when the Federal Reserve is running the country.

  9. gazelle1929  June 24, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    “The latest supplemental to fund the wars that Obama was supposed to end includes $660 million for Gaza, $550 million to Israel, $310 million to Egypt, $300 million to Jordan, and $420 million to Mexico.”

    Shit! I must have missed the news breaks. When did the US start fighting these wars? Who is it we are fighting? That damned liberal press must be at it again.

  10. griff  June 24, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    Ha. I meant to write that is aid money. You know, we taxpayers funding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and bribing other countries while ours falls apart. I’ve edited my comment to reflect that.

  11. remoran  June 24, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    “Never stop questioning.” Einstein

    Stratocastor’s right on about the Fed running this county and Doug is right on about amateur hour in Washington. Obama’s a fraud, a con man with no vision or courage. As for Pelosi, words cannot describe just how useless she truly is. We have been violated by the so called leaders who follow the money given to them by the Fed and the banks that follow the Fed. Simply unreal as our once great nation goes down the tubes. Last but not least, why are we in Afghanistan and why are we allowing this crap to happen? Dumb and Dumber I guess.

    Meet the old boss, same as the new boss. – The Who

  12. ekaton  June 25, 2009 at 2:08 pm

    “Obama’s a fraud, a con man with no vision or courage. As for Pelosi, words cannot describe just how useless she truly is.”

    A must see 11 minute video interview with Webster Tarpley:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89381Vd1L-I

    Kent Shaw

  13. Stratocaster  June 25, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Financial manipulation without representation is a lot worse than taxation without representation.

  14. ekaton  June 25, 2009 at 1:58 pm

    $660 million to Gaza, $550 million to Israel. Nothing like funding both sides of a war to keep a conflict going ad infinitum. So, yeah, it is correct to call it foreign aid, but it is also war funding in this case. And what about us taxpayers? Just shut up and pay up, peasants!!

    Kent Shaw

  15. gazelle1929  June 25, 2009 at 3:27 pm

    Mr. Shaw:

    People who believe that sort of thing will find that the sort of thing they believe. I watched all 11 minutes of it and heard not one fact. Not one. “Mr. Obama is a puppet.” Why does Tarpley believe that? That question was not asked. This is nothing but more conspiracy theory crapola, in my opinion.

    You cited as “must see” an obvious propaganda interview produced by Russia Today TV, which is a known propaganda arm of the country of Russia. Perhaps that is why the photogenic Russian woman with the perfect American accent didn’t ask him any hard questions.

    As to Mr. Tarpley, this is from wiki article on him:

    “Webster Griffin Tarpley is an author, journalist, lecturer, and critic of US foreign and domestic policy. Tarpley maintains that the September 11 attacks were engineered by a rogue network of the military industrial complex and intelligence agencies. His writings and speeches describe a model of false flag terror operations by a rogue network in the military/intelligence sector working with moles in the private sector and in corporate media, and locates such contemporary false flag operations in a historical context stretching back in the English speaking world to at least the “gunpowder plot” in England in 1605.”

    So a person who espouses the theory that the military industrial complex was behind 9/11 is suddenly so credible that we are expected to believe him on the subject of the US economy?

  16. ekaton  June 25, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Believe what you like.

    And, tell me why Building 7 fell.

    And, tell me why debris From flight 93 was found spread over an eight mile radius.

    Kent Shaw

  17. woody188  June 25, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    It always amazes me that people will still take the word of the Bush Administration on 9/11 when they have been proven liars on nearly every other occasion from WMD in Iraq, to the cost of the Medicare overhaul, to the current economic crisis. It might be harder to find an instance where the Bush Administration actually told the truth.

    I’d prefer to see Bush, Cheney, the 9/11 Commission, the NTSB, and Popular Mechanics answer your questions since they all ignored these instances and the anthrax attacks in their reports.

    It’s funny how people would rather cry about soft ball questions when it’s not Bush Administration people being asked the questions. Where were you gazelle during 8 years of Bush soft ball question and answer sessions?

    We were allowed 3 questions when they announced they were bombing Iraq. One of them was “Who should we pray for Mr. President?”

    Also I’d think by now we could release the video and black box data. Couldn’t really be anything in those that is classified. It’s been 8 years. Time for total disclosure.

  18. ekaton  June 25, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    There are at least two security camera videos of the object that hit the Pentagon. They were confiscated by the “authorities” and we have not been allowed to see them, presumably for “national security” reasons, possibly because they are also videos of the Pentagon itself. Oh, yes, a few frames were released for public viewing but they don’t show a damn thing, although they were supposed to show a large airliner hitting the building. What harm could possibly done by showing the videos of the airliner hitting the Pentagon? At the very least it ought to silence some of the conspiracy theorists, right?

    I’m not going to post anymore “911″ comments, as I know it annoys Doug, and I don’t want to stir the pot. There are plenty of other good causes for my rants to address.

    Kent Shaw

  19. gazelle1929  June 25, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    So the facts that the building fell down and that some “very light” debris from the plane was found some distance away prove exactly what? That the MIC must have perpetrated this?

    The phrase non sequitur comes to mind. But it isn’t about what I “believe.” It’s about Russian propaganda being spread here to prove some sort of a point. And I’m not even sure what the point is.

  20. griff  June 26, 2009 at 10:41 pm

    Hmmm. A beautiful example of argumentum ad hominem. He is wrong – in your opinion – on another matter, so therefore he must be wrong on all matters.

    It begs the question…If you don’t believe anything Mr. Tarpley says because he’s always wrong, why do you continue to believe everything our government says? Are they not wrong all the time as well?

  21. griff  June 26, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    At least the Iranians know when to take to the streets. Of course, these events have the CIA’s prints all over them.

  22. griff  June 26, 2009 at 9:00 pm

    That’s right. We taxpayers pay interest on every dollar we create to the Federal Reserve. Then our government gives those dollars to other countries in the form of aid, where they purchase weapons systems and other means of death-making. Then we have to print more of this interest-bearing money in order to protect ourselves from the very enemies we have funded and kept in power.

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