So whom did they catch? What diabolical plot has been foiled? How soon can the Gitmo Gang get started on their "enhanced interrogation techniques?"
Well… just hold your horses. America is not any safer from terror than it ever was. But, we are safer from debauchery! Through the modern miracle of electronic spying, the governor (well… he isn’t governor anymore) of the state of New York, Eliot Spitzer is in a heap of hot water and it ain’t fragrant, bubbly and filled with nubile young ladies.
But you all knew that. Politicians? Hookers? That’s spells Prime Time Entertainment!
With the nabbing of Eliot Spitzer, yet another elected official has been caught with his pants down. This time the sucker was a Democrat. Recently, one or two Republicans have been guilty of "lack of discretion." So, let’s not point the finger at any one political party. These primal urges are equal opportunity employers: sex scandals are bi-partisan. Ride ’em cowboy!
Readers of this page have been told before: voters don’t want to lead clean lives, so they elect others to do it for them… in theory.
Trouble is, just like the people who elect them, all politicians are human. Shocking isn’t it? Politicians consider the "Get Out Of Jail Free" card as one of the perks of office. Other perks include exemption from responsibility for everything else. Having passed through the fires of campaign hell, our "elected" officials think they are gods on Valhalla. They always think they’re the ones who can get away with it… whatever it may be.
Catchingly known as Client Number Nine, Governor Spitzer seems to have been busted for hiring as much as $80,000 worth of professional Jezebels! Who does he think he is anyway, Bill Clinton? Wait… Slick Willy got his jollies for "free."
Jumping on that "nowtro" movement known as "with us or against us," the envious Republican assemblyman James Tedisco led the GOP cry for Spitzer to go bury his head in the sand… forever. To which circus arcade activity Spitzer may be reduced, now that he’s officially unemployed.
With Spitzer reeled in by federal wiretapping, Americans can bask in the glory of their government demonstrating its sleuthing skills. I don’t know about you but I feel so much safer now.
All that state-sponsored wiretapping in search of terrorists had me a bit concerned. It wasn’t really producing any results. And, looking back through the smog of time, I am not convinced that illegal wiretapping and presidential eavesdropping were ever necessary. Some say that FISA worked fine and dandy before the Bush regime rushed through Congress the Protect America Act. What didn’t work well was how our elected officials responded to information and warnings that were given to them.
Let’s take a stroll down memory lane. Once upon a time America was the home of the spending spree and the land of the naïve. Americans thought they were invincible, secure and exceptional. But all that changed when in September 2001, some crazed individuals got hold of four jetliners and crashed them into big buildings in Manhattan and Washington DC and a field in Pennsylvania. The country went berserk.
Everybody was caught off guard. Well… everybody except for the National Security Council, the FBI and the CIA all of which to varying degrees are said to have suspected something was up. And what, if anything, did these entities tell the Bush Administration? We shall never know. Perhaps those warnings of possible terrorist plans were conveniently placed the same oval file into which went the Hurricane Katrina warnings.
All y’all know this story too. Aren’t you sick and tired of hearing about 9/11 and being force-fed Paranoia Smoothies with an extra double pump of conspiracy thrown in? With what else will the Willie Nelson Laboratory of Advanced Physics come up?
Fact is, keeping Americans feeling safe is the last thing on the agenda of Bush/Cheney/McCain and the GOP. Fear is their friend. Fear works wonders in the maintenance of power. For this bunch, it’s all about power… power over you, me and, above all, power over those who could get in their way, like crime-busting governors or vocal members of Congress.
Miracle of miracles, not once but twice in the past two months, Congress has had the spine to stand up to The Shrub over renewal of the Protect America Act’s various provisions for illegal wiretapping. The most recent Congressional intransigence took place in closed session, the first such closed session in 25 years; was this necessary to prevent Bush from finking on anyone who did not toe the White House line?
Spitzer’s mistake… aside from buying the very product he forbade others to sell… was to send the White House a Valentine. On February 14th the Washington Post ran a column by then New York governor Spitzer on the role of predatory lenders in the subprime mortgage mess that claimed: "the Bush administration stopped the states from stepping in to help consumers.”
Spitzer had been daring enough to take on the unsavory lending practices of banks and mortgage providers. He wrote:
"Several years ago, state attorneys general and others involved in consumer protection began to notice a marked increase in a range of predatory lending practices by mortgage lenders… These …were having a devastating effect on homebuyers. In addition, the widespread nature of these practices, if left unchecked, threatened our financial markets.
"Even though predatory lending was becoming a national problem, the Bush administration looked the other way and did nothing to protect American homeowners. In fact, the government chose instead to align itself with the banks that were victimizing consumers."
As Greg Palast has written, the White House authorized Federal Reserve "$200 billion bail-out for predator banks and Spitzer charges are intimately linked."
You have to ask yourself, had Spitzer not published that Washington Post article, would his indiscretions have been brought to light? Had Spitzer kept his pen in his pocket, would Bush and Co., have filed away the call-girl dirt to bring Spitzer to heel over another issue?
Who knows? What we do know is that politics and hanky-panky and dirty deeds go hand in hand. That’s the system. A couple episodes of American Idol latter and lo and behold Eliot Spitzer is busted via federal wiretapping. How timely! You see? Wiretapping for everybody equally is a double plus good thing.
Could it be possible the Spitzer Scandal is more than just good old political fun and games? This bust is as subtle as a cock-fighting match. Could it be a loud and clear message to our "elected servants" that Big Brother is listening? To parody the Christmas ditty, "He knows with whom you’re sleeping, he knows when you cheat the State, he knows if you’ve been bad or worse, so be smart don’t take the bait." Especially when you’re trying to nail his ass to the wall! On whom else does Big Brother Shrub have the goods?
Of course renewal of the Protect America Act’s provisions for wiretapping is not necessary. If Bush can fabricate intelligence about WMD in Iraq, why waste all those hours listening on the federal party line? Hey, making up a dirty story about you or me or the honorable Governor Moronicus and noble Senator Ignoramus, ought to be a piece of yellowcake.
However, the White House knows that it’s always prudent to have one’s prey over a barrel and dead to rights.
Now that Eliot Spitzer is off Bush’s back well, things are hunky dory in Stalinist America. We’re all "safe!" The system works!