69 million page views

continuation

Reader comment on item: The Deceits of Bridges TV
in response to reader comment: Higher morality paving the way to tyranny.

Submitted by Merry Whitney (United States), Mar 6, 2009 at 06:11

About the "House of Bush" as defined in your response (or apparently by Unger) as, by innuendo, some sinister cabal — sorry, there's just no there there. The George H.W. Bush Presidential Library, like every other past president's library, is funded by private donations. The funding must be accounted for, and pays for the library overhead, management and staff, etc., including bookkeepers and accountants. The money donated is not under the personal control of (whichever) former president.

These are customarily set up in compliance with Internal Revenue Service provisions (like charities) so that contributions from American taxpayers are deductible. For large contributors, that deduction may be deemed a quid pro quo, but it's a moot point. Former presidents have influential friends and good "connections," but they no longer have power or personal authority to trade a quo for a quid even if they wanted to.

With the exception of the Clintons (his appearances draw huge speaking fees) — and only because Hillary Clinton is now the Secretary of State — donations from foreign leaders does not imply anything. Money from foreign sources to a candidate or his election campaign, now that's a different story, and for obvious reasons.

Similarly, that both Bush 41 and Bush 43 are friendly with Dick Cheney, James Baker, principles of numerous major institutions, or of the Carlyle Group and Haliburton, is not astonishing and implies absolutely nothing. Businesses, corporations large and small, exist to create and conduct business. If in the oil or energy business, that corp will be conducting business and making contracts involving various aspects of the oil or energy industries. Ditto for outfits in the military hardware, airplanes, tanks, armaments or whatever.

If the contracts involve huge amounts of money, so what? The only thing that implies is that the organization at issue delivered a huge amount of product or service, and likely paid out a huge payroll. Let's face it, even if "guilt by association" were a fair and legitimate method of accusing someone of something, you have to first establish that the person/entity associated with had engaged in criminal activity.

"Statistics indicate incarceration rates in the US have increased between 1980 - 2007 by 400%" — Want an interesting correlation? Around 1978-1979, there was a big push to pass "Rights for Mental Patients" legislation, which essentially took mental health matters out of the hands of mental health professionals and into the hands of the afflicted. Patients suffering from paranoid delusions, who believed to the bone anything that was given to them to be ingested must be poison, have a "right" to refuse the neuroleptic that will restore their sanity. Hospitalized patients, whose only hope of recovery depends on adequate care, must affirm that they want to remain in treatment or the institution is required to release them. That "army of homeless" who in large numbers wind up incarcerated for various crimes, were put on the mean streets when their "rights" were championed to their own detriment by compassionate and caring legislators.

But my objection to the role of news coverage in declaring and harping on the "obvious guilt" of someone caught up in some unfolding 'crime story' was sharpened and honed by the O. J. Simpson case, about 15 years ago. Simpson's trial was telecast, and endlessly opined on. It ended in a "Not Guilty" verdict, which outraged Geraldo Rivera and other invested talking heads, and it's still Conventional Wisdom that Simpson "got away with murder," cited by nearly everyone with access to a microphone when the subject is raised.

But there's one book, "Killing Time" by (both highly-credentialed) Donald Freed & Raymond P. Briggs, Ph.D., Macmillan Pub., 1996; that not only all but proves Simpson's actual as well as legal innocence, it also provides a compelling case that Simpson's ex-wife was a 'bystander,' and the other victim the intended target; and another book, "Tainting Evidence: Inside the Scandals at the FBI Crime Lab by John Kelly and Phillip Wearne, 1998, Free Press (Simon-Schuster), which expands on whistle-blower Whitehurst's exposures about fraud, incompetence, and faked forensic evidence, and itemizes same regarding the Simpson case.

No, power in a democracy is not all ale and cakes; but the US is not a democracy, it's a Republic, a representative democracy. Whatever is wrong with our political leadership, is OUR fault. We do have the power to take away their power. If we'd all start applying a little critical thought and pay attention to the differences between what politicians say and what they do and vote accordingly, we'd get rid of a lot of the really bad ones and at least make it more difficult for the rest of them to manipulate us.

Yes, you may ask and no, I'm not a lawyer but I'm an avid reader (as I suspect you are also).

"If honorable men are unjustly accused, they shouldn't have a problem to prove their candor and honesty." Ah, but there's the rub: The burden of proof is on the accuser, not the accused.

George W. Bush and most U.S. Presidents and presidential candidates do fully disclose their financial resources along with their income tax returns, as well as their spouses' when not jointly handled. As far as Saudi or other foreign money going into the pockets of "leading political figures in the US," if those "leading political figures" were government officials, and there were an iota of solid evidence of Saudi or other foreign money going into their pockets, have no doubt that "leading political figures" of the opposition party would have them in front of an investigating committee, a Grand Jury, or a firing squad before they had a chance to count that money.

I recall the allegations of "flying Saudi figures out of the country" immediately after 9/11. There was a half-sister, I think it was, of Osama bin Ladin's who was in this country with an entourage, and who was flown out or allowed to fly out. And, there was a "hunt" for the responsible party who allowed or arranged it. The person was identified, and I don't recall his name, oh, yes I do, Richard Clark, but he was a disgruntled hold-over from the Clinton Administration, in the NSA I think (a super-secret intelligence outfit), and was apparently miffed at being "demoted" to subordinate status to Condi Rice (appointed by Bush as his National Security Advisor).

He wrote a whiny book, denigrating Bush, Rice, and his own fall from grace, and sharing his "superior" grasp of all things National Security. My view of him was of a predictable, envious bureaucratic weasel, but in the matter of the flight out of bin Ladin's relative, the explanation and rationale were reasonable, and it would've been an international incident and PR nightmare if the woman, completely estranged from her notorious relative, had been targeted and attacked by angry and frightened Americans.

Interesting stuff, thanks,

Merry

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to continuation by Merry Whitney

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2021 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)