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Straight Lines and Revolving Door Circles

By Lynne Glasner  Posted by Rob Kall (about the submitter)       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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You 'd think coverage would have shifted at least a little, but the press still seems to lie down and roll over to Rover. The shift from only seven years ago, when the press jumped all over Clinton and everyone associated with him, is formidable. The same corps now mostly take a wait-and-see attitude, unwilling to speculate on the fate of Rover who still will call the shots. Eager to point out that Rover is assumed to be innocent and above the fray, they forget how guilty a portrait was painted of Clinton at the same point in the investigations.

Further, no one seems to be suggesting that Libby perhaps has been the appointed fall guy who W will pardon in another recess maneuver should it become necessary.

What 's worse, even the Washington Post editorializes (10-29): " ... nothing in this indictment suggests a broad-based conspiracy that requires endless further investigation by Congress or others. Nor does this case prove (or refute) charges that President Bush misled the country about the grounds for war. "

No? Then why did Dennis Kucinich, Ohio congressman and former presidential candidate, introduce a Resolution of Inquiry less than two weeks ago (before the indictment was even announced) demanding that the White House turn over "all white papers, minutes, notes, emails or other communications kept by the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) " to Congress?

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Is he not to be taken seriously because he has been cast as the has-been crunchy granola, sore loser? A Resolution of Inquiry is a House procedure used to obtain documents from the Executive Branch. It is rare and it is serious. Under House rules Kucinich's resolution was referred to committee, and action must be taken in committee within 14 legislative days. It remains to be seen if a House committee will take it seriously. Perhaps if the public saw the issue in broader terms, our elected officials would be less inclined to keep the lid on.

Across Punditland the Democrats are portrayed as a losing party with no agenda. To some extent this is not inaccurate. But it 's a vicious cycle: no power, no press attention; no attention, things like the Kucinich resolution get only honorable mention as an afterthought, like the tree falling in the forest.

Yet the press had no trouble hanging on every word from Ken Starr. Of course Monicagate was news, but the headlines started long before there was any real evidence and, like Libby, Starr selectively leaked information. Their official positions were different and the crimes were different, but the reasons for leaking were the same: control the story by controlling the information you give the press so that the public is always on your side of the story.

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Monicagate was clearly a personal issue there was no national security involved. We can 't say the same for Iraqgate regardless of how the story unfolds. Before Woodward and Bernstein broke the Watergate story, the press largely ignored it.

And yet, a New York Times story the day after the Libby indictment says, "The Wilson affair is not Watergate, and Mr. Libby's alleged misdeed may seem small potatoes compared with the work of the Nixon-era White House 'plumbers. '"

Really? At least the Nixon plumbers were only fixing domestic leaks. How far we 've come down the slippery slope of mashed potatoes.

In truth, Iraqgate has much more in common with Iran-Contra than with either Watergate or Monica-Clinton. The line from Libby to Bush is no less direct that the line from Oliver North to Reagan perhaps even more so. In a White House known for its tight controls of staff and message, can anyone actually believe that W didn 't know and wasn 't part of the strategy? Will W ultimately use and get away with the "I didn 't know " excuse that worked for Reagan in Iran-Contra? W 's country boy, carefully manicured image may serve him here. The faith-based public has been manipulated, with the help of the press, to think W 's good ole boy demeanor is just that of simple folk trying to do what 's "right. "

In an effort at damage control, former New York congressman Bill Paxon was quoted in the Washington Post about the Libby indictment: "There is no one suggesting that this Oval Office occupant has anything to do with this matter." I guess the "liberal " press wants to ensure that they are "fair and balanced. " No counter-balancing quote was given, and the sad truth is that there were no media voices actually quoting anyone who implied that all roads lead to Rome.

Although the Iran-Contra scandal was arguably more egregious than Watergate, it got less press. And let 's not forget that the neocons were behind the scenes then as well. The early lesson they took from Iran-Contra is important to consider: the more complicated the issues and intrigue of the operation, the more likely you are to get away with it. Watergate made simple: a burglary, a lie, a cover-up of the burglary that went to the President. Straight line. Guilty. Monicagate was simple: sex, a lie, a cover-up of the sex that went to the President. Straight line. Guilty. Iran-Contra was complicated: international arms deals, complex illegal financial transactions. Complex web. Copped pleas with explanations, pardoned without much of a peep.

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From an administration that "doesn 't do nuance, " this presidency is mired in webs of deception layered with nuanced corruption. We don 't yet know where all the fault lines will be, but it will be the straight line that earns the conviction. So far, Libby is the only straight line.

Besides the complicated trails of Iran-Contra, another lesson learned by the neocons: laws don 't matter if the public agrees with your goal. This resonates with the current scandal. What 's most disturbing is that the same players who were involved in Iran-Contra have come back through the revolving door to serve as officials in positions of power one level below the public eye in W 's White House. Pardoned by Bush I, duly appointed by Bush II.

For some reason, the Democrats don 't seem to extract the same kind of faith-based loyalty as their Republican counterparts. When Clinton was caught, his party "loyalists " ran like lemmings. The Bush loyalists do no such thing. In fact, the GOP, with a straight face, characterizes the most corrupt administration in our history, as "remarkably clean. " Veteran GOP strategist Charles R. Black was quoted in the New York Times October 29: "The amazing thing is that they went almost five years without having any kind of scandal."

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Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect, connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune 500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful people on his Bottom Up Radio Show, and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and opinion sites, OpEdNews.com

more detailed bio: 

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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