Under cover of an emergency, Treasury is rapidly turning into an economic Green Zone, overrun with private companies collecting lucrative contracts.
That’s a quote from a recent Naomi Klein article in Rolling Stone magazine, comparing the way U.S. officials are managing the financial system bailout to the way they’ve managed the Iraq War. Rolling Stone is one of the few media members worried about the mysterious disappearance of hundeds of billions of taxpayer dollars designated by Congress to rescue the U.S. financial system. As Arianna Huffington points out in The Hufffington Post today, the rest of the tireless toilers in the news reporting business are far too busy digging up the latest juicy tidbit about Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich or assessing Caroline Kennedy’s chances of being appointed to the Senate. (I would add to the list of media obsessions: “anything that Sarah Palin says.”)
I would also add that the reason the mainstream media forgot about the bailout is that nobody who knows anything will tell them what’s going on, and they can’t or won’t find out for themselves. And I admit it’s not easy to get that kind of information. Even Harvard law professor Elizabeth Warren (photo at right), the watchdog appointed by Congress to keep track of the bailout money, is unable to get any answers from the officials or bankers involved in the project. And MSNBC TV’s Rachel Maddow can only shake her handsome head and ask: “Are we getting punked?”
Yes, Rachel, my dear little Rhodes Scholar, we are getting punked – and looted, and pillaged, and hornswoggled… Just as we, the taxpayers, were diddled in the Savings & Loan scandal two decades ago, and in the Iraq War that’s still going on and on and on. And by the very same people, too.
Here’s how Prof. Michael Hudson of the University of Missouri puts it:
Hardly by surprise, this giveaway of public money is being handled by the same group that warned the country so piously about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
And we know where that “warning” led us, and how much money has fallen between the cracks in the ensuing Iraq War, and how rich it has made companies like Halliburton. I am sure the same thing will happen in the financial system bailout. So far, Hank Paulson and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke (in picture at left) have allocated more than $7.5 trillion (yes, trillion with a t) to “save the financial system.” And nobody can get an accounting of the way the money is being spent.
When are American taxpayers going to realize that these “crises” are engineered for the purpose of perpetrating huge heists? When will we learn from our history so that we don’t have to keep repeating our mistakes? When will we put some of the crooks involved in prison?