Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Happy Fourth of July to: Bush, Cheney, Blackwater, Condaleeza Rice and Jack Abramoff

America - Land of the Political Meal Ticket and Home of Lobbyists and Independent Contractors!(ya gotta love it!)

From The Washington In dependent June 10, 2008, by Mike Lillis:

John Kerry (in a letter not responded to as yet to Secretary of State Condaleeza Rice):

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) today is asking Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice for information, not only about the Blackwater contract, but also about how it came to be that the nation's military can hardly function any longer without the services of private companies. From the June 10 letter to Rice: Taken together, the apparent dearth of private sector security options and Under Secretary of State for Management Patrick Kennedy's recent statement that, "[i]f the contractors were removed, we would have to leave Iraq," suggest that the U.S. government's hands are effectively tied in Iraq. What, in your opinion, were the driving forces that resulted in the U.S. government needing to rely so heavily upon private security contractors? In the future, does State intend to rely less, as much, or more on private security contractors in high-risk areas? If, in your view, State's reliance is likely to decline, what steps does it plan to take to reduce its dependence on such contractors?

Will Madam Secretary answer in detail? We think not. If a response doesn't come sometime today, then we'll know that Rice is mulling it over to answer it or not. It's a question that asks more than it reads: is the United States of America beholden to private interests in such a way that it cannot defend itself without them? How is it that the United States has come to this position? What other entities are we beholden to? Who really decides upon "no bid" contracts?

It seems that there was, in our history, only one other entity to which we were obligated: Great Britain, and we cut off ties with them because those links were detrimental to our lives.

Today is the 232nd anniversary of the idea of the Declaration of Independence. The Continental Congress assigned the job of drafting one up to Jefferson, Franklin and Madison. What a task! But to Jefferson (who wrote most of it) it was a simple job of listing all the reasons why we had to break with Britain and King George.

I read the Declaration last night, and there were particular words that struck home - especially with the current administration. Here:

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. (Like King George of Britain, our current king George has never paid attention to that "consent of the governed" stuff - after all, he was elected by God, not the common rabble!)

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries. (Supreme Court Appointees, anyone?)

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance. (With George, the harassment is just another unfortunate result to the war on terror - also called wire-tapping)

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury: (Guantanemo?)

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. (Not exactly to us, but certainly for the enrichment of Blackwater)

Yeah, I know this kind of reasoning using old, time-honored testaments is rather trite, but the current administration lacks appreciation of anything new and is highly suspicious of it. You have to bludgeon them with old platitudes and show them how they were intended to be in our self-interest (don't get me off on the first Amendment or I'll be here chained to this computer for several years!).

So, to whom do we (the U.S.) owe money or debts of gratitude/favors (by Senators and Congressman to lobbyists) ? The list is waaay too long, but here are the top four:

China - Blackwater - Merck - Halliburton

Isn't it time we wrote another Declaration of Independence?

Would you sign it?