Lately, I bin asking if anybody had a list of Reagan/Bush felons?
Have you seen this one?
G.O.P. HISTORY DAY
Watergate Anniversary Brings Back Memories
The Most Criminal Party in U.S. History
And the Most Criminal Republics Of All?...
You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet!
June 17, 2002 marks the thirtieth anniversary of the Watergate break-in
led to the downfall of Richard M. Nixon.
And here at MWO, June 17 is also G.O.P. History Day -- the day when we
reflect on the
annals of the most criminal national political party in U.S. history.
The party with the most national criminal scandals, the most convicted
and jailed and
disgraced White House officials.
Political corruption in American history has, as we all know, involved members of all parties.
The Democratic Party has had its city machine bosses, its Boss Tweeds and
as well as its modern Koreagate and savings-and-loan finaglers.
But for real big-time criminality and convictions at the highest levels
of American politics,
the G.O.P. is the all-time, once and future champion.
And, as the decades have passed, it's only gotten worse.
Let's take a walk down memory lane...or, rather, a walk around the huge
G.O.P. wing of
the Politicians' Correctional Facility.
First, the Grant Administration. Although President Grant was personally
has been underrated by historians, the corrupt and criminal Republicans around him
came to define the sordid Gilded Age.
There was the Whiskey Ring, a conspiracy involving high federal officials
to defraud the
government of duties on whiskey. Among those involved: Grant's personal secretary,
Oliver Babcock. Broken up in May 1875, the Ring yielded 238 indictments, the most
ever in a federal corruption scandal, more than half of which led to convictions --
though (in part thanks to Grant's intercession) Babcock was acquitted.
There was also the Credit Mobilier of America scandal, involving insider
bribery of elected officials with railroad stock. Among those involved: Vice President
Schuyler Colfax, Representative (and future President) James A. Garfield, and (the chief
inside promoter) Massachusetts congressman Oakes Ames. The House eventually
condemned Ames, considered impeaching Colfax, and published a list of names of all
congressmen involved with Ames in the scheme.
And, of course, the Belknap scandal, when Secretary of War William Belknap
to resign from office in order to avoid impeachment over accepting bribes for the rights
to sell supplies to Indian tribes.
And the Sanborn scandal, involving an irregular tax collection scheme in
which Treas. Sec.
William Richardson came under heavy fire, and eventually stepped down after the House
Ways and Means Committee declared he deserved "severe condemnation."
After the Grant Administration, which takes up practically an entire bloc
G.O.P. Correctional Wing, we come to the Harding Administration.
The biggest scandal involving Harding's so-called "Ohio Gang" was the Teapot
affair, involving the illegal leasing of federal oil reserves to private companies in
exchange for favors and bribes. Secretary of the Interior Albert Fell took the fall, was
fined, and convicted to a year in prison.
But compared with what was to come, the Grant and Harding criminal scandals were small potatoes.
After 1928, the U.S. enjoyed forty years of largely scandal-free federal
with, incidentally, Democrats in the White House for twenty-eight of those years. Then
came Richard M. Nixon, and a cavalcade of major scandals and convictions, involving
(among other things) such crimes against the state as political burglery, bribery,
extortion, wiretapping, conspiracy, and illegal use of the C.I.A. and F.B.I. Most of these
crimes are now lumped together under the collective heading of Watergate.
One presidential resignation.
One vice-presidential resignation.
40 federal officials indicted.
Attorney-General John Mitchell, convicted and jailed.
White House officials H. R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, Charles Colson, John Dean, convicted and jailed.
Howard Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy, "plumbers" and ex-White House officials, convicted and jailed.
James McCord, Committee for the Re-election of the President (CREEP), convicted and jailed.
The reaction to Watergate, and to Gerald Ford's pardon of Richard Nixon,
election of Jimmy Carter to the White House. Some relatively minor scandals here --
involving Bert Lance and Carter's wayward brother Billy -- brought embarrassment to
the Carter Administration, but nothing on the scale of Watergate -- and nothing on the
scale of what was to come. (Neither Lance nor Carter was convicted of anything.)
Whereas Nixon had Watergate, Ronald Reagan had Iran-Contra -- a catch-all
term for a
wide assortment of crimes against the state, involving violation of federal law (the
so-called Boland Amendment), perjury, and conspiracy to defraud the federal government.
Total number of officials convicted, indicted, subject to criminal investigations:
138 In terms of the numbers of top officials indicted, the worst record in American history.
Six of the most high-profile Iran-Contra indictments and convictions were
outgoing George H.W. Bush issued his sweeping Christmas Eve pardons in 1992.
Among the more celebrated Iran-Contra cases:
National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane guilty of withholding
information to Congress,
fined, two years' probation, pardoned on Christmas Eve 1992 by George H.W. Bush.
Lt. Col. Oliver North convicted on three criminal counts, fined,
suspended sentence, set
aside on technicality.
National Security Adviser John Poindexter convicted on five criminal
to six months imprisonment, set aside on technicality.
Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, indicted on five counts
for lying to Congress,
pardoned on Christmas Eve, 1992 by outgoing President George H.W. Bush.
C.I.A.'s Clair E. George indicted for perjury, mistrial, pardoned
on Christmas Eve 1992 by
outgoing President George H.W. Bush.
Elliott Abrams, assistant secretary of state, guilty of withholding
on Christmas Eve 1992 by outgoing President George H.W. Bush.
Duane R. Clarridge, C.I.A., indicted for misleading Congress, pardoned
on Christmas Eve
1992 by outgoing President George H.W. Bush.
Alan D. Fiers, C.I.A., plead guilty to charge of withholding information
pardoned on Christmas Eve 1992 by outgoing President George H.W. Bush.
But Iran-Contra, like Watergate, was only a symptom of the criminality
rampant in the
Reagan White House.
In addition, there were the cases of:
-- Lyn Nofziger, top White House advisor, convicted on charges of illegal lobbying.
-- Michael Deaver, top White House advisor, convicted on charges
of illegal lobbying,
lying to Congress, fined one hundred thousand dollars and given three years probation.
Then there were these additional major scandals:
-- The Pentagon Procurement Scandal
-- The H.U.D. Scandals, involving massive fraud and losses of billions
of dollars to
taxpayers, unearthed only when Reagan left office.
-- The E.P.A. Scandals. E.P.A. Director Anne Gorscuh Burford resigned amid
she politically manipulated the Superfund money. Her appointee, Rita Lavelle, fired
after accusing a senior EPA official of "systematically alienating the business
community." Lavelle later indicted, tried and convicted of lying to Congress and served
three months of a six-month prison sentence.
Quite a collection of convicts, jailbirds, and grateful pardonees, isn't it?
All part of the ignoble chronicle we commemorate on G.O.P. History Day.
Oh, and what about the Clinton-Gore Administration? The administration
right-wing madman and liar, David Horowitz, once called "the most criminal, most
corrupt, most cynical administration" of them all?
Well, in the Clinton-Gore years exactly no -- as in zero, zilch, nada --
officials were convicted of any wrongdoing connected to their White House duties.
Webster Hubbell, assistant Attorney-General, was convicted of embezzling
the Little Rock Rose Law Firm, a crime that predated his coming to government and that
involved the defrauding of the First Lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Secretary of Agriculture Mike Espy was brought up on charges of corruption,
innocent on all counts, after which the presiding judge admonished the prosecutors for
bringing forward such a frivolous case.
(Espy's chief of staff was convicted of not telling the truth about details
in the case
where Espy was acquitted. And Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry
Cisneros was convicted for giving false information to the F.B.I. about the size of
payments given to a former mistress. Less than Nixonian or Reaganesque offenses, by
Resulting from illegalities around a campaign event in 1996, two mid-level
campaign officials were found guilty of violations of federal election laws.
Oh yes -- and President Clinton was impeached by the House of Representatives
hard-line partisan proceeding following a perjury trap set up by the Office of the
Independent Counsel -- but acquitted by a large margin in the Senate.
That's about it. The most investigated administration in American
history (by far!)
turns out to have been among the very cleanest.
Another point to remember on G.O.P. History Day.
But history shouldn't only be for looking backward.
For, it seems, the ever upward trend of G.O.P. criminality continues.
What, after all, in the annals of American political criminality, can compare
stealing of an entire presidential election, as happened in 2000 -- complete with
Republican goon squads shutting down the vote-counting in Florida, and a Supreme
Court majority offering up the most transparently shameful political decision in the
court's history since Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896 -- or maybe, even, since the Dred
Scott decision of 1857?
And there's so much more to look forward to.
The Cheney Energy Report.
The Bush 9/11 coverup scandal.
And, just in time for G.O.P. History day, there comes this in-depth report
respected British journalist Ed Vulliamy, on the dark underside of Dubya's rise to power
in Texas -- and where it might all lead, someday, in the courts:
"Dark Heart of the American Dream," London Observer Magazine, June 16, 2002
So, readers, give this black-letter day the reflection it deserves.
Not just for the 30th anniversary of the Watergate break-in. But
for the whole
grotesque history of G.O.P. crimes, over the past century and a quarter and more. Let
alone the grotesque future of that criminality.
Observe G.O.P. History Day!
Thanks to Buzzflash for this report that was sent to me via e-mail
If you have the direct link, please send it in.
I don't want top rip off my good friends at Buzzflash
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