FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Condi Under Oath

by JOHN L. HESS

 

So Condy will take the oath, after all, to tell the truth so help her god. Right out in public. When she met privately with the commission, not under oath, she said nobody ever warned her that airliners might be hijacked and turned into bombs. She’s had to admit that she “misspoke.” That doesn’t mean we can believe her, at last. The Bush gang includes several men who’ve been convicted of lying under oath.

Lies got our country into a criminal and disastrous war–and nobody takes the blame. The main headline in the Times Review of the Week asked, “Where Does the Buck Stop?” and it answered, “Not Here.” It mourned that presidents rarely accept responsibility any more, and it’s getting worse, “as a national culture of shifting blame permeates American politics. It slips in a phrase — “at least in the opinion of some .. experts” –which is a Times way of avoiding responsibility.

The article is by an old colleague of mine, Michael Oreskes. He happens to have been in charge of the Times’s Washington coverage–and he proves his point by saying not a word about the Times’s own enormous role in repeating deadly falsehood. The national culture is not all corrupt and hypocritical — good Americans have been sounding off all along, but as Mike knows very well, the Times does not like outsiders. It was encouraging to read in Editor and Publisher a column by a reporter who covered the war for three small-town papers, and is saddened at the failure of the big influential media–of the Times and the Washington Post–ever to tell their readers –“We are sorry.”

 

Roger Altman Rides Again

John Kerry took a few days off to go skiing, and did just fine, while the Bushies went into panic mode. Then he came back and set out to blow his lead. The old Clinton gang from Wall Street, led by Robert Altman, fed him a plan to createing jobs: Cut taxes on corporations and give more breaks to businesses that don’t ship all their work abroad. Sound familiar? Yep, it’s Bush lite.

Politicians love tax breaks because they don’t sem to cost anything. They are the most expensive way to accomplish any public purpose, and the least efficient. A current example is the program to move jobs into zones that are hard up. An audit in New York State found that most of the breaks went to plants well outside the needy neighborhoods. It was hard to prove that any new jobs had been created–though it was suggested that some poor folks might commute from the slums to mop floors in the new gated office communities.

The Bushes didn’t invent this. It goes way back to the Kennedy years; when the government began to turn programs like public housing over to private developers, while cutting taxes like mad. The Altman group–which often met for breakfast at the Carlyle Hotel–made out like thieves. They ran economic policy for Bill Clinton, and now they’ve taken over John Kerry.

Easily, because union leaders and what Ralph Nader calls the liberal intelligentsia gave the Democrats a blank check. But can they deliver the votes? Can Kerry bring them out by flipping and fudging on Iraq, taxes and Nafta? That’s hardly sure. Now tune in on Nader, spinning out a pure progressive line — something to fight for, with pride. At every campaign stop, large numbers volunteer. In November, many will likely go for the lesser evil, but on the way they’re trying to make it less evil. Stay tuned.

 

To Survive Is Victory

This time of year, I always recite–“Wal, I got through that winter, and ain’t died a summer yet.” It gets less funny as life goes on–so little time, so much to say.

Among the latest follies, I’ve got to mention that video of Bush on hands and knees, pretending to be looking for weapons of mass destruction under the rug in the Oval Office. Invited guests who lost kinfolk on 9/11 or in the Iraq war were not amused.

The Times gives what it calls that nimble twister Ahmed Chalabi credit for peddling those weapons to the Pentagon — without mentioning that the Times itself was his most effective shill.

The Times also, I think, should mention its own part in another big story–Social Security and Medicare. So should I. I just got a notice from the .Guild-Times welfare fund that it will cut me and my wife off benefits unless we sign up for insurance that will cost us $150 a month and will charge us more out of pocket for each prescription. It points out that the Times company contributes nothing for retiree benefits. They all have to come out of what we put by during our working careers. The funds were invested in the market, which is a whole ‘nother story. I should add that the Times has not in ages adjusted our pensions for inflation. Not only as a large, profitable corporation but also as a powerful newspaper, it has campaigned against cost-of-living adjustments, Social Security, Medicare and welfare, except for corporations.

I’ve sounded off about this for decades, and written about it in my latest book. It’s an insider’s picture of the Times–which is a hot news topic these days. It’s just been reviewed very kindly in the Times Literary Supplement of London, but not at all in the Times of New York..

Ah, well. I got through that winter, and ain’t died a summer yet.

(P.S. The April issue of CJR carries my reply to its review of “My Times.”)

JOHN L. HESS is a former writer for the New York Times, a career he chronicles in his excellent new book My Times: a Memoir of Dissent. Hess is now a political commentator for WBAI.

 

JOHN L. HESS is a former writer for the New York Times, a career he chronicles in his excellent new book My Times: a Memoir of Dissent. Hess is now a political commentator for WBAI.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

February 21, 2017
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Finance as Warfare: the IMF Lent to Greece Knowing It Could Never Pay Back Debt
CJ Hopkins
Goose-stepping Our Way Toward Pink Revolution
John Wight
Firestarter: the Unwelcome Return of Tony Blair
Roger Harris
Lenin Wins: Pink Tide Surges in Ecuador…For Now
Shepherd Bliss
Japanese American Internment Remembered, as Trump Rounds Up Immigrants
Boris Kagarlitsky
Trump and the Contradictions of Capitalism
Robert Fisk
The Perils of Trump Addiction
Deepak Tripathi
Theresa May: Walking the Kingdom Down a Dark Alley
Sarah Anderson
To Save Main Street, Tax Wall Street
Howard Lisnoff
Those Who Plan and Enjoy Murder
Franklin Lamb
The Life and Death Struggle of the Children of Syria
Binoy Kampmark
A Tale of Two Realities: Trump and Israel
Kim C. Domenico
Body and Soul: Becoming Men & Women in a Post-Gender Age
Mel Gurtov
Trump, Europe, and Chaos
Stephen Cooper
Steinbeck’s Road Map For Resisting Donald Trump
February 20, 2017
Bruce E. Levine
Humiliation Porn: Trump’s Gift to His Faithful…and Now the Blowback
Melvin Goodman
“Wag the Dog,” Revisited
Robert Hunziker
Fukushima: a Lurking Global Catastrophe?
David Smith-Ferri
Resistance and Resolve in Russia: Memorial HRC
Kenneth Surin
Global India?
Norman Pollack
Fascistization Crashing Down: Driving the Cleaver into Social Welfare
Patrick Cockburn
Trump v. the Media: a Fight to the Death
Susan Babbitt
Shooting Arrows at Heaven: Why is There Debate About Battle Imagery in Health?
Matt Peppe
New York Times Openly Promotes Formal Apartheid Regime By Israel
David Swanson
Understanding Robert E. Lee Supporters
Michael Brenner
The Narcissism of Donald Trump
Martin Billheimer
Capital of Pain
Thomas Knapp
Florida’s Shenanigans Make a Great Case for (Re-)Separation of Ballot and State
Jordan Flaherty
Best Films of 2016: Black Excellence Versus White Mediocrity
Weekend Edition
February 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
David Price
Rogue Elephant Rising: The CIA as Kingslayer
Matthew Stevenson
Is Trump the Worst President Ever?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Flynn?
John Wight
Brexit and Trump: Why Right is Not the New Left
Diana Johnstone
France: Another Ghastly Presidential Election Campaign; the Deep State Rises to the Surface
Neve Gordon
Trump’s One-State Option
Roger Harris
Emperor Trump Has No Clothes: Time to Organize!
Joan Roelofs
What Else is Wrong with Globalization
Andrew Levine
Why Trump’s Muslim Travel Ban?
Mike Whitney
Blood in the Water: the Trump Revolution Ends in a Whimper
Vijay Prashad
Trump, Turmoil and Resistance
Ron Jacobs
U.S. Imperial War Personified
David Swanson
Can the Climate Survive Adherence to War and Partisanship?
Andre Vltchek
Governor of Jakarta: Get Re-elected or Die!
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Destruction of Mosul
Norman Pollack
Self-Devouring Reaction: Governmental Impasse
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail