Wednesday, November 8th, 2006


Bush can sure pick em. His new Secretary of Defense, Gates, is plenty tainted.

Robert M. Gates was the Central Intelligence Agency’s deputy director for intelligence (DDI) from 1982 to 1986. He was confirmed as the CIA’s deputy director of central intelligence (DDCI) in April of 1986 and became acting director of central intelligence in December of that same year. Owing to his senior status in the CIA, Gates was close to many figures who played significant roles in the Iran/contra affair and was in a position to have known of their activities. The evidence developed by Independent Counsel did not warrant indictment of Gates for his Iran/contra activities or his responses to official inquiries.
. . .
Conclusion
Independent Counsel found insufficient evidence to warrant charging Robert Gates with a crime for his role in the Iran/contra affair. Like those of many other Iran/contra figures, the statements of Gates often seemed scripted and less than candid. Nevertheless, given the complex nature of the activities and Gates’s apparent lack of direct participation, a jury could find the evidence left a reasonable doubt that Gates either obstructed official inquiries or that his two demonstrably incorrect statements were deliberate lies.

Or as Jon Stewart said last night, Rove meets – oh – reality.

Billmon really nailed it yesterday, the modern GOP is just a criminal enterprise disguised as a political party. And he is correct, what we need are some RICO prosecutions, some good old fashioned law enforcement.

. . . this election has already illuminated one critical truth: The modern GOP — or, more specifically, the Axis of ’70s Campus Republicans now running it — really is just a criminal enterprise disguised as a political party.

Dirty tricks, large and small, are a sorry fact of life in American politics, but what the Republicans have done over the past few weeks — the surrealist attack ads, the forged endorsements, the midnight robo calls, the arrest threats, the voter misinformation (did you know your polling station has been moved?) — is sui generis, at least at the national level.
. . .
It’s always possible to point to Democratic/liberal offenses, but at this point the comparisons look pretty silly: some downed yard signs here, a few crooked and/or stoned ACORN canvassers there. Not even in the same universe, much less the same ball park.

Couple the GOP’s rat-fucking campaign with all the other stuff we already know about — the collectivized bribery of the K Street Project, the Abramoff casino extortion ring, the Defense and CIA appropriation scams, the Iraq War contracting scams, the Pacific Island sex trade protection racket, the church pulpits doubling as ward halls, the illegal wiretapping, the lies, perjury and obstruction of justice in the Plame case (I really could go on like this all day) — and it’s clear that what we need most isn’t a new Congress but a new RICO prosecution, with lots of defendents and unindicted co-conspirators.

There’s probably not much that can be done on that score, even if the Dems take both houses of Congress today. Oversight hearings and subpoenas to appear are all well and good, but what we really need to see is a heap of good old-fashioned law enforcement. I want to see the Rovians testifying in courtrooms, not hearing rooms.