American Politics 101

(A restored version of a post originally published on Dec. 21.)

1. Justice is for Suckers
Dick Cheney's recent admission on national television that he approved the waterboarding of a Terror War captive is, of course, the most prominent salvo in an on-going campaign to secure presidential pardons for the war criminals of the Bush Regime before the War Criminal-in-Chief leaves office next month. As many others have noted, Cheney's declaration that he -- and by implication, everyone else at the top level of government -- approved a torture technique that is a flagrant violation of United States law is aimed at making it impossible for George W. Bush not to issue pardons for his minions who set up and maintained the literally murderous gulag constructed, with his own full knowledge and approval, during his term in office.

So here's a prediction: at some point shortly before he waddles off the national stage, Bush will issue a weasle-worded blanket pardon for all those involved in his torture and murder program. This will be presented as a measure to protect those "on the front lines of the War on Terror" -- the interrogators of the military and the various security agencies -- from "politically motivated prosecutions." But its true aim will be to absolve those responsible for this Hitlerian-Stalinist war crime: Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Gonzales, Feith, Yoo, and many others, including, of course, the jabbering putz in the Oval Office himself.

This pardon will provoke about as much controversy as Bush's father's pardons of the Iran-Contra criminals just before he left office as a disgraced and despised failure in 1992. Those pardons had the effect of crippling the investigation of a terrorist-enabling scam that was about to implicate Bush himself. This investigation -- and others -- were later killed off completely by Bush I's successor, Bill Clinton, who -- strangely enough -- is now regarded by the elder Bushes as a sort of unofficial son. [See "A Tale of Two Houses: How the Bushes and Clintons Took Us to Hell."]

That is to say, Bush II's upcoming pardon of himself and his accomplices will be a one-day story -- two days at the very most -- before it is buried by feverish folderol about the Obama nomination ... and by Obama himself, who will doubtless issue some sort of statement expressing the need for the nation to "move on" from such matters of ancient history in light of the tough challenges ahead, etc., etc.

And if in the unlikely event that Bush does not issue such pardons, it can only mean one thing: he has already received assurances that the principals behind this evil and shameful system will not be prosecuted.

2. School for Scandal
How can it be that such abominable and flagrant (not to mention counterproductive and ineffective) crimes -- crimes which have provoked the deaths of thousands of Americans -- will not be prosecuted by the United States government? A new biography of one of the CIA's founding fathers and guiding lights, James Jesus Angleton, gives us a clue. A review of the book in Lobster, the always-interesting UK-based journal of "deep politics," provides the following quote. Referring to Angleton's education at Yale and Harvard (George W. Bush's two alma maters), author Michael Holzman notes:

Angleton was educated by men paid to educate men of his class to believe -- and to behave as if by second nature -- that protecting the interests of that class was identical with patriotism.

This also applies to the ambitious proles who work and worm their way into the service of this class, such Dick Cheney, and countless others. As we have said here over and over, the elite (and their sycophants) believe that the maintenance of the elite's own power, wealth and privilege is synonymous with the "national interest." Thus their deep and abiding sincerity when defending, say, the wanton murder of a million innocent human beings in Iraq, or the employment of base and sickening tortures on other human beings held captive in a secret, lawless system.

See? Politics isn't really that complicated after all, is it?