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As an old "Mexico hand", I used to tell people who complained about the rampant corruption south of the border, that there was/is little difference between Mexico and the U.S. on this issue. The difference, if any, is simply measured by how much it costs to make the corruption happen. Things are less expensive, generally speaking, in Mexico, but it is no more corrupt than the U.S.

The fact is, corruption in the U.S. is as much if not more endemic than in Mexico, but it is certainly more sophisticated. It's costing the taxpayers of this nation TRILLIONS of dollars, in addition to turning our nation's politics into a fascist embracing-neocon infested-corporatist nest of evil. Follow me as I present some proof....

With the recent publication of the "Pentagon analysts" revelations in the New York Times  (link: http://www.nytimes.com/... ) showing how former military members acted as Pentagon and Administration propaganda conduits (er, AKA "message-force multipliers"), and were often rewarded not only with highly lucrative positions at military suppliers, but also with fat Pentagon contracts for those suppliers. Corruption personified. But wait, there's more.....

Then we learn (thanks to Lithium Cola, here: http://www.dailykos.com/... )  that the analyst's corruption went so far as for these retired military people to actually have been a part of ginning up wars for the benefit of themselves and their clients (the Pentagon, and their supplier employers). And, to top it off, at the same time these traitors were also collecting wages from the networks where they were employed as commentators and analysts! Sweet deal, .... for them, not so sweet for us.

As I had written earlier about his affair:

This is perhaps one of the best examples ever, of how corrupt this nation has become. We've got neocon insiders ginning up wars, aided and abetted by "the analysts", and their friends in the media and the Pentagon. Everyone makes a profit, and not a one gives a goddamn about the 4,040 U.S. soldiers killed, or the approx. 500,000+ Iraqis killed. This is as perfect an example of evil as I have ever seen.

But wait a minute, isn't our Congress (that would be the "Democratic majority" controlled Congress) supposed to be overseeing all of this stuff? What about the dozens of investigations Rep. Waxman, Rep. Conyers, and others are supposedly conducting? Oh, but wait, it seems Congress has a little problem of its own with corruption, to wit:

Members of Congress have as much as $196 million collectively invested in companies doing business with the Defense Department, earning millions since the onset of the Iraq war, according to a study by a nonpartisan research group.

Not all the companies in which lawmakers invested are typical defense contractors. Corporations such as PepsiCo, IBM, Microsoft and Johnson & Johnson have at one point received defense-related contracts, notes the report by the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics.

The center's review of lawmakers' 2006 financial disclosure statements suggests that members' holdings could pose a conflict of interest as they decide the fate of Iraq war spending. Several members earning money from these contractors have plum committee or leadership assignments, including Democratic Sen. John Kerry, independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman and House Republican Whip Roy Blunt.

The study found that more Republicans than Democrats hold stock in defense companies, but that the Democrats who are invested had significantly more money at stake. In 2006, for example, Democrats held at least $3.7 million in military-related investments, compared to Republican investments of $577,500.

Overall, 151 members hold investments worth $78.7 million to $195.5 million in companies that receive defense contracts that are worth at least $5 million. These investments earned them anywhere between $15.8 million and $62 million between 2004 and 2006, the center concludes.

It is unclear how many members still hold these investments and exactly how much money has been made. Disclosure reports for 2007 aren't due until this May. Also, members are required to report only a general range of their holdings.

(Link: http://ca.news.yahoo.com/... )

How can we expect our Congress to root out endemic corruption when it's up to its ass with their own deals? Add in corporate welfare, farm bills that give billions to wealthy agribusiness, billions in un-needed and unwarranted tax breaks for OIL companies, and on, and on, and on, and what we have is corruption on an unparalleled scale, and unmatched in world history.

These people are gutting our nation from the inside out. They, and their neocon media allies, have succeeded in damaging, if not killing, the heart of our democracy. If this is not the definition of treason, then I don't know what is.

And while we pin our hopes on perhaps getting someone into the White House that can change things, I am almost without hope that anyone, no matter how talented or forthright, can make the wholesale changes needed to correct "the system".

The changes needed are so many, from electoral and campaign finance reform, to congressional and executive branch ethics reform, to reformation of the media, that I am not certain the nation has either the attention span, intellectual capacity, nor the needed tenacity to demand these reforms. After all, it appears a majority of the country is willing to accept the fact that we have a junta of war criminals occupying the very top positions in our government.

The answer? Short of a true revolution, I see nothing short term, and if the citizens can't/won't get off their butts to protest the atrocities we have already seen and endured, then it is highly doubtful they would take part in a revolution.

So, I guess reform, if it happens at all, is going to be a long-term proposition, and in the meantime, the traitors will continue to amass their filthy lucre (stored mostly overseas), while counting on an ambivalent population to maintain status quo. Damned shame.

Originally posted to Hornito on Wed Apr 23, 2008 at 07:26 AM PDT.

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