Thursday, September 11, 2008

John McCain: Hero of the Republicans

John McCain is the same Senator from Arizona who was a part of “The Keating Five, a group of five United States Senators accused of corruption in 1989, igniting a major political scandal as part of the larger Savings and Loan crisis of the late 1980s and early 1990s” (See Keating Five, Wikipedia). On April 9, 1987 John McCain was present and involved in a two hour meeting where he and four other Senators tried to persuade federal regulators to back off a corrupt savings and loan that later collapsed and cost people their life’s savings and coast the federal government about 2 billion dollars.

The group was named after Charles H. Keating, Jr., a fat act who owned American Continental Corporation, and who later spent five years in prison for his crimes of corruption. American Continental Corporation owned Lincoln Savings and Loan of Irvine, California. Mr. Keating turned Lincoln Savings and Loan into his own slush fund and got the Senators to help keep the regulators from taking it over until it was too late. “More than 21,000 mostly elderly investors lost their life savings. This total came to about $285 million” (Wikipedia).

“McCain and Keating had become personal friends following their initial contacts in 1981.[8] Between 1982 and 1987, McCain had received $112,000 in political contributions from Keating and his associates.[14] In addition, McCain's wife Cindy McCain and her father Jim Hensley had invested $359,100 in a Keating shopping center in April 1986, a year before McCain met with the regulators. McCain, his family, and their baby-sitter had made nine trips at Keating's expense, sometimes aboard Keating's jet. Three of the trips were made during vacations to Keating's opulent Bahamas retreat at Cat Cay. McCain did not pay Keating (in the amount of $13,433) for some of the trips until years after they were taken, when he learned that Keating was in trouble over Lincoln.[6][15]

“The Ethics Committee ruled that the involvement of McCain in the scheme was also minimal, and he too was cleared of all charges against him.[17][16] McCain was criticized by the Committee for exercising "poor judgment" when he met with the federal regulators on Keating's behalf.[6]

On his Keating Five experience, McCain has said: "The appearance of it was wrong. It's a wrong appearance when a group of senators appear in a meeting with a group of regulators, because it conveys the impression of undue and improper influence. And it was the wrong thing to do."[6]

The people who planned the Republican National Convention did not remember the Keating Five. They did not mention it once. They never once mentioned those 21,000 people who lost their savings because John McCain was pushing for the fat cat and not the underdog. I wonder why?

The convention planners baptized us with repeated reverences to John McCain as a war hero and a prisoner of war. But at no point did anyone say that the Vietnam War was another unprovoked and undeclared war that represented American adventurism and raw aggression.

No one dared say that “the root eating slant eyed Viet Cong” whipped the Americans and sent them home with their tails between their legs. No one dared say that we lost the war because the Viet Cong were fighting for their homes and families while most Americans saw the war as unjust blatant raw aggression.

And no one dared to point out that John McCain was most likely spewing napalm and Agent Orange over Vietnamese villages to kill foliage, women, children, and livestock; in short anything that breathed. I am befuddled by the constant attempt to make service in the Vietnam War equal with service in World War II or any other noble conflict.

Just because the nation’s leaders decide to go to war in some foreign land does not make the war just or right. The Vietnam War was wrong. It cost Lyndon Johnson the goodwill of the people and a second term in his own right. And it cost America a generation or two of healthy minded young men and women. It scarred us internally and around the world.

A person of no social consciousness and no moral compass was sitting in the White House just as the nation was being healed from the bubonic plague of Vietnam. What does he do: He takes the tragedies of 9/11 and uses them as a pretext to re-invent Vietnam. Iraq is our new Vietnam.
So now instead of two generations of prosperity and hope, the Republicans are getting ready to give us two generations of quagmired suffering as we pick the sores and bury the dead from this plague also.

The Republicans talked a lot about the “surge” and how it’s working. But no one at any time said, “We should not be in Iraq in the first place. What we are doing there is wrong and it cannot succeed. The war is based on a lie and “no lie can stand.” Even if we win the war, we have planted such seeds of hatred and vengeance that our children and grandchildren will pay the price for this aggression.”

Not one Republican had enough guts to say that in Iraq even the people who like us also hate us and want us to leave. Not one Republican had enough guts to say that when we leave all that we have gained will be lost. Utter chaos will ensue as soon as the American troops have left. So then the trillions of dollars that we have spent there and the thousands of lives that we have lost there will be in vain. What difference does it make if the surge is working? The desert will reclaim what you have spilled your blood to build.

Martin King told us two generations ago that if America did not repent from its arrogance “God will rise up and break the back bone of her power.” We are almost there.

What McCain did in 1989 with the Keating Five, he is now doing with the Bush Four (Bush, Chaney, Rumsfield, and Rice): he doesn’t actually do the work of the wolf; he just keeps the sheep looking the other way until its too late for the sheep to escape. McCain tells sheep that wolves are safe. They are not; they are wolves!

* All the material in this article referring to the Keating Five is from "The Keating Five" article at Wkipedia.

"Let justice roll down as waters and righteousness as a mighty stream."

Labels: , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home