Remorse and religion is the standard of those representatives pleading guilty to government bribes and lies. Courage and conviction is the standard of American whistleblowers, Sibel Edmonds and Bunnatine Greenhouse. Is there a Patriot Act that can protect whistleblowers and reflect the standards of how patriots are free to act?
Although presently overshadowed by even larger scandal, Americans recently watched a 63-year-old man weep on TV because he chose to plead guilty to a timeline of bribery charges that he persistently denied over many months of investigation. This United States representative and former military hero pled guilty in order to guarantee himself 10 years rather than a lifetime in jail. At the moment of his televised and very dramatic confession, mainstream media told us little about the nature of his crime(s) or who else was involved and to what cost to taxpayers.
One of Randy "Duke" Cunningham's fellow conspirators was convicted felon Thomas Kontogiannis, a Long Island developer who was convicted in a New York schools bribery scandal in 2002. Kontogiannis sought Representative Cunningham's help in seeking a presidential pardon. Ultimately, Kontogiannis decided not to pursue such a pardon. His intention, however seems to imply the level of corruption supporting this present administration.
The day Cunningham pled guilty, TV cameras and journalists gave much focus on remorse and further spiritual growth. There were no questions from the press about presidential pardons. Instead, long time friend of Rep. Cunningham, Rep. Duncan Hunter, came forward as a faith-based born-again Christian friend who asked the American public to "look beyond" the crimes at hand.
Another such zealot, Jack Abramoff, was just quoted as saying: "Words will not ever be able to express my sorrow and my profound regret for all my actions and mistakes. I hope I can merit forgiveness from the Almighty and those I've wronged or caused to suffer."
While the media presents this pathetic sight of Jack's guilt, it quietly omits Abramoff's association with Zionism (Christian and Jewish) in directly funding anti-Intifada militias in Israel via a "front" organization called the Capital Athletic Foundation. According to Newsweek, $140,000 of this inner city children's fund was diverted and used to purchase sniper scopes, night-vision binoculars, camouflage suits, thermal imagers and other material which Abramoff's foundation called "security" equipment. The paramilitary gear ended up in the town of Beitar Illit, an ultra-Orthodox outpost presiding on Palestinian land.
There seems to be a plethora of names -- Rove, DeLay, Cunningham, Abramoff, and Scanlon -- betraying American interests for religious ideology, greed and power; names who are now very busy praying for the best deals to save themselves from doing extra time in jail.
How can the American public measure the true expense such scoundrels and their deals costs us in money desperately needed elsewhere? But while we Americans suffer gross dollar losses from corrupt officials and their endless prosecutions, how does the Republic measure the cost to American lives because of the wrongful exchanges of intelligence between the ultra-secretive Office of Special Plans, Wolfowitz-Feith and the Zionist special interest lobby AIPAC?
Slowly, and with great resistance towards getting at the truth, the who, how, and why behind the reasons that American sons and daughters were so rashly sent into an endless occupation and suicide "mission" in Iraq begins to unravel the complex lies and deceits given to the American public.
Also in scurrilous association of sharing classified secrets with the same Zionist lobby is Larry Franklin. In August, a Grand Jury indicted Larry Franklin, a former Pentagon analyst on Iran, who pled guilty to leaking classified information to Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, two senior staffers at the AIPAC. Rosen, former foreign policy chief at AIPAC, and Weissman, Iran analyst, are waiting to stand trial. Both were fired but AIPAC pledged to pay all legal fees. But guess what? According to the Jewish Exponent, AIPAC is presently not paying these legal fees because the cost is spiraling out of control and the organization might suffer for it. What an interesting idea about legal cost controls!
Relative to the Wrongdoers and the “culture of bribery in Congress,” outstanding individuals consistently continue to come forward, often at grave risk to themselves, in order to speak out on behalf of the truth. Most often they are punished, rather than rewarded for their patriotism.
It is no wonder there are so few whistleblowers.
Currently in the USA, whistleblowers have suffered for telling the truth and have had little or no protection. Because of such women as Sibel Edmonds, there is now the National Whistleblower Association.
Sibel Edmonds, a Turkish American who was hired as a translator by the FBI just after 9-11, and who went through every channel to report negligence taking place before during and after 9-11, was fired for these efforts. The ACLU reported last January that a summary from the Justice Department concluded she was fired for reporting a variety of misconduct. The government continues to invoke silence rather than commitment to exposing truth.
The American public, whose democratic rights include the demand for accountability, has routinely been deceived by lies and half-truths, and then has been shoveled security measures as excuses for lack of investigations into pursuit of accountability. Unfortunately, these "security" excuses seem oddly conflicted considering the source and whose truth, testimony and credibility are at the very heart of these questions. Our representatives presume a gullibility that rubs the offenses further raw.
Let us not forget Bunnatine Greenhouse, the Army Corps of Engineers chief contracting officer since 1997, who testified:
I can unequivocally state that the abuse related to contracts awarded to KBR represents the most blatant and improper abuse I have witnessed in 20 years working on government contracts.
I observed, first hand, that essentially every aspect of the [Restore Iraqi Oil] contract remained under the control of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. This troubled me and was wrong.
According to the Washington Post, the Corps' Deputy Commander gave her the option to retire or be dismissed. She continues to speak out during a time when corruption and corrupt elected officials need to be held accountable and responsible for misdeeds and misconduct.
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, in order to fight corruption, has provided a protection policy for whistleblowers, citing retaliation itself is misconduct.
At this time, Americans need the assurances from its punitive government that it is our duty to come forward as patriots in good faith and conscience. Perhaps the Patriot Act should be about how genuine patriots must have a guaranteed FREEDOM to act.
Mary La Rosa is an artist/librarian who encourages drumming and whistling. She can be reached at: email@example.com.
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