Sunday, September 21, 2008

McCain Helped Create The ‘Corruption’ He Now Condemns

By Colin Benjamin

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="150" caption=" Senator McCain doth cry too loudly; as if he had nothing to do with planting the seeds of today's mess"] Senator McCain doth cry too loudly; as if he had nothing to do with planting the seeds of todays mess[/caption]

It seems the "Straight Talk Express" is derailing as Wall Street companies are crumbling, after years of deregulation policies ushered in, largely, by Senator John McCain's Republican Party.

After Senator McCain claimed "the fundamentals of the economy is strong," in the wake of the collapse of Lehman Brothers, he now says "we have to have a 9-11 style commission, and we have to fix this alphabet soup of regulatory agencies that's left over from the 1930's."

Senator McCain claims he has the solution to fix this economic meltdown. He said the problem was "Too many people on Wall Street have been recklessly wagering instead of making the sound investments we expect of them. And when their companies collapse, it seems only CEO's escape the consequences." The Arizona senator also said "too many firms on Wall Street have been able to count on casual oversight by regulatory agencies in Washington."

Senator McCain should know about "casual oversight" he's part of the deregulation movement which created that toothless tiger. For nearly three decades, he has championed the deregulation agenda of Ronald Reagan and the GOP. Make no mistake about it; this financial fiasco has Senator McCain's fingerprints all over it.

For the last few weeks, I have repeatedly asked: why "mainstream media" isn't revisiting Senator McCain's involvement in one of corporate America's biggest debacle the Keating Five Scandal? Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow, of MSNBC, have finally started to raise this question. In light of the obvious connection between Wall Street's crisis, the deregulation movement which cultivated the climate of this disaster, and the Savings and Loan Scandals which led to the Keating Five, I renew that query.

The other day, Senator McCain feigned outrage about the "unbridled corruption and greed that caused the crisis on Wall Street." Senator McCain should look into the mirror at the true reflection of "unbridled corruption and greed." Because, there is a straight connecting line between what happened this week and the chicanery of politicos like Senator McCain and his good buddy: Charles Keating.

Senator McCain's friendship with Keating started around 1981; and by 1987 he had received over $112,000 in over the table contributions. In 1986, during his first year in the U.S. Senate, McCain and family enjoyed approximately nine trips, at Keating's expense, most of them apparently to Keating's Caribbean estate. The next year, Senator McCain met twice with federal regulators on behalf of his benefactor, Keating, to discuss and dissuade their investigation of Keating's Lincoln Savings and Loan Company.

The Lincoln Savings and Loan Company was being investigated, as a result of Keating's high risk speculative practices. So, Keating decided to enlist the help of his congressional cronies like Senator McCain to bail him out. However, as the larger Savings and Loan Crisis imploded Charles Keating's involvement in this $160.1 billion dollar crisis would ensnare his friend: Senator McCain. After, a Senate Ethics Committee probe, Senator McCain was reprimanded for "exercising poor judgment in intervening with the regulators" to protect Mr. Keating.

Senator McCain has made it plain that he's fundamentally a "deregulator."  But now this morally rudderless "war hero" would have us believe he's the solution to fiscal integrity. Yet, there is another tragedy here. For most Americans, the name John McCain is synonymous with the Vietnam War and his tribulations as a P.O.W. However, the silent gap of his Senate years, currying favors by "lobbying" against regulation and oversight for the benefit of the special interests he pretends to rail against is glossed over by a corporate media in love with this pseudo "maverick."

Media has silenced this shameful period of Senator McCain's history which has a direct bearing on this current crisis and his dishonesty. But let's revisit a few quotes from past stories during the Keating Five Scandal. On Dec 31, 1990 a New Republic article said "Mr. McCain and his family were regular guests of Mr. Keating's on trips to the Bahamas. Mr. McCain reimbursed the owner of Lincoln Savings and Loan for a small fraction of the cost of these holidays. Yet, he never reported the vacations on the Senate disclosure forms, or his income taxes.

He said he thought his wife had paid Mr. Keating back. This is hard to believe." Moreover there's evidence Senator McCain only returned that "small fraction" because he knew an ethics inquiry was pending. On Mar. 9, 1991 an Economist article said "Mr. McCain, despite his claims of innocence, was the only one of the five who benefited personally [receiving] family holidays on Mr. Keating's tab." And on Sept 9, the New Republic said "Keating, while bankrupting his Savings and Loan had channeled $1.4 million to the campaigns or causes of the five senators, who in turn pressured the Savings and Loan regulators to "back off our friend." Ultimately, the fall of Lincoln Savings and Loan will cost the U.S. taxpayers $ 2 billion." The larger Savings and Loan Scandals cost the country $160.1 billion.

Presently, Senator McCain's campaign staff is filled with the same kinds of self-interested bloodsuckers that created the Savings and Loan Scandals and Wall Street's current chaos. Senator McCain's "straight talk" like his "maverick" image has been exposed as nothing more than a fabricated fraud.

Source: Black America Web

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