It was actually two days off, but that ruins a good title. Attorney General Holder holed up in his office at the Justice Department and read the 2004 CIA Inspector General's Report on torture cover to cover (I think it's about 200 pp. long). Twice, once as "a lawyer" scanning evidence, and then just as a person, reacting emotionally. So the story goes. He "cleared his schedule" to do this, and no doubt told his secretary to "hold his calls." The Report has been called the "Holy Grail" of torture accounts, detailing not only the usual stuff about Abu Ghraib, but delving into the CIA "black sites" as well.
July 16, 2009
July 13, 2009
We're probably beginning to get the picture concerning the economy. It's deflated, economic activity has slowed way down, housing prices are considerably lower, equity has been wiped out, and now the commercial real estate market is about to join this ghoulish party already in progress. Meanwhile, on Wall Street, Goldman Sachs is happy to report that reserves have been set aside to pay average bonuses to each of its employees of $600,000, although, of course, in keeping with the stratification of American society in general, those at the top will receive far more than the secretaries and mail room employees. Goldman Sachs, of course, is the best-connected banking player to the federal government; one can almost say that the federal sector of the government, the Treasury Dept. and the Federal Reserve Bank, are in a sense just a branch office of Goldman Sachs, with interchangeable personnel and with indistinguishable fiscal "policies." The American populace seems dimly aware of this situation; if their consciousness were raised slightly, one can imagine pitch fork brigades descending on Wall Street, but for now "patriotism," that watchword of the Far Right, has succeeded in keeping Goldman Sachs safe, so that in some sense the insanely greedy behavior of all the Wall Street banks is protected under the blanket cover of this inappropriate concept. The skewing of national wealth toward a smaller and smaller group of elites continues apace, so that by some estimates now 80% of the national wealth is owned by 1% of the population. Yet in America, that most uber-capitalist of all societies, it is now "unpatriotic" to think that this is actually kind of sick. The elites simply fulfilled the American Dream.