I admit I was surprised when the Obama Administration's Department of Justice announced that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (among others) would be tried in a regular federal court in Manhattan for his role in the 9-11 plot. KSM, as he's known (which has always made him sound like a lite rock FM station), was captured in Pakistan in 2003, rendered around, and then was shipped to Guantanamo in 2006. I remember the timing pretty well because I watched George W. Bush's riveting speech on television in a breakfast room in Lyon, France. You may recall it yourself. W's impassioned plea was for immediate action on the Military Commissions Act, which incorporated a trial mechanism for the arrival of the "worst of the worst" from overseas dungeons, including the anticipated landfall of KSM in Cuba. Skeptics (I'm busted!) suggested that Bush's hurry-up had more to do with a couple of other factors, namely, the imminent midterm elections of 2006 and the exoneration clause (from any war crimes that might have been committed by, oh, the Bush Administration) helpful Republican lackeys (like Lindsey Graham) had stuck in the law. So George, whose own vanilla beans were caught in the ice cream maker of justice, was adamant that the bill get passed fast, because the bad guys were due to arrive in Cuba at any moment! And the really bad guys were due to arrive in Washington, D.C. in January!
November 17, 2009
November 16, 2009
An old friend from school days adds his comment, re: my last post, that in his opinion the budgetary Ponzi scheme commenced when Congress began systematically raiding the Social Security surplus and using FICA payments as simply another general budgetary revenue source. While meticulously earmarking the surpluses as "Special Issue Treasury Bonds," stuffing them into a file cabinet in West Virginia, and waiting for the day when they would need to be "redeemed." The reset of FICA rates in 1983 has relentlessly produced an overpayment in Social Security payments, so that the sigma of overpayments currently = $2.5 trillion. This is the "Trust Fund:" a file cabinet full of Blue Ridge Mountain air.