Saturday, December 28, 2002

Tayloring His Resume To Fit This Year's Fascism

One of Ken Starr's most useful idiots is at it again, currying favor with the politically powerful and hopelessly corrupt. In a recent edition of National Journal (and Atlantic online), Stuart Taylor Jr. sings the praises of that "brainy [and] technologically adept" criminal John Poindexter and Poindexter's Total Information Awareness program. Taylor praises Poindexter as a "a well-meaning patriot cursed with abysmal judgment...."

Just how patriotic is Poindexter? Well, in 1990, he was convicted by a jury of five felonies: one count of conspiring to obstruct official inquiries and proceedings, two counts of obstructing Congress, and two counts of false statements to Congress. He destroyed documents and computer records concerning his illegal Iran-Contra activities. He first claimed that he was acting without the President's authority, but then claimed at his criminal trial that he was following orders.
His activities were summarized by Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh as follows:

-- Count One ... Poindexter conspired with North and Secord to obstruct congressional inquiries of Iran- and contra-related matters, to make false statements to Congress, and to falsify, remove and destroy official documents.

-- Count Two ... Poindexter obstructed Congress in 1986 when it was investigating media allegations that North was raising funds and providing military aid to the contras. In letters to three committees, Poindexter answered questions by repeating denials McFarlane made before Congress in 1985 of North's involvement in contra-support activities, even though Poindexter knew the denials to be false. He set up a meeting with the House Intelligence Committee in August 1986 in which he knew North would have to give false testimony, and afterward congratulated North on his performance.

-- Count Three ... Poindexter obstructed Congress in November 1986 by participating with North in the preparation of false chronologies of the secret U.S. arms sales to Iran and by making false statements to the House and Senate intelligence committees. Specifically, Poindexter falsely asserted that no U.S. official knew before January 1986 that HAWK missiles had been shipped to Iran in November 1985. The indictment stated that North as early as November 20, 1985, told Poindexter about the shipment in advance and advised him of it again after the fact in late 1985.

-- Counts Four and Five ... Poindexter made false statements about the HAWK shipment to the House and Senate intelligence committees on November 21, 1986. As in Count Three, the false statement charges were based on North's informing Poindexter about the shipment in 1985.
Now, that's patriotism.

Taylor, who is equal parts moron and hysteric, concludes that Poindexter's TIA is a great idea because: "I, for one, am a lot less worried about the government snooping through my credit card bills and psychiatric records than about being anthraxed in the subway or killed by a nuclear explosion in my downtown Washington office." Of course, if Taylor has no objections to the government reviewing his private information, he can easily drop it in a FedEx mailer and send it over to Johnno anytime he wants. What Taylor is really less worried about is the government snooping through everyone else's credit card bills and psychiatric records. Hysterical amnesia has caused Stu to forgot not only the crimes of Iran-Contra but also those of Watergate, the Hoover FBI and the Starr OIC.

What's missing from the article by the National Journal's Legal Affairs columnist (and a Harvard Law School grad)? That's right: any discussion of the role of the judicial branch of government. Poindexter's plan -- which Taylor endorses -- completely bypasses judicial oversight and constitutional requirement of probable cause. Stu either has forgotten about the Fourth Amendment, or is willing to piss it away in order to hand over power to criminals like Poindexter.

When last we saw Taylor, he was entertaining job offers from the corrupt Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr while simultaneously reporting on Starr's activities for the National Journal. (As one commentator put it, Taylor "turned down [the] Starr job offer to be his official spokesman [and] decided to remain unofficial.") There may be a job as Poindexter's official flack in Stu's future -- if there isn't one already.

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