.. why Henry Kissinger may end up looking good.
Posted on Oct 19, 2010
By Robert Scheer
One day as Wall Street was crashing, President George W. Bush had the temerity to plaintively ask his treasury secretary, Henry Paulson: “How did this happen?” Paulson, who headed Goldman Sachs before taking the Treasury job, remarks in his memoir: “It was a humbling question for someone from the financial sector to be asked—after all, we were the ones responsible.”
That’s an honest enough admission about the culpability of the financial community in bundling the toxic derivatives packages still disastrously undermining the economic health of the nation. Even more startling was Paulson’s admission in his memoir that he, at the time he was advising the president, still did not know that home mortgages were at the heart of those troubling securities that his former company had marketed to others with such wild abandon.
Were President Barack Obama to ask that question about the origins of this crisis of Tom Donilon, one of his closest aides whom he recently appointed to the critical job of national security adviser, Donilon would find it even more awkward to invoke the defense of ignorance. As the chief lobbyist for Fannie Mae from 1999 to 2005, he was far more intimately involved than Paulson in the manufacturing of this crisis. He successfully pressured Congress to give Fannie Mae the green light to speed past any sound regulation. Indeed, had Congress endorsed the barest semblance of regulation of the Fannie Mae-led housing scam, it would have been stillborn instead of being a very much alive Frankenstein creation.
Phi Beta Iota: Henry Kissinger was and remains a de facto war criminal (see The Trial of Henry Kissinger) but he never actively cheated the entire US public or was party to the deliberate–with malice aforethought–destruction of the entire US economy in the intimate manner of the new “National Security Advisor,” one Tom Donilon. Perhaps his title should be changed to Goldman Sachs Security Advisor. Kissinger did assure the death of another 20,000 US soldiers by cravenly undermining the Paris Peace Talks the first time around, and he did approve of NATO/CIA “dirty tricks” that killed people in Europe, so perhaps it is a toss-up. Relevant book: Politics Lost–How American Democracy Was Trivialized By People Who Think You’re Stupid (Hardcover).