The American people have just received the most recent example that what we do not know can harm us. It’s only when transparency is combined with truth that we see trustworthiness in our government.
Without Transparency – What We Don’t Know Can Harm Us
On June 23, 2017 we learned from the Washington Post that nearly a year earlier in August of 2016, President Obama was informed of a major attack on the U.S.:
“Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.
Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.
But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.
At that point, the outlines of the Russian assault on the U.S. election were increasingly apparent. Hackers with ties to Russian intelligence services had been rummaging through Democratic Party computer networks, as well as some Republican systems, for more than a year. In July, the FBI had opened an investigation of contacts between Russian officials and Trump associates. And on July 22, nearly 20,000 emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee were dumped online by WikiLeaks.”1
On June 22, 2017, the New York Times reports on the secretly created Republican Senate Health Care bill with deep cuts to Medicaid which helps the poor and disabled live.
“Senate Republicans, who for seven years have promised a repeal of the Affordable Care Act, took a major step on Thursday toward that goal, unveiling a bill to make deep cuts in Medicaid and end the law’s mandate that most Americans have health insurance.”2
Without Truth – What We Don’t Know Can Harm Us
The NYT has cataloged and published, by date, lies to the American people by President Trump since Inauguration.3
Trump has given new meaning to the phrase “bully pulpit”.
The Senate Republicans have given new meaning to “bum’s rush” with plotting major legislation without public hearings.
Thanks to reporting of the Washington Post we are learning of secrets that we should have known about nearly a year ago.
Thanks to the New York Times we are learning of many lies we have been told.
Thanks to Public Citizen watching in Washington we are seeing transparency and truth being made available to the public. And what Public Citizen is finding looks less like a trustworthy Administration of public servants than corporate servants plotting and salivating like foxes in a chicken coop.
“The corporate executives who have met with President Donald Trump since he was elected represent 122 corporate offenders that paid a fine or penalty since 2010, a Public Citizen analysis shows.
Including fines associated with Goldman Sachs and ExxonMobil – effectively represented inside the administration by former executives Gary Cohn and Rex Tillerson – the companies have paid a total of nearly $90 billion in penalties imposed by the U.S. Department of Justice and federal regulatory enforcement agencies to resolve regulatory and legal violations….
The bulk of the penalties, or nearly $86 billion, were paid by 15 megacorporations. JPMorgan Chase paid the largest amount in penalties – more than $28 billion since 2010 – largely to resolve U.S. Department of Justice lawsuits connected with abusive actions related to the 2008 financial crisis.
Other executives who have met with Trump are from Volkswagen (fined more than $19 billion in penalties connected with its conspiracy to use illegal “defeat devices” to cheat required fuel efficiency tests), HSBC (paid more than $4 billion to settle allegations for numerous violations), Citigroup (paid more than $15 billion, largely to settle allegations of violations related to the 2008 financial crash) and Goldman Sachs (paid more than $9 billion, also mostly to settle allegations of violations related to the financial crisis).
“President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions talk tough about crime, but in practice, the Trump-Sessions era of federal law enforcement demonstrates zero tolerance for undocumented immigrants and low-level offenders while showing a high degree of lenience to corporate offenders,” Weissman said.4 5
See the Lewis Powell memo for the corporate strategy that has been followed over the decades and continues to today.6
- Obama’s Secret Struggle to Punish Russia for Putin’s Election Assault
- Senate Health Care Bill Includes Deep Cuts to Medicaid
- Trump’s Lies
- Corporate Offenders Swamp Trump
- Corporate Offenders Swamp Trump: Corporations Meeting with Trump Have Paid Penalties Totaling Nearly $90 Billion Since 2010
- Lewis Powell Memo