It is impossible, truly impossible for anyone who lives almost their entire working life, particularly when that includes the bulk of ones total living existence, within the government to not be seriously tainted by the corruption, the ethical and moral lapses that are a requirement of advancement, if not just simple survival within a system that is inherently corrupt to its very core. Power is not simply an agent of corruption, power is the magnet that attracts the already ethically challenged. Or, at the very least, those whose moral and ethical lodestar is well ensconced in the quadrant of the skies that inevitably leads to a state of willful or self-delusional corruption. Washington D.C. is the epicenter of a vibrant, living corruption that increasingly seeks to strangle all that oppose it. It is the blob that devoured America’s very soul.
Leon Panetta has been recently overly praised by the more conservatively oriented press for his “coming out of the closet” with his very biting concerns about the President, for whom he served. He is, in a very cynical, pre-planned and very well executed manner serving his real masters, the Clinton’s. The euphoria of the right should be tempered with the reality that this man, no matter how his resume and his service to his country is lauded over by the media, is as subservient to the corruption of power as anyone in Washington. He is not simply “cashing-in” while his name is still hot, nor is he a man simply overwhelmed by his conscience and concern for his country under Obama’s very obvious ineptitude. How easily we a lulled into the mantra that we are being brainwashed to repeat.
How damn easily we are fooled. The man was chosen for a reason to serve in the positions he assumed under the President and it was not because he was simply a talented public servant. Leon Panetta may have been the best man for the job, but what that job was is very likely something we will never know. But whatever it was, rest assured it was not the illusion we are being manipulated to see.
Allegations that an inspector general probe into the Secret Service prostitution scandal was subverted and its findings suppressed to protect the Obama Administration from political fallout have a ring of déjà vu.
Inspectors general (IGs) are supposed to serve as independent watchdogs within the executive branch. However, The Washington Post’s account of the Secret Service probe closely parallels a story the Project On Government Oversight reported in June 2013 on an investigation by the Defense Department IG that involved former Defense secretary and CIA director Leon Panetta, the movie Zero Dark Thirty, and the alleged disclosure of “Top Secret” information about the raid that killed Osama bin Laden.
As POGO reported, the Defense IG refrained from publishing the results of that investigation until after the last presidential election. Then, after POGO posted a draft of the IG report concluding that Panetta mishandled classified information, the IG omitted that information from the final, publicly released version of its report.
Later, after one of its employees acknowledged having given a draft of the bottled-up report to overseers at the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services committees, the IG’s office accused the employee of having made an “unauthorized disclosure.”
Like the Secret Service matter, the Zero Dark Thirty probe had the potential to reverberate during the last presidential campaign. Republicans and other critics were arguing that the Obama Administration was exploiting the bin Laden raid for political gain to the point of releasing excessive detail about the operation.
Outgoing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta is an interesting man — one whose resume is devoid of work in the supposedly lucrative private sector, but has made himself extremely wealthy — worth tens of millions of dollars — in 40 years of self-serving “public service.”
Soldiers and Marines who might be somewhat bemused by this can see one way that Washington insiders like Panetta enrich themselves: by writing rules that grant them bodacious Bentley benefits, personal use of which they only have to reimburse in crappy Chrysler coin.
What we’ve called Panetta’s “million-dollar Gulfstream commute” is instructive, in part because we’ve far undervalued it — Panetta, in fact, burnt more than a million dollars a year in personal wet-bar-equipped Gulfstream travel, as much as $6.4 million worth. He “reimbursed” DOD only about $30,000, or as little as 4.9 tenths of 1 percent. This is as he presided over an unprecedent peacetime decline in American fighting power that left us weaker in the Pacific than the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor did, and weaker in Naval power than any time since 1917 and in Air power since before the creation of the US Air Force.
Exchange and obligation
On the way up and in maintaining their position of power, the person may well have been helped by others on the tacit understanding that the favor will be called in at a future date. They hence may be called on to do something that they do not really want to do, but which they still feel obliged to do.
Powerful social groups are often like this, with ritual back-scratching and helping one another to ensure that their power is sustained. In conversation, out-group, lower-power people are stereotyped and considered inferior.
Corrupt people like to deal with other corrupt people. When everyone is in it up to their necks, everyone also knows that nobody else is going to blow the whistle, exposing the corruption to external eyes. In this way, corrupt systems are self-sustaining.
Criminal and street gangs work in a similar way as they get recruits to break the law as a part of the induction process, thereby giving the gang power over the person should they ever wish to leave.