Summary: In the USA, bribery is palpably institutionalized. The bankers and their allies buy politicians, judges, and officials by financing elections and re-elections, lavishing perks, and providing favorable media and scholarly coverage. Recalcitrant candidates and office holders are disposed of by diverting campaign funds to their more compliant opponents–or by smears, incarcerations, or murders. Once out of office, retroactive bribery comes into play via promotions, lucrative speaking tours, book contracts, and job offers. As a result of bribery (and its cloak-and-dagger companion): 1. The American people are not as free, safe, wealthy, and healthy as they could be. 2. Politicians, judges, and high-level government officials rack up promotions, millions of dollars, a favorable mention in most history books, and public approval. 3. A handful of banking families and their close associates in the corporate, military, and intelligence spheres gain extraordinary power and riches. 4. American democracy is on its last legs.
“An imbalance between rich and poor is the oldest and most fatal ailment of all republics.”–Plutarch
“The golden rule of American politics: He who has the gold, rules.”—Anonymous
“Pretty much every politician in the western world is basically an employee of the ruling class, which is made up of a handful of traditionally powerful families including the Rothschilds and Rockefellers.”—JG Vibes, 2013
“It’s often cheaper to buy a legislator than a second-hand car.”—Eric Margolis, 2015
“You can have genuine democracy or you can have gargantuan income inequalities, but you can’t have both.”—Anonymous
“We got politicians running races on corporate cash
Now don’t tell me they don’t turn around and kiss them peoples’ ass.”—Iris Dement
The introductory article of this series argued that the USA is controlled by an Invisible Government (=bankers) and that the bankers’ version of “democracy” rests on massive, mutually-supporting, pillars. The second and third articles proved the existence and historical impact of the cloak-and dagger pillar. The present article focuses on yet another pillar: Sunshine bribery.
Buying Politicians, Judges, and Functionaries
In the USA, to get elected “what matters most is not sound judgment or personal integrity or a passion for justice. What matters most is money. Lots of money.” Indeed, in one study, money emerged “as the first and most essential element in political party activity and effectiveness in the 1980s.”
In 1987, the Senate majority leader appealed to his colleagues:
“It is my strong belief that the great majority of senators–of both parties–know that the current system of campaign financing is damaging the Senate, hurts their ability to be the best senator for this nation and for citizens of their respective States that they could be, strains their family life by consuming even more time than their official responsibilities demand, and destroys the democracy we all cherish by eroding public confidence in its integrity. If we do not face a problem of this magnitude and fix it, we have no one but ourselves to blame for the tragic results.”
In 1999, a mainstream analyst commented on a scandal which led to an open hearing in the U.S. Senate:
“The slimy underbelly of American politics slithered into full view, [exposing] how U.S. senators grub for campaign funds from moneyed interests seeking to buy influence. . . . Even if all five senators are cleared in the end, this trial-like procedure is likely to evoke a public verdict that the system itself is guilty of murder, with integrity the casualty. . . . [This scandal] is not different in kind from the defense industry interests that lavish money on members of the armed services committees . . . or the Wall Street interest that fuel the campaigns of incumbents who oversee securities-industry lawmaking. They are all threads in the dark tapestry that now smothers our political system, like a smelly blanket under which lawmakers lie in bed with those who would procure their favors for cash. There is a name for those who solicit such attention, and it is not ‘senator.'”
In 2013, Bill Moyer lamented the charade otherwise known as the State of Union Address:
“You’re looking at the most expensive Congress money can buy. The House races last fall cost over one billion dollars. It took more than $700 million to elect just a third of the Senate. The two presidential candidates raised more than a billion a piece.
“So let’s share some snapshots from the State of the Union. That’s Speaker of the House John Boehner, of course. He’s led his party to protect Wall Street from oversight and accountability. The finance, insurance, and real estate industries gave him more than three million dollars last year.
“Eric Cantor is the Republican majority leader in the House. Among his biggest donors–Goldman Sachs, masterminds of the mortgage-backed securities that almost sank the world economy. . . .
“Senator Robert Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, may be in hot water. He’s currently under investigation for allegations that he improperly intervened with government agencies on behalf of a big donor.
“And there’s Fred Upton, Republican from Michigan, chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee. What a coincidence. The oil and gas industry is one of his top donors, helping him raise the four million dollars he spent last year to win re-election.
“Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrats of New York, have Wall Street as a constituent and patron. Her biggest contributors include JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and law firms that have advised them. His top donors include securities and investment firms, lawyers and legal firms, and lobbyists.”
In 2015, Eric Margolis wrote:
“[in 2015] came the triumphant visit to Congress by Israel’s rightwing prime minister . . . Congress put on a truly revolting display of sycophancy, servility and brownnosing . . . that included 23 rapturous standing ovations.
“This for a foreign leader who had come to insult and humiliate America’s president and drive the US into war with Iran.
“Not since a groveling Roman Senate voted to approve Emperor Caligula’s favorite horse, Incitatus, as imperial consul has there been such a embarrassing spectacle.
“Like the Roman senators, members of the US Congress were motivated by fear and greed. They know that basic truth of US politics: failure to follow instructions of the mighty Israel lobby means certain loss of your next election, attacks by the media, and the end of your political career.”
Here is one of the billionaires who is behind this Treason of Congress:
[Sheldon Adelson] “has already threatened to invest unlimited sums of money to prevent the reelection of any Senator or Representative who is absent from Netanyahoo’s speech. . . . For the next US presidential elections, Adelson has started early. He has summoned to his Las Vegas casino HQ all leading Republican candidates, to grill them on their allegiance to him–and to Netanyahoo.”
Rewarding Politicians, Judges, and Government Functionaries for Compliance
A few examples—of thousands—will have to do.
1. The Defense Department and the Armed Services cannot give outright gifts or campaign contributions, but they control vast amounts of money. Naturally, some of this wealth, courtesy of the American people, has been used to advance causes which were inimical to the national interest. Until it was disbanded in 1965, the “famous 999th Air Force Reserve Squadron commanded by Major General (Senator) Barry M. Goldwater, USAF . . . permitted eighty-three congressmen and senators to spend short periods of active duty in such prime military observation posts as London and Paris.”
2. There was once an obscure Representative from Michigan by the name of Gerald Ford. In 1963, he faithfully served the bankers in a commission whose real task was to whitewash the assassination of President Kennedy. During the investigation itself, Ford apparently kept the FBI secretly informed about two of his fellow commissioners who were not sufficiently compliant. Ford also secretly shared with the FBI information about the commission’s proceedings. Promotions came thick and fast. 1965-1973: House Minority Leader; 1973-1974: Vice-President of the USA; 1974-1977: President of the USA.
3. Or let us visit the UK, a country sharing with the USA the same Invisible Government. “The criminal investigation in the United Kingdom was initiated on 6 January 2004 when the Coroner of the Queen’s Household . . . asked the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, then Sir John Stevens, to conduct enquiries into allegations of a cover-up and conspiracy: that MI6, under the orders of the Royal Family, deliberately caused the fatal car crash in Paris that killed Diana and Dodi.” Rewards for dismissing the allegations came fast and furious. 2005: while the investigation was still in progress, Stevens was made a life peer. 2007: Stevens became the Prime Minister’s Senior Advisor on International Security Issues, and separately, Chair of the Borders Policing Committee; also, Honorary President of the Police Credit Union; 2011: Chair, Policing Commission into the Future of Policing in England and Wales. And there were of course many other rewards.
4. Back in the USA, “the Bonus Army was the popular name of an assemblage of some 43,000 marchers—17,000 World War I veterans, their families, and affiliated groups—who gathered in Washington, D.C., in the spring and summer of 1932 to demand cash-payment redemption of their service certificates. . . . Retired Marine Corps Major General Smedley Butler, one of the most popular military figures of the time, visited their camp to back the effort and encourage them.” Butler, who would a short time later avert a Nazi putsch, received no subsequent honors or awards and died at age 58. On the other hand, three military figures were eager and willing to obey the bankers’ orders and violently eject their own starving veterans and their wives and children: Douglas MacArthur, George Patton, and Dwight Eisenhower. All three subsequently enjoyed a meteoric career rise.
5. The Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and their allies own the Central Bank of the USA. They exert their influence over that critically important institution through front men and women (=“governors”). From 2006 to 2014, the chief front man of that Central Bank was Ben Bernanke, whose real task was to oversee and legitimize enriching the bankers at the expense of the American people. Upon his retirement, the bankers lost no time in firmly planting their competently loyal servant in the multimillionaire club. They saw to:
- Speaking arrangements. Fee for every 5 lectures: a cool $1,000,000.
- Book contract, sum undisclosed. (This also has the added bonus of bestowing on their protégé the mantle of a legitimate scholar. The bankers might enrich Ben even more by seeing to it that every library in the USA and elsewhere will have purchased this cover-up of one of the grandest thefts in world history.)
- Lucrative positions with both a Bankers’ Propaganda Outlet (=think tank) and a hedge fund.
- Future lavish rewards: There is nothing to prevent the bankers from awarding Bernanke a Nobel Prize or advising him, now and then, of their intended gold and stock market manipulations.
A Failsafe System?
To secure their chokehold on the American political and financial system, the bankers also:
- Rely on their vast brainwashing apparatus to convince voters that only the bankers’ candidates are worthy of consideration.
- Buy both sides of every electoral contest.
- If all fails, fall back on the cloak-and-dagger conflict-resolution approach.
Does Bribery Pay?
Common sense suggests that political donations are worthwhile investments. Indeed, by 1984, studies showed a “disturbing correlation between . . . campaign contributions and how members of Congress . . . vote on bills important to special interest groups.”
In fact, sunshine bribery is the philosophers’ stone of the investment world:
“A recent, meticulous study of the Sunshine Foundation carried out an actual quantitative analysis of political bribery. The study focuses on just one aspect of sunshine bribery: return on investment. It turns out that the best investment a corporation can make is in lobbying (with pockets-full of money) and bribing politicians.
“According to the foundation’s analysis, between 2007 and 2012, 200 of America’s most politically active corporations spent a combined $5.8 billion (with a B) on federal lobbying and campaign contributions. What they gave pales compared to what those same corporations got: $4.4 trillion (with a T) in federal business and support.” ($760 return for every $1 invested).
“Do American citizens ever wonder where 2 out of every tax dollar they pay the Federal Government go? Now they have the exact, quantitative answer. That money goes to the 200 politically-“active” corporations in the USA. That is the price the Average American pay for meekly ignoring, or choosing to be indifferent to, a Caligulan system.”
Obviously, when it comes to sunshine bribery, what is lacking is not awareness but outrage. A good part of this circus is out in the open, and yet we seem unmoved. Perhaps, the bankers have dulled our moral faculties by corrupting language. Perhaps they have done so by exposing us to endless violence while watching TV or movies, serving in the armed forces, passing the time in prison, or interacting with police. Perhaps the bankers have used the educational system and mass media to stifle our curiosity, kill our imagination, trivialize our lives and aspirations, surround us with endless distractions, and diminish our capacity to think for ourselves.
The bankers also use spurious arguments to lull us into complacency:
- They make it appear as if bribery is just the way things are and ought to be, thereby making it difficult for us to imagine a world not ruled by dollars and crooks.
- Then they talk about their right to dispense their hard-earned cash in any way that strikes their fancy. Never mind that vast inequalities of wealth are unhealthy, unjust, unnatural, immoral, and undemocratic. Never mind that in a genuine democracy the people would vote for greater equality—if only out of self-interest. Never mind that “behind every great fortune there is a great crime.” Never mind that almost all our “captains of industry” gained their billions thanks to either the vicissitudes of birth or excessive greed, unscrupulousness, corruption, or political connections.
- We all agree that no one has the right to cry fire in a crowded theater. Why in heaven’s name, then, should the likes of hereditary billionaire Evelyn Rothschild, Ukrainian crime boss Rinat Akhmetov, currency manipulator George Soros, or casino boss Sheldon Adelson have a right to undermine our dreams for a better world? Why should they be entitled to compromise democracy, the justice system, safe food, clean air, drinkable water—and humanity’s future existence–by buying politicians, government officials, and judges?
Comedians capture grim truths better perhaps than anyone, so let us, in closing, recharge our depleted batteries with a few sad smiles:
Notes and Hard-Copy References
- Public Citizen, Fall 1983, p. 6.
- Malbin, Michael J. (ed). Money and Politics in the United States(1984), p. 105.
- Gannon, James P. The Detroit News, November 16, 1990, pp. 1A, 6A.
- Kubiak, Greg D., The Gilded Dome(1994), p. 122
- The correct transliteration into English is “Netanyahoo,” not “Netanyahu.” The incorrect version was chosen, for obvious reasons.
- Yarmolinsky, Adam and Foster, Gregory D. Paradoxes of Power (1983), p. 31.
- This is neither the first time, nor the worst: in 2011, in a disgraceful, shocking, display of subservience, Netanyahoo received 29 standing ovations.
- Public Citizen, Spring 1984, p. 6.
Dr. Moti Nissani is a jack of most academic trades and professor emeritus, Wayne State University.