Random Thoughts

Regulatory Shenanigans:

Downing Street Memo, FDA & SEC

The Constitution of the United states specifically gives the responsibility of declaring war and providing funding for a war to the Congress. This is to prevent executive abuse and misadventure, for as Madison stated war is a means and a situation for the president to spend public funds, restrict liberty and collect accolades. The Halliburton and military contractor enrichment, massive fiscal profligacy, the Patriot Act and engineering his own re-election by war and fear by the current president prove this. The House and the Senate abrogated their constitutional responsibility by delegating consent to the president prior to the current Iraq War, just as a prior congress did in the case of Vietnam.

We now know that lies and fabrication about the Tonkin Gulf events led to the debacle of an intensified Vietnam conflict with resultant loss of blood, treasure and prestige, so this time the DOWNING STREET MEMO, predating the Iraq War by many months and the memoirs of the former UK ambassador to Washington, conclusively confirm the circumstantial evidence of revelations of former treasury secretary O'Neill, national security adviser Clarke, former ambassador Wilson's debunking of the Niger uranium purchase and other insider revelations. The changing rhetoric of the executive branch, the exploitation of popular fear by the specter of impending mushroom clouds and other lies are damning evidence of a premeditated intention to attack Iraq to remove the cruel tyrant from power and exploit its rich oil wealth. The legal justification necessary to provide cover to the co-operating British to avoid their being prosecuted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes (of which Britain is a signatory and America is not and thus immune from it) was provided by falsely accusing Iraq of being responsible for 9-11, equally falsely accusing it of having WMDs and of foisting on it an intrusive inspections team, non-compliance with which could be used to camouflage the objective of regime change that is illegal under the UN Charter.

Alleged lack of compliance with the inspections was then used to obtain a unanimous condemning resolution 1441 from the UN Security Council. Even this resolution was obtained by false means of showing bogus documents by Colin Powell, who knew and had previously publicly stated that Iraq was no threat to anyone and had no significant WMD capability The resolution was used as sufficient justification to officially start a war that had already been begun by covert indiscriminate aerial bombing and logistical preliminaries in the Kurdish north. The imposition of No Fly Zones itself was not sanctioned by the UN and this provocation with retaliation by Iraqi air defenses became a justification of extensive bombing. The Downing Street Memo from the head of MI6 (British equivalent of CIA) confirms that the decision for the Iraq war had been made in 2002 (more likely even before 9-11) and intelligence was twisted and falsified to extract compliance from a craven Congress to drag the nation into a disastrous, illegal and immoral war with the connivance of a supine press that was as negligent of its responsibility as the Congress, both equally self-serving bodies beholden to vested interests.

One of Aesop's fables is about a wolf who wanted to kill a lamb drinking water downstream from it. The wolf accused the lamb of making the wolf drink water polluted by the lamb. The foolish lamb reasonably argued that it was downstream from the wolf and the flow of the river could not reverse. It claimed that it was drinking the water that had touched the wolf's mouth first. It added that nevertheless it was not complaining and content to be compliant. The wolf then accused the lamb of being belligerent and argumentative. The foolish lamb ignorant of the wolf's intention politely and sheepishly stated that the wolf had started the argument and he was just answering politely. The wolf then announced that perverse bellicoseness was hereditary and he remembered that the dead parent of the lamb had behaved similarly with him some years ago and this was legitimate grounds on which the lamb should be taught a lesson. The wolf then proceeded to kill the lamb and devour it. Thus was Saddam, though definitely not a lamb trapped by America's need for oil despite his prior alliance when he was conveniently used to fight Iraq and even given financial and technical help to decimate the Kurds, Shiites and Iranians with chemical weapons. Some even say he was a given a green light to attack and absorb Iraq and then attacked with presidential manipulation of public opinion with lies about atrocities committed on sick babies. The testimony was given by the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to America, who had never been in Kuwait during the invasion and who did not reveal her true identity and vested interest. Thus democracy was restored in Kuwait by reinstating the Emir who promptly abolished the elected parliament. This is what a wolf's wits calls acts of public good, as it preys.

The crowning despicable malfeasance is that the majority party's attempts at denying 122 House members a forum or opportunity to investigate this impeach-able offence by denying them a venue to hold a hearing and scheduling important votes and bombarding them with voting on amendments to specifically be unable attend the hearings due to time conflicts and by relegating them to a small basement to make it difficult to have press coverage. Such are the abuses of power. This connivance and stonewalling by the premier government body to the detriment of the nation, combined with a supine and dishonest press and an apathetic and ignorant public could spell the death of democracy.

A lesser but still detrimental to the public is the recent approval of the FDA of BIDIL, a combination of two generic drugs for the treatment of heart failure particularly in African-Americans. First of all there is no such biological thing as race. We do not call brown, white or black dogs or horses as different races. If two animals can mate and produce a viable offspring capable of bearing young, then they belong to the same species. The aggressive libido of the early American slave owners with the slave status of the early Africans in America has led to an admixture of genes and the construct of the black race groups as a homogeneous entity in America is predominantly a social construct with few pure strains. Secondly, the license to market a combination of two inexpensive generic drugs as an expensive patented monopoly is a gift to the influential rich individual or corporation to overcharge the consumer and thus deny health by economic constraints to the sick citizens. The FDA with budget restraints is significantly funded by pharmaceutical companies, thus making it beholden to the monetary power of those whom it regulates and creating a conflict of interest for the regulators. Prior examples of Fen-fen, Vioxx and many other public disasters stand as glaring examples of regulatory failure. Marcia Angell, a former editor of the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine has written a scathing book exposing big pharma.

Finally, interested readers may wish to read Kuttner's piece in the current Business Week about the resignation of Donaldson, the SEC Chairman. It has been the policy of beholden politicians starting with FDR's appointment of stock manipulator Joseph Kennedy as SEC chairman, to put a fox to guard the chicken coop. Donaldson, a Wall Street insider was appointed to replace Harvey Pitt riven by conflict of interest. He turned out to be a maverick and ruffled the feathers of those who use their privilege, knowledge and financial clout to defraud the naive public. Thus he had to go and Cox, a California Congressman with pro big firm sympathies and lesser concern for Joe Public was chosen. All these examples should raise serious public ire just as it did in the ancient public intellectual Plato when he tackled the question, "Who shall guard the guardians?".      


More by :  Gaurang Bhatt, MD

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