Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Son of Sam Law for Bill and “W”

By Bernie Quigley

- for The Hill on 4/22/09

Carol Felsenthal writes in The Huffington Post that Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will share the stage in Canada.

The Globe and Mail Reports:

Former U.S. presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush will appear together in Toronto next month on a public stage for the first time since Mr. Bush ended his presidency, in a remarkable twist on the cultural cold war that Barack Obama and others are trying to lay to rest.

The two will be appearing at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on May 29 for a moderated "conversation" that is expected to last about two hours.

Felsenthal writes:

Although fees were not disclosed, the two former presidents -- both represented by lecture agents; Bush by Washington Speakers Bureau and Clinton by the Harry Walker Agency -- will surely be well paid. (Clinton's fees, which the law required him to reveal when his wife was Senator from New York, showed that Canada has been generous. As I wrote in my book on Clinton's post presidency, Clinton in Exile, Bill was paid $650,000 for two speeches in June 2005 -- one day in Toronto and the next in Calgary. Before the speech in Calgary Clinton gave another in Toronto for an additional 125,000.

There is no pretext this time of helping anyone but themselves -- a change from the days after Bill left the White House but before Hillary started to run for the nomination when "W" dispatched his father and his predecessor to work in tandem for the world's good.

If we accept this as leadership we have come to the end of things. This would be a good time to start our world again with soldiers. Let’s get some real grown ups together for an Iraq War Truth Commission and start at the beginning. No phony South African touchy-feely thing with celebrity priests and Matt Damon and friends. Only soldiers and only those who have been injured in war or seen others killed before their eyes, who understand the bloody material consequences of the mindless, unconscionable and irresponsible detachment and abstraction of the war’s Secret Santas. No Senators. No dilettantes. No career hustlers as in Watergate. No poseurs and no one allowed to report on the results for cash later. We need a Son of Sam law like the one in New York which prevents criminals from profiting on their crimes for these unruly undergraduates who continually disgrace their high office and embarrass our country.

David Brooks of The New York Times boyishly reported years ago that they used to sit around the offices of The Weekly Standard trying to decide which countries to invade. We should know who and for what our Americans died and for whom we killed. We should know where it started and when as President Barack Obama – Kissinger’s favorite new pupil - follows blindly now on the path to the 100 years war. All we want is some truth. My recommends to head Commission: Wes Clark, Lawrence Wilkerson, Powell’s former chief of staff, Haviland Smith, former CIA station chief and political commentator and Captain Tammy Duckworth.