The American Show Hearing
When slaughter is not a crime or even news, you want me to stop what I’m doing to watch a TV show called Congressional Hearing?
The problem with the Trump impeachment hour is that it is a show. All displays of partisanship in America are theatrical productions. If the Democrats and Republicans are enemies, why are they always praising each other at the other’s funerals? Why did the TARP bailout transfer so smoothly from Bush to Obama in 2008–9? Why do wars never stop and inequality never decreases? Where was the constitution when Obama bombed Libya or Bush invented “enemy combatant”? But now you guys are serious, about this Trump Ukraine stuff?
Principles and laws and the constitution: none of them care about that stuff. We live in an ocean of crime, genocide, torture, regular and unabated infinite robbery, violations of the basic rights and governing principles every day for years. The pretense of the rule of law is galling.
Of course, Trump should be impeached and tried for financial crimes. Obama should have been impeached and imprisoned for violating the fourth amendment with the NSA spying scandal revealed by Edward Snowden, for the illegal war in Libya, the first-degree murder of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, and bribery through CitiGroup as revealed by WikiLeaks. George Bush should have been impeached for violating US law in the form of the ratified treaty called the UN Convention Against Torture, kidnapping in Italy, and aggressive war. Eliot Abrahms should be extradited to Guatemala to stand trial for genocide. Dick Cheney should be extradited to Iraq. Henry Kissinger should be sent to Chile.
When torture, imperialism, illegal war, and genocide are routine and unpunished, I just can’t get exciting about Trump’s phone transcripts. The death toll in Guatemala in tens of thousands. Maybe a half-million in Iraq. Afghanistan, Vietnam, etc. And NOW because Trump is jerk and fool and clown we have a threat to the rule of law?
In the classic Stalinist show trial of the 1930s, you knew the charges were preposterous but that conviction was inevitable. In the modern American high drama political show hearing, you know the charges are true enough, just superficial and no one will be harmed in any way. It doesn’t matter to the made men and women of DC. They will all praise each other at the funerals.
We’ve had a number of these dramatic congressional scenes in recent years. Comey, Cohen, CNN and MSNBC all excited. James Clapper lied to congress about the Snowden leak. A long pattern, back to Oliver North, or Eliot Abrams. No one suffered. Crime continued. Democrats and Republicans continued to hollow out the American working class. Neoliberalism dictated we have more prisons and pipelines and no health care.
What is the pattern in these show hearings? There is a serious crime in the background that no one mentions. Instead, some superficial and minor aspect of a pattern of lawlessness and big crime is whitewashed with a “show” of accountability and rule of law.
Just because Democrats and Republicans appear to be fighting and just because someone is on you a screen looking serious and appearing to ask hard questions, and just because someone with some power gets a subpoena do not for one second thing the United States has a functioning constitution or is governed by the rule of law pertaining to the powerful and weak alike. How are we not supposed to see the way they swept away the real and true leaks from Snowden and published on Wikileaks and hyped the ones coming out of the White House now?
It’s all transparent nonsense. The damage of the show hearing is not to the actors on the stage but the millions in the peanut gallery. The suits have their show of politics in an ocean of blood, from Vietnam, to Guatemala, to Iraq, to Bolivia. Let the Trump show go on. The propaganda machine will cover it as news. Making money by killing innocent people is not a crime in America. It’s not even news.