unger.jpgIn case you were wondering why it is important to shine a whole lot of sunlight on the crony-driven mendacity within the Beltway, and why accountability for crimes and corruption is an important part of governance, I’ve got a lesson for you.  From Craig Unger’s Fall Of The House Of Bush:

…When Reagan took office, Ledeen was made special assistant to Alexander Haig, Reagan’s secretary of state. Ledeen later took a staff position on Reagan’s National Security Council and played a key role in initiating the illegal arms-for-hostages deal with Iran that became known as the Iran-contra scandal….

To old hands in the State department who had survived the Iran-contra scandal, the appearance  of Ledeen on the scene was like a recurring nightmare. The reappointment of Elliott Abrams earlier in the year was bad enough, but then came Ledeen with Ghorbanifar right behind. "One of the truly remarkable elements of the neocon story is their addiction to Ghorbanifar," said a State Department official. "It is part of their ‘we are smarter, you are stupid’ attitude." The key players in Iran-contra were back in business. (pp. 234-235)

If you were wondering why we seem not to have learned a thing from history, it’s because we keep recycling the same nefarious egomaniacal ideologues who place self-interest ahead of logic and reality. Craig Unger illustrates so much of this in his book — from neocons to "Christian" conservatives on a power-hungry crusade for publicity and access to the hate-mongers that fill the radio and airwaves.  

It deserves a much, much wider read — especially by the media who keep allowing these "very serious people" on their shows and on their pages without giving their craven past, odious behind-the-scenes machinations and illegal schemes enough contextual background for readers who haven’t been paying attention.

This is going to be a helluva book salon this afternoon. Do hope you can join us at 5 pm ET/2 pm PT, with John Anderson hosting…

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com