The weekend’s raids on Syria have been seen by some as a Clintonesque wag the dog exercise.
Older factor are involved – older factors at the deepest levels of the state.
They call it the oldest profession and many of its practitioners are extremely professional in the fees they charge and the people they target. Any seriously rich individual with a reputation as ‘a player’ will be targeted by these professionals as that is the nature of the business called sex for sale. So the question is who cares?
Obviously immediate family will care as it affects their personal lives. Maybe others that have a high public profile and who have used the services of sex workers will be a little nervous now as the ‘tell all’ campaign starts rupturing across media. More hush money payments are probably being both paid and investigated as the U.S. engages in what is a now a morality play with the male lead being the President of America.
This is in a country where Mormonism allows a man to have multiple wives. This is in a country where previous Presidents and leading politicians have led notorious sex lives outside of their marriages. This is in a world where many cultures allow a man to have multiple wives. This is in a world where kings, queens, princes and princesses have openly admitted to affairs and lovers… so what is all the fuss about over Stormy Daniels?
Make no mistake Stephanie Clifford (aka Stormy Daniels) is nothing like Julia Robert’s in Pretty Woman. No this is a totally different script. Stormy deliberately targeted the very rich Donald Trump. Was she advised to do so? Is someone managing her? Has she a pimp? Could it be someone who has had run–ins with Donald Trump in the past? Someone that Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, has had to deal with as he seems to be being as targeted as the President.
What is for sure is there no case of sweet innocence here, just a deliberately choreographed campaign by the FBI, Special Counsel Mueller, the Department of Justice and whoever is managing Stormy – all aided and abetted by a Greek chorus of media from The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN… all those outlets that hate the man America voted for. From this side of the world and across the US the fact that Donald Trump has in the past paid to have an illicit affair hushed up gets a ‘So What’ response.
But perhaps the issue at stake goes much deeper than this and as such has reverberations in Australia.
We are now all, from the leader of the world’s largest so called ‘democracy’ to an innovative small business operator in Australia, at the mercy of bureaucracies that are answerable to no-one. There has always been a ‘darkness’ about the powers and personalities that run the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Films have been made and books have been written about this. The FBI has now proven itself beyond the control of the elected leader of its country and as such is a law unto itself with powers of reach into the smallest, private details of America’s citizenry. It now seems more Russian in its personality and culture than American.
Before we think that the same can’t happen here Australia needs to pause and consider the powers we have invested in our own bureaucracies be they local council, state or federal. After the excellent ABC investigation (so good to see the ABC back doing what it used to do so well) into the Australian Tax Office and its appalling targeting of small business operators – the very same people our current Prime Minister needs to answer his call for more innovation – the overwhelming power of the ATO has been laid bare. It is now obvious to all that the ATO is the most powerful organization in the country with powers to call in the Australian Federal Police and the right to overturn the basis of our laws being that of ‘innocent until proven guilty’.
The ATO is charged with making government ends meet and the easiest way to do this is to take from those that cannot defend themselves against the might of an organization that is accuser, prosecutor and sentencer all-in-one. Similar to the FBI raids on Michael Cohen’s offices and homes the ATO can search a home or business without a warrant. It also doesn’t have to reveal the basis of its evidence or listen to contrary evidence. There is the watch-dog capacity of the Inspector General of Taxation but his decisions are not binding and there is Federal Parliament that can over-rule the ATO but the effort to investigate Australia’s most adroit investigators would have to be overwhelming in its scope.
This is all very scary but what is scarier is the response from the ATO to this story “the media have taken a handful of isolated cases, presented only one side of the story” and this from a 20,000 strong organization that has an instituted one-sided view of its rights and investigatory procedures.
The Stormy Daniels affair exposed more than her and Donald Trump’s dirty linen it exposed the heft and ungovernable power of the FBI. The ABC investigation into the ATO has exposed some dirty laundry in this powerful bureaucracy. Let’s hope our government can add more soap powder to the ATO washing machine and turn on the long wash cycle.
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