- "If we ever pass out as a great nation we ought
to put on our tombstone 'America died from a delusion that she had moral
- ---Will Rogers
- "It is only in folk tales, children's stories, and
the journals of intellectual opinion that power is used wisely and well
to destroy evil. The real world teaches very different lessons, and it
takes willful and dedicated ignorance to fail to perceive them."
- --Noam Chomsky
- With the intensity of Dale Earnhardt, Jr vying for victory
in the Daytona 500, America's mainstream media outlets have been racing
furiously to imbue the citizenry of the Empire with unusually large doses
of heavily choreographed agitprop.
- Another unindicted US war criminal has casually ridden
off into a peaceful crimson sunset. In response, pundits, talking heads,
reporters and various other infotainment personnel are working feverishly
to perpetuate America's collective delusion that we embody integrity, decency,
and enlightened values.
- Like virtually all of his predecessors and successors
in the White House (regardless of their party affiliation), Gerald Ford
was guilty of a host of egregious offenses against the human race. But
the Big Lie must not die.
- So in the wake of the United States' recent facilitation
of Saddam Hussein's hanging, we in the self-proclaimed "bastion of
human rights" are in the midst of six days of mourning for a man would
have swung from the gallows long ago had he been judged by the same standards
- In apparent deference to Ford's tireless efforts to advance
America's savage brand of Capitalism, both the New York Stock Exchange
and the NASDAQ will be closed on Tuesday. Federal employees and postal
service workers will also take the day off to mourn the loss of the 38th
- Despite the deeply hypocritical show of reverence for
one so maleficent, it is fitting that a military escort will deliver Ford's
casket to the Capitol's Rotunda for viewing. Why wouldn't soldiers bear
the body of the former leader of a fascist state replete with rampant corporatism,
militarism, and pathological nationalism? And why wouldn't he lie in state
in the Capitol's Rotunda? After all, Congress has been deeply complicit
in creating and preserving the nightmare some refer to as Pax Americana.
- Since much of the Empire's strength is derived from its
stable base of obedient workers and consumers, preserving their illusions
of the United States' inherent "goodness" is crucial. Toward
that end, consider a sampling of some of the mainstream media's recent
- On 12/27, Newsweek published a piece by Barry
Werth. Genuflecting to his corporate paymasters, Barry asserted:
- Gerald Ford assumed the presidency when his government
was sundering, qualifying him as one of history's bravest leaders.
- As Werth continued with his seemingly benign discourse,
it is highly likely that his facial appendage began to resemble Pinocchio's:
- Many of those people who originally deplored the (Nixon)
pardon for short-circuiting history and eroding the notion that no one,
not even the president, is above the law, came around to agree that it
was best for the country.
- The Washington Post eulogized Ford with a favorable
comparison to another perpetrator of wanton slaughter, a man who was responsible
for the deaths of over 200,000 Japanese civilians:
- Truman, Ford used to say, "had guts, he was plain-talking,
he had no illusions about being a great intellectual, but he seemed to
make the right decisions."
- Many would say the same of Gerald Rudolph Ford.
- The New York Times, the mainstream media's "bulwark
of liberalism" fueled America's collective delusion with these choice
quotes and observations:
- ."He assumed power in a period of great division
and turmoil," President http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/george_w_bush/index.html?inline=nyt-per
- George W. Bush said in a statement broadcast early this
morning. "For a nation that needed healing, and for an office that
needed a calm and steady hand, Gerald Ford came along when we need him
most. During his time in office, the American people came to know President
Ford as a man of complete integrity who led our country with common sense
and kind instincts.".
- .After a decade of division over Vietnam and two years
of trauma over the Watergate scandals, Jerry Ford, as he called himself,
radiated a soothing familiarity. He might have been the nice guy down the
street suddenly put in charge of the nation, and if he seemed a bit predictable,
he was also safe, reliable and reassuring. He placed no intolerable intellectual
or psychological burdens on a weary land, and he lived out a modest philosophy.
"The harder you work, the luckier you are," he said once in summarizing
his career. "I worked like hell.".
- (Author's Note: Citizens of the American Empire needed
soothing reassurance of their greatness after the humiliating results of
the imperial invasion of Vietnam. And like the mainstream media, "Jerry"
put no "intolerable intellectual or psychological burdens" on
- .The pardon, intensely unpopular at the time, came to
be generally viewed as correct. In May 2001, Mr. Ford was honored with
a "Profile in Courage" Award at the http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/john_
- John F. Kennedy Library in Boston. Senator http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/k/edward
- Edward M. Kennedy spoke and said he had originally opposed
the pardon. "But time has a way of clarifying past events," he
said, "and now we see that President Ford was right.".
- .His basic philosophy involved fiscal prudence, strong
national defense, suspicion of alien lands and a belief that citizens should
earn a living rather than be given one..
- (Author's Translation: Ford believed in slashing federal
spending on programs benefiting humanity to enable increased military spending,
was xenophobic, and was opposed to using public funds to aid the poor).
- Now that you have perused samples of the rubbish our
oligarch overlords are attempting to burnish into the minds of their unsuspecting
plebeian underlings, consider how the affable "Jerry" enabled
or caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of human beings and ensured
that the ruling elite in the United States would reclaim the power they
had begrudgingly ceded to the masses in the face of economic upheaval,
civil unrest, and powerful progressive movements.
- Like our current unitary executive, Ford did not get
into the Oval Office by winning an election. Also like Bush, in spite of
the fact that the people did not vote him into office, Ford brazenly defied
the will of the American public on an issue of great magnitude. Exercising
the integrity of the mythologized Ford, "Jerry" fulfilled his
end of the bargain he had made with Alexander Haig (3). In exchange for
his ascendancy to the Empire's throne, he shielded Richard Nixon from facing
consequences for his multiple grievous transgressions of international
and domestic laws.
- Paving the way for Reagan and his successors to marginalize
America's poor, minorities, and working class and to gut our
Constitution, Ford pardoned Richard Nixon, chose to keep habitual war criminal
Henry Kissinger(4) on as his Secretary of State, and elevated future mass
murderers, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney to key White House positions.
- Letting Nixon off the hook was a particularly sinister
act in at least two ways. Ford, an unelected president in a purported constitutional
republic, absolved a fellow patrician of grave violations of international
law, the public trust, and the US Constitution. Thus Ford became Nixon's
accomplice. At the same time, he landed a crushing blow for the moneyed
class in their persistent assault on the republic envisioned by men like
Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine.
- Bear in mind that Ford pardoned a man who was responsible
for the deaths of at least 600,000 innocent civilians. During the invasion
and occupation of Vietnam, Nixon ordered secret bombings of neighboring
Cambodia. The goal was to strike North Vietnamese supply and transit routes,
but unfortunately for the Cambodian people, the B-52 carpet bombings did
not distinguish the nationalities of victims(5).
- Nixon's use of illegal wire-taps was such a flagrant
abuse of executive authority that Congress passed the FISA Law in 1978
to prevent similar breaches of Constitutional law (6). In the wake of Nixon's
immunity from prosecution, the Bush Regime has subsequently ignored the
FISA Laws and run roughshod over the Constitution, without consequence.
Thank you for setting the precedent, "Jerry".
- Ford also enabled Nixon to evade prosecution for obstruction
of justice, perjury and possible income tax evasion (7). The IRS eventually
ordered Nixon to pay $467,000, a relative pittance for a man of his means.
- Despite the damage and suffering they left in their wake,
Nixon and Ford both lived in security and wealth until their mortality
finally caught up with them. Saddam met his maker as he dangled from the
end of a rope.
- Like his predecessor, Ford was quite enamored with Henry
Kissinger. He once summarized him with this quip: "wonderful
person. Dear friend. First-class Secretary of State. But Henry always protected
his own flanks."
- Once Ford assumed the Empire's helm, he wasted little
time before collaborating with Kissinger in another imperial escapade.
Consider the US role in Indonesia's genocide that killed over 200,000 East
- Jakarta Godfathers" by John Pilger, Guardian, 7
- "No help came, because the western democracies were
secret partners in a crime as great and enduring as any this century; proportionally,
not even Pol Pot matched Suharto's spree. Air Force One, carrying President
Ford and his secretary of state Henry Kissinger, climbed out of Indonesian
airspace the day the bloodbath began. "They came and gave Suharto
the green light," Philip Liechty, the CIA desk officer in Jakarta
at the time, told me. "The invasion was delayed two days so they could
get the hell out. We were ordered to give the Indonesian military everything
they wanted. I saw all the hard intelligence; the place was a free-fire
zone. Women and children were herded into school buildings that were set
alight - and all because we didn't want some little country being neutral
or leftist at the United Nations." And all because western capital
regarded Indonesia as a "prize"."
- Declassified in 2001, several US government documents
(8) clearly demonstrate that "Jerry" and Kissinger gave Suharto,
Indonesia's leader, their blessing to do as he wished with East Timor.
Shortly thereafter Suharto launched a wave of US-supported state-sponsored
terrorism (9) that lasted until 1999.
- Obviously, Gerald Ford was far more shrewd and Machiavellian
than the mainstream media's recent wave of white-washing would indicate.
Aside from his complicity in Nixon's crimes (for which our Ministry of
Truth has exculpated Ford by concluding that the pardon was necessary to
"heal the nation"), and his role in the carnage in East Timor,
he also aligned himself closely with J. Edgar Hoover. Ford played a pivotal
role in the Warren Commission's affirmation of Hoover's "lone-assassin
theory". As a member of the Warren Commission, Ford convinced the
group to alter the final version of their report to conclude that the same
bullet killed Kennedy and severely wounded Texas Governor Connally. Robert
Morningstar, who has researched the Kennedy assassination extensively,
stated that the Ford revision was "the most significant lie in the
whole Warren Commission report."(10)
- Admittedly, some of the positive qualities and deeds
the corporatized Fourth Estate has recently been attributing to Gerald
Ford are true. However, their apotheosis of a man who harmed far more people
than those whom the US state and federal governments murder each year (in
open defiance of the Eighth Amendment) reveals the truly deceitful and
malignant nature of the mainstream media in the United States.
- Ostensibly, our society in the United States is based
on democratic principles. In such a society, the purpose of the press would
be to act as an independent check on the government's power. However, our
evolution into a corporate-dominated fascist state has obliterated the
media's independence. A handful of colossal corporations owns or controls
over 90% of the mainstream media outlets in the United States.
- As a result of this incestuous relationship, the Washington
Post, CNN, and a mélange of others are but mouthpieces of the
government singing a seductive chorus that engenders and sustains the Big
Lie. Occasionally they bleat feeble opposition to imperialism and our rapid
regression into a nation resembling a banana republic, but most of the
time they beat the drums of war, promote the interests of the wealthy,
manipulate the hoi polloi with fear, and perpetuate the myths of America's
virtue. Ethical journalists have little or no opportunity to ply their
craft in such an environment.
- Those who remain captive to the Big Lie will spend the
next few days mourning the passing of a man who was fortunate to escape
the death penalty with which his country is so infatuated. Those same comforting
delusions of superiority, entitlement, and invincibility that enable men
like Gerald Ford to act with impunity will entice many Americans to continue
wearing the intellectual manacles of the Empire.
- As frightening as it may be, it is spiritually and mentally
liberating to realize and admit that one of "our own"--an Eagle
Scout, a football hero, a Christian, a White heterosexual male, a Capitalist,
and an "American"--was capable of the savagery and lawlessness
that minds shackled by the Big Lie can only ascribe to "terrorists"
like Saddam Hussein.
- Despite its tendency to inflict pain, the truth will
indeed set you free.
- Sources and Further Reading:
- (1) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16393733/
- (2) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/a
- (3) http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/dec2006/ford-d28.shtml
- (4) http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Kissinger/Preface_TOHK.html
- (5) http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/American_Empire/Nixon
- (7) http://www.albionmonitor.comhttp://www.gwu.edu/~
- (9) http://www.commondreams.org/headlines01/1206-03.htm
- (10) http://www.crimemagazine.com/06/ford-jfk,1111-06.htm
- Jason Miller is a wage slave of the American Empire who
has freed himself intellectually and spiritually. He writes prolifically,
his essays have appeared widely on the Internet, and he volunteers at homeless
shelters. He welcomes constructive correspondence at <mailto:email@example.com>firstname.lastname@example.org
or via his blog, Thomas Paine's Corner, at <http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com/>http://civillibertarian.blogspot.com/