On April 14, 2007, New Orleans-based writer-poet-musician-Marathon runner-activist Don Paul was the Chief Prosecutor for the "San Diego Citizen's Grand Jury on the Crimes of September 11, 2001 in New York City" event that was held at San Diego State University. He co-founded the organization Rebuild Green three days after Hurricane Katrina and moved from San Francisco to New Orleans in January 2006 to help with effort for recovery there. The author of more than 20 books and the producer of more than 20 albums, Paul was recently interviewed by email about the Democratic Obama Administration's first 100 days and about his most recent book: The World Is Turning: `9/11,' The Movement for Justice & Reclaiming America for the World. (The text of this interview was originally posted on the http://blog.puppetgov.com site. See below for parts 1, 2 and 3).
In September and October 2008, Barack Obama expressed support for the Wall Street bail-out bill. And since Obama's inauguration, the Democratic Obama Administration has continued to give corporate welfare grants to Wall Street firms like Citigroup and A.I.G.
Yet in a September 25, 2008 article that is reprinted in The World Is Turning book, you wrote "Now, September into October of 2008, we face a Bail-out Bill and other U.S. Government funding of speculator Corporations' bad debts that already total more than $1 trillion;" and "the almost unbelievable arrogance of the still expanding Bail-out Bill grants unilateral and `unreversable' powers of limitless lending to the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve System, and the U.S. President, accomplishing a coup 'd'etat by legislative declaration even more extreme than 2002's similarly USA PATRIOT Act." And in an October 31, 2008 article that is reprinted in your book, you wrote: "The first two weeks of October 2008 have seen the most bare-faced and brazen, yet sly and secretive, theft of a nation proceed, robbing the public of the United States of both rights and posterity."
Could you explain further why you think that last fall's bail-out bill was bad for people in the United States and against the economic interest of most people in the United States? And, if bailing-out Wall Street firms like A.I.G. and Citigroup was, in fact, an economically stupid and undemocratic idea, why would Barack Obama support such an economic plan?
Don Paul [DP]: The “Bail-out Bill” of last October and the much greater, predictable giveaways that have followed it—so that even Bloomberg News is setting the total bail-out around $10 trillion-and-counting—is clearly insane, at best, if its intention is the U.S. people’s well-being.
The public is being driven over a cliff, much as it was between 1929 and 1933 in North America.
Amounts far in excess of the nation’s annual Budget are going to Banks and other speculative institutions that in their turn produce nothing but more debt for the people, even greater and more irremediable toils and pitfalls of debt.
Why would an intelligent and seemingly compassionate person such as Barack Obama support such ruinous insanity? We know that he and John McCain were main movers in persuading legislators to pass the Bill after it first failed last Fall—while others in the Government, such as Secretary Treasury Paulson, were threatening “martial law” if the Bill again failed to pass.
The simple answer for Obama and McCain’s support for the Bailout Bills is that the biggest bettor/debtor Banks and their like are the principal influences, at best, on our Government. They’re actually the principal force in our Government, I think, through their apparatus of the Federal Reserve System.
Three of the top seven donors to Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign were Banks, led by Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and J.P. Morgan Chase gave Obama two to four times more than they gave McCain.
How Barack Obama goes—what he’s able to perceive and to do—we’ll soon see. Will he continue to be financiers’ actor, speaking for the expenditure of trillions of dollars into supranational bankers’ rat-holes, or will he emerge as a champion of the people who produce the world’s food and other life-giving goods?
One thing for certain is that he’s most likely to change for the better if pressured by righteous mass movements from us. (end of part 4)
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