Monday, September 15, 2008
Remember the Bush-Cheney supporters who pretended to spontaneously protest the Miami-Dade 2000 election recount, but were really high-level Republican aides and staffers?
Well, Jim Wilkinson was there:
"Jim Wilkinson, a spokesman for the Bush recount team who was present at the protest outside the Miami-Dade canvassing room, says that there was nothing orchestrated about the protest. 'There were between 80 and 100 of us' outside the room, Wilkinson said, 'and it was a very emotional group of young people. But they thought the election was being held behind closed doors.' Hence they all walked outside the canvassing room and protested -- emotionally, but spontaneously, Wilkinson said."The same Wilkinson "helped to manage the program of embedding reporters in combat units" during the Iraq War, and has been a part of numerous other Bush administration propaganda and dirty tricks efforts. He's so bad that a reporter from Texas said Wilkinson "used techniques first perfected by Stalin".
Would you give someone like Wilkinson the keys to your car? Would you give him the keys to the economy?
Well, it turns out that Wilkinson is one of the key players of the Working Group on Financial Markets (better known as the "Plunge Protection Team" or PPT).
As the Telegraph notes, the PPT has broad powers:
It appears to have powers to support the markets in a crisis with a host of instruments, mostly by through buying futures contracts on the stock indexes (DOW, S&P 500, NASDAQ and Russell) and key credit levers. And it has the means to fry "short" traders in the hottest of oils.Indeed, Treasury Secretary Paulson, the head of the PPT, appointed Wilkinson as his chief of staff and:
"Ordered Jim Wilkinson ... to 'oversee the creation of a Treasury Command Center to track markets world-wide and serve as an operations base in a crisis'! (Wall Street Journal)"Given that shady characters like Wilkinson are part of the PPT, I agree with journalist Danny Schetcher when he calls for a probe of the PPT by Congress and the press and writes:
In actual fact, this secret branch of government has a sophisticated war room using every state of the art technology to monitor markets worldwide. It has emergency powers. It doesn't keep minutes. There is no freedom of information access to its deliberations.
We need to know who was lobbying "the team" and in whose interests they act.
Is their goal to get taxpayers to pay off corporate failures or centralize power as former Treasury Department official Catherine Austin Fitts believes?:
"If your goal is total centralized control, this is a great way to achieve it," she argues. "Between Freddie, Fannie, Ginnie Mae, FHA, VA and the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, the federal government no longer regulates or provides credit to the residential mortgage market -- it is the market."
Before the economy goes down the toilet, as some analysts who are predicting a depression now fear, before that final flush, we need to find out how to protect ourselves from the plunge protectors.