New Events

International

no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds

Anti-Empire

Anti-Empire

offsite link Vladimir Putin Jumps the Shark, Compares... Sun Nov 27, 2022 01:38 | Anti-Empire

offsite link How the US Could Have Prevented the Russ... Sat Nov 26, 2022 04:06 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Putin Talks Free Fertilizer for Hungry A... Fri Nov 25, 2022 14:04 | Anti-Empire

offsite link “Trusting the Plan” in the Russian W... Sun Nov 20, 2022 12:03 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Putin’s SMO Half-Assery Has Been an In... Sat Nov 19, 2022 03:50 | Anti-Empire

Anti-Empire >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link UN human rights chief calls for priority action ahead of climate summit Sat Oct 30, 2021 17:18 | Human Rights

offsite link 5 Year Anniversary Of Kem Ley?s Death Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:34 | Human Rights

offsite link Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights

offsite link Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights

offsite link Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

Lockdown Skeptics

The Daily Sceptic

offsite link Pfizer CEO Found to Have Misled the Public Over Child Covid Vaccination by Pharmaceutical Watchdog Mon Nov 28, 2022 09:00 | Will Jones
Pfizer?s CEO Dr Albert Bourla has been rapped by the UK?s pharmaceutical watchdog for making misleading statements about vaccinating children by saying they are at risk from Covid and will benefit from vaccination.
The post Pfizer CEO Found to Have Misled the Public Over Child Covid Vaccination by Pharmaceutical Watchdog appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Retired French Ambassador Skewers the ?Rules-Based International Order? Mon Nov 28, 2022 07:00 | Noah Carl
In an unusually frank outburst, the former French Ambassador to the US stated, "When the Americans want to do whatever they want, including when it?s against international law, as they define it, they do it."
The post Retired French Ambassador Skewers the ?Rules-Based International Order? appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link News Round-Up Mon Nov 28, 2022 01:58 | Will Jones
A summary of the most interesting stories in the past 24 hours that challenge the prevailing orthodoxy about the virus and the vaccines, the ?climate emergency? and the supposed moral defects of Western civilisation.
The post News Round-Up appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link School Indoctrination is Turning British Youth Woke, But the Tories Do Nothing Sun Nov 27, 2022 17:12 | Will Jones
Britain is becoming more illiberal and unpatriotic as today?s increasingly woke young people become voters, yet the Tories do nothing, says Eric Kaufmann, who has written about the worrying findings of his latest survey.
The post School Indoctrination is Turning British Youth Woke, But the Tories Do Nothing appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

offsite link Chinese Police Clash With Thousands Protesting Draconian Zero-Covid Lockdowns Sun Nov 27, 2022 14:59 | Toby Young
Civil unrest has broken out in China as the population tires of the endless cycle of lockdowns in pursuit of the the moronic ?zero Covid? policy. Worth remembering this was the policy lobbied for by ?independent? SAGE.
The post Chinese Police Clash With Thousands Protesting Draconian Zero-Covid Lockdowns appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.

Lockdown Skeptics >>

Voltaire Network
Voltaire, international edition

offsite link Zelensky trapped by Moscow and Washington, by Thierry Meyssan Tue Nov 22, 2022 07:02 | en

offsite link "Voltaire, International Newsletter" n°15 Sun Nov 20, 2022 14:01 | en

offsite link ?Voltaire, International Newsletter? n°14 Thu Nov 17, 2022 10:39 | en

offsite link Is the conflict in Ukraine a civil war? Tue Nov 15, 2022 17:44 | en

offsite link Who are the Ukrainian integral nationalists ?, by Thierry Meyssan Tue Nov 15, 2022 07:02 | en

Voltaire Network >>

History offers a surprising warning about January 6 hearing drama

category international | politics / elections | opinion/analysis author Friday June 10, 2022 00:17author by Julian Report this post to the editors

The January 6 House select committee begins its public hearings this Thursday night. Members of the committee have promised to reveal stunning new evidence to the American public, with committee member Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland vowing they "will really blow the roof off the House."

While the hearings might shock a nation that has become numb to Trumpian chaos, they are unlikely to change the basic political dynamics that have thus far protected many Trump officials and supporters from being held accountable for what happened that day.
Indeed, polls show most Republican voters believe the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump. And excluding the primary results in Georgia, many Republicans who stood firm against the former president's efforts to undermine the 2020 election have been losing in recent elections or choosing to retire all together.
History shows that investigations that produce dramatic evidence of wrongdoing don't always damage the responsible party politically. It appears Trump and his Republican surrogates have benefited from a conservative playbook created during a different presidential scandal -- the Iran-Contra affair -- and the subsequent hearings around it.
The Iran-Contra affair, which broke just before the 1986 midterm elections, posed an enormous threat to then-President Ronald Reagan and his party. The sordid scandal revolved around a complex set of secret deals that were aimed at allowing the Reagan administration to pursue its foreign policy objectives in combatting communism.
Then-Lt. Col. Oliver North at the National Security Council admitted that he taken funds from weapons the administration had sold to Iran -- considered a top terrorist state -- and diverted them to the anti-communist Nicaraguan Contras, despite explicit legislative prohibitions on doing so.
Government investigations soon unfolded on several fronts. First, Reagan appointed a commission, led by conservative former Sen. John Tower of Texas, to investigate what had happened. The Tower Commission produced a report in 1987 that criticized NSC staff for diverting funds to the Contras, while depicting Reagan as someone whose lack of sufficient oversight had enabled this diversion. However, the report stopped far short of accusing Reagan of abuse of power.
Congress then set up House and Senate committees in early January 1987. The committees held joint hearings between early May and August. Tens of millions of Americans tuned in to watch members of the committees interview high-level witnesses, including North.
The committees' majority report, signed by all the Democrats and three Republicans, did not produce specific evidence that Reagan knew about the illegal operation -- there was no "smoking gun" -- but it did show damning evidence that the NSC had used private entities and third party countries to work on the scheme. Simply put, the administration provided funding that Congress had prohibited.
The Republican Party's strategy for fighting the scandal proved to be highly effective. A pillar of their response on Capitol Hill was to largely accept the findings of the congressional investigation but insist that there was nothing wrong with what the administration had done. Key Republicans even went so far as to claim there was justification for the administration taking such extraordinary action.
Then-Wyoming Republican Rep. Dick Cheney, who served on the House select committee investigating the scandal, drafted the minority report which gave a blistering defense of executive power. Calling the majority report that strongly condemned the administration "hysterical," Cheney's missive stated the history "leaves little, if any, doubt that the President was expected to have the primary role of conducting the foreign policy of the United States. Congressional actions to limit the President in the area therefore should be reviewed with a considerable degree of skepticism."
Some Republicans also valorized North, who became a temporary hero during what became known as "Ollie Mania." They said North should be exonerated for his role in facilitating aid to the Contras, and they referred to the investigation of independent prosecutor Lawrence Walsh, who led a third investigation after the Tower investigation and congressional hearings, as leading a multi-million dollar "witch hunt."
Finally, Republicans sensed that if a party could hold onto power long enough, public attention would move on. As Democrats at the time resisted impeachment, fearing that the consequences would be worse than the crime, Reagan benefited from the success of his negotiations with the Soviet Union over the intermediate-range nuclear forces. His approval ratings climbed to 63% in December 1988 -- up from the 47%, to which they had fallen in the worst months of the scandal.
Despite multiple investigations and blockbuster hearings, in the end, Reagan's presidency survived. And though Republicans lost control of the Senate in 1986, they largely survived the worst of it, too.
Vice President George H.W. Bush, implicated in the scandal though he denied involvement, won the presidential election in 1988. https://old-hag-syndrome.blogspot.com/2021/10/how-to-defeat-old-hag-syndrome.html And on December 24, 1992, Bush pardoned six people, including former Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, for their role in the affair. Two years later, though they had lost the White House by then, Republicans took control of both chambers of Congress for the first time since 1954.
Today's Republicans are following a similar methodology -- even if, with the exception of two Republicans: Reps. Liz Cheney of Wyoming (Dick Cheney's daughter) and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, they are not participating in the congressional investigation.
Though they have not issued a Dick Cheney-style report, many have sought to defend Trump and his surrogates' unjustifiable behavior in the weeks leading up to January 6 -- and 2020 election denialism is still playing a big role in the 2022 midterms. In addition, rather than acknowledging Trump was in the wrong for promoting the "big lie" and encouraging his supporters to "fight like hell," a majority of the Republican Party voted against his second impeachment and conviction following January 6.
Republicans are also banking, like they did in 1987, that public anger over the Capitol attack will dissipate. And there's already evidence that's happening. Indeed, a new NBC News poll found fewer Americans hold Trump to be responsible than they did a year ago. And with growing inflation, baby formula shortages and midterm elections just around the corner, rage about January 6 seems to have faded as a top political concern. Fox News, a conservative leaning-network, isn't even airing the first hearings in primetime (though they are airing them on Fox Business.
Iran-Contra demonstrated it was possible to survive an epic presidential scandal if a party handled the crisis in the right way. The modern GOP has made the playbook even more effective.
Trump conducted most of the campaign against the election in broad daylight, which helped give it a sense of legitimacy in the eyes of his supporters. Couple that with intense polarization, and it is almost impossible to move voters away from their party regardless of what elected officials do.
The abuser of power can also count on an extensive media and social media ecosystem, which did not exist in the 1980s, to amplify falsehoods and disinformation that undercuts the political risks incurred. Besides the free flow of partisan information, there are so many choices for media consumers that they could easily ignore the hearings altogether -- instead opting to stream a film on Netflix or download a favorite podcast.
With all the talk about the 50th anniversary of Watergate, the Iran-Contra scandal and its failure to achieve accountability is a better roadmap to understanding the politics of the forthcoming January 6 hearing.

© 2001-2022 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy