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Why Spitzer Was Bushwhacked

Published:

Last Edited: August 3, 2008, 8:12 pm

Why Spitzer Was Bushwhacked

Mar 20, 2008

The spectacular and bizarre release of secret FBI wiretap data to the New York Times exposing the tryst of New York State governor Eliot Spitzer, the now-infamous client "No 9", with an upmarket call-girl had relatively little to do with the George W Bush administration’s pursuit of high moral standards for public servants. Spitzer was likely the target of a White House and Wall Street dirty tricks operation to silence one of the most dangerous and vocal critics of their handling of the current financial market crisis.

A useful rule of thumb in evaluating spectacular scandals around prominent public figures is to ask who might want to eliminate that person. In the case of former governor Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, it is clear that the spectacular "leak" of the government's FBI wiretap records showing that Spitzer paid a high-cost prostitute US$4,300 for what amounted to about an hour’s personal entertainment, was politically motivated.

The press has almost solely focused on the salacious aspects of the affair, not least the hefty fee Spitzer apparently paid. Why the scandal breaks now is the more interesting question.

Spitzer became governor of New York following a high-profile record as a relentless state attorney general going after financial crimes such as the Enron fraud, and corruption by Wall Street investment banks during the 2002 dotcom bubble era. Spitzer made powerful enemies by all accounts. The former head of the large AIG insurance group, Hank Greenburg, was among his detractors. He was bitterly hated on Wall Street. He had made his political career on being ruthless against financial corruption.

Most recently, from his position as governor of the nation’s second largest state, home to its financial industry, Spitzer had begun making high-profile attacks on the complicity of the Bush administration in covertly arranging bailouts of its Wall Street friends at the expense of ordinary homeowners and citizens, all paid for by taxpayer funds.

Curiously, Spitzer, who had been elected governor in 2006, defeating a Republican by winning nearly 70% of the vote, has not been charged with any crime. However, the day the scandal broke, New York Assembly Republicans immediately announced plans to impeach Spitzer or put him on public trial were he to refuse to resign. Spitzer could be asked to testify in any trial involving the Emperors Club prostitution ring. But so far he hasn’t been charged with a crime.

Prostitution is illegal in most US states, but clients of prostitutes are almost never charged, nor are their names usually leaked in a case in process. The Spitzer case is in the hands of Washington and not state authorities, underscoring the clear political nature of the Spitzer "Watergate".

The New York Times said Spitzer was an individual identified as Client 9 in court papers filed last week. Client 9 arranged to meet with "Kristen", a prostitute who officially charged $1,000 an hour, on February 13 in a Washington hotel. Whatever transpired, Spitzer paid her $4,300, according to the official documents. The case is clearly political when compared with more egregious recent cases involving Republicans. Republican Mark Foley was exposed propositioning male interns in Congress and Rudolph Giuliani was discovered cheating on his wife, but no or few Republican calls for resignations were heard.

Why the attack now?

Spitzer had become increasingly public in blaming the Bush administration for the nation’s current financial and economic disaster. He testified in Washington in mid-February before the US House of Representatives Financial Services subcommittee on the problems in New York-based specialized insurance companies, known as "monoline" insurers. In a national CNBC TV interview the same day, he laid blame for the crisis and its broader economic fallout on the Bush administration.

Spitzer recalled that several years ago the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) went to court and blocked New York State efforts to investigate the mortgage activities of national banks. Spitzer argued that the OCC did not put a stop to questionable loan marketing practices or uphold higher underwriting standards.

"This could have been avoided if the OCC had done its job," Spitzer said in the interview. "The OCC did nothing. The Bush administration let the housing bubble inflate and now that it's deflating we're dealing with the consequences. The real failure, the genesis, the germ that has spread, was the subprime scandal," Spitzer said.

Fraudulent marketing and very low "teaser" mortgage rates that later ballooned higher, were practices that should have been stopped, he argued. "When mortgages are being marketed, there is a marketplace obligation to ensure the borrower can afford to pay back the debt," he said.

That TV interview was only one instance of Spitzer laying blame on the Bush Republicans. On February 14, Spitzer published a signed article in the influential Washington Post titled, "Predatory Lenders' Partner in Crime: How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Consumers."

That article, laying clear blame on the administration for the development of the subprime crisis, appeared the day after his ill-fated tryst with the prostitute at the Mayflower Hotel. Just a coincidence? Spitzer wrote, "In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act pre-empting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks."

In his article, Spitzer charged, "Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye."

Bush, said Spitzer right in the headline, was the "predator lenders' partner in crime". The president, said Spitzer, was a fugitive from justice. And Spitzer was in Washington to launch a campaign to take on the Bush regime and the biggest financial powers on the planet. Spitzer wrote, "When history tells the story of the subprime lending crisis and recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent homeowners the Bush administration will not be judged favorably."

With that article, Spitzer may well have signed his own political death warrant.


F William Engdahl is author of the book Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation, about to be released by Global Research Publishing, and of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, Pluto Press. He may be reached via his website, www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net.

Entry #122

Comments

1.
ToddComment by Todd - March 20, 2008, 5:43 pm
Ah yes, if all else fails, blame Bush. Comical!
2.
TenajComment by Tenaj - March 20, 2008, 6:41 pm
Todd, this is an interesting article and I would like to hear what others have to say without them being afraid to disagree with your political views.
3.
Comment by pacattack05 - March 20, 2008, 6:58 pm
This article clearly shows the simularities that happened with Kennedy when he tried to expose and not go along with the grain, but against it. Spitzer was lucky. He's still alive.

I should be so lucky as to not be a high profile exposer of the truth. Maybe one day they'll have enough of my rantings and take care of the problem. It's been nice Lottery Post. Wish me good luck....lol
4.
jarasanComment by jarasan - March 20, 2008, 9:34 pm
What a load of crap.
5.
TenajComment by Tenaj - March 20, 2008, 10:04 pm
no jarasan - it was payback.
6.
jarasanComment by jarasan - March 20, 2008, 10:27 pm
If it is payback, then mister f'ing tough guy Eliot Crappack Spitzer, doesn't need some GDM conspiracy a$$wipe FME William Ehgdahl exposing this load of crap, Spitty can do it himself, or is Bush to powerful? What a load of conspiracy reach up the ying yang BS.
7.
Comment by pacattack05 - March 20, 2008, 10:36 pm
Jarasan...You talk more ying yang than a chinese dictionary. !

8.
TenajComment by Tenaj - March 20, 2008, 10:41 pm
thanks for your opinion jarasan.
9.
josieComment by josie - March 20, 2008, 11:36 pm
It is not comical. Let's not forget about his imcopetence, and the lies to create an unnecesary war.
10.
johnph77Comment by johnph77 - March 21, 2008, 3:46 am
Politics as usual. Liars, crooks, bandits, lawyers, pirates, moneygrubbers and freebooters on both sides of the fence. No wonder Americans have become disillusioned with the voting process and government on every level.
11.
ToddComment by Todd - March 21, 2008, 9:33 am
@Janet - I'm not responsible for people being afraid to disagree with me. I'm continue pointing out what a load of crap this is, and how people like you will go on posting this crap day after day because it apparently gives you some kind of catharsis. We all know you hate and resent George Bush. You're probably also one of the people who thinks he didn't really win. We get it. But posting far-out wacky stuff like this is not a legitimate addition to any debate. It's not worthy of serious discussion. It is merely a political orgy for far-left conspiracy-minded people who want to validate their deep-seeded resentment by getting like-minded people to pile on.
12.
TenajComment by Tenaj - March 21, 2008, 1:22 pm
Yep, you are right Todd, I am not a Bush lover, but I don't get any jollies from it.   I think he is an evil little man who some day will get his comeuppance.
13.
jarasanComment by jarasan - March 21, 2008, 2:23 pm
T: Your hate is so misinformed, you even give President Bush attributes he doesn't have: evil little man; he is six feet and two inches in height, look it up. I'd like to see you looking up at him and tell him in person all the crap you write here.
14.
ToddComment by Todd - March 21, 2008, 2:54 pm
I love that phrase: "Your hate is so misinformed". That's the Quote of the Day.
15.
TenajComment by Tenaj - March 21, 2008, 2:58 pm
jarasan, a man's physical height doesn't measure his integrity. What one does makes them small.   And who are you to talk - you hate Hillary with a passion.

If someone posted anti-Hillary material you will be the first one shouting "Hooray" regardless of where it came from! gee

Talk about what's presented in this blog and not Bush. Why don't you address this:

Spitzer had become increasingly public in blaming the Bush administration for the nation’s current financial and economic disaster. He testified in Washington in mid-February before the US House of Representatives Financial Services subcommittee on the problems in New York-based specialized insurance companies, known as "monoline" insurers. In a national CNBC TV interview the same day, he laid blame for the crisis and its broader economic fallout on the Bush administration.

Spitzer recalled that several years ago the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) went to court and blocked New York State efforts to investigate the mortgage activities of national banks. Spitzer argued that the OCC did not put a stop to questionable loan marketing practices or uphold higher underwriting standards.

"This could have been avoided if the OCC had done its job," Spitzer said in the interview. "The OCC did nothing. The Bush administration let the housing bubble inflate and now that it's deflating we're dealing with the consequences. The real failure, the genesis, the germ that has spread, was the subprime scandal," Spitzer said.
16.
ToddComment by Todd - March 21, 2008, 3:18 pm
The has turned truly funny!

Spitzer has been increasingly critical of the Bush administration?

If one were to apply your logic, then every single Democrat in America would be caught shacking up with a hooker in the past year.

I guess Bush used Cheney's secret Haliburton Time Machine to go back in time 10 years and set up Spitzer with his first hooker. While he was there, he started planting the bombs inside the World Trade Center.
17.
TenajComment by Tenaj - March 21, 2008, 3:49 pm
You are right just about every Democrat and Republican would be caught shacking up with a hooker or some type of corruption but we all know that's not how the game is played. Those things are allowed as long as you don't step out of line.

It's an unspoken law in the Men with Power World, like the honor among thieves.

The fallout happens if they do something that warrants a witch hunt. We are not idiots. I'm not saying what Spitzer did was right, but a witch hunt is wrong. It's disgusting to me. Get everybody that is corrupt and sleeps around.

People pull the dirt when they need it - like if someone wanted to slam McCain all they need to do is pull the information on his wife when she was a drug addict and indicted for stealing lots and lots of money to support her habit. You don't have to reach far to get dirt.

I think the witch hunt is worst than the crime. Especially when everyone else is doing it. It happens on all levels.

Jim Black went to prison because he supported and got the NC Lottery going and never let up on it.    If he hadn't had anything to do with the NC Lottery he would be a free man today. They set him up.    So this blog is about witch-hunting and not whatever it is you are talking about Todd.
18.
ToddComment by Todd - March 21, 2008, 3:53 pm
That's one way of looking at the world. It's not a very happy way or realistic way, but whatever floats your boat.

I like to post these counter-balancing comments so that people who may have pliable (as opposed to fixated) minds can see the complete lack of logic and common sense behind each one of these diatribes.
19.
TenajComment by Tenaj - March 21, 2008, 4:17 pm
That TV interview was only one instance of Spitzer laying blame on the Bush Republicans. On February 14, Spitzer published a signed article in the influential Washington Post titled, "Predatory Lenders' Partner in Crime: How the Bush Administration Stopped the States From Stepping In to Help Consumers."

That article, laying clear blame on the administration for the development of the subprime crisis, appeared the day after his ill-fated tryst with the prostitute at the Mayflower Hotel. Just a coincidence? Spitzer wrote, "In 2003, during the height of the predatory lending crisis, the OCC invoked a clause from the 1863 National Bank Act pre-empting all state predatory lending laws, thereby rendering them inoperative. The OCC also promulgated new rules that prevented states from enforcing any of their own consumer protection laws against national banks."

In his article, Spitzer charged, "Not only did the Bush administration do nothing to protect consumers, it embarked on an aggressive and unprecedented campaign to prevent states from protecting their residents from the very problems to which the federal government was turning a blind eye."

Bush, said Spitzer right in the headline, was the "predator lenders' partner in crime". The president, said Spitzer, was a fugitive from justice. And Spitzer was in Washington to launch a campaign to take on the Bush regime and the biggest financial powers on the planet. Spitzer wrote, "When history tells the story of the subprime lending crisis and recounts its devastating effects on the lives of so many innocent homeowners the Bush administration will not be judged favorably."
20.
jarasanComment by jarasan - March 21, 2008, 6:11 pm
T: I don't hate Hillary, it is the voice, it gives me seizures and makes my ears bleed.
21.
Comment by pacattack05 - March 21, 2008, 6:21 pm
I don't hate Bush. it's his amusing attempt to pronounce words or make them up along the way, it gives me many hours of amusement watching them on Youtube.
22.
justxploringComment by justxploring - March 22, 2008, 6:52 am
Actually, I saw firsthand what was being done in the subprime market. I know I shouldn't pat myself on the back, but I guess I need to sometimes because of all the money I've passed up over the years by having a conscience. The attitude of some people is that borrowers who have lousy or no credit deserve it. They feel that people who don't make good incomes are either stupid or lazy.   I heard it. The government does little to protect consumers from predatory practices. It didn't start with Bush however. On the other hand, people need to learn to take care of themselves and not be victims.

Not to go too off topic - but I know I've cheated buying cars and I definitly got swindled on a house. So was I stupid or ignorant? Maybe a little of both, but people often forget to put their guard up when they get emotional. BTW, the Better Business Bureau is a joke, I hope you know. That was the first job I was offered when I got here many years ago but I didn't work there. Gosh, my memory is fading, but I remember a scandal at that time. Anyway, does anyone really believe an organization that needs support from local businesses and wants to increase their memberships is really going to be on the side of the consumer?

Regarding the blog here, I have no idea why Spitzer was targeted, but I find this article deserves a lot of consideration, since I do agree that Bush is evil. Does it really matter? If a serial killer was a nice guy who just ran into a lot of bad luck, does it make his victims any less dead?

Very interesting show on Bill Moyers Journal tonight. Body of War is a new documentary and Phil Donahue was on tonight. He showed how in Oct 2002 some Senators were thinking about the Nov elections and didn't want to be unpopular by voting against the invasion. (both Dems & Pubs) The reason I brought this show up is that one Senator asked "how are we going to pay for this?" and said it would ruin the economy. I need to see that film. It's the story of a paralyzed young man who went to Iraq.
23.
TenajComment by Tenaj - March 22, 2008, 11:27 am
Thank you Justx for posting. Sure this article deserves consideration. I see the same information posted in different sources of creditable articles. You are right, this kind of stuff didn't start with Bush, but he has written into law what is going to destroy America and used a fake war to do it. I started paying attention with the Saving & Loan scandal.

The truth is the truth regardless of who says it. I've noticed that people rather focus on the sex part of the scandal and not the other things that were going on. Missing the big picture.   

Exposing the mortgage scandal, OCC, Enron, the insurance scandal, Wall Street corruption, and bringing to the attention of what was allowed and ignored by the Bush Administration - FORGOT THAT. He was having sex with a prostitute after he helped bring down a couple rings. Spitzer was a perfect target. Politics at it's finest.

It just proves that even those who deem themselves intellectuals let the antics of a sex scandal get them talking when in fact it was just another tactic to trick the ignorant masses. Hello, the birds do it the bees do it.... Just put a little sex with it.   Oh excuse me intellectual - you are not a part of the ignorant masses - think again.

Spitzer was doing the nasty and that blinds people to what was really going on. The jokes starts, people have fun with it and that's exactly what puts us in the situations that America is in today. We don't pay attention to what we should. Throw a sex scandal out there so they won't pay attention to the man behind the curtain.

You would think that what happened with Bear Stearns/JP Morgan, the dollar losing it's value will make people wake up.
24.
LadeeComment by Ladee - March 22, 2008, 2:05 pm
Tenaj, all I can say is that I agree with you......sadly to say...throats dont get cut, until you have stepped on some toes.....Ive seen it happen across the board....from your average joe to corporate america.........it would be naive for anyone to think that Spitzer is the only one doing immoral things...a friend of mine attended a boat party for swingers one year and she said i would be shocked at the movers and shakers in DC that were there.........nothing surprises me when it come to politics!!
25.
TenajComment by Tenaj - March 22, 2008, 2:24 pm
My point exactly Ladee. Thanks for the comment
26.
justxploringComment by justxploring - March 22, 2008, 3:56 pm
Not much different from the hypocrisy when Clinton was criticized for smoking pot. I have no doubt that some of the people who have been in prison for years for just having a little marijuana were probably convicted by judges who went home and snorted coke. Most of the politicians in office today have been stoned at one time or another. I don't care as long as they're not smoking dope when they're in session (unless it's a joint session of course)
27.
TenajComment by Tenaj - March 22, 2008, 5:00 pm
Justx, I think this is much more than the hypocrisy of pot smoking.
28.
Comment by pumpi76 - March 22, 2008, 5:28 pm
he wasn't wacked by President Bush, he was wacked by the "Bush"...
29.
TenajComment by Tenaj - March 22, 2008, 5:40 pm
Way to go Pumpi76.LOL

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