AIRING THEIR DIRTY LAUNDRY. Ezra's nice grab of the Verizon-NSA connection from Raw Story happily recalls the glory days of Bush Scandals Past -- specifically, the long, complicated and very unresolved Bush 41 jiggery pokery involving the Banco Nazionale del Lavoro and its possible role in using agricultural credits to arm...wait for it...Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and the subsequent efforts of the Department of Justice in stonewalling the investigations thereof.
Here�s a good pr�cis of the whole business, and if you read this speech from the late great Henry Gonzalez, you will note that he didn't think very much of the work done by William Barr, then the acting attorney general and, in today's news, now the chief legal apologist for Verizon.
One of the worst mistakes the old Democratic congressional majority made was in not fully closing the coffin lid on things like this, the BCCI affair, and the Iran-Contra scandal, and not doing so in such a way that public careers were decisively ended. (This is a lesson I hope is remembered, if Congress changes hands this fall, by every Democratic congresscritter who becomes the head of an oversight committee.) Instead, many of the principals came back in 2001, and we're now seven years on into the Night of the Living Dead.
--Charles P. Pierce