Has there ever been a war Senator Lindsey Graham didn’t support, or a military appropriation he didn’t think needed to be doubled? His enthusiasm for profligate military spending at a time when even most Republicans are saying some spending cuts may be necessary stands out. He’s even speaking out against cutting foreign aid, and his vehemence on this issue of overseas spending may now be at least partially explained.
When the Charleston-based GenPhar, a pharmaceutical research company, was awarded more than $19 million – as part of a military appropriations bill that funneled $279 million to South Carolina military contractors – Sen. Graham hailed the news as evidence as evidence of his political leadership in the service of his state’s economic interests:
"Once again," he declared, waxing eloquent,
"South Carolina is demonstrating that we are on the forefront of military technology. Military facilities in South Carolina are the tip of the spear for our nation’s armed forces. I am proud to be from a state that is invaluable to America’s fighting force. We provide the human assets and support systems that make the U.S. military the world’s premier fighting force."
Is Graham also proud that GenPhar’s top officials have been indicted for fraud, embezzlement of government funds, and face up to 100 years in jail? Read all about it:
"A major campaign contributor to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) allegedly defrauded the federal government out of at least $3.6 million that was supposed to be used to research vaccines to combat deadly diseases.
"Jian-Yun ‘John’ Dong, the president of the South Carolina-based biotechnology firm GenPhar, and his estranged wife are accused of making at least $31,000 in illegal campaign contributions to Graham and his political action committee. GenPhar was Graham’s sixth largest contributor between 2005 and 2010, with $46,269 in donations coming from GenPhar employees.
"The indictments came down in April, but federal authorities didn’t unseal the charges until Monday. Federal prosecutors allege Dong took $30,000 from a German national and funneled that money to support Graham’s reelection. Graham’s treasurer said that they were cooperating with federal authorities."
Sen. Graham is a proud one, all right – he’s proud of finding every opportunity to turn a foreign policy "crisis" into a money-making opportunity:
"One of the problems I have with ‘leading from behind’ is that when a day like this comes, we don’t have the infrastructure in place that we could have. I’m glad it ended the way it did. It took longer than it should have. If we could have kept American air power in the fight it would have been over quicker. Sixty-thousand Libyans have been wounded, 3,000 maimed, 25,000 killed. Let’s get in on the ground. There is a lot of money to be made in the future in Libya. Lot of oil to be produced. Let’s get on the ground and help the Libyan people establish a democracy and a functioning economy based on free market principles."
The "human assets and support systems" of South Carolina’s military-industrial complex would be more than happy if we "got in on the ground floor" in Libya and utilized the "free market principles" so assiduous practiced by Mr. Dong – the fifth largest contributor to Sen. Graham’s reelection campaigns.
Unlike most of the Republican candidates for President and conservatives in general, Graham joined with the Obama administration and former "antiwar" stalwarts of the Bush era to hail the conquest of Libya – while averring he would have done it quicker, and with far more American chest-beating. Yet the Libyan operation, initially seized on by administration apologists as fresh evidence of the Dear Leader’s great "foreign policy successes," is looking more like a Pyrrhic victory by the day.
The first blow to the triumphalists came when Libya’s new leader announced that Sharia law would form the basis and "framework" of the new constitution and body of laws. Polygamy, he declared, was now legal. US officials rushed to "spin" this latest outburst of honesty from their untamed clients: he was speaking in a "general" sense, every Arab country pays lip service to Islamic law in theory, albeit not always in practice, etc. Yet how, then, to explain the explicit reference to the legalization of polygamy – and who’s to say cutting off the hands of thieves and the stoning of adulterers aren’t next?
It’s one episode of US sock-puppets behaving badly after another. Initially claiming Gadhafi was killed in the "crossfire" between his loyalists and his captors, the rebels were forced to backtrack and face questions about how the horrific lynching death of the Libyan dictator reflects on the new regime. After all, sodomizing Gadhafi with a knife, and then shooting him in the head, is not exactly indicative that the Rule of Law has come to "liberated" Libya – or is coming anytime soon. So the National Transitional Council (NTC) is now saying they’ve been "investigating" the dictator’s death all along, and Gadhafi’s killers are going to be put on trial.
Pardon my skepticism, but whatever happened to the "investigation" into the death of former rebel commander-in-chief Abdul Fatah Younes – who was murdered after being recalled to Benghazi by the ruling NTC, which had him up on charges of "treason"? And then there’s another prominent prisoner who nearly came to a bad end while in the NTC’s custody, former Gadhafi intelligence chief Abuzed Omar Dorda – who was thrown out of a window on the second floor of the prison where he’s presently incarcerated. While he survived the fall, the 71-year-old Dorda is in serious condition, and his family has appealed to the United Nations to protect him from what they view as an attempted assassination. The militiamen guarding Dorda at first blamed the mishap on an escape attempt, and then tried to convince reporters it was a failed suicide attempt – but no, the inquiring scribes were told, they couldn’t see or interview Dorda because the whole matter is "confidential."
What isn’t "confidential," however, is that the Obama administration and its European allies have installed Stone Age savages in power in Libya who aren’t that good at lying. Oh well, a good public relations agency – paid for by you and me – should fix that. Perhaps Hillary can give them a preliminary tutorial.