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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

That commie Chertoff!

If you go trudging through blogistan right these days, you may be a little surprised to learn that the latest villain in the conservative "rogues gallery" is none other than Michael Chertoff. It's no joke: George W. Bush's unbeloved former head of Homeland Security is now considered the mastermind of a "liberal" conspiracy.

Visit this site to see an example of this newborn meme. A sample comment:
We are witnessing the incestuous relationships that make liberals billionaires on the backs of American citizens, who the elites consider to be lower than dirt. All we’re good for is increasing their control and wealth.
Yeah. That's what the Bush years were all about: Giving unfair advantages to liberals. Liberals like Chertoff.

And never mind the fact that Chertoff's partners in the Chertoff Group include high-level CIA and NSA personnel, including Michael Hayden.

Remember the infamous Fox News gambit of "accidentally" placing a "D" next to the name of any Republican politician who has fallen into scandal? They're at it again.

The current outrage, of course, centers on Chertoff's incestuous financial ties to the wittily named Rapiscan system, which plays such a huge role in the ongoing TSA scandal. (The TSA is part of Homeland Security.) Conservative propagandists learned a long time ago that it is always possible to turn these things to their advantage. That's why the congressional voices condemning Chertoff include Representatives John Duncan, Ted Poe and Ron Paul, all Republicans. The Free Republic crowd is suddenly going after Chertoff, as are sites like this. The attacks appear to be coordinated.

But those guys are all Johnny-come-latelies. Kurt Haskell (see below) was writing a year ago about Chertoff's financial ties to body scanning technology. At the same time, Mother Jones published this, which did not produce any noticeable murmurs of agreement from anyone on the right.

Here's what MJ writer James Ridgway had to say on that occasion:
As I documented in my book The Five Unanswered Questions About 9/11, airport security has always been compromised by corporate interests. When it comes to high-tech screening methods, the TSA has a dismal record of enriching private corporations with failed technologies, and there are signs that the latest miracle device may just bring more of the same.
Today, the tea party crowd would have us believe that "enriching private corporations" signifies creeping Bolshevism. Wow. Who knew?
He still looks like Ming The Merciless.
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