Senator Feinstein’s Iraq conflict of interest

Expose corruption

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has been forced to resign as chair of the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee after news of her grotesque conflicts of interest surfaced due to the billions of dollars going in defense contracts to her husband’s companies.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein has resigned from the Military Construction Appropriations subcommittee. As previously and extensively reviewed in these pages, Feinstein was chairperson and ranking member of MILCON for six years, during which time she had a conflict of interest due to her husband Richard C. Blum’s ownership of two major defense contractors, who were awarded billions of dollars for military construction projects approved by Feinstein.

The story was broken by Metroactive, a group of alternative weeklys in northern California, who have complete coverage. Why is it that an alt weekly was the only one who could figure out what was happening? Earth to CNN and NY Times, you just didn’t have a clue, huh? More important, why was she even allowed on the committee and allowed to vote? Why didn’t she recuse herself from votes where she and her husband benefit financially? Why did no one in the Senate of either party object?

It gets worse.

It turns out that Blum also holds large investments in companies that were selling medical equipment and supplies and real estate leases—often without the benefit of competitive bidding—to the Department of Veterans Affairs, even as the system of medical care for veterans collapsed on his wife’s watch.

I shudder to think what would happen if those two got involved in the orphanage business.

Corruption and conflicts of interest that are rife in DC. It’s not just greed. That doesn’t explain it all. You need to think about class, as in the ruling class and the working class. Such collusion and purposeful silence on obvious conflicts of interest happen because the ruling class, regardless of their party, will always protect itself against everyone else. And if you are a senator and your husband is a billionaire, then that certainly makes you members of the ruling class. Which certainly clarifies why DiFi has never seriously opposed the Iraq war, now doesn’t it? “There’s plenty good money to be made / By supplying the army with the tools of the trade,” Country Joe said during the Vietnam War, and it still true today. The ruling class profits mightily from war, and hey, it’s not their kids coming back maimed or in body bags.

Why aren’t congressional Democrats working to end the war? Just look at Dianne Feinstein. There’s your answer. It’s because it’s not in their class interest to do so.

That’s why the people have to do it.

While right wing bloggers are going nuts over this (and many liberals seem oddly silent), it’s hardly a partisan issue or a right wing hit.

Research assistance for [the] story was provided by the Investigative Fund of the Nation Institute.

Metroactive concludes

You would think that, considering all the money Feinstein’s family has pocketed by waging global warfare while ignoring the plight of wounded American soldiers, she would show a smidgeon of shame and resign from the entire Senate, not just a subcommittee. Conversely, you’d think she might stick around MILCON to try and fix the medical-care disaster she helped to engineer for the vets who were suckered into fighting her and Bush’s panoply of unjust wars.

Photo from Tribune India article, Fighting corruption. Moral values must prevail

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