Block Those AIG Bonuses, Even At Gunpoint, If Necessary
Washington – Now the Obama Administration is more afraid of conservative backlash over bank bailouts than it is over whether AIG remains viable. Now that America owns 80% of AIG, Obama and company doesn’t care if it succeeds or withers away.
I can imagine the Oval Office conversation between Treasury Secretary Gaithner and President Obama:
Obama: Something’s got to be done, Tim. AIG can’t give bonuses when we just bailed them out. It makes us look bad on the Sean Hanity “Let Freedom Ring” TV show.
Gaithner: There’s really nothing we can do, Mr. President. That is, short of taking over AIG. You know, like Hitler took over German businesses before World War II? You do remember that, don’t you?
Obama: Of course not, I wasn’t even born yet.
Gaithner: But what about Harvard…?
Obama: Harvard. What a joke. I worte a lot of commie junk — that’s why I told them not to release it, I wouldn’t have been elected — but I didn’t really write anything.
Obama: No. I had all that Arab funding, you know. They hired a ghost writer for me. None of it was mine, except the ideas.
Gaithner: That I didn’t know.
Obama: But I’ve read Mein Kampf, you know, Hitler’s autobiography? And I looked up the term in WikiAnswers just this morning to remind me, so I’m on sound footing here to say there is a fine line between what Hitler did and what we’re going to do.
Gaithner: Oh, how so, Mr. President?
Obama: Well, to get in power Hitler had to kill a lot of people. We haven’t killed anyone — no political operatives or business CEOs — not yet.
Gaithner: But you wouldn’t rule it out, either, sir?
Obama: Off the record, Timothy my boy, I rule nothing out. That’s because we don’t have these conversations tape recorded like that stupid Nixon. You did have the Secret Service check your office and mine, like I ordered you, to be sure we’re not being taped and not knowing it?
Gaithner: Why? No, you must have me confused with Leon Panetta, remember? You chose him to head up the CIA.
Obama: Oh, yeah. Sure. Who did I appoint to head up the Secret Service.
Gaithner: No one.
Obama: What? But there have been these men in dark suits — telephone buttons in their ears, and plenty of guns and stuff like that — following me around. Who are they if not the Secret Service?”
Gaithner: Sure, you have them. I understand, Mr. President, they have 3,200 agents plus another three thousand backup people.
Obama: Wow! Really? Then how come only ten of them follow me around? What do the other 2,190 do, for crap’s sake?
Gaithner: Oh, sure. But remember — they also protect Clinton, Carter, the two Bushies and the wives. Plus they tail Biden sometimes to make sure he doesn’t give away state secrets in those dirty jokes he tells off mike, of course. There’s one of ours where the country would be better served if a hitman got him . . . I’m not serious, of course. But I mean, really, he’s so dense at times, I’ll bet he can’t even say your full name or spell his.
Obama: Even that dummy Sean Hanity can say my full name. Why can’t Biden? But I’ll agree, the country is in peril if an assasin gets me and not Biden.
Gaithner: Though, third in command is Nancy P. She appears sometimes as if they used a lazer dazzler near her brain.
Obama: A, uh, what?
Gaithner: Lazer dazzler. that’s the latest technology, or didn’t you know? The secret Service is worried about somebody assasinating you. You’ve already been the target of assassination plots. Didn’t you know?
Obama: Yeah, I knew. But I don’t get too excited about that.
Gatihner. You should. Anyway, I hear they’ve got some new technology — fill me in if you can — that’s called advanced directed-energy devices and it’s all very much classified.
Obama: If it’s classified, how did you find out?
Gaithner: Who, me? Oh, Mr. President, you don’t have to worry about me. Everyone knows. It was mentioned in a news story covering something or other — and documents from this recent court case indicate the Secret Service has the very latest technology, some kind of advanced energy-directed devices which is all on the QT.
Obama: Oh, I guess George Bush did mention that when he had me over, but I had forgotten.
Gaithner: Hey, I’m a voracious reader, Mr. President. If you hadn’t named me to the Treasury position I would have liked CIA. I watch old James Bond Movies until midnight sometimes. I remember reading about that Donald Friedman punk. You know, the guy claiming that government agencies are misusing non-lethal directed energy weapons — I mean Bush’s guys misused it.
Obama: This is stuff even our intelligence community doesn’t know about, because they’ve never clued me in.
Gaithner: What a shame. I mean, you are the president for C…sake, aren’t you?
Obama: Last time I looked. What about this Feldman?
Gaithner: Friedman. Some say he’s a phony crank. But his obsessive digging has turned up valuable information. For example, one of hisFreedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests unearthed a 1998 U.S. Army program looking at a microwave device to beam sound directly into the target’s skull which the rest of us had missed. (The same technology underlies the Medusa non-lethal weapon.)
Now he’s found something else. Friedman’s current court case involves attempts to extract information about any directed-energy weapons such as lasers and microwaves used by the Secret Service. Do they really have anything of the kind?
Obama: You’ve got me. . .
Gaithner: A “Motion for an Enlargement of Time” (in other words, a request for a few more weeks) by the Secret Service’s attorney indicates that they have something, and it’s pretty secret. Has to do with protecting very high government officials. I understand that in one case, the documents . . . could not be mailed but had to be hand carried interstate. This is a G-damned FOIA request regarding this sensitive DET research.
Obama: So what is this “sensitive” technology, Tim?
Gaithner: Your SS head should be telling you this, not me. Who is he, do you know yet.
Obama: No, it’s far down the line and no one’s said who I report to — or, uh, who reports to me.
Gaithner: Simply ask one of those goons who follow you around. They know. He signs their freakin’ pay checks. Those of us in the know, which obviously excludes you, Mr. President, seem to believe — because no one knows for sure — but we can speculate. Didn’t Bush say anything about these laser dazzlers? As a means of protecting the White House against suicide attacks by light aircraft?
Obama: No, that dullard probably didn’t know, so now now I don’t know about it.
Obama: It dates back to 1998. We don’t know if dazzlers have ever been deployed, but that would certainly explain some of the secrecy.
Portable dazzlers would also be a good way of dealing with potential snipers without the risk of harming bystanders. Other agencies also have an interest in covert dazzlers. Ex MI6 agent David Tomlinson claims a laser strobe was proposed for an assassination attempt on Slobodan Milosevic in 1992 by dazzling his chauffeur at a crucial point and causing him to crash. Conspiracy theorists claim that a laser dazzler was used to assassinate Diana, Princess of Wales — but any bright flashes more likely came from photographer’s flashguns.
Obama: You certainly are a talkin’ tech machine on this, Tim.
Gaithner: I love this stuff. If I drop the ball on the economy, please, please fire me and Panetta or Gates, then make me head of the CIA or Defense. That’s my true love, not employment numbers, GDP figures, and charts.
Obama: Okay, that’s a deal. What else do you know?
Gaithner: A portable version of the truck-mounted Active Denial System — the Pentagon’s “pain ray” — might be used to similar effect. It could cause an assailant to flinch for a vital second, giving agents an opportunity to get the President out of the line of fire, without having to shoot into a crowd. Raytheon has been working on a rifle-sized version of the Active Denial System for some years, but nothing has been heard of it recently
Obama: Let’s get back to economics, can we? That is your job. I want you to pursue every single legal avenue to block bonuses to the AIG’s top executives.