Saturday, November 25, 2017

Congress' Sexual-Harassment Slush Fund Uncovered - Members of Congress Secretly Handed Out $17 Million in 'Hush-Money' to Women they Victimized

If you find it strange to see so many women coming forward and disclosing their victimization by government officials, you are not alone. The number of complaints by alleged victims of sexual harassment perpetrated by numerous high-profile government figures seems to have skyrocketed over the past several months. This type of news is unprecedented not only in the fact that these accusations implicate numerous officials in serial crime, but the fact that corporate media is actually reporting these cases, for a change.

It's true that we do not have undeniable proof for many of these alleged incidents. However, we have seen formerly notable political figuressuch as George Bush Sr.actually apologies for their crimes against the women who have spoken out about their abuse. We also have the subject of this particular article. Still the question remains, "Why are all of these women speaking out only now when these crimes were reported to have taken place years ago?" Further, why are we seeing such disclosures coming forward about the corruption of American government and about rampant crimes of rape and child abuse taking place in Hollywood at virtually the same time? I believe there is an answer.
The U.S. government has always behaved as though its officials were beyond reproach and upright in nearly every way. This facade of ethical integrity has been maintained for the majority of the past century. No matter what ill dealings an elected official participated in, the corporate media and the rest of government would conceal the situation. If ever an elected official was caught in compromising circumstances, the perpetrator would simply lie about their actions and/or cover up any evidence of their offenses.

If any evidence was uncovered, the situation would typically be quickly swept under the rug by compromised authorities. If a cover-up was not possible, one or two scapegoats may have been used in these scandals to take the fall in order to acquit the rest of the perpetrators of any wrongdoing. As we are now learning, this systemic secrecy has allowed rampant crime to continue without further disturbance from the public.

On top of these government cover-ups, the corporate media was regularly commissioned on numerous occasions to avoid news of crimes by government officials. As we have learned, many pseudo-journalists were actually hired by various government interests to divert from, and conceal the major criminal activities we are are now learning about. These crimes have been going on for years, and yet not a single journalist in corporate news seems to have done their job of researching and reporting these allegations when these crimes were being committed. (On the other hand, many alternative news sources and private journalists have extensively reported on such crimes.)
In place of true reports of real crimes, we have seen the first ever anti-President media campaign of its kind in American history. Never before has corporate media been so dedicated to demonizing an elected official in the way we have seen in the past year. These media companies have used the propagandistic tactic of ad hominem and poising the well in order to manipulated the American public to the whims of corporate advantage, all while claiming to oppose corporate advantage.

While the public was mislead to believe that a Trump-lead government was ubiquitously opposing human rights, many people completely missed that fact that the old power-players in government were carrier criminals themselves. This is what we are now learning. The question is, "To what degree do the crimes of the old guard extend?"

This is not to say that President Trump has done the best job the people could expect from a President. (Such a statement would be difficult to even begin the prove.) It is to say that the corporate media has revealed its own hypocrisy in condemning the alleged unethical behavior of one person while deliberately ignoring and concealing sexual abuse, pedophilia, and rape by congressman for over a decade.
In fact, the issue of sexual abuse by congressman is so extremely common that these offenders have an official slush fund that pays hush money to the people they assault. This seems to reveal that at the highest levels, Congress is fully aware of the detestable behavior of their members, and has even condoned the continued service of these offenders along with their criminal behavior.

What happened to American ethics?

On what grounds does such an organization deserve to serve an office in any capacity? On what grounds do such congressman have to accuse any other elected official when they themselves condone a fraternity of rape culture? Further, what business do any of these congressman and the corporate media have pretending that President Trump is the one and only problem in America today?

It seems clear that things are not at all as they presently appear in American government and media. It seems that the corporate media is better at keeping secrets for government criminals than they are at reporting facts. It also appears that if mainly rapists and pedophiles are accusing the current President of wrongdoing after years of perpetrating and concealing their own crimes, that we the American public have a few things to reconsider.

The corporate media has covered up countless acts government corruption for decades on end. They have aided and embedded the worst of the worst in government, and yet when the latest President comes along, all of a sudden, these media enablers care about ethics in American government? No. I find it evident that the corporate media is just as compromised and corrupt as American government has been for the last 50 years. In fact I believe that this reason serves as the main motivating factor of the anti-Presidential campaign which has been ongoing in media for over a year now. It is not because of any unethical practices which the Trump administration actually committed, but because the current administration is opposing the perverted games of the fraternity we know as Congress.
Chances are that if audience members were deceived by the facade of American ethics, they were also deceived by the anti-President campaign of the corporate media. Though most people have abandoned mainstream media altogether, some still believe that this media is reliable and largely accurate in its reporting. In such cases, it is understandable that those still faithful to mainstream media have not yet realized the blatant hypocrisy of the corporate establishment.

These individuals may not see the revelations of sexual abuse in Congress as relevant because they do not understand how it is connected to the decades of corruption from years past. That being that sexual assault and pedophilia have been used as blackmail to control government officials for the advantage of elitists. Nevertheless, the fact seems to be that, at its core, the American government is (and has for a long time, been) a safe-haven for criminals. So what does it mean when an enabling media and a criminal establishment simultaneously reject the new guy?

Many Americans fail to realize just how common rape is in this country. This crime is not merely prevalent in normal society. Rape is extremely commonplace in government and in Hollywood. As we have had so many opportunities to observe, both children and women are common victims of rape in these arenas which were previously assumed to be upright and professional. However, in modern times, we are learning the true price of fame and popularity.
Americans were shocked at the disclosure of Bill Cosby's rape investigation and were quick to jump on the media bandwagon of condemnation of Cosby for his passed actions. This is partially understandable, as these actions were allegedly criminal. However, the public made the typical mistake of ignoring the bigger truth behind this case. That is that every actor and celebrity that is given large breaks in media and entertainment for decades on end do not receive such opportunities without submitting to blackmail.

What I mean is that no celebrity is allowed to succeed unless they are manipulable by Cabal interests. This manipulation comes in the form of blackmail via evidence of rape or pedophilia so that in the case that a celebrity decides to oppose Cabal interests, they can be humiliated, incriminated, and ostracized just as figures such as Bill Cosby and Kevin Spacey have been.

It is not enough for we the audience to simply cave to media fads, or to jump onto bandwagons of condemnation simply because others are doing the same. It is our duty as mature and independent adults to look beyond what we are shown by corporate media in order to learn the entire truth. If we had been doing our due diligence up to this point, we might not be so surprised at the disclosures of rape and pedophilia in government and Hollywood. This is not to accuse anyone who may not have known about these crimes, but to make the point that true justice is not (and has never been) a spectator sport.
Why was the media so anti-President and so pro-Congress-rape-culture for the past year? I can't speak for President Trump's questionable actions this past year, but along with the lower points, I must also look at the actions taken by the administration to expose all the crimes of past decadesbefore many Americans started paying attention to the problems in their government.

I must also consider the actions of the people who opposes the efforts of the current administration to expose government crimes committed before Trump ever took office—crimes of money laundering, uranium smuggling, of serial rape and epidemic pedophilia. After making these observations, I find it very likely that the anti-Trump efforts perpetuated by George Soros, a number of compromised officials, corporate news and a handful of celebrities was initiated to stop the disclosures of elitist crime we are witnessing now.


* * * * *

Source: Politico

Published: November 21, 2017

By: Elana Schor

A sexual misconduct settlement negotiated on behalf of a former aide to Rep. John Conyers was paid out of his office budget, meaning it wasn't even included in the $17 million "slush fund." | J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

POLITICO answers some of the most pressing questions and misconceptions about how Capitol Hill handles, and settles, misconduct complaints.

It has all the makings of a serious scandal: more than $17 million in public money paid since 1997 to settle workplace disputes on Capitol Hill.

But the reality of what critics lambaste as a sexual harassment “slush fund” is more complicated, like much about Congress’ policy for handling harassment complaints. The money covers all sorts of settlements, just not for sexual harassment, and some lawmakers cut their own side deals with accusers.

A settlement negotiated on behalf of a woman who accused Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), her former boss, of sexual misconduct is just the latest example: The money came out of Conyers' office budget, meaning it wasn't even included in the $17 million total.

What's more, because the multimillion-dollar settlement figure covers disputes aside from sexual harassment, including those over pay and workplace safety, it is impossible to know how much money taxpayers are actually doling out to sexual misconduct victims. The once-obscure Office of Compliance, which pays out the settlements, does not release information in which the cases are broken down by category. And it says “a large portion of cases” it resolves stem from Hill employers other than the House and Senate, such as the Capitol Police and Architect of the Capitol.

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Here are some of the other big questions surrounding Congress' notoriously opaque sexual harassment system, which lawmakers in both parties are now pushing to reform:

Who knows when a lawmaker or aide settles a harassment claim?

The identities of lawmakers or their aides who reach misconduct settlements aren't disclosed, effectively meaning there's no warning system for other potential victims. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), a longtime proponent of reforming Capitol Hill's harassment policy, is winning GOP supporters for legislation that would make members of Congress personally liable for harassment settlements against them.

Last week, Speier testified that two sitting members of Congress — one in each party — have engaged in sexual harassment. And she described the compliance office as “an enabler of sexual harassment,” thanks to a process set up that she asserts puts victims at a disadvantage.

Speier told POLITICO in a statement that the onus is on Congress to reform its own in-house system.

"Make no mistake that the fault of the current complaint process lies within Congress, which authored and passed this deeply flawed legislation that established the Office of Compliance and its burdensome complaint process," Speier said. "It is our responsibility to fix this law and do better for our employees."

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The compliance office, which previously revealed its settlement spending to little fanfare, is trying to raise its profile amid the intense scrutiny of sexual harassment on the Hill.

Susan Tsui Grundmann, the compliance office’s executive director, said in an interview that Speier's testimony about harassment by sitting members has put male lawmakers “under scrutiny right now, because it could be everyone."

“I’m not saying she’s wrong in saying that,” Tsui Grundmann added, “but by not naming them — and we can’t name them — it’s put a cloud under the entire Capitol Hill.”

Who in Congress approves settlements paid with taxpayer money?

The top Republican and Democrat on the House Administration Committee approve workplace dispute settlements for that chamber before they are paid from the compliance office's fund, which Congress allocates money for in its annual legislative branch spending bill. There is no such similar process in the Senate, according to Jean Manning, who set up the upper chamber's Chief Counsel for Employment office in 1993 and remained in that post until 2014.

"I don’t understand why they do that," Manning said of the House's policy requiring administration panel approval of settlements.

Manning added in an interview that she "would be concerned that it could become political — each side of the aisle could have a political reason for not approving a settlement. If a case isn’t settled, it could proceed to a public lawsuit."

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The compliance office also approves pending harassment settlements, which it then releases in broad totals that do not break down which Hill employer or which type of workplace conduct is involved. The compliance office says that it does not report more specific details about the fund because some claims can cover multiple types of misconduct.

The House administration committee's chairman, Rep. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.), has yet to field any harassment settlement requests since taking the gavel earlier this year, according to a spokeswoman. Asked whether Harper would consider publicly releasing data on harassment settlements, including those from previous years, the spokeswoman said that potential changes to "the reporting and settlement process" are part of the committee's "extensive review" of Capitol Hill's harassment policy.

AshLee Strong, spokeswoman for Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), also said by email that "additional actions are possible" as the administration panel moves forward.

But not much, it appears, would deter lawmakers from taking Conyers' approach and settling harassment allegations using their own office budgets — which are also funded by taxpayers — rather than the compliance office's fund.

Are victims of harassment required to keep their experience confidential?

The compliance office says that "there is no restriction on whom you can tell" about pursuing a harassment claim, but victims are subjected to confidentiality requirements during their mandatory counseling and mediation periods. An aide who might want to speak out about their harassment claim, including talking to their employer, can ask to waive confidentiality during counseling.

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Rep. Jackie Speier is winning GOP supporters for legislation that would make members of Congress personally liable for harassment settlements against them. | John Shinkle/POLITICO

The mediation process, however, remains subject to strict secrecy rules, including the use of non-disclosure agreements that bind victims from talking.

"The trappings of confidentiality, they permeate the process," said Alexis Ronickher, an attorney who has represented several clients pursuing harassment claims through the compliance office. "The law is written to create a system to disincentivize staffers from coming forward."

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