Scandals Ancient & Modern: The end does not justify the means!
Greek dramatist Sophocles wrote in his tragedy Electra (c.420 BC):
"The end excuses any evil."
Roman poet Ovid wrote in Heroides (c.10 BC):
"The result justifies the deed" ("exitus acta probat")
An offshoot of the phrase was a line in the English comic play The Artful Husband, 1717:
"All advantages are fair in love and war";
and in The Relapse, or Myrtle Bank (London, 1789):
"All is fair in love and war."
A conviction that one's political agenda is so good that it justifies bending the laws to implement it has produced innumerable scandals throughout history.
Called "consequentialism," it replaces the Biblical belief of an absolute right and wrong with the subjective reasoning that the rightness of an action is based on whether the person committing it thinks the consequence or end result will be good.
But since criminals and ambitious politician define "good" as advancing their wealth, career or agenda, it gives them license to lie under oath, deceitfully manipulate the system, infringe on the freedom of others, and commit the most reprehensible injustices and atrocities.
A companion idiom is: "to make and omelette you have to crack some eggs," meaning, it doesn't matter how many innocent people you hurt along the way so long as you reach your political goal.
The Bible records instances of such hedonistic utilitarianism when Abimelech hired "vain and worthless persons" of Shechem to murder his half-brothers, the sons of Gideon. (Judges 9)
Jezebel paid "sons of Belial" to falsely accuse Naboth and have him stoned to death in order for his vineyard to be taken by her husband, King Ahab. (1Kings 21)
(Get the book Rise of the Tyrant: How Democracies and Republics Rise and Fall www.AmericanMinute.com)
Another recorded use of this amoral attitude was in India.
After India repelled the invasion of Alexander the Great in 326 BC, it saw the growth of the Mauryan Empire, which became the largest empire in the world at the time, under King Chandragupta Maurya (321–297 BC).
The King's adviser was Prime Minister Chanakya, also called “Kautilya.”
His artful use of underhanded tactics resulted in him being described as "India’s Machiavelli."
Chanakya wrote Arthashastra, which gives shrewd, brutal instructions on statecraft to accumulate power.
Chanakya counseled the King to use spies to create crises of rivalry, where subjects would fight among themselves, allowing him an excuse to consolidate control.
Max Weber wrote in Politics as a Vocation (1919):
“Compared to Chanakya’s Arthashastra, Machiavelli’s The Prince is harmless.”
Roger Boesche, who wrote "Kautilya’s Arthashastra on War and Diplomacy in Ancient India” (The Journal of Military History, 2003), described its harsh political pragmatism:
"Is there any other book that talks so openly about when using violence is justified?
When assassinating an enemy is useful?
When killing domestic opponents is wise?
How one uses secret agents? When one needs to sacrifice one’s own secret agent?
How the king can use women and children as spies and even assassins?
When a nation should violate a treaty and invade its neighbor?
Kautilya ... addresses all those questions ..."
"In what cases must a king spy on his own people?
How should a king test his ministers, even his own family members, to see if they are worthy of trust?
When must a king kill a prince, his own son, who is heir to the throne?
How does one protect a king from poison?
What precautions must a king take against assassination by one’s own wife?
When is it appropriate to arrest a troublemaker on suspicion alone? When is torture justified?
At some point, every reader wonders: Is there not one question that Kautilya found immoral, too terrible to ask in a book?
No, not one ... And this is what brings a frightful chill."
Italian philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli is sometimes called the father of political science.
He wrote that in politics, “one must consider the final result.”
Machiavelli recorded tactics in his book The Prince, 1513.
His writings were read by monarchs across Europe, from Henry VIII of England to Charles V of Spain, being finally condemned by Pope Paul IV as heretical.
In 1756, the Catechism of the Catholic Church prohibited this, stating:
"One may not do evil so that good may result from it."
Machiavelli observed the powerful Medici family of Florence and the notorious behavior of Cesare Borgia (1475–1507), such as intrigue, extortion, deceit, seduction, incest, poisoning, and assassination, all done in the raw pursuit of power.
Cesare Borgia's degeneracy resulted in the Bishop of Calahorra refusing to allow his grave inside the Church of Santa Maria, and instead burying his remains under the street in front of the church to be trodden on by those passing by.
Shakespeare's play Othello (1603) had such a character in the treacherous Iago, who gained Othello's trust only to deviously destroy him.
During the time of Machiavelli's writing, 500 years ago, Italy consisted of many independent city-states:
Venice, Genoa, Naples, Florence, Sienna, Amalfi, Milan, Corsica, Pisa, San Marino, Cospaia, Gaeta, Lucca, Noli, Trani and Papal States.
These were primarily nobleman's republics, each with their own armies and navies, and they continually fought.
Machiavelli reasoned that if one prince could control all of Italy, it would stop the in-fighting.
The "end," of one prince controlling all of Italy, was such a good "end" that any "means" necessary to get there was justified.
According to Machiavelli's reasoning, if a prince wanted to conquer a city, in his quest to unify Italy, the people would hate him.
But if the prince secretly paid agitators and criminals to burn barns, kill cows, smash windows and set buildings on fire, creating crises and terror in the streets, the people would panic and cry out for help.
The prince would come in and get rid of the "useful idiot" criminals he paid to create the anarchy.
The naive citizens, unaware of the subterfuge, would praise the prince as a hero.
It is good marketing – create the need and fill it.
Go around the back of a house and set it on fire, then go around to the front door and sell them a fire extinguisher – they will pay anything for it and thank you for being there.
During the French Revolution, Jacobin anarchists used these tactics, as Yale President Timothy Dwight described in 1798:
"Adultery, assassination, poisoning, and other crimes of the like infernal nature, were taught as lawful ... provided 'the end was good.'"
More recently, community organizer Saul Alinsky advocated this in his Rules for Radicals (1971):
"The end justifies almost any means."
The Bible warns not to participate in this behavior, as written in the Book of Proverbs:
"My son, if sinners entice you, do not yield to them.
If they say, 'Come along, let us lie in wait for blood, let us ambush the innocent without cause ... We will find all manner of precious goods; we will fill our houses with plunder. Throw in your lot with us; let us all share one purse'—
My son, do not walk the road with them or set foot upon their path. For their feet run to evil,and they are swift to shed blood ...
They lie in wait for their own blood; they ambush their own lives."
Apostle Paul also wrote in Romans, chapter 6:
"Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid...
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin ...
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
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In spite of Biblical warnings, humans have yielded to the attraction of "the ends justifies the means" for personal and political gain, resulting in scandals.
Below is a partial list of notable scandals in American politics:
1866 GUNS TO MEXICAN GANGS
After the Civil War, the United States secretly supplied "decommissioned" guns to Mexican gangs to cause domestic violence and insurrection in order to oust French-backed Maximillian I.
This was seen as maintaining the Monroe Doctrine, that European countries should not a political presence in the Western Hemisphere.
With American support, Benito Juárez captured Maximillian and had him shot, June 19, 1867.
1868 JOHNSON REFUSED BLACK VOTING
President Andrew Johnson refused to protect the right of freed slave to vote.
As a result, the Republican Congress voted to impeach him.
1872 CREDIT MOBILIER SCANDAL
President Grant's Vice-President and several Congressmen received shares of stock in the Crédit Mobilier construction company, which was building the Union Pacific Railroad.
In exchange, the politicians allowed the company to fraudulently bill the government.
1875 WHISKEY RING CONSPIRACY
Government agents and whiskey distillers were involved in bribery and tax evasion.
Grant promised swift punishment, but when his personal secretary was implicated, Grant tried protect him, which only made the scandal worse. The Secretary of War was impeached.
1875 BRIBES FOR LAND
Grant's Secretary of the Interior advocated killing off the Buffalo to make way for the railroads. He was forced to resign for taking bribes in exchange for land grants.
1881 STAR POSTAL ROUTE
During President Garfield's administration, private companies delivered mail on the Star Route in America's west.
These companies gave low bids to postal officials, but when those officials presented the bids to Congress, they increased the amounts and pocketed the difference.
1910-1919 GUNS TO MEXICAN GANGS
During the Border War with Mexico, President Woodrow Wilson supported one gang leader against the others.
He selectively ignored an arms embargo, and arranged for train cars of weapons to be left unattended at a border town for Pancho Villa, and the anti-Catholic revolutionary Venustiano Carranza, to be used against Victoriano Huerta.
Wilson then backed Carranza against Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata.
1921 TEAPOT DOME SCANDAL
President Warren G. Harding's Secretary of the Interior Albert Fall was caught selling exclusive rights to oil reserves in Teapot Dome, Wyoming, in exchange for personal profit and cattle.
1922 VETERANS AFFAIRS EMBEZZLEMENT
President Harding's Director of Veterans Affairs was Charles Forbes.
Although 300,000 soldiers were wounded during World War I, Forbes notoriously covered only 47,000 veterans' claims for disability insurance.
When it was discovered that he embezzled $2 million, he was convicted and imprisoned.
President Harding's Attorney General Harry Daugherty let pharmacies and bootleggers obtain permits to sell alcohol for "medicinal" purposes during the era of prohibition. This, and other scandals, forced Harry Daugherty to resign.
During Prohibition, among those suspected of illegally importing liquor was Joseph Kennedy, father of political family.
Herbert Hoover wrote of President Harding in his memoirs (1952):
"Harding had another side which was not good.
His political associates had been men of the type of Albert B. Fall (Teapot Dome Scandal) ... Harry Daugherty (bootlegging scandal) ... Charles Forbes (embezzled from veterans over $2 million) ...
He enjoyed the company of these men (in) weekly White House poker parties ... the play lasted most of the night ... It irked me to see it in the White House."
1953 OPERATION AJAX
Though President Truman opposed it, as he feared it would set a dangerous precedent for the C.I.A, President Eisenhower gave approval to the C.I.A.'s first operation to overthrow of a foreign government.
Iran's democratically-elected President Mohammad Mosaddegh had sought to limit the amount of control BP (British Petroleum) had over Iran's oil reserves. He also indicated he would establish ties with the Soviet Union.
In Operation Ajax, the most feared mobsters in Tehran were hired and hundred of agitators were bused in to stage riots and destabilized the country.
In the created confusion, the government was overthrown, President Mosaddegh was arrested, and the pro-West Shah Reza Pahlavi became the new leader.
Meanwhile, the Soviet Union did the same thing.
Its Committee for State Security (Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti, or K.G.B.) organized clandestine opposition groups to destabilize pro-western countries.
The K.G.B., with the help of Fidel Castro, created the National Liberation Army of Columbia (FARC) in 1964.
The K.G.B., with the help of Ernesto "Che" Guevara, created the National Liberation Army of Bolivia (ELN) in 1964.
The K.G.B., with the help of Yasir Arafat, the Egyptian-born nephew of Mufti Amin al-Husseini, created the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964.
In 1968, the K.G.B. created the "liberation theology" to promote a progressive Marxist social justice agenda of class-warfare to destabilize western democracies.
U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy hosted a party attended by six married men and six single women on Chappaquiddick near Martha's Vineyard.
Kennedy left the party with one of the women, Mary Jo Kopechne.
The next morning she was found dead in Senator Kennedy's submerged car.
Spiro Agnew became the second Vice President in U.S. history to resign when confronted with charges of extortion, tax fraud, bribery, and conspiracy.
1979 IRAN HOSTAGE CRISES
The Shah of Iran reportedly refused to renew a 25-year-old exclusive oil agreement with BP.
At the same time, the Cold War with the U.S.S.R. was growing tense.
Jimmy Carter's National Security Council, headed by Zbigniew Brzezinski, debated a plan that if the Shah was abandoned and Ayatollah Khomeini took power, that it would be major obstacle to the Soviet Union's expansionist plans.
Reagan thought Carter's actions were misguided, stating:
“I did criticize the President because of his undermining of our stalwart ally, the Shah.”
Disregarding his promises of setting up a democratic government, the Ayatollah took Iran in a fundamentalist direction and crushed all opposition.
He then held captive 52 American hostages for 444 days.
During the Cold War, President Ronald Reagan's administration was in a scandal of a different sort.
As the Soviet Union was destabilizing countries around the world, spreading socialism and enslaving millions of people, plans were made to oppose them which would cost the United States taxpayer nothing.
It involved selling arms to anti-Soviet forces in Iran in exchange for them releasing more U.S. hostages, then, use the money from the sale to help Contra freedom fighters stop Soviet-backed forces from taking over Nicaragua.
Democrats in Congress and the left-wing media vehemently opposed this.
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1989 KEATING FIVE
Five U.S. Senators were accused of corruption:
- Alan Cranston,
- Dennis DeConcini,
- John Glenn,
- Don Riegle, and
- John McCain.
It was discovered that Charles Keating had donated substantially to each of the Senators' campaigns.
Correspondingly, the senators had intervened to end a regulatory investigation into Charles Keating's Lincoln Savings & Loan, which had collapsed, defrauding bondholders and taxpayers of $3 billion.
1998 MONICA LEWINSKY
President Clinton had an illicit relationship with Monica Lewinsky, whose friend, Linda Trip, convinced her to keep a stained dress as protection to keep her from being added to the Clinton body count list, a collection of names of deceased former Clinton associates.
Attempting to cover up the affair, Clinton was impeached for perjury and obstruction of justice.
The list of accidental deaths and suspicious suicides associated with certain high-profile politicians and political parties circulated the Internet, with seemingly dismissive explanations by the main stream media:
Vince Foster, Joe Montano, Carlos Ghigliotti, Charles Wilbourne Miller, Charles Ruff, Ron Brown, Daniel Dutko, Gareth Williams, Victor Thorn, etc.
'Clinton death list': 33 spine-tingling cases
(Editor's note: This list was originally published in August 2016 and has gone viral on the web. WND is running it again as American voters cast their ballots for the nation's next president on Election Day.) How many people do you personally know who have died mysteriously? How about in plane crashes or car wrecks? Bizarre suicides? People beaten…