In an interview released today by Digg and the Wall Street Journal, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was pressured about the growing popular movement to Audit the Fed spearheaded by Texas Congressman Ron Paul. A visibly uncomfortable Geithner attempts to dismiss the question by stating "I'm sure people understand that you want to keep politics out of monetary policy." When Geithner is again pressed on the issue, he makes the stunning assertion that conducting an audit of the Federal Reserve—something never before done in its 96 year history—is a "line that we don't want to cross," proclaiming that such a move would be "problematic for the country." Watch the interview in the player below:
Geithner's response that auditing the Fed would give politicians dangerous control over American monetary policy is mistaken at best and a deliberate lie at worst. Allowing the public to know what happened to their $24 trillion in bailout money does not give undue control of monetary policy to the people's elected representatives. Instead, such an audit would finally allow the public to see how their money has been spent in the midst of the largest spending binge in the history of the world's economy, hardly an unreasonable demand given the well-documented revolving door between the Treasury and Goldman Sachs, the main recipient of bailout funds. Ultimately, the Treasury Secretary is left spewing the absurdity that "I think even the sponsor of that bill recognizes how important it is to us to have the Fed independent of politics," which can only be said to be true insofar as Ron Paul—the sponsor of House Resolution (HR) 1207— wants to abolish the Federal Reserve system altogether.
That the Wall Street Journal would even pressure the Treasury Secretary on serious issues like the Audit the Fed movement may be surprising, given that the Wall Street Journal is a mouthpiece of the financial oligarchy and that editor Paul Gigot, like Geithner himself, is a Bilderberg attendee. Needless to say, this was not a typical inside-the-beltway interview. Instead, questions were submitted and voted on by the Digg community, with the top 10 questions being posed to Mr. Geithner.
As a result, the Secretary was bombarded by pointed questions about his documented tax evasion from 2001-2004, the wisdom of spending trillions of dollars in the light of long-term dollar devaluation and even, in the words of one particularly irate questioner, "Why are you running the Treasury Department?" Despite presumably having had time to prepare responses to each question well in advance, Geithner is still visibly discomfited by the entire exchange, picking at his shirt cuff and coughing nervously throughout the interview.
In one particularly telling moment, Geithner even admits "We have been forced to do just extraordinary things and, frankly, offensive things to help save the economy."
That these questions are only being asked now, almost a year into the bailout and several months after the new administration has taken office, further highlights how the controlled corporate media is doing everything in its power to keep to well-trodden and uncontroversial areas in their interviewing of key administration officials. This interview is testimony to the power of the citizen journalism movement that is attempting to hold those in power accountable for their actions. We can only hope that the Obama Administration lives up to their promise to be the "cyber" administration by allowing more such question-and-answer sessions in the future.