Diana West

These are staggering revelations. (Watch them yourself here.) Given their sudden appearance out of the blue, you have to wonder, first, could they possibly be true? If so, why weren't we the people told about this $550 billion electronic run on the banks? And why haven't we heard a word of it since? Even since Kanjorski spoke on C-SPAN last month, there has been scant MSM coverage. The story's biggest exposure came when Rush Limbaugh played the audio and analyzed it on the air this week. Otherwise, the story has been little more than blogfodder, appearing at places such as Politico.com and the Economist blog with little comment. Writing at Portfolio.com this week, Felix Salmon quite decisively dismissed the whole story as "fiction."

Is it? If what Kanjorski says is "fiction," Americans, particularly Americans in Kanjorski's 11th district of Pennsylvania, need to know. After all, this isn't a story that just goes away on its own, particularly not when Paul Kanjorski is chairman of the Capital Markets Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee. Of course, incredible as Kanjorski's revelations were, almost equally incredible was the interviewer's failure to ask the next obvious question of national interest: Who or what was responsible for that electronic run on the banks "to the tune of $550 billion"?

That's where Limbaugh went with the story. "Now, let's assume for a second here that elements of this are true," Limbaugh said of Kanjorski's statement. "Let's assume that there was a $550 billion ... electronic run on the banks and money market accounts in one to two hours. The question is who was doing this? Who was withdrawing all this money? And the next question is why? That's where my mind starts exploding, and this is dangerous to have these explosions going this way. Could it have been George Soros? Could it have been a consortium of countries -- Russia, China, Venezuela -- countries that are eager to have Barack Obama elected because they know that will make it easier for them to continue their own foreign policies in the world?"

I've heard serious people float similar theories regarding financial attacks on our economy emanating from the Middle East, but again, who knows?

One thing we do know is that former President Bush made extremely cryptic public statements regarding the stability of our markets at this time in question last September, statements noted by Accuracy in Media's Cliff Kincaid. These began with a Sept. 18 Bush announcement that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was stepping up its enforcement action "against illegal market manipulation." As Kincaid wondered, manipulation "by whom or what? The President didn't say." On Sept. 19, President Bush further announced that the SEC had "launched rigorous enforcement actions to detect fraud and manipulation in the market. Anyone engaging in illegal financial transactions will be caught and persecuted (sic -- good ol' W.)." Again, what was Bush talking about?

On that same day, Kincaid reports, "the SEC announced a `sweeping expansion of its ongoing investigation into possible market manipulation in the securities of certain financial institutions.'" Why? What was going on? If ever there was a vital, compelling reason for congressional hearings, Kanjorski's "electronic run on the banks" story is it.


Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).