Monday, March 9, 2009

Week of 03/09/2009

Is Brokered Justice Broken Justice?
– by David Matthews 2

There is a very sad and disturbing trait showing up with the Obama Administration, and it’s one that people should pay close attention to.

Federal prosecutors are supposedly working out a plea deal with suspected Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff that would bypass a grand jury and involve pleading guilty. He has already waived the grand jury, so the guilty plea is usually the next step.

Let’s recap here for a minute… this is the guy that supposedly was given $50 billion to invest, and instead of doing that, he was accused of keeping the money. And nobody asked any questions about it because of WHO he was and who his friends were. This is, after all, the former chairman of NASDAQ! He should KNOW better, right? RIGHT? Especially after EIGHT separate investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission! You would think at some point he would be saying “Gee, maybe I should be INVESTING some of this money that I have just sitting around.”

But, no, instead he gets house arrest… and by “house” I mean electronic surveillance in his $7 million penthouse in Manhattan. Shades of Martha Stewart, anyone?

There have supposedly been some sticking points with any kind of plea deal, though. The $7mil penthouse is supposedly off the table. Ditto for some $62 million that Madoff claims wasn’t involved and actually is owned by the wife separately. That leaves maybe $1 billion that prosecutors can TRY to recover on behalf of the victims, some of whom were investing in this supposed scheme for DECADES. That’s 1/50th of the amount stolen.

Oh but don’t worry, the judge overseeing this says that any kind of plea deal will STILL involve having the victims face the guilty party in court. And the people can recover SOME of their money thanks to a private securities investment insurance fund… as long as it’s under $500,000 per person.

Let’s recap here… up to $50 billion stolen over a period of several decades. Maybe $1 billion could be recovered directly from Mr. Madoff, and another $500K per person could be retrieved from an insurance fund. Madoff would keep his posh home along with a few million… you can probably forget about any prison time, even at ultra-light Club Fed. And all of it in exchange for, what? An opportunity for Madoff’s victims to calmly and politely tell him how he ruined their lives and destroyed their finances? Does that sound like any kind of reasonable measure of justice? This was one of the contributing factors behind the financial meltdown these past few months, and everyone is supposed to accept him saying “My bad”?

But that’s not the only kind of deal wiggled out from the Obama Administration.

Quite recently we had the “breaking news” come in across the cable news services that, after numerous months of outright refusals, former Bush Imperium players Karl Rove and Harriet Meyers would be testifying to Congress about their suspected involvement in the firings of federal prosecutors for purely political reasons (which, by the way, is against federal law). This comes after TWO YEARS of stonewalling and out-and-out refusing to answer subpoenas.

Two years of thumbing their noses at any measure of accountability, testing the legal limits of executive privilege, suddenly these two inner circle players have changed course and have agreed to answer questions. Why? A sudden and miraculous change of conscience for two tried-and-true diehard Imperium cheerleaders? Unlikely.

No, their sudden concession came after some serious deal-making between them, members of Congress investigating the Imperium, and key members of the Obama Administration.

And all of this wouldn’t be done out of the “goodness” of anyone’s hearts, so you can probably guess the kind of concessions that would have to be made. For instance, no contempt charges. (These two did, after all, ignore a federal subpoena, which is against the law.) There probably were a few more promises of no criminal charges for the information they provide. Just give out the details, answer the questions, and then move on, and if anyone was harmed in the process, too bad. Nothing personal, it’s just politics.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Does anyone find it the least bit coincidental that the Obama Administration would suddenly be airing all of the dirty little secrets of the Bush Imperium at the same time as Congress changes its tune regarding its investigations into the Imperium’s actions? Gone is any talk of indictments or charges of illegal activities. Now we have talk of a “Truth and Reconciliation Committee”, with the only supposed purpose being to get at “THE TRUTH”.

Has anyone noticed a marked absence of any mention of JUSTICE when it comes to the Obama Administration?

Someone steals $50 billion over a period of several decades. There is gross ineptitude from the agency that is supposed to monitor the system to prevent this from happening. And THE MOST that people can expect to get in return is a FRACTION of what they invest and an opportunity to politely tell the person directly responsible for stealing their money how hurt they are by it.

Gross breaches of trust are made, abuses of government power discovered, and nobody is punished for it. No charges filed, no prison time served, and if there is any harm done, those harmed would be lucky to just get an apology.

Let’s get brutally honest here… what we are seeing happen is a gross INJUSTICE on society! Crimes are being committed, and the people behind them are being allowed to get away with those crimes in exchange for providing “the truth” about what happened.

That’s not justice! That’s called AIDING AND ABETTING A CRIMINAL!

If I were to rob my neighbors over the span of several years, sell all the things that I stole from them, and live comfortably off the money that I get from those stolen things, and I’m finally caught, would my neighbors be content with me just explaining how I stole from them and give them the change in my pocket? That’s essentially what federal prosecutors are looking to do with Bernard Madoff. He is essentially being allowed to get away with what he did in exchange for him not drawing out any kind of criminal trial and exposing the gross ineptitude by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Even worse is what the Democrats, along with those in the Obama Administration, are planning on doing with the crimes and sins of the Bush Imperium. Before the 2006 mid-term elections they wanted impeachment hearings and subpoenas, and more importantly they wanted JUSTICE to be served. But once they got into positions of power, all of a sudden all of that talk became muted. Now they don’t want justice. Now they just want “the truth”. And if anyone WAS harmed by the actions of the Imperium? Well it’s a crying shame but at least they know that “THE TRUTH” is out, and isn’t that more important?

The Obama Administration is doing this nation a HUGE disservice by brokering deals for those at the top of the food chain. Every time they do, they abandon the concept of “justice for all” and instead embrace the continual accusation that there IS a double-standard when it comes to the rich and powerful. That’s certainly not the kind of standard that the Obama Administration would want to be publicly associated with.

There are three elements to a successful crime. The first is planning it. The second is carrying it out. And the third is getting away with it. As long as criminals in positions of power can broker some sort of deal to escape justice, then they will ALWAYS get away with their crimes.

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