Many observers of our atrocious legal system, among them the writer Masaccio, have detailed the recent story of the resignation of SEC chief prosecutor Lanny Breuer. Breuer resigned after the airing of a Frontline documentary in which he stated he had no evidence of Wall Street bank fraud, at the same time that the SEC was being approached by whistleblowers with evidence of … bank fraud (my emphasis below).
Lanny Breuer is out as head of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, according to the Washington Post. After his ratlike performance on Frontline (transcript here) it won’t be long before we find him at some creepy New York or DC law firm defending his best friends, the banks and their sleazy employees. His legacy is simple: too big to fail banks can’t possibly commit crimes, so minor civil fines and false promises of reform are punishment enough.
But wait, there’s more. In the following discussion with Ed Schultz, trail lawyer and radio host Mike Papantonio lays the dead cat not just at Breuer’s door, but at AG Eric Holder’s as well (not to mention his boss Barack Obama’s). Ultimately this is a story of Dem corruption by Wall Street, and both Papantonio and Schultz are not afraid to say so. Watch:
Noteworthy comments from the discussion:
Papantonio: “People make decisions to commit crimes, not corporations” (2:50 in the clip).
On the possibility of a “deal between the Obama administration and Wall Street” — stunning revelations (3:00 in the clip).
“Eric Holder was making the calls, not Lanny Breuer” (3:50).
Eric Holder’s background as a defender of corporate and banking clients and “it starts at the top” (4:15).
For fun, you can read more about Lanny Breuer’s non-prosecution of drug-money laundering here.
There are many possible take-aways, including the fledgling anti-Obama motif coming from the MSNBC choir. But note especially this — that while Lanny Breuer is worried about excessive prosecution having excessive consequences — for fraudulent Wall Street banks — the over-zealous prosecutors in the Aaron Swartz case (detailed here) had no such qualms. In effect, they killed him knowing he was a suicide risk. In fact; they thought that his vulnerability gave them added leverage, and they used it.
So what’s the take-away? In this country, it’s now firmly established:
There’s one law for the Rich, another for the Rest.
The United States has already crossed the line about Rule of Law — there is no rule of law for the rich. We’ve detailed that before, especially, but not exclusively, in the Jon Corzine case. But this juxtaposition — the non-prosecution of Wall Street bank fraud, the aggressive prosecution of citizen activist Aaron Swartz and his “transgressions” against owners of intellectual property — could not be a more perfect proof that rule of law is a thing of the past. These are diametrical identical situations, with diametrical opposite policies applied to them.
Ask yourself, if Aaron Swartz had been Mark Zuckerberg, would he have been prosecuted?
Again: One law for the Rich, another for the Rest. The Rich and the Rest, the tale of our times. That’s what we’re fighting, folks, in whatever manifestation you choose to look at it. And the coming climate catastrophe, which will soon make all the rest moot, is no different.
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