Saturday, April 17, 2010


Booman: Accountability Now
First Goldman Sachs, now Blackwater:

Federal prosecutors charged the former president of Blackwater Worldwide and four other former senior company officials on Friday with weapons violations and making false statements in the first criminal inquiry to reach into the top management ranks of the private security company.

The executives were some of the closest advisers to Blackwater’s founder, Erik Prince, and helped him steer the company during its swift rise to become the leading contractor providing security for American diplomats in Iraq and Afghanistan, working for the State Department, the C.I.A. and the Pentagon.

Okay, I am going to admit that I thought both Goldman Sachs and Blackwater were effectively untouchable. One has all the money and the other has all the guns. So, color me impressed by today's news. A little bit more of this and I'll have to start reconsidering my biggest gripe with the Obama administration.

Booman: Things Heating Up for CIA Officials

Something is going to go down soon with regard to the destroyed torture tapes. People don't get granted immunity for no reason. It doesn't look too likely that Porter Goss is going to go down for it, but it's not out of the question. However, this may be a reprise of the Plame case where the prosecutor finds it too difficult to prosecute the underlying crime and instead opts to nail people for perjury. And I have no way of telling who lied to the prosecutor or the FBI and whether they might get caught for those lies.

It would be nice, however, to see someone very high up get a taste of prison life for their involvement in torture. That would be the least we should expect.

John Cole: You Call That a Defense?

Yesterday, I errantly stated the following:

The message is clear- you torture people and then destroy the evidence, and you get off without so much as a sternly worded letter.

If you are a whistle blower outlining criminal behavior by the government, you get prosecuted.

I was running under the assumption that the leaks Drake was accused of making were the NYT/wiretapping stuff. It turns out it was this:

But the description applies to articles written by Siobhan Gorman, then a reporter for The Baltimore Sun, that examined in detail the failings of several major N.S.A. programs, costing billions of dollars, using computers to collect and sort electronic intelligence. The efforts were plagued with technical flaws and cost overruns.

Commenter Stuck says the following:

This is mismanagement, and has nothing to do with civil liberties as such. Second, as I stated in my first comment, GG, an experienced lawyer uses the term “Whitleblower” a legal term for people who follow whistle blower laws. This guy leaked classified info to a reporter just like Libby with Plame, and as far as we know, didn’t go to congress first and follow the law. That may sound like splitting hairs, but it would be another kettle of fish if Obama was prosecuting an actual Whistleblower, or punishing them in any way, as opposed to prosecuting a guy who broke his oath and the law, and was too stupid to cover his tracks.

That’s the defense? This is even worse- they are now throwing the full weight of the government into the prosecution of a man who… embarrassed them.

I simply don’t understand why people do not see the problem here. We are told we have to move forward, and we can not look backward, and we have to ignore the criminal and immoral behavior of those who served in roles in the last administration for the good of the country. We have to overlook illegal and secretive wiretapping, we have to overlook the institution of a torture regime, it would be wrong to go back and prosecute those leaders who engaged in all of these things, lied to Congress, and covered up their behavior.

On the other hand, some guy who embarrassed us? Fuck him- we’ll go after him with guns a blazing. No concerns about looking backward there. No need to move forward on this one. We’ll bring the whole weight of the government down on this guy.

Mind you- I have no problem prosecuting leakers. None. My problem is the disparate application of “justice.” The powerful and the elites consistently avoid any scrutiny or face any prosecution for their crimes and misdeeds, but those lower down the rung are vigorously prosecuted. Had there been a widespread effort to investigate and prosecute the crimes of the Bush administration, I would have said nothing about Drake. It is the inconsistent application of the law that infuriates me.

How many days in court or jail did the people who codified into policy what happened at Abu Ghraib spend? None? Yet Charles Graner is still rotting in jail? Few bad apples, dontcha know!

Banksters rob billions, military contracters rob billions, and on and on and on, and nothing is done. But the little guys get this:

A homeless man robbed a Louisiana bank and took a $100 bill. After feeling remorseful, he surrendered to police the next day. The judge sentenced him to 15 years in prison.

Roy Brown, 54, robbed the Capital One bank in Shreveport, Louisiana in December 2007. He approached the teller with one of his hands under his jacket and told her that it was a robbery.

I just don’t get how anyone can support the prosecution of Drake when no one else has been held accountable for their behavior during the Bush years.

Blue Texan: Beltway Democratic Consultants’ Brilliant Advice to Obama: To Win in 2010, Govern Like a Teabagger

If Douglas E. Schoen and Patrick H. Caddell hadn’t identified themselves as “Democratic pollsters,” I would’ve thought their op-ed — which is about how Obama and the Democrats can avoid a “bloodbath” in November — was a first-rate piece of concern-trolling by someone like Karl Rove or Glenn Reynolds.

Because that’s exactly the way it reads.

To turn a corner, Democrats need to start embracing an agenda that speaks to the broad concerns of the American electorate. It should be somewhat familiar: It is the agenda that is driving the Tea Party movement and one that has the capacity to motivate a broadly based segment of the electorate.

Yeah, Obama should really heed those Teabaggers, that hugely unpopular movement teeming with angry right-wingers who hate socialism but love entitlements, who oppose big government unless it benefits them, who wrongly believe taxes have gone up, think Obama’s not a US citizen, who run bestiality-loving bigots for major offices — and who love George W. Bush and worship at the altar of Sarah Palin.

Yes, by all means — embrace their completely incomprehensible, wingnutty agenda Mr. President. Victory will be yours!

They [Democrats] must adopt an agenda aimed at reducing the debt, with an emphasis on tax cuts, while implementing carefully crafted initiatives to stimulate and encourage job creation. This is the agenda that largely motivated the Clinton administration from 1995 through 2000 and that led to a balanced budget and welfare reform.

Reducing the debt through tax cuts. Fucking genius.

And by the way, that agenda that the Clinton administration pursued from 1995-2000 really did wonders for the Democratic Party, didn’t it? Do these guys remember 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004?

If you wonder why too many Democrats in Washington still completely suck, it’s because there are still guys like these two assclowns running around getting paid to advise them.

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