Brain Dropping #49
How to make a citizen’s arrest. In the U.S. civilians are empowered to stop perpetrators in the act of a serious crime and use reasonable force to hold them until an officer of the law arrives on the scene. But what if an officer of the law is the criminal? I’m talking about Attorney General Eric Holder, the chief law enforcement officer of the United States, who is guilty of both malfeasance – “improper or illegal behavior” – and dereliction of duty – ” failure to do your duty.” I would love to place him under arrest for aiding and abetting banker crooks to cheat and steal and never, ever go to jail. Is a citizen’s arrest of the Attorney General an absurd idea? Of course it is, but we live in an absurd world, and I can dream can’t I? To paraphrase Cole Porter: “The world has gone mad today / good’s bad today / black’s white today / day’s night today / and those guy’s today / voter’s prize today / are just bought off corporate gigolos.
Yes, Eric Holder in the nineties, was a corporate gigolo working for the law firm of Covington & Burling among whose clients were Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Citigroup, the very crooks Mr. Holder let off the hook when he became Attorney General. In 1999, when Eric Holder was a little known official in the Bill Clinton White House, he distributed an infamous memo which cited “collateral consequences” as a reason for not prosecuting the crimes of financial institutions “to big to fail.”Collateral consequences” meaning the loss of jobs, creating a downward movement on the New York Stock Exchange, generally destabilizing the economy. It was the philosophical underpinning for a Wall Street “get-out-of-jail” card.
And Mr. Holder was as good as his word as Attorney General. We are all no doubt familiar with HSBC (Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking corporation) the largest bank in Europe. These guys were caught red-handed laundering billions for the major Mexican and Latin American drug cartels. We’re talking about profit from the sale of tons of weed, cocaine and heroin, not just a few ounces for which a black brother could spend decades in prison. They were in cahoots to the extent of designing special metal cash boxes which were thin enough to slide under the bank teller’s cage. It was open and shut – including imprudent e-mails which implicated the honchos way at the top of the pecking order.
Despite overwhelming evidence of criminality, Mr. Holder’s Justice Department maintained a policy of DP – deferred prosecution where the bank paid a fine and no one went to jail, but were essentially on probation. Astoundingly, Eric Holder put in place NP – no prosecution – instead a fine was levied, which was usually a miniscule percentage of the bank’s loot. Shockingly, there were more prosecutions for financial fraud under George W. Bush than the Obama administration. This is more than a miscarriage of justice. It represents the institutionalizing of a two tiered system of law, one for the rich and one more draconian and brutal for the rest of us, particularly if we are black. That is one reason we have six million people in the prison system, two million incarcerated and four million on probation, making it the largest gulag in the history of the world.
Much of this information comes from Matt Taibbi’s scathing book “The Divide – American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap.”