Posts tagged Justice Department
This is Chuck Todd, NBC’s political news director saying this.
Even a fiat currency and the casino game of fractional reserve standards are not enough to cover the never ending greed. Banks use your deposited money plus imaginary reserve policy funds to make bad bets, and lose. But who really lost? The banks get bailed out by Washington D.C. criminals, you get foreclosed on and then you are responsible for the cost of the bailout.
Part 1 of 4. To view complete please follow the link provided above. Bernie Madoff and other smaller fish got constant mainstream media coverage while the big ponzi scheme rolls along with white glove treatment, as it seems only the Wall Street thieves approved by D.C. are officially too big to fail.
Your thoughts appreciated below.
“HSBC will pay $1.9 billion to settle a money-laundering probe by U.S. federal and state authorities, reports CBS News. The financial institution was in violation of the Bank Secrecy Act and the Trading With the Enemy Act.
The U.S. probe found transfers of billions of dollars on behalf of nations such as Iran, which is under international sanctions, and is often believed to funnel money to such groups as Hamas. There were also transfers through HSBC’s U.S. division by Mexican drug cartels.”*
There’s a two-tier justice system in America. Need proof? Bankers for HSBC were found guilty of laundering billions of dollars for drug cartels and groups linked to al-Qaeda. Their punishment? Pay a small portion of their billions of profit, and defer bonuses. Stephanie George received a life sentence without parole in 1997 because her boyfriend stashed half a kilogram of cocaine in her home and she had a couple of previous small-time drug deal on her record. Cenk Uygur breaks down this ridiculous disparity of justice between the rich and the poor, explaining why we need to change the system.
As President Obama insists on a speedy end to the war in Afghanistan, his administration has other plans. A facility owned by the private security force once known as Blackwater has been awarded a $22 million contract to house US troops through 2015.
The private military company Academi — formerly Blackwater and, more recently, Xe — is the proud winner of a no-bid contract that will keep them profiting off Uncle Sam’s wars for the next few years. Under a deal first reported by Wired.com’s Danger Room, Academi will assist the recently created US Special Operations Joint Task Force–Afghanistan with housing facilities and office space on their massive 10-acre compound in Kabul named Camp Integrity.
According to Danger Room reporter Spencer Ackerman, Academi won the rights to lease Camp Integrity to the special ops team through May 2015, providing accommodations for some 7,000 elite troops.
By Ben Protess
Federal prosecutors in New York sued Bank of America on Wednesday, accusing it of carrying out a mortgage scheme that defrauded the government during the depths of the financial crisis.
In a civil complaint that seeks to collect $1 billion from the bank, the Justice Department took aim at a home loan program known as the “hustle,” a venture that has become emblematic of the risk-fueled mortgage bubble. The complaint adds to a flurry of federal and private lawsuits facing Bank of America’s beleaguered mortgage business.
Bank of America inherited the “hustle” home loan program with its purchase of Countrywide Financial in 2008. Prosecutors say the effort, kept alive by Bank of America through 2009, was intended to churn out mortgages at a rapid pace without proper checks on wrongdoing. The bank then sold the “defective” loans without warning to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-controlled housing giants, which were stuck with heavy losses and a glut of foreclosed properties.
Yet again, the Congress, courts, executive branch and the establishment media work together to protect the nation’s most powerful actors
So pervasive and reliable is the rule of elite immunity – even in the face of the most egregious crimes – that one finds extreme examples on a weekly basis. Six weeks ago, the Obama justice department forever precluded the possibility of criminal accountability for Bush torturers by refusing to bring charges in the only two remaining torture cases, ones involving the deaths of the detainee-victims by torture.
The Obama campaign is now running a new campaign ad against Mitt Romney that rails against a litany of Wall Street “criminals” and “gluttons of greed”, but as David Dayen astutely notes, those examples were all imprisoned during the Bush era because the Obama administration has prosecuted no significant Wall Street executives for the 2008 financial collapseand thus have none of their own examples to highlight:
“So the Obama campaign could not fill a list of three Wall Street criminals that the Obama Justice Department actually sent to jail. Heck, they couldn’t fill a list of one!
“This is despite Eric Holder telling students at Columbia University in February of this year that his Justice Department’s record of success on fighting financial fraud crimes ‘has been nothing less than historic.’ But not historic enough that his boss could point to, well, one Wall Street criminal behind bars as a result of DoJ’s actions.
That’s painfully telling. Nobody from Bank of America or Wells Fargo or Citigroup or JPMorgan Chase or Goldman Sachs or Bear Stearns or Morgan Stanley or Merrill Lynch or even Countrywide or Ameriquest was available to stand in as a ‘glutton of greed’ in this advertisement. Literally no major figure responsible for the financial crisis has gone to jail. So the campaign has to use two CEOs from a decade-old accounting scandal, and a garden-variety Ponzi schemer.”
And now, the US supreme court just consecrated one of the most corrupt acts of the US government over the past decade: its vesting of retroactive legal immunity in the nation’s telecom giants after they had been caught red-handed violating multiple US eavesdropping laws. Just as the Obama DOJ forever precluded any legal accountability for Bush-era torturers, the supreme court on Tuesday forever precluded any legal accountability for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and other telecoms for their crucial participation in the illegal Bush NSA warrantless eavesdropping program (the Obama DOJ, needless to say, supported the position of the telecoms).
When the New York Times revealed on 16 December 2005 that the Bush administration was spying on the telephone calls and emails of American citizens without the warrants required by the criminal law, it exposed lawbreaking not only by government officials but also by the nation’s largest telecoms. Multiple laws were in place at the time imposing both criminal and civil liability on telecoms for enabling government spying on the communications of their customers without warrants or other legal authority, and that is exactly what these telecoms did. One former AT&T employee, Mark Klein, publicly described how AT&T had even built a separate room with no purpose but to permit the National Security Agency unfettered access to all of its customers’ communications.
By Kurt Nimmo
House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa has confirmed that wiretap applications reveal in-depth detail on the Fast and Furious operation, including evidence showing that “agents were well aware that large sums of money were being used to purchase a large number of firearms, many of which were flowing across the border.”
Roll Call reports today that Issa released details concerning the wiretaps in the House. His disclosure is protected by the Speech or Debate Clause in the Constitution, which offers immunity for Congressional speech on the floor.
According to Darrell Issa’s letter sent to Maryland Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings on May 24, not only did ATF officials know about the purchases, they oversaw activity by straw purchasers and ended their surveillance without interdicting the guns.
“Although ATF was aware of these facts, no one was arrested, and ATF failed to even approach the straw purchasers,” Issa’s letter states. “Upon learning these details through its review of this wiretap affidavit, senior Justice Department officials had a duty to stop this operation. Further, failure to do so was a violation of Justice Department policy.”
As we noted on June 22, Obama lied to the American people on March 23, 2011, when he said that neither he nor Attorney General Holder authorized the effort to arm the drug cartels in Mexico. Several weeks later, on May 3, Holder lied to Congress. He said he did not know who approved Fast and Furious. He also lied when he said he “probably heard about Fast and Furious for the first time over the last few weeks.”
Issa talks about contempt and criminal case against Holder.
On Thursday, House Republicans held Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress. The House made the historic move after Holder refused to divulge additional documents on the gun-running operation and Obama invoked executive privilege in an attempt to block the request for more information.
By Agence France-Presse
A key Republican lawmaker released a draft resolution Thursday accusing US Attorney General Eric Holder of contempt of Congress for allegedly failing to cooperate with a probe into a botched government effort to track arms flows into Mexico.
Darrell Issa, head of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that last year probed the arms scandal, said the Justice Department as a whole was guilty of refusing to cooperate with congressional investigations of the Operation Fast and Furious, but singled out Holder.
Holder has faced Republican calls for his resignation and the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), a division of the Justice Department, has been in the spotlight since the failure of the program, originally intended to build cases against Mexican gang members.
From 2009 to 2010, ATF agents knowingly allowed cartels to purchase about 2,000 assault weapons in the United States, and then sought to trace those weapons to crime scenes in Mexico.
But most of the weapons were never traced, while two of them showed up at the scene of the murder of a US border patrol agent, which led to the program’s suspension.
Issa said the draft resolution and an accompanying briefing paper describes “the Justice Department’s refusal to cooperate — including the hardships the family of a fallen Border Patrol agent have faced in seeking the truth, and retaliation against agents who blew the whistle on gunwalking.”
Holder denies knowing anything about the operation before February 2011.
A vote has not yet been scheduled on the resolution.
By TIM MAK
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Republican lawmakers are demanding to know why one of the main gun trafficking suspects in the Fast and Furious operation was released after being interrogated by an ATF agent in 2010.
Manuel Fabian Celis-Acosta was not arrested until February 2011, another eight months after he was first questioned, over which time five straw purchasers the ATF knew to be working with Celis-Acosta illegally acquired more than 284 weapons, say Rep. Darell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Oversight Committee, and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in a joint letter.
Grassley and Issa demand in their Monday letter to Holder that the Justice Department brief their two committees on why Celis-Acosta was not arrested on the scene in 2010. The two Republicans request that the briefing take place no later than March 26.
Issa and Grassley also asked Holder why a document describing his interrogation and the fact that Celis-Acosta lied to the ATF agent about having ammunition in his vehicle when he was stopped wasn’t previously provided under a subpoena issued last year that requested documents related to Fast and Furious.
“This May 2010 stop was yet another opportunity to apprehend Acosta, put him in jail and most importantly, take him out of commission as a trafficker. The ATF case agent with responsibility for Fast and Furious was on the scene and allowed the trafficking network’s ringleader to leave him a free man,” Becca Watkins, a spokesperson for Issa, told POLITICO. “This new information, obtained by the committee late last week, is further evidence that Fast and Furious, from its inception, was a reckless program that permitted guns and criminals to endanger the public.”
From the start of the Fast and Furious operation, Celis-Acosta was the main target for the ATF, according to the L.A. Times, which first broke the story that he was let go. It remains unclear why he was not arrested at the scene of his May 2010 interview with an ATF agent.
According to a ATF “Report of Investigation” obtained by POLITICO, Celis-Acosta was stopped heading into Mexico from Arizona on May 29, 2010.
Despite his claim that he had no ammunition in his BMW, a Customs and Border Patrol Officer found an AK-type high-capacity drum magazine holding 74 rounds of 7.62 ammunition underneath the spare tire in Celis-Acosta’s trunk.
Later, after the Customs and Border Patrol officers learned that Celis-Acosta was under investigation for firearms trafficking, ATF Special Agent Hope MacAllister arrived at the scene to question him.
After an interview, the special agent wrote her contact information on a 10 dollar bill, and Celis-Acosta promised to cooperate with federal agents and call her upon his return from Mexico. He was then allowed to go free.
The Fast and Furious operation attempted to investigate drug cartels and weapons traffickers but instead ended up supplying them with weapons. Investigators lost thousands of firearms, many of which crossed the border into Mexico. The program drew public attention when firearms linked to the program were found to be involved in the December 2010 shooting death of U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.
One of many related posts:
By Rick Oltman
The federal government’s assault on sovereignty continues with the Justice Department blocking a new law in Texas that requires voters to show a photo ID at the polls. One lame-stream-media outlet reported it was because the Texas law disproportionately harms “Hispanic residents.”
Residents? Not, citizens? BTW, no harm was proven, only imagined.
In a letter received by Texas Director of Elections Keith Ingram on March 12th, Assistant Attorney General Thomas E. Perez says, “…the Attorney general must determine whether the submitting authority has met its burden of showing that the proposed changes have neither the purpose nor the effect of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race or color or membership in a language minority group.”
This is nonsense, of course. It is 2012 and anyone who thinks that a state or any local government agency would seek to deny voting rights based on race or color is either a fool or a liar or has another agenda.
The letter goes on to repeatedly enumerate the racial breakdown of the Texas population and voter groups.
Nowhere in the letter does the Justice Department refer to “citizens,” only ethnic groups.