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Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:40 PM

HSBC, Too Big to Jail, and the US Two-Tiered Justice System

Greenwald spells out the situation.



HSBC, Too Big to Jail, and the US Two-Tiered Justice System

by Glenn Greenwald
The Guardian Dec. 12, 2012

The US is the world's largest prison state, imprisoning more of its citizens than any nation on earth, both in absolute numbers and proportionally. It imprisons people for longer periods of time, more mercilessly, and for more trivial transgressions than any nation in the west. This sprawling penal state has been constructed over decades, by both political parties, and it punishes the poor and racial minorities at overwhelmingly disproportionate rates.

But not everyone is subjected to that system of penal harshness. It all changes radically when the nation's most powerful actors are caught breaking the law. With few exceptions, they are gifted not merely with leniency, but full-scale immunity from criminal punishment. Thus have the most egregious crimes of the last decade been fully shielded from prosecution when committed by those with the greatest political and economic power: the construction of a worldwide torture regime, spying on Americans' communications without the warrants required by criminal law by government agencies and the telecom industry, an aggressive war launched on false pretenses, and massive, systemic financial fraud in the banking and credit industry that triggered the 2008 financial crisis.

This two-tiered justice system was the subject of my last book, "With Liberty and Justice for Some", and what was most striking to me as I traced the recent history of this phenomenon is how explicit it has become. Obviously, those with money and power always enjoyed substantial advantages in the US justice system, but lip service was at least always paid to the core precept of the rule of law: that - regardless of power, position and prestige - all stand equal before the blindness of Lady Justice.

It really is the case that this principle is now not only routinely violated, as was always true, but explicitly repudiated, right out in the open. It is commonplace to hear US elites unblinkingly insisting that those who become sufficiently important and influential are - and should be - immunized from the system of criminal punishment to which everyone else is subjected.

CONTINUED...

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/12/12-4

Jobs. That's rich!

21 replies, 1384 views

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Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
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Arrow 21 replies Author Time Post
Reply HSBC, Too Big to Jail, and the US Two-Tiered Justice System (Original post)
Octafish Dec 2012 OP
upi402 Dec 2012 #1
Octafish Dec 2012 #5
Taverner Dec 2012 #2
Octafish Dec 2012 #7
newfie11 Dec 2012 #3
Octafish Dec 2012 #9
newfie11 Dec 2012 #21
upi402 Dec 2012 #4
Octafish Dec 2012 #11
banned from Kos Dec 2012 #6
Prometheus Bound Dec 2012 #10
socialist_n_TN Dec 2012 #12
Octafish Dec 2012 #14
RainDog Dec 2012 #8
socialist_n_TN Dec 2012 #13
whatchamacallit Dec 2012 #15
H2O Man Dec 2012 #16
upi402 Dec 2012 #17
peasant one Dec 2012 #18
HCE SuiGeneris Dec 2012 #19
Trillo Dec 2012 #20

Response to Octafish (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:41 PM

1. Finally!

I logged on here to look for this.
Thanks!

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Response to upi402 (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:09 PM

5. Hey, upi402! Greenwald's the fellow who wants to send Bush and Cronies to prison.

Last edited Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:02 PM - Edit history (1)

Here's why he thinks they are war criminals.



Not too many braver human beings around.

PS: You are most welcome, my Friend!

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:42 PM

2. Nixon = Gangster nt

 

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Response to Taverner (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:21 PM

7. Agree Totally. The other guy wuz his Boss, Prescott Bush.



A very colorful character.



Unafraid to take unpopular positions.



Knew the finest people, like Baron Rothschild, f'r instance. Odd, considering who he hung out with before the war.


Kid and grandkid are special, too.



Knowwhaddimean?

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:44 PM

3. K&R

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #3)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:24 PM

9. America's Descent Into Darkness -- Slouching Towards Nuremberg?



Something else the presstitutes of Corporate McPravda dare not mention:



America's Descent Into Darkness

Slouching Towards Nuremberg?

by MORRIS BERMAN
CounterPunch
July 25, 2012

Strange things are happening in the United States these days, and every day seems to bring additional scary news. The similarity to the erosion of civil liberties in Germany during the 1930s is a bit too close for comfort. Many will regard this statement as hyperbole, and, to some extent, it is. But let’s take a close look at what is going on before we dismiss the comparison out of hand.

SNIP...

It is no accident that Chris Hedges entitled a recent article “First They Come for the Muslims” (see below, Item IV). God forbid something like that might happen in the U.S., but the signs of a gradual slide towards Nuremberg, and concomitant citizen apathy, are very much present in the current political milieu. Let’s have a look at what has been going on in the decade since 9/11. I’m going to discuss the following topics:

I. The creation of a political climate in which the police are out of control, arbitrarily free to intimidate anyone for virtually anything

II. The persecution of whistleblowers, protesters, and dissenters

III. The dramatic expansion of the surveillance of American citizens on the part of the National Security Agency (NSA)

IV. The corruption of the judicial system by means of show trials of Muslim activists

V. The construction of political detention centers, also known as Communication Management Units (CMU’s)

VI. The shredding of the Bill of Rights by means of the National Defense Authorization Act

VII. Future scenarios: The “disappearing” of intellectual critics of the U.S. government?


SNIP...

VII. Future scenarios: The “disappearing” of intellectual critics of the U.S. government?

This leads me to my final point. The distinctive characteristic of American democracy, from 1776, was the protection of the individual and the preservation of individual rights. That no longer exists. Anyone is a potential terrorist now; anyone can be persecuted, prosecuted, and in effect, destroyed. Democracy is only possible if dissent is not only permitted, but also respected. This too is finished. What does this mean for someone such as myself?, is something I lay awake nights thinking about. I have published three books, and half a collection of essays, showing where we have gone wrong, predicting our eventual collapse—indeed, this repression is part of that collapse—and arguing that the U.S. no longer has a moral compass; that it is spiritually bankrupt. I run a blog that is anything but polite: it says the U.S. is finished; that it is essentially a corporate plutocracy, run by a gangster elite; that the American people are basically morons, with little more than fried rice in their heads; and that anyone with half a brain and the means to do so should emigrate before it’s too late. I’m not really a threat to the U.S. government, largely because I am not a political activist and because it’s not likely that more than 74 people out of 311 million regularly read my blog (it’s probably more like 24, in fact). But as the definition of terrorism widens in this country, what is to prevent the creation of a category known as “intellectual terrorism” from arising, and putting folks like myself in that category? What is to prevent the government from calling such activity a clear and present danger to national security? As must be obvious by now, the government can do anything it wants to; as in Nazi Germany, we now have a government of men, not of laws. Indeed, the “laws” are little more than a pretext for whatever the government wishes to do.

CONTINUED...

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/07/25/slouching-towards-nuremberg/



Is this America when the place acts like its run by NAZIs with boatloads of money?

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Response to Octafish (Reply #9)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 06:28 AM

21. thanks I just put this on my facebook page

for all the good it will do. The masses in this country are like sheep and believe only FOX news.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 08:59 PM

4. I had a city official say something to me today

that was disgusting.
He said his inmates need heat or they cry 'torture'.
I said, yes - it is.

The prison industrial complex has no place in civil society.

edit: kick!

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Response to upi402 (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:31 PM

11. What you said. I wonder how many of our officials have heard of Gov. Don Siegelman?

Their in-boxes so jammed full of urgent business, with fund raising and all, it's hard to find time to learn stuff. And the tee vee never talks about it. So, it's up to DU.

Remember when the awful John Yoo said it's OK to crush a child's testicles?

And people wonder where nutjobs interested in mutilating a talented teen heartthrob get their ideas.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:18 PM

6. Who do you want to nab at HSBC?

 

The execs in London?

Go for it.

Prosecutors here have no chance. The best they can do is some mid-level NYC account manager.


$1.9 billion hurt the execs the only place they care about.

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Response to banned from Kos (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:30 PM

10. That wasn't the reason given by Breuer

His reasons were that there were just too many of them, it was the system was at fault, and many of them were no longer with the bank.

Ridiculous reasons when you think about it.

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Response to banned from Kos (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:36 PM

12. Yeah, I agree about the fine..........

My question is why not both? Fine AND imprisonment. That's what I'd get.

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Response to banned from Kos (Reply #6)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:38 PM

14. $22 Billion in Profits for HSBC in 2011. Less than $2 Billion in Fines for MONEY LAUNDERING.

People get their lives ruined for bouncing a check and these money laundering banksters from the UK get away, scot-free.



Slap on the wrist for drug dealer's bank

Justice Department outlines HSBC transactions with drug traffickers

By Peter Finn and Sari Horwitz
Washington Post, Tuesday, December 11, 6:18 PM

Mexico’s fearsome Sinaloa Cartel was so practiced at laundering millions of dollars in drug profits at the Mexican branches of the global bank HSBC that it packed bulk cash in boxes that were measured to slide neatly under the teller windows.

The Justice Department’s record $1.9 billion settlement Tuesday with HSBC exposed the continuing ability of drug cartels, rogue nations and terrorist financiers to move billions of dollars through the international and U.S. banking systems.

SNIP...

But a string of august names in global banking — Credit Suisse, Lloyds Bank, ABN Amro, ING Bank N.V. and now HSBC — have reached settlements in the last couple of years with the U.S. government for billions of dollars in tainted transactions. These investigations have revealed that weaknesses in the financial system lay not with the so-called hawala brokers of Karachi, Pakistan, but the bespoke bankers of London, Amsterdam and Geneva, and their American affiliates.

SNIP...

One of the world’s largest banks, HSBC has its headquarters in London and $2.5 trillion in assets. It earned nearly $22 billion in profits in 2011.

CONTINUED...

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/justice-department-outlines-hsbc-transactions-with-drug-traffickers/2012/12/11/1b8130c4-43bf-11e2-8061-253bccfc7532_story.html



Does anyone at Justice remember integrity? Close them down, sell off every asset that can be liquidated, then take away every red cent from every last board member and exec and then shut them down for good is the least we should do.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:37 PM

13. This kind of shit is why I'm a commie.....

At least I know what side I'm on unlike the "Justice" department.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:40 PM

15. It makes me sick to be an American

Holder is just another corrupt POS fixer in our sham government.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 09:44 PM

16. Recommended.

You are a gem. As always, thanks for what you do.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:24 PM

17. What? Why worry?

Hillary's hair is a real issue.
Isn't there a missing white girl we can post about?

And this can't happen in America without good reason anyhow.


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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 10:30 PM

18. I've always wondered why this isn't discrimination against the poor

Seems it would make some sense that prisons should have roughly equal numbers of inhabitants from all social strata. If not, then society is not truly "protecting us" from the crimes of the wealthy (which, imho, are legion).

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 12:25 AM

19. Another hearty K and R.

Thank you, Octafish.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Fri Dec 14, 2012, 01:34 AM

20. I can really resonate to this. Greenwald is a great writer, at least I think so.

It is so totally unfair, a few who can do no wrong, and the rest of us told nearly everyday how worthless we are, how we didn't work hard enough, how we aren't smart enough, how we need more education blah blah blah.

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