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Glenn Greenwald On “America’s Lawless Elite”

From Watergate to Gitmo to Occupy, we’ll hear from Salon’s Glenn Greenwald on what he calls the rise of an American “lawless elite.”

Protesters during an Occupy Chicago march and protest at Grant Park in Chicago, early Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011. (AP)

Protesters during an Occupy Chicago march and protest at Grant Park in Chicago, early Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011. (AP)

Glenn Greenwald studied law and spent ten years as a litigator in federal and state courts across the country. Now he’s a big two-fisted progressive blogger and columnist for Salon.com. And he’s out with a blistering critique of what has happened to American law. We’ve stopped applying it to everyone, says Greenwald.

We’ve carved out an exemption for Americans in the halls of power. We’ve created what Greenwald calls a “lawless elite” that is running roughshod over our economy and national policy. Over American law.

This hour On Point: Glenn Greenwald, and liberty and justice for some.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Glenn Greenwald, columnist and blogger for Salon, writing on politics and legal issues. He’s the author of: “With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful.”

From Tom’s Reading List

Salon “As I wrote on the morning after bin Laden’s death, this gleeful reaction was understandable given the slaughter Americans witnessed on 9/11. But there was still something notable, and troubling, about this episode.”

The Washington Post “In the days before a CIA drone strike killed al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki last month, his 16-year-old son ran away from the family home in Yemen’s capital of Sanaa to try to find him, relatives say. When he, too, was killed in a U.S. airstrike Friday, the Awlaki family decided to speak out for the first time since the attacks.”

Excerpt

3. TOO BIG TO JAIL

In July 2010, Martin Joel Erzinger, a hedge fund manager for extremely wealthy investors at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, was driving his car near Vail, Colorado, when he hit a bicyclist from behind and then sped away. The Vail Daily reported that the victim, Steven Milo, suffered “spinal cord injuries, bleeding from his brain and damage to his knee and scapula,” which left him facing multiple surgeries. The newspaper’s account of the incident makes clear that Erzinger should have been prosecuted for this incident.

Milo was bicycling eastbound on Highway 6 just east of Miller Ranch Road, when Erzinger allegedly hit him with the black 2010 Mercedes Benz sedan he was driving. Erzinger fled the scene and was arrested later, police say.

Erzinger allegedly veered onto the side of the road and hit Milo from behind. Milo was thrown to the pavement, while Erzinger struck a culvert and kept driving, according to court documents.

Erzinger drove all the way through Avon, the town’s roundabouts, under I-70 and stopped in the Pizza Hut parking lot where he called the Mercedes auto assistance service to report damage to his vehicle, and asked that his car be towed, records show. He did not ask for law enforcement assistance, according to court records.

Committing a hit- and- run is a felony in Colorado, and leaving the scene of a crime constitutes a felony as well. Nevertheless, the district attorney, Mark Hurlbert, announced that Erzinger would be charged only with a misdemeanor, which carries no jail time. Hurlbert’s explanation for not charging Erzinger with any felonies was blunt: “Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger’s profession.”

In other words, Erzinger engages in such vital activity that charging him with a felony would be wrong because it might seriously disrupt his work: managing the money of multimillionaires and billionaires. According to Worth magazine, Erzinger “oversees over $1 billion in assets for ultra high net worth individuals, their families and foundations.” If he were charged with a felony, he would be required to report that fact to licensing agencies; a felony conviction could result in his fund manager license being rescinded. Apparently, as far as the district attorney was concerned, it would be terribly unfair to subject someone like Erzinger to the risk of damaging his career, though presumably someone with less to lose could— and would— be charged as a felon without any such worries.

Hurlbert added that Erzinger’s willingness to pay restitution to his victim also militated against prosecuting him: “The money has never been a priority for [the victim]. It is for us. Justice in this case includes restitution and the ability to pay it.” As Felix Salmon of Reuters put it, the Erzinger case was thus a classic demonstration of how to “buy your way out of a felony charge.” But it was also more than that. Hurlbert’s decision was grounded in what has become a well-entrenched principle: certain individuals are simply too important to be subjected to criminal prosecution.

Once the Erzinger case was publicized by the talk radio host David Sirota and by Colorado newspapers, there was a public uproar. More than ten thousand local residents signed petitions demanding the fi ling of felony charges, to no avail. And although the incident eventually attracted significant attention, Hurlbert’s logic is notable precisely because it is so common. Indeed, the same type of immunity from legal consequences is continuously granted to the financially powerful on a much larger and more consequential scale.

The shielding of the Colorado hedge fund manager illustrates how reflexively exemption from the rule of law is now bestowed on the nation’s wealthiest, and it highlights the means used to accomplish that. Even the massive recklessness and fraud that in 2008 spawned one of the worst financial crises in modern history has produced very little legal accountability— and almost no criminal liability— for the perpetrators so far, and is quite unlikely to do so in the future. Nor have the 2010 revelations of systematic industry- wide fraud by mortgage- holding banks prompted anything besides efforts by the political class to protect that plundering industry. And to justify this lack of accountability for the nation’s wealthiest lawbreakers, the all- too- familiar excuses long used to shield the politically powerful are trotted out on cue. Once again, we are told that prosecutions are too disruptive; that it’s more important to fix the system than to seek retribution for the past; that because the wrongdoers’ reputation is in tatters, they have already suffered enough; that we need the goodwill of financial titans to ensure our common prosperity; and so on.

The granting of immunity to the telecoms after the Bush wiretapping program was a travesty because corporate giants were able so flagrantly to purchase retroactive exemption from the rule of law. But the steadfast refusal to hold financial elites accountable for the 2008 financial crisis and 2010 mortgage fraud scandal represents a whole new level of lawlessness. As disgraceful as the telecom amnesty was, at least it was given by an act of Congress and thus had some legal pretense to it. By contrast, in protecting Wall Street, the executive branch simply violated its core constitutional duty: to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed.” Moreover, while the immunized telecoms had broken the law in conjunction with government programs, the crimes for which Wall Street barons are being protected are purely private ones. Worse still, the scope of these financial crimes is so vast, and the suffering they have caused so deep and enduring, that the refusal to impose any consequences on the culprits proves the near-absolute nature of this elite lawbreaking license. It is now clear that there are virtually no limits on the magnitude of the crimes that the nation’s most powerful private actors can commit with impunity.

from WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR SOME/Glenn Greenwald

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  • JLS

    I wish you would write about the immunity from legal consequences normally afforded to local police in America today. They can beat, taze, torture and even kill with almost no consequences in most cases. Again that’s another example of justice being perverted. One standard for societies’ elites and another for the commoners.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FQ6WFCPYIBSZKI3662KRUKOIFI cpocraig

      The police in America have more immunity than this guy.

  • Yar

    I had not heard of this case, I did a Google search and came up with this:
    But there’s more. Erzinger’s lawyer now claims that his client may have also have been affected by “new-car fumes.” John Koziol of Koziol Forensic, an “accident reconstructionist” working for the accused, said he examined the month-old Mercedes-Benz and observed that it was emitting “new-car fumes.”http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1052577_sleeping-rich-guy-says-new-car-fumes-made-him-hit-cyclistThe district attorney, Mark Hurlbert said Thursday that, in part, this case is about the money.“The money has never been a priority for them. It is for us,” Hurlbert said. “Justice in this case includes restitution and the ability to pay it.”Hurlbert said Erzinger is willing to take responsibility and pay restitution.“Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger’s profession, and that entered into it,” Hurlbert said. “When you’re talking about restitution, you don’t want to take away his ability to pay.”http://www.vaildaily.com/article/20101104/NEWS/101109939Hurlbert seems to think putting this “felon” in jail and taking everything he has would be a disservice to Milo.  This is the very reason I don’t think we should use the death penalty, our justice system is neither fair nor equal.

    I wonder what other damage Mr. Erzinger has caused.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FQ6WFCPYIBSZKI3662KRUKOIFI cpocraig

      I wonder if the 2% has more monetary advantage than the rest of us? This non-case of breaking the law sure says such is now the case (no pun intended).

    • Joss444

      Yep it’s that new car smell.  I knew that it was carcinogenic and always sort of liked the fact that people who only drive new cars are exposing themselves to all those free radicals that are outgassing during the first months of owning a new car. Even if they get a by on the cancer it still gives them wrinkles, and makes them pay for extra plastic surgery.

    • Anonymous

      My guess is the money he has on hand would go a long way to paying damages, but with injuries that serious he’ll probably need care for life. How much was the driver ordered to pay and for how long?

  • CORY

    Imagine if you will…

    1.  An opponent many times wealthier than you.  In fact, an opponent hundreds of times wealthier than you.

    2.  That this adversary has friends and relatives who are also hundreds of times wealthier than you.

    3.  that this individual can afford the best legal council money can buy, and can heavily influence politicians with financial contributions.

    4.  an individual that can travel the world freely to the point of being beyond national borders.

    5.  that this individual is NOT satisfied with the advantages he or she already hold over you.  This individual is driven to widen the considerable gap between the two of you, and wants you to pay for the widening.

    6.  finally that both major political parties protect this individual.  One openly and the other covertly.

    Welcome to America.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FQ6WFCPYIBSZKI3662KRUKOIFI cpocraig

      Why should that person of wealth be satisfied with what advantage they already hold when they can have more?

      • Hidan

        True that,

        Just look how many CEO’s,WS Bankers, Hedge Fund Managers,etc run/appointed for/to office.

      • CORY

        Morality, ethics, altruism, modesty, humility, religion, compassion…….

    • HumadaHumadaHumada

      You are talking about billionaires and they are not hundreds of times wealthier than you, they are millions of times wealthier than you, unless you are a millionaire, then they are thousands of times wealthier than you, but lots of people are broke or near broke and you can take billions of those people and they are infinitely wealthier than them all put together.  Even though it is obviously everyone else’s wealth that they somehow ended up with. I wonder how that happened? Maybe we should ask a policeman, or a judge, or write your congressman.  Surely they know.

    • Steve

      Imagine a populace too pre-occupied/distracted with (?) to care until the enslavement is complete. 

      • CORY

        You are right, revolutions don’t normally occur on full stomachs.  I was at the grocery store yesterday and a box of generic mac&cheese sells for $1.39 now.  Empty bellies might not be that far away.

    • Dave in CT

      Sounds like you’re ready for a Tea Party against a ruling class that doesn’t allow your representation, and re-instating the Rule of Law.  Or did you want Communism?

      Plan that would get broad support, not further divide the country:
      1) Disavow Central Management/Socialism/Communism for the U.S.
      2) Work for the re-establishment of a Rule of Law that holds unaccountable elites accountable.

      We need to start really talking about how to get the Rule of Law working again.

      80%+ in the country must be able to see who is “guilty”, from corrupted politicians to scheming Wall St Bankers.

      We need a mechanism to put these guys on trial for criminal intent, corrupt intent, market rigging intent, etc etc, and a jury-style trial that lets regular people judge whether ill-intent was there, and be able to convict.

      We need to start going over nuts and bolts.

      • TFRX

        Or a Tea Party that isn’t full of bigots, racists, xenophobes, and sexists.

        Which phone booth shall they meet in?

        • Dave in CT

          ?

          You’re a useless joke in these honest conversations.

          • TFRX

            Likewise, I’m sure.

      • Terry Tree Tree

        TEA Party is helping MANY of these criminals get into office, and is being funded by criminal polluters!!
             What good can we expect from TEA Party??

  • Drew You Too

    Can’t believe they’re running the Cain life, politics, future dribble in the first hour rather than this. I can’t get hour 2 on the radio where I am. I’ll have to wait till tomorrow afternoon and listen to the podcast.     :’(

    • Nancy

      You can listen live on line too.

      • Drew You Too

        Thanks guys, I’ve been listening carefully. I was aware of the live links but I enjoy listening on the radio more. Guess I’m nostalgic. This really should have been Hour 1.

    • Hidan

      You can listen hear as well,
      http://www.cpbn.org/

      It runs both hours.

  • Jacob Arnon

    Greenwald is a sanctimonious hypocrite. He is much more privileged than   99 percent of the people.

  • JusticeUnderLaw

    What’s a billion dollars worth?

    Your reputation, your integrity, your future, your soul…

    Most people would say, ‘yes’.

    That’s the problem…

    People.

    Greed.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Alas, I offered my soul to the Devil, but the Devil wasn’t buying.

      • CORY

        Selling your soul to the devil is fairly similar to a reverse mortgage.  I wouldn’t advise it.

    • HeyThereHiThereHoThere27

      If you count one number each second, twenty four hours a day, you could:
      count to a million in 11.57 days
      count to a billion in 31.71 years
      count to a trillion in 31,709.79 years

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_VDH4GYJMIUFU373W3XUQVD2V4E Patrick

    The most important thing is the OWS isn’t co-opted by the corrupt Democrats (the party of Dodd and Schumer, of Wall St and Endless War).  OWS is bigger than we think and it should be turned into a new party, like Jack Layton’s in Canada.  A new party with simple demands based around direct democracy.

    • HeyThereHiThereHoThere27

      Well those people at AmericaVotes.org claim to be on the ballot in every state.  Seems like a marriage with OWS to form a new party would be a natural. Then they can merge with the Nader people and really have something that is too smart to be co-opted.

    • Wes, Cambridge, MA

      There is no need to start a new party. The Green Party already supports direct democracy and the Green Party supports holding Wall Street criminals accountable for their crimes and regulating Wall Street Corporations. Jill Stein is running as presidential candidate for the Green Party. Listen to what she has to say. See if you agree with her, like I do.

      Jill Stein at Occupy Boston
      http://youtu.be/lnPvgeZG_2Y

      Jill Stein for President Announcement Speech
      http://youtu.be/obQ51NP4DZc

      • Anonymous

        If you live in a swing state don’t vote for her.  Nader helped elect Bush.  Gore wasn’t perfect but he would have been so much better than Bush. 

        • nj

          Not this crap again. Gore helped elect Bush by running a lame campaign.

          More Florida Democrats voted for Bush than for Nader. Give it a rest.

          • Anonymous

            Gore did run a lame campaign, but the Nader voters were a factor.

        • Wes, Cambridge, MA

          Is Obama really better than Bush? In many ways Obama has continued the Bush Doctrine and even expanded it in some ways. As Glenn says, Obama has exempted the Bush administration and the corporate elites from prosecution.

          • Anonymous

            I’m quite unhappy with him but he is still much better.  His Supreme Court Justices aren’t extreme conservatives.  He ended Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.  His stimulous was too small but prevented a depression.  Health Care is flawed but a good first step.  He is winding down Iraq.  He got Bin Laden. 

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            I’d like a genuine conservative appointee to the Supreme Court who knows how the word, person, has been used over time.

          • http://www.jobwaltz.com JobWaltz.com

            You buy into the MSM propaganda. Start reading Democracy Now.

      • nj

        The U.S. Green Party seems hopelessly ineffectual.

        • Wes, Cambridge, MA

          If you want the Green Party to succeed in its mission, how about getting involved and supporting it yourself. Every supporter brings us closer to the goal of a better world. You are not going the goal by throwing up your hands in dismay. There is no time like the present for a Green New Deal.

          • nj

            I did vote for Stein in the last Mass. gov. election.

  • Hidan

    Nice,

    He’s the only won calling out what obama’s been doing with the P.A., WPA, Cracking down on leakers, Killing a 16yr American in Yemen,complete silences on U.S. supported brutal and backwards Despots and still Blind support for racist and bigoted Israel even know it’s against our National interest and does more harm than good.

    Glenn also talked about how such people like Howard Dean, West Clark can promote the PKK(and get paid to do so) even know it’s now against the law to do so.

  • Hidan

    Glenn also pointed out (while the WH was trying to hail a deal with all 50 states to settle with the banks as a triumph) Why NY was not going along with the deal and wanted to actually take some WS crocks down or at least present some type of Deterrent. The WH choose to pressure all types of groups to stop this attorney from doing such and accepting the settlement offer(banks deny any wrong doing and write a check to the states).  

  • Dee

    Too big to fail and Too Big to be sent to jail must all be broken up.  

    There is no keeping a system that serves The Koch Bros and their cohorts,  plus the contractors in The Defense Industry, and those
    in Big Oil, Big Phram, and Big Agra. See the URL below…Dee

    The Great Consolidation of Power , New York Times
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/17/opinion/17douthat.html

    And the greed that brought us into Afghanistan today….
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/20/opinion/20collier.html

  • Matthew

    While knocking a few 1%’ers off their pedestals isn’t a bad thing, the focus needs to be on how “the system” is used to keep the 99% in jails, in ignorance and in poverty.  

    We should begin with repealing the Harrison Act (our WAR on drugs).It’s a completely unjust (and racist) set of rules used for a profit prison system that operates like a sausage mill.It’s not the debt, government regulations or Obamacare that is the root of this injustice.  What Glenn seems to have stumbled on is the water flowing beneath it all.  It’s the system that causes the 1% and 99% schism.  It’s the LAW.Matthew

  • spikethedog

    What?
    Rich people getting special treatment?
    We’re shocked x 2.
    Wait till the Roman Senate hears about this.

  • Long Time On Point Listener

    U.S. DRONE STRIKE KILLS 78 IN SOMALIA.
    http://www.presstv.ir/detail/204501.html

    Let’s start with our War-Monger-in-Chief, President Obama, who ordered this barbarous act.

    The U.S. carries out atrocities like this and somehow the U.S. feels that it has the moral authority to accuse Libya, Syria and Iran of ‘state-sponsored terrorism’?

    Whether you want to admit it or not, the U.S. is a sponsor of state terrorism and it’s being directed from the CIA, NSA, the Pentagon, the State Department, and the White House, whom history has shown, are never punished for their crimes.

    • CORY

      Yeah, but we’re righteous…  aren’t we?  American Exceptionalism, right?

      • Dave in CT

        Cory, you know your sarcastic fact and fiction mixing does absolutely nothing to build a coalition for real change. Do you know what American Exceptionalism really means? Or is it just something you can twist an hit people over the head with?

        Do you really deny, that the American Experiment, in the history of the world, has not been a bright spot, and been attractive to people all over the globe?

        If people really are America-haters, there are still plenty of communist, socialist, autocratic, dictatorial, or completely Law-less places for you do go live, if you prefer such systems.

        Can you guys EVER make a POSITIVE case for the concept of freedom and liberty and individual empowerment?

        Why are you afraid to do that? Do the DNC talking points say never use the words liberty or freedom? Don’t want to get people’s hopes up?

        • Birdwatcher1

          Good grief, when will right wingers stop calling progressives America haters and stop telling us to move to another country the minute we suggest policies or offer opinions that are not in line with their ultra-conservative views. Study American history before you speak, Dave. Views expressed today, in 2011, by the republican party are so far to the right of anything we’ve seen before in the history of this country (especially compared to your Ronald Reagan). A lot of ideas expressed by the democratic party are far more in line with our history. Talk about doing nothing to build a coalition for change??? Telling people to get out of their own country? You have GOT to be kidding. Freedom does not mean complete lack of responsibility to your fellow American. We have a social contract to uphold in this country, as in all developed countries. 

          • Dave in CT

            The point is that you guys bring on the “America-Hater” crap with your own inability to ever say a positive thing about the American Experiment.

            I’m not defending or a proponent of the Republican Party, and am confident I have held as Progressive values in the recent past as you have.

            I just cannot stomach the knee-jerk Democratic party support, and bashing of the liberty concept, by so-called “progressives”, that does nothing but justify the Barney Franks and Bill Clintons of this world that in the long run, DO NOT serve their progressive ideas.  

            Bankruptcy and lack of liberty are not a fair trade for a shot at an unattainable utopia.

            Financial Sanity and Liberty, are NOT at odds with Progressive Values.  Sustainable ones at least.

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Do you NOT see the contradictions in your post??

          • Dave in CT

            What contradictions!?

            The contradictions you apparently see, are what is holding this country back from finding some common ground and moving forward toward a Rule of Law society.

            You will NOT turn 1/2 the country into DNC Democrats.

          • nj

            Dave is confused yet again. Calling America out on its problems, faults, inequities, imperialism, etc. is now “hating America.”

            Man, this is getting tiresome.

        • CORY

          So much of this depends on perspective.  Cuba has lower infant motality and higher literacy than the US.  They send doctors to impoverished nations to provide humanitarian aid.  Cuba is considered a bad guy with an immoral and bankrupt system.  You use the word twisting, right?  It is all perspective.

          I despise the concept of American Exceptionalism.  I believe it is the height of arrogance, and has been used over time excuse some really bad behavior.  American revolution, French revolution, Russian revolution, Cuban revolution…  All began with noble intentions, but I resist the idea that any of them possess some sort of untouchable purity or corner the market on goodness. 

          • Dave in CT

            Ok. The U.S. model is no more exceptional than Stalin’s rule. You win.

            Who’s saying its “pure” or “cornered”?

          • Terry Tree Tree

            Elitist Immunity in the U.S., is very much Stalin-like!!

          • Four Elements

            I am embarrassed by American “Exceptionalism”. It sounds just like Christian Exceptionalism. Deep down, every American knows that this country was founded upon a collosal act of theft and violation…combined with the highest ideals of personal liberty. Talk about national schizophrenia!

        • nj

          I love the way “socialist” gets lumped in with “dictatorial” and “Law-less” [sic]. And Dave wants to talk about building coalitions.

        • Terry Tree Tree

          I have NEVER seen Cory advance communist, socialst, autocratic, dictatorial, or lawlessness!   He, I, and a lot of others speak out against the attempts to enforce such in the U.S., and America.
               Did the TEA Party’s Scott Walker cut the salaries and perqs of the Governor, and the State Legislature?  Or, did they cut the abilities of teachers and public employees, who were NOT wealthy at the start, AND use crony capitalism to reward their financial backers???

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      You’re a single-topic commentator, I see.  Do you oppose military action in general or only when it’s against Somalis?

    • Terry Tree Tree

      Start with the former WAR-Monger-In-Chief, and his criminal administration, and I’m with you.  I am NOT defending the Obama Administration, just want to start with the worst, that started it!

  • United Banana of America.

    If you consider innocent people being executed while the guy at the top walks away from murder I think it’s time for us to admit we are a modern-day banana republic. The interesting thing about this is corporate media never exposes it and an average citizen from our  so-called great democracy would never be able to bring this up in a presidential debate.

    • CORY

      Love the name!

  • Ehelmrich

    And it’s generally the elite that is pushing same sex marriage and abortion, which many oppose.

    • Anonymous

      The most recent polls show majority support for equal marriage rights and the only group still against it in large numbers are the elderly.  Most people support reproductive rights (to varying degrees). 

    • CORY

      Huh?  Are you sure?

    • Birdwatcher1

      And even more support. Check your facts.

    • Anonymous

      I know a lot of people who oppose same sex marriage and abortion.  Some are nice people, some are not.  Some are rich, some poor; some well-meaning, some creeps; some people of integrity, some not; some whose priority is concern for others’ needs, some who give little thought to those needs.

      The people I tend to avoid are those who are so convinced that their beliefs are the only valid beliefs.  I much prefer people who say things like “I don’t believe in abortion and wouldn’t have one, but I’d never try to prevent another person having that choice.”

      • Anonymous

        I much prefer people who say things like “I don’t believe in abortion and wouldn’t have one, but I’d never try to prevent another person having that choice.”  — Those people are pro choice. 

        I’m sure there were “nice people” who opposed letting blacks and whites marry, but that doesn’t make them not bigots.

  • Anonymous

    Go, Glenn!

  • Anonymous

    Not only was George Bush not prosecuted for war crimes, no US network covered the filing of a lawsuit in Canada by four men who claim that they were tortured during the Bush administration and who are seeking the former president’s arrest and prosecution.

    http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/10/20/v-print/127890/at-canadian-economics-summit-bush.html

    Waterboarding is a war crime. Bush admitted authorizing it:

    After World War II, we convicted several Japanese soldiers for waterboarding American and Allied prisoners of war. At the trial of his captors, then-Lt. Chase J. Nielsen, one of the 1942 Army Air Forces officers who flew in the Doolittle Raid and was captured by the Japanese, testified: “I was given several types of torture. . . . I was given what they call the water cure.” He was asked what he felt when the Japanese soldiers poured the water. “Well, I felt more or less like I was drowning,” he replied, “just gasping between life and death.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/11/02/AR2007110201170.html

    In new memoir, Bush makes clear he approved use of waterboarding
    In his book, titled “Decision Points,” Bush recounts being asked by the CIA whether it could proceed with waterboarding Mohammed, who Bush said was suspected of knowing about still-pending terrorist plots against the United States. Bush writes that his reply was “Damn right” and states that he would make the same decision again to save lives, according to a someone close to Bush who has read the book.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/03/AR2010110308082.html

    • CORY

      No American president will ever be prosecuted for something like this.  Asking the US govt to turn over a president for prosecution is like asking the class bully to voluntarily wear a dress.  We are far too righteous and “exceptional” for this sort of humility.

  • Dave in CT

    I hope this case against an elite, will focus on both Corporate and Government, and on both Political Parties.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      I AGREE WITH YOU ON THIS!!  Rewarding BAD behavior, ENCOURAGES BAD BEHAVIOR!!

      • Dave in CT

        We’ll get there…..

  • john in danvers

    Glenn is terrific.

    I just wish he could write like Hemingway…

  • Matthew

    What is important isn’t what we can’t do to the elite 1% but what we can do for the rest — the 99%.  We have to FIX a system that keeps people from achieving their dreams.  We must re-examine how laws are applied to make the world more JUST.

    Matthew

  • AC

    is it possible to see a complete copy of the ruling in the case cited from the book? if so, can the staff add a link somewhere? i’m interested in the details. thanks.

  • Dave in CT

    Tom,  Please be sure to keep the fact that Too Big to Fail, or Jail for that matter, would never have been possible without Democratic Party Help.

    Clinton-era Financial Deregulation, Community Reinvestment Act, and Fannie Mae.

    Rubin, Summers, James Johnson, etc etc.

    The case against the GOP is too easy.

    Thanks.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      THANKS for the “The case  against the GOP is too easy.” !!
          I AGREE that criminals are in control of BOTH major political parties! 
          I have objected when someone rails against the current Administration, while apparently ignoring the crimes of the ‘W’ administration, or praising them!!

  • Geogruven

    The occupy movement is part of the elite?   Hmmm, can’t wait to hear this!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paolo-Caruso/1778940602 Paolo Caruso

    Hit and run accidents???    How about world wars and colossal govt endorsed financial swindles?    The elites have always been lawless.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    Hmm. CEOs and hedge fund managers avoiding jail time because they are too “important to society” huh? Sounds like Capitalism run amok to me. Laissez Faire gone wild. Sounds like…China! My god! We’re all turning into communist-capitalist-facist-exceptionalists!!

  • Bill

    All one has to do to avoid the law is commit crimes for a large publicly  owned business. The worst that happens is the corporation gets fined, reducing crime to business opportunities for the corporation.

    Prior to the crash of 2008 and after, time and again, thousands of people working in corporations have broken laws. However, since they did this for the corporations they work for, they have been given de facto immunity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Brown/1227104716 Tim Brown

     
    We also need to look at how the power of the wealthy elite affects our rights as regular citizens. Bring automatic weapons to a rally protesting against a plan that could hurt corporate profits, you get a friendly nod from the police. Camp out to promote changes that might hurt corporate profits, you have police sweeping into you camp in the dead of night firing rubber bullets, tear gas, and flash bang grenades at you. I think the politics of wealth has everything to do with the disproportionate police responses we’ve seen the past month.

    • at

      First of all, nobody brought automatic weapons to a rally. They brought semi-automatic weapons. But beside that, and that sort of erks me as much as the seeming inability of anyone working at Public Radio to understand that assault weapons must be an automatic weapon not just a semi that looks like one.  Ok — just wishing they would get that straight after thirty years and still waiting.

      I suggest that people in the OWS start to openly carry firearms, that are legal to carry in the jurisdiction they are in.  I would like to see the police abusing peaceful armed demonstrators. yeah right

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        It’s not legal to carry a firearm without a license in New York City, one of my chief objections to that jurisdiction.  I am glad to see someone else who actually knows what an assault weapon is.

      • at

        Sorry I forgot that the police in New York may shoot you like fifty times if you even openly carry a cell-phone.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          They’re taught to shoot until the threat is down.  One Glock magazine, loaded with seventeen rounds, times three officers equals fifty some shots.  They also had to use full-metal jacket rounds at the time.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Brown/1227104716 Tim Brown

        Ok my mistake, although I was under the impression that pre-ban automatic weapons were still totally legal aside from state/municipal bans, so I thought you could still carry thouse around in many places. To be honest I’ve only owned one gun my entire life so I don’t really know about to laws.

        As for OWS carrying guns, I know in NYC at least that you can’t carry around a firearm in public.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          Automatic is an old term for a self-loading firearm.  It’s also used for a fully automatic weapon–a machine gun.  Most citizens don’t have a Class III firearms license, and thereby can’t legally own a fully automatic weapon.  The current term for what we generally can own is semiautomatic.  There are a variety of civilian-legal versions of military carbines, but again, those are all semiautos.  Also, the assault weapons ban (wrongly named, but what are you going to do?) has expired, thank goodness.

        • at

          If you are a law abiding citizen and can pass a background check pay the tax stamp, you can buy a stamp that allows you to buy a particular automatic weapon that was manufactured before 1986.  That is the only way you can legally own an automatic firearm.  Because of this law, firearms that were originally sold for a few hundred dollars are now bringing tens of thousands and as such may as well be completely illegal. 

          Since 1934, there appear to have been at least two homicides committed
          with legally owned automatic weapons.

          One was a murder committed by a law enforcement officer (as opposed to a
          civilian). On September 15th, 1988, a 13-year veteran of the Dayton,
          Ohio police department, Patrolman Roger Waller, then 32,
          used his fully automatic MAC-11 .380 caliber submachine gun to kill a
          police informant, 52-year-old Lawrence Hileman. Patrolman Waller
          pleaded guilty in 1990, and he and an accomplice were sentenced to 18
          years in prison. The 1986 ‘ban’ on sales of new machine guns does
          not apply to purchases by law enforcement or government agencies.

          It has been unlawful since 1934 (The National Firearms Act) for
          civilians to own machine guns without special permission from the U.S.
          Treasury Department.

          Machine guns are subject to a $200 tax every time their ownership
          changes from one federally registered owner to another, and each new
          weapon is subject to a manufacturing tax when it is made, and it
          must be registered with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and
          Explosives (ATF) in its National Firearms Registry.

          To become a registered owner, a complete FBI background investigation is
          conducted, checking for any criminal history or tendencies toward
          violence, and an application must be submitted to the ATF including two
          sets of fingerprints, a recent photo, a sworn affidavit that transfer of
          the NFA firearm is of “reasonable necessity,” and that sale to and
          possession of the weapon by the applicant “would be
          consistent with public safety.” The application form also requires the
          signature of a chief law enforcement officer with jurisdiction in the
          applicant’s residence.

          Since the Firearms Owners’ Protection Act of May 19, 1986, ownership
          of newly manufactured machine guns has been prohibited to civilians.
          Machine guns which were manufactured prior to the Act’s passage are
          regulated under the National Firearms Act, but those manufactured after
          the ban cannot ordinarily be sold to or owned by civilians.

          Twenty-five states have no further restrictions on civilian ownership of
          machine guns (some require registration with the state) than what is
          required by federal law. Other states have either placed further
          restrictions or outlawed operable machine guns to civilians entirely.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            Sad, but true.  Of course, given ammunition prices, I couldn’t afford to feed a fully automatic weapon these days.

          • Conner44

            In other words: Machine guns are illegal unless you are one of the 4% and can spend twenty thousand for a quality firearm and loose 30% of it’s value if you fire it.

            Just another way that the wealthy are beyond the laws that govern the rest of us

      • Steve

        “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” Cities of refuge.Mob rule vs anarchyLiberty vs order

      • Terry Tree Tree

        How can you tell an automatic weapon from a semi-automatic of the same model, without CLOSE examination?   When it is fired, which is too late!

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          One excellent point is that it hardly matters, which is why the laws against fully automatic weapons are silly.

  • loc

    Unfortunately, in one sense Greenwald is a hypocrite. He’ll publicize this case to help sell his book. Yet, he won’t go near reopening the horribly screwed up 9/11 investigation because he’s terrified what people will say. It could damage his career as well.

    Greenwald (an attorney) is more concerned about his fame and fortune than reopening a criminal investigation that needs to be. DId he learn anything in law school? Apparently not.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Irrelevancy alert!

    • Terry Tree Tree

      He’s bold enough to take the risks of his book, and telling about criminals!   Why would you expect him, specifically, to re-open 9/11?  Does he have some specific bearing on 9/11?? 
         I AGREE that criminal travesty needs to be solved, and PROSECUTED!

  • Tony, Washington, DC

    How does illegal immigration fit into this non prosecution of elites matrix?  Illegal immigrants are celebrated and protected by a large segment of this population.

    • Bill

      Large businesses routinely get away with illegally hiring. 

  • Anonymous

    If it is not justice for all — then it is not justice.

    Neil

  • Doc in Nashville

    A reason why this type of criminal only gets a slap on the hand is because their college buddies control the highest ranks in law. It’ll be hard to get the rich to stop protecting each other. What reason have we given them to?

  • Jchussey

    Our school district has found that some of its schools for the “best and brightest” have students whose families have forged their addresses to fit the residency requirements for entrance.  It shocks me that parents who believe their child is the brightest do not seem to think these smart kids will notice the lies taking place supposedly on their behalf.  I guess the parents tell them – “you need to say you live where you don’t because you are ‘special’ and ‘deserve’ this option”  Isn’t that what Ken Ley’s and these other parents told their children?  Sounds like a great lesson to teach your children to become criminals. 

  • Republican$forprosperity

    We have the best laws that money can buy. Those who do not like it or do not have enough money to buy their own laws have nobody else to blame other than themselves.

  • Dave in CT

    Please ask your guest his definition of Rule of Law, and if he believes following it should allow us to maintain liberty and capitalism, or not.

    Thank you.

    • Terry Tree Tree

      The Rule of Law SUPPORTS Liberty and Capitalism, NOT Elitist Immunity, and Elitist Criminal Activity!!

      • Dave in CT

        Exactly!!! Keep saying that!

  • Anonymous

    The Bush administration effectively legalized war crimes.  They got their lawyers to rule that torture wasn’t torture.  Then the torturers claimed that they were operating under a legal ruling.  Then the lawyers got away with providing wrong legal advice.  John Yoo should have been disbarred and not working as a law professor at Berkeley.

  • Dave in CT

    You see, he is describing DISCRETION used in ignoring or not enforcing the intent of the law, as  opposed to RULE OF LAW.

    • Anonymous

      In this case discretion is wrong but no discretion doesn’t always produce just results (federal sentencing minimums).

      • Dave in CT

        Like freedom, its not perfect, but without the ideal and defending it ferociously, we end up screwed.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Has Occupy Wall Street read Greenwald’s book?  His points seem totally congruent with those ideas, which I think OWS embraces, that our government has been bought — bought out — by the lobbyists and those they represent.  The laws, such as they are, are established by those who can pay for a part in designing them.  
         I can’t think what besides a nation-wide surge of disgust that would change things.

  • Dave in CT

    Can your guest comment on a majority of us finding common ground around this issue and moving forward.

    Washington/Bankers are the new King. We need to start with that, and move forward, Tea Partiers and Occupiers.Tea Party 2.0

  • A. Diggins

    It seems that America shrugged off the immunity of the king, just to see it resurrected as the immunity of the super rich.

    • Dave in CT

      D.C. is the wealthiest city in the country.

      The Washington/Corporate nexus is the new king.  

      Just saying ‘rich’ or only corporate, really misses the point.

      Washington has power, and the Corporate world, particularly banking is using it, with great DISCRETION.

  • Dave in CT

    Rule of Law or Rule of Central Bankers

    speaking about unaccountable elites…..

    http://www.cato.org/pubs/journal/cj30n3/cj30n3-3.pdf

  • jim

    Yes, we knew Republicans and some Democrats support screwing America and support immunity amongst themselves. BUT what we can we do about it? I mean most American voters are plain, stupid, naive and close minded, especially when they are so preoccupied with getting a no new taxes or (economy destruction) austerity program from the republican party. these voters don’t mind getting screwing over and over again. in fact they will vote to get these criminals reelected. Remember 2004, especially in Ohio of that year??

  • Bill

    The phrase “illegal is illegal” is definitely applied quite differently depending  on your social and economic status.

  • Doc in Nashville

    Just look how hard it is prosecuting the rich for something like murder. Why would anyone expect a heavy hand with ‘lesser’ crimes? 

  • Nogojo

    Some suggestions:

    overturn the Citizens United vs US Government ruling, giving Corporations individual (human) rights;
    remove corporate and wealthy individual financial gifts to political candidates and parties;
    remove SCOTUS life-positions and introduce term limits (no more than 1 decade);
    reduce taxation of all those earning less than $100K/annum, and increase taxation on those earning over $300K/annum.

    • at

      Your suggestions have been filed.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I wonder if Greenwald has any idea of statistics as to the quantity of hushing-up that the money of the elites have used to make their misdeeds disappear.  Someone who has been hurt, say by polluted water or air due to some industry, might be paid a handsome sum of money with the qualification that those victims may not reveal the misdeed nor the quantity involved in the pay-off.  One may be disabled, but one is muted, more or less solvent financially, but effectively defanged as a free American.
        How often does that happen?

    • Eysnieto

      Hence the corrupt nature of money, no more no less!

  • Dave in CT

    Aspiration to the principles. Exactly. But so many want to throw out our founding principles, and go for a Chinese autocratic/technocratic vision.
     

    • Terry Tree Tree

      What???   Who??

  • Terry Tree Tree

    WOW!!!  Mr. Greenwald is SO RIGHT!!  Banksters that profit from FRAUD!  Priests that get REWARDED for MOLESTING AND ABUSING CHILDREN!!  Politicians that get REWARDED FOR COMMITTING CRIMES AND FRAUD!!  Rich folks committing MURDER, and getting away with it, even REWARDED WITH MEDIA DEALS!!
       SO MUCH MORE,  but I want a chance to air this!

  • Dave in CT

    Is Larry Summers accountable?

    Unelected technocratic central planners are the height of unaccountable, non-representative rule.

  • Dave in CT

    We are getting closer. I am truly hopeful.

    Great show Tom.  

    Please ask the guest about how he sees some of the original Tea Party anger at the “system” in terms of his thesis.

  • ADiggins

    At the center of Greenwald’s observations, which I agree with, is the phenomenon of redefinition: foreign terrorists strike = not an international crime, but an act of war; torturing = not a criminal violation of Geneva Conventions, but an enhanced interrogation technique; etc., this is a very easy semantic parlor trick to pull on a populace that has not been educated to think critically, or to recognize the age old manipulative techniques of rhetoric. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1816544 Dan Trindade

    Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Since at least Gerald Ford’s pardon of Nixon, the wool has been pulled over the eyes of the American public. The question then is how do we learn to see again?

    • Four Elements

      I remember the day Nixon was pardoned. I lost my political virginity and I realized that we did not live in a democracy. It was sobering…

  • outraged

    Unbalanced, outrageous programs like this make me regret I once contributed to WBUR.
     

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Perhaps you’d like to provide some balance?  What’s missing?

    • Anonymous

      Don’t contribute then. It’s called a point of view.
      Are you not able to think critically? 

  • Dave in CT

    Tom, this guest needs to be a permanent panelist giving this perspective on Fridays.

  • Nancy Fernandez

    We individuals have not accepted the differential application of the law. We are just busy working two jobs so we can feed our children and pay the rent, and we can’t afford lobbyists in D.C.

    • Dave in CT

      Classical, non-discretionary Rule of Law is a broad-based rallying point.

      I hope this is a turning point.

  • Tina

    PLUS:

    1)  Police in Bedford-Stuyvesant were arresting people without probable cause, until they were caught for their crime:  kidnapping citizens (Ira Glass’s show this past weekend)

    2)  Social Services department of South Dakota is taking Native American children away from their parents and grandparents and into foster care and/or adoption — again:  kidnapping Native children, to get federal monies made available in spite of federal laws protecting the rights of Native peoples ( NPR yesterday afternoon — probably on All Things Considered)

  • Chad Carlson

    On the hypocrisy of your guest:

    It’s not okay for the “elite” to flaunt the law, but the liberal elite gets a pass when they violate the laws that cities set up for respecting public parks. And if the police go into to uphold a park ordinance they are somehow portrayed as thugs?

    • Anonymous

      In NY they are in a private park.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Brown/1227104716 Tim Brown

        In NY they are in not ina private park, they are in a bonus plaza, a public space that must be open to the public 24 hours a day by law. It’s not a park the nice holding company is providing to citizens out of the goodness of their hearts, it’s a product of 1960′s zoning laws that required them to pay for the upkeep of the park in exchange for adding floors to 1 Liberty Plaza.

        In exchange for allowing building owners to raise the height of Manhattan buildings they are required to keep “green spaces” open so that the whole city doesn’t turn into a series of canyons (but I mean, that has kind of happened anyhow).

        • Anonymous

          Right but it isn’t owned by the city. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tim-Brown/1227104716 Tim Brown

      if getting beaten with battons and arrested is a “pass”, I guess you’re right…

    • Anonymous

      OK buddy your I’m calling you out on this. First off did you not hear him put the blame on both parties. Try listening for a change instead of just mouthing off right wing rhetoric.
      Try reading the First Amendment as well. The police do not have the right to stop political speech. That’s one of the tenants of the First Amendment.

      By the way do you call yourself an American? Is so you seem misguided on the ideals of what this nation was founded on.

      Facts are stubborn things.
      John Adams

    • nj

      On the mendaciousness of Mr Carlson:

      The occupiers are “liberal elite”? Really?

      People camping in a park or gathered on a street get gassed, shot at. 

      Banksters that crashed an economy, caused thousands to lose life savings and homes get million dollar bonuses.

      Is Mr Carlson deliberately trying to look foolish?

    • Anonymous

      I’ll bet they let their dogs off the leash and roll through stop signs too.  Get some perspective, would ya’?

  • Dave in CT

    Dear Tom,

    Does your guest see an opportunity for Progressives and libertarians and Tea Partiers to coalesce around this message?

    This really is a true, Tea Party message.

    Please ask. We need to build bridges.

    • Anonymous

      The term “tea party” has been appropriated by a force that would never forge a partnership with progressive ideas.  If there is to be a coalition, that term can not be used at this point. 

      • Dave in CT

        Ok. Call up the people naming their movement after a different uprising against an unaccountable group of elites that didn’t give a hoot about their interests, and tell them to change it.

        Or just leave them out.

        Because we can’t swallow our pride?

  • Ellen Dibble

    Clearly the misdeeds of the rich and powerful are far, far more damaging than those of the poor.  So protecting that class seems like the opposite of best for the well-functioning of the entire system.  The example of a hedge fund manager who commits a hit-and-run is not a good lead-in.  What about a hedge fund manager who sends a few hundred thousand senior citizens into helplessness and penury during years when their wisdom is coming into fullest fruition, or gambles in such a way that a nation is pushed into austerity, instability, and revolution.  Compare that to the purse-snatcher.  

  • Ellen Dibble

    Where did Greenwald go to law school?  Is he a member of the ACLU, American Civil Liberties Union?  Are there other lawyers who are focusing on his points?

    • Anonymous

      New York University Law School — here’s his Wikipedia entry:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Greenwald

      Neil

      • Ellen Dibble

        Thanks, both.  I bookmarked his blog at salon dot com.  Wikipedia doesn’t show any particular alliances; he seems to be a lone wolf.   When you’ve got professions (medical, legal) with moneyed interests among the ranks, it’s hard to tell whether their voices will resonate the way we might expect.  Or hope.

    • Jfultz

      Google him – good Wikipedia page

  • Nancy fernandez

    What does Glenn say we can do about this???  How can we ordinary people bring about change?

  • Wes, Cambridge, MA

    OK. Glenn Greenwald presents a great description of the problem. What does he propose we do about this injustice?

  • Nick

    Glenn’s point is more than valid but what is our way off this path??

    • nj

      Same as it ever was. Organize. Agitate. Work for change. 

      Either take over the Democratic part (in the way the Christian Conservatives did in the 80s or the Teabaggers have done [albeit incompletely] in the past few years) or build a viable third party.

      Local organizing, building or taking over the local political machinery is the start.

      Takes hard work, time, energy, commitment.

  • Dave in CT

    Hooray!!!!!!!! on Tea Party/Occupy!

    Now this is the “Progressive” I can get behind.

    So different than the DNC crowd here.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Many of the commentators here are much to the left of the Democratic National Committee, just as many are to the right of the Republican Party leadership.

      • Dave in CT

        How would describe the guest? Curious.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

          Educated.  In America, we don’t like to admit it, unless we’re attacking intellectual elites, but there’s a spectrum different from left – right:  uneducated – educated.

          • Anonymous

            I agree, there is a divide and education is at the heart of it.
            The powers to be do not want a well educated populace who can think critically, and have rational thoughts.

          • Dave in CT

            Liberty and Justice for all, not just the Larry Summers of the country.

          • Dave in CT

            ouch.

            I don’t believe being “smarter” should increase your power in our governance. Liberty and justice for all.

            You don’t need much book learnin’ to know when something stinks, or to appreciate the concept of equally applied Rule of Law.

            Dave, Ph.D.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            I agree.  My point was that when Republicans criticize NPR, for example, they’re not actually attacking a leftist view, but an educated view, since that’s the audience for NPR.  Herman Cain is doing as well as he is, and George W. Bush did as well as he did, because of an anti-intellectual bias of many voters.

            I do not want to see an educated get out of jail free card.

          • Dave in CT

            That’s why I don’t defend establishment Republicans. 

          • Anonymous

            left – right:  uneducated – educated

            Are you sure you got that right?

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

            I said that there’s more than one spectrum.  I’m not suggesting that the left is educated and the right isn’t.  I’ve known many educated conservatives and many ignorant leftists.

        • Anonymous

          Right on point.

          Neil

    • nj

      Your obsession with labels and categorization is offputting.

  • Dave in CT

    Are liberty and Rule of Law incompatible?

    Is “Big Government” the only way to benefit from Rule of Law?

  • Bill

    Words for the day:

    plutocracy
    oligarchy

    • CORY

      Can I throw in Corporatocracy?

      • TFRX

        “Kleptocracy” has been my favorite term. It ties up the same class of people who are doing in this country now what they did in, say, the newly “free” Russia ~20 years ago. These sorts of folks aren’t unique to one country, and find common cause with each other more than the state they nominally vote or pay taxes in.

        It has a much nicer ring, and people won’t wonder if you or Bill are talking about Mickey Mouse’s dog.

  • Michael

    1. Write into the constitution that CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE, and don’t have freedom of speech as biological humans that breath air, consume food and liquid, can pro-create and has problems with excrements.

    2. Only allow a limited amount terms(3?) a of public held office by citizens (Effectively eradicating the “Political class”, as you can’t build a career on it, only 3 times in your life you can hold political office)

    3. Enforcement to pass a HARD civic test to prove you’re smart enough to hold any office. This would make access to holding public office accessible to anybody who’s passionate enough learn civics.

    I think this would disconnect the Corporate big money from Professional politicians. Could it work?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      Pass the first item, and the others become unnecessary.

  • Dave in CT

    Best show of the year.

    I too thought Obama could speak as a Rule of Law, left of center libertarian.

    I fell for the Rorschach.

  • GretchenMo

    A couple of anecdotes don’t amount to much.  You can find the same number of lowlifes who got off as well.  Justice is complicated, too complicated for somebody from Salon to identify. 

    • TFRX

      …spoken like someone whose overworked Legal Aid lawyer (let’s call him “Skippy”) didn’t fall asleep at her trial in Texas.

    • Ellen Dibble

      If you think the tax code is complicated, just compare that to the legal system, city, state, and federal.  It is interesting that the administration is saying that the abuse and fraud of Wall Street in the 2000s was legal, and that’s why it can’t be prosecuted.  Doesn’t that tell you something?  Any tracks of illegality were apparently shredded before the regulators thought their jobs were in any way important enough to exercise.

      • GretchenMo

        Calling it abuse and fraud is a prejudgment on your part, one I’m not sure you’re qualified to provide.  Moreover, despite shredding of supposed evidence, you believe you are aware of said fraud and abuse.  What evidence are you privy to that no one else is?

        • Ellen Dibble

          I’ve set out what I think of as the seed-corn of the flourishing fiasco at a previous thread, where there were economists who could evaluate and use what I was setting forth.  At this point, I’ll just say that I hope that between the economists and the lawyers, they get enough information to prevent recurrence, if not prosecute the past.  Corporate lawyers are pretty good at getting others to cover the tell-tale tracks, it seems to me.  I think that’s part of their job.

          • GretchenMo

            Economists doubtful, prosecutors clearly no.  Reputations and careers can be made with successful prosecutions, ask Spitzer and Cuomo among many.  If the opportunity were there for the taking, it would be seized upon.  Sometimes a lack of prosecutions reflects a lack of crimes, no need to create some factless, grand conspiracy theory. 

      • Modavations

        Madam,
                No charges have been levied and you’re pronouncing them guilty.

    • Steve

      ” Time to get a gun…
      that’s what I’ve been thinkin…”

    • Ellen Dibble

      Mostly I transcribe court records for lowlifes, that is, for their public defenders, unless they get mad and go pro se, in which case I probably don’t get paid for my work unless it “comes out” exactly the way they want it, maybe erasing the word “not” strategically or something like that.  And they’re pleased to try to come over and more or less let their presence do its intimidating as best they can.  But the public defenders are in many ways working off of a strain of idealism that the legal system has at its best.  A lawyer representing a reborn version of Hitler will still find it in his or her heart to envision a wholesome future for said individual.  And when said lawyer is pretty sure the police or the law is unfairly targeting his or her client, that idealism at their core comes flamingly alive.  
         I mean, there is a lot to be proud of in our legal system.  Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.  Sometimes a high-paid private defense attorney will only succeed in getting the client’s judgment procrastinated by several years, whereas a jury of his or her peers would acquit that client in a New York minute, after a short and speedy trial.  Jurors can be pretty sharp.

      • TipperToppton

        Ellen I bet you didn’t know that when a jury goes into deliberation they can declare a person not-guilty even if they are guilty, if the law that he is being charged with is idiotic, like the current drug laws.  They can actually come out and say that the accused did everything he was charged with then declare him not guilty and the court has to accept it.

      • Modavations

        Madam,
             Which party do the lawyers back

      • Anonymous

        Although there a rare exceptions, our legal system is the only one of our three branches of government that isn’t openly corrupt.

    • nj

      Lame trolling reaches a new low.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Long live OWS.  Here, when I figure out something really important that needs to get through to the state legislature, and I get to talk to the guy across town who represents me, the answer is that good point, next I should start up an organization, a lobby (money and numbers; money, mainly), and then come back to him.  But if I had that kind of time and money, I would not have the issue to begin with; I would not be in a position to have the particular insight.
        I’m sure this same thing obtains at every level of government.  You have to be Big, in terms of money and/or numbers, no matter how useful your point might be.  “when leaders believe in their own magnanimity,” Greenwald is saying.  I agree, that the elites are convinced that what they are doing is win-win, that it will benefit the many as well as themselves.  But they don’t want to second-guess that assumption.  “Power inevitably corrupts when it is exercised in the dark,” Greenwald is saying.

    • Steve

      “The heart of man is continually evil all the time”….

  • Wes, Cambridge, MA

    The effect of the Tea Party has been to make America’s problems worse. They protect the corporate elites at the expense of the people. 

    • Dave in CT

      One step forward, two steps back I guess with you knee-jerk Tea Party haters.

      How does snatching Congresses Purse, trying to shrink Washington’s power to harm us with its Corporatism and Debt spending outside the Rule of Law protect the corporate elite?

      There are 2 sides to the coin.

      We will get nowhere, and things will get worse, trying to pretend otherwise.

      Almost seemed like the guest wanted to……

      Be a Better Tea Party!

      • Wes, Cambridge, MA

        I don’t hate the Tea Party. I just disagree with it. Don’t be fooled by the corporate elite. They are using the Tea Party movement to their own ends.

        The Tea Party supports the deregulation of big business, lowering taxes on big business, and cutting government spending.

        1. Deregulating big business gives the corporate elite the green light to commit even more and bigger crimes against the people.

        2. Cutting taxes on big business, ignores the fact that big business benefits disproportionately from government spending on education and infrastructure, such as schools, roads, railroads, and airports. Big business has an obligation to give something back to the society that it uses. We give them the sweat of our brow and we spend our hard earned money on their services and products and we suffer when they destroy the economic system by their recklessness and crimes.

        3. Cutting government spending reduces the numbers of people employed in government jobs and social service jobs, Government cuts reduce social programs that benefit the great majority of Americans, especially the poor, unemployed, and underemployed. With an economy like we have right now, that could easily be you or me tomorrow.
         

        • Dave in CT

          I understand your view.  But a large portion of America doesn’t share that view, and they are not evil, just have a different vision of the role of individuals vs. Government.

          Pretending they don’t exist doesn’t solve our challenges of self-government.

      • Anonymous

        Also, “snatching Congresses Purse” also known as “starve the beast” doesn’t work.
        http://www.forbes.com/2010/05/06/tax-cuts-republicans-starve-the-beast-columnists-bruce-bartlett.html

        • Dave in CT

          Will give it a read, but first glance looks like establishment talk.

          Of course I don’t think Starve the Beast is a holistic answer to the problem, but I understand the logic, and when we aren’t doing anything else to reign them in, I’m not surprised people find it an attractive partial solution.

  • Rosiegyal

    I could never and still cannot understand how Geitner was chosen to as Secretary of the Treasury..the analogy is not different than the bishops ( in the Catholic church organization) moving around the child molesters to other parishes where they could perpetrate more crimes against the powerless. No one is accountable and people want to believe that thier leaders are essentially “moral”.
    I agree , our government was set up with checks and balances and we the people are part of that contract.

    • Anonymous

      It’s called Wall Street.

      • Dave in CT

        Or the White House. Same thing.

    • Steve

      The argument is that the contract has been broken.

      I believe the discussion is between restoration of the contract – i.e. rule of law  or something else, and

      how do we get from here to there?

  • Joe in Philly

    Oh Brother Bill! Invoking the vision of neo-feudalism! You, my brother, have captured the current state of affairs! If I recall, the Middle Ages ended with the Enlightenment. Who or what will provide the spark to enlighten us?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      The Black Plague had something to do with the end of the Middle Ages.

      • Dave in CT

        Contagion.

        That would be darkly hilarious, if we finally came around to a new, Rule of Law enlightenment, and then were all wiped out by a new virus.

    • Conner44

      Well I am not really a SF fan but I read through the book that -at- is always talking about and I would say that Dwa, despite his bizarre name, is probably the most enlightened person alive today.  This guy has found a way to write about things that cannot be written or spoken in a way that is absolutely digestible.  And the whole thing takes place on a planet were there is total corporate control of everything, especially projectile weapons, except for a free zone area which is in a continual state of anarchy and internal conflict that is instigated in one way or another by the corporate luminaries  (now all inherited positions — boards of directors anyone?)who are basically clones of past executives who own everything.  That doesn’t even touch the complexity of what is revealed about us by this book, and all in the relatively easy to read guise of a swashbuckling SF adventure.

  • Drew You Too

    “Force change, not legislate it or vote it into existence”

    Great show, great guest. Thanks Tom and Glenn

    • Anonymous

      Force change HOW exactly?

      • Drew You Too

        That was not my suggestion, it was the one offered by Glenn Greenwald at the end of the discussion. I must admit that I agree with his basic premise though. While I don’t condone violence on any level I will state what I have stated repeatedly lately: Is there anyone on this planet who honestly believes that any signifigant change will be affected peacefully?

        You ask HOW? I think the more imperative question has become: WHEN?

  • Tina

    Talk about Tellin’ It Like It Is!  Thank you for bringing us this brilliant, insightful, articulate guest!  

  • Dave in CT

    If Mr. Greenwald teamed up with a grassroots Tea Partier he respected, regardless of personal life differences, focussing on this shared issue, they would win in 2012.

    • TFRX

      Per Wikipedia, Greenwald’s personal lifestyle doesn’t jibe with the Teabaggers’, let alone the propaganda keeping them “valid”.

      So that one respectable Tea Partier would have a lot of explaining to do. Not to the lefties. But to his/her own kind. And all the Foxnation hacks.

      • Dave in CT

        The guest spoke for himself.  You can keep your hatred, broad paintbrush and strawmen for yourself.

        I don’t give a sh!t what his, your, a Tea Partier or an OWS’s ‘lifestyle” is.  You really are the thought police. 

        Defend your desire for a new Cultural Revolution out in the open.

        • TFRX

          I’m the though police with the strawmen, hatred and broad paintbrush? Not the Tea Baggers?

          Hardy har.

          Glenn spoke for himself, and I’m not here to dogwhistle about anything, but when one has been reading him as long as I have, there are certain public facts known. Nobody has broached them here, so I don’t want to bring it up.

          Agreed, you don’t have to care what any one person’s lifestyle is. But
          you’re the one who wants Glennzilla to make common cause with the
          modern (2011-80% social conservative–and we know what that means) Tea
          Party.

          This “better Tea Party” schtick was tired a year ago; in 2009 they were as better as they’d ever be.

          • Dave in CT

            You and your arrogant brethren will ensure the status quo for all of us for a long time.  Or some insane Communist revolution.

            If you can’t see past your disdain for people with different personal or cosmic beliefs than you or I, in the quest to hold the elite power players more accountable, you really aren’t helping.

            The only way for you, is a central group of smarter, better people, who should be empowered to impose your righteous view of the world on the stupid masses.

          • nj

            You’ve got a lot of nerve calling other people arrogant.

          • Dave in CT

            As do you guys, never responding in substance, and claiming your status as the gate-keepers of thought.

            Please retort with some half-baked generalization flame that fails to address the idea being discussed, master.

          • Dave in CT

            Not sure what you don’t want to broach. I never heard of the guy till today, but was listening to what he said with an open mind.

          • TFRX

            I know things about Glennzilla (whom I’ve been reading for years) that are public knowledge. But since I don’t remember them being brought up by our host or Glenn or any caller, I don’t want to be the one to introduce them here, as this is a polite place by internet standards, and it’s not something directly related to the immediate discussion. (Neither is it personal v. public face hypocrisy, a la “valuista paying a cabana boy” which the right wing seems to specialize in.)

            Asking Glenn Greenwald to make common cause with the right-wing social conservatives who constitute about 80% of the 2011 Tea Party (per AmericanGrace dot org’s study) is like asking a chicken to vote for Colonel Sanders.

  • at

    Come on if there is an OWS in Arizona someone has got to attend a rally with a m4 look-alive slung over their shoulder to make real the enforcement hypocrisy.  If I lived there I would do it.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      In Arkansas, at least, it’s illegal to carry a firearm to a protest.

  • Rikkiandkepler

    This was a great segment.  I learned  a lot.  I’d like to know what we can do to bring back lawfullness.

  • Debhulbh

    we currently have over 2 million of our men and women, our fellow citizens locked up in prisons across this country, many of them first time non violent offenders. They are serving lengthy sentences not commiserate with the nonviolent crimes and the prisons trade on wall street with wealthy individuals making money off of the backs of our young men and women locked away in prisons with unfair lengthy sentences for first time non violent offences. those 2 mil prisoners have a mother a father a grandparent or 2, a wife a husband a child or 2 or 4 or more, an aunt an uncle at least 2, a cousin or 10, a friend or 2 or 4 or more, a neighbor, a church member
    This all adds up to 60-80 million people directly affected by the unfair justice system and thE fact that they have been affected by this unjust justice system is unconscionable. Theinequity that exists with powerful people, those who can afford a better lawyer don’t even get into court let alone end up in jail and they are deemed to be much too important, give me a break. Many families of prisoners will tell you that their loved one is much too importantnto that family and to their kids to sit in a prison not getting programs, rehabilitation , nothing on offer just all these men sitting around doing nothing only making moneyforthe traders who hold thatvprison stock on wall street. These are first time nonviolent offenders thatbi am talking about and they should not be spending 5,10,20 years in our prison system, that is barbaric. The mischaracterization of prisoners that they are all crazed murderers is simply not true, huge percentages of these prisoners are first time non violent offenders. That there is a thought that the powerful should not be put through thewhole process of thue judicial system yet ordinary citizens get the full hand of the law spread all over them is appalling. Please see the report of corruption in NYC and other places within thepolice force hownthey were directed to get
    3 belt
    5
    Arrests
    2 this 2 that all to meet their quota and numbers, whether there was cause for an arrest or not, it is a sickening reality and has to be called out and addressed. The inhumanity within the police force, that is highlighted in the Officer Schoolcraft report is frightening. what ever happened to the police force working with communities, we have gotten away from that and that is one of the reasons u arE e seeing people protest and it has only just begun. The article is written up in the village voice and has not been in the mainstream media much.

    • Modavations

      If the Dems would afford their chattel School Vouchers,that # would collapse.To go to jail in Ma.you have to be arrested 20 times.

      • CORY

        Even for murder?!

  • 1 of 99%

    Great Show! I am very glade more people are expressing outrage for this obvious deliniation in American society.  The answer to many questions of “How do we fix this” is in the heart of our constitution and seen today in the middle east and through out history.  REVOLUTION!

    • Dave in CT

      We could save thousands of lives, and re-discover the Constitution and the concept of Rule of Law.

      Reject technocratic management of our society from political appointees and lobbyists who write law in a discretionary spirit.

      Reject Rule of Law “legislation” that has built in loopholes and exceptions.

      Demand from new representatives to know exactly how under the “new” Rule of Law, what happened leading up to our crisis would be illegal and punishable.

      Demand to be able to understand the law without an advanced degree.

      Make it that a jury can be the judge of whether politicians or corporate folks or whoever, acted with INTENT to defraud or game the system for personal or cronyistic or monopolistic gain.

      Make failing to protect the constitution or the rule of law as a elected official punishable by a harsh punishments.

      Seeing a few politicians and bankers in jail, at the hands of an empowered, outraged, yet civilized an acting within the rule of law, public, would send a nice message.

      The real shame would be people shouting REVOLUTION, and getting nothing but a Democrats vs Republican civil war of misguided anger.

      IMO, if the grassroots Tea Partiers and the more mature OWS types who understand the Rule of Law problem are not on the same page, don’t push the button.

      • 1 of 99%

        Good luck getting that done useing their rules.  I’m all for an alliance with the tea party, “the mature ones,” but you wont change anything in their system with their rules without some civil disobedience or public revolt.  These people are not going to say,”Oh you got me.  Here is your country back.”  They are going to do what ever needed to insure they stay on top and in control.  They have been building this system for decades and generations and its going to take more than a few votes or blog posts to break it down.

  • David

    I wish I could have asked Glenn this question.  What if the Occupy Wall Streeters (OWS) simply demanded that all current members of Congress and the President resign or agree not to run for re-election? We’ll get very little change with the current cast of characters, and 85% or more will win re-election even in the worst of times.  I’d be willing to try to effect change within the current system WITH a totally new cast.  OWS will never be in a better position to offer up candidates, AND this demand would really put established interest groups on both sides of the aisle in a quandary if they try to co-opt the movement…

    • 1 of 99%

      I agree that we should try to change things from within the system but how many of those you vote into office the next election will be working for you after they take the millions needed to get into office?  What happens if the system doesn’t work anymore?

    • Anonymous

      Without fixing the underlying problem, having a whole new cast of characters won’t solve anything.  We need to change the winner take all/plurality voting system to something like instant runoff voting and we need publicly funded elections.  

    • Slyfox666

      Warren Buffet gets to this point.

      “I could end the deficit in 5
      minutes,” he told CNBC. “You just pass a law > that says that
      anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all sitting members of
      Congress are ineligible for re-election.

      The 26th amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3
      months & 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it.  That was in 1971 – before computers, e-mail,
      cell phones, etc.

      Of the 27 amendments to the Constitution, seven (7) took one (1) year or less
      to become the law of the land – all because of public pressure.  Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to
      forward this email to a minimum of twenty people on their address list; in turn
      ask each of those to do likewise.

      In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the
      message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

      Title it: *Congressional Reform Act of 2011*

      1. No Tenure / No Pension.  A
      Congressman/woman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay
      when they’re out of office.

      2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security.

      All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security
      system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and
      Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any
      other purpose.

      3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do.

      4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will
      rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

      5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same
      health care system as the American people.

      6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people.

      7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen/women are void effective
      1/1/12.

      (The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen/women.
      Congressmen/women made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress
      is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators,
      so ours should serve their term(s), then go home and back to work.)

  • Modavations

    Obama bought his house from Rezco for 300,000 below market.Rezco is in jail for soliciting bribes and assorted mayhem.He was Obamas right hand man.After the Pres.got outed he said.This deal was “boneheaded.Michelle had a  job for 300,000.00 at the hospital.After she left the job was discontinued.

    • CORY

      So?

    • Anonymous

      So?

    • LakitoDomma

      So are you implying that politicians are corrupt?  Did you guys hear that? STOP the presses, Modavations uncovers political corruption in the US. What a bonehead

      • Modavations

        I see niavety.I see Acorn,I see the Seiu and I see Soros.

        • nj

          I see an illiterate troll.

        • Frosty

          I see modavations underpants

          heehee

    • Anonymous

      He’d be a lot better off if he used someone else’s money to buy a share of a baseball team then get the taxpayers to build a stadium and give it to him.. The Obama’s are chumps compared to real players like the Bush’s.

  • Modavations

    Frank Raines,Sn.Johnson and Jamie Gorelik, took 100 million in commissions from Fannie.I won’t mention Rahm,Tom Donalan,Bill Daley,or Pete Orzag

    • CORY

      So?

    • Anonymous

      Blah,blah,blah,blah, and more blah.
      So?

  • Modavations

    aFTER bARNEY fRANK ENDORSED OWS,HE GOT ON A JET AND FLEW TO A fund   raiser of WALL STREET BANKERS.Elizabeth Warren says she invented OWS

    • CORY

      So?

    • Anonymous

      So?

  • Modavations

    No one ever got more Wall St.Money, then Pres.Obama.Wall St.bankers give 80% of their money to Democrats.Mr.Schumer is the High Priest and Barney and C.Dodd,the lesser dieties.

    • CORY

      So?

    • KileKaBoom

      Yep and the idiots continue to make illusory distinctions between the two and a half owned parties. You are a joke sir, a pol
      arized, dicotomized, joke played on yourself by a mechanical knee-jerk mental process not worth having.  As you are, you will continue to run in tight little circles for the rest of your life but never realize it because you are so short-sighted.

  • Modavations

    When the OWS mob marched on the private homes of Murdoch and Koch(they have nothing tpo do with Wall St.),they marched right by the homes f Rubin,Herr Corzine,and Soros.

    • CORY

      So?

    • Anonymous

      Pointless dribble. 

      • nj

        Sorry jeffe, that’s redundant for Moda-troll posts.

    • JBoy4

      You can always tell an idiot because to them Soros is the evil behind everything, then when you ask them they can’t name one real thing that Soros did that was wrong other than supporting liberal causes that they don’t like. He didn’t trench CDO’s that were designed to fail, all he did was say, “Hey this real estate thing is a bubble, I’m going short.” Bet you wish you would have too.

  • Modavations

    The maximum leader of the left,Herr Soros, told everyone to sell their American stocks ,after the 9/11 attacks.

    • CORY

      So?

    • Anonymous

      So?

  • Modavations

    The head of Home Depot said he could never start his business today,because of all the new regulations

    • CORY

      So?

    • Anonymous

      He couldn’t start it now as there is no demand since Bush wrecked the economy and the Republicans are preventing a recovery.

      • Anonymous

        And the banks aren’t loaning.

    • Anonymous

      So?

  • Modavations

    Is there any bigger De>Rump swab,then Mr.Greenwald.Where do you find these fossils

    • CORY

      So?

    • Anonymous

      So?
      Try to use a little sentence structure, as it might help your inane arguments somewhat.

    • nj

      To find the answer to your first question, just look in the mirror.

  • nj

    Thanks for today’s show. Long overdue to have Greenwald on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Edward-Boughton/1379995701 Edward Boughton

    Overthrow Congress and their Corporate Masters. Vote out
    EVERYONE appointed before 2008. Vote for ANYONE you want as long as their did
    not take money from Wall Street… Not a Bank, not a Broker, not a fund.

     

    They should be on THEIR knees begging OUR forgiveness,
    NOT securing THEIR profits after the Biggest Bail Out in History, THEIR most
    profitable years in History. THEIR most disgraceful actions in History.

     

    Demand Responsibility, Accountability, Governability and
    hopefully Recoverability.

     

    WRITE

     - YOUR Media

     - YOUR Banks

     - YOUR Brokers

     - YOUR Politicians

     

    OCCUPY

     - YOUR City

     - YOUR Nation

     - YOUR World

    • Anonymous

      You can’t vote out appointees. 

      • Hatch

        Like the justices of the supreme illusion

  • JustSayin

    So… How many Americans really understood the movie The Lion King?

    Who placed themselves in the position of Good Lion, Bad Lion, or cringing and hoped to be food prey for lions?

    Who gushes forth with baseless worship and Idolatry to sports figures, politicians, businessmen, and the ultimate in no results entities: The Gods. 

    When people wish to be dominated, they will be dominated. When you worship specific segments of society, those segments will take and use all of the power the people give them.

    They didn’t remove your freedom, until the people expressed the desire to not be free.

    A intellectually lazy society gets the government they deserve.

    • 1 of 99%

      When the people know more about whats going on in “American Idol”/the coliseum than that of the government its a doomed society.

      • JJJimmanyC

        It may all be worth it to have Jenifer Hudson sing at the Grammie Awards.  Cause music is about the only thing that humans can do without killing each other.

  • Bruce Garber

    Without fundamental electoral reform–that is publicly funded elections–both the democrats and republicans seeking or trying to keep public offices will continue to be bought by and serve the corporate elite.  And as we have seen, and Greenwald shows us irrefutably again, our system of laws–both civil and criminal–don’t apply to them.

    • YoYoHeyYo

      Yep, now please explain the fact that though everybody knows this, it cannot be done.

  • Anonymous

    Great show!  Your guest eloquently explained the severity of the consequences to the fabric of our entire society, in that America is quickly changing into little more than a Banana Republic.

    It is well known that Massachusetts courts are rife with case fixing and document fraud perpetrated by the court itself, and that, despite the “honest services” statute, courts  are  known to sanction litigants with huge $$$ fines if they dare to sue Massachusetts judges whom they can prove falsify court records and make false findings of facts so Massachusetts attorneys can pilfer their clients’ property.   (As in the Zabin 00-cv-12421-NG case)

    The higher court’s refusal to address uncontested judicial fraud – and outright falsification of official court records for the benefit of insiders – is jaw-dropping shocking (see for example, S Ct 10-343  Picciotto v Massachusetts Appeals Court).   

    Thanks for shining the light in a very dark place.

  • Guest

    So thrilled to hear Greenwald on NPR! He cuts the powerful down to size over and over. We need to hear people standing up for the rule of law.
    Read this book!

  • GretchenMo

    This is the kind of government you’re talking about protecting? 
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-26/nurse-making-269-810-demonstrates-california-s-overtime-binge.html

    Among those who got large payouts are a prison doctor who cashed out more than $590,000 of vacation time when he retired, a computer specialist in the Legislature’s legal office who got $61,905 in overtime on top of his $71,560 salary, a psychiatrist for the Developmental Services Department who received $97,700 in extra-duty pay and the head of the state gambling commission, who banked $169,623 in unused holiday pay. 

    • Slyfox666

      Sounds like typical compensation packages for a NYC transit worker.

  • Plushkin

    Got it from a friend and run it through google translate, which is very impressive overall. minor corrections in bold by yours truly. enjoy

    TranslateFrom: Russian – detectedTo: English
    EnglishSpanishFrench
    Translate text or webpage

    Type text or a website address or translate a document.
    Cancel
    STARAYA
    VERSIYA Muravyeĭ userdno rabotaet v ispepelyayushchyeĭ zhare na
    protyazhenii vsego leta, stroit svoĭ dom i zapasaet·sya na zimu.
    Kuznechik dumaet, chto Muravyeĭ durak i smyeet·sya, tantsuet i igraet
    vsë leto naprolët .. Zima prishla, Muravyeĭ v teple i syt. Kuznechik
    ne imyeet ni yedy ni zhilʹya, tak chto on umiraet v kholode. Moralʹ
    etoĭ istorii: butʹ otvet·stvennym za sebya!
    ___________________________________ Sovremennaya versiya Muravyeĭ
    userdno rabotaet v ispepelyayushchyeĭ zhare i pod dozhdëm na
    protyazhenii vsego leta, stroit svoĭ dom i zapasaet·sya na zimu.
    Kuznechik dumaet, chto Muravyeĭ durak i smyeet·sya, tantsuet i igraet
    vsë leto naprolët Prishla zima, drozhashchiĭ kuznechik sozyvaet
    press-konferentsiyu i trebuet obʺyasneniya pochemu muravʹyu pozvolenno
    bytʹ v teple i khorosho nakormlennym, v to vremya kak on kholodnyĭ i
    golodnyĭ. CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, ABC pribegayut chtoby sfotografirovatʹ
    drozhashchego kuznechika ryadom s vidyeo muravʹya v svoem uyutnom dome
    za stolom zapolnenym yedoĭ. Amerika potryasena takim rezkim kontrastom.
    Kak eto mozhet bytʹ, chtoby v strane s takim bogat·stvom, etomu bednomu
    kuznechiku pozvoleno stradatʹ? Kermit the Frog1 poyavlyaet·sya na
    Oprah2 tok-shou s kuznechikom, i vse plachyut, kogda oni poyut “Nelegko
    bytʹzelënym.” ACORN3 ustraivaet demonstratsiyu pered domom muravʹya,
    gde televizionnye stantsii snimayut gruppovoe penie: “My pobedim”.
    Gruppa Ottsa Jeremiah Wright na kolenyakh molit Boga za kuznechika.
    Prezident Obama osuzhdaet muravʹya i obvinyaet prezidenta Busha,
    prezidenta Ryeĭgana, Khristofora Kolumba, i papu Rimskogo za bedstviya
    kuznechika. ·eensi Pelosi & Garri Rid vosklitsayut v intervʹyu s
    Larri Kingom, chto muravyeĭ razbogatel iz-za ekspluatatsii kuznechika, i
    oba trebuyut nemedlennogo uvelicheniya naloga na muravʹya, chtoby
    zastavitʹ yego oplatitʹ svoyu dolyu. Nakonets, KSRT predstavlyaet proekt
    Zakona “Ekonomicheskogo Ravenstva i Prav Kuznechikov” imyeyushchego
    obratnuyu silu s nachala leta. Muravʹya oshtrafovyvayut za to, chto on
    ne nanyal proportsionalʹnoe kolichestvo zelenykh zhukov i, tak kak u
    nego nichego ne ostalosʹ, chtoby oplatitʹ nalogi, Gosudarstvennyĭ
    Zelënyĭ Tsarʹ konfiskyet yego dom i otdaët yego kuznechiku. Kak my
    vidim istoriya zakanchivaet·sya – kuznechik i yego khalyavnye druzʹya
    doedayut poslednie ostatki muravʹinykh zapasov, v to vremya kak v
    gosudarstvenyĭ dom v kotorom on zhivët i kotoryĭ, kak vy pomnite, byl
    starym domom muravʹya, razrushaet·sya na glazakh, potomu chto kuznechik
    ne v sostoyanii podderzhivatʹ yego. Muravʹyeĭ ischezaet v snegu, nikto
    yego bolʹshe nikogda ne videl. Kuznechika nakhodyat mertvym v
    intsidente, svyazannym s narkotikami, i zabroshennyĭ dom zaselyaet·sya
    bandoĭ paukov, kotorye terroriziruyut prishedshiĭ v upadok, no
    kogda-to protsvetayushchyeĭ i mirnyĭ raĭon … Vsya strana
    razrushaet·sya i tyanet za soboĭ vesʹ svobodnyĭ mir. Moralʹ: Budʹte
    ostorozhny, kogda vy golosuete.
    Russian – detected to English translation
    EnglishSpanishArabic
    OLD VERSION

    The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and stored for winter.
    Grasshopper thinks the Ant is a  fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away ..
    Winter came, ant is warm and well fed.
    Grasshopper has no food or shelter so he dies out in the cold.
    The moral of this story: but BE responsible for yourself!

    ___________________________________
    The modern version of

    The ant works hard in the withering heat and the rain all summer long, building his house and stored for winter.
    Grasshopper thinks the Ant fool and laughs and dances and plays all summer long
    Winter
    came, shivering grasshopper shall convene a press conference and
    demands an explanation why the ant permissionis allowed to be warm and well fed,
    while it is cold and he is hungry.
    CBS,
    NBC, PBS, CNN, ABC resorted to photograph the shivering grasshopper
    next to video
    of an ant in his comfortable home at a table-full meal.
    America shocked by such a sharp contrast.
    How can it be that in a country with such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer?
    Kermit the Frog1 appears on Oprah2 (appears on a) talk show with a grasshopper, and all plachyut crying crocodile tears when they sing “It’s not easy bytzelenymto be green.”
    ACORN3
    stage a demonstration in front of the house ant, where the television
    stations take off group singing “We shall overcome.” Group Father Jeremiah Wright on his knees praying to God for the grasshopper.
    President
    Obama condemns the ant and blames President Bush, President Reagan,
    Christopher Columbus, and the Pope for disaster that had befallen grasshopper.
    Nancy
    Pelosi & Harry Reid exclaim in an interview with Larry King that
    the ant made a fortune from the exploitation of a grasshopper, and both
    require an immediate tax increase on the ant to make him pay for his
    share.
    Finally, the EEOC is a draft law “of economic equality and Prav grasshoppers” retroactive to the beginning of summer.
    Ant
    oshtrafovyvayut is fined for the fact that he had not hired a proportional
    number of green bugs and, as he had nothing left to pay taxes, the State
    Green King konfiskyet confiscates his house and gives it to the grasshopper.
    As
    we can see the story ends – the grasshopper and his friends (free loading khalyavnyy
    eats the last remnants of ant stocks, while in the state house in which
    he lives and which, as you recall, was an old house ant is destroyed
    before our eyes, because grasshoppers are unable to support it.
    Ants in the snow disappears, no one has ever seen.
    Grasshopper
    is found dead in an incident related to drugs, and an abandoned house
    populated by a gang of spiders who terrorize the effete, but once
    prosperous and peaceful area …
    The whole country is destroyed and drags the entire free world.
    Moral: Be careful when you vote.

    • Plushkin

      jeez… sorry for that. hiding in shame.

      • JJJimmanyC

        Hey everybody takes a tortured crap — sometime, you just like to do it in public.  If you made sense you would be a danger to yourself and others.

        • Hidan

          He’s tortured alright.

      • Hidan

        Not the first and wouldn’t be the last.

        What’s wrong with these right-wingers?

  • GMG

    Thank you Mr. Greenwald for putting this all together with such complete lucidity.  This issue has been making me deeply uncomfortable since reports of torture were met with a collective shrug.  

    It seems to me that the prohibition against torture is the most basic limitation on state power, the essence of ohuman rights.  If you live in a society where torture is permitted, what limit, really, does state power really have?  If they can torture you without consequence, well then why shouldn’t they be able to rape, pillage and steal while they’re at it?

  • Modavations

    I’m reminded of the French Revolution and the rampaging mob.I see that hand of Soros and Obama

    • UMomma

      You are funnier than you will ever realize.  But then if you did, you would stop being funny for fear of embarrissment,.

    • Slyfox666

      I recounted the basics of the French Revolution to Senator Cronyn (R-TX). Revolutions generally devour their executive and legislative branches first, followed by the initial revolutionary leaders. He never responded.

      I am thinking of sending him a (non-working) model of a Guillotine. Madame D’Farge would approve.

      • Anonymous

        Not a good idea. If you really did this I suspect you would be visited by the FBI or Secret Service.

    • Anonymous

      Does it hurt when you think?

  • NK

     I listened to the interview and now I’m posting all over Fbk letting everyone know that this is one interview they won’t want to miss. Greenwald arms us with reason and explanation. It’s true, what he hear in this interview is what we intrinsically know, but have not yet been able to fully articulate, Greenwald brings it home and open’s eyes even further. His words (this book) are fule for the soul of the 99% and our movement.  Let Occupy and the Tea Party rise and let DC know, the jig is up. I hope Greenwald shares this interview with Max Keiser.

  • loc

    Just heard that the OWS protestors are going to do a letter writing campaing to various Wall St. CEO’s. The idea is to use kindness to try and convince them to change the system.

    Unless millions do this in a targeted way and don’t let up until change happens, this won’t accomplish anything. Also, they have to keep in mind that in this 24/7 megahype news cycle world, you have to keep your group out in front of the public. I’m starting to see more MSM stuff about cops finally having enough and arresting all of these people. To many, that’s going to play into the image of see, I told you these guys were nothing.

  • DaytimeTrollReport

    As of of 4:30 pm EST, here is today’s Troll Comment Participation (TCP):

    1st Hour’s show:  Herman Cain  23% TCP

    2nd Hour’s show:  Lawless Elite  8% TCP 

  • Modavations

    Ms Warren claims she invented OWS.Is she related to Al Gore(I invented the internet)

    • MordecaiCarroll

      So?

  • Modavations

    Lisa Simion was fired for leading one of the protests.Why do we bankroll NPR.It’s a wholey owned subsidiary of the Dem party.CPR gets around 400mill.per annum.How many poor guys go to the opera,or symphony.For that matter,how many poor guys listen to NPR.

    • MordecaiCarroll

      So?

    • Anonymous

      So?

    • Zero

      Dude, there is one way to judge media, and that is by how empirical their evidence is.  For get who runs the organization, for get who funds it, for get who is delivering the news.  Analyze the news, the empiricism, and the arguments themselves.  All that other stuff is ad hominem, i.e., a form of propaganda.
        

  • WBUR Listener

    I agree – none of the laws are applied to congress/ president, but when he cites Bush Jr as breaking the law… I agree and thought so then but WHY didn’t the Dem leaders have the onsite Marines arrest him and put him on trial ? At 10AM – walk in , cuff him, put him in jail for breaking the law. At that point is wasn’t the Republicans job – it was the Dem’s . ( PS I think Cheney ran things). When Rangel was caught doing alll of his illegal stuff, nothing happened to him. As for the rich being richER , it’s because nothing is made here any longer. There are less middle class workers. Because everyone buys their stuff from China. So the middle class makes less and less. Whose fault is that ? Because of that the big companies get bigger.

    Last week I was on a plane and sitting next to me was a salesman that sells to the major retail dept stores and was was flying to China to attend a meeting with the dept stores. He does that 4 times per year. He has one hour in front of each company ( WalMart, Target, etc) He shows the latest products ( made in CHINA) and they listen. At day’s end they tell him which of the products they’d like and what they’ll pay. He has one hour to agree to their terms – or they go to next vendor. THAT’s how it works, so how would OCCUPY change that ? They’re mad at bankers – who were bailed out – and still are – by the Fed Govt. What about GM ? Why were they bailed out with your tax money?  Want to yell at someone – yell at : your rep, your senator and the  president: THEY are making this happen not the bankers.

    • Frosty

      I work for a company that does the same thing and can attest to the fact that your story is absolutely correct with WM being the worst offender. We had a situation this year where they made a mistake on an order and once they realized it, they just cancelled the overage – no matter that the goods were already produced “tough luck for you”. You fight them on it and they don’t order from you again. Quite the racket they have going – did you see the story where they are closing stoes in the US and opening them in, you guessed it, China.    

  • EliteScammers

    The campaign reform group Public Campaign has released a report called “Artful Dodgers,”
    identifying 12 corporations – including GE – that used these tactics to
    avoid paying any taxes while reaping huge benefits. More disturbingly,
    the report notes they collectively spent over a billion dollars
    influencing politicians to make Washington more corporate-friendly.

    According to the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO),
    eighty-three of the 100 largest publicly traded U.S. corporations
    utilize such tax havens to reduce their U.S. tax liability. Ironically,
    these accounting tricks aren’t available for companies that only do
    business in the United States, so Congress in effect is providing tax
    incentives to ship jobs overseas and dismantle the middle class.

  • Hidan

    Noam Chomsky Addresses Occupy Boston Protesters: NewsParticipation.com

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbxLA2uTWuw

  • Billpieper

    As usual, the media is a huge part of this problem. Enforcing the law is not a liberal or conservative issue. But mediabots are programmed to force every single issue – even those that are not very controversial - into this frame of false dichotomy. Mr. Greenwald is labeled as a “two-fisted liberal blogger” therefore everything he says will be summarily dismissed (or at best, listened to only to find counterpoints) by people who (inaccurately) label themselves as “conservative.”
    It is fair to label Mr. Greenwald as liberal, but in the context of applying the rule of law, to everyone regardless of class, he is in fact far more conservative than the most of the cartoon conservatives on TV. 

  • Vicki in Maine

    I feel sane, listening as Mr. Greenwald talks. The same as when I hear anyone speaking truth on the radio—it’s sadly too infrequent. I’ve been wondering lately if the Occupy movement might legitimize a valid third party. Wouldn’t that be something?

    • loc

      It would if they could unite as one group. Unfortunately, now there’s lots of infighting. Just check out OWS’s forum section. At least 80% of it is people cutting each other down instead of working together.

  • listener

    I’m listening to the program and hearing discussed that many leaders advocate not prosecuting elites. I would like to remind us that this point was made on On Point during the show with William Black and Lynn Stout.  William Black was making a very strong case for prosecuting the financiers who committed fraud in making mortgage loans.  Guest Lynne Stout sympathetically presented the case that we should not prosecute them because this would have a negative effect on banks in the country.  No concern about prosecute wrong doing–just concern about what effect prosecuting them would have on banks.

  • Banananawoman@gmail.com

    This story is fascinating – as an attorney, I was appalled even by the introduction that mentioned concepts such as being to firm in imposing the law. The thought of “sort of” enforcing the law strikes at my very heart. Listening to Mr. Greenwald discuss the use of law by elite members of society to oppress the lower classes sounded so familiar – as a legal services attorney at an LSC funded office, I am constantly explaining to law students and friends that LSC funded programs face  significant limitations because conservatives in government felt that legal services to the poor was unimportant and unworthy of adequate funding. I truly believe that this was a conscious decision designed to prevent poor people from accessing equal justice. Most people have no concept of the number of civil legal problems faced by the poor – evictions; discrimination in accessing benefits; discrimination in housing; inability to access family court systems, particularly concerning divorce and custody matters unless Child Protective Services is involved – the list goes on. My office turns away hundreds of potential clients every month because we do not have the resources to help everyone who both needs and qualifies for our assistance, and these are the poorest of the poor. Anyone who does not qualify for Food Stamps may very well not qualify for our services – but they still can’t afford a private attorney.

    • Anonymous

      According to Herman Cain it’s the fault of the poor people that they have these problems. The right is full of some very nasty social Darwinist who seem to wrap themselves in the Constitution but are ignorant of the Bill of Rights and how some of the founders saw viewed the idea of law. Greeewald mentioned Thomas Paine and Jefferson. I would add John Adams to the list.

      Thanks for your work and comments. It’s refreshing to read a well thought out response.

      • Dave in CT

        …or above working, even if it means flipping burgers for a start.

    • Anonymous

      As maddening and depressing as the situation you’ve outlined is, the poor are not totally without status like the undocumented migrants. And it seems even more clear to me that they’ve made concerted efforts to sway public policy to favor the denial of due process or even an acknowledgment for the basic tenets of universal human rights accords so that people can be rounded up wholesale and detained at lengths with a select few profiteering via the private business of detention.

  • Dave in CT

    This was a good day.

  • BRapoza

    Elites will always try to avoid laws that might hurt them. But the disparity today may be the result of the fact that there are just SO MANY laws, including laws that bail out these same financial elites when they screw up. Other laws and government institutions encouraged the very same wallstreet behavior that Greenwald wants to prosecute. When most of the country cheered on wallstreet for creating an obvious housing bubble, is there any surprise that we haven’t seen many prosecutions? While Greenwald’s call to ‘Hang ’em High’ might be emotionally satisfying, the better approach may be to just start rolling back the laws that encouraged, enabled and rewarded the financial foolishness that has brought us to our knees.I’d like to see Greenwald debate Harvey Silverglate (a civil liberties attorney/author with a different perspective).

    • Dave in CT

      Yes, the discretionary micromanagement of a more core, transparent Rule of Law.

    • Bill Pieper

      I think
      that “rolling back the laws that encouraged, enabled and rewarded the financial
      foolishness that has brought us to our knees” would be a good start, except
      that laws that were actually rolled back, namely Glass-Steagall, were to a
      large degree responsible for many of the abuses that occurred. One of the key
      points Greenwald has been making for years is that if lawbreakers are allowed
      to get away with crimes, then they will simply continue to flaunt the law and
      push the envelope and usher in even more lawlessness among the elite class. This
      has been a point debated for years after the Nixon pardon, not just by
      Greenwald, in that it only allowed even more egregious violations to occur in
      later administrations.

      Much of
      the Wall Street abuses did indeed happen within the law, in fact, the law has
      been changed to expose the greater financial system and the traditionally conservative
      commercial banking sector to systemic risk. The most egregious examples of bad
      behavior on Wall Street however amount to nothing less than various forms of
      financial fraud, especially accounting and control fraud. To simply allow these
      criminals to not only get away with the crimes but to retain most or all of
      their ill-gotten fortunes, much of it paid by taxpayers (or more accurately, future
      taxpayers) is unconscionable. It means that the US is no longer a nation of laws;
      it is a nation of men. This is in essence, what much of the Occupy Wall Street
      movement is about. For most of them, and most Americans, they do not begrudge
      people who are fortunate to be rich. Rather, as Matt Taibbi says so well, they
      are angry because they have cheated to win that fortune, and the rest of us,
      honest, tax-paying, law abiding citizens are forced to pay for their losses.
      This amounts to a massive transfer of wealth from hard working middle class Americans
      to a class of criminal elites that have de fact immunity from prosecution.

      As far
      as there being too many laws, well you have a point there. Much of the
      regulation that exists is put in place precisely to protect the monopolistic
      corporations that have captured the agencies charged with regulating their industries.
      The US is extraordinarily hostile to start-ups and small businesses in part
      because of this regulatory capture and proliferation of laws that, by design,
      inhibit healthy competition. The entrepreneurial class in the US is shrinking
      while it is increasing in many developing nations, especially in Asia.   

      • BRapoza

        Bill Pieper:  You can’t punish bankers for something that the regulators and lawmakers encouraged them to do. Homeowners didn’t exactly complain about the housing bubble either. And we’re still feebly attempting to prop-up the housing market. Sometimes the biggest problem is just bad ideas, not lawlessness, evil and corruption.

        • Bill Pieper

          I’m talking about punishing people for fraud. The evidence of fraud is overwhelming, yet no one has been prosecuted and as far as I can see, there are no ongoing investigations. In a couple years it will be mute as the statute of limitations will have run out anyway. 

          Lawlessness and criminal behavior must be punished – especially when the consequences of such behavior is so very destructive – lest future criminals be emboldened. Applying the rule of law is not something that should be up for debate. You might want to check out Bill Black’s “The Best Way to Rob a Bank is to Own One” for some enlightenment on what has occurred in the past two decades. 
          Furthermore, the popularity of a policy is irrelevant, though there were economists and traders that were talking about the dangers of both the housing bubble and the exposure of capital markets to unquantified or misunderstood risk back in 2004-05. Regulation of capital markets is not something that should be subjected to the whim of public opinion. 

          • BRapoza

            “Regulation of capital markets is not something that should be subjected to the whim of public opinion.” Yes, but it was. We’re not going to see anyone held responsible because everybody would be implicated in the crime. When that’s the case, you can’t reasonably expect prosecutions — it’s time to vote the rascals out. If people want a President who warned of the housing bubble, Ron Paul is running.

          • Bill Pieper

            I understand your point. However, even though much of the risky behavior was legal if unethical, there are clear cases of criminal fraud that were and are illegal. Not everyone committed crimes as defined by then and current law. But those that did violate the law should be prosecuted, criminal behavior, or unethical behavior for that matter, should not be incentivized as it currently is in our financial markets. In addition to the obvious damage to the economy, it does a huge disservice to the majority of people working in the financial industry who are honest and ethical.  

            What you seem to be suggesting is that it is OK to decriminalize fraud or other crime because many people benefited from the housing bubble or a policy of lax regulation and easy money was popular. If that is the case, then you do not believe in the concept of rule of law. 
            My point about people warning about the bubble is simply to show that not everyone was on board (and that includes me).

          • BRapoza

            You’re probably right, I’m just skeptical that it’s either helpful or fair to prosecute anyone at this late date — especially when those actually responsible for the bubble – such as Alan Greenspan – will not be touched by any law.

          • Dave in CT

            Literally chased out of town.

          • Buddhaclown

            Wait . . . how can someone hate the “Elites” AND believe in the “rule of law” when it is those very “elites” who wrote the laws?!!

          • Bill Pieper

            A Ron Paul presidency is a frightening a prospect as it is unlikely. But he deserves huge credit for his and Alan Grayson’s “audit the Fed” legislation. The ugliness revealed in the audit has not yet been really discussed much in popular media, not is it likely to be. The fact that Grayson and Paul were in lockstep agreement, and it was massively popular (like 90% support I think according to polls) should demonstrate to the ruling elite that this issue is NOT a liberal or conservative issue. Of course, they will never get the memo on this. 

          • BRapoza

            Maybe about as unlikely as the prosecutions you’re advocating ;)  As to Ron Paul being “frightening,” I think we’d be far safer from pointless wars and financial disasters with him in the White House.  He’s the rare candidate who seems more interested in protecting the American people than preserving the powers and privileges accumulated by the Presidency.

          • Bill Pieper
          • Dave in CT

            Black/Greenwald 2012

            Put that on some OWS signs……

          • Dave in CT

            “The president came in, with the perfect opportunity to change things”

            Exactly. That is, after all, what people voted for.  We are still retching from the More of the Same he served us when he picked his banking -crony advisors, and non-law enforcers.

  • Str8tTalk

    Thank you for this story!! It was great to hear someone explain in plain terms what the laws are and how they were broken. That is black and white.  What I don’t understand is why we don’t use the right language in respect to these situations. This is CORRUPTION on multiple levels. Maybe we will get some where if we start calling it what it is. 

    Plus I would like to point out that Michael Moore was the 1st person to call people out to occupy wall street in his movie Capitalism: A Love Story. 

    EXCELLENT INTERVIEW!

  • Zadie Like

    GREAT SHOW!  I can’t wait
    to read your book Glenn. I went to Amazon.com to download it onto my
    Kindle – BUT THERE IS NO KINDLE VERSION!  Please try and get your
    publishers to pull their heads out of there butts so everyone can read
    this very important book.

  • M-s-vs

    Thank you for the truth.

  • Dave in CT

    Greenwald on Original Ron Paul Tea Party vs. GOP

    http://politics.salon.com/2010/02/21/libertarianism/

  • Anonymous

    Glenn guided us through the faltering legal system but let’s not kid ourselves into thinking that even if by some odd chance that the elites are indeed held accountable, prosecuted and sentenced, that they’ll come out from that sentence with opportunities that your average two bit pot dealer never would be afforded in the form of book deals and/or lucrative reality TV appearances and what-not. That’s not solely a problem with the judicial system. That’s a problem more to do with us.

  • TodaysNumbers

    Hmm… today’s totals are telling.

    As of 11:59 p.m. EST, here are today’s Troll Comment Participation (TCP):

    1st Hour’s show:   ‘Herman Cain’ story:   30% TCP

    2nd Hour’s show:  ‘Lawless Elite’ story:   0.8% TCP

    Trolls contributing to one story, but not another…

    … maybe, they don’t have a leg to stand on.

    • Bill Pieper

      Or perhaps there is just not a natural “anti rule of law” troll constituency. Give it time, though, I’m sure the “conservatives” and the deplorable American media will twist what should be a simple matter of applying law into a left v. right issue, they just can’t help themselves poor things.

  • Dee

    Bush and his gang busters in the executive branch have along with their cohorts in the Congressional branch , the CIA & FBI , judiciary,branch and now the financial class have all discredited themselves before the law and the American people today and thus they must all be rejected as representing  “we the people…..”  They have all shamefully Whitewashed and subordinated Internation-al law and The Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the sake of National Security … And I can’t think of anyone who emphasized this disparity more clear-ly than the written dissent by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Sonia Sotomayor, and Justice Bryer this summer in the case of banning “material support” to terrorist groups in a 6-3 vote, the majority had been “too credulous” in accepting the government’ argument that national security’s concerns requiring restrictions on the challengers’ speech and “had failed to insist on specific evidence , rather than general assertions.”   Thus , this law must be amended to the Constitution and a new para-digm must be redrawn on national security by “we the people…”  I suggest Mr. Greenald select a team of people to help him do this do in collaboration with the occupy Wall Street Movement nation wide… (Perhaps, include Former US attorney General Ramsey Clark, Former President and peace activist Jimmy Carter and Senator Patrick Leahywho was such an outspoken member of the democratic party during the Bush years, and Robert Reich and Paul krugman and Elizabeth Warren who were outspoken opponents of working people on the Financial meltdown and disparity…) Dee

  • Madame Defarge

    This really smells like France,
    around the year 1789.  I hope our
    aristocrats haven’t exported all our guillotine manufacture to China.  If so, they’ll just have to tolerate our
    experimentation until we perfect the technology.  I always say, a clean cut is the best for all
    concerned, but it might be a little dicey at first.  They’re such a brave and courageous bunch,
    I’m sure they won’t mind.

  • Anonymous

    I am so disappointed in Glenn Greenwald, I must say. The law, in every society, it’s main purpose is to preserve the power structure; in the case of the US of A it’s to protect the property owners. It has always been like this, and there is nothing new in what’s happening now. His thesis is bull.

    • Shari Wagner

      That’s exactly what Glenn said. Did you even listen to the story?

    • Dave in CT

      Anarchy!

      Enjoy Might makes Right!  There was some nice M-16 discussions below……

  • Beez

    I think this book is poignant for the time. It may not “solve” anything, but this sentiment is obviously what millions feel, so it can’t be a bad thing. The Occupy movements are showing that Americans still have some soul and fight left in us. Books like this help galvanize people and eliminate the left vs right BS.
    I see it as a good discussion on Bill Maher.

    • Dave in CT

      The reason the concept of Rule of Law has survived over the centuries is that it is simple, and self-evident to our sense of justice.

      It’s a civilized human concept, not a political party slogan. Unfortunately, apart from demonized libertarians, not many people have talked about it in our recent history, allowing shallow partisan politics to deliver all manner of corruption and cronyism and the systemic handcuffing of a blind Rule of Law.

      IMO this is the core issue that can find agreement among the 80%+ Americans who have No Confidence in our Government anymore.

      We don’t need to embellish it with partisan hopes and dreams, saving the world via government, or enforcing a theocratic vision down everyones throat.

      We need to hit the Reset button on our core values.

      We can get petty over the bells and whistles after that.

      IMO that Black video is a great point of focus.

      Without broad support of a focused and fundamental agenda, we will get nowhere.

      http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=7502

  • Disgusted

    The best way to get at the ultra rich, who only understand money, is to hit them in the pocketbook. Stop buying all those expensive unnecessary gadgets and services  they sell. Cell phones being a prime example.

    • Kayaksolo

      well there is a middle way. buy a $50 cell phone spend $100/year for 1000 minutes and use it when you have to.  Problem is that if us hippies convince the sleepers to effectively cut demand, the systems all falls down, and since the top 1% own the government the bottom 99 will do all the suffering.

      • AndreaMitch

        I’m guessing you don’t even use the 1000 minutes, no friends and family plan for you!

    • AndreaMitch

      Sounds like a justice system designed by the poor and pathetic, envy is not the emotion we need to drive justice.

  • http://twitter.com/TongoRad TongoRad

    A bit disappointed in Greenwald’s misread of the OWS movement. I think people are thinking a bit beyond restoring law and order to capitalism. Also, Greenwald failed to factor in the role that the corporate media had in the creation of the faux-populist Tea party.

    • Dave in CT

      I see you are in the one step forward, two steps back crowd.

      Good luck with your Communist Revolution, or Anarchy.

  • Dave in CT

    I think we should re-read Reckless Endangerment; Gretchen Morgenson, and re-listen to the Black and Greenwald shows over and over and over until we can recite them in our sleep. We could never act/vote the same again.

  • Zakster

    It may be mostly true that the poor get a fair trial, the rich get acquitted. Exceptions also exist: Madoff and Rajaratnam. But i expect these are tokens of “justice” only, to avoid the appearance that the legal system is beyond redemption.

    Not to worry. God is just, and His justice will be revealed at some future date. Stay tuned!

    • Kayaksolo

      When you (or a friend of yours) are on trial in texas with your life on the line, and your public defender falls asleep in court, and you cannot get an appeal on that basis then tell me about the poor getting a fair trial.  This has happened (but not to a personal friend of mine)  over 100 released from death row because of the Innocence Project.  What is reasonable doubt?  It depends who will be executed.

  • Zero

    Read about the current governor of Florida, Rick Scott.  He is the poster-boy of what Greenwald is saying. 

    • Kayaksolo

      Hey, they never indicted him, he did not do anything wrong! Yes I am sure.

      • AndreaMitch

        You’ve never been indicted either, but we all know you’re guilty.

      • Zero

        Rick Scott currently owes $350 million worth of stock.  He was also CEO and Chairman of the HCA that pleaded guilty to 14 felonies and had to pay for the largest civil suit in American history–2 billion dollars.  He is the reason why we needed healthcare reform. 

        I don’t care if you are a republican or a democrat–Rick Scott is a crook who governs with a totalitarian attitude, constantly hurting the poor and giving tax breaks to the rich, trying to drill in the everglades, and impeding voter rights. 

        So think again if you can think. 

  • Themexlove

    Tom: I like your show, but Glenn Greenwald is a liberal hack who uses his observations as a pretext to attack Republicans. Every example he used, is of  a supposedly Republican sin. His observations are fundamentally unbalanced and dishonest. I stopped listening to this program.

    • Zero

      Why can’t you argue against Greenwald’s argument?  Why do you give the ad hominem attack? 

      Lean how to argue instead of getting suck into propaganda. 

      • Kayaksolo

        If you know how to argue you can see the tricks used and have to abandon being a dittohead. Not going to happen.

        • Zero

          Then start naming the fallacies of logic!  I just named one against themexlove.  It is easy.  This is the same type of crap republicans do to Obama: Obama makes a compelling argument and the republican rebuttal is “Oh, I don’t like his rhetoric.” 

          Republicans are notoriously scared to hold an argument; that is why they cry and cry about college professors, and they’re best argument against Obama is “don’t listen to the rhetoric.”  But the lot of you are invalids who love simplicity and hide intellectual inferiority under the guise of “commonsense.”  In reality, your commonsense is a construction of stereotypes and prejudices learned by the age 18.    

    • JayB

      That’s funny… I’m listening to the show and hearing him take some swipes at Obama right now.

    • Guest

      they addressed Greenwald’s bias at 5:05.  Did you even start listening to the program?

  • Brian42

    Extremely important show.  Extremely important topic.  Please return to this subject again.  We all have a responsibility to learn more about what is going on here, and make up our own minds about what we’re going to do about it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brennan-Moriarty/100000655771831 Brennan Moriarty

    They call it king-”dom” [dumb] because our emotional intelligence is dedicated to power, and instability scares anyone, and the instability [causation] may be as small as the super rich; and these causations [outcomes for national [immigrant?] incomes G.D.Happiness–normative spaciality navigation].
    The puppet strings of a finer america [in a jungle of poliester] are within reach that will give more control/interest, in stability [and peace from inner justice]. Threads of ANNNYT to filter functional $tability on winning tabs.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

    The American justice system is the best legal system money can buy. Without a dramatic reform of our campaign finance and lobby system nothing will change.

    • AndreaMitch

      Yeah, there are plenty of rich people in jail, but keep the whining coming.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

        “Plenty of rich people in jail?” Are you kidding? Who’s whining? I’m calling for reform (and heads).

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=658033938 John Graff

    “An independent, impartial judiciary; the presumption of innocence; the right to a fair and public trial without undue delay; a rational and proportionate approach to punishment; a strong and independent legal profession; strict protection of confidential communications between lawyer and client; equality of all before the law; these are all fundamental principles of the Rule of Law. Accordingly, arbitrary arrests; secret trials; indefinite detention without trial; cruel or degrading treatment or punishment; intimidation or corruption in the electoral process, are all unacceptable. The Rule of Law is the foundation of a civilised society. It establishes a transparent process accessible and equal to all. It ensures adherence to principles that both liberate and protect.” 
    Resolution of the Council of the International Bar Association of October 8, 2009, on the Commentary on Rule of Law Resolution (2005) 

  • Buddhaclown

    I don’t get it . . . how can strict enforcement of the law be the solution to the “problem of the Elites” when the “Elites” are the ones who write the laws . . .

    Am I missing something here?

  • adamF

    I see two stages here.  First is when the elite use power to better themselves at the expense of everyone else.  This is bad, since everyone else has to put up with unfair practices, some oppression, etc.  But the country can still limp along.

    However, if the elites maintain too much corruption for too long, the people lose faith in the political system.  Then there’s blood on the streets and war and poverty as the whole system collapses.  And that’s the terrible danger looming behind this whole thing.  Because seeing a bunch of corrupt bankers strung up on lampposts won’t make me feel one bit better if the country collapses.

  • Veronicafrostick

    Heaven help us.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Aug 1, 2014
A close up of newspaper front pages focusing on the Ebola outbreak, including a newspaper, left, reading 'Burn all bodies' in the city of Monrovia, Liberia, Thursday, July 31, 2014. The worst recorded Ebola outbreak in history surpassed 700 deaths in West Africa. (AP)

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