The Frontline TV show recently ran an episode named "The Untouchables," about why no Wall Street criminals responsible for the 2008 crash have been prosecuted. Martin Smith interviewed federal Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer:
MARTIN SMITH: "Is that really the job of a prosecutor, to worry about anything other than simply pursuing justice?"
LANNY BREUER: "... the entire responsibility of the department is to pursue justice. But in any given case, I think I and prosecutors around the country, being responsible, should speak to regulators, should speak to experts, because if I bring a case against institution A, and as a result of bringing that case, there's some huge economic effect - if it creates a ripple effect so that suddenly counterparties and other financial institutions or other companies that had nothing to do with this are affected badly - it's a factor we need to know and understand."
What Mr. Breuer and his colleagues don't seem to understand is that one purpose of the law is deterrence of future crimes. Granting malefactors total impunity, out of some extraneous concern for short-term "ripple effects," creates an incentive for further mischief in the long run. The unpunished financial hustlers are free to carry on as before, and why not - with taxpayer-supported guarantees of a bailout if it all goes south and a get-out-of-jail-free card, the profits are irresistible.
This same mentality infects another sphere of our political life, demonstrated recently in the annual celebration of Martin Luther King day. Nowhere in the entire MSM (Mainstream Media) has it ever been reported that a civil trial in 1999 in Memphis found that MLK had been assassinated not by a lone nut, but by a high-level conspiracy.
After hearing the testimony of 70 witnesses, the 12 jurors reached a unanimous verdict.
Coretta Scott King, MLK's widow, has stated: "The jury was clearly convinced by the extensive evidence that was presented during the trial that, in addition to Mr. Jowers, the conspiracy of the Mafia, local, state and federal government agencies, were deeply involved in the assassination of my husband. The jury also affirmed overwhelming evidence that identified someone else, not James Earl Ray, as the shooter, and that Mr. Ray was set up to take the blame... our sole concern has been that the full truth of the assassination has been revealed and adjudicated in a court of law."
That truth has been deliberately suppressed by our Fourth Estate. In another trial in Miami in 1985, Hunt vs. Liberty Lobby, 12 jurors determined that the Watergate conspirator and ex-CIA agent E. Howard Hunt had been in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, the date of JFK's assassination, despite his disavowals, and concluded that the CIA had been involved in the assassination. The winning defendant's attorney, Mark Lane (who had also represented the deceased Oswald), was jubilant - now the unmitigated truth could be finally heralded.
But it never happened. The case, which should be as famous as the Scope's monkey trial in American history, never made it past the local Miami news stations. Quarantined. Blacked out. Erased from memory as effectively as Pravda covering up Stalin's bloody crimes. Why?
Mr. Breuer's rationale pertains here: The ugly truth could damage the American brand abroad, our enemies could use it as propaganda, idealistic schoolchildren could be demoralized, the elderly might suffer strokes, the Dow Jones could take a dive... yada, yada, yada. And no American pundit, scholar or politician wants to be branded with the dread tarbrush "conspiracy theorist," so all genuine conspirators have to do is set up the most clumsy patsy, and our top truthseekers will swallow it faster than Gomer Pyle splurging on a hobo's Rolex.
And so elite criminals go Scot free, emboldened with this carte blanche to commit more mayhem. It's as if Ted Kaczynski's brother decided to keep his suspicions to himself, because revealing the Unabomber's crimes would put a stain on the family honor and impair their employment and investment opportunities.
Yes, the internet is full of wacky theories and disinformation, and not everything you read online can be fully trusted.
But with these cases, the MSM has demonstrated that neither can it be fully trusted to tell us the whole truth, especially when it impinges on a criminal warmongering corporatocracy that since WWII has come to rule Washington as ruthlessly as Al Capone ruled Chicago.
Travis Kelly is a web/graphic designer, writer and cartoonist in Grand Junction. See his work or contact him at www.traviskelly.com.