By Michael Collins
(Washington, DC) Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich just got 14 years in prison. He wheeled and dealed to leverage contributions and other favors based on his position as governor. He was indicted by former special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald (who tanked the Valerie Plame case).
Maybe it was the former governor's colorful (and to some vulgar) language captured on audio tapes or his brash style. Regardless of the motives, the time, money and attention wasted on his indictment and trial stand in stark contrast to the crimes never prosecuted, crimes that resulted in death, unnecessary illness and suffering, and the loss of trillions of dollars caused by the perpetrators of the current economic crisis. (Image: michaelpickard)
While prosecutors pick easy targets like Blagojevich, serious crimes go unprosecuted.
President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard Cheney lied about the basis for invading Iraq. As a result, they are responsible for the deaths of soldiers resulting from that invasion and occupation.
These two were the architects of the March 2003 invasion of Iraq and the subsequent occupation. Bush and Cheney told us that Iraq presented an imminent danger to the United States. The proof of that assertion was provided to Congress as evidence to approve military action. The intelligence community provided the White House with a National Intelligence Estimate of Iraq's danger. The White House forwarded it to Congress and made it available for inspection by every member before the votes that authorized the war on October 10 and 11, 2002.
We know for sure that the following line from the original NIE was deleted before the proof of Iraq's danger was provided by the White House:
probably would attempt clandestine attacks against the U.S. Homeland if
Baghdad feared an attack that threatened the survival of the regime
were imminent or unavoidable, or possibly for revenge. " NIE, 10/2002
This sentence is critical. Let's accept all the false assertions about weapons of mass destruction and Iraq's threat to anyone, the United States included. If the intent of Bush and Cheney was to protect the United States, they would have recommended against an invasion based on this evidence. The fear of an actual attack or the desire for "revenge" after an attack were the two scenarios offered that would spur an attack on the US by Iraq.
The deletion of this critical sentence proves that the White House intended to go to war without regard to the risk to the nation.
This deliberate deception leading to war formed a central part of the analysis that lead one of the greatest prosecutors in our history to conclude that George W. Bush was criminally responsible for the deaths of the US soldiers committed to war based on a lie. The charge Bugliosi offered is embedded in the title of his book, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder.
Any prosecutor in the hometown of any fallen soldier can bring murder charges against Bush and Cheney. None have, despite the fact Bugliosi outlined the case in great detail in his book.
Bush and Cheney are free to enjoy their lives.
But Rod Blagojevich will be locked up for 14 years for doing what most politicians do.
corporate officers and board of directors of the Mortgage Electronic
Registration System (MERS) and the same officials at every financial
institution that used the MERS mortgage contract for home sales committed massive mortgage fraud.
Over 65 million home sales in the US utilized a standard mortgage agreement from MERS, a creation of the big banks and the Mortgage Bankers Association. At the opening of that contract, this or similar language appeared in these agreements: