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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 10/10/12

US supreme court finalizes gift of immunity to the telecom giants

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Cross-posted from The Guardian

Yet again, the Congress, courts, executive branch and the establishment media work together to protect the nation's most powerful actors


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The telecom giant has another big win in US courts Photograph: Getty

So pervasive and reliable is the rule of elite immunity -- even in the face of the most egregious crimes -- that one finds extreme examples on a weekly basis. Six weeks ago, the Obama justice department forever precluded the possibility of criminal accountability for Bush torturers by refusing to bring charges in the only two remaining torture cases, ones involving the deaths of the detainee-victims by torture.

The Obama campaign is now running a new campaign ad against Mitt Romney that rails against a litany of Wall Street "criminals" and "gluttons of greed," but as David Dayen astutely notes, those examples were all imprisoned during the Bush era because the Obama administration has prosecuted no significant Wall Street executives for the 2008 financial collapse and thus have none of their own examples to highlight:

"So the Obama campaign could not fill a list of three Wall Street criminals that the Obama Justice Department actually sent to jail. Heck, they couldn't fill a list of one!

"This is despite Eric Holder telling students at Columbia University in February of this year that his Justice Department's record of success on fighting financial fraud crimes 'has been nothing less than historic.' But not historic enough that his boss could point to, well, one Wall Street criminal behind bars as a result of DoJ's actions.

"That's painfully telling. Nobody from Bank of America or Wells Fargo or Citigroup or JPMorgan Chase or Goldman Sachs or Bear Stearns or Morgan Stanley or Merrill Lynch or even Countrywide or Ameriquest was available to stand in as a 'glutton of greed' in this advertisement. Literally no major figure responsible for the financial crisis has gone to jail. So the campaign has to use two CEOs from a decade-old accounting scandal, and a garden-variety Ponzi schemer."

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