RUSSIAN SPIES GET QUICK "JUSTICE" WHILE WALL STREET CRIMINALS REMAIN AT LARGE WITH FEW PROSECUTIONS
1500 Bankers went to Jail After the S&L Crisis. Almost None Today
By Danny Schechter, author of The Crime of Our Time
We just witnessed justice on steroids. Ten Russian "spies"--even if we still don't know what they were spying on or why--were brought to court, copped a plea, and were on their way out of the country by midnight.
The wheels of justice move quickly when governments want them to. Wam, bam, thank you ma'am.
When a crisis is looming--in foreign affairs or even potential embarrassment for a country in the spotlight, Courts jump to; cases are rapidly disposed of and the wrath of the law is felt with dispatch.
In South Africa, land of the World Cup and vuvuzelas, special courts were set up to avoid a crisis of image if an expected crime wave erupted. Noted the New York Times:
"To swiftly handle the anticipated caseload -- to satisfy the robbed, the throttled, the burgled, the scammed -- 54 courtrooms around the country were set aside, "on the ball" from 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. and staffed with 110 magistrates, 260 prosecutors, 1,140 court officials and 200 translators.
But only 172 cases have come to the World Cup courts, the noise of the gavels no match for the vuvuzelas. The scorecard, as tallied by the Justice Ministry through July 5, reads: 104 convictions, 7 acquittals, 28 withdrawn or dismissed, 33 pending."
Now, contrast this approach to the handling of our financial crisis where nary a financial big shot has gone to jail or even been tried. Despite the loss of trillions and the destruction of our economy, its business as usual in the halls of justice where, as Lenny Bruce once quipped, "the only justice is in the halls."
The government is not pushing prosecutions and there are no special courts despite all the anger in the public at the crimes of Wall Street. According to a recent report in Forbes, the Business magazine, financial crime is gowing.
"Mortgage fraud is on the rise, as are bogus job counseling services and frauds conducted over the Internet. Since the financial crisis erupted in 2008, the FBI's 1,000-agent New York office has tripled its mortgage fraud investigations squad and beefed up its securities and financial fraud group.