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January 9, 2014

Christie's Apology and Firings Are Not Good Enough-- Prosecute Perps

By Rob Kall

Chris Christie's has fired key people and apologized. That's not good enough. It's not good enough because Christie put the people who conspired to punish political opponents into power. Christie gave them the free rein and trust to operate independently. He should be calling for an independent investigation and should order state police to arrest the perpetrators.


Chris Christie
(Image by TV MSNBC)
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Chris Christie's has fired key people and apologized. That's not good enough. He says, "I'm responsible for this. The buck stops at my desk."

It's not good enough because Christie put the people who conspired to punish political opponents into power. Christie gave them the free rein and trust to operate independently. 

The abuses of the citizenry happened because of the decisions and judgment made by Chris Christie. He says that the behavior and language used in the emails was not acceptable. But he created the milieu. He formed the team. He set the values and guidelines. This abuse of power fulminated out of a culture of contempt and arrogance, of nastiness and meanness that did not just pop out of nowhere. 

Christie says he was told it was a traffic study. We don't know if he knew or not. We don't know if he is lying. It doesn't matter. Leaders are accountable. Christie says, "I delegate enormous authority to my staff... I do not manage in that kind of micro way." This is a confession of guilt. This is an acknowledgement that his style of leadership produced this shameful behavior. 

CNN reports, in an email press release,
" September lane closures near the George Washington Bridge connecting New Jersey to Manhattan snarled traffic for days in Fort Lee, New Jersey -- an event that was not only inconvenient but also potentially delayed emergency services, endangering people's lives, New Jersey state Sen. Ray Lesniak told CNN's 'New Day.'"
It is not enough that he fire the people who perpetrated the actions. Those people should be prosecuted. I'm not a lawyer, but abusing the power of government the way these people did should be illegal. Christie, if he's really going to go all the way in trying to clear his name, should invite the independent appointment of an independent body to investigate this, with the intention of prosecuting and jailing the perpetrators. 

When protestors disrupt traffic the police arrest them. Protesters are engaging in civil disobedience, knowing they are at risk of being arrested, jailed and fined. The people Christie has fired did something far worse. Christie, as governor, probably has the power to order the state police to arrest and charge these people who have left him "heartbroken, incredibly disappointed and ... just stunned." He says he hasn't gotten to the anger stage yet. That is very telling. How could a leader who has purportedly had his trust betrayed, by people who abuse thousands of citizens, not be furious and outraged?

Frankly, there's no way Christie can apologize his way out of this situation. He failed. But his failure to go all the way in making the perpetrators accountable will absolutely show his true colors.

If we the people and the media cut Christie slack on this, as I'm pretty sure people like David Gregory and the folks at Fox News will do, then we will be setting a precedent where the old canard of using "plausible deniability," which has been used in countless movies, can be pulled up and used for the most heinous, egregious abuses. 

Saying "I didn't know" is not acceptable. 

Update From the NY Times:
" The United States attorney for New Jersey, Paul J. Fishman, opened an inquiry after the matter was referred to the office by the inspector general for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which controls the bridge."

Submitters Bio:

Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

Rob Kall Wikipedia Page

Rob Kall's Bottom Up Radio Show: Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com

Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.

To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article. For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V..  and here's an article on the Storycon Summit Meeting he founded and organized for eight years. Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal: Party's Left Pushes for a Seat at the Table

Here is a one hour radio interview where Rob was a guest- on Envision This, and here is the transcript. 

To watch Rob having a lively conversation with John Conyers, then Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click hereWatch Rob speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.

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