Monday, October 15, 2007

Worst Corruption Ever

Who is Joseph Nacchio? He was CEO of Qwest communications, convicted earlier this year of 23 counts of insider trading. He is free while he appeals his conviction, and thank goodness. Nacchio claims that the National Security Agency asked Qwest to violate regulations on warrantless surveillance in February 2001, seven months before September 11th.

Nacchio was advised that the request was illegal and he refused to go along with the Bushite scheme. His good deed did not go unpunished. Qwest was immediately cut out of government contracts and Nacchio was successfully prosecuted by the federal government.

"Nacchio discovered that the NSA was engaged in a project to gather warrantless surveillance data on millions of Americans. He took advice of counsel. His lawyers told him, correctly, that this was illegal. They probably also warned him that if Qwest participated in the program, it would be committing a felony. So Nacchio said, no, sorry, I can’t work with you on this. But I can help if you want to change the law. And the reaction of the NSA? It was, apparently, to cut Qwest out of a series of contract awards by way of retaliation. (If that charge sticks, it would probably be yet another felony.) And the second reaction? To try to build a criminal case against Nacchio as a means of retaliation against him. (And if that charge sticks, it would probably be yet a third felony–on the part of the Government officials who did it). We are seeing the Government engaging in a sweeping pattern of criminal dealings, and ultimately, one of the biggest crimes of all, abusing the criminal justice process to strike out at an individual who refused to play their crooked game."

No wonder Rove and Gonzales resigned. They may be going to jail themselves. Oh wait, that would mean the Democrats were actually willing to send them to jail. Sorry. I forgot how things really work. Back to reality.

The first effort to allow warrantless spying on Americans began in 2000, when Bill Clinton was still president. Will the second president Clinton investigate that ought-to-be-scandal? Take a wild guess.

Now the telecoms (ATT, Verizon) are using their cash to buy off Congress and get immunity from their law breaking. Democrats like Sen. Jay Rockefeller have already expressed a willingness to throw democracy under the bus. Because citizens have successfully used the courts to bring some of the dirt to light, the telecoms are scared and must now turn to bribery.

The hat tip goes to Chris Floyd of the Empire Burlesque blog for once again exposing the bipartisan corruption in Washington.