Sunday, June 20

Brooks Equates $20B Restitution Fund w/ War Crimes of Cheney

Wherein New York Times Columnist David Brooks backs up Joe Barton on the "Shakedown" thing.

Brooks: We're a nation of laws, we have laws to protect the unpopular even those who do bad things. We have a set of laws. What President Obama did when he very publicly and very brutally strong-armed BP was that he went around these laws. Well, just imagine if Dick Cheney did it to somebody he didn't like?

I'm not worried about what'll happen with the money, I'm worried about the erosion of the rule of law, the President using the vast powers of the government to strong-arm a company -not matter how unpopular, no matter how badly they may have behaved.

So let me get this perfectly straight, the idea here is that Obama circumvented the rule of law by getting BP to pay for the damage that they caused without first taking them to court? They struck, essentially a "gentlemen's agreement" - the same thing that might happen outside of a courtroom in order to defer or end litigation to accomplish the same goal, which is Restore the people of the Gulf.

Shields nails it (Obama Derangement Syndrome):

Shields: What does Barton do, he takes BP and identifies them with the Republican Party. He puts a Republican face on BP. It's almost an inclination to Blame America First, these people are so consumed with attacking President Obama, they're going to take the side of BP!?

The main objection, and you can see it here in this clip with Bill O'Reilly Grilling Michele Bachman, is that they Obama used the threat of prosecution in order to "extort" money from BP. The thing is this is what just about every prosecutor in the country does when they arrange for a plea bargain for a lesser charge when the accused agrees to admit their guilt and make reasonable restitution.

Even Bill O'Reilly gets it:

O'Reilly: I want Obama to strong-arm these guys, it's one of the best things he's done in this whole thing!

Amen to that.

But when comparing to the Bush Administration, there is not a "Coulda, Shoulda, Woulda" to this - because the Bush Administration actually did the exact same thing with various corporations nearly 100 times.

"Last month, prosecutors and the company reached an unusual deferred prosecution agreement, under which Bristol-Myers has two years to clean up its act and prove it can operate lawfully. If it stays clean, it won't face criminal charges. Also under the terms of the agreement, Bristol-Myers made a $300 million payment to a shareholder-restitution fund and Mr. Dolan (CEO of Bristol-Myers) gave up the chairman's post to Mr. Robinson."


...will (not)criminally prosecute Chevron Corporation and its subsidiaries
(collectively, "CHEVRON") for any crimes related to its purchases of Iraqi oil under the United Nations Oil-for-Food Program from in or about mid-2000 up to and including in or about March 2003, that involved the payment by third parties of secret illegal surcharges to the former Government of Iraq, including asset forth in Exhibit A. which is incorporated by reference herein.
It is the intent of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern
District of New York to seek the transfer of $20,000,000 of these funds to the Development Fund of Iraq (sanctioned on May 21, 2003, by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1483) to be used as restitution to the people of Iraq asthe intended beneficiaries of the proceeds of the sale of all Iraqi oil made pursuant to the United Nations 011-for-Food Program.

Contrast all of this with Dick Cheney, because there is no "IF" when it comes to his involvement in Circumventing the Rule of Law against people who may - MAY - have done bad things....

Dick Cheney, with his surrogates Liz Cheney and Marc Theissen who continue to this day to argue that it's inappropriate to apply the Rules of War including the Geneva Conventions to Foreign Enemy combatants, who continue to this day to argue that Waterboarding isn't Torture - even though America has prosecuted people for it for over 100 years, going all the way back to the Spanish-American War.

Comparing Obama getting BP to pay for the cleanup of the Gulf and people who've been impacted by the spill is NOTHING compared to the Presidential Overreach and gross bumrushing of the Rule of Law that the Bush Administration - especially Dick (Halliburton) Cheney - perpetrated.

Whether it was illegal rendition, illegal wiretaps, kidnapping, torture, creating an assassination squad - practically nothing stopped Dick Cheney from completely "Circumventing the Rule Of Law" on a regular basis.


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