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Guantanamo detainees
JP Morgan Chase Board of Directors enjoy a corporate retreat. (Shane T. McCoy, U.S. Navy/Wikimedia Commons)
If there's one thing we've learned about Wall Street crimes, it's that they're difficult to nail down with certainty and get convictions on. The defendants have access to the highest-priced, fanciest defense lawyers and bottomless PR resources. The law makes it difficult and sometimes impossible to tell with certainty the difference between conscious fraud and merely poor "business judgment." And, of course, there's an entire major political party and theory of governance that says it's not only perfectly legitimate for the wealthy to be able to smash and grab whatever cash and assets they can get their hands on, but that it's something actually ordained by God.

But those worries will all be behind us now, once it becomes legal to indefinitely imprison American citizens without charge or trial. Huzzah!

Just think of it! With the right paperwork filed, all those banksters you thought you could just never nail could be rounded up and thrown in the slammer. And you'd never even have to worry about "evidence" or any of that other junk, because there's no trial involved! And who cares if what they've done isn't exactly a crime? Because you don't need a charge, either! What would be the point, anyway? Why charge a person you're not going to try?

I asked noted blowjob mentioner Marcy Wheeler about this sort of scenario, and though she thought the application might in fact be narrower than I imagined, she nonetheless came up with a legitimate plan for indefinitely detaining JP Morgan Chase President Jamie Dimon. That'd be a fine thing, given that it was JP Morgan behind this other stink-ass stunt that pissed me off recently, even though it's something we've known about for a very long time, apparently. Which actually only means I'm even more annoyed that some of the local officials involved in this nonsense are in jail for taking the bribes, but the Wall Street types who offered them are free and doubtless enjoying bonuses.

Why aren't those who paid the bribes behind bars? Who knows? And more importantly, who cares? Now that all that stands between the right kind of rotten jerk and a lifetime rotting in prison is a little fancy footwork, there's no reason in the world that people we're really, really, really sure totally suck—a lot—shouldn't be rounded up and carted off to the hoosegow. The president—any president—need only look Congress in the eye and say the bum is a terrorist, and that's that. And really, who's to say who's a terrorist and who isn't, these days? Let's just say the evidence is a "state secret" and leave it at that, shall we? The point is, the guy is pissing the president off. Or pissing off someone the president—again, any president—would prefer was in a better mood.

If this is starting to sound like a bad idea to you, then you're getting the idea that maybe there's a larger problem here.

But if not, then that's great! Our bankster problems are over! The president's hands are at last untied in these matters. Hallelujah!

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Comment Preferences

  •  You had me at noted blowjob mentioner (12+ / 0-)

    The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy;the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness

    by CTMET on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 02:08:12 PM PST

  •  then you're getting the idea that maybe there's a (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Ya think?

    - If you don't like gay marriage, blame straight people. They're the ones who keep having gay babies.

    by r2did2 on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 02:09:15 PM PST

  •  Domestic economic terrorists. (15+ / 0-)

    The deepest, darkest hole is neither deep enough nor dark enough for these bastards.

    The real enemy of the good is not the perfect, but the mediocre.

    by Orange County Liberal on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 02:10:37 PM PST

    •  Not Just the Banksters Either (8+ / 0-)

      Some members of Congress fall into this "economic terrorist" category too!  Just think about all of those statements publicly uttered by the likes of McConnell and Boehner.  Whisk them off to 'Gitmo.  They just don't show up for quorum calls and nobody knows where they went.  Well, maybe they just got depressed about their lives and decided to just end it all.  They'll show up some day.  Personally, I couldn't think of a better way to demonstrate that this law is horrendous, to members of both parties.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 02:55:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Oh and the Torture nlanguge.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Just do enough to have some fun and find out who the other  conspiratorial ones are. Can you please publicly telivise  Lord Blankfukers waterboarding? :)P

        "Obama, the change that leads to indefinite detention and the abrogation of the Constitution! Yes He Can!"

        by hangingchad on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 10:09:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  The law of unintended consequences. ...... (0+ / 0-)

        I love this diary!

        But those worries will all be behind us now, once it becomes legal to indefinitely imprison American citizens without charge or trial.

        Rhetoric has to be matched with actions. "Only actions don't lie."

        by allenjo on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 10:23:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I see no reason to stop at the banksters (7+ / 0-)

    How about a certain diaper-wearing senator from Louisiana? Or his friend from South Carolina, Mr DeMint?

    Just think how much more flexible Senate Republicans would be if a couple of their number were shipped off to Gitmo as economic terrorists?

    Are you SURE about that filibuster, Mr McConnell?

    "Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle." Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by bear83 on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 02:12:58 PM PST

  •  Emptywheel's logic (12+ / 0-)

    melded with David Waldman's should be read - widely.  I am posting as much as is legal:

    Or, you need to show he has supported (using the Iraq AUMF that we’re keeping around to make sure the President’s authority isn’t limited to just al Qaeda),

    another international terrorist group that the President has determined both (a) is in armed conflict with the United States and (b) poses a threat of hostile actions within the United States;

    Now, making that case with Jamie Dimon is very easy to do, because his company, JP Morgan Chase, has materially helped Iran. We have several pieces of proof it has done so. First, there’s the Treasury Report showing that JPMC:

    Gave a $2.9 million loan on December 22, 2009 to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, which the Office of Foreign Assets Control has found to be involved in WMD proliferation
    Advised and confirmed a $2,707,432 letter of credit on April 24, 2009, in which the underlying transaction involved a vessel identified by OFAC as blocked due to its affiliation with the same Iranian shipping line
    Processed nine wire transfers between April 27, 2006 and November 28, 2008, which totaled $609,308, some of which involved sanctioned Iranian and terrorist entities
    Transferred 32,000 ounces of gold bullion valued at approximately $20,560,000 to benefit a sanctioned Iranian bank on May 24, 2006
    We need no further proof that JPMC has done these things. Not only has JPMC admitted to them, but as Janice Rogers Brown has made clear, we cannot question the Executive Branch’s intelligence reports, so all of OFAC’s claims must be accepted as true for the purposes of indefinite detention. And all of that illegal support for Iran happened while Jamie Dimon was President of JPMC.


    “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” (Steinbeck)

    by sailmaker on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 02:16:02 PM PST

    •  Dimitri Papademetriou aka Jamie Dimon (0+ / 0-)

      following your link:

      Now let me be clear. I don’t advocate indefinitely detaining Jamie Dimon–or anyone else either, particularly not American citizens, no matter how loathsome or dangerous to the United States. But given that our country maintains it is more important to “incapacitate” terrorists and those who support them than to punish those who did trillions of dollars of damage to our economy, we may well have to treat Jamie Dimon as a material supporter of terrorism to get some justice.

      And Jamie? If I were you I would report to an Embassy or some other official government office right away, as the government claims Anwar al-Awlaki should have.

      Perhaps Gitmo or his family's homeland, Turkey for Jamie Dimon?
      Dimitri Papademetriou, the chairman and chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co., who is better known by his Anglicized name Jamie Dimon.

      Dimon's Anatolian Greek grandfather became a New York stockbroker after fleeing Smyrna at the end of the Greco-Turkish War in 1922.

      Rhetoric has to be matched with actions. "Only actions don't lie."

      by allenjo on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 10:02:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  But we are all safer (7+ / 0-)

    because Martha Stewart went to prison for awhile.  

  •  Crimes that should be relatively easy to prove (10+ / 0-)

    by a MOTIVATED DoJ:

    Banks clearly pressuring ratings agencies to up-rate crap CMO's/CDO's

    Ratings agencies up-rating crap CMO's/CDO's

    Banks willfully neglecting their fiduciary duties

    Loan originators approving loans w/o doing credit checks

    Brokers/loan originators lying to home buyers about loan rates/terms

    Reinsurers (e.g. AIG) issuing orders of magnitude more insurance than they had backup reserves to cover

    Regulators at SEC, Treasury, DoJ, etc., not properly investigating above

    The notion that these can't be prosecuted because they're either impossible to prove, or were technically not crimes at the time, is simply ludicrous.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 02:17:59 PM PST

  •  Make this abundantly clear: (10+ / 0-)
    Just think of it! With the right paperwork filed, all those banksters you thought you could just never nail could be rounded up and thrown in the slammer.

    Let's correct the phrasing of this paragraph, because  I think the distinction is important enough to isolate from the rest of a great writeup:

    Just think of it! With the right paperwork filed, all those banksters you thought you could just never nail could be rounded up by the military thrown in a military lockup, and indefinitely detained.

    We're resigned to our collective fate because we've been conditioned and brainwashed to believe that this is as good as it gets. It's not.

    by Richard Cranium on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 02:22:26 PM PST

  •  I wish I could find the funny. (8+ / 0-)

    Just saying.

  •  There's a HUGE nest of suspicious characters... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Knucklehead, jck, PrahaPartizan, GreyHawk

    currently embedded as members of the United States Congress.  I suggest that we start by indefinitely detaining each and every of them - perhaps in the "undisclosed location" that Dick Cheney used to haunt.  There will be plenty of time to deal with their specious claims that they are "privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses" after they have been detained.

  •  Having laughter burst thru the tears... (11+ / 0-) doubt has positive health implications, so thanks for that, David.

    As we all know, prosecutions are as much about priorities as anything else.

    We are told, repeatedly these days, that it's just too hard to pin these bankster guys down the way we can nail folks for street crime, growing marijuana and assorted other felonies. They're just too smart to get nabbed by the "smartest guys in the room" whom we're told constitutes the Obama administration.

    Not for nothing did the banksters get the laws written in such a way as to make themselves practically invulnerable to prosecution in the first place or hire those fancy lawyers to stare down prosecutors who might be thinking that, despite the difficulties, they'll look for chinks in that invulnerability.

    Thus, while we still put bank robbers who do their work with a sixgun, we have a devil of a time getting the bank robbers who do theirs, in the words of Woody Guthrie, with "a fountain pen." Where the hell is our Eliot Ness?

    Perhaps, since we're gonna be stuck with this new Constitution-busting detention law, it can at least be put to good use as you, tongue-in-cheek, suggest.

    The surest way to predict the future is to invent it. — Stephen Post. [Me at Twitter.]

    by Meteor Blades on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 02:25:17 PM PST

  •  Terrorism is cheaper (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, jck, GreyHawk

    They may in fact help the economy… and they create jobs--think Homeland Security for one… Hey there’s an idea, we could get Homeland Security to take a look-see at financial fraud! They have ways to make people talk… and no annoying lawyers  

    Nudniks need not apply.

    by killermiller on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 02:27:00 PM PST

  •  Indefinite detention to 1%'s (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    is the answer, but can a government that would do it be elected under present voting rules? Possibly not- because of the false consciousness of too many "voters". Fixing this problem is the hard intermediate step to a real People's Government in the USA today. In the same way that Republicans try to stop the vote of minorities, we need to insist that economic crimes be included in the list of impediments to voting. Anyone who has paid a lower percentage tax than his percentile of wealth in the US would automatically be excluded. There are many other ways to exclude from the voting roles those whose interests are clearly against those of the nation as a whole.
    One way to nip some of this in the bud for those who are not rich, but who nonetheless vote for other tha progressive government is to stop the proliferation of propaganda that is so rife today - by which I mean Fox News. Since it is generally acknowledged that there is absolutely no informational value in their programming, but only propaganda for far right wing causes, the truth in advertising laws need to be enforced in this respect.
    It is only through these steps that we can hope to achieve the "indefinitive" detention not only of the banksters, but also of those who value their own prerogatives over those of society.

  •  I could make a case for that. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, jck, GreyHawk

    Not that I'm a lawyer, but when did that stop anyone?

    First off, let's all agree that certain kingpins in the financial industry nearly threatened the military budget owing to the austerity thing as a result of the Great Recession. Any military man will tell you that cutting off the supply lines is an act of war, and doing it sneakily is terrorism.

    Let's not laundry-list the reasons for "disappearing" the banksters. Keep it simple. They hate America. Foreclosed on soldiers' homes. Do you realize how many bombs the bank bailouts would've bought? A lot. Hell, we could have bought a bomb for every man, woman and child in America had it not been for the banco-terrorists. Bastards. Hook 'em, hood 'em and ship 'em. Until the WOT is over, obviously. Until terror surrenders.

  •  And all those inside trading Congress-critters (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jck, GreyHawk, allenjo

    too?  Hahaha get 'em all!

  •  You know, all that has to happen is for Glenn Beck (5+ / 0-)

    to believe this is a remote possibility, and the entire right wing will lobby to overturn the law.

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

    by TheGrandWazoo on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 02:56:06 PM PST

  •  The Jefferson County story just puts me in a rage (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dear occupant, GreyHawk, allenjo

    Yes financial terrorists JPMorgon executives are Public enemy #1.  They would be my first choice.  Then I would arrest and indefinably detain Goldmen Sachs's top executives.  It would make me feel a whole lot better.  Justice ya know does need to be served. Then they could contribute there  bonuses for the last 4 years to Jefferson County.

  •  Koch Bros dealt with Iran (5+ / 0-)

    See Koch Brothers Flout Law Getting Richer With Secret Iran Sales

    A Bloomberg Markets investigation has found that Koch Industries -- in addition to being involved in improper payments to win business in Africa, India and the Middle East -- has sold millions of dollars of petrochemical equipment to Iran, a country the U.S. identifies as a sponsor of global terrorism.

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

    by TheGrandWazoo on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 03:01:12 PM PST

  •  Noted Anit-Muslim Cong. Peter King supported IRA (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aliasalias, GreyHawk

    Politics is the entertainment branch of industry. -Frank Zappa

    by TheGrandWazoo on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 03:06:29 PM PST

  •  What I truly don't (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mike101, ruscle, GreyHawk, allenjo

    get with the SEC is the lame-ass excuse "but it's so haaaard to prove the execs had actual knowledge of what was going on".

    Uhm, what?

    I've worked for a two and a half decades for civil litigators who do complex commercial cases.  And there's a handy phrase that comes up in complaints, and in answers, in these cases: "Knew or should have known".

    See, it's the idea that not knowing isn't a defense, if you are in a position where you had the means and/or an obligation to know about something.

    That means both doing proper due diligence before you make an investment and if you are being paid a gazillion bucks as the CEO to know just what the fuck your underlings are doing.  Isn't that what you're fucking being paid a gazillion bucks to do -- run the company and know what the fuck is going on?

    A little tender courage at that rare right instant, and things might well have turned out differently -- Ken Kesey

    by Frankenoid on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 03:06:37 PM PST

  •  That's why my relief at the end of the Iraq war is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreyHawk, allenjo

    tempered. Our justice system has scars from it too. The people who started that war and their owners think they're untouchable.

    •  Rename the Law (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Perhaps everyone will learn that the truly accurate name for this legislation should have been "Law of Unintended Consequences."  Even our government's owners.

      "Love the Truth, defend the Truth, speak the Truth, and hear the Truth" - Jan Hus, d.1415 CE

      by PrahaPartizan on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 03:10:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Dick and Liz are no longer on TV defending torture (0+ / 0-)

      Guess they are now convinced Dick will not be held accountable.

      The people who started that war and their owners think they're untouchable.

      Rhetoric has to be matched with actions. "Only actions don't lie."

      by allenjo on Sun Dec 18, 2011 at 10:14:39 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why stop there? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The invasion of Iraq was actually part of Osama Bin Laden's plan to weaken the US.

    Osama bin Laden had a long-term strategy. ....he can't go and fight the Americans and their country. But if he manages to provoke them and bring them to the Middle East and to their Muslim worlds, where he can find them or fight them on his own turf, he will actually teach them a lesson. It seems the invasion of Iraq fulfilled Osama bin Laden's wish.

    To keep their plan on track, Al Queda could have purchased a mole in the Bush Administration. This mole wouldn't even know it was working for Al Queda. From the mole's perspective, s/he would be getting paid millions of dollars to pursue a plan of action that the mole already wanted to pursue: the invasion of Iraq. Bin Laden and his Saudi financiers have spent billions of dollars to spread their Wahabi-Sulafi extremism....why not spend millions buying influence inside the Bush White House?

    We already know that Curveball was part of the conspiracy to trick the US into invading Iraq.

    It is now perfectly legal to round up everyone suspected of taking part in this conspiracy and sending then down to camp X-Ray in Gitmo. It would be legal to use enhanced interrogation techniques on them, to get details about how the conspiracy worked. Most importantly, they could be waterboarded until they gave up the names of all their co-conspirators.

    My dark side thinks this "just deserts" scenario is delicious.

    But my Better Angels know what the Framers were striving for, when they wrote the Constitution.

    The Ends don't justify the Means.....the Means are the Ends.

    The kind of society where capital punishment, torture and indefinite detention without trial (or habeas corpus) are accepted, is the kind of society that accpets capital punishment, torture and indefinite detention without trial or habeas corpus.

    While I don't hold Obama in high esteem, that doesn't mean I would say he's the Devil Incarnate and the lessor of evils. He is merely the lessee of evils.

    by xynz on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 03:18:51 PM PST

  •  Now now. Don't be too eager (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    After all, we have to look forward.  The financial crimes you are talking about happened in the PAST.   We have to move on.  

  •  How about this as a standard? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    If you get a bonus of $100,000,000 for making a profit, the profit better be real. See Enron.

  •  Heck now that the POTUS Iis all powerful (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    He can just throw them in indefinite detention for economic terrorism. Done.. wonderful   perhaps that  signature on the Defense Automation bill was not  so bad.. POTUS with unlimited power can be a good thing if the all powerful leader is  a good person.. will he do it? doubt it cause well it was not meant  to get people like that.. I am anxious to see who it does get used on in th future..

    "Obama, the change that leads to indefinite detention and the abrogation of the Constitution! Yes He Can!"

    by hangingchad on Sat Dec 17, 2011 at 10:07:46 PM PST

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