Company that Engaged in Criminal Wiretapping Hails Obama’s Wiretap Extension
The Wall Street Journal–owned by the same guy whose company and son are in trouble in the UK for criminally wiretapping those they wanted to collect information on–has found something to love in the Obama Administration.
Well, not everything President Obama and the 112th Congress managed to achieve is so terrible. With scarcely any notice, much less controversy, they did at least preserve one of the country’s most important post-9/11 antiterror tools.
That would be wiretapping, which you may recall liberals portrayed during the George W. Bush era as an illegal and unconstitutional license for co-President Dick Cheney and his spymasters to bug the bedrooms of all U.S. citizens. But now Washington has renewed the 2008 amendments to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that were due to expire at the end of 2012, with no substantive changes and none of the pseudo-apoplexy that prevailed during the Bush Presidency.
In addition to applauding Obama’s “fairly ruthless antiterror prosecut[ions] and unapologetic assert[ions] of Presidential powers,” the WSJ revels in this opportunity to mock those who thought illegal wiretapping was wrong.
This is a turnabout from 2007 and 2008, when letting U.S. spooks read al Qaeda emails or listen in on phone calls that passed through domestic switching networks supposedly spelled doom for the American Republic. Democrats spent years pretending that Mr. Bush’s eavesdropping program was “wrong” and “destructive,” as Attorney General Eric Holder put it at the time, lamenting that “I never thought I would see a President act in direct defiance of federal law.”
Maybe this mutual love of abusive wiretapping is why–as Elliot Spitzer has pointed out–DOJ has thus far failed to pursue News Corp under Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
And finally, where is the inept U.S. Department of Justice in all this?
The DOJ has brought many irrelevant and tiny cases against companies for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it illegal to bribe either individuals or government officials, even in a company’s overseas operations. The DOJ loves to use the statute to show just how tough it is.
Yet now they have the most important case sitting right there in front of them. It’s easy. Even a rookie could field this one.
But what are they doing? It’s not clear.
If they fail to make this case against News Corp., Eric Holder is a failure as attorney general.
After all, Eric Holder’s DOJ successfully fought to give legal sanction to Cheney’s illegal wiretapping. It would look rather silly, after having extended warrantless wiretapping past the end of the Obama Administration, for them to prosecute Rupert Murdoch for doing the same thing Cheney did.
“…Maybe this mutual love of abusive wiretapping is why–as Elliot Spitzer has pointed out–DOJ has thus far failed to pursue News Corp under Foreign Corrupt Practices Act…”
why might that be?
i’d put my money on the simple fact that murdoch rules lots of media corporations, any one of which can make or break a politician’s career if the editors are directed to do so.
of course, we will be told by doj that, as with the banksters fraud, the extant law is too vague and prosecution too uncertain to bring a case – against a wealthy, powerful media megalith.
as an aside, and with respect to this quote:
“…The DOJ has brought many irrelevant and tiny cases against companies for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it illegal to bribe either individuals or government officials, even in a company’s overseas operations. The DOJ loves to use the statute to show just how tough it is…”
that may be the case, but
a three-page précis in the sept 2012 harvard business review entitled “greased a palms, giant headaches” reported on a study that authors dan currell and tracy davis bradley had conducted for the corporate executive board.
the authors write “… according to our research, the median fine for bribery or corruption violation during the three years ending in june 2010 was $7,000,000…”
they write that siemens settled a global corruption case for $1.6 billion
and kbr settled a nigerian corruption case for $579 million.
walmart has been investigating the payment by its officials of $24 million in bribery money to facilitate rapid expansion in mexico in mexico.
if only these corporate officials could get themselves deputized as cia “adjunct operatives”…