The stories of our time?
Republicans are freaking out after new polls showed Democrats leading or tied in four key Southern Senate races.
The latest New York Times Upshot/Kaiser Family Foundation Senate polls contained some bad news for Republicans. In three out of four Senate races they polled, Democrats led. In the one race where a Republican led, the lead was within the margin of error. In Arkansas, Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor leads his Republican challenger Rep. Tom Cotton, 46%-36%. In North Carolina, Sen. Kay Hagan leads her likely opponent, Thom Tillis, 42%-40%. In Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu leads 42%-18%, but due to Louisana’s non-primary system, Landrieu has to get 50% or more of the general election vote to win another term. If Landrieu finishes first, but with less than 50% of the vote, she will face a runoff. In Kentucky, Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is statistically tied with his Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes. McConnell leads 43%-42%.
Republicans have been trying to suppress the potential Democratic turnout in November by spreading throughout the media the idea that they were a lock to win the Senate in November. It turns out that a Republican victory in November is far from a sure thing. In fact, Republicans could end up losing some seats that in red states.
. . . The conservative media is not taking the news well that everyone is starting to catch on that their predictions of victory are starting to look like empty hot air. Bill Kristol of the Rupert Murdoch owned Weekly Standard wrote a frantic blog post that tried to discredit the poll.
Kristol wrote, “The Arkansas Senate race has been close in virtually every serious poll. The Republican challenger, Tom Cotton, probably had a small lead a month or so ago; after a massive negative assault on him by Harry Reid’s Super PAC, the Democratic incumbent, Mark Pryor, is probably now ahead by a point or two. That’s the story told by every reputable public and private poll, including, I’m told, polls by both campaigns.”
Just like in 2012, Republicans like Bill Kristol are arguing that the polls are skewed and the pollsters are in the bag for Democrats.
. . . It is too soon to tell, but the Republican predictions of a Senate takeover could end up being as wrong as the predictions of a GOP takeover in 2010 and 2012. The Republican media spin is designed to discourage Democrats from voting. Ignore the spin, and trust the numbers.
Greg Palast adds some day-old icing:
The BP executive was explaining to me how the CIA, MI6 and British Petroleum engineered a coup d'état, overthrowing an elected president of a nation who was “not favorable to BP.” The corporation's former Vice-President, Leslie Abrahams, is pictured here, holding an AK-47 in front of BP headquarters in Baku, Azerbaijan. Like most of the other BP executives I spoke with, he proudly added that while he was working for BP, he was also an operative for MI6, British intelligence.
The conversation was far from the weirdest I had in my four-continent investigation of the real story of the Deepwater Horizon.
The BP oilrig blew out on April 20, 2010, four years ago this Sunday.
Earlier this month, the Obama Administration officially OK'd BP's right to resume drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. And two weeks ago, just to assure the company that all is forgiven, the U.S. Department of the Interior gave BP a new contract to drill in the Gulf of Mexico – right next to where the Deepwater Horizon went down. At the same time, the forgive-and-forget U.S. Justice Department has put the trial of David Rainey, the only BP big-shot charged with a felony crime in the disaster, on indefinite hold.
The Deepwater Horizon blow-out incinerated eleven men on the rig and poisoned 600 miles of Gulf coastline. What political fairy dust does BP keep in its pocket to receive virtual immunity from the consequences?
(Click on photo to enlarge.)
WhoWhatWhy points us toward the current relevant story.
April 18, 2014
WASHINGTON — Two weeks ago, a pair of F.B.I. agents appeared unannounced at the door of a member of the defense team for one of the men accused of plotting the 9/11 terrorist attacks. As a contractor working with the defense team at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the man was bound by the same confidentiality rules as a lawyer. But the agents wanted to talk.
They asked questions, lawyers say, about the legal teams for Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and other accused terrorists who will eventually stand trial before a military tribunal at Guantánamo. Before they left, the agents asked the contractor to sign an agreement promising not to tell anyone about the conversation.
With that signature, Mr. bin al-Shibh’s lawyers say, the government turned a member of their team into an F.B.I. informant.
The F.B.I.’s inquiry became the focus of the pretrial hearings at Guantánamo this week, after the contractor disclosed it to the defense team. It was a reminder that, no matter how much the proceedings at the island military prison resemble a familiar American trial, the invisible hand of the United States government is at work there in ways unlike anything seen in typical courtrooms.
“It’s a courtroom with three benches,” said Eugene R. Fidell, who teaches military justice at Yale Law School. “There’s one person pretending to be the judge, and two other agencies behind the scenes exerting at least as much influence.”
Thirteen years after 9/11, nobody has been convicted in connection with the attacks and, because of the F.B.I. visit, a trial could be delayed even longer. But it was only the latest in a string of strange events at Guantánamo Bay that, coupled with the decade-long delay, have undermined a process that was supposed to move swiftly, without the encumbrances of the civilian legal system and its traditional rules of evidence.
Last year, as a lawyer for Mr. Mohammed was speaking during another hearing, a red light began flashing. Then the videofeed from the courtroom abruptly cut out. The emergency censorship system had been activated. But why? And by whom? The defense lawyer had said nothing classified. And the court officer responsible for protecting state secrets had not triggered the system. Days later, the military judge, Col. James L. Pohl, announced that he had been told that an “original classification authority” — meaning the C.I.A. — was secretly monitoring the proceedings. Unknown to everyone else, the agency had its own button, which the judge swiftly and angrily disconnected.
Last year, the government acknowledged that microphones were hidden inside what looked like smoke detectors in the rooms where detainees met with their lawyers. Those microphones gave officials the ability to eavesdrop on confidential conversations, but the military said it never did so.
“At some point, it just becomes silly,” said Glenn Sulmasy, a military law professor at the Coast Guard Academy who supports military trials for terrorism but said problems at Guantánamo Bay have undermined confidence in the system. “I don’t think we’re at that point yet, but at some point it just becomes surreal. It’s like there’s a shadow trial going on and we’re only finding out about it in bits and pieces.”
The court has also been troubled by computer problems. A botched computer update gave prosecutors and defense lawyers access to the other side’s confidential work. And the Pentagon acknowledged inadvertently searching and copying defense lawyers’ emails but said nobody read them.
“These things keep happening,” a defense lawyer, James Harrington, said this week as he asked for an investigation into the F.B.I.’s activities. The other instances seemed like government intrusion, Mr. Harrington said, but lawyers could not prove it. “Here it really happened.”
The F.B.I. would not comment and military prosecutors said they knew nothing about the investigation. But the F.B.I. appears to be investigating how The Huffington Post got ahold of a 36-page manifesto that Mr. Mohammed had written in prison.
The government hopes to start the trial early next year, but it is not clear whether this issue will result in another delay. Mr. Harrington said he wanted Colonel Pohl to question F.B.I. officials and determine whether anyone else on the defense team had been approached by or gave information to the government.
“It’s just a horrible atmosphere to operate in,” Mr. Harrington said Friday. “It’s built on a shaky foundation, and one thing after another happens. I don’t see how anyone can have confidence in this process.”
Christopher Jenks, a Southern Methodist University law professor and a former military prosecutor, said he sympathized with the Guantánamo prosecutors, who appeared to have been just as surprised as defense lawyers by the appearance of the F.B.I. and C.I.A. in their cases.
“You have these military prosecutors who are normally empowered to own their cases. And they don’t here,” Mr. Jenks said. If this were any other country’s system, Mr. Jenks said, “The reaction would be, ‘Oh my gosh. What a kangaroo process.’ ”
President George W. Bush created the military tribunal system for suspected terrorists in 2001. Years of court challenges followed and after the Supreme Court struck down the tribunal’s rules in 2006, Congress hurriedly wrote new rules giving prisoners more rights. More changes followed in 2009 and the government says the process is far better and fairer now.
The 9/11 trial, if it occurs, will be the biggest test of that system. Six detainees in other cases have pleaded guilty before military commissions. Two others have gone to trial and been found guilty, only to have their convictions thrown out by an appeals court.
Greg McNeal, a former adviser to the top Guantánamo prosecutor, said the military tribunal system was ripe for episodes like the one with the F.B.I. because it is so new. The civilian system and the traditional military judicial system have well-established rules and precedents for handling issues that arise. “Because it’s new and different, they may have a sense that they can get away with things,” Mr. McNeal said. He added, “There are interagency fights happening behind the scenes that have been going on for the past decade.”
The Obama administration had hoped to prosecute the 9/11 case in a New York criminal court. But it reversed course in the face of security fears and criticism that the government would grant constitutional rights to terrorists.
While the military tribunals have been plagued by delays, the department has successfully prosecuted several terrorism cases in civilian courts. Most recently, prosecutors in Manhattan won a conviction against Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, the most senior adviser to Osama bin Laden to be tried in civilian court in the United States since 9/11.
Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. noted that the New York case had proceeded from capture to conviction in about a year. “It is hard to imagine this case being presented with greater efficiency or greater speed,” he said.
Charlie Savage contributed reporting.
But Sardonicky reads them the riot act.
April 21, 2014
The Ukraine reporting by the New York Times gets more shameless and shoddy by the day, a reflection of the increasing desperation of the neoliberal powers that be in their power grab for Ukraine. Tennessee union-busting Senator Bob Corker summed it up succinctly and inelegantly on the televised Sunday blatherfest: "We're going to lose Eastern Ukraine!"
He might as well have admitted that the re-ascendant American neocons already think they own the place, just because they orchestrated a coup and installed a puppet into power.
And now to today's lead Neocon Times article, ominously and inelegantly headlined "Photos Link Masked Men in East Ukraine to Russia."
For two weeks, the mysteriously well-armed, professional gunmen known as “green men” have seized Ukrainian government sites in town after town, igniting a brush fire of separatist unrest across eastern Ukraine. Strenuous denials from the Kremlin have closely followed each accusation by Ukrainian officials that the world was witnessing a stealthy invasion by Russian forces.
Orwell would have had a field day with this opening paragraph. Little green men with guns have landed upon a civilization recently infiltrated by red, white and blue men with guns, and the alien abduction cult victims reciting the script provided by the hack writers of Hollywood-on-the-Potomac are fighting a valiant battle against an extra-galactic enemy (Putin.)The Obama administration studio bosses have assigned themselves the preternatural ability to instantly identify photos and costumes as authentically alien, green-men couture, as opposed to those shoddy knock-offs sewn by disabled sub-minimum wage slaves in a CIA-front sweat shop. Masked men are always easily identified by their identical masks, of course. Just like sarin bombs are easily traced to the Assad regime in Syria when proclaimed by White House fiat.
Now, photographs and descriptions from eastern Ukraine endorsed by the Obama administration on Sunday suggest that many of the green men are indeed Russian military and intelligence forces — equipped in the same fashion as Russian special operations troops involved in annexing the Crimea region in February. Some of the men photographed in Ukraine have been identified in other photos clearly taken among Russian troops in other settings.
And Ukraine’s state security service has identified one Russian reported to be active among the green men as Igor Ivanovich Strelkov, a Russian military intelligence operative in his mid-to-late 50s. He is said to have a long résumé of undercover service with the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Russian general staff, most recently in Crimea in February and March and now in and around the eastern Ukrainian city of Slovyansk.Another name for Ukraine's "state security service" is probably Blackwater, XE, or whatever State Department and CIA contractors are calling themselves these days. Strelkov - assuming that he is indeed one of the green men - is only "said to" (we are not told who is saying) have a history of undercover work.
“There has been broad unity in the international community about the connection between Russia and some of the armed militants in eastern Ukraine, and the photos presented by the Ukrainians last week only further confirm this, which is why U.S. officials have continued to make that case,” Jen Psaki, the State Department spokeswoman, said Sunday.Translation: We marauding elites are all in this together. We hold our trumped-up pieces of evidence to be self-evident. (The Times, as a unified member of the Broad community, helpfully publishes all the fuzzy photos.)
Jen Psaki, incidentally, is not a career diplomat. She is a career public relations and marketing pro who has worked on several Democratic political campaigns, was the Obama spokesperson for his re-election bid before her appointment to the White House communications shop, and then was quickly transferred over to State to replace neocon Victoria "Fuck the EU" Nuland. Psaki also worked in the private sector, for the Global Strategy branding and consulting group. In other words, she is a professional bullshit artiste.
But masking the identity of its forces, and clouding the possibilities for international denunciation, is a central part of the Russian strategy, developed over years of conflict in the former Soviet sphere, Ukrainian and American officials say.
John R. Schindler, a former National Security Agency counterintelligence officer who now teaches at the Naval War College, calls it “special war”: “an amalgam of espionage, subversion, even forms of terrorism to attain political ends without actually going to war in any conventional sense.”>Wow. So Putin has his own private, secret army, like Obama doesn't also have his own private, secret army. And some Russian wars are secret, incorporating spying, agitprop and terrorism? Of course, the Times fails utterly to mention the whole parallel universe thing. Russia has its KGB and “maskirovka” (disguised warfare), but if you just woke up after a half-century nap and picked up the Gray Lady today, you would never have learned that the United States has its CIA and its top-secret Special Ops military forces operating in more than 100 countries throughout the world.
Having requested Flash Boys by Michael Lewis from my local library, I thought Yves Smith, as usual, might have some even more helpful background for US on these financial system scamsters.
From Craig Heimark, a recovering derivatives trader, and Yves Smith
The media firestorm over high frequency trading has flagged some legitimate concerns but misses the real issues. While Michael Lewis’ book Flash Boys is sensationalistic and simplistic, it may goad regulators into action, particular since many knowledgeable observers have been making similar arguments for years.
At its foundation, high frequency trading is time-based arbitrage (which is different that statistical arbitrage which involves the real assumption of risk) and that is simply front running. It has become popular to demonize the high frequency trading crowd, but they aren’t the proper targets. The fact that high frequency trading exists at all is the result of poor regulation.
Now some would argue that regulators shouldn’t interfere with high frequency trading – as they also argue that all insider trading rules should be eliminated, since that help ensure that market prices reflect the latest news.
While there may be an economic argument for the elimination of insider trading rules, it comes at the expense of a level playing field. Michael Lewis’ claim that “The markets are rigged” has gotten press play precisely because trust in the integrity of the public markets is critical for them to function properly. That implies that equal access to order execution is more important than the academic arguments of greater efficiency.
Perversely, much of the regulation of the last twenty years has been nominally in the interest of “market efficiency” but has come at the expense of market integrity. Far too many of the arguments and studies saying the promotion of competition among exchanges (and dark pools) has led to greater efficiency look at the efficiency as measured by the bid ask spread (plus fees) only of trading in the top stocks (because if they are trade weighted so that is where all the volume is). But this greater efficiency comes at the expense of no reciprocal liquidity obligation (witness the flash crash) as well as reduced liquidity in less frequently traded stocks.
The societal of trading is to reduce cost to raise capital for actual companies. Does anyone really think that narrowing the spread on Google by a penny or two makes any difference to its weighted average cost of capital?
In contrast, incidents like the flash crash and the feeling the market is rigged keep many small investors away from the market. The penalty for reduced liquidity in small stocks may actually be material to small company capital formation.
And these small investors are right to be concerned. The old exchange system was a hub and spoke model, which was a stable system architecture. The internet was an outgrowth of a DARPA project to make a communication system so decentralized that it could not be taken out by a nuclear strike. Hub and spoke models are stable, but subject to an outage, say by a nuclear bomb or electrical failure.
What chaos theorists have found is that highly decentralized networks are stable, as are single node networks (like exchanges), but that slightly decentralized networks are fragile. And that is what we have now thanks to the SEC’s misguided efforts to “modernize” the stock market via Regulation NMS.
So regulators have left investors with the worse possible market structure. We no longer have liquidity obligations to make orderly markets as we had with the old model. Our current system is more complex due to some decentralization, but it is not so decentralized that it is robust (in technology-speak, a synchronized mesh network). The complexity of keeping the slightly decentralized model synchronized is what makes the system unpredictable and more fragile. This is not just an academic network construct. It is why we saw some exchange crashes recently (like Nasdaq) that were due to code changes in the linkages and feeds between exchanges.
Similarly, the value high speed traders provide is reestablishing the integrity of a single price in a centralized market after Reg NMS fragmented the market. But in reality, the buy side and all brokers are already sophisticated enough to use electronic routing to reestablish that centralized market, but not at sub-second speed. So the only service HFT time-based arbitrage provides is a sub second service. We’ve yet to see anyone make a credible case for the social utility whatsoever of sub-one-second execution. So since sub-second order execution fails to provide any social utility, it follow that any profits they extract are a dead weight loss on stock transactors. Those strategies, with the complex order types and the payment for order flow, should be eliminated.
While exchanges are a natural monopoly like any network, there are, better ways to prevent monopoly abuse than the route US regulators have taken. The SEC should impose minimum resting time for order (which is the equivalent of the IEX 38-mile fiber optic spool that slows down incoming orders). This would not put the high frequency traders out of ; they’d still have statistical arbitrage and other high-value services, but it would eliminate the riskless time-based arbitrage of front running at sub-second intervals.
. . . this book grew out of my experience covering Wall Street. I’ve obviously been doing it since the crash in 2008. And over and over again, I would cover these very complex and often very socially destructive capers committed by white-collar criminals. And the punchline to all of the stories were basically the same: Nobody would get indicted; nobody went to jail.
And after a while, I started to become interested specifically in that phenomenon. Why was there no enforcement of any of this? And around the time of the Occupy protest, I decided to write this book, and then I shifted my focus to try to learn a lot more for myself about who does go to jail in this country, because I thought you really can’t make this comparison accurately until you learn about both sides of the equation, because it’s actually much more grotesque to consider the non-enforcement of white-collar criminals when you do consider how incredibly aggressive law enforcement is with regard to everybody else.
AARON MATÉ: Now, you spent time with the — with the poor and vulnerable and people of color, who have been targeted by this system. There was one case of a man in New York, who lives in Bed-Stuy, standing outside of his home
MATT TAIBBI: Right.
AARON MATÉ: — who was arrested. Can you take it from there?
MATT TAIBBI: Yeah, sure. I was actually in a — I was in a law office in Brooklyn, and I was actually waiting to speak to a lawyer about another case, when I met this 35-year-old African-American man, a bus driver. And I asked him what he was there for, and he told me that he had been arrested for, quote-unquote, "obstructing pedestrian traffic." And I thought he was kidding. You know, I didn’t know what that meant. And I asked him to show me his summons, and he pulled out a little — little piece of pink paper, and there it was. It was written, you know, "obstructing pedestrian traffic," which it turns out it meant that he was standing in front of his own house at 1:00 in the morning, and the police just didn’t like the way he looked and arrested him.
And this is part of the disorderly conduct statute here in New York, but this is one of these offenses that people get roped in for. It’s part of what a city councilman in another city called an "epidemic of false arrests," basically these new stats-based police strategies. The whole idea is to rope in as many people as you can, see how many of them have guns or warrants, and then basically throw back the innocent ones. But the problem is they don’t throw back everybody. They end up sweeping up a lot of innocent people and charging them with really pointless crimes.
AARON MATÉ: There’s a very comic scene where then he goes to court, and he has a hard time convincing his public defender why he doesn’t want to pay a fine for standing in front of his home.
MATT TAIBBI: Yeah, and this is something that I encountered over and over and over again, is that people who were charged with these minor sort of harassing offenses, they — when the state discovers that the case against them is not very good, they start offering deals to the accused. And when people protest that "I’m not going to plead, because I didn’t do anything wrong," they keep offering better and better and better deals. And no one can understand why they won’t plead guilty, because, in reality, most people do. They will end up taking —
AMY GOODMAN: Like all the bankers plead guilty.
MATT TAIBBI: Right, yeah, exactly. Of course, it’s completely the opposite situation on the other side of the coin. But in the case of Andrew, the guy who was arrested for obstructing pedestrian traffic, he literally could not convince his own lawyer that he was innocent. And it took a long, long time before they got the judge to ask the policeman on duty if there was actually anybody else on the street to obstruct. And it wasn’t until that moment that they dismissed the case, and it just took that long.
AMY GOODMAN: So let’s talk about the other side. And I want to go to Attorney General Eric Holder, his remarks before the Senate Judiciary Committee last May in which he suggests that some banks are just too big to jail.AMY GOODMAN: That was Attorney General Eric Holder testifying before Congress. His remarks were widely criticized. This is Federal Judge Jed Rakoff speaking last November at the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to — to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy. And I think that is a function of the fact that some of these institutions have become too large. Again, I’m not talking about HSBC; this is just a more general comment. I think it has an inhibiting influence, impact, on our ability to bring resolutions that I think would be more appropriate.
JUDGE JED RAKOFF: To a federal judge, who takes an oath to apply the law equally to rich and poor, this excuse, sometimes labeled the too-big-to-jail excuse, is, frankly, disturbing for what it says about the department’s apparent disregard for equality under the law.
AMY GOODMAN: That’s Federal Judge Jed Rakoff. Matt Taibbi, if you could respond? And then talk about the history of Eric Holder, where he came from.
MATT TAIBBI: Well, first of all, this idea that some companies are too big to jail, it makes some sense in the abstract. In a vacuum, of course it makes sense. If you have a company, a storied company that may have existed for a hundred, 150 years, that employs tens or maybe even 100,000 people, you may not want to criminally charge that company willy-nilly and wreck the company and cause lots of people to lose their jobs.
But there are two problems with that line of thinking if you use it over and over and over again. One is that there’s no reason you can’t proceed against individuals in those companies.
It’s understandable to maybe not charge the company, but in the case of a company like HSBC, which admitted to laundering $850 million for a pair of Central and South American drug cartels, somebody has to go to jail in that case. If you’re going to put people in jail for having a joint in their pocket or for slinging dime bags on the corner in a city street, you cannot let people who laundered $800 million for the worst drug offenders in the world walk.
AMY GOODMAN: Wait, this can’t be a parenthetical. Explain what you’re talking about with HSBC.
MATT TAIBBI: So, HSBC, again, this is one of the world’s largest banks. It’s Europe’s largest bank. And a few years ago, they got caught, swept up for a variety of offenses, money-laundering offenses. But one of them involved admitting that they had laundered $850 million for a pair — for two drug cartels, one in Mexico and one in South America, and including the notorious Sinaloa drug cartel in Mexico that is suspected in thousands of murders.
And in that case, they paid a fine; they paid a $1.9 billion fine. And some of the executives had to defer their bonuses for a period of five years — not give them up, defer them. But there were no individual consequences for any of the executives. Nobody had to pull money out of their own pockets for permanently. And nobody did a single day in jail in that case.
And that, to me, was an incredibly striking case. I ran that very day to the courthouse here in New York, and I asked around to the public defenders, you know, "What’s the dumbest drug case you had today?" And I found somebody who had been thrown in Rikers for 47 days for having a joint in his pocket. So —
AMY GOODMAN: And that’s — is that even illegal?
MATT TAIBBI: No, in New York City, actually, it’s not illegal to carry a joint around in your pocket. It was decriminalized way back in the late '70s. But with part of the now past stop-and-frisk, what they do is they would stop you, and then they would search you and force you to empty your pockets. When you empty your pockets, now it's no longer concealed, and now it’s illegal again. So they had — in that year, they had 50,000 marijuana arrests, even though marijuana—having marijuana was technically decriminalized at the time.
So, my point was: Here’s somebody at the bottom, he’s a consumer of the illegal narcotics business, and he’s going to jail, and then you have these people who are at the very top of the illegal narcotics business, and they’re getting a complete walk. And that’s just totally unacceptable.
AARON MATÉ: But back to this doctrine that you can’t punish an entire company for the misdeeds of a few because you might hurt the economy, you might hurt shareholders, you know, some of which are pension holders and — pension funds and so forth, how do you get from hurting a — how do you equate hurting an entire company to just not jailing a couple of executives?
MATT TAIBBI: Well, that’s the whole point. They’ve conflated the two things.
Originally — so, this — to answer the second part of your original question, "Where does this come from? Where does this doctrine come from?" way back in 1999, when Eric Holder was a deputy attorney general in the — in Clinton’s administration, he wrote a memo that has now come to be known as "the Holder Memo." And in it, he outlined a number of things.
Actually, it was originally considered a get-tough-on-corporate-crime memo, because it gave prosecutors a number of new tools with which they could go after corporate criminals. But at the bottom of it, there was this thing that he laid out called the "collateral consequences doctrine."
And what "collateral consequences" meant was that if you’re a prosecutor and you’re targeting one of these big corporate offenders and you’re worried that you may affect innocent victims, that shareholders or innocent executives may lose their jobs, you may consider other alternatives, other remedies besides criminal prosecutions — in other words, fines, nonprosecution agreements, deferred prosecution agreements.
And again, at the time, it was a completely sensible thing to lay out. Of course it makes sense to not always destroy a company if you can avoid it. But what they’ve done is they’ve conflated that sometimes-sensible policy with a policy of not going after any individuals for any crimes. And that’s just totally unacceptable.