Geithner and Bybee: how legal corruption works

(9 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

On Monday, the New York Times front-paged a long, detailed investigative article on Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary who is looting the nation’s public funds to enrich Wall Street executives. Not surprisingly, the article points out that Tim has lots of pals on Wall Street. What is a surprise is that he was offered the job of head of Citigroup in 2007 while serving as President of the Federal Reserve Bank of NY. You got that right: one of the chief “regulators” of the banking industry was offered a highly lucrative position as the head of one of the banks he was regulating.

What the NYT article does not point out is that this is how the stealthy corruption of our public officials works. Geithner was not just offered a job, he was implicitly offered assurance that Wall Street would take care of him financially as long as he took care of Wall Street. If Geithner had been busting heads and cracking down on Citigroup’s policies, he never would have received such an offer, and the implication of the offer was that if he started to crack down he would never again receive a similar offer. Geithner’s willingness to play ball with Wall Street led to his installation as Treasury Secretary, and now we see the fruits of “deep capture” of that high office: a lavish give-away program that has Wall Street salaries soaring again while the nation remains mired in recession and record setting deficits are funneling taxpayer cash into “private sector” institutions.

Just a few days earlier, the Washington Post ran an article on Judge Bybee, the issuer of an infamous White House opinion “legalizing” torture. It seems Judge Bybee was promised an appointment to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, but first Gonzales wanted him to do a little bit of dirty work in the Office of Legal Counsel. Of course there was never an explicit deal, but the torture was approved, and the judgeship granted. Bybee knew that if he had antagonized the Bush administration by resisting their demands to make torture legal he could kiss his seat on the bench goodbye. So he did the dirty deeds.

The perfection of legalized corruption is the main reason why no change of elected officials will clean up the United States government. The practice of controlling politicians and political appointees with tacit quid pro quos is legally impregnable. Only far-reaching reforms requiring rigid separation of public and private sector careers can overcome this stealthy form of corruption, and it is the corrupted politicians who would have to pass these laws. A new form of government must arise to end the insidious and destructive practices of stealthy, legal corruption. Building this new governmental structure should be the political goal of the citizens of the world. My book-in-progress on the Netstate is one step towards that goal. The first chapter can be read here:…


    • ANKOSS on April 28, 2009 at 15:33

    Because the NYT article relentlessly refuses to see the big picture of legal corruption, it omits discussion of the job that launched Geithner’s meteoric rise: a two-year stint at Kissinger Associates. Ask yourself what kind of ambitious young man goes to work for Henry Kissinger when he gets out of graduate school? In 1985, when Geithner joined Kissinger Associates, Kissinger was a figure universally reviled in the liberal community. Considered by many to be a war criminal for his deep involvement in the secret bombing and subsequent collapse of Cambodia, Kissinger also had the murder of Savaldor Allende and the overthrow of the democratically elected Chilean government on his bloody hands. This is the man Geithner eagerly sought to serve.

    Kissinger and Associates was set up to do secret dirty work for the rich and powerful people of the world. Trading on his high-ranking contacts and his reputation for ruthless “realpolitik,” Kissinger’s firm earned large fees doing things that were kept very private because they would likely outrage the citizens of the countries in which they were done. Even the client list of Kissinger associates is secret.

    I believe that it was at Kissinger Associates that Geithner made his reputation as a reliable tool of the plutocracy, and that recommendations from Kissinger’s network launched his government career. From the day he left Kissinger Associates, Geithner was a designated agent of moneyed interests, and he has consistently played this role. As Secretary of the Treasury, he is currently transferring hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer funds into “private sector” firms on Wall Street, continuing the enrichment of executives whose firms are effectively insolvent. Mission Accomplished.

    Geithner represents himself as someone who operates outside the Wall Street power structure. But in the origins of his career are revealed the formative signs of a corporate hit man. And the hits just keep on coming.

    • Viet71 on April 29, 2009 at 05:03

    is public knowledge, which tells me Geithner’s appointment as Treasury Secretary is a big fuck you to the American people.

    It cannot be taken any other way.

    Which tells me Obama’s main job is to outrage the American people further, so that they become more numb to and more accepting of assaults upon the form of government envisioned by the Founders.

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