FIFA, Freddie Gray and the New Power of the Prosecutor – By Benjamin Wallace-Wells May 31, 2015 10:50 p.m.


Marilyn Mosby. Photo: Alex Brandon/AP/Corbis

Marilyn Mosby. Photo: Alex Brandon/AP/Corbis

One reason that prosecutors are often such theatrical, grandiose types (Preet Bharara, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie) may be that the role naturally fits a particular quixotic self-image, the state’s attorney against the world. In the press clippings the prosecutor is not just a distributor of retributive justice, the official sent to ensure a mugger goes to jail, but the means by which the state takes on broader conspiracies and corruptions: The mafia, Islamic terrorists, rings of insider traders embedded within banks, hedge funds and corporations. The vanity of the state’s attorney is often that he is not just delivering individual justice but taking down corrupt and criminal institutions — that he is practicing modernization politics by other means.

Since 9/11 many liberals have worried about the powers that prosecutors were acquiring to monitor email and phone traffic, to trace the flows of money. The past couple of weeks have served as a reminder of how much a powerful state, in the hands of a progressive prosecutor, can do. First, Marilyn Mosby in Baltimore announced manslaughter and murder charges against the police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray. Then in the space of the last few days Loretta Lynch first announced that four banks had agreed to pay $2.5 billion in fines for rigging the foreign exchange markets, and then revealed indictments against fourteen of the planet’s most senior soccer officials, describing a pattern of corruption and bribery that has been endemic within FIFA for decades.

The image that cohered in these two African-American women was that of the prosecutor as social justice warrior, with smoke-filled rooms evaporating before her. In the same press conference Lynch denounced the old boys club that had corrupted the World Cup and made the case for renewing a key provision of the Patriot Act. One interesting question, should a Democrat win election in 2016, is whether liberals will be more comfortable with an expansive state if that state is also an activist, progressive one.

Lynch and Mosby made their activism easy to see. In these three cases the prosecutors were more or less explicit that they were not just interested in jailing a few criminals but in changing a corrupt culture — of the police in Baltimore, the banks, institutional soccer. If politics were working perfectly, we wouldn’t need their intervention; criminal indictments wouldn’t be required to fix these institutions. But because they are, there is a tension at the heart of all these cases. What the prosecutor can do is to indict criminals for criminal behavior. What we want the prosecutor to do is not just put a few villains on parade but to make Wall Street more responsible, the police less brutal, soccer television rights more transparently marketed. Sometimes one leads naturally to the other. Not always.

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http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2015/05/fifa-freddie-gray-and-the-new-power-prosecutor.html1

Wayne Barrett lowers the boom on Rudy Giuliani – Feb 20, 2015 6:08am PST by Paleo


Moving on from his racist musings regarding blacks and crime, Rudy Giuliani has accused President Obama of not loving his country.  And blaming it, at least in part, on his upbringing.  But New York Daily News columnist Wayne Barrett takes a look into Rudy’s experience with love, of country and generally, as well as his family background.  And finds, well, something about people who live in glass houses.

Rudy Giuliani knows a lot about love.Ask Regina Peruggi, the second cousin he grew up with and married, who was “offended” when Rudy later engineered an annulment from the priest who was his best man on the grounds, strangely enough, that she was his cousin. Or ask Donna Hanover, the mother of his two children, who found out he wanted a separation when he left Gracie Mansion one morning and announced it at a televised press conference.

http://www.nydailynews.com/…

Rudy may have forgotten the half-dozen deferments he won ducking the Vietnam War, even getting the federal judge he was clerking for to write a letter creating a special exemption for him. And remember BernieKerik? He’s theGiulaini police commissioner, business partner and sidekick whose nomination as homeland security secretary narrowly preceded indictments. He then did his national service in prison.. . . .

Giuliani went so far as to rebuke the President for not being “brought up the way you were and the way I was brought up through love of this country,” a bow no doubt to the parenting prowess of Harold Giuliani, who did time in Sing Sing for holding up a Harlem milkman and was the bat-wielding enforcer for the loan-sharking operation run out of a Brooklyn bar owned by Rudy’s uncle.

Though Rudy cited Harold throughout his public life as his model (without revealing any of his history), he and five Rudy uncles found ways to avoid service in World War II. Harold, whose robbery conviction was in the name of an alias, made sure the draft board knew he was a felon. On the other hand, Obama’s grandfather and uncle served. His uncle helped liberate Buchenwald . . . .

. . . .

He was a consultant for the government of Qatar, the country his friend and FBI director Louis Freeh accused of hiding 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed before the attack. That’s the ultimate triumph of money over memory, since he’s still talking, as recently as a week ago, about the 10 friends and 343 firefighters he lost on 9/11.

Racist?  Check?  Hypocrite?  Check?  Morally compromised?  Check.  It’s all Rudy Giuliani.  As he rages against the dying of the [spot]light.

http://m.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/20/1365678/-Wayne-Barrett-lowers-the-boom-on-Rudy-Giuliani?detail=facebook