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Think about all of that next time you hear how this country cannot spend a dime to assist the millions of Americans who are suffering and need foreclosure assistance.
America, Foreclosing on Itself And Waging War Around The World, Murdering Innocents (and no help or foreclosure assistance)
I know you count on this website for foreclosure assistance, advice on the foreclosure process and the steps in foreclosure, but I want to engage in a much larger discussion to help all of us understand why, while there is virtually no assistance available in foreclosure, our nation has an unlimited budget to make war. Trust me, the two things are connected……
As the chickenhawks and war profiteers bang the drums of war, preparing to send our nation’s men and women into battle across the globe, it’s time we all look back at two of our nation’s biggest and most diabolical frauds, the Vietnam War and the Iraq War. The justifications for full US Military involvement in these wars were complete frauds and fabrications perpetrated upon the American military and the American people by political forces and private industry that profited from war, at the expense of the blood of American soldiers and the lives of millions of innocent civilians.
The Vietnam war was a war of aggression started by the United States of America. In 1964, the US military was fully deploying into southeast Asia, but there had been no direct, aggressive hostilities, at least the kind that would justify all out war. At least not the kind that would justify the overwhelming presence of the US military in the region. And so, on August 2, 1964, three tiny North Vietnamese boats attacked a US Navy Destroyer. Yep, those three little speedboats decided that they would take on a full sized US Destroyer and the US Navy and Air Force planes. Kinda like little ‘ole me armed only with a pocket knife deciding that I’d go pick a fight in a darkened alley with a whole platoon of well-armed special forces soldiers. A few days later, on August 4, a very similar thing happened…..the North Vietnamese decided that they would attack the United States Navy. Faced with these brazen attacks, the President of the United States solemnly appeared before the people of the United States of America and declared that our National Security was at stake and we needed to start a full blown war with Vietnam….passing the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution just five days after the first “attack”.
The only problem is, neither of those two “attacks” occurred. Probably not at all, and definitely not as originally reported to Congress and to the American people. At least that’s what was finally revealed to the American people, by the American government…many decades later. Understand these absolute facts as a baseline for the horrifying fact that millions of innocent men, women and children were killed and millions of soldiers were killed based on these grotesque frauds:
|Vietnam War Casualty Statistics|
|Total number of U.S. soldiers deployed to Vietnam||536,100|
|Total number of U.S. casualties in the Vietnam War||58,220|
|Total number of U.S. soldiers wounded in the Vietnam War||303,644|
|Total military casualties from both sides||1.475 million|
|Total wounded from both sides||2.094 million|
|Total civilian casualties from both sides||4 million|
|Age of the oldest man killed during the Vietnam War||62|
|Total number of KIA’s soldiers who were less than 20 years old||11,465|
Next, let’s look at the Iraq war. A little closer to us today. A little nearer and dearer to the American heart and psyche. You’ll remember George Chickenhawk Bush and Dickhead The Coward Cheney, both cowards that never had the balls to really serve in the military and yet these two monsters appeared before the American People repeatedly and engaged in a campaign of lies, fraud and propaganda over and over again until they got what they wanted….America went on a war of aggression, attacking Iraq.
First, and before there was any direct military or political justification, they started mankind’s largest military mobilization. Hundreds of millions of pounds of munitions and heavy armor, tanks, planes, resources were sent into the theater of battle. While his was occurring, the political administration and then intelligence community were directed to build the case FOR ALL OUT WAR. Find the weapons of mass destruction, find those WMD’s. Find the love letters between Saddam and Osama Bin Laden. Find the camps where Saddam was training Bin Laden’s forces.
The only problem was, there were absolutely, positively no WMDs and there was absolutely, positively no connection between Saddam and Osama. Even at the time, the bulk of the US intelligence community were fairly certain of those two facts. But as the Great Bush/Cheney Lie continued, it became fairly clear that the entirety of the US and world intelligence community were certain of those two facts.
And yet, despite clear evidence that Saddam had no WMDs and in fact hated Osama, America, personified by Bush, by Cheney, by Colin Powell, appeared before The World and especially before the United Nations and repeated blatant and bald-faced lies over and over again.
What must the Iraq delegation thought as they sat there in the United Nation’s General Assembly and listened to Bush talk about Yellowcake and Mobile Weapons Labs and Aluminum Tubes? Knowing full well that these absurd statements were all lies?
Well never know because all of them are dead, along with millions of other innocent Iraqi citizens. Millions dead, millions more tortured and dying. Tortured to this day. Suffering daily from the most monstrous and horrifying torture, disease and cancer and lifelong suffering because we turned the entire country into a toxic wasteland. Blanketing the entire country in chemical weapons and munitions that might very well have violated the chemical weapons treaties we were there ostensibly to enforce. The sulfur bombs, the depleted uranium shells, all the toxins and chemicals that we blanketed the nation with in search of weapons.
It was confirmed and totally undisputed shortly after the US invasion that Iraq had no WMDs. Confirmed and undisputed by American sources. But rather than make amends for these most grave lies and atrocities, and engage in a war to rebuild the nation we so wrongly attacked, the political leadership attacked our nation’s own military leadership and continued with a campaign to destroy the nation and in the process we maimed and destroyed millions of innocent civilians and hundreds of thousands of our own soldiers.
The United States military is supposed to serve the People of the United States of America. And the People of the United States of America must work to serve the good men and women that serve us. Those in uniform cannot speak out. They took the noble call and they must fulfill their obligations and respect the oaths they took. But we as civilians must speak for them. We must serve as their voice and do our jobs to try and protect them…both before they are sent and after they return. We honor their sacrifice and commitment by directly and repeatedly challenging the evil forces that sent them into battle, using lies, fraud and deceit as their own weapons.
And as promised…what does this have to do with foreclosure? Well, can you imagine what these United States of America would look like had we not squandered trillions of dollars in wars, both declared and undeclared, all across this planet? Can you envision a world where trillions were spent not on munitions abroad but on roads and hospitals and infrastructure here in the United States?
Why have we carpet bombed entire regions of the world, destroying roads and schools and hospitals all across this planet, then set about (halfheartedly) to rebuild the same when we’ve got entire cities and regions in fact here in the United States that are devastated War Zones that are already demolished and which could use the engineering and the building that we’re busy doing all across the planet?
Think about all of that next time you hear how this country cannot spend a dime to assist the millions of Americans who are suffering and need foreclosure assistance.
Those seeking foreclosure assistance or wondering what help there is to them in foreclosure should read this article from Naked Capitalism
It was a rude introduction to what was to become staples of foreclosure
fights: the bank side producing documents that were clear fabrications to
fix the ownership problem; a servicer employee sternly insisting that the documents
had only been in certain locations when Fedex tracking codes showed
him to have perjured himself; a lawyer for the foreclosure mill admitting to
conduct that should have gotten her disbarred.
The foreclosure reviews showed persistent, widespread efforts by Bank of
America to avoid any finding of borrower harm. These efforts were supported
and enabled by Promontory. The whistleblowers, told their role would be to
act as investigators and help borrower get compensation they deserved, all
described the review process as seriously flawed. Yet even with those obstacles,
they saw abundant evidence of serious damage to borrowers.
At a reported $4 million a year, much of Breuer's salary will have been earned at the expense of not prosecuting justice.
One of the more disgusting examples of the close partnership between the corporations and banks that are robbing and foreclosing and abusing Americans and the government that was supposed to protect us.
Another example of why there is no help to Americans facing foreclosure, no one to explain the steps to foreclosure or how to stop foreclosure.
No banker has gone to jail, and this illustrates exactly why:
This isn’t just a revolving door; one can argue it’s a dereliction of legal responsibility by an employee of the people of the United States. One can proffer that it’s a cash-in career move by a resume climber who was careful not to bite the hands that will write the checks that will feed him on a lavish scale.
BuzzFlash at Truthout has written more than fifteen commentaries on the failure to prosecute Wall Street execs in recent months. These include: “Consigliere Lanny Breuer, Head of the DOJ Criminal Division, Leaves Without Prosecuting One Made Man on Wall Street” ; and “The Covington & Burling Trio Overseeing the Department of Justice Criminal Division: An Injustice.”
Breuer isn’t the least bit sheepish about grabbing the brass ring after failing to hold those responsible for nearly sinking the economy criminally accountable. According to the website Main Justice,
Breuer said that he will also maintain his white collar clients, which he hope to grow following his stint as the Criminal Division’s longest-serving leader in recent history. Moving forward, he expects to have individual and corporate clients in areas such as foreign bribery, money laundering, export control and securities law and whistle blower cases.
Breuer has spent a combined total of approximately two decades at Covington & Burling.
According the Corporate Crime Reporter:
At Covington, Breuer will work with a corporate criminal defense team that includes:
Robert Amaee, the former Head of Anti-Corruption and Head of Proceeds of Crime at the UK Serious Fraud Office.
Bruce Baird, former Chief of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Tom Barnett and Deborah Garza, both a former Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division.
Michael Chertoff, himself a former Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division before becoming Secretary for Homeland Security.
Steve Fagell, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor in the Criminal Division.
Jim Garland, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Counselor to Attorney General Eric Holder.
Nancy Kestenbaum and Lynn Neils, both former Chiefs of the General Crimes Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Ethan Posner and Jean Veta, both former Deputy Associate Attorneys General.
Alan Vinegrad, former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.
And numerous other former federal prosecutors and enforcement officials, including Stephen Anthony, David Bayless, Casey Cooper, Haywood Gilliam, Geoffrey Hobart, and Simone Ross.
Criticism of Breuer’s exit through the revolving door came quickly from Dennis Kelleher, a former partner at Skadden Arps in Washington, D.C., and currently president of the public interest group Better Markets.
Kelleher told Corporate Crime Reporter that “nothing is more corrosive to the American people’s trust in government than the revolving door where too many officials turn their so-called public service into multi-million dollar riches unimaginable to most Americans.”
“This blatant cashing-in is destroying faith in government and government officials,” Kelleher said.
“Lanny Breuer’s spinning through it is only the latest example: partner at big DC law firm representing corporate clients before the Department, then becomes a senior official at the Department making decisions whether or not to prosecute those same or similar corporate clients, then leaves to go back to private practice representing those same or similar corporate clients with legal issues before, bingo, the Department of Justice,” Kelleher said.
As we noted in one of our previous BuzzFlash at Truthout commentaries deploring the systemic injustice of people who use government service to raise their cash value in DC, this is quite possibly a crime against the American people for personal enrichment. We are certain Lanny Breuer would deny anything but the purest motives, and that is his right. As he told Main Justice: “So, I love the advocacy system. I’m a zealous advocate, and I look forward to being a zealous advocate for our [Covington & Burling] clients again.”
But BuzzFlash at Truthout has a different perspective. At a reported $4 million a year, much of Breuer’s salary will have been earned at the expense of not prosecuting justice.
And a lot of perps are riding around in chauffeured limousines because Lanny Breuer didn’t lift a finger to take away their keys. Now they are his clients again.
House Bill 87 and Senate Bill 1666 — which backers say will clear the backlog of foreclosure cases in Florida actually will create more problems by putting speed ahead of justice.
Corporations are pushing this. Special interests are pushing this. They don’t care what you have to say…..
From the Miami Herald:
New legislation — House Bill 87 and Senate Bill 1666 — which backers say will clear the backlog of foreclosure cases in Florida actually will create more problems by putting speed ahead of justice.
The backlog is blamed on homeowners allegedly dragging their feet. In reality, banks have been the cause because of federal directives to pursue loss-mitigation alternatives or by voluntarily slowing down the process to explore settlement options in the interests of both parties and the market.
However long it takes to conclude a foreclosure in Florida, given the unprecedented magnitude of the fraud, forgery and abuses to which banks have admitted, we should exempt this category of civil court cases from “time to complete” requirements.
We should not make public policy decisions based on unverified, incorrect and misleading information, particularly when the data are provided by the same industry that admitted wrongdoing.
The next problem behind any push for foreclosure reform is that the real-estate market is improving. Prices have rebounded in Florida because, in part, inventories of foreclosed homes are being managed by the banks and homeowners.
Short sales and negotiated resolutions of foreclosure cases yield higher returns than faster foreclosures, but these settlements would disappear under the proposed legislation.
The American People....Sent To Kill Around The Globe....
SICKENING VIDEO- On The Anniversary of America’s Invasion of Iraq- Compare What The German People Knew About What Was Done In Their Names…..
A chilling scene that every American needs to watch. When the US liberated Nazi concentration camps, US soldiers forced German citizens to come back and see what they had done….these citizens knew what was being done in their names. Is this any different than the US today after Iraq? Where we all just sit back and claim we didn’t know what war criminals Bush, Cheney, Brennan did in our names?
Hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women and children have been killed and continue to be killed…not because of our desire to “liberate” or spread freedom and democracy, but because, after Bush II especially, we blatantly and overtly became a nation of war profiteers, marauding killers.
The American people cannot ignore this any longer. Every voter, every man, woman and child who refuses to accept the horrifying truth of this remains complicit in these war crimes.
America did not fail when such atrocities were committed. America fails every day Americans fail to recognize this truth and accept responsibility for what we have done.
America fails as we continue to kill innocent men, women and children all across the globe….and for what? Ask yourself. And to the extent you don’t know the answer to the question, the answer is….
WE KILL TO SUPPORT THE CORPORATIONS THAT PROFIT FROM THE WAR CRIMES.
Support our soldiers and the men and women that serve. Speak out for them because they cannot. We should bring them home and care for them when the get here. This is no criticism of the men and women who serve and who served, this is a criticism of the political powers that sent them into harm’s way.
And we should always ask the question:
What if we had declared war on war, and dedicated ourselves to actually winning hearts and minds…instead of wanton, indiscriminate killing?
One of the bedrock, black and white principles articulated in both...and hell, it's so basic it's taught to every American kid in elementary school...is that the three branches of government are separate....and equal. I thought this applied in Florida's courts, in fact I was certain that it did....but I'm apparently mistaken.
Foreclosure in Florida, 2013- When Judges All Across The State Forgot About The Constitution…..(And More of the Dark Side to Senate Bill 1666)
Oh Dear God, here comes that Weidner again….coming into a courtroom making all these arguments about The Law and what the banks did wrong and fraud and all that…blah, blah, blah…doesn’t he know….we’re all over it?
That’s certainly what I think the internal dialog sounds like when I walk into a courtroom these days.
And so, just to mix things up a bit…and out of respect to the judges, I’m going to switch gears….back to the basics….back to law school and a little thing called, The Constitution.
You see, when I went to law school, one of the first classes I took was Constitutional Law. I thought that it was a required class for every lawyer, going back for decades. And while we didn’t study Florida’s Constitution specifically, the same principles articulated in the US Constitution are found in Florida’s.
One of the bedrock, black and white principles articulated in both…and hell, it’s so basic it’s taught to every American kid in elementary school…is that the three branches of government are separate….and equal. I thought this applied in Florida’s courts, in fact I was certain that it did….but I’m apparently mistaken.
I know I’m mistaken based on what’s happening right now in Florida’s Foreclosure Courts, a subset, a subversion of the larger court systems. You see, Florida’s entire judicial branch…from one end of the state to the other are jumping up and down and falling over themselves to dance to the tune called by the legislative branch. Now, for years the Florida Legislature has been beating and whipping our elected circuit court and county court judges. Well, not actually whipping them, not exactly….but the Legislature has indeed been wagging their big legislative finger at them and cracking the entire black robed gang of judges into shape…..and well, whipping them into moving faster…and doing more with less and less money.
The legislative and the executive branch whipping the judicial branch…who are not doing enough to fight back.
Year after year, session after session, the Legislature tightens up the budgets and the purse strings of our state’s court system and our judges…telling them they must do more and more with less and less. Less money. Less staff. Less paperclips. Less resources. And Florida’s judges…who largely have lifetime appointments, just sit back and take the abuse.
More budget cuts? Thank you legislature may I have another?
No more law clerks? Thank you legislature, may I have another?
Remove our staff work and workers? Thank you legislature, may I have another?
Cut the pay of our remaining staff? Thank you legislature, may I have another?
And one of the craziest things about the legislature versus the entire court system dynamic is that while the legislature (thankfully) changes every few years….and they all completely cycle out every six years or so….one part of the legislative culture and the power does not change from one regime to another….the part of the collective legislative mindset that decides that it can continue to choke, abuse and hold hostage though financing the entire judicial system.
This dynamic truly is amazing and disturbing. What’s most amazing about this is it just should not happen. The balance of power in this perpetual battle is clearly in favor of our elected judges who are largely held in high regard by the voting public and who are basically protected politically by the voting population…very few are ever voted off the bench. With this dynamic in mind, I wonder why more of them do not stand up, speak out and protect the third branch that needs not just protecting and defending, but shoring up and being made more powerful in these times.
The juxtaposition of our state’s mature, deliberative and highly respected judges to our state’s elected leaders is obscenely dramatic. There is precious little newspaper ink spent on judicial scandals, but every day we read about one political scandal after another.
Our state’s judges are the elder statesmen and women. The adults in the room while the legislative and executive branches are…well….how should one put this….well. Tell you what. Just read the newspaper headlines. Just do your own catalog of corruption investigations and cases…but don’t stop there. Consider all the campaign cash and bribes and payoffs and think of all the investigations that do not occur. Democracy is broken, we don’t elect legislators and executive officers in this state….they are auctioned off. And The People don’t win those auctions, The Corporations do.
I remember being in Tallahassee during session a few years ago and watching the Representatives bounce around the halls. So many of them were so young, it reminded me of a frat party at a university. That’s what makes it all so disturbing. Florida’s judges, the bulk of them, are brilliant and totally protected. They have nothing politically or economically to worry about. All they’ve got to do is sit up there on that bench and do the job they were elected or appointed to do…and they’re not going anywhere. Meanwhile, Florida’s elected Representatives and Senators just rotate right on in and out of Tallahassee. I wonder what Florida’s judges would think if they took time off and went up to Tallahassee to see all the people that have been pulling their strings and abusing them all these years?
Wouldn’t it just be a hoot to see legions of Florida’s elected judges sashaying up and down the halls of Florida’s Capitol in their fancy, long black dresses? I just wonder how the commentary and tone of the legislative debate would change if, right in the middle of speeches about what Florida’s judges or courts are or are not doing, gangs of judges were peering back at them with those long-practiced judicial stares…..
Take the current foreclosure debate…the same one that’s gone on for years. The clowns up in the circus called Florida’s Legislative Session continuing to berate judges and misrepresent what’s really causing the foreclosure backlog….
MEMBERS OF THIS BODY, WE HAVE A CRISIS IN FLORIDA! IT TAKES 853 DAYS TO FORECLOSE IN FLORIDA. THESE CASES ARE DELAYED, THE JUDICIAL BRANCH IS BROKEN, THEY ARE NOT DOING THEIR JOB!
Now, what if judges marched up there and told them what was really happening in their courtrooms?
EXCUSE ME SENATOR, YOU ARE BEING MISLED AND YOU ARE MISTAKEN. THAT NUMBER THIS LEGISLATIVE BRANCH CONTINUES TO CITE IS BOTH FACTUALLY INCORRECT AND GROSSLY MISLEADING. YOU DID NOT GET THAT NUMBER FROM THE JUDICIAL BRANCH OR FROM ANY APPROPRIATE GOVERNMENT SOURCE. YOU ARE REPEATING INDUSTRY PROPAGANDA. AND IN DOING SO YOU ARE BEING DISRESPECTFUL AND INAPPROPRIATELY ATTACKING THE JUDICIAL BRANCH. PLEASE RETRACT THAT STATEMENT AND ALLOW US TO COME BEFORE YOU AND EXPLAIN WHAT IS REALLY HAPPENING IN OUR COURTS.
But no. That’s not going to happen. In fact, quite the opposite is occurring. In fact, a formal Gag Order has been placed on our state’s elected circuit court judges. We elect judges in this state. Our Constitution demands that they live in and among us. They go to our churches and synagogues and schools. The walk in our neighborhoods, we see them in grocery stores and yet, they have all been told that they must not speak to us….the people that elected them. I find this most disturbing. But even more disturbing, I am disappointed that they are accepting this gag order. They are not ripping the duct tape off their mouths and speaking, collectively and individually, to their neighbors in the communities in which they serve.
Instead, they are dancing to the legislature’s tune. They are playing from a sheet of music that was bought and paid for not by the people of the State of Florida, but by the corporations who own the legislature. Florida’s Legislature has spoken, and Florida’s judges are whipping themselves into a frenzy….
YES SIR/MAM TALLAHASSEE! WE’RE GOING TO GET RIGHT ON OUR NEW MISSION! WE’RE GOING TO DO AS YOU SAY AND WE’RE GOING TO
CLEAR THIS FORECLOSURE BACKLOG!
In foreclosure, we hear it everywhere we go. It’s not just disturbing…it is fundamentally Unconstitutional….And it’s not just foreclosure defense attorneys, community activists and voters that are now rumbling about how outrageous this is. Why, even foreclosure plaintiffs are starting to rumble that all this legislative blackmail and extortion is impacting their business models….and worse, the legislative meddling…and the concomitant judicial bending is placing these plaintiffs….many of whom are banks regulated by the federal government…into direct violation of their federal mandates….judges all across this state forcing trials while the federal settlements demand that nothing move forward……
Where does Senate Bill 1666 fit into this? Well, in particular, the very first part of the bill that instills and reinforces the whole regime of senior judges into the foreclosure process. We should not be talking about more funding for senior judges…every dollar spent there is a dollar taken from our elected circuit court judges and their staff.
We elect judges in this state….and voters either retain them or they slide off the bench. That’s what the Constitution says….but no one seems to care about that anymore. After all..there’s a crisis in this state….right?