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« How It Feels To Have Your Life Savings Stolen In Cyprus | Main | Cyprus In 'Superhuman' Effort To Open Banks Thursday »
Wednesday
Mar272013

DOJ COMPLAINS: 'The Untouchables Was A Hit Piece'

Lanny Breuer on line 1.

'We will never co-operate with Frontline in the future.'

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Update - Lanny Breuer Named Vice-Chairman Of Covington & Burling, Will Head White Collar Criminal Defense Division

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Hilarious.  Justice Department gets defensive.

Not a huge story but still incredibly satisfying for molecular-level Wall Street revenge seekers.  A win is a win except in the Harbaugh family, and this is a victory for our side.  We can celebrate the fact that the Justice Department contacted Frontline producers last week after 'The Untouchables' aired Tuesday night and and threatened to blackball the award-winning PBS show.

You read that right.  And they called it a 'hit piece' for good measure.  The truth hurts and the knives come out.

FRONTLINE:  Some viewers have wondered about whether or how the Justice Department hasresponded to the film.  Any word?

Martin Smith:  Well, the Justice Department called and said they thought it was a hit piece, that I came with an agenda and that they will never co-operate with us in the future.

Source: Did Wall St. Get Away With It? - Frontline

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You can watch the full broadcast here:

PBS Frontline - Wall Street Untouchables

 

And the details of Lanny Breuer's departure are here:

Wall Street Shill Lanny Breuer Done At DOJ

 

 

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Reader Comments (10)

Frontline did a fantastic job. What's the last piece of journalism that resulted in executive-level action (and a thinly veiled dismissal, no less) within 24 hours? I can't think of one since Nixon told the VA to get its ass in gear after Mike Royko's Man Without a Face column in the Chicago Daily News.

What was so satisfying was Frontline's exposure of Breuer's rank dishonesty. It was so effective, and the show was so damaging, that I made extensive notes of it in another thread on this blog. http://dailybail.com/home/pbs-frontline-wall-street-untouchables.html

So that other journalists and filmmakers might replicate Frontline's outstanding work, set forth below are the notes generally describing the show's template:

* * *

If you haven’t seen Frontline’s “Untouchables” presentation tonight, you missed a devastating show, because whoever wrote and produced it just ripped off the DOJ’s public mask and pummeled the arrogant banker’s face behind it into a disturbingly deep red pulp on national television. FL established--beyond the reasonable doubt that the DOJ finds impossible to prove--that our federal law enforcers are working for Wall Street.

What’s amazing is that took Frontline less than 60 minutes to do it. The forethought that went into “The Untouchables” was extensive, elaborate even, but paid out big.

Quite consciously, FL repeatedly focused on the people behind the headlines and the Names in them. When Frontline talked with Senator Ted Kaufman, for instance, they also interviewed his chief of staff Jeff Connaughton, who gave us ordinary viewers a very real and credible feel for what it was like working for the boss.

FL’s behind-the-scenes angle got even better when they focused on ground-level troops. What’s compelling here is that everyone knows it’s the soldiers who always know the real score. As it turned out, FL was about to give us the real score on the mortgage business, which the show used to tremendous advantage against the DOJ itself. Frontline’s set-up came in three stages, and it was pretty much genius.

Frontline introduced three sets of foot soldiers. First were the contract people for Countrywide who reviewed the mortgage files for quality compliance; they knew there was fraud at Countrywide. Second were the FBI agents who investigated mortgages during Bush 43; they knew there was fraud throughout the mortgage industry. Third were the workers inside Bear Stearns who spoke about the company’s mortgage frauds to Nick Verbitsky, who was able to find these whistleblowers with next to no effort—working part-time and for the most part alone.

FL explained what happened in each case of these frauds:

--Countrywide’s contractors were overruled by their bosses, and the bad mortgages kept pumping through. The credibility of these contractors, incidentally, was buttressed by Richard Bowen, one of Citi’s chief risk officers who testified that 60-80% of Citi’s mortgages didn’t meet Citi’s own loan quality guidelines.

--The 1000 FBI agents who were all over the mortgage fraud were re-assigned by higher-ups.

--Bear Stearns imploded, but the whistleblowers, who’d been so easily discovered by a film director, were never contacted by anyone at the DOJ.

That background was interesting all on its own, but more importantly it set a rock solid foundation for what followed. FL next turned to Lanny Breuer, the head of criminal enforcement at the DOJ, for some answers. FL asked Breuer if the DOJ’s army of law enforcers even looked for whistleblowers that Nick Verbitsky found in abundance working part-time?

Breuer couldn’t tell the truth, of course, because then the whole wide world would know that the DOJ hasn’t lifted a finger to prosecute anyone on Wall Street—which FL had confirmed already, through the evasions of Lanny Breuer himself, by establishing that the DOJ had never used any wiretaps in its “incredible” efforts to root out fraud on Wall Street.

So Lanny Breuer had to lie instead and say that the DOJ had searched high and low for Bear Stearns whistleblowers, the falsity of which couldn’t have been any more glaring. The delicious gloss on top of it all was Lanny’s body language, which screamed “I AM A LIAR AND I AM PAID WELL BY MY MASTERS TO LIE ON TV EVEN THOUGH EVERYONE KNOWS I AM LYING WHEN I TELL MY RIDICULOUS LIES.”

And with that, Frontline exposed Lanny Breuer as the total liar and the DOJ as a servile Wall Street joke.

So now you know, America, who the Justice Department is working for, and it most definitely isn’t you.

Kudos to Frontline’s writers and producers. That was the most masterful unmasking I can remember seeing on TV.

Jan 23, 2013 at 1:48 AM | Cheyenne
Jan 28, 2013 at 3:46 PM | Registered CommenterCheyenne
The next day, as this post says, I sent a series of questions in to the online chat. Some of these I took from other notes on the Frontline show (pertaining to topics that can be explored further) from the same thread:

* * *

Now for criticisms of “The Untouchables.” All but the last one are arguably carping.

Fraud. The term “fraud” was used repeatedly throughout the interviews with the Countrywide loan quality contractors. Unfortunately, it came up in connection with dubious incomes claimed by borrowers, which might have left open the impression that the problematic fraud stemmed from the borrowers.

It didn’t, nor could it have, since one legal requirement of establishing fraud is reasonable reliance on the misrepresentation by the defrauded party. It’s virtually impossible for a bank to be defrauded on a loan since its reliance on any data from a borrower—if it could happen at all—could never be reasonable given the banks’ access to so much data.

Frontline could have eliminated all doubt on this score by asking Richard Bowen why a bank would make a loan that it knew would fail. Or it could have shown the 2004 FBI study that said 80% of all mortgage fraud involved collusion by industry insiders.

S&L prosecutions. FL stated that over 1000 people were prosecuted and that 1/3 of these were executives. This is error. The actual numbers are well over 3000 total, more than 1000 of whom were executives.
FL should have added that the conviction rate during the S&L crisis was over 90%, and that the total cost of that crisis was $125-50 billion. But that would have necessitated a correction of FL’s statement that the current crisis has cost Americans “hundreds of billions.” That’s woefully wrong. The most conservative current estimate I’ve seen came from Dennis Kelleher, who admitted he pulled punches in arriving at a figure of $12.8 trillion.

The salient point with the S&L crisis is this: in terms of cost, the current crisis dwarfs the S&L crisis by a factor of 100-to-1. This begs the question: why are there not 100,000 financial executives in jail for the current crisis?

Proving criminal intent. Yeah, yeah, yeah, Breuer, you’ve told us 100 times how darn hard it is to prove. Frontline should ask Breuer if William Black had a team of sorcerers working for him when they jailed 1000+ executives with a batting average of .900 plus after the S&L crisis.

HSBC. I haven’t watched the supplemental interview stuff, but two points jump out here. First, HSBC admitted to criminal behavior. So the question for Breuer is this: were you lying about the burden of proof being so high, or are your excuses for failing to prosecute a game of whack-a-mole? Additionally, HSBC said that most of the people involved in the bank’s admitted money-laundering operations had already left. How can prosecuting these people, who are outside this allegedly “systemic” bank, possibly jeopardize the banking system? Whatever answer follows—which won’t be the truth since Breuer lies all the time—is just another round of whack-a-mole.

1000 FBI agents. They were re-assigned, yes, but FL didn’t make it clear that they were re-assigned to anti-terrorism detail. This should lead to questions about the true nature of the anti-terrorism campaign, namely, that it’s completely fake, invented for the sole purpose of diverting resources and attention away from the real terrorists, who steal billions every day on Wall Street and threaten to destroy the economy when caught. But mom and pop aren’t the only ones who aren’t ready to wrap their heads around that fact, so major passes get handed out here.

Mortgage fraud. The focus was entirely on fraud involving mortgage quality (AAA ratings, etc.) That’s not only the hardest fraud to prove, it’s not even close to being the worst one. The worst fraud in the mortgage securitization process was the failure by mortgage originators and securitizers to convey ANY PROMISSORY NOTES AT ALL. Thus, rather than talking about a loss of 60-80 cents on the dollar, frauds in this class all involve the loss of 100 cents on the dollar. Moreover, this fraud enabled companies like Bear Stearns to sell the same note to multiple buyers. This should lead to questions like, when someone sells the same thing many times over to separate buyers, what possible inference is available OTHER than an intent to defraud? Why has the DOJ never, not once, ever prosecuted anyone for these frauds, which cause the most damage and are the easiest to prove?

To end on a positive note, “The Untouchables” did touch on a great many important issues. The most critical one was raised by someone who mused, sometimes I wonder if we should start focusing not so much on Wall Street’s crimes but on why the Department of Justice is so disinterested in these crimes.

Indeed. Without expressly saying as much, Frontline amply demonstrated that the real crisis underway is not a financial crisis at all, but a legal one. To paraphrase Mark Twain, that’s a difference between a lightning bug and lightning itself.

And that’s the real problem with the bailouts. They didn’t fix the crisis at all, they only covered up the crimes that caused it. The next implosion will make 2008 look like a picnic.

Jan 23, 2013 at 3:17 AM | Cheyenne
Jan 28, 2013 at 3:52 PM | Registered CommenterCheyenne
As I watched FL, I kept asking if they would ask the hard questions. Anytime I don't hear those questions, I ask "Who is in the Big Club?" Frontline? Here's a list of questions you may ask? Here's a list of questions you WILL NOT ASK?

My little simple mind goes back to, " What can't continue, Won't continue" Bring on the Devastation!
Jan 28, 2013 at 4:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterTR
Cheyenne

Did you by chance save a list of the questions you submitted? If so, copy/paste them here if you don't mind.
Jan 28, 2013 at 4:19 PM | Unregistered CommenterDaily Bail
Nope. I typed most of them into a box under the chat thread as it scrolled, and they vanished into the ether as soon as I hit send. Most related to two topics: (1) comparisons of criminal prosecutions and referrals during the S&L crisis (including: did FL ask Breuer if the DOJ has ever requested William Black to help out as a consultant?), and (2) the separate fraud of selling mortgages and not ever conveying the paper. The remainder were follow-ups to matters that arose in the chat.

As to (1), the following comparison tells you all you need to know about our federal law enforcers: they filed 30,000 criminal referrals in the S&L crisis and 0 (give or take) for this crisis.

Lots of times, when you talk about the rule of law having no applicability to the elite, certain people will put on a worldly affectation (attempting to mask their own ignorance) and tell you it's always been this way. I always respond by asking how, if they're correct, 1000+ financial executives ended up in prison for the S&L crisis. I've never heard anything but crickets in response.
Jan 28, 2013 at 5:43 PM | Registered CommenterCheyenne
The devastation being wrought by facts coming into the open with NO gubmint censorship dovetails perfectly with Leon Panetta's false flag "Cyber Armageddon' due at 'any moment'. The lies and obfuscations are no longer working, We The People are NOT laying down our arms begging to be saved and you can bet your children/grandchildren's lives these criminals will kill Americans en masse rather than admit the truth and accept prosecution.
Jan 28, 2013 at 8:06 PM | Unregistered Commentertheo
Superb job Frontline on The Untouchables. I just fear FL could have gone a lot further and asked tougher questions. These criminal bas$%rds and money grubbing thieves in the banking and wall street "industry" need serious face slapping type of questions to hold them accountable. And good ridance to Lanny........he should be in prison in my opinion.
Jan 28, 2013 at 8:23 PM | Unregistered Commenternuffsaid
Dont underestemate time, slowly, it crawls away, but this "education" is nesecery.

dont forgett, that just some years ago, "nobody" talked about this, or Currency wars, the imminent fall of the petroDollar, gold rush, hell anything mettalic or shining objects, and now we are here.
I like to remeber people of that, thing do take time.

To watch a sytemic crash, is like watching grass grow.
But the path is the same, where in the system it beginns is almoust irrelevant, when it starts to cascade its relevant.
And now, reasently the devaluation race have begunn.
Whos next.

America is infact doomed.
And now I am optemistic, my real senario is so bad, that I dont want to think on it.
It makes me sick, literaly.

wake up

peace
Feb 13, 2013 at 4:53 PM | Unregistered Commentermikael
Associated Press says U.S. government seized journalists' phone records

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/13/us-usa-justice-ap-idUSBRE94C0ZW20130513
May 14, 2013 at 6:23 AM | Unregistered Commenterjohn

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