Precisely at the 1:20 mark. This is classic.
ABC News says HSBC is too big for jail.
Nothing earth shattering here, but still this clip has value for two reasons. First, it demonstrates that the big three networks and even intellectually-challenged Diane Sawyer understand that something is wrong with our system of justice when criminals don't get charged. Second, ABC's Brian Ross questions Lanny Breuer directly, at the 1:20 mark, and Breuer's defensive response is worth the price of admission.
Though it might sound impressive at first blush, a $1.9 billion fine for HSBC amounts to 4 weeks of profit for the criminal banking behemoth. It's barely a slap on the wrist, though Holder and Breuer would have you believe it represents the greatest Justice achievement of the modern era.
As Matt Taibbi wrote:
'Even People On Wall Street Were Blown Away By The Result'
"The decision to not prosecute in this instance belies everything that the government has ever done with regard to drug prosecutions everywhere. I mean, when you think about the way they behave toward ordinary people who get caught up in drug cases, where they seize all your property and they use absolutely the maximum sentences they can possibly avail themselves of, and in this case they catch a bank that launders billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels … for years on end, and they can’t find something to charge these people with?"
"If the law doesn’t apply equally to everybody, then you don’t really have a system of law. And so you have a built-in defense for everybody in every drug case forever. I mean, if you get caught with a stem of marijuana, how do you not stand up and say, ‘You’re going to send me to jail for this where a guy who laundered a billion dollars for a bunch of murderers gets nothing?’"
Lanny Breuer exposed by Frontline... (must read)