Monday, January 16, 2006

A few thoughts on RICO 

You can take Wikipedia for what it is, I like it, but tend to be wary cause you don’t know what nutcases may make strange and inaccurate entries, but I have found it to a be a pretty good resource for information, or at least a jumping off point for further research.

Sitting here as I tend to on a weekend, playing some X-Box and watching the Family Guy on TiVo, I decided to take a quick jaunt around Wikipedia.  I do this some times as I, unlike george bush, am of the intellectually curious breed.  I wandered across the entry on RICO.  It’s an abbreviation for “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act”. You can find a fuller description of the RICO act at RICOact.com, written by a Mr. Jeff Grell, and attorney who deals in such matters

My mind tends to work in funny ways, so you tell me what to make of these parts of the act::

A) any act or threat involving murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in section 102 of the Controlled Substances Act), which is chargeable under State law and punishable by imprisonment for more than one year;

Further, these are some of the violations that can be included in a RICO claim:

B) any act which is indictable under any of the following provisions of title 18, United States Code:

Section 201 (relating to bribery)
section 1341 (relating to mail fraud)
section 1343 (relating to wire fraud)
section 1503 (relating to obstruction of justice)
section 1510 (relating to obstruction of criminal investigations)
section 1511 (relating to the obstruction of State or local law enforcement),
section 1512 (relating to tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant),
section 1513 (relating to retaliating against a witness, victim, or an informant),
section 1956 (relating to the laundering of monetary instruments),

Okay.  That list of offences I have posted here in mind, can we name some people who might have been involved in these sorts of activities?
I bet I can!  Here is a quick list:
Tom Delay – Sections 201 and 1956
Bob Ney – Sections 201 and 1956
Jack Abramoff – Sections 201, 1341, 1343, 1956
David Savafian – Sections 201, 1503, 1510, 1956
Michael Scanlon - Sections 201, 1341, 1343, 1956
Roy Blunt – Sections 201 and 1956
Karl Rove – Sections 1503, 1510, 1511, 1512, 1513, perhaps section 201
Scooter Libby – Sections 1503, 1510, 1511, 1512, 1513
George Bush – Sections 1503, 1510, 1511, 1512, 1513, perhaps section 201 also
Dick Cheney – Sections 1503, 1510, 1511, 1512, 1513

Now, take into account the act’s definition of ‘enterprise’: includes any individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity, and any union or group of individuals associated in fact although not a legal entity;
What ‘enterprise’ could we be referring to…   Something that might fall in the vein of a ‘Criminal Organization?”....

Could it be… the GOP?

That was a small list, one which could include many others, but despite the fact that I am wearing my overly large tin-foil hat today, I’m only going to go so far.  Keep in mind that there are many aspects to this list.  Some of these people have been indicted, on both State and Federal level charges, some have yet to be indicted, some have yet to reach trial, and some have already pled guilty.

The first part of the list is comprised of the Abramoff group, and they are going to be going down first.  These are just the big names I have listed, undoubtedly the list will expand to include other elected officials and their staff as Abramoff and Scanlon spill their guts to the justice department.  

The second part of the list centers around Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame.  You see I tend to think of Joe Wilson as a ‘whistle-blower’, and less a political opponent of the Bush Administration as he tends to get painted.  He tried alert America to the deception surrounding the invasion of Iraq, for which he and his wife were targeted by the administration for reprisal.  Libby has gone down for this, and Rove is still under investigation.  Cheney’s office is surrounded by this investigation.

Why did I include the possibility of the president being in violation of section 201?  

The Mariana Islands (1, 2, 3, 4).  

This includes George Bush, Karl Rove, Tom Delay and Jack Abramoff.  The number of actions taken with respect to this American Protectorate by these sweet neo-cons ranges far a field, strange when you consider that this is such a small entity…  There is something larger here that most folk are missing, and I include myself in that group…  

The Mariana-Rove-Bush-Delay-Abramoff connection is key to my point however.  Jack Abramoff has been shown to have had his hands all over GOP actions, fueling them with money, and directing their influence toward his clients.  Many pundits have tried to spin Abramoff’s activities to include the Democrats, or state that the republicans involved were somehow ignorant of Abramoff’s intentions while they were accepting his gifts and performing official action that he wanted them to perform, but the length and breadth of their interaction cannot be understated, evidenced by how much the GOP’s collective ass-holes closed up over his guilty plea.  

Now, lets get back to RICO…

The GOP is very much a part of the Delay money laundering indictment.  They assisted Delay in his activities by taking in money from his PAC that was donated by corporate interests, and then returning it to other Texas political candidates who were otherwise not eligible to receive those funds under Texas’ campaign finance laws.  Jack Abramoff dealt explicitly with members of the GOP when he wanted to get something done for his clients or himself (see Suncruz Casinos).  Even Tom’s temporary replacement as House leader for the Republicans in not untouched; Delay and Blunt had exchanged funds through their individual PACs in an effort to shore up GOP majorities in their respective state’s legislatures.

>The list of offences indeed goes on and on.  But let’s get to the bare bones here.  The GOP is behaving like a criminal organization; working in closed environments in an attempt to subvert the laws of the United States of America for their own financial gain and drive towards power.  If you try to speak out against them, you can expect retaliation. They have done everything short of leaving a horse’s head in John Murtha’s bed.

I call for a RICO based investigation of the entire Republican Party.  While there is already a series of justice department investigations working on the Abramoff lobbying scandal, and one independent prosecutor for the Wilson/Plame retaliation case, I think these investigations are only scratching the surface of a much larger issue.

America has always had a competitive democracy, one in which candidates from different political parties vie for electoral approval, and by ‘vie’ I mean fight like starved dogs over the only piece of meat.  But these folks have really gone too far, lets be honest with ourselves.  For those in DC, or even you’re average state legislative and executive offices, there is little consideration for what is actually important: looking after the system in the name of the people.  Most, not all, who get elected to these positions, mistake them as positions of power, or positions of authority.  This is way off the mark.  Elected positions are positions of responsibility only.  The people I have listed have turned the federal government into a large game that is based on influence, money and power, at the cost of everything else.  And we have seen recently the inner workings of this machine dragged through the public square, sometimes dressed like mobsters (funny that).

I’m going to look into this a bit more.  But I welcome all comments.  Just to note, there has been a RICO complaint served against the bushies in relation to 911. You can find it here.  Their list is longer than mine, but has a different purpose.  

Have a good week all!

UPDATE: the American Spectator tells ,me that Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) filed a RICO suit against Delay in Spetember 05. (Link)

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