Monday, November 24, 2008

Warrantless Wiretaps Upheld, The Citigroup Rabbit Hole

From this morning's New York Times comes the top honors:

"The unanimous decision by a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit holds for the first time that government agents may obtain admissible evidence against United States citizens through warrantless searches abroad. "

This morning in Manhattan, a 3 judge panel upheld the government's right to tap American citizen's phones in other countries, and they can do so without a warrant. A reasonable cause still has to be there to justify the means, but it clears up an appeals case that has been going on for over 10 years, involving a naturalized American citizen living in Kenya and said to be a close associate of Osama bin Laden.

" Mr. El-Hage and two other defendants had appealed their convictions for participating in a terrorism conspiracy, led by Mr. bin Laden, to kill Americans around the world. The conspiracy included the 1998 bombings of two American embassies, in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, which killed 224 people and wounded thousands. They were convicted in Manhattan federal court in 2001 in the last major terrorism trial in the United States before the Sept. 11 attacks."

I can hear the whoopin' and hollerin' from the NSA all the way out to Colorado. I guess Mr. El-Hage will be a guest at Lakewood for a few more years...

Although the top 3 automakers strutted before Congress and were sent packing until they could also show a plan where the money would be spent, no such plan was asked of Citigroup, who got another 20 billion today. " The government injected an additional $20 billion into Citigroup, on top of the $25 billion it invested a few weeks ago. It also said that it would cover 90 percent of the losses on those $306 billion in securities after Citigroup absorbed the first $29 billion of losses.

The fact it was necessary to guarantee so many assets — about a sixth of the $2 trillion in assets that Citigroup reported at the end of September — was another indication of both the complexity and the opacity of many of the securities that were created by financial engineers in the great wave of innovation."  

Notice the use of the word, injected, like it was medicine. Hold still, this won't hurt a bit! I love the delicate choice of words, opacity instead of transparency. This is a good reason to make the people handling your money pee in the bottle on a regular basis. You know they created many risky securities after following Alice down the rabbit hole, or letting avaricious old farts like Phil Gramm into the lettuce patch. Losing billions of dollars, you nation of whiners?

Now all of Paulson's friends have gotten their share of the bailout, he's wanting to freeze doling out money until after a new administration takes over. At least now we know why he wanted immunity from prosecution in handling the bailout.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome blog! Did you hear the good news!?!?!? This citigroup bailout is openening new avenues for the citizen to be bailed out.

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