Palin Abused Her Power

11 10 2008

Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin abused her power as Alaska’s governor and violated state ethics law by trying to get her ex-brother-in-law fired from the state police, a state investigator’s report concluded Friday.

“Gov. Palin knowingly permitted a situation to continue where impermissible pressure was placed on several subordinates in order to advance a personal agenda,” the report states.

As may be expected, a spokeswoman for the McCain-Palin campaign responded by calling the investigation “a partisan-led inquiry” run by supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, but hailing its finding that Monegan’s firing broke no law.

“Gov. Palin was cleared of the allegation of an improper firing, which is what this investigation was approved to look into,” campaign spokeswoman Meg Stapleton said.

She said the Legislature exceeded its mandate in finding an ethics violation. “Lacking evidence to support the original Monegan allegation, the Legislative Council seriously overreached, making a tortured argument to find fault without basis in law or fact,” she said.

Though the McCain-Palin campaign tried to put a positive spin on the outcome the bipartisan Legislative Council, which commissioned the investigation after Monegan was fired, unanimously adopted the 263-page public report after a marathon executive session Friday. About 1,000 more pages of documents compiled during the inquiry will remain confidential, the council’s chairman, state Sen. Kim Elton, said.


The investigation into the affair began before Mr McCain selected Mrs Palin as his running mate in August, and Several Republican politicians have attempted to have the investigation stopped on the grounds that it was politically motivated. Given these facts McCain’s choice of Pailin as Vice President now looks very questionable and will rightly have a negative impact on his campaign.

Capitalism in Crisis: The Cost of U.S. Corruption

26 09 2008

The ongoing bank driven economic crisis in the U.S., and the proposed $700bn rescue plan clearly demonstrate the cost of corruption. Again I am adopting the definition of corruption used by Transparency International (TI) to suggest that this crisis has corruption at its roots.

Transparency International, one of the largest Anti-Corruption agency in the world, define corruption as, “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain”. and say, ” It hurts everyone whose life, livelihood or happiness depends on the integrity of people in a position of authority.”

As to the cost, the $700bn deal being proposed would cost every man, woman and child in the United States about $2,300. And, the total cost exceeds total lending by the International Monetary Fund since its inception after World War Two. The IMF has loaned $506.7 billion since 1947.

In other words, the U.S. government is proposing a deal that would rob every citizen of the U.S. to reward the corrupt institutions and the corrupt directors of them.

The deal is in trouble today. Let’s hope and pray it does not pass. If it does it will be a clear demonstration that corruption pays and would undermine the credibility of America and the capitalist system as a whole.

These are my opinions, and the figures used come from reporting by Reuters.

Saving the President

26 09 2008

THE UN Security Council is under pressure to suspend the International Criminal Court’s prosecution of Sudan’s president, Omar al-Bashir, for alleged genocide and crimes against humanity, according to a report in the Economist magazine today.

Unsurprisingly, Mr Bashir does not like the charge at all, and nor do the rest of his peers in the 53-member African Union (AU) and the 56-member Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC). Both groups have demanded that the Security Council suspend proceedings against Mr Bashir. As the author of the article rightly points out several members of the AU abd OIC, “no doubt fearing that it could be their turn next”.

Further increasing the pressure on the ICC if it does indict Mr Bashir (a decision is expected in November), several AU and OIC members, who together account for a third of the ICC’s 108 states parties, have threatened to pull out of the court.

With an eye on Sudan, Ban Ki-moon, the UN’s secretary-general, recently declared that the search for a balance between peace and justice “should never be influenced by the threats and postures of those seeking to escape justice”.

There is a more than reasonable chance that charges will be dropped, or ‘postponed’ despite the overwhelming evidence against Bashir (an estimated 300,000 have already lost their lives and some 3m have been forced to flee their homes in the five-year conflict, continues to deteriorate). And, despite the fact that as early as September 2004 Secretary Powell officially invoked the term “genocide” to describe what was going on there in testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and  President Bush (white House Press Release, September 9, 2004).

Despite calling it a genocide the U.S. and the rest of the world have taken no effective action to date. This is Rwanda 2:0, and the killing not only continues, it is getting worse.

Why might charges be dropped despite the evidence? Corrupt politics of course. Of the Security Council’s five permanent members, three – China, Russia and the United States—refused to sign up to the court. Coincidentally Russia and China have huge financial interests in Sudan and are actively supporting the regime, and in-directly the genocide. I reported on this before – China is Fueling the War in Darfur.

As I have also said already, Darfur and Sudan show the ineffectiveness of the United nations. Now there is a more than reasonable chance that they will show how useless one of it’s key institutions, the International Criminal Court, actually is. This may make or break the future of the ICC and, the action of the permanent members in relation to Sudan and Darfur will be yet another test of the credibility of the United Nations itself.

Read the Economist Article

$700bn Reward for Corruption?

24 09 2008

Transparency International, the global coalition against corruption, and one of the largest anti-corruption agencies in the world, “has chosen a clear and focused definition of the term: Corruption is operationally defined as the misuse of entrusted power for private gain.”

By this definition it could be argued that the leader of major financial institutions in the US are guilty of causing the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression. At this time the US is considering a $700bn bail out, effectively rewarding those whose greed helped create the problem in the first place.

By taking such unprecedented action they will be using taxpayers money to condone corruption. The repercussions will be enormous for years to come. If the bailout goes ahead the US government will never be able to legitimately criticize the corrupt actions of other governments and regimes?

These comments are my own opinions. I would love to hear yours!

Lawyer Jeffrey Tesler 'bribed officials in $6bn Nigerian gas deal'

14 09 2008

The Times (UK recently reported that an investigation is underway into allegations of corruption by a UK based lawyer acting as the middle man for an international consortium of contractors. Tesler is accused of distributing £100 million of bribes to secure lucrative gas contracts.