Monday, January 14, 2008

AmericanGoy INVESTIGATIVE SERIES: Ashcroft investigationg shows incredible corruption in bush jr. administration.

This can be confusing so bear with me.

Former US Attorney General John Ashcroft's own Washington consulting firm just got a new contract awarded without bidding.

It is an 18 month deal worth from $28 to $52 million.

Multiple quotes from the articles linked to in the end of the post; comments mine:

"The contract involves a third-party -- the Ashcroft Group -- monitoring Zimmer Holdings, a medical supply company in Indiana, as part of an out-of-court settlement reached in New Jersey.

New Jersey's top prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, struck the deal without outside bidding. Christie worked for Ashcroft between 2002 and 2005, which prompted the inquiry, the report said."

So wait who is this Christie guy again?

"The New Jersey prosecutor, United States Attorney Christopher J. Christie, picked Ashcroft to monitor Zimmer Holdings, an implant maker in Indiana."

Hmmmm curious:
"(...)directed similar monitoring contracts last year to two other former Justice Department colleagues from the Bush administration, as well as to a former Republican state attorney general in New Jersey."

So OK wait- how does this contract work exactly? The resident idiot is confused...

"Mr. Ashcroft was awarded the contract last fall at the direction of Mr. Christie as part of his office’s settlement of criminal accusations against Zimmer Holdings and four smaller firms accused of paying kickbacks to doctors."

OK OK - but why does a federal prosecutor need an outside private lawyer at all?

"In the Bush administration, federal prosecutors have increasingly relied on out-of-court settlements with large corporations in criminal investigations that in the past might have resulted in indictments and trials. The settlements often call for outside lawyers to be retained by the companies to monitor the agreements. The contracts call for the lawyers to monitor the company’s compliance with the settlements through financial audits and other types of internal investigations."

Ahhhhhh now I understand - you are, by the use of smoke, mirrors and bullshit, preventing the companies that fuck up and, say, kill people, from being prosecuted and punished financially.

Rather, you, as a corrupt federal prosecutor, make a judgement that the company and its victims MUST settle in an out of court settlement, which does three things:

1) Prevents the negative publicity of the company (usually the out of court settlements contain clauses to shut up the victims or the money is forfeit)

2) Employs the cronies errr your old friends who used to work in the government, effectively giving them legal kick back money, making sure that when YOU "retire" will also have a nice "kick back money" job like that

3) Is a cheaper option for the company than the trial process, which if it loses can spiral into a class action suit or more lawsuits by its victims.

Isn't the system perfect?

To understand how it works from the multiple articles, it took the resident idiot a 10 minute thinking session and lots of sweat and chewing of a pen. Hope you are satisfied with my efforts on this one.

Here are the main sources for the blog post:

Who is John Ashcroft?

NYTimes article

Star Ledger article

UPI Article

Learn more about Zimmer Holdings

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