Have nothing to do with the [evil] things that people do, things that belong to the darkness. Instead, bring them out to the light... [For] when all things are brought out into the light, then their true nature is clearly revealed...

-Ephesians 5:11-13

Category Archives: Crime

“Katrina Mayor” Ray Nagin Gets 10 Years on Corruption Charges

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Thursday, July 10, 2014:

English: Photographic portrait of Mayor Nagin ...

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin

Wednesday New Orleans’ former mayor Ray Nagin  was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after being convicted on 20 of 21 felony charges ranging from bribery to conspiracy to wire fraud to money laundering to filing false income tax returns. Not included were charges of over-acting and hypocrisy.

In acting the part of innocence betrayed, Nagin said:

    In my opinion I’ve been targeted, smeared, tarnished … for some reason some of the stances I took after Katrina didn’t sit well with some very powerful people. So    now I’m paying the price for that.

The prosecutors were fairly magical in their ability to take something that supposedly happened and paint it as reality when it didn’t really happen.

Serving as mayor of New Orleans from 2002 to 2010, Nagin generated controversy over his handling of the crisis the city faced during Hurricane Katrina, which hit the city in late August 2005. Reluctant to issue the first mandatory evacuation in the city’s history, Nagin was held responsible for at least some of the 1,800 deaths and more than $100 billion of damage inflicted by the storm.

During his second term, his image as mayor began to unravel. In April 2009, a local paper alleged certain specific conflicts of interest with regards to trips taken by Nagin and paid for by Greg Meffert, who at the time was Nagin’s chief technology officer. Meffert was found later to be working a lucrative kickback scheme with business owners seeking city contracts to help rebuild the city. Meffert was charged with 63 felony counts of corruption.

The same paper in June 2012 unveiled more criminal behavior with its disclosure that another businessman seeking favors had not only paid Nagin $50,000 in exchange for favorable treatment by the city but also delivered truckloads of granite — gratis — to Nagin’s sons’ countertop business, Stone Age, LLC. By the time the long list of corruption was tallied by federal prosecutors, Nagin was charged with receiving more than $500,000 in cash payments in exchange for $5 million worth of city contracts.

Neither before or after the trial did Nagin mention his staggering hypocrisy. Shortly after taking office as mayor in May 2002, he mounted an anti-corruption campaign within New Orleans’ city government. His efforts received national attention after television stations across the land broadcast live video of corrupt city officials being led away in handcuffs. He received additional acclaim when asked if he would order the arrest of his cousin who was implicated in one of the scandals. Responded Nagin: “If he’s guilty, arrest him.” His cousin was later arrested.

When Nagin’s sentence of 10 years behind bars was announced, it was met with outrage by the federal prosecutors who had sought a 20-year term. Said Matthew Coman, assistant United States Attorney:

[Mr. Nagin’s testimony was] a performance that can only be summed up by his astounding unwillingness to accept any responsibility….

These repeated violations, at the expense of the citizens of New Orleans in a time when honest leadership was needed most, do not deserve leniency.

Coman added:

What Ray Nagin did was sell his office over and over and over again. The damage that Ray Nagin inflicted upon this community … is incalculable. We as a community need not and should not accept public corruption.

Nagin is neither the first, nor the worst, of a lengthening list of mayors who have failed to resist the temptation to take advantage of their position of trust for their personal benefit. There’s Patrick Cannon, who served as mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina, for less than five months before being arrested and charged with accepting more than $48,000 in bribes from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen seeking city contracts.

There’s Kwame Kilpatrick, former Mayor of Detroit, who is now serving 28 years in a federal pen for mail fraud, wire fraud, and racketeering. There’s former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, who was in office less than a year before being charged criminally for a false arrest and battery on three unnamed females. Filner got off easy. He could have faced up to five years in jail for his indiscretions, but a plea bargain reduced it to just three months of house arrest (which ended in April).

There’s Vincent “Buddy” Cianci, who not only served as mayor of Providence, Rhode Island twice, but resigned twice due to felony convictions. After serving four years in federal prison, Cianci — perhaps the master of chutzpah among the growing list of mayoral miscreants — announced in June that he would run once again for mayor of Providence.

There’s Larry Langford, who served as mayor of Birmingham, Alabama. Langford is now serving a 15-year sentence in federal prison for his role in bringing the city the distinction of having the largest municipal bankruptcy in American history in November 2011. He was charged with 60 counts of corruption and fined more than $119,000.

At the top, or perhaps the bottom, of the growing list of mayoral frauds and convictions is the on-again, off-again mayor of the District of Columbia, Marion Barry. His celebrity status was assured in January 1990 when he was videotaped smoking crack cocaine, which netted him six months in federal prison. Following his release, he was elected to the D.C. city council in 1992 and then awarded mayorship in 1995. His list of corruption events is so long that it covers almost three pages of closely-typed paragraphs at Wikipedia and so outrageous that it has drawn the vitriolic attention of the usually tolerant and forgiving Washington Post. In an opinion piece offered by Colbert King, the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, he sums up Marion as the master of mayoral misdeeds:

Barry, however, is in a category of his own.

In fact, the four-term-mayor-turned-council-member is so far out there he may function in an alternate reality.

How else to explain how someone convicted of possessing crack cocaine in a federal bust seen around the world, who served six months in prison, who has been sentenced to three years’ probation for failing to file and pay federal and local taxes, who has been slapped with federal liens because of unpaid taxes, who has been censured twice by the council for misconduct and who has leveled racist remarks against Asian Americans and slurs against Poles … still functions as if his universe is so superior to ours that he is free to recidivate to a fare-thee-well.

In perspective, then, Nagin’s modest infringements of morality and federal laws when compared to his competition fade into relative insignificance, placing him near the bottom of the list. Nagin is not the first, nor the last, nor the worst. He’s just the latest.

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Congress to Grill Ex-Im Bank Chairman Over Corruption Charges

This article was first published at TheNewAmerican.com on Wednesday, June 25, 2014: 

English: , President of the

Fred Hochberg, President of the Export-Import Bank

On Thursday Fred Hochberg, Chairman and President of the Export-Import Bank, will be grilled by members of the House Financial Services Committee over charges of corruption and mismanagement at the 80-year old agency. His task to defend the agency appears formidable, especially with its charter being up for renewal at the end of September.

On Tuesday the Wall Street Journal reported that four Ex-Im employees have either been suspended or fired over the last few months as a result of “investigations into allegations of gifts and kickbacks.” But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The Heritage Foundation reported on the same day that

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Mississippi Corruption’s Impact on Morality

This article was first published at the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, June 23, 2014:

Satan's Super Congress / Committee - Cartoon

The latest study on state corruption within the U.S. is by two college professors. It defines corruption as the “misuse of public office for private gain,” and it shows Mississippi at the very top of the list. This is fine as far as it goes, but they fail to connect the dots: As goes political corruption, so goes moral decline.

The study, entitled “The Impact of Public Officials’ Corruption on the Size and Allocation of U.S. State Spending” published in the May/June issue of Public Administration Review, confined itself to political corruption: bribery, extortion, graft, cronyism, and embezzlement. They left out nepotism. They also left out any analysis of how the citizens of the states fared

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Mississippi is the most Corrupt state, says a new study

Mississippi state welcome sign

Based on the number of convictions for violating federal corruption laws, Mississippi – a state with just 3 million citizens – ranks at the very top of the list of all states, according to a recent study. Two college professors published their report in the May/June issue of Public Administration Review.

Their study said the high level of corruption in the state resulted in high state spending on projects most likely to be “bribe-generating” like capital improvements and highway construction, while leaving more socially beneficial projects like schools and health facilities behind. It also noted

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House Investigator Issa Subpoenas Lois Lerner’s hard drive

Rose Mary Woods (1917-2005), Richard Nixon's s...

Rose Mary Woods (1917-2005), Richard Nixon’s secretary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Earlier this week Darrell Issa, Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, subpoenaed the hard drive from Lois Lerner’s computer that allegedly crashed – along with those of six other IRS personnel – in August 2011. He wanted everything, including “all hard drives, external drives, thumb drives and computers” plus “all [other] electronic communications devices the IRS issued to Lois G. Lerner.”

When asked about the matter, an IRS “spokesman” told Politico:

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Obama, Media Mislead on gun crime Statistics in US, Australia

That 70's Crime Show Opening Sequence

The Troutdale, Oregon shooting last Tuesday gave both the president and at least one of his liberal media mouthpieces another opportunity to rehash old arguments and repeat old lies about the need for more gun control in the US. When Jared Padgett entered a boys’ locker room at Reynolds High School last Tuesday morning he murdered a classmate before being confronted by armed officers. Following that confrontation, Padgett took his own life. The fact that he stole the weapons from his family home, defeating various security measures, meant that he also defeated any background check measures that were in place to prevent such a shooting from occurring.

That simple fact escaped the attention of the president who, taking advantage of the opportunity, pushed his ongoing agenda for more gun control measures:

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The Media Ignored the Real Hero of the Las Vegas Shootings

This article first appeared at The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, June 11, 2014: 

 

Old English Sheepdog-Nana

Old English Sheepdog-Nana (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The media coverage of the murderous attacks on policemen and Las Vegas Walmart shoppers on Sunday predictably ignored the actions of one individual who confronted one of the attackers, giving the police time to neutralize the threats before they became horrendous. His name: Joseph Robert Wilcox.

Largely ignored in USA Today’s reporting of the event, and ignored entirely by the Los Angeles Times, Wilcox’s role in ending the attack before it got out of hand was nearly invisible. USA Today referred to Wilcox as

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A Hero Emerges from the Horror of the Las Vegas Shootings

Sheepdog

Sheepdog (Photo credit: timothy.potter)

In the media’s haste to cover a story that appeared initially to mesh with its anti-gun agenda, at least two covering the ghastly murderous attacks in Las Vegas on Sunday skipped over the real hero: Joseph Robert Wilcox.

USA Today’s initial reporting of the incident only made passing reference to the man who likely cut short what was planned to be a massive attack on innocents, referring to Wilcox as just “another man” who was shot in the Walmart melee. But the paper gave Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the senior Senator from Nevada, plenty of ink:

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Supreme Court Refuses to hear case on Reporter’s Privilege

 

Cover of "State of War: The Secret Histor...

By refusing to hear an appeal from New York Times’ investigative journalist James Risen last week [not to be confused with Fox analyst James Rosen] that his sources for a controversial chapter in his book State of War are protected under the First Amendment and reporters’ “privilege”, the Supreme Court has de facto endorsed its controversial decision from 1972. In that decision, the Court determined that the First Amendment does not give reporters like Risen any reportorial “privilege” in protecting their confidential sources.

If the government moves ahead with its subpoena of Risen to testify or be held in contempt in its case against former CIA agent Jeffrey Sterling, Risen said he would go to jail rather than reveal his sources.

In a strange comment following the Court’s decision not to hear Risen’s appeal, Attorney General Eric Holder, the head of the department bringing the suit against Sterling, said:

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House Passes bill to Increase Funding for Background Checks

Seal of the National Crime Information Center ...

Seal of the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), USA. — “Servicing Our Citizens” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Late last Thursday the House voted, 260-145, to increase federal grant money to states to improve their reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS. It was a textbook case of revolutionary parliamentarianism at work.

Less than one week after the Isla Vista, California, shootings which left seven people dead and 13 wounded, the House voted to increase funding by $19.5 million to assist the states in their data collection and entry into the federal gun registry system. It was all for good reasons, according to Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), who helped sponsor the amendment:

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Two Unanimous Supreme Court Decisions Grant Immunity to Police, Secret Service

Police Tape

Following the announcements on Monday of the Supreme Court’s unanimous decisions in two “qualified immunity” cases, John Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, expressed dismay:

Not a day goes by without reports of police officers overstepping the bounds of the Constitution and brutalizing, terrorizing and killing the citizenry. Indeed, the list of incidents in which unaccountable police abuse their power, betray their oath of office and leave taxpayers bruised, broken and/or killed grows longer and more tragic by the day to such an extent that Americans are now eight times more likely to die in a police confrontation than they are to be killed by a terrorist.

This lawlessness on the part of government officials, an unmistakable characteristic of a police state, is made possible in large part by the courts, which increasingly defer to law enforcement and prioritize security over civil liberties. In so doing, the government gives itself free rein to abuse the law, immune from reproach, and we are all the worse off for it.

A closer look at the two cases to which Whitehead refers, however, reveals

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California Shooting: the Missing Element

A "welcome" sign at Isla Vista

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After a year of planning his revenge on sorority sisters who had ignored him, causing him “pain” and “suffering”, a student living in Isla Vista, California, began his killing spree at 9:30PM Friday night. It ended 10 minutes later when Elliot Rodger, confronted by armed force, took his own life. In the wake were twelve separate crime scenes with 7 people killed and thirteen more, including a bicyclist and a skate boarder, injured, some seriously. Calling it a “chaotic, rapidly unfolding convoluted incident,” Sheriff Bill Brown added:

It’s obviously the work of a madman …

There’s going to be a lot more information that will come out that will give a clearer picture of just how disturbed this individual was…

[It was] premeditated mass murder.

The spree began at Rodger’s apartment where

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Questions Surrounding Cyber Spy Attacks on US Businesses

Flag of the Chinese Communist Party 贛語: 中國共產黨黨...

Flag of the Chinese Communist Party (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Wednesday, May 21, 2014:

The indictments announced on Monday by Attorney General Eric Holder of six Chinese military officers for hacking into some American companies’ computer networks raised more questions than they answered. The Chinese have been spying on America since the end of the Second World War. Why, all of sudden, out of the blue, is this announcement front page news?

According to Holder:

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Dinesh D’Souza Pleads Guilty, Claims Selective Prosecution

 

Cover of "The Roots of Obama's Rage"

Cover of The Roots of Obama’s Rage

When Federal District Judge Richard Berman ruled that Dinesh D’Souza, co-producer of the documentary film 2016: Obama’s America, had provided no evidence that he was selectively prosecuted for arranging campaign contributions to a friend in 2012, D’Souza had no other defense. In his plea bargain with Berman on Tuesday, D’Souza pleaded guilty to one of the two counts in the indictment, saying:

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US Accuses China of Spying; China calls Charges Hypocritical

English: Members of a Chinese military honor g...

Members of a Chinese military honor guard march during a welcome ceremony for Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Peter Pace at the Ministry of Defense in Beijing, China. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Monday the U.S. Justice Department filed indictments against five Chinese military officers for hacking into the computer networks of six American companies to obtain trade secrets and other sensitive business information. Although China has been engaging in espionage against the United States since the end of the Second World War, this is the first time charges have been levied on nationals living on foreign soil.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told a news conference:

When a foreign nation uses military or intelligence resources and tools against an American executive or corporation to obtain trade secrets or sensitive business information for the benefit of its state-owned companies, we must say:

Enough is enough.

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Miracle in Minnesota

"Official Photograph" of Hubert H. H...

“Official Photograph” of Hubert H. Humphrey as Vice President of the United States of America (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This article was first published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, May 19, 2014:

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, a million liberals and Hubert Humphrey. And yet, something remarkable happened on Tuesday, May 6: the legislature passed a bill prohibiting the police from stealing from its citizens!

On the Richter Scale (i.e., the Freedom Index published by the John Birch Society) Minnesota Senators Al Franken and Amy Kloucher each rank in single digits in following the Constitution: 7 out of a possible perfect score of 100. Three of the state’s eight representatives score below 25, and not one ranks higher than 80. And yet…

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Many of the articles on Light from the Right first appeared on either The New American or the McAlvany Intelligence Advisor.