A Free Pass

     While a religious pervert’s mass murder of GIs at Fort Hood dominated the news on Veterans Day, Courthouse News’ top story that day began like this:
     “A Florida defense contractor put soldiers at risk and defrauded the government by producing hundreds of ‘bunker buster’ bomb fuzes it knew could explode unpredictably, ‘often shortly after the fuze was armed,’ federal prosecutors say. Kaman Precision Products knew it was using bad parts, and charged taxpayers $2 million for it, according to the False Claims Act complaint.”
     Here is how our story ended: “The military discovered the substitution and has spent $3 million in an ‘attempt to rework the defective fuzes to create usable ones,’ prosecutors say. The government wants a refund.”
     Military prosecutors said they will seek the death penalty for Nidal Hasan, the religious pervert who killed 13 soldiers.
     Good. I hope they kill him.
     But why is no one facing jail time for selling dangerous bomb fuses to the U.S. Army?
     The government spent $5 million on bomb fuses that could have blown dozens of aircraft out of the sky, and killed dozens of GIs, and the government wants a refund?
     Is the government out of its mind?
     Or is it – and by it I mean we – just so thoroughly corrupt and cowardly that war profiteers get a free pass?
     There was not a word about Kaman Precision Products in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, or even the Orlando Sentinel, where the company is based. I checked.
     Why is that?
     Every one of those newspapers had enough reporters to beat us to death with coverage of a family of morons who claimed their little boy had flown away in a balloon. But not a word on a war profiteer. Excuse me: an alleged war profiteer.
     People who remember history – which seems to be me and a couple of other guys – may recall that Harry S Truman became famous when he led a Senate investigation of war profiteering during World War II.
     This was during a war against enemies who were as powerful as we were.
     Truman turned up corruption all over the country. It was small change compared to what goes unpunished today – a few thousand dollars here, a few lousy parts there.
     But people were prosecuted. People went to jail.
     In the past two weeks, three dozen class actions in three dozen states have accused Halliburton and KBR of exposing more than 100,000 GIs to poison in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not to mention all the GIs Halliburton and KBR electrocuted from their cheap and incompetent wiring in Iraq. Or the women that Halliburton and its subcontractors drugged and gang raped in Iraq.
     Why is no one in Halliburton facing the prospect of going to jail?
     Why is Blackwater founder Erik Prince, the biggest bastard on Planet Earth, not being prosecuted? His mercenaries committed dozens of pointless murders in Iraq, occasionally when drunk or high, after which the company spirited them out of Iraq to avoid prosecution, according to at least a dozen civil lawsuits filed in U.S. courts.
     After Blackwater’s mass murder of 17 Iraqis in 2007, Prince tried to bribe Iraqi officials with $1 million to let his gang of bastards stay in Iraq, The New York Times reported – on Veteran’s Day.
     Why isn’t Prince facing jail time?
     Why do private attorneys have to bring civil actions against these war profiteers? Why is the government not trying to put them in jail? What the hell are government prosecutors doing?
     Well, here’s the top of another story Courthouse News printed on Veteran’s Day:
     “Northwestern journalism students whose investigative work reignited a nationwide debate on the death penalty are being forced to defend themselves. Cook County prosecutors subpoenaed journalism professor David Protess, seeking his students’ grades, his syllabus and their private e-mails.”
     That’s right; prosecutors are going after journalism students. Government prosecutors fear – fear? – that students in Professor Protess’ class might try to get good grades by claiming that people in prison are innocent. So the prosecutors subpoenaed the professor’s lesson plans and his grade book.
     Maybe Professor Protess should change his students’ assignments. He should have them get drunk and kill strangers, and rip off the government, and make stuff that explodes when it’s not supposed to, and could kill GIs by the dozen.
     Prosecutors would give the class a free pass.

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