Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
DOUBLE YOUR DONATION!
We don’t run corporate ads. We don’t shake our readers down for money every month or every quarter like some other sites out there. We provide our site for free to all, but the bandwidth we pay to do so doesn’t come cheap. A generous donor is matching all donations of $100 or more! So please donate now to double your punch!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

From Abbottabad to Brooklyn

For ten years while American troops searched for Bin Laden in the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan, it turns out he was hunkered down at a relative’s mansion in Pakistan. President Obama, who informed Pakistan’s President Zardari of the raid only after it was completed, has demanded answers. How was Bin Laden hiding all these years in plain sight?

Ignorance could fly coming from one of America’s largest recipients of foreign aid, but sheltering Bin Laden who was living yards away from an army base was intolerable. The Atlantic reported the initial response from Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani. The ambassador stated that “Mafia figures manage to do this sort of thing in Brooklyn.” Whoops.

Enter lobbyist Mark Siegel, a partner at Locke Lord Strategies, which gets paid $75,000 a month by the Pakistani government to keep those billions in U.S. aid flowing. Siegel knows that comparing Pakistan’s corruption to the Brooklyn judiciary wouldn’t be a smart public relations move. The question remains, however: Was the ambassador correct?

Brooklyn has a long history of harboring the country’s most notorious crime figures, with the district attorney playing the role of Captain Renault in Casablanca. “I’m shocked, shocked to find out there’s gambling going on in here,” Renault famously proclaimed after spending the evening in a casino. “Give me your winnings,” the crooked captain would say.

The recent capture of Bin Laden shows that corruption in the Brooklyn courthouse is no longer a local issue. The cronyism and influence peddling has become an international punch line, with Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes as the man behind the joke.

The New York Post reported that the DA took a bag of $12,000 in cash in one of his re-election campaigns, and pleaded down murder cases in exchange for campaign contributions. The Daily News editorial board exposed a kickback scheme where 1,200 people on the DA’s payroll were required to contribute a portion of their salary to the boss’s campaign committee.

So why does a stench growing in the Brooklyn courthouse matter to CounterPunch readers in Akron, Ohio or Moab, Utah? Because our courts are where we settle disputes in a civilized society. When corruption is accepted in America’s largest county, then it becomes easier to accept anywhere.

Of course, Hynes’ petty details of malfeasance in the end were overlooked by the New York Times editorial board, which endorsed the prosecutor for re-election in his last tightly contested race in 2005. The Times was impressed with the DA’s much-touted probe that year into judicial corruption ? a probe that netted a single judge who took a box of cigars and a thousand dollars in cash to throw a case.

Just goes to show that you can pull the wool over the eyes of the New York Times, but not Pakistani intelligence.

John O’Hara, an attorney who lives in Brooklyn, is the first American since Susan B. Anthony to be convicted criminally on charges of “illegal voting.” O’Hara has an on line petition supporting his bid for a pardon. www.freejohnohara.com

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
October 19, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Jason Hirthler
The Pieties of the Liberal Class
Jeffrey St. Clair
A Day in My Life at CounterPunch
Paul Street
“Male Energy,” Authoritarian Whiteness and Creeping Fascism in the Age of Trump
Nick Pemberton
Reflections on Chomsky’s Voting Strategy: Why The Democratic Party Can’t Be Saved
John Davis
The Last History of the United States
Yigal Bronner
The Road to Khan al-Akhmar
Robert Hunziker
The Negan Syndrome
Andrew Levine
Democrats Ahead: Progressives Beware
Rannie Amiri
There is No “Proxy War” in Yemen
David Rosen
America’s Lost Souls: the 21st Century Lumpen-Proletariat?
Joseph Natoli
The Age of Misrepresentations
Ron Jacobs
History Is Not Kind
John Laforge
White House Radiation: Weakened Regulations Would Save Industry Billions
Ramzy Baroud
The UN ‘Sheriff’: Nikki Haley Elevated Israel, Damaged US Standing
Robert Fantina
Trump, Human Rights and the Middle East
Anthony Pahnke – Jim Goodman
NAFTA 2.0 Will Help Corporations More Than Farmers
Jill Richardson
Identity Crisis: Elizabeth Warren’s Claims Cherokee Heritage
Sam Husseini
The Most Strategic Midterm Race: Elder Challenges Hoyer
Maria Foscarinis – John Tharp
The Criminalization of Homelessness
Robert Fisk
The Story of the Armenian Legion: a Dark Tale of Anger and Revenge
Jacques R. Pauwels
Dinner With Marx in the House of the Swan
Dave Lindorff
US ‘Outrage’ over Slaying of US Residents Depends on the Nation Responsible
Ricardo Vaz
How Many Yemenis is a DC Pundit Worth?
Elliot Sperber
Build More Gardens, Phase out Cars
Chris Gilbert
In the Wake of Nepal’s Incomplete Revolution: Dispatch by a Far-Flung Bolivarian 
Muhammad Othman
Let Us Bray
Gerry Brown
Are Chinese Municipal $6 Trillion (40 Trillion Yuan) Hidden Debts Posing Titanic Risks?
Rev. William Alberts
Judge Kavanaugh’s Defenders Doth Protest Too Much
Ralph Nader
Unmasking Phony Values Campaigns by the Corporatists
Victor Grossman
A Big Rally and a Bavarian Vote
James Bovard
Groped at the Airport: Congress Must End TSA’s Sexual Assaults on Women
Jeff Roby
Florida After Hurricane Michael: the Sad State of the Unheeded Planner
Wim Laven
Intentional or Incompetence—Voter Suppression Where We Live
Bradley Kaye
The Policy of Policing
Wim Laven
The Catholic Church Fails Sexual Abuse Victims
Kevin Cashman
One Year After Hurricane Maria: Employment in Puerto Rico is Down by 26,000
Dr. Hakim Young
Nonviolent Afghans Bring a Breath of Fresh Air
Karl Grossman
Irving Like vs. Big Nuke
Dan Corjescu
The New Politics of Climate Change
John Carter
The Plight of the Pyrenees: the Abandoned Guard Dogs of the West
Ted Rall
Brett Kavanaugh and the Politics of Emotion-Shaming
Graham Peebles
Sharing is Key to a New Economic and Democratic Order
Ed Rampell
The Advocates
Louis Proyect
The Education Business
David Yearsley
Shock-and-Awe Inside Oracle Arena
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail