Giuliani Would Make a Worst
President than Bush
By Paul Craig Roberts
-- -- Republican magazines have begun their pimp operations
for the GOP’s 2008 presidential candidates.
In a recent issue of National Review, Jennifer Rubin, described
as “a freelance writer in Washington, D.C.,” pumps up Rudolph
Giuliani as “America’s mayor” and “America’s prosecutor.”
Giuliani is a media creation. Giuliani was unknown until in
search of name recognition he staged a stormtrooper assault on
the financial firm Princeton/Newport involving fifty federal
marshals outfitted with automatic weapons and bullet proof
vests. On another occasion he had two New York investment
bankers hauled off their trading floor in handcuffs.
Giuliani’s victims had done nothing and were exonerated. But
Giuliani’s media stunts served to turn public sentiment against
Giuliani once bragged that by giving negative treatment to his
targets, “the media does the job for me.” Giuliani certainly had
no difficulty manipulating Wall Street Journal reporters James
B. Stewart, Daniel Hertzberg and Laurie Cohen or The Predators’
Ball author Connie Bruck. Milken, who had done nothing except
make a lot of money by proving Wall Street wrong about
non-investment grade bonds, was branded the “Cosa Nostra of the
Milken’s “junk bonds” financed such household names as CNN,
Barnes & Noble, Stone Container Corporation, Time-Warner,
Safeway, and Mattel. Milken provided capital to companies with
promising futures that lacked investment-grade credit rankings.
Milken operated out of Los Angeles, not Wall Street. His
earnings and those of his upstart firm, Drexel Burnham Lambert,
aroused envy and hatred among the Wall Street hot shots. Milken
failed to use his money to purchase political protection in
Washington. Instead, he gave his money to organizations that
help poor black children.
Milken was set up perfectly for an ambitious and unscrupulous
prosecutor like Giuliani.
Giuliani leaked to his media pimps that a 98-count indictment
was coming down against Milken. As Milken had done nothing and
Giuliani had no case against him, Giuliani’s strategy was to
coerce Milken into a plea bargain. When Milken failed to send
his attorneys to work out a plea arrangement, Giuliani used
Laurie Cohen to report eighteen times in the Wall Street Journal
that Milken would imminently face an expanded superseding
indictment of between 160 and 300 counts.
To increase the pressure on Milken, prosecutors threatened to
indict Milken’s younger brother, Lowell, unless Milken made a
plea deal. US Attorney General Dick Thornburgh quipped to his
deputies: “A brother for a brother.” Afterwards, Giuliani’s
assistant US attorney, John Carroll, told Seton Hall Law School
students in April 1992 that Lowell Milken was a “sort of ready
chip in the negotiations.” Giuliani even went so far as to send
FBI agents to hound Milken’s 92-year old grandfather.
Milken’s attorneys concluded that Giuliani, lacking any case,
was far out on a limb and desperate for a face-saving plea. They
worked out a plea to six minor technical offenses that had never
carried any prison time. But Giuliani was determined to have his
victim, and Milken was double-crossed by sentencing judge, Kimba
“Bimbo” Wood, and spent two years of his life in prison.
Giuliani’s assistant US attorney John Carroll later bragged to
Seton Hall Law students that in the Milken case “we’re guilty of
criminalizing technical offenses. . . Many of the prosecution
theories we used were novel. Many of the statutes that we
charged under . . . hadn’t been charged as crimes before. . . .
We’re looking to find the next areas of conduct that meets any
sort of statutory definition of what criminal conduct is.”
It is a damning indication of the collapse of American law that
an assistant US attorney can be well received when he brags to
law school students that federal prosecutors frame Americans
with novel interpretations that create ex post facto law and
violate mens rea--no crime without intent--the foundation of the
Anglo-American legal system.
In his book, Payback: The Conspiracy to Destroy Michael Milken
and His Financial Empire, University of Chicago law professor
and dean Daniel Fischel proves Milken’s innocence. But when
prosecutors are corrupt, innocence is no protection.
Giuliani’s crimes were not limited to Milken and
Princeton/Newport. After investigating, I concluded that
Giuliani framed Leona Helmsley with the suborned perjury of one
of Helmsley’s accountants, whose own infraction in helping to
defraud the Miller Brewing Company was dropped in exchange for
false witness against Helmsley.
I wrote about Helmsley’s frame-up in National Review, and my
story was picked up by one of the TV shows of the era. Both Alan
Dershowitz and Robert Bork share my conviction that Helmsley was
framed with suborned perjury.
Today National Review is a Giuliani partisan, as is the
editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. During Giuliani’s
“white-collar crime heyday,” the Wall Street Journal editorial
page was busy exposing Giuliani’s duplicity and misuse of the
media to create cases against innocent targets.
Giuliani rode his prosecutions of the rich to the NYC mayoralty,
just as he rode 9/11 to become a GOP presidential candidate.
Giuliana’s career never served justice; it served his personal
ambition, his ego. That a person so short on integrity could
become a candidate for president is a damning indictment of the
US political system.
[The account of Giuliani’s prosecution of Milken comes from my
book with Lawrence Stratton, The Tyranny of Good Intentions.]
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