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A Study in Contrasts

A Study in Contrasts

By Dennis Loo (8/4/13)

The first excerpt here comes from a letter that U.S. veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom Daniel Somers wrote to his family on June 10, 2013. After writing the letter he committed suicide:

During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity. Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from. I take some pride in that, actually, as to move on in life after being part of such a thing would be the mark of a sociopath in my mind. These things go far beyond what most are even aware of.

To force me to do these things and then participate in the ensuing coverup is more than any government has the right to demand. Then, the same government has turned around and abandoned me. They offer no help, and actively block the pursuit of gaining outside help via their corrupt agents at the DEA. Any blame rests with them.

The second entry here comes from the Bradley Manning Support Network, quoting Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ comments on Manning’s release of information that he is being vindictively prosecuted for by the Obama Administration:

“Is this embarrassing? Yes. Is this awkward? Yes. Consequences for U.S. foreign policy? I think fairly modest.”

—Robert Gates, Unites States Secretary of Defense

The third entry comes courtesy of Goldman Sachs’ CFO, David Viniar. Goldman had just got through prosecuting the one person from Goldman who has actually served anytime in prison out of the 2008 financial catastrophe, a programmer named Serge Aleynikov who was born in Russia, and who Goldman got the FBI to arrest and prosecute for allegedly stealing computer code from Goldman:

Goldman’s C.F.O., David Viniar, even said on an earnings call that the code Serge took had little value, that Goldman was fine.

So if it has no value, why are you so distressed? Why are you putting him in jail?

And then, the judge wouldn’t allow that statement to be read in court.

The judge was essentially—it seems to me the way the trial was run, reading the transcripts—a government hack. It felt deeply, intellectually dishonest. Or incompetent.

Do you think Goldman is almost Stalinist in influencing the government to be like itself?

[Laughs.] I think if you took lock, stock, and barrel, Goldman Sachs and moved it from New York to Moscow and forbade any employee from leaving so that they had to keep doing what they were doing but in a different context, I think they would flourish.

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