Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Police Blotter

I couldn’t get worked up about Martha Stewart -- not even when she likened herself to Nelson Mandela, as a victim of persecution. He fought to liberate his country -- she hustled housewares.  She was on the way to making a billion at it, when she absent-mindedly picked up a bit of petty cash doing what insiders have always done on Wall Street -- buying stock on a tip, and unloading it on a tip. True , some outsiders got taken for, what, 50 grand? But five months in the slammer doesn’t look like cruel and unusual punishment -- if she ever serves it.

The fuss the media made over it was unusual. The day she was sentenccd, the courts were fiddling with half a dozen swindles on the order of billions of dollars, involving our food, gas, electricity, pharmaceuticals -- don’t get me started on that, I’m just back from the drug store. General Electric just added another conviction to what may be the longest rap sheet on record, and don’t thnk it’s over.

Today’s new crime sensation may look like small potatoes -- Samuel Berger, accused of taking home records of his doings as adviser to Bill Clinton. A neo-con, he seems to have been involved in operations in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, the Balkans, Latin America and Africa.  If the archives were opened, things that have been swept under the rug would be brought back to light. I just mentioned Nelson Mandela. It was probably before Berger’s time that our intelligence service put the finger on him for the apartheid government of South Africa, but that sort of cooperation never ended. Now, Berger is a chief adviser to John Kerry. So yes, by all means, let’s get a look at his files.