Friday, November 13, 2009

The processing line runs on a chain.

Sholom Rubashkin, the CEO of the notorious Kosher slaughter house in Postville IA has been convicted of 86 of 91 fraud charges with potential sentence of about 1250 years give or take a century. He has been remanded to Federal Prison while awaiting trial in December on 72 immigration charges and the State of Iowa would like to get their hands on him for numerous child labor law violations. A good number of the fraud convictions carry a potential twenty year sentence so he is likely to be in the Federal pen (cow revenge joke) for some time. At trial he blamed his subordinates for the violations despite him being the only one with the authority to take these actions.

They all took plea deals and ratted on him. The jury only took two and a half days to wade through a month worth of testimony and decide guilt on all but five charges.
Contrast this with the show trial given the 300 immigrants rounded up at the Postville Plant by agents of the Bush Crime Family. The so-called trials were conducted in special courtroom set up in a large County Fair barn, prisoners were presented to a Federal Judge shackled in strings of fifteen. Represented by lawyers who had been hand picked by the government and had spent only minutes on each of the dozens of cases each lawyer was given. This all happened within days of the roundup, but the facility having been rented more than a month in advance by the government.

The lawyers had to agree to use a script produced in advance by the government; use only that script and to emphasize, use nothing else, present no evidence, make no motions, just use what the prosecution gave them to read and accept a flat fee for the appearance. It was a modest amount per unit but made lucrative by volume, like any meat processing enterprise. Many of the invited attorneys refused to accept these terms.
The meat processing plant (I mean court room) had several stations, a set up that these workers would certainly recognize from their recent employment. Each group of fifteen was shuffled on a chain from holding pens to station where they were informed that they were going to Federal Prison for ten years unless the workers who spoke no English and few could even read Spanish, unless they pled guilty to a felony carrying a lesser sentence. It is unlikely they understood any of their rights or the ramifications of a plea would have on their future or on their families hiding in churches around Postville.

Processors then moved the chain down the line to a judge who accepted their guilty plea with the lawyer dutifully reading his script. The processed carcasses (I mean convicts) were then moved to another station where they were all given identical USDA Meat Inspection Stamps (I mean duly rendered sentences) and distributed to the freezer (I mean prison). Industrial efficiency; from holding pen to cold storage in a matter of minutes. Attorneys watching the proceedings said that Bush DOJ officials seemed to be practicing, like they were trying to refine a system that could be scaled up. You could easily argue that as their crimes go, this wasn’t even the top ten worst things that the Bushies did. But they were just practicing. Conservatives wouldn’t even have a problem with what they did, as long it isn’t them being loaded into the cattle cars.

So far no lawyers have been disbarred, no judges impeached by Congress, nobody from the DHS or DOJ has been fired. A string of Bush Crime Family members are not being moved on a chain to their appearance before a judge.


Anonymous said...

I read your blog with one eye closed and knowing that I will have a deep ache in my stomach because of the subject matter. But I read it because I need to know what is happening to my country. And you always tell is like it is. Unfortunately.

We will have no reform in this country until we have campaign reform, and we put the entire Bush crime family on trial for treason and send them to jail.

That won't happen because Americans are too busy treading water, just barely keeping their noises clear of the incoming waves. It isn't that they don't care (OK I suppose "Lost" and "Dancing with Stars" is MORE important), but because they have sucked on the tit of multi-media and holding down two of three jobs makes becoming politically active nearly impossible.

As a Union Member, I am shocked daily at the stupidity of my co-workers. Some shop at WalMart!
And do not get the connection to loss of jobs and low wages.