Thursday, June 30, 2016

Glenn Greenwald — Major New Brazil Events Expose the Fraud of Dilma’s Impeachment — and Temer’s Corruption

From the start of the campaign to impeach Brazil’s democratically elected President Dilma Rousseff, the primary justification was that she used a budget trick known as pedaladas (“peddling”: illegal delay of re-payments to state banks) to mask public debt. But this week, as the Senate conducts her impeachment trial, that accusation was obliterated: The Senate’s own expert report concluded there was “no indication of direct or indirect action by Dilma” in any such budgetary maneuvers. As the Associated Press put it: “Independent auditors hired by Brazil’s Senate said in a report released Monday that suspended President Dilma Rousseff didn’t engage in the creative accounting she was charged with at her impeachment trial.” In other words, the Senate’s own objective experts gutted the primary claim as to why impeachment was something other than a coup.…
But so obviously, impeachment was never about any alleged lawbreaking by Dilma — that was just the excuse to remove a democratically elected president for ideological reasons — which is why the destruction of the primary legal charge against her has barely dented the impeachment momentum. Even the vehemently anti-Dilma paper Estadão documented how leading impeachment advocates this week instantly shifted their rationale: from claiming that pedaladas requires her impeachment to proclaiming that it was never actually important in the first place. Those are the actions of people devoted to an end without caring about the justification: They are determined to impeach Dilma for ideological reasons, so the destruction of the legal case against her makes no difference.…
Even more significant is the growing evidence of the full-scale corruption of Dilma’s installed replacement, Michel Temer. In just over 30 days since his installation, Temer lost three of his chosen ministers to corruption. One of them, his extremely close ally Romero Jucá, was caught on tape plotting Dilma’s impeachment as a way to shut down the ongoing corruption investigation, as well as indicating that Brazil’s military, the media, and the courts were all participants in the impeachment plotting.
A key investigation informant, former senator and construction executive Sérgio Machado, has now said that Temer received and controlled 1.5 million reals in illegal campaign funds, while a separate informant last week said Temer was the “beneficiary” of 1 million reals in bribes. And Temer is now banned by a court order from running for any office for eight years due to his own violation of election laws. Remember: This is who, in the name of fighting “corruption,” Brazil’s elites installed in the place of the elected president.
Meanwhile, Temer’s political party, PMDB, is almost certainly the most corrupt in this hemisphere. Its president of the lower House, Eduardo Cunha — who presided over Dilma’s impeachment — is now suspended by the Supreme Court, and the House’s Ethics Commission just voted to expel him entirely because he lied about bribe-filled Swiss bank accounts he controls. The same construction executive, Machado, testified that three of PMBD’s key leaders — including Jucá — were paid a total of 71.1 million reals in bribes. Meanwhile, two key Temer allies from the center-right PSDB that Dilma defeated in 2014 — Temer’s Foreign Minister José Serra and Dilma’s 2014 opponent Aécio Neves — are now both targets of the corruption investigation.…
Just think about what has happened when it comes to control over the world’s fifth most populous (and very oil-rich) country. The democratically elected president was impeached despite no allegations of personal corruption — by politicians who are knee-deep in bribery and kickback scandals. The primary pretext used to impeach her has just been debunked by the Senate’s own independent expert report. The corruption-plagued man they installed in her place — who currently has a 70 percent disapproval rating, and whom 60 percent of the country wants impeached — is now secretly meeting with the very judges whose supposed independence, credibility, and integrity were the prime argument against calling this a “coup,” all while he plots to save his bribery-enriched fellow party member. And while all this happens, they are blithely proceeding to impose a right-wing agenda of austerity and privatization that democracy would never allow.,,,
And these are "our" (US) guys. Yes, they are all men. The women were either fired or resigned.

The Intercept


Random said...

Big deal in the UK.

Tom Hickey said...

From the link:

Giving a speech in Manchester, Mr Osborne said: "The referendum is expected to produce a significant negative economic shock to our economy. How we respond will determine the impact on jobs and growth.

"We must provide fiscal credibility, continuing to be tough on the deficit while being realistic about achieving a surplus by the end of the decade.”….

"The problem of course is, you can't borrow forever,"said Paul Johnson from the IFS.
"So we'll have a few more years of more borrowing, but my guess is this is not the end of austerity, actually this means austerity will just go on for longer because we'll probably have the spending cuts and tax rises right through the 2020s to pay for this."

(emphasis added)


Malmo's Ghost said...


Maybe not clueless but rather political expediency at work?

Peter Pan said...

In Brazil, they get politicians that are clueless and corrupt. It's a bonus!

John said...


The IFS is clueless. We have to put up with this gibberish all the time. The IFS is the go-to institution for all: it is the most highly respected think tank in the country. When they speak, it's like Moses descending Mount Sinai. And no matter how often they get it horribly wrong, they're still considered credible and prophetic.

Unless every single economist at the IFS is politically motivated and consciously disingenuous, which isn't likely, then the only reasonable conclusion is that they're totally clueless. Another case of Galbraith's "innocent fraud" at work. The IFS isn't all that different to the IMF in that respect. Of the many hundreds of economists at the IMF, how many are conscious liars? Few, I imagine. They honestly believe this nonsense, and that makes it much worse and much more dangerous than someone peddling a politically convenient line. Most monetarists are in the same "innocent fraud" camp. Milton Friedman being the obvious exception: a gigantic charlatan and fraud. He knowingly lied like there was no tomorrow. With his famous books on monetary history, he very consciously perpetuated a fraud: he and Schwartz were the Reinhart and Rogoff of their time.

You have to respect Milton Friedman! He considered himself a soldier in a war. The IFS and the rest are dumb patsies, clueless and protesting their innocence right up until the time a smoking gun is found in their hand and the inevitable police arrest.