Loretta Lynch is Condoleeza Rice With A Law Degree
by BAR managing editor Bruce A. Dixon
Editor's note: Modest revisions were made on this article since its original publication, including the addition of references to Lynch's service on the Federal Reserve Bank of NY and her participation in the International Criminal Tribunal.
"...you won't hear Lynch bragging about how many white collar criminals, fraudulent bankster, predatory speculators and greedy CEOs she's locked up...."
By the late 1950s, America's rulers knew domestic Jim Crow was a global strategic liability. All but diehard Southern white supremacists could see it was bad for business. It interfered with America's penetration of the former European colonial empires in Africa and Asia. The image of a settler state, built with stolen labor on stolen land, where lynch mobs and white violence could break out at any time, where blacks were legally under-educated couldn't compete with the egalitarian rhetoric of the Soviet Union and China. Jim Crow just had to go.
Media and political elites singled out Dr. Martin Luther King as the favored face of what they called the civil rights movement before his 30th birthday. They awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 36, but shunned and denounced him in the final year of his life when he condemned not just racism, but economic injustice at home and imperial war abroad. King's death at only 39 enabled the US elite to construct their own useful tool, the Dreamer, who is the Martin Luther King we mostly hear about today.
In the early 70s, serious enforcement of the Voting Rights Act began, while the US military, elite universities and corporations instituted what came to be known as “affirmative action.” The economic gains ordinary black families made in the the 60s and 70s didn't last. These were largely curtailed and rolled back beginning in the 80s and 90s.
But the end of legal segregation and the opening of affirmative action had a long term consequence. It integrated America's corporate, military and political elite. By the turn of the century there were dozens of black admirals and generals, more than ten thousand blacks holding elected office, with many more un-elected officials from the US Secretary of State down to wardens of state and federal prisons, and a layer of black corporate functionaries, academics, celebrities and lawyers. Condoleeza Rice and Colin Powell were part of that layer, as are Susan Rice, Eric Holder, the despicable “Morehouse Man” Jeh Johnson at Homeland Security, and Loretta Lynch, whom President Obama has nominated to replace the first black attorney general, Eric Holder.
Lynch did her undergrad and law school at Harvard. She went from there to the prestigious NY firm Cahill Gordon & Rendall, the folks who represent Bank of America, Merril Lynch, Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo and the like.
Lynch served her first term at the Justice Department co-chairing something called the White Collar Crime Subcommittee. But you never hear Lynch bragging about how many white collar crooks, fraudulent bankster, predatory speculators and greedy CEOs she's locked up. That's just not what the Department of Justice does any more, whether under Democrats or Republicans. Hence Loretta Lynch's expertise in advising and defending the few white collar criminals who got close to seeing the inside of a courtroom made her eminently qualified for DOJ's “White Collar Crime Subcommittee.”
To be fair, this kind of misrepresentation on the part of elite corporate black lawyers of what they do isn't unique to Ms. Lynch, it's pretty typical. Corporate lawyer and current Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed used to bill himself as a “civil rights lawyer,” which was only true in the sense that he was paid to represent corporations in employment law, age discrimination and civil rights cases against, not for those whose rights were violated.
“...When President Obama took office, there was an urgent need for Lynch's unique talents. ...”
Eventually Lynch returned to private practice, this time at Hogan & Hartson again focusing on “commercial litigation, white collar criminal defense and corporate compliance issues”...in other words, keeping corporate criminals out of jail.
Perhaps tiring of keeping people out of prison, Lynch went back to the Justice Department a second time in 2000, this time as Brooklyn NY's federal district attorney. In this office, Lynch was responsible for carrying out the vicious and racist war on drugs with thousands of vicious and petty drug prosecutions, and for enabling unjust asset forfeitures. After a public outcry Lynch did give the green light to prosecution of NYPD officers in the sodomizing of Abner Louima, but she declined to launch federal investigations into hundreds of other incidents of NYPD's lawlessness, brutality and murder which occurred on her watch.
Back in private practice by 2003, Loretta Lynch was serving on the board of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
In 2005 Lynch was recruited by US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Stephen Rapp to administer “victor's justice” upon the losers in Rwanda's civil war. The US had backed Paul Kagame, trained at Ft. Leavenworth Kansas and shot his way to power with an army that included child soldiers. In the process Kagame's forces committed a sizeable share of the 800,000 murders in what the world knows as the Rwandan genocide. So in Rwanda Loretta Lynch interviewed only persons brought to her by Kagame's cronies. Like the rest of the International Tribunal, she never questioned Kagame's role in the assassinations of the Rwandan and Burundian presidents which kicked off the civil war, or the tens of thousands of murders which occurred in areas controlled by Kagame's forces, or the role of Kagame and his partners in the ongoing pillage of neighboring Congo which had taken some 5 million lives and counting by 2008.
When President Obama took office, there was an urgent need for Lynch's unique talents. Greedy speculators, banksters and hedge fund sharpies had crashed the US economy in 2007, leading to millions of foreclosures and the most catastrophic loss of black family wealth since the US began measuring it. But banking, insurance and finance had been the incoming administration's biggest contributors. “White collar crime specialist”Lorretta Lynch answered the call. She came back to Washington to protect the pillagers and perps who made her career, and the Obama administration possible.
She has served them well. In more than one Rolling Stone article, Matt Taibi has described her role in shielding HSBC.
“The deal was announced quietly, just before the holidays, almost like the government was hoping people were too busy hanging stockings by the fireplace to notice. Flooring politicians, lawyers and investigators all over the world, the U.S. Justice Department granted a total walk to executives of the British-based bank HSBC for the largest drug-and-terrorism money-laundering case ever. Yes, they issued a fine – $1.9 billion, or about five weeks' profit – but they didn't extract so much as one dollar or one day in jail from any individual, despite a decade of stupefying abuses...”
Lynch also helped negotiate the DOJ settlement with Citigroup, one of the main entities that packaged and sold fraudulent mortgage securities to clients around the world. She let them off the same way, and guaranteed them immunity in the cases that state attorneys general were pursuing.
"...In his day, Thurgood Marshall defended scores of people accused of capital crimes. This alone would disqualify him from the federal bench nowadays. ..."
That's her specialty, that's who and what she is. Loretta Lynch is the lawyer who writes the fine print on the “get out of jail free” cards the Justice Department hands out to banksters, speculators and too-big-to-jail CEOs. She's the vicious federal DA who prosecuted thousands of poor defendants on petty drug charges each month, while she ignored the official crimes of NYPD excepting a single case that put tens of thousands of angry New Yorkers in the street.
Lynch sees nothing wrong with the NSA harvesting everyone's email, phone and other communications. She's got no problem with the president ordering the drone murder of US citizens or foreigners, whoever. She's OK with prosecuting whistle blowers and journalists for “espionage” and she's not the least bit interested in lowering the prison population, curbing asset forfeitures, ending the failed 40 years war on drugs, or restraining and demilitarizing the police.
Those who imagine that there's some virtue in having black faces in high legal places need to check their priorities. They ought to be asking why black lawyers who file suits against corporate polluters, black lawyers who defend the victims of police torture and abuse, black lawyers who represent the evicted and afflicted, who expose the abuses and war crimes of the CIA, NSA and the Pentagon are never considered for leading roles at the Department of Justice or anywhere else in government. In his day, Thurgood Marshall defended scores of people accused of capital crimes. This alone would disqualify him from the federal bench nowadays. Like Eric Holder, Loretta Lynch has never represented anyone facing eviction or dispossession. She has never sued a polluter or a violator of human and civil rights. She's pro-death penalty, anti-marijuana legalization, and as far as we know, has never defended a poor person accused of a crime.
Like Jeh Johnson, the odious “Morehouse Man” running Homeland Security who claims Dr. King would bless and justify the US war machine around the world, Lynch's legal practice and views would be anathema to ordinary African Americans if they were known. So the emphasis will be on her black womanhood.
Republicans will offer token opposition because they know they share her morals and manners. The useless Congressional Black Caucus, as Glen Ford points out only cares about her black womanhood, out of which they and others will manufacture many “stand by a sista” moment.
But those with eyes open know who Loretta Lynch is. She's Condoleezza Rice with a law degree and no known musical talent. She's a corporate fixer and enabler. She's a vicious prosecutor and a soulless corporate operative. She's a black woman, and likely the next US Attorney General.
Bruce A. Dixon is managing editor at Black Agenda Report. He lives and works in Marietta GA where he is a partner in a technology firm and serves of the state committee of the GA Green Party. Contact him at [email protected].