Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Willacy County v. Cheney: Prosecutor Indicts Ham Sandwich

So, Dick Cheney has been indicted - not by the ICC or Spain's Baltasar Garzon (who has a thing for indicting international figures for crimes against humanity or by some other avatar of human rights.

No, this indictment stems from Cheney's holdings in a company that invests in for-profit prisons. Alberto Gonzalez, Bush confidant and the former Attorney General, was also indicted. Here's a descriptive bit from the San Antonio Express-News:
Cheney is accused of contributing to the neglect of federal immigration detainees by contracting for-profit prisons.

“By working through corporations as prisons for profit, Defendant Richard Cheney has committed at least misdemeanor assaults of our inmates and/or detainees,” the indictment reads, adding that a “money trail” can be traced to Cheney's substantial investments in the Vanguard Group, which invests in privately run prisons.

Megan Mitchell, spokeswoman for Cheney, said: “We have not received an indictment. We haven't received a call from the district attorney's office. ... We haven't heard anything from the district attorney.”

[Willacy County DA Juan Angel] Guerra said he kept Operation Goliath secret for four months over concern that pressure would be brought to bear to stop it.

He said “everything was being worked out of my house” and only one trusted member of his staff knew about it. He said he enlisted the help of people all over the country and talked to witnesses all over the country. Everyone who helped was assigned a biblical name. Guerra was known as David.
We've heard this story before, deranged local prosecutor goes through the looking glass to take on the powerful at the heart of a vast conspiracy. Paging Oliver Stone...

Guerra, the re-incarnation of Jim Garrison, issued a whole slew of indictments against local officials for "official abuse of official capacity and official corruption."

Guerra has been indicted himself (for public theft) and responded by camping out in front of the county jail with goats, roosters, and a horse. He was later defeated in the primary and will soon be out of office. No doubt he can find a gig on the international anti-Cheney circuit.

There is a very good chance the case will be dismissed, but it will be interesting to watch how this story moves through the international media, blogosphere, and labyrinth of conspiracy theories.

And of course it proves the old adage, a good prosecutor can indict a ham sandwich.

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