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Creep.Well, it would be nice if these guys ever went to jail for anything, but it seems unlikely that they will go to jail for this. A grand jury in South Texas handed down indictments against various current and former public officials connected with wrongdoing in private prisons — including, most notably, Dick Cheney and Alberto Gonzales. The prison company, The GEO Group, was charged with three counts of murder and manslaughter. This is an ugly, complicated story, so let’s cut to the chase: how many South Texas prisoners has Dick Cheney had shipped up to his basement dungeon in the Naval Observatory for experiments?

Cheney and Gonzales are both accused of engaging in organized criminal activity and profiting from the prison system. Cheney has investments in The Vanguard Group — you know, that huge financial company that manages like half of America’s investment accounts? — and Vanguard apparently “holds financial interests” in these terrible private prisons where people get beaten to death. Al Gonzales maybe swung his weight around to stop investigations of prisoner abuse while he was Attorney General.

Numerous horrors take place daily in these privately run prisons. In 2001, an inmate was beaten to death with padlocks stuffed into socks. For this, The GEO Group had to pay the family of the deceased $47.5 million.

A whole bunch of other people have been indicted by the Willacy County grand jury, including several political enemies of outgoing district attorney Juan Guerra, which makes some people speculate if he’s just trying to get in a few final licks before he leaves office. Guerra says of course that isn’t the case, and that “the people who should have been looking out for the inmate were instead making money off the system.”

This whole thing is grim, and weird. Can’t we just indict Cheney for shooting that nice old man in the face?

Willacy County Indicts Vice President [KRGV-TV]
Cheney, Gonzales indicted in South Texas county [AP]

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42 COMMENTS

  1. Nothing stops. Nothing… or you will do the hardest time there is. No more protection from the guards. I’ll pull you out of that one-bunk Hilton and cast you down with the Sodomites. You’ll think you’ve been fucked by a train! And the library? Gone… sealed off, brick-by-brick. We’ll have us a little book barbecue in the yard. They’ll see the flames for miles. We’ll dance around it like wild Injuns! You understand me? Catching my drift?… Or am I being obtuse?

  2. This is actually part of the evil genius of Dick Cheney….! After the investigation, this place will be closed for a little while, then re-opened as the alternative to Guatanemo Bay, at a much higher incarceration/inmate rate scale… Win! The actual pardon, Monty, will, of course, be for anything Dick has done, is doing, or ever will do…..Win! Win! The only Hope we have, is for a space on the Obama cabinet, so that the pardon will help to shield any possible Republican investigations….Win! Win! Win!

  3. As the Aussie Environment Minister Peter Garrett used to rhetorically rage back when he was a lawyer-activist-hippie-rockbandsinger: “Who can stand in the way, when there’s a dollar to be made?”

  4. Can we have Cheney step down or get indicted, then Push appoints Obama VP then resigns. In exchange for this, and no pardons of the Bushies, Bush gets a pardon.

    As a condition of the pardon, Bush must tell all he knows about his administrations dirt.

    Win!

  5. The whole idea of a private prison creeps me the fuck out. I get that the government doing or owning anything is godless soviet socialism GIT OFF OUR BACK BIG GUVMENT, but fuck, maybe the government can handle things like prisons better than some awful for-profit corporation could?

  6. It’s morning again in America. Today more men and women will go to work than ever before in our country’s history. With interest rates at about half the record highs of 1980, nearly 2,000 families today will buy new homes, more than at any time in the past four years. This afternoon 6,500 young men and women will be married, and with inflation at less than half of what it was just four years ago, they can look forward with confidence to the future. It’s morning again in America, and under the leadership of President Reagan, our country is prouder and stronger and better. Why would we ever want to return to where we were less than four short years ago?

  7. “Well, it would be nice if these guys ever went to jail for anything, but it seems unlikely that they will go to jail for this.”

    In this season of giving, it’s the thought that counts.

  8. [re=180785]Scrodd[/re]: Grammar lady sez: you mean “abstruse” (complicated and hard-to-understand) not “obtuse” which means “dumb.”

    Or maybe not, you decide.

  9. People speculate about how history will view W in retrospect. I think it’ll come to a verdict much quicker on Dick Cheney. Uncertainly will continue as to the most appropriate nickname, however: The Dark Dick? Dick Dastardly? The Dick with Forked Tongue? Two-Faced Dick? Darth Dick?

  10. [re=180848]HuddledMass[/re]: Grammar lady apparently not a huge shawshank fan. time for cheney and fredo to get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’. One guess as to my vote.

  11. This is actually pretty bad for America:

    This indictment is flimsy, and more importantly, under the radar.

    Bush will issue a blanket pardon for Cheney’s 8 years as Vice-Profiter. It will cover him for the other 1,000 evil/illegal things he did if office.

    Do not celebrate. This isn’t good.

  12. [re=180848]HuddledMass[/re]: The line is a quote from “The Shawshank Redemption.” That’s why it’s “obtuse” and not “abstruse.”

  13. Conspiracy corner: Bush can now write Cheney and Gonzalez a pardon claiming this is a partisan charge. The pardon will be phrased just vaguely enough to circumvent investigations into any other crimes committed while in office.

  14. I wish Cheney a long stay in Guantanamo as much as anyone else… but this indictment is ridiculous.

    The Vanguard Group manages almost a trillion dollars worth of investments, for millions of Americans (including me, and very possibly you), and thousands of institutions. They specialize in broad market index funds, like the Total Market Index Fund (VTSMX), which – unsurprisingly – owns a little bit of just about *every* company in the USA, including prison operators, movie studios, pharmaceutical companies, car manufacturers, etc. They certainly don’t focus on or take a particular interest in prisons, beyond the degree to which prisons are (regrettably) a part of America’s economy.

    The judge is going to toss this the instant it shows up on his desk.

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