Government Settlement With Banking Giant HSBC Clear Evidence Drug War Is a Joke

300px-HSBC.svgMuckraking reporter Matt Taibbi’s recent article on the government’s sweet-heart settlement with banking giant HSBC shows just how ridiculous the drug war is, and how selectively it is enforced.

If you’ve ever been arrested on a drug charge, if you’ve ever spent even a day in jail for having a stem of marijuana in your pocket or “drug paraphernalia” in your gym bag, Assistant Attorney General and longtime Bill Clinton pal Lanny Breuer has a message for you: Bite me.

Breuer this week signed off on a settlement deal with the British banking giant HSBC that is the ultimate insult to every ordinary person who’s ever had his life altered by a narcotics charge. Despite the fact that HSBC admitted to laundering billions of dollars for Colombian and Mexican drug cartels (among others) and violating a host of important banking laws (from the Bank Secrecy Act to the Trading With the Enemy Act), Breuer and his Justice Department elected not to pursue criminal prosecutions of the bank, opting instead for a “record” financial settlement of $1.9 billion, which as one analyst noted is about five weeks of income for the bank.

The banks’ laundering transactions were so brazen that the NSA probably could have spotted them from space. Breuer admitted that drug dealers would sometimes come to HSBC’s Mexican branches and “deposit hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, in a single day, into a single account, using boxes designed to fit the precise dimensions of the teller windows.”

  • emperorreagan

    Clinton is the one who gave up the ghost on anything at all progressive being included in the democratic party, so it’s fitting that it’s one of his pals.

    I’m concerned for the prison operators, though. How are they going to maintain their occupancy levels if the dozens of criminals at HSBC aren’t sentenced to their well-deserved terms?

    • BuzzCoastin

      How are they going to maintain their occupancy levels if the dozens of criminals at HSBC aren’t sentenced to their well-deserved terms?

      by imprisoning people of color
      same as always

      • emperorreagan

        What, for trivial drug offenses, the profits from which are laundered through banks like HSBC and pay handsome bonuses to executives?

        Surely you jest, no system could be so transparently corrupt!

        • BuzzCoastin

          transparent corruption
          thy name is Der Homeland

      • jasonpaulhayes

        Freeway Ricky Ross (the Wal-mart of Crack) connections to Bush Administration and CIA Cocaine

        • BuzzCoastin

          the connection of the Bush fam and drugs
          goes back over 100 years
          but only a few notice
          and those that make too much noise about it
          (like gary webb)
          are killed

          • jasonpaulhayes

            If you’re Oliver North you get a TV show on Fox.

  • Noah Way

    It’s all about money. Tax the banks for laundering, ship drug users of to corporate prisons. Keep marijuana and other drugs illegal to protect corporate pharmaceutical profits.

  • BuzzCoastin

    it doesn’t show the war on certain drugs is a joke
    it shows the banks & the elite drug lords
    are the same people
    who also happen to be the leaders of gruberment

  • Anarchy Pony
  • Jonas Planck

    Bad Banker! BAD!! No fourth summer home in Italy for YOU! Now go to your room and you just THINK about what you did!