Boeing is this particular giant's name, and it has been a reliable and generous donor to George W and his Republican party. Maybe that's why Boeing executives thought they could get away with using the horror of 9/11 as a shield to extract $23 billion from our public treasury through a scheme that involved leasing some of its old passenger planes to the Air Force. Fortunately for us, some whistleblowers made Boeing's blatant burglary public, and, in 2002, Congress stopped Bush's Pentagon from going along with it.
Indeed, there was such a public uproar that the justice department filed both criminal and civil charges against Boeing. Now, four years later, Bush's attorney general, Alberto "See-No-Evil" Gonzalez, has quietly settled the case. Boeing is to pay $615 million, in exchange for which its legal slate will be wiped clean. You might think that that's a sizable punishment, but wait - here comes the Bush kiss. The justice department's deal allows Boeing to take a tax deduction on the bulk of its $615 million penalty.
This means that Boeing's punishment for trying to gouge us taxpayers would be subsidized by - guess who? - us taxpayers! The Bushites' settlement, which forces you and me to underwrite criminal corporate conduct, is so stinky that even Republican lawmakers are appalled. Three GOP senators have called the Boeing deal "inexcusable" and "unacceptable."
This is Jim Hightower saying ... If you attempted to rob a bank, as Boeing attempted to rob the U.S. Treasury, chances are that the attorney general would not intervene to give you a subsidized fine. But in the strange place called BushWorld, corporate crime is special indeed.
& & For more nuggets of wisdom from America's No. 1 populist, check out & lt;a href="http://www.jimhightower.com" & his website & lt;/a & & & .