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There is no sure barometer of worldwide political corruption; by its very nature, corruption tends to concealment. While some countries are concerned with discovering and prosecuting corrupt officials, others seem to take it for granted as part of normal life.
The U.S. Department of Justice compiles figures on the prosecution of corrupt public officials in the U.S. The increase may not necessarily be taken to demonstrate an increase in corruption—it may be the result of increased public awareness and decreased tolerance of corrupt behavior. In 2011: 1082 charged, 1107 convicted, 469 awaiting trial; 2000: 1000 charged, 938 convicted, 327 awaiting trial; 1990: 1176 charged, 1084 convicted, 300 awaiting trial
“An illegal act by an officeholder constitutes political corruption only if the act is directly related to their official duties, is done under color of law or involves trading in influence.
Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism, patronage, graft, and embezzlement. Corruption may facilitate criminal enterprise such as drug trafficking, money laundering, and human trafficking, though is not restricted to these activities.
The activities that constitute illegal corruption differ depending on the country or jurisdiction. For instance, some political funding practices that are legal in one place may be illegal in another. In some cases, government officials have broad or ill-defined powers, which make it difficult to distinguish between legal and illegal actions. Worldwide, bribery alone is estimated to involve over 1 trillion US dollars annually.” (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_corruption)
Legal corruption is exemplified by what's happened to U.S.A. campaign finance rules, where corporations in this country can now do what they’ve always wanted to do: not just simply INFLUENCE elections, buy BUY them outright, although the legislators and judges and attorneys all adopt a pose contrary to this assertion—but they're fooling no one. And the limits on contributions from individuals have so many loopholes as to be laughable. (See Why Campaign Finance Laws Are Under Fire in the National Journal.) We live in a country whose values and policies have gone far astray from the Founders’ intentions. Special interests run the country, make its laws, elect its leaders, and ignore the will of the people. (See Supercapitalism and Yearning For Democracy and Who Will Tell The People?: The Betrayal Of American Democracy.)
U.S. neocons' imperialism and warmongering is out of control yet the Congress tasked with stopping such abuses is mute—something smells rotten in Washington! Also: special interests cough up lots of money and buy the policies they want and the candidates they want—it's legal corruption!
Letting neocons run the decisions in Washington is like letting a fox guard a henhouse
Even if the current American oligarchy were to disallow all corporate funds from elections, it would change little, since the candidates themselves are so saturated with corporate influences that only pro-corporatocracy candidates have a prayer of winning. To cover all this up and present the illusion of two parties with very different intentions, the campaigns focus on the candidates’ differences, and the Culture War issues as well. But the underlying intentions are to please corporations in order to stay in office, and to pretend to represent the people while representing only the corporations. That is why nothing ever changes—the Corporatocracy does not want it to. So the average Joe inevitably gets screwed. (See The US is an oligarchy, study concludes.)
The Corporatocracy does not want anything to change, so it doesn't allow it. So the average Joe inevitably gets screwed
Politicians' underlying intentions are to please corporations in order to stay in office, pretending to represent the people while representing only the corporations thereby enriching the oligarchs even more; this drunken party of greed gone mad is NOT the plan our Founders envisioned!
It is a clever game, because they can submit bills to Congress that are pro-people and anti-corporation, so it goes on their record that they support the environment, taxing the rich, etc. But the game is rigged so that they already know that the bill won't have the votes to pass, and even if it did, loopholes have been snuck in that basically invalidates its effects on corporations. The little guy or small business has no chance in this game, regardless of whom he votes for or how many letters he writes to “his” representative. The representative pretends to listen, but in the end does what's best for the corporations that back him. Even if enough citizens march on Washington and manage to get tax rates for the rich increased by their efforts, you can bet that somewhere there's a tax break snuck into some other legislation to balance it off, so the main tax burden continues to be on the backs of the middle class and small businesses.
The score in America is: polluters 10, citizens 0; the Corporatocracy wins again
Special interests cough up lots of money and buy the policies they want and the candidates they want. This was made very easy by the recent (2014) Supreme Court ruling. After the Supreme Court's decision in the Citizen's United case, the movement of the US towards a corporatocracy is complete. Justice Stevens, of the minority dissenting opinion, wrote: "At bottom, the Court's opinion is thus a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self-government since the founding, and who have fought against the distinctive corrupting potential of corporate electioneering since the days of Theodore Roosevelt." The ruling effectively drowns out the voices of everyday Americans and allows the buying of elections by the rich.
Our Justices see democracy going down the drain as clearly as the rest of us, but they get appointed and confirmed by people who are so beholding to corporations, that only pro-corporatocracy people get either appointed or confirmed
Why would the Supreme Court support even more campaign financing leeway, when it is obvious that the ONLY way (at least the first step) to keep corporations from corrupting the democratic process is to make an absolute law where no one but individual people can have ANY influence on elections and give ANY money? They see democracy going down the drain as clearly as the rest of us. But they get appointed and confirmed by people who are so beholding to corporations, that only pro-corporatocracy people get either appointed or confirmed.
Once again, Democracy takes it on the chin
In other words, the morals of all the players—elected officials, lobbyists, attorneys, judges, PACs, committees, and candidates—have all been warped to the degree that they become blind to the oligarchy in front of their eyes and keep calling it democracy to please the sheep/people, keep the corporations happy, sleep better at night, live with themselves, get richer, and get more powerful by simply playing the game. The emporer has no clothes—he's been naked for years. But as long as the players keep saying he isn't naked, the sheep/public are lulled into a false sense of security, and they start seeing clothes because how could all these people say he's clothed if he wasn’t?
The emporer has no clothes, but we're told he's clothed, so we start having clothing hallucinations; i.e., the pretense of Democracy is NOT Democracy
Listen to political rhetoric enough and you'll start having hallucinations, which is where most of the public is right now. Even though the public complains about everything plenty, they aren't ready to believe their own eyes more than the politicians’ lies. So even though corruption tends to concealment, it’s the kind of concealment that’s in actuality: hide in plain sight!
Arresting a corrupt official
Institutions dealing with political corruption:
- Global Witness, an international NGO established in 1993 that works to break the links between natural resource exploitation, conflict, poverty, corruption, and human rights abuses worldwide
- Group of States Against Corruption, a body established under the Council of Europe to monitor the implementation of instruments adopted by member states to combat political corruption
- Independent Commission Against Corruption
- Transparency International, a non-governmental organization that monitors and publicizes corporate and political corruption in international development
- Corruption Perceptions Index, published yearly by Transparency International
- TrustLaw, a service of the Thomson Reuters Foundation is a global hub for free legal assistance and news and information on anti-corruption
Neocon nutjobs tell us that dumping our Bill of Rights and our Constitution was a prerequisite for our safety, which no intelligent citizen could possibly buy