Sunday, March 23, 2008

Spitzer, We Hardly Knew Ye But Don't Let That Stop Us From Opining

Jenna Orkin

Thank God for Eliot Spitzer. Not only did the White Knight/Client 9 rescue us from the siege of CNN by Britney Spears; he also cleverly timed his fall from his high horse (in German, "Spitze" means "top") to camouflage the far greater implosion of the street whose own dirty tricks he'd investigated.

Such heroism comes at a price, of course. The knight's shining armor has gotten bloody in the process. So while the Ph.D.'s weigh in, from blame-the-wife Dr. Laura to "Go figure" Dr. Janet Taylor, with equal relish (though less censure) I leap into the fray not as a shrink but, in true New York tradition, as an ex-analysand.

The titillating bit about this uniquely American scandal (uniquely American not because of the behavior, which was cliche, but because of our professed shock) is the abrasive prosecutor's self-destructiveness. He had powerful enemies but in the end, he was his own worst etc., etc. Like a criminal returning to the scene of the crime until the cops finally nab him; like a fireman who reveals his inner pyromania by setting a record-breaking fire, Spitzer threw his career on the very sword with which he had won it.

For there can be little doubt that a piece of him wanted to get caught. Spitzer was not just any politician discovered red-handed, with his pants down. (Sex turns all metaphors into double entendres.) He was the former Attorney General who had ridden to fame investigating prostitution rings.

While this conundrum has elicited outraged cries of, "Hypocrite!" such epithets don't get us very far. ("Karma" is another one that's been going and coming around.) What was said "hypocrisy" made of? The scourge of money-laundering schemes knew how to follow the money. And therefore, better than anyone, he knew how to leave a trail of breadcrumbs.

So far at least eight breadcrumbs have been discovered, possibly amounting to $80,000. They were left in a pattern known as 'smurfing' which, as Spitzer certainly knew, raises red flags with banks' compliance officers.

But why did he do it? Was it guilt? Exhibitionism? The lure of an auto-inflicted auto da fe? Was the governorship less fun than he'd hoped?

Such questions are beyond the reach of at least this idle speculator. But throw out a few more details. The sharks' appetities have only been whetted.


Rice Farmer said...

Some new stuff over at Cooperative Research

BCCI and Terrorism Finance

Again, follow the money! Another prime example in which the US government is stunningly unconcerned with tracking down terrorist financing.

Yes, the Spitzer story is curious indeed. It's almost as if he wanted to get caught...

marcchabot said...

the Spitzer story is simpler then that:

and see how it links to predatory banking

Chris XVX said...

It's a shame that Spitzer chose to fall from grace...

What is the real death toll in Iraq?

Rice Farmer said...

Well, simple or not, to all appearances Spitzer literally set himself up. The question is, who induced him to fall on a sword of his own forging, and what incentives were offered? Spitzer had to know how this would play out, so I suspect this whole thing was scripted.

Rice Farmer said...

Russian Oil Output May Fall for First Time in Decade in 2008

"Rising costs and harder-to-reach fields" are to blame, apparently.

The big question now is, will abiotic oil come to the rescue? Since World Net Daily informed us a couple of months ago that abiotic oil is for real, I guess that clinches it.

Chris XVX said...

Bush proposes financial regulation overhaul
Plan would expand powers of Federal Reserve

Rice Farmer said...

Gas taxes and road maintenance: just as I said.

Rice Farmer said...

I was happy to receive MCR's update on his situation. He seems to be recovered, happy, and doing something entirely new. And he has a swell dog.

Will Jenna be continuing this blog?

I wish you both the best of luck. NY and LA would seem to be among the worst places to be when the feces hit the fan, but I suppose you have friends and networks to fall back on.

FTW admin said...

thanks for asking, rice farmer. this blog started when mcr was in oregon and continued while he was in vz, canada and nyc. it's also survived his move to l.a.

vive la blog and all its wonderful readers and commentators.

gaelicgirl said...

Conservative magazine blasts Bush war policy:

Ruiz said...

jenna, ever thought about allowing guest articles from the regulars? stick an email address for contributions on the top of the page and see what comes in, who knows...

FTW admin said...

dear ruiz

if you like, you can send in your article as a comment but specify that you'd prefer it to be posted separately.

mrs p said...

Supposedly, 3 weeks or so prior to Gov Spitzer's political assination, he wrote a scathing editorial in the WA Post accusing the White house of having direct involvement in the hedgefund mess by blocking states from curbing preditory lending. This has not been addressed anywhere on MSM and could be false information. I didn't see the WA post article but was sent the information from brasscheck tv and here's the link.
What do you guys think of this?

marcchabot said...

> mrs p
> What do you guys think of this?

i think you did not googled hard enough,
i was able to find it in less than a minutes on the wash post web site

i even made a PDF of it on my web page if you look at my previous link,
higher up as the second comment