#1 New York Times Bestseller
Peter Schweizer has been fighting corruption-and winning-for years, In Throw Them All Out, he exposed insider trading by members of Congress, leading to the passage of the Stock Act. In Extortion, he uncovered how politicians use mafia-like tactics to enrich themselves. And in Clinton Clash, he revealed the Clinton’s massive money machine and sparked an FBI investigation.
Corruption? Looks Like It
Schweizer explains how a new corruption has taken hold, involving larger sums of money than ever before. Stuffing tens of thousands of dollars into a freezer has morphed into multi-billion-dollar equity deals done in the dark corners of the world.
An American bank opening in China would be prohibited by U.S. law from hiring a slew of family members of top Chinese politicians. However, a top Chinese bank opening in America can hire anyone it wants. It can even invite the friends and families of American politicians to invest in can’t-lose deals.
President Donald Trump’s children have made front pages across the world for their dicey transactions, However, the media has barely looked into Barack Obama, Joe Biden, John Kerry, Mitch McConnell, and lesser-knowing politicians who have been in the game longer.
In many parts of the world, the children of powerful political figures go into business and profit handsomely, not necessarily because they are good at it, but because people want to curry favor with their influential parents, This is a relatively new phenomenon in the United States, But for relatives of some prominent political families, we may already be talking about hundreds of millions of dollars.
Corruption By Proxy
Public Office Is A Privilege, not a right, and people who accept the privilege of holding office in the government most of the necessity accept that their entire conduct should be open to inspection by the people they are serving. -Harry Truman-
- A new corruption that is extremely difficult to detect is taking over our political system.
- It is most lucrative, instead of thousands, the sums amount to millions or even billions.
The 2016 Election Left Americans Deeply Divided
Some Americans after the 2016 Presidential election found themselves enthused and encouraged by the outcome. Others were disappointed and depressed. But the vast majority of the American people were unified about one thing: the belief that corruption is rampant in Washington. Polls revealed that three is “widespread government corruption” in Washington, and perhaps the holdouts are not paying attention. The concern over widespread corruption is growing. The number was two in three back in 2009.
Crisis Of Confidence In Our Government
Politicans who practice corruption have created a crisis of confidence in our government. Only 19 percent of the American people in a recent survey trust the federal government to do the right thing.
Americans have known for quite some time that some politicians make themselves rich through public service. Who could forget Louisiana Congressman William Jefferson stashing $90,000 in bribes in his freezer? Our congressman Randy “Duke” Cunningham who created a “bribery menu” that netted him $2.4 million? Then there was the 2006 Jack Abramoff bribery case that led to a flurry of convictions in Washington. The lobbyist had given gifts to politicians in exchange for favors. Abramoff was a sentenced to thirty months in jail. Congressional aids for no less than five congressmen pleaded guilty to corruption, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and bribery charges, as did executives in the Bush Administration from both the Department of the Interior and the Justice Department.
Politicians Avoid Overtly Criminal Behavior
Politicians are like the rest of us in that they avoid overtly criminal or publicly embarrassing behavior. Today only the most arrogant, desperate, or stupid politicians would take a direct payment from someone in exchange for a political favor. Even without a clear exchange, savvy politicians are likely to avoid transactions that lead to dramatic increase in their own net worth, lest they draw negative attention from an already skeptical public.
As some political leaders are making influential decisions that affect everything from national security to our standards of living, large sums of money are funneled to their families and closest friends. Only the most naive would believe that these deals are a coincidence. This money often flows from the foreign governments or oligarchs. The timing of these transactions and the amounts involved raises serious questions about the leaders’ integrity and decision-making. The high-level policy choice make the news, but the transactions quietly taking place below the surface do not.
Definition of Corruption- “How do I define corruption? By corruption, I mean when officials, abuse their positions for private gain…corruption is the dishonest or flatulent use of power for personal gain.”
Definition of criminal behavior-Criminal behavior is defined as an act or a failure to act in a way that violates public law. Public law is most often established by a governing body, and will therefore vary between countries and states.
No-one is above the law and everyone is subject to the constitution and the law. The legislative and executive arms of government are bound by legal prescripts.
This book Secret Empires is a wonderfully written and intensely investigated account into the politics and how the politicians and their family and friends are corrupt and how widespread this truly is in American Politics today and in the past.
Deeply researched and packed with shocking revelations, Secret Empires identifies public servants who cannot be trusted and provides a path towards a more accountable government.
This book was so disturbing and eye-opening at the time. We as American voters need to know more about our politicians before and when they are in office. Their financial holdings, as well as their families businesses, so that we stay informed. This should at least be done annually, just a thought for the future and how we as Americans need to ask the questions about our elected servants and we need more information on their families. If they want to be in politics their needs to be transparency that is on paper and not just said through the mouths of these political figures.
All The Best, Secret Empires: