Newspapers have reported on a Justice Department celebration of the recent grievous injustice its prosecutors perpetrated against hero of high technology, world capitalism, and classical American economic opportunity, Joseph P. Nacchio. Below is the full text of an Oct. 2 Denver Post story about this. Following that, my imaginary rewrite showing how it might have read had the Justice Department of the United States of America, under Republican control, not succumbed to the arbitrary forces of central financial planning and economic redistribution, of legal and political hostility to business, wealth creation, and the ingenius innovators who enable them, and of monumental foolishness and petty ambition by government attorneys and bureaucrats who make their living using the power of the state to pillage and destroy what better men have created. So, first the story from our world:
Nacchio prosecutors receive high honor By Andy Vuong The Denver Post Article Last Updated: 10/02/2007 01:38:12 PM MDT (http://www.denverpost.com/ci_7063018)
The team of government attorneys that won an insider trading conviction against former Qwest chief executive Joe Nacchio have received the highest award from the Department of Justice.
Prosecutors Cliff Stricklin, James Hearty, Kevin Traskos, Colleen Conry and Leo Wise — along with more than a 200 other government employees who worked on the case — were honored today at the Justice Department's 55th Annual Awards Ceremony at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.
Nacchio was convicted in April on 19 counts of illegal insider trading connected to his sale of $52 million in Qwest stock.
Nacchio was sentenced to 6 years in federal prison, and ordered to pay $19 million in fines and forfeit the $52 million in ill-gotten gains to compensate victims. Nacchio is free on bail pending his appeal. Oral arguments for the appeal are set for December 18.
"Today's award recipients are extraordinarily dedicated and talented men and women," said Peter Keisler, Acting Attorney General, said in a statement. "They've made incredible sacrifices, and achieved great successes, working on the front lines of the Justice Department on behalf of the American people."
In addition to the Attorney General's Award for Distinguished Service for their outstanding work in the Nacchio case, the trial prosecutors also received awards from the FBI Director's Award for Excellence in Criminal Investigations, and the US Postal Inspection Service' Inspector General's Award.
"The Nacchio trial team put their personal lives on hold, working to ensure justice was done on behalf of the many victims who lost money because of the defendant's greed," said U.S. Attorney Troy Eid in a statement.
And now the story from a better world, one in which the Justice Department would actually execute justice:
Nacchio prosecutors arraigned on charges of abuse of power, institutionalized theft, slander By Dave Crater The Justice Post Article Last Updated: 1/01/2008 01:40:12 PM MDT
The team of government attorneys that pursued an “insider trading” conviction against former Qwest chief executive Joe Nacchio have been arraigned in a Washington federal court on charges of abusing their power and using the authority of the federal government to internationally slander and steal from a private citizen and leading captain of American industry and global technology.
Prosecutors Cliff Stricklin, James Hearty, Kevin Traskos, Colleen Conry and Leo Wise — along with more than a 200 other government employees who conspired in the case — were publicly repudiated today at the Justice Department's 55th Annual Awards Ceremony at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.
Nacchio was convicted in April on 19 counts of what the disgraced attorneys and bureaucrats at the time called “illegal insider trading” connected to his sale of $52 million in Qwest stock. Just before Christmas, however, Appeals Court Judge Solomon L. Reigns overturned Nacchio’s conviction in a blistering opinion that deprecated the action as “a monstrous crime against ancient principles of justice and against the historic American idea.”
“Mr. Nacchio, like every other owner of American equities, had a moral and legal right to trade his stock at any time and for any reason he wished,” Judge Reigns went on to hold. “The absurd pretense by the government that its agents were heroes for having prosecuted Mr. Nacchio because he so traded at a time and for reasons they could only speculate were at odds with their infinite wisdom reveals an alarming economic illiteracy and moral underdevelopment. These agents have not protected the small investor; they have helped drive a dagger through the heart of the most inspiring hope the small-time investor has had in the history of world commerce: American-style moral capitalism.
"A nation that treats its captains of industry and most productive citizens in this manner will soon find itself financially impoverished, and, more importantly and lastingly, ethically and morally bankrupt. The United States has been the economic and judicial hope of the world for two centuries precisely because it has steadfastly resisted this kind of infiltration of its government, and especially its Justice Department and court system, by small-time, self-serving, public-pandering moral troglodytes posing as pillars of government righteousness.”
Following his trial, Nacchio was sentenced to 6 years in federal prison, and ordered to pay $19 million in fines and forfeit $52 million in allegedly ill-gotten gains to compensate alleged victims. Nacchio was free on bail pending his appeal before Judge Reigns. Oral arguments for the appeal occurred December 18, and Judge Reigns issued his opinion the next day.
"For some years recently, the Justice Department had lost its way, replacing historic and honorable American ideas of justice, private property, and moral right with low, un-American suspicions and resentments toward industry that play on popular jealousies toward the rich," Peter Keisler, Acting Attorney General, said in a statement. "With the President’s support, I am committed to turning this Justice Department ship around. The wealthy are just as entitled to justice and legal protection of their property as the rest of us."
"The corrupt attorneys and bureaucrats we repudiate today acted not on behalf of the Justice Department and the American people," Keisler continued, "but on behalf of themselves, hoping to receive awards, recognition, promotion, and financial incentives for their having taken down an innocent man. I publicly apologize on behalf of the Justice Department not only to Mr. Nacchio and his family for this preposterous action, but to every American entrepreneur and industrialist who has been slandered and robbed by the American legal system over the last twenty years."
In addition to the Attorney General's repudiation for their dishonest work in the Nacchio case, the trial prosecutors also received a public reprimand from the FBI Director's Department for Justice in Criminal Investigations. The US Postal Inspection Service also issued the prosecutors its tongue-in-cheek Inspector General's Award for Most Unethical Government Action This Year.
Mr. Nacchio, on vacation with his wife and two children to celebrate his victory, could not be reached for comment.