Remember that lawsuit a couple of months back in California to keep the names of people who donated to Proposition 8 secret because they might get "death threats" (which were never made public, of course)? Remember how the judge in that case shut that argument down and protected the public's right to know who's controlling their democracy instead of letting the cowards hide from the consequences of their actions (which, as far as I could tell, were boycotts and sternly-worded postcards) and the harm they inflicted on others?
Well, it seems like Wall Street's learning a trick or two from the Religious Right. Last week Barney Frank asked Edward Liddy, CEO of AIG, for the names of who got those outrageous bonuses. Liddy swung right back by pleading "death threats." Because all the rules of open democracy are thrown out the window just like that, on the basis of uninvestigated death threats.
It's nothing more than someone with power trying to paint the peasants as too violent to know what happens with their money when they pay their taxes in order to restrict the knowledge they're privy to. Liddy can give the death threats over to the police and they'll be investigated and, if warranted, prosecuted. But he can't use it as a shield from any and all criticism, especially if we're paying the paychecks of those executives, just like the folks in California didn't have a right to shield themselves from any and all criticism by claiming death threats.
Video after the jump.