Alex Blaze

Pleading death threats makes its way into the AIG hearings

Filed By Alex Blaze | March 23, 2009 2:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: AIG, Barney Frank, California, death threats, edward liddy, pleading death threats, Prop. 8, secrecy, shielding

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.


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They may receive death threats? That's like the default reason to get out of anything. I call bull crap.

That's the dumbest thing I've heard all day. If the banks are going to accept our money to keep their businesses afloat, we're collectively part owner. And when people are being paid multi-million dollar bonuses while we pour money in, we have a right to know their names.

As much as I hate to quote John McCain, we will make them famous, and you will know their names.

And for what it's worth, I think taxing the hell out of the bonuses is a terrible idea, bordering on unpatriotic. We don't tax a tiny group of people because we're mad at them, at least we're not supposed to.

Much more reasonable to deduct the money from the next funds infusion and correct the terms in the future.