…’don’t lie to me, argentina!’, glowers the hanging judge…

…as he readies the rope for the fallen damsel in distress…

Fine state of affairs that, some judge in some part of NYC threatens the independent nation of Argentina, population of a mere 41 or so million. Now that Shaft Judge Griesa is one bad mot quite interesting – but first a digression…

From the corporate BBC of empire and Jimmy Savile fame, we have, US appeals court says Colombians cannot sue Chiquita. But really. Why would Colombians expect to win a case against such a company in the US? We look at probability of victory. This article from counter punch puts the thing in perspective, Chiquita, Its Workers and Colombia’s Death Squads. Couple excerpts should guide us,

But, as Weiskoff [Time magazine reporter] adds,”You wouldn’t know how grateful Lindner [chairman and ceo, Chiquita] was by checking records at the Federal Election Commission; he gave the Democratic National Committee only $15,000 in the final 15 months of the campaign. Instead, D.N.C. officials instructed Lindner to give directly to state-party coffers, which are subject to far less public scrutiny than federal-election accounts. On April 12, 1996, the day after Kantor asked the WTO to examine Chiquita’s grievance, Lindner and his top executives began funneling more than $500,000 to about two dozen states from Florida to California, campaign officials told Time.”

[snip]

Given this background the recent news that it did business with Colombian terrorist organizations to “protect” its workers should have come as no surprise.

And no need to mention the incumbent US Attorney-General, Eric Holder. And there also is how the small vulnerable countries of the Caribbean, hitherto beneficiaries of the preferential trade treatment of the EU lost access to the European market. The curious thing in this is that many in the Caribbean had still failed to see the complicity of the glib US President Bill Clinton, making it necessary for the late Randal Robinson to disabuse them of the naïve notion of a caring Clinton. US lobbyist says Clinton betrayed Caribbean in banana dispute. The tidbit,

 KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — A U.S. lobbyist for Africa and the Caribbean accused U.S. President Bill Clinton of betraying the region by protesting European trade perks for bananas from its former colonies.

So the Colombians and banana-producers of the Caribbean (and similar former European colonies) lost out. The impartial justice system of the US had risen to the occasion.

Then we have the case of Chevron/Texaso. Over 1700 square miles of the Lago Agrio area of Ecuador was heavily polluted from petroleum discharges, with the attendant costs to health, environment and economy. After years of litigation Ecuador won a judgement in Ecuadorean courts, a judgement that Chevron/Texaco refused to accept. The government would then seek redress in the US. The result? We let ‘the Beeb’ tell it, Chevron wins US ruling on $9.5bn Ecuador payout.

Now can some sort of pattern present itself? Or even lessons learned?

But back to our judge. We learn from Reuters, UPDATE 3-Argentina threatened with contempt order by U.S. judge

In fine form the judge would threaten,

Holding a newspaper copy of the notice, which appeared Thursday, Griesa said if the false statements did not stop, a contempt of court order will become necessary.

As the Economy Minister, not of any Central American country, would state,

“We will continue to work tirelessly to defend the rights of Argentina,” Economy Minister Axel Kicillof said on public television in Argentina, adding that at the hearing in New York on Friday, “Judge Griesa did not resolve anything.

“He created this confusing and extraordinary situation,” said Kicillof, who also played down concerns the case would cripple investment in Argentina.

And how does one legal expert see this contre-temps?

Federal law largely protects the assets of foreign governments held in the United States, said Michael Ramsey, a professor of international law at the University of San Diego.

“You can’t put Argentina in jail, so I’m not sure what he’d have in mind besides monetary sanctions,” Ramsey said. “Argentina has refused to pay a valid judgment and I don’t see why it wouldn’t also refuse to pay a valid contempt order.”

And it is well known that Paul Singer, el gran buitre,  is a campaign contributor to one corporate political party in the US, something we keep in mind when we learn, US refuses to recognize UN court jurisdiction on Argentina’s debt. The US as promoter of justice comes though. Some excerpts.

The US withdrew from compulsory jurisdiction back in 1986 after the UN court ruled that America’s covert war against Nicaragua was in violation of international law.

[snip]

Since then, Washington accepts International Court of Justice jurisdiction only on a case-by-case basis.

On Friday, US District Judge Thomas Griesa, who oversees Argentina’s legal battle with hedge funds, threatened that a contempt of court order may be implemented.

So we witness some lawlessness adjudicated as lawlessness, then nothing. What next? Does Judge Griesa ride off with his posse, and couple gun boats, to bring Argentina to the gallows? And the judge then does what – install some undiplomatic US Ambassador to enforce US law? Or play the Biden-Kerry gambit?

After so much spying on so many countries by the US, surely the judge could have had all the information he would have needed on Argentina? If something is rotten in the state of Denmark, what then the US?

Greg Palast’s quill remains in motion.

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