Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Wednesday, October 6, 2010 9:42 pm

But the Internet killed newspapers! Really!, or, This, says the former frat boy, is why you don’t want frat boys running things

“Bankrupt culture.” Heh.:

In January 2008, soon after the venerable Tribune Company was sold for $8.2 billion, Randy Michaels, a new top executive, ran into several other senior colleagues at the InterContinental Hotel next to the Tribune Tower in Chicago.

Mr. Michaels, a former radio executive and disc jockey, had been handpicked by Sam Zell, a billionaire who was the new controlling shareholder, to run much of the media company’s vast collection of properties, including The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, WGN America and The Chicago Cubs.

After Mr. Michaels arrived, according to two people at the bar that night, he sat down and said, “watch this,” and offered the waitress $100 to show him her breasts. The group sat dumbfounded. …

It was a preview of what would become a rugged ride under the new ownership. Mr. Zell and Mr. Michaels, who was promoted to chief executive of the Tribune Company in December 2009, arrived with much fanfare, suggesting they were going to breathe innovation and reinvention into the conservative company.

By all accounts, the reinvention did not go well. At a time when the media industry has struggled, the debt-ridden Tribune Company has done even worse. Less than a year after Mr. Zell bought the company, it tipped into bankruptcy, listing $7.6 billion in assets against a debt of $13 billion, making it the largest bankruptcy in the history of the American media industry. More than 4,200 people have lost jobs since the purchase, while resources for the Tribune newspapers and television stations have been slashed.

The new management did transform the work culture, however. Based on interviews with more than 20 employees and former employees of Tribune, Mr. Michaels’s and his executives’ use of sexual innuendo, poisonous workplace banter and profane invective shocked and offended people throughout the company. Tribune Tower, the architectural symbol of the staid company, came to resemble a frat house, complete with poker parties, juke boxes and pervasive sex talk.

The company said Mr. Michaels had the support of the board.

Let me ask you a mostly rhetorical question: Can you imagine just how poisonous the workplace banter must have been, how profane the invective must have been, to “shock and offend” people who had spent their careers  in a motherfreakin’ newsroom? Because I’m a pretty imaginative guy — just ask some of the people I’ve cussed out in my life — and I’ve got nothin’.

Media companies are in the business of aggregating eyeballs and delivering various demographically sliced ‘n’ diced segments of those eyeballs to advertisers. We have, in Sam Zell, and the “friends and family” he brought in to run one of the country’s great media companies, a guy who was a massive, flaming failure in both the aggregating part of the business (the so-called content end of the business) and the delivering of those demographically sliced ‘n’ diced segments of aggregation to advertisers (the so-called business end of the business) … if, that is, you define business success as it traditionally has been defined — quality product/service, decent income for employees, decent return for investors.

But I suspect that Zell defined it somewhat differently and that the outcome was pre-ordained. I know of no one, and I include Zell himself in that generalization, who seriously expected this deal to ever attain profitability. Consider:

Mr. Zell’s first innovation was the deal itself. He used debt in combination with an employee stock ownership plan, called an ESOP, to buy the company, while contributing only $315 million of his own money. Under the plan, the company’s discretionary matching contributions to the 401(k) retirement plan for nonunionized Tribune employees were diverted into an ownership stake. The structure of the deal allowed the Tribune to become an S corporation, which pays no federal taxes, making taxpayers essentially silent partners in the deal.

The $8 billion in new loans used to finance the deal left the company with $13.8 billion in debt. But Mr. Zell was convinced that by quickly selling the Chicago Cubs and other assets while improving operating margins, the company could emerge as a valuable property. It was typical Zell: a risky approach to gain control over a large, distressed asset while minimizing his own exposure, something he acknowledged in a company newsletter:

“I’ve said repeatedly that no matter what happens in this transaction, my lifestyle won’t change,” he wrote to his combination employees/shareholders. “Yours, on the other hand, could change dramatically if we get this right.”

Yup. You thought you’d be living your retirement in modest comfort. Instead? Penury.

This deal wasn’t structured to make money for investors. This deal was structured to screw as many non-Zell stockholders, bondholders, employees and other investors as possible. Little personal exposure? Check? Borrow out the wazoo? Check. Jeopardize employees’ retirement savings while bullshitting them to their faces? Check. Screw the taxpayers in the process? Check. The bugs weren’t bugs, they were features. This was a classic RICO enterprise:

More than the Tribune’s creditors took a haircut: the shares that about 10,000 nonunion employees received in the ESOP deal are now worthless as a result of the bankruptcy, although at the beginning of this year, the company replaced the ESOP plan with a cash incentive contribution. But if and when the Tribune exits bankruptcy, the value of the company will be worth substantially less than when Mr. Zell bought a controlling interest. Under a proposed settlement filed recently with the court, senior lenders, including the Angelo Gordon hedge fund and Oaktree Capital Management, would receive $5.5 billion, while other lenders with less priority would receive far less. The case is in mediation.

“How can anybody say that they have done a good job?” said Henry Weinstein, a former Los Angeles Times reporter who filed a lawsuit, still pending, that contends that the use of employee pensions to finance the deal was illegal.

“Anybody can make money when you are not servicing the debt and cutting people. Zell and the people he brought in had no idea what they were doing.”

And Mr. Zell? On Aug. 13, his lawyers suggested that if other junior creditors were paid, he should get his money back as well.

Of course he should.

Despite the company’s problems, the managers have been rewarded handsomely. From May 2009 to February 2010, a total of $57.3 million in bonuses were paid to the current management with the approval of the judge overseeing the bankruptcy. In 2009, the top 10 managers received $5.9 million at a time when cash flow was plummeting. …

Other proposed bonuses on the table for 2010 could bring the figure for management pay enhancements to more than $100 million, and those bonuses are heavily weighted to top management.

Why milk the company so badly (I mean, other than the obvious reason, “Because I can!”?) Because Zell didn’t just want to make money, he wanted to make money by personally screwing a bunch of people he obviously held in contempt out of their retirement savings. For him, that was icing on the cake.

And how do we know that he held them in contempt? Consider this:

Mr. Michaels remade Tribune’s management, installing in major positions more than 20 former associates from the radio business — people he knew from his time running Jacor and Clear Channel — a practice that came to be known as “friends and family” at the company.

One of their first priorities was rewriting the employee handbook.

“Working at Tribune means accepting that you might hear a word that you, personally, might not use,” the new handbook warned. “You might experience an attitude you don’t share. You might hear a joke that you don’t consider funny. That is because a loose, fun, nonlinear atmosphere is important to the creative process.” It then added, “This should be understood, should not be a surprise and not considered harassment.”

Shorter handbook: We’re going to act like total flaming jackasses, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it.

Some perspective here: I spent some time in the music bidness and some time in the radio bidness. The music bidness is notoriously sexist and always has been (cf. Liz Phair’s “Exile in Guyville”); what’s more, it also has been an excuse for people to act like overentitled jackasses because that’s rock ‘n’ roll/punk rock/gangsta, or something. Now, your average radio executive will never be mistaken for Prince or Jay-Z in either looks or talent, but execs at chains the size of Jacor and Clear Channel make enough money to overcome an awful lot of ugly, such that the average 21-year-old pneumatically torsoed airhead can’t tell the difference and will service him in his convertible while he’s hauling ass down the 101.

Only here’s the problem: Employment law applies even to rock ‘n’ roll. And if I worked for Tribune HR and read that handbook, I’d be getting the company lawyers on the phone or getting my butt out of Dodge. Because while the executives wouldn’t care if this stuff got made public — in certain circles, it would even enhance their cred — anyone else I might ever work for in the HR field would consider me an abject failure.

Oh, but they’re not done yet:

According to the company’s monthly statements, cash flow is on the rise and the company has $1.6 billion in cash on hand, about half of it from the sale of the Cubs, which Mr. Zell eventually managed to sell. “We are just getting started,” he said in the announcement.

And management still is confident that the new thinking has Tribune on the right track. The company recently announced the creation of a new local news format in which there would be no on-air anchors and few live reports. The newscasts will rely on narration over a stream of clips, a Web-centric approach that has the added benefit of requiring fewer bodies to produce.

“The TV revolution is upon us — and the new Tribune Company is leading the resistance,” the announcement read. And judging from the job posting for “anti-establishment producer/editors,” the company has some very strong ideas about who those revolutionaries should be: “Don’t sell us on your solid newsroom experience. We don’t care. Or your exclusive, breaking news coverage. We’ll pass.”

As with Howard Kurtz moving from The Washington Post to the Daily Beast, we’re supposed to believe that people who, in decades of work, have yet to produce so much as a fragment of a single anti-establishment, revolutionary, creative idea are now going to be the revolutionaries. It could happen. Stranger things have. But I have done enough hiring to know that the best predictor of future performance is past performance. And past performance shows that as both content producers and business people — indeed, as fiduciaries of any type whatsoever — Sam Zell and his frat-boy buddies make excellent Visigoths.

So if you’re wondering about the causes of the fall of American journalism, stop.

It didn’t fall. It was pushed.

UPDATE: I’ve read a number of pieces responding to this article and have a couple of additional thoughts.

  1. Although Tribune Co. owns what were once some very good papers, the Tribune itself was never all that good. Not a huge detail for the purposes of this post, but if you’re in the business, it matters.
  2. American’s ability to be fascinated by shiny objects has them primarily talking about the boobies ‘n’ cigars ‘n’ bad language. And, honestly, I’m sure Sam Zell is perfectly happy to have bloggers and “real” journalists and everybody else talking about the boobies and cigars and bad language. Why? Because if they’re talking about the boobies and cigars and bad language, then they’re not talking about the fraud or the breaches of fiduciary responsibility or the RICO Act violations.

UPDATE: The next time some half-wit tells you government should be run more like a business, ask if Tribune Co. is the business he means.

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Really, Wachovia?

Filed under: I want my money back. — Lex @ 8:25 pm
Tags: ,

A $5.95-a-month “personal finance software monthly service fee”? For something (else) that saves you money?

Foxtrot. Yankee.

I’m gone.

Friday Random 10, Wednesday take-the-kid-to-the-dentist edition

Filed under: Friday Random 10 — Lex @ 8:21 pm

Love Removal Machine – Cult
Honeysuckle Blue – Drivin’ ‘N’ Cryin’
Shanty Town – Desmond Dekker
Sweet Marie, or, Crop Comes In – Chatham County Line
The Medicine Show – Dream Syndicate
Sweet Soul Music – Arthur Conley
The Fine Line – Dreams So Real
Snake in the Bed – Elizabeth Cook
Bulldog Front – Fugazi
I Drove All Night – Cyndi Lauper

lagniappe: September Gurls – Big Star

More on mortgage fraud

Filed under: I want my money back.,We're so screwed — Lex @ 6:31 am
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Like Gibbs on “NCIS,” I don’t believe in coincidences. So I find it more than a little odd that just as news was beginning to break about the extent of the foreclosure-fraud crisis nationwide and the role that forged and/or fraudulently-notarized documents  may have played in the fraud, the following thing happened:

On Monday, September 27, 2010, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), on the Senate floor, asked that the Judiciary Committee be discharged from further consideration of a bill that would hurt consumers. H.R. 3808 requires federal and state courts to recognize notarized documents from other states, including ones that contain electronic notarizations that are not subject to the same consumer safeguards of documents notarized in person. Some financial institutions are using electronic notarizations to process home foreclosure documents.

Sen. Casey asked that the Senate move forward with immediate consideration of the bill with unanimous consent that the bill pass with no other action or debate. The Senate passed the bill without amendment by unanimous consent. It now sits on the President’s desk.

In ordinary times, in times in which we have no reason to doubt the validity of legal documents in general (and foreclosure documents in particular), this measure would be unobjectionable, a means of reconciling centuries-old legal proceedings with 21st-century technology.

But these are not ordinary times. They are times in which fraud on a world-historical scale is running rampant. And if President Obama signs H.R. 3808 into law, the crisis will grow an order of magnitude worse.

I’ve written the president asking him to veto the bill. You can do the same here or call 202-456-1111. The president needs to veto the bill, and any similar measures that might land on his desk, until such time, likely years from now, when the current crisis has been addressed and a truly reliable system of documenting property transfers has been restored.

Because if you can’t even define something as basic as the concept of ownership, capitalism is done.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010 8:40 pm

“Your lyin’ eyes” is not an option

Filed under: We're so screwed — Lex @ 8:40 pm
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Kevin Drum asks: Whom ya gonna believe?

Republicans are loudly proclaiming right now that they want to eliminate the part of the [health-care reform] law that forces everyone to buy insurance. But that’s exactly the part of the law that insurance companies like. In fact, they want to see it strengthened. At the same time, they want to get rid of the popular parts of the law that keep insurance companies from figuring out ways to screw patients. But those are the provisions that Republicans say they’ll keep if we turn over Congress to them.

And yet, the insurance companies are massively funding Republicans this cycle anyway. Why would that be? It’s almost as if they’re sure that Republicans are just blowing campaign smoke and will support their agenda once they’re safely in office. They’re so sure, in fact, that they’re willing to put their money where their mouths are to the tune of millions of dollars.

So which do you believe? Republican mouths or insurance industry money?

Here’s a hint.

Monday, October 4, 2010 8:54 pm

It ain’t just Beck

Filed under: Aiee! Teh stoopid! It burns!,Journalism — Lex @ 8:54 pm
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Steve Benen on Fox’s legitimacy problem:

Look, Beck is a national embarrassment. There’s just no getting around that. But Fox News doesn’t get to play this silly game about legitimacy — if Glenn Beck were to leave the network tomorrow and communicate to his minions exclusively through ham radio, Fox News would still be a pathetic excuse for a news organization, making a mockery of American journalism and offering a case study of everything that’s wrong with the discourse of the United States in the 21st century.

Tom Friedman commits political malpractice. Again.

Filed under: Aiee! Teh stoopid! It burns!,Journalism — Lex @ 8:17 pm
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Shorter Tom Friedman: We need a third party that thinks the way I do.

No, Tom, we need a third party that thinks the way I do, because the way you think is full of Teh_Stoopid.

Intelligent life in the universe?

Filed under: Odds 'n' ends — Lex @ 8:01 pm
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Friend: What’s that on your computer.

Me: It’s my screensaver.

Friend:

Me: It’s SETI@home. When I’m not doing anything on the computer, it analyzes data gathered on the 1.4GHz frequency by these giant radio telescopes in Puerto Rico  from stars a long way away. It looks for non-naturally-occurring patterns in the data that aren’t from Earth and therefore might be signs of intelligent life.

Friend: Find any yet?

Me: Nope.

Friend: I’m not surprised. I look in my e-mail every day for signs of intelligent life, and I don’t find any there, either.

Friday, October 1, 2010 8:36 pm

Ken Silverstein of Harper’s bids farewell to Washington journalism …

Filed under: Journalism — Lex @ 8:36 pm
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memorably:

I frequently find myself numb to political news and, even worse, to the lifeless, conventional wisdom peddled by the Washington media. When you can read an entire column by the Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz and never once feel the urge to cut out your own heart with a dull knife, you know that you no longer have the sense of outrage that is essential to reporting from our nation’s capital.

BTW, if you’re curious about how perceptive a journalist Silverstein is, go read this … and then ponder the fact that he wrote it in 2006. (h/t: Digby)

Because some of our society’s most vulnerable weren’t getting screwed FAST enough, or something

It looks like mortgage foreclosure fraud has become a thing, and it’s about damn time:

Given that the IMF and others believe a large part of the “structural unemployment” in our country is related to the struggling housing market and underwater and barely-hanging on homeowners, what is to be done? One option is to allow for options like lien-stripping in bankruptcy courts, reseting mortgages by zip code, etc. Another option is for courts to accelerate foreclosures by ignoring due process, proper documentation and legal process in order to kick people out of their homes and preserve the value of senior tranches of RMBS [residential-mortgage-backed securities — Lex] while giving mortgage servicers a nice kickback.

What option do you think our country is taking?

We should all be very concerned about the foreclosure situation in Florida. If you are a homeowner or potential homeowner, you should find it offensive that people’s property rights are being violated in such a flagrant way. If you are an investor, either as “bond vigilante” or someone with a generic 401(k), you should be worried that servicers have gone rogue and the incentive structure to maximize value instead of fees associated with foreclosures has broken down.

And if you care about basic Western liberalism — the classical kind, with a Lockean understanding of freedom to own property along with freedoms of speech and religion — you should be pissed off. This is a clear-cut instance of the rich and powerful decimating other people’s property rights, rights that are supposed to protect the weak from the strong, in order to preserve their wealth and autonomy. Unless you think property rights are mere placeholders for whatever the financial sector demands are, this should be resisted. This should be viewed as a problem an order of magnitude larger than Kelo v. City of New London.

Funny, of course how you don’t seem to hear any of the people who were screaming so loudly about property rights after Kelo screaming about this. Well, except for me. Still …

The short problem is that banks are foreclosing without showing clear ownership of the property. In addition, “foreclosure mills” are processing 100,000s of foreclosures a month without doing any of the actual due diligence or legal legwork required for the state to justify the taking of property and putting people on the street. Even worse, many are faking documentation and committing other fraud in the process. The government is allowing this to happen both by not having courts block it from going forward, but also through purchasing the services of these mills. As Barney Frank noted: “Why is Fannie Mae using lawyers that are accused of regularly engaging in fraud to kick people out of their homes?”

And the worst part is the lack of conversation about this. Thanks to Yves Smith at naked capitalism for following this story from the get-go; her blog has become the place for anyone interested in this topic (that link is a catch-up post). The rest of the media is starting to catch up to where she was weeks ago.

Zero Hedge has been following this, too, although to nowhere near the depth of Smith. ZH reported that the Ohio Secretary of State has made a foreclosure-fraud referral to the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, seeking a criminal investigation and that Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., has written to Fed chair Ben Bernanke, SEC chair Sheila Bair, and Attorney General Eric Holder, seeking same.

But that won’t have nearly as much effect, anywhere near as quickly, as this: companies that insure titles to property are getting the hell away from this stuff just as fast as they can.

This story cries out for a write-through.  I may or may not have time to do one anytime soon. But if you don’t get it here, get it somewhere, because apparently bankster fraud has entered a whole new dimension.

Winning hearts and minds

Filed under: Evil — Lex @ 8:31 pm
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Oh, for crying out loud:

U.S. government medical researchers intentionally infected hundreds of people in Guatemala, including institutionalized mental patients, with gonorrhea and syphilis without their knowledge or permission more than 60 years ago.

This ghastly project was recently discovered by a professor of women’s studies at Wellesley College in the course of her research on the Tuskegee experiment.

Hillary Clinton and Kathleen Sebelius will offer public apologies today for the role of the U.S. Public Health Service in the Guatemala project.

U.! S.! A.!  U.! S.!A.!

Why does Kevin Williamson hate America?

The National Review editor argues that President Obama does not have the right to order the assassination of U.S. citizens without charge or trial. Who does he think he is?!?

Taming the West

Filed under: I want my money back. — Lex @ 8:15 pm
Tags: ,

In terms of discourse, the Internet is often likened to the wild, wild west: lots of freedom, open spaces and, rhetorically speaking, shootouts. (We call them “flame wars,” but it’s the same deal.)

One such erupted recently when a … privileged individual and law professor named Todd Henderson posted something on the Web about how he was getting all whiny and butthurt because he,  his doctor wife and their kids couldn’t get by on more than a quarter-million dollars a year.*

Oh, yes, he did.

*(He didn’t say specifically how much, but if his claims that his taxes will go up “substantially” are accurate and he understands that the higher rate would not apply to the first $250,000 of his income, then he’s making a lot more than $250,000 a year.)**

Anyone who has spent much time on the Internet can probably tell you what happened next, and as a result of what happened next, Mr. Henderson caught a case of the vapors, took down his blog post and took to his bed, at least metaphorically speaking.

Interestingly, many people in his income bracket spoke harshly of the harsh speech directed at Mr. Henderson. But, with the possible exception of some purported threats (which if they actually happened, certainly should be investigated and prosecuted), the only thing that really happened was that a bunch of people who thought Mr. Henderson ought to remove his cranium from his rectum and look at the real world expressed that constitutionally protected viewpoint in response to Mr. Henderson’s own, similarly protected viewpoint … to the point that Mr. Henderson, quite deservingly, became a national joke.

Thus operates the wild, wild West that is the Internet has a new sheriff … and his name is John Scalzi:

New Rule For the Internets, Six-Figure Income Division

1. If you make a six-figure income, you are not allowed to argue on the Internets that you are poor.

2. You are not allowed to argue that you feel poor, which as we all know is just like being poor.

3. You are not allowed to posit the argument that if you hang around with people who make more than you, then you are allowed to have your wee little heart sing the Poverty Song because, after all, you make less than all of them and your life is sad.

4. You are not allowed to use your own poor money management skills as evidence of how challenging life is for those, like you, with six-figure incomes.

5. You are not allowed to use New York City, San Francisco or Los Angeles as an excuse for your piteous cries.

6. If you do any of the above, individually or severally, when the Internets call you out for being clueless, entitled, ignorant and an embarrassment as a human being — and they will — you will not then complain how your words were misunderstood and/or taken out of context and/or that people missed the real point of your argument.

7. This rule applies equally to any defending the right of those with six-figure incomes to mewl about their awful lot in life.

Note to the Internets: This new rule is effective immediately. Please feel free to enforce it. Direct all complaints here. They will be dealt with appropriately.

I, for one, welcome our new egalitarian overlords.

(A nice roundup of commentary is here.)

**Here’s a nice primer on how tax brackets work.

And the rock shall not hide them, nor the dead tree give them shelter … cuz we get to rat ’em out!

Filed under: Hold! Them! Accountable! — Lex @ 7:27 pm
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The U.S. government is going after war criminals:

When federal agents finally caught up with Gilberto Jordan, he had all the trappings of a solid American life: a house in a tidy South Florida neighborhood, steady work as a chef and a spotless record as a law-abiding citizen since emigrating from Guatemala in the early 1990s.

Nothing suggested he was hiding from a horrific past that the agents attributed to him when they knocked on his door that day in May. He still used the same name that appeared on a decade-old order for his arrest on murder charges in his native country.

When the agents confronted him with those charges — that he was in a Guatemalan military unit that killed more than 150 innocent civilians in the country’s notorious Dos Erres massacre of 1982 — he made no effort to conceal his role.

“Jordan readily admitted that he … participated in killing people at Dos Erres,” said a sworn affidavit by Jon Longo, an arresting agent with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “Jordan specifically admitted that the first person he killed was a baby, whom Jordan murdered by throwing into the village well.”

The prosecution of Jordan, 54, underscores a new push by federal law enforcement agencies to hunt down war criminals and human rights abusers who have found refuge in the United States.

The agents that tracked him are from a special center that Immigration and Customs created last year to bolster its work on such cases.

So the government, after not paying a helluva lot of attention to war crimes and human rights abuses in the past decade or so, is going to start. Good to know.

“I don’t think there’s any question that we’re going to have a greater number of these cases and that these cases are going to reach (suspects from) more parts of the world,” says Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, a child of Holocaust survivors who has pushed the more aggressive efforts to hold war criminals accountable. “It’s something we have to do. We owe it to our citizens and we owe it to the world.”

He’ll get no argument from me on that. But, tell me, does the Justice Department have a rationale for doing this?

Congress passed the laws amid a broader international push after the Cold War to hold war criminals and human rights abusers accountable, says Eli Rosenbaum, who ran the Office of Special Investigations and now is director of strategy and policy in the new Human Rights and Special Prosecutions unit.

“Interest burgeoned all over the world in bringing these people to justice,” Rosenbaum says. Among U.S. policymakers, “there was bipartisan support for doing this, and Congress gave us a lot of new tools.”

Now, it’s going full steam.

“We want to send a message to would-be human rights violators of the future,” Rosenbaum says. “Their odds of getting away with it are shrinking rapidly.”

And as you might expect in the era of crowdsourcing, there’s an opportunity for you to help:

The Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section actively seeks out information that may assist the U.S. Government in identifying human rights violators who may have entered the United States.

If you know of anyone in the United States or of any U.S. citizen anywhere in the world who may have been involved in perpetrating human rights violations abroad, please contact HRSP either by email at hrsptips@usdoj.gov or by postal mail at:

Human Rights and Special Prosecutions Section (Tips)
Criminal Division
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20530-0001

You do not have to identify yourself when providing information. Please provide as much detail as possible, such as:

  • the suspect’s name, place and date of birth,
  • physical description, and current location;
  • the suspect’s alleged human rights violations including the locations and dates of those activities;
  • how you learned of the suspect’s alleged activities and when and where you saw the suspect.

We are unable to reply to every submission; however, your information will be reviewed promptly by HRSP.

OK, the suspects’ names:

  • George Walker Bush, dob 6 July 1946, New Haven, CT
  • Richard Bruce “Dick” Cheney, dob 30 January 1941, Lincoln, NE
  • Donald Henry Rumsfeld, dob 9 July 1932, Evanston, IL
  • John Choon Yoo, dob 10 June 1967, Seoul, Republic of Korea
  • Jay Scott Bybee, dob 27 October 1953, Oakland, CA
  • William J. “Jim” Haynes II, dob 30 March 1958, Waco, TX

As for the rest, well, Googlers, start your engines. You also can find a ton of helpful resources here, here and here.

Good luck and good hunting.

(h/t: Glenzilla)

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