She coined the phrase “FIFA Slayer” and prided herself to be just that: the woman who dismantled FIFA.
She created a massive PR event for maximum effect by arresting 12 men in Swiss hotels (she could easily have arrested them in the US, since they all had flown to Zurich via the USA only days before), so as to showcase US “strength”, “ethics”, a “love of the law” and being an “upright citizen”. Today, and reviewing some of the facts that have subsequently come to light, it is time to question some of the ethics of this charade.
She’s the woman who used descriptions like “conspiracy to commit money laundering, wire fraud and bribery”. Then she looked in the mirror and upped the ante during her second visit, blabbered of corrupt practises by FIFA administrators who stole the “children’s money”. Juxtapose this with what she has never done: charge a single banker with anything, even when HSBC was found guilty of laundering drug and cartel money and fined One point nine billion USD. What happened to the children’s money there?
Meanwhile, she proceeded to commit some pretty strange acts herself that smell of corruption too and possibly worse: obstruction of justice by the highest prosecutor of the land in favour of a presidential candidate. Senator Feinstein of California has just asked for a Senate Investigation into her conduct. Feinstein is a Democrat. Not a Republican (adding this just for good measure).
She is Loretta Lynch, the former US Attorney General and the woman formerly in charge of US Law. And the former boss of FBI director James Comey whom she asked not to call the Clinton investigation a criminal investigation but “a matter”. “Matter” is what children have in the eyes sometimes. She, on the other hand, was apparently blinded by that matter altogether in her effort to do good with the Clintons.
This website has questioned the US approach and dictum about FIFA more than once. We highlighted facts that most people do not want hear. We pointed out that what the Americans called a FIFA Scandal was really a Scandal ‘Made in the US of A’. And one that involved some of the very same crooks who have run Brazil into the ground and damaged many other Central and South American countries. We always maintained that it was a US/Latin American Scandal. But few listened because it was more convenient to suck up to US “justice” than to form their own opinion. So, in case you missed the point: the FIFA Scandal is a US Scandal above all. And with Loretta Lynch now facing her own investigation, the FIFA Scandal she unleashed is truly a US Scandal.
This opinion is only reinforced with the new aspects in the US that are coming to light: hypocrisy of a dimension that is typical for some who run the Law in the USA. Many of whom believe that they are above it. Not so. Comey himself has a few questions to answer and the more he talks, the more questions there are. The same is true for Lynch. Except that her ‘Tarmac meeting’ with Bill Clinton still needs further explanation: Kellyann Conway, Trump’s Bender of the Truth Numero Uno (“alternative facts”, remember?) said a few intelligent things for once: “You need 4-5 minutes to discuss golf and grandchildren, including a couple of selfies thrown in for good measure. But you don’t need 45 minutes, huddled in a jet on a tarmac to do that.” We believe she’s got a point, and so does (Democrat) Senator Feinstein. So, what did they do in the jet then? Play solitaire?
Loretta Lynch lambasted an organisation she had never heard of before, but one that qualified for US anger in many ways: it was not American, it had to do with a fringe topic (football) and it involved lots of aliens (i.e. foreigners), some of which were ghastly Arabs and unwanted Latinos. Phew. In a country consumed by xenophobia, rampant racism and hatred for what is not “made in the USA”, those were sure winning arguments for anything that would catch the public attention.
What this author believes is this: the entire FIFA Scandal is what the USA are made of: marketing and sales. In a country where you can sell pet rocks (stones…) in a can for Christmas and make millions with it, you can sell any crap: a woman like Lynch, whose ego had run so far away that she could never catch it, even if she had wanted, would be looking for fame and publicity.
Why otherwise create a nonsensical event like that day in Zurich when the eternally servile Swiss cops bent down so far that their tongues reached the asphalt, not the backside of law enforcers from a far away land?
The Zurich Exercise was a PR stint worth every penny – to the New York Times, who got the exclusive, and was on location at 4.30am, well before the raid and hours before any European – not to mention sleepy Swiss, medium – had woken up to the news. Why create that ludicrous stunt when every single man who was arrested had either been on US soil days or weeks before and could have been arrested in Miami, New York or elsewhere in the US as he was flying off to Zurich to face his sealed fate?
Loretta Lynch was grandiose, verbose and full of scorn for the lawbreakers and thieves who took away the children’s money (pardon me: but that too is bullshit; tv rights cash never had to do with the children’s money. Not even in the US where everything is for the children, right? Such as child obesity and drug addiction). Lynch was full of self-righteousness and self-aggrandisement, loved the world stage and told a convincing tale. Except it stank.
And except for a few little things: her tale still stinks even more now, and her methods stink further.
Her tale stinks because the key criminal in the so-called FIFA Scandal committed his criminal acts not as a FIFA man but as the Secretary General of CONCACAF, which sat happily in Trump’s Tower for decades. Chuck Blazer is American as they come: obese, corrupt to the core and utterly charming (no, not a contradiction). He is the key culprit in a tale that swiftly involved other crooks who had a US residence as well and only got caught because Blazer didn’t think he should be locked up for 25-to-life. So he sang: the rights dealers at Traffic Sports, the bribers and bribe takers in Central and South America, the marketing gangsters in the Western, very Western hemisphere and the forever blamed Caribbean where not a single football administrator got entangled in the Webb (sic!). Webb did, the Caymanian who carries a British passport and a US Green Card: he always knew the tricks of the trade and went about profiting from it grandiosely. Don’t be surprised if, next month, he is sentenced to, errhm, nothing. After all, he was a good boy and diligently did what Blazer had done before him: spill the beans on others who had made him rich. When they started to sing, the number of the arrested or charged (or those exposed to a sealed indictment) jumped. And more South Americans, more Americans (in Miami) and more Central Americans were charged and some arrested. But Lynch kept yakkering about a FIFA Scandal.
Let’s face it: the Old FIFA was a rotten organisation built on the concepts of a marketing driven society of the 80s and 90s (and the New FIFA? –that’s another tale altogether), Where there were no laws against kickbacks and corruption (like in Switzerland), there was no crime. By definition.
But the thieves who enriched themselves were not primarily European (with the exception of a few Germans, Spaniards, etc – the tale can still be spun and it ain’t over and it focuses on individuals, not a system – save ISL and sports marketeers who invented the culture of bribes). They were predominantly, and when Lynch was in charge, exclusively, American and South/Central American. They were the Teixeiras, the Grondonas and the Leoz’ of this world.
Yet she, Lynch, the defender of the law, the unbiased shining light of US Justice, the avenger of the downtrodden, the self-appointed FIFA Slayer spoke of FIFA as a whole. Of 400+ employees, of everybody even marginally involved with the organisation. She was wrong. But she did it for effect and to bolster her case which needed no bolstering.
She was also wrong to have huddled with Bill Clinton in a private jet to talk about “grand children and golf” as she claimed, while the truth is that only a little later she ordered her FBI Boss, Comey, not to refer to the criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton as that but as a “matter”. So said Comey. Under oath.
And now Lynch, the upstanding enforcer of the law, will have her own day in court, or initially a Senate Hearing, where she will have to answer questions under oath as well.
Maybe that will be the end of the Slayer since there are new Slayers in town who want her blood as badly as she did that of all of FIFA.
James Dostoyevsky is a Washington-based observer of politics and sports. He can be contacted at moc.l1524240297labto1524240297ofdlr1524240297owedi1524240297sni@o1524240297fni1524240297