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Corruption in the Crosshairs

A brief history of international anti-bribery legislation

April 7, 2009
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TEXT AND RESEARCH: MATTHEW VREE, ZOE WOODCRAFT, SIRI SCHUBERT, MARLENA TELVICK, JACKIE BENNION AND SHARON TILLER. FLASH DESIGN & PRODUCTION: SAM BAILEY AND REBECCA GRAY
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REACTIONS

Raphael St. James - Ozone Park, NY
Considering the history of the U.S. containment policy, and it's origins against American citizens, nothing strikes me as off-the-wall when it comes to government corruption. While there may have been tenets of goodwill within American domestic and foreign policies, corruption runs deep in the fault lines of this country, and the people that suffer are the low and middle class families.

Ottawa Lake, Mi
All this brings back the memory 9/12/2001 when all flights were suspended across America except for the Bin Laden family. Which begs the question, who are the real American terrorists?

Booneville, AR
It's time to weed out these companies and individuals, prosecute them and get rid of the corruption. If our governments won't do it we (the people) should boycott the company products. These companies only understand money and when you hit them in the pocket book, only then will they take heed.

Phoenix, AZ
I found the supposed investigation of corruption by the Saudi Royal family to be completely biased and culturally prejudiced. After returning to the US from my volunteer service in the Peace Corps in the early Seventies, the only job I could find was that as a security guard and later department manager for a retail outfit in Colorado. I quickly found out that the salary for that job didn't come close to paying for the expenses of maintaining a family (as it would have a generation earlier) despite the fact that I worked 48 hours a week (for seven years straight!) and held down a second job as the night-time manager of the apartment building I lived in in exchange for reduced rent. When that company went out of business after 7 years, I was tossed out on the street with $1400 in "retirement benefits" and about 2 months of extremely limited unemployment insurance.
Fortunately my Saudi Arabian friends who I had befriended in the years as a retail salesman, came to my rescue. They allowed me to live in a small Masjid (Mosque) where I had very limited caretaker duties, studied the Koran and Hadith, and served on the governing committee of the Mosque.
While living in the mosque I was frequently the invited guest into various Saudi homes. These Saudis were students provided for by the Saudi government and were paid enough to maintain a family in the US while they were here, approximately double what I was paid when I was "working for a living". The expenses of the Mosque were also provided for by the Saudi Royal family.
Watching your show about "black money" made me see red, to say the least. For the last 3 decades at least, the small elites that rule this country have raped the system for everything it was worth, while American workers have suffered from stagnant wages, deteriorating infrastructure, no health care, and worthless social security benefits.
People who live in glass houses should throw no stones. I only wish that when I had the chance I had left this country and moved to Saudi Arabia, where people are taken care of by their government, even if it is an absolute monarchy. Now I am facing old age with few benefits, and no family. (My wife died of cancer when my daughter was 3 years old. I worked hard and she has graduated with one of the best colleges in the country with high grades in Chinese language and lit, but that is another story. BTW she is moving to Taiwan to get away from this mess.)
"Doing the right thing" it seems is a sucker's game in America and it turns out that I am just a stupid old fool, thrown out on the refuse pile of life in America. I only wish that my society did as good a job for caring for my needs as the Saudi Royal government does for its people. Corruption? I don't think so. Just a different system that you are laying your narrow cultural bias on. Bad job folks, tell the whole story, take your cultural blinders off.

David Agnew - Harwich, MA
While workers lose their homes, AIG swindlers get millions of taxpayer dollars and our government announces its commitment to a new two trillion dollar weapons system. Louis Freeh's defense of Bandar ('I am not a crook') Bush makes crystal clear the preposterous absurdity of this BAE/Lockheed/KBR/Blackwater/Exxon/etc business as usual. Thank you for this excellent report.

Oakville,Ontario, Canada
Your program on "black money" was very interesting; however, you stopped before exposing the biggest crook, Dick Chaney!! You might also include former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney re Airbus.

 

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