The Car Wash Task Force team of anti-corruption prosecutors in Brazil was presented recently by Jimmy Dore in his YouTube show and draw immediately our attention. While we enjoy most of the shows, we must warn the Jimmy Dore Show contributors and friends that this case smells badly. The show presents a kind of commercial for this operation, (Lava Jato in Brazilian), which is highly suspicious for a number of reasons.
Indeed, the way the video was directed resembles a modern commercial that refers to some kind of services. It depicts the team in modern offices siting in front of computers, while the narrative and the music background are really relaxing. What kind of prosecutors, investigating such crimes, are depicted in this way?
The Federal Judge Sergio Moro speaks in the video. He is considered the one who started the Lava Jato operation. Yet, the big surprise comes later. It ends with Lula da Silva, one of the most popular politicians who served as president of Brazil, sentenced to jail for taking bribes. Not a single word about (as characterized by many) one of the most corrupted presidents, Michel Temer! The neoliberal pro-Washington Temer, not only currently stays in his position, but it is known that he was put in power after a constitutional coup against previous Leftist president and Lula's successor, Dilma Rousseff!
Furthermore, the video proceeds beyond its prosecutional 'territory' towards indirect political positions. The narrative almost implies that poverty in Brazil is linked with state corruption through government officials in power. Well, poverty in Brazil and elsewhere is a complex story, related mostly to specific policies applied by neoliberal politicians like Temer in favor of the elites. But we guess that this is not considered 'corruption' according to the video.
As Jacobinmag reported in April:
The Lava Jato operation began when Sergio Moro, a little-known judge in a southern state capital, began to uncover bribery, kickbacks, illicit funding of parties, and plunder of public assets at an immense scale, all centered on the oil giant Petrobras and its contractors, mainly in the construction industry. The sums alleged to have been plundered total in the tens of bllions of dollars.
It remains a misconception outside Brazil, however, that Lava Jato caused the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers’ Party (PT). She was impeached on the frivolous grounds of breaking budgetary laws. No evidence has yet been produced to tie her to the corruption scandal. Michel Temer, Rousseff’s former vice president, is now president. His Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) is an ideologically amorphous party that serves as little more than a vehicle for power, and as the (small-c) conservative ballast in Brazil’s establishment. His party now rules in a de facto coalition with the neoliberal Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB). Last year, leaked recordings involving Temer allies laid bare the real motives to impeach Rousseff: her unwillingness to protect leading politicians from investigation.
Up until late 2016, the major figures ensnared in investigations were from the PT. In March of that year, Brazil’s left-wing former president Lula was sensationally detained by federal police, without charge. Additionally, media cheerleading of Lava Jato and orchestration of anticorruption protests had all targeted the Left. Judge Moro encouraged this with deliberate PR moves, such as the (illegal) leaking of (illegally obtained) recordings of Lula and then-president Rousseff. This raised hackles for privileging spectacle over due process, and surfaced preexisting doubts about the neutrality of the judiciary.
Brazilians are used to seeing political corruption punished with a mere slap on the wrist, so the judiciary’s newfound zeal — while potentially welcome — seemed mainly to apply when prosecuting Workers’ Party figures. Indeed, even the Rio de Janeiro state branch of the Order of Brazilian Lawyers criticized Moro for his selective leaking. His puzzling and self-serving defense was that these were not leaks, but deliberate publications. Lula was then accused of being the mastermind of the whole Petrobras-related corruption scheme without any evidence.
Now Temer has nine minsters under investigation. The Right’s defeated 2014 presidential candidate, Aécio Neves of the PSDB, is the most-cited politician in Justice Fachin’s list. The PSDB’s expected 2018 presidential hopeful, São Paulo state governor Geraldo Alckmin, is also to be investigated. More broadly, around 60 percent of both houses of Congress are under investigation for serious crimes, some of which fall under Lava Jato.
Let's see how far the 'prosecutors' will go with Temer. Our guess is 'not too far'. The case resembles impressively the Panama Papers fiasco. It looks like the neoliberal regime continues to build a Matrix of virtual reality through carefully selected actions. As the neoliberal ideology collapses globally, exactly because of the skyrocketing corruption related to corporate lobbyists and politicians like Temer, the Left must be presented as much more corrupted by all means. Indeed, as the old-fashioned propaganda is not working anymore, the current establishment adopts a much more sophisticated version.