In journalist Tom Mueller’s newest work, Crisis of Conscience: Whistleblowing In An Age of Fraud, he makes a case for how the United States, which was founded on the premise of “equal justice under law” has become a “banana republic.”
The 600-page book covers some 200 plus interviews with whistleblowers, which includes me and the original Bank Whistleblowers United group, Gary Aguirre, Bill Black and Michael Winston. Each of us told our story of what we had observed which led to our becoming whistleblowers.
Mr. Mueller quotes former Citigroup CEO Chuck Prince, who in July of 2007 said, “As long as the music keeps playing, you’ve got to get up and dance. We’re still dancing.” Mr. Prince was talking about the subprime mortgage arena. That dancing eventually stopped in October of 2008 when Citigroup effectively went bankrupt, to a large degree because of the toxic mortgages I had been repeatedly warning them about which led to the largest bank bailout in US history.
Mr. Mueller explores the whys of why against all odds, some people decide to become whistleblowers, regardless of the personal cost, and why some stay silent when faced with similar circumstances.
We learn how whistleblowers force us to “confront fundamental questions about wrongdoing, individual morality and corporate power.” His premise, that “whistleblowers are the freethinking, outspoken citizens for whom our republic was conceived,” is humbling.
Unacceptable to us all
Wall Street On Parade writers Pam Martens and Russ Martens state that the book shows ”that from our appellate court judges to the executive suites of our largest corporations to the United States Attorney General’s office, fraud is now being rationalized as simply part of the profit-seeking business model.” That should be unacceptable to us all.
Mr. Mueller’s work is a chilling indictment of corruption in the U.S. He points out how quick we are to point fingers at other countries and officials for fraudulent, or greedy behaviors; however as it relates to ourselves, “we justify our actions as free-market deregulation and that of running government life as a business.”
He points to our naming of buildings and institutions “after our oligarch billionaires … and how we revere them for being paragons of the “American Dream.” Coincidentally Mr. Mueller does not favor any one political party and questions everyone from our Federal Reserve to George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Donald Trump, and how each has enriched themselves or their family members at the expense of Americans.
There is no question that the corruption in business and government has resulted in, as the reviews state, our present-day apocalyptic outcomes. Mr. Mueller confronts us with every aspect of business that has run amok and asks what makes whistleblowers act when they observe wrongdoing when others do not.Crisis of Conscience is as equally compelling as it is chilling. Click To Tweet
My hope is that it will bring to light the extent of how corrupt our business and government has allowed itself to become. At this time in history, when our present-day leaders have whistleblowers denouncing what they see, we all need to ask, as Mr. Mueller does, if in fact whistleblowers will be protected for telling the truth.
If “equal justice under law” which is engraved on the front of the U.S. Supreme Court is to stay intact and respected, then it’s time we all step forward, question and not allow the growing slide toward a corrupt conscienceless country to continue.