Brazilian Bolsonaro’s growing dictatorship danger

This 15 June 2019 video says about itself:

Glenn Greenwald on the Leaked Brazil Archive Exposing Operation Car Wash

The Intercept and the Intercept Brasil published a series of exposés that has created a major political earthquake in Brazil. In less than a week, the once-revered justice minister of President Bolsonaro’s government, Sergio Moro, now faces widespread calls to resign from the same large Brazilian media outlets that spent years transforming him into an untouchable icon of integrity and uncritically applauding his every move.

Even more grave, the improprieties revealed by our reporting have cast serious doubt on the validity of numerous guilty verdicts issued by Judge Moro and the anti-corruption task force, beginning — most importantly — with the conviction and imprisonment of former President Lula da Silva last year at exactly the time that he was the overwhelming front-runner to win the presidency in 2018. That conviction by Judge Moro, which we now know was the byproduct of highly improper and unethical conduct, is now scheduled to be reviewed by the Supreme Court as early as next week.

The archive we received from our source is vast, and contains many more explosive stories yet to be reported. We just published another story exposing even more serious improprieties by Judge Moro, widely regarded as the anchor of legitimacy for the Bolsonaro government, that has led for more calls for him to resign. Because of the importance, but also complexity of these issues for those outside of Brazil, we created a video explaining what this archive is about, what these revelations mean, and why the consequences of our reporting are so significant not only for Brazil but for the entire democratic world.

By Miguel Andrade in Brazil:

Renewed push towards authoritarian rule in Brazil after exposures in Car Wash probe

1 July 2019

The weeks following the Intercept’s revelation of collusion between prosecutors and Justice Minister Sérgio Moro, who was the lead judge in the sweeping Car Wash (Lava-Jato) corruption investigation, have further exposed the grave dangers confronting the Brazilian working class.

The furious reaction of President Jair Bolsonaro’s right-wing government to the leaks has involved not only deportation threats against the Intercept’s editor, Rio de Janeiro-based Glenn Greenwald, but also calls for the imprisonment of journalists reporting on the issue. It has likewise led to the opening of an inquiry by the Moro-headed Federal Police into Greenwald’s alleged “collaboration” with Russian intelligence to produce the leaks.

This inquiry’s aim is to concoct a Brazilian version of the “Russian interference” hoaxes currently being used throughout Europe and the Americas to justify a crackdown on democratic rights, spearheaded by the persecution of Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.

Officials have repeatedly claimed that Greenwald and other journalists are “aiding criminals” by publishing Moro’s messages, claiming that they were obtained illegally, without providing any substantiation.

The messages obtained by the Intercept reveal that Moro, while promoted by the right-wing for “taking on the system” in the exposure of wholesale corruption in Brazilian politics, was doing nothing of the kind.

The massive bribes and kickbacks scandal centered around the Petrobras state-owned oil corporation involved every party and virtually every major Brazilian political figure. Moro systematically instructed the main group of prosecutors in the probe to withhold charges in “70 percent” of the cases, invoking the Latin phrase that “the world will fall, but justice will be done”. His concern was that to expose and prosecute the full extent of the rot could bring down the entire bourgeois political system in Brazil.

On the other hand, in his most prominent case, the charging of former PT [Workers’ Party] president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva over the so-called “triplex scandal”, Moro instructed the prosecution as to how better pursue the case, even producing prosecution witnesses. The Intercept has announced that it will produce an extensive series of reports on the cache of documents.

Moro sentenced Lula to nine-and-a-half years in prison in 2017, and, with his sentence confirmed by Brazil’s 4th appeals circuit court (TRF-4) in January 2018, the former PT president was barred from running for a third term in the 2018 general elections, under the so-called “clean slate” (ficha limpa) law. Signed by Lula himself in 2010, this law bars politicians whose convictions on corruption charges are upheld by an appeals court from running in elections for eight years.

However, Lula’s attorneys consider that the revelations may prove enough for the Supreme Court (STF) to annul his sentence, or at least grant his Habeas Corpus petition presented in December. After Moro’s acceptance of his position in Bolsonaro’s cabinet, Lula’s lawyers have argued that he was disqualified from judging the case due to political bias.

This hope has been fueled by a wide embrace of the authenticity of the revelations on the part of large sections of the bourgeois establishment. Senate president Davi Alcolumbre from the Democrats party—DEM … declared that, if Moro had been a congressman, he “would already have been stripped of his term and jailed.”

Also significantly, two major backers of Bolsonaro’s brutal austerity agenda in the corporate press have joined the Intercept in reporting on the messages, thus endorsing their implications: Brazil’s largest daily, Folha de S. Paulo, and the ultra-right Veja magazine, the main mouthpiece of the former right-wing opposition to the PT.

The revelations also motivated Supreme Court Judge Gilmar Mendes, who had withdrawn Lula’s habeas corpus petition for review in December, to bring it up for a vote by the STF’s second panel on Tuesday. He then proposed to again postpone the vote while the authenticity of the messages is investigated—an unlikely scenario to say the least, given that the Federal Police are currently engaged in persecuting Greenwald. He also proposed that Lula be freed while waiting for the probe into the authenticity of the messages, but the proposal was rejected by the panel.

These seemingly tumultuous events reflect deepening divisions within the Brazilian ruling class regarding all the issues that motivated its abandonment of the Workers Party (PT), the preferred party of rule for 13 years, and embrace the fascistic Bolsonaro. …

At the same time, Lula’s defenders have raised Moro’s 2016 actions, before Lula was formally charged, in twice intervening in
the trumped-up impeachment of Lula’s successor, Dilma Rousseff, which already have demonstrated his political bias in the case.

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