Brazil: Massive leak proves Lula's trial was a farce
June 10, 2019 4:15 AM   Subscribe

When the story of the case against Lula broke, I remember reading several articles saying that it was a. put-up job.

The trouble is that you don't know, because it's not like people on the left are never corrupt, so I was not sure what to think (except that the right was going to use the scandal as much as they could).

So what is going to happen now that this is public? Obviously Bolsonaro isn't going to resign in shame.
posted by Frowner at 4:22 AM on June 10 [16 favorites]

There are good reasons to not like Greenwald, and unfortunately this makes me skeptical of this, even as I hope with all my heart that it is good reporting, based on facts. He did great stuff during Bush II, but has since become totally unreliable.
And echoing Frowner, is there any hope this can lead to some good if it is true?
posted by mumimor at 4:30 AM on June 10 [11 favorites]

[A few deleted; so, yeah, it's not really a great idea to comprehensively derail your own post with the very first comment. Let's keep discussion of Greenwald himself contained to info specifically related to the topic of this post rather than a general all-about-Greenwald thing. Thanks all.]
posted by taz (staff) at 4:35 AM on June 10 [6 favorites]

This is my surprised face.

Right wingers are all too happy to make shit up about their political opponents and frame them if that turns out not to be enough. They justify it to themselves by telling themselves that the evil leftists are puppets of some global leftist conspiracy that only exists in their fever dreams. See reader, they forgot they won the Cold War and continue to fight it using the same dirty tricks they always have.

Unfortunately, a significant fraction of the world's population literally prefers authoritarianism right up until the disappearing becomes too open or hits close to home. Unfortunately, there is a positive correlation between having assets to lose and acceptance of actual tyranny (not "TEH TYRANNNY OF OBUMMER!1"), all the way down to fairly small levels of wealth, so the people who are in a position to stop it usually don't, at least not while they still can.
posted by wierdo at 6:13 AM on June 10 [4 favorites]

There is a series on Netflix at the moment called "The Mechanism" (from Brazil, in Portugese) that covers the Car Wash investigation. You can work out who everyone is pretty easily - for the example the judge in question is "Higo", Lula is "Nino" and the investigation is called "Jet Wash".

Anyway, it's a slightly ridiculous series due to the presence of one of the main characters "Ruffo" who is completely fucked up and stupid and trades in obvious metaphors.

HOWEVER - it is an interesting story, albeit told from the investigation team's PoV.
posted by awfurby at 6:22 AM on June 10 [4 favorites]

The vulnerability in democracies seems to be election fraud -- especially when it is as direct and blatant as this. There are robust mechanisms for pushing back when the people in power do something bad/illegal/wrong, but over the past few years we have been repeatedly seeing that cheating your way into power has no consequences. I really feel for Lula and the PT, it's one thing to lose an election legitimately, but quite another to have it stolen.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:47 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]

The Intercept crew promises us much more, and with Greenwald's tendency to overstate his hand "much more" could be anything really, and trying to make predictions is pointless.

So let's make a few predictions.

- Supreme Court reaches an almost unanimous consensus towards whatever understanding of facts mitigates institutional risk, Constitution and Justice be damned.

- Brazil has been running a marathon of a three-year crisis (corruption scandals, the presidential impechment, the arrest of Lula, recession pointing towards depression, a government shutdown of sorts). Adding general elections to that pile would be explosive, so no Powers That Be in their right mind will allow that.

- Prediction #1: Reverting or questioning Moro's decisions would pull a thread that unravels the presidential elections so whatever happens to Moro himself, his decisions won't be found at fault in Court.

- Bolsonaro's popularity and efficacy are notoriously low, and we've been bombarded with hypotheticals about impeching or recalling "just him" while keeping the rest of his team intact. (There's no such device in our Constitution but knowing our history that's totes within the realm of possibility.) When commentators say "remove Bolsonaro, keep the rest" they mean two people specifically: ministers Moro and Guedes. Regardless of how Justice decides re: Moro's culpability, from a media and legitimacy standpoint he's no longer sacred. This temporarily empowers Bolsonaro against impeachment speculation (at least until a different narrative is produced and ventilated).

- Bolsonaro (and his vice Mourão, for seemingly opposite reasons) have been throwing Moro under the bus to contain his influence. This has become more prevalent after talks of Moro showing interest in being a presidential candidate in the next elections.

- Prediction #2: While Court will mitigate the damage to Moro and his decisions, Bolsonaro will use this crisis to undermine his own minister of Justice.

Any further speculation would require me to make generalizations about groups of people or predict the contents of the Intercept's corpus.

Depending on how things play out, civil unrest may escalate, and we're a very repressive country when it comes to manifestations, so encourage journalists to be on the field and mobilize your groups to at least bear witness to / oversee manifestations.
posted by rufb at 11:02 AM on June 10 [22 favorites]

There is a series on Netflix at the moment called "The Mechanism" (from Brazil, in Portugese) that covers the Car Wash investigation.

Be aware that it's a biased and distorted version of the story. The director himself has disowned it.
posted by Tom-B at 1:15 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]

That Brasilwire review of the show is very good. Not knowing much at all about Brazilian politics or indeed life in Brazil, I am attracted to the series because I'm being exposed to something new. But yeah, I do also wonder at what gets left in and what gets left out and what gets changed for dramatic (or other) purposes.

The right wing politicians certainly don't come out looking good though - they are clearly hugely corrupt.

Anyway, derail over. The actual story is unfolding as we speak...
posted by awfurby at 5:20 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]

The most recent set of leaked chats has Moro deciding that he would really like to meddle in Venezuelan politics back in 2017, although it doesn't look like it ultimately came to that much. Pretty wild that within 3 years he went from an unknown judge in a relative backwater to a guy idly speculating about maybe sparking a coup in another country.
posted by Copronymus at 1:54 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]

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