Dantas’ Inferno: The Disney Version

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Whistle while someone else works: International law-enforcement cooperation agreements reportedly do not work that way.

O Brasil sempre foi a casa da mãe Joana de elites sub-reptícias que fazem o que querem. (Brazil has always been a backwater whose backstabbing elites do whatever they please) — Paulo Francis

Get a good idea and stay with it. Do it, and work at it until it’s done right –Walt Disney

“I only hope that we don’t lose sight of one thing — that it was all started by a mouse.” –Walt Disney, on Mickey Mouse

Mickey Mouse (adj.) — 1: not to be taken seriously ; also : not effectual : worthless 2: being or performing insipid or corny popular music 3: of little importance : trifling — Merriam Webster’s 10th Collegiate Dictionary

No Brasil de Dantas: Leandro Fortes of CartaCapital (Brazil) weighs in on news — not widely reported — that the federal police now consider the “dossier” allegedly prepared by Frank Holder of Kroll to be phonier than the bill of lading on a shipment of Sino-Paraguayan Barbie dolls.

He narrates the entire course of the Brazilian federal police investigation into the “dossier,” and is, I think, the first to give a full account of the who, what, when, where and why of the story: Disney Rosseti, December 10, to the federal prosecutor, because he thought it was against the 1967 Press Law.

Which is an odd choice, I thought.

Note to the whistle-blowing anonymous sources of those exemplary investigative journalists at Veja magazine: They will apparently rat you out to the cops in a heartbeat to save their own hides.

See

In its breach of contract lawsuit against its former employee in a New York City federal court, Kroll seems to be claiming that whatever Holder did or did not do, he did not do it in good-faith compliance with his employment or consulting contract with the firm.

In layman’s terms, “we did not tell, or pay, him to pull that kind of nonsense!”

It claims, in fact, that Holder was working for Ferrell already in February 2005.

Stay tuned.

CartaCapital considers itself an injured party in the case, as the alleged target of some of the illegal wiretapping the banker is on trial in Brazil for sponsoring.

Somewhere here I have this back issue with all those photos of funny little widgets found wired into the ducts of a Brasil Telecom conference room that CC published.

I vaguely remember someone on the hot seat in that incident, quoted in that article, saying, “That’s not surveillance equipment, that’s countersurveillance equipment!”

Da próxima vez, quando alguém afirmar que o Brasil é o reino do cinismo, da covardia e dos conchavos dos poderosos, pense bem antes de retrucar. A última prova, cabal, é o resultado de um ano e meio de investigação da Polícia Federal sobre o dossiê entregue pelo banqueiro Daniel Dantas à revista Veja com supostas contas no exterior do presidente Lula, de quatro ministros, do diretor-geral da própria PF e de um senador da República. Seria impensável em qualquer outro lugar que uma publicação considerada séria publicasse, como fez a Veja em maio de 2006, informações sem nenhuma comprovação, reunidas de forma suspeita por um ex-agente da CIA, e repassada por um cidadão que é réu em processo por espionagem, classificado pelo Ministério Público Federal como “chefe de quadrilha”.

The next time someone says to you that Brazil is the kingdom of cynicism, cowardice and the collusion of the powerful, think again before retorting. The latest evidence, and damning evidence it is, is the result of a year and a half of investigation by the federal police into the dossier handed over by banker Daniel Dantas to Veja magazine, reflecting supposed offshore bank accounts in the name of President Silva, four cabinent ministers, the head of the federal police and a federal Senator. It woud be unthinkable in any other place for any serious publication to publish, as Veja did in May 2006, information without any backing, collected in a suspect manner by a former agent of the CIA and passed along by a citizen who is a defendant in a [criminal] espionage case, whom the federal prosecutor characterizes as “the chief of a criminal conspiracy.”

Unthinkable? Judith Miller of the New York Times. Aluminum tubes.

How do we know Holder used to work for the CIA, by the way?

Kroll says he never told them this, and it is not reflected on the resume that accompanies his profile as president of the investigative arm of Ferrell Law, a Professional Association.

Seria impensável também que um ministro da Justiça, como fez Márcio Thomaz Bastos, citado entre os titulares das supostas contas não-declaradas, aceitasse se reunir às escondidas, na calada da noite, e três dias depois da publicação do material, com o acusado de ser o mentor do falso dossiê. Que o encontro ocorresse na casa de um senador da oposição intimamente ligado ao chantagista, como é o caso de Heráclito Fortes (DEM-PI). E que o convescote fosse mediado por dois deputados do partido dos principais alvos da tramóia (no caso, os petistas Sigmaringa Seixas e José Eduardo Cardozo).

It would also be unthinkable for a minister of Justice, cited as one of the holders of these supposedly undeclared accounts, as Bastos did, to meet secretly, in the dark of night, and three days after the article appeared, with the man accused of masterminding the phony dossier. Or that the encounter would take place at the home of an opposition senator with close ties to the blackmailer, as is Heráclito Fortes (DEM-Piauí). Or that the confab would be mediated by two lawmakers from the same party as the principal targets of this frame-up (in this case, Sigmarina Seixas and José Eduardo Cardozo of the PT.)

This was the incident that led Veja to speculate — idly but loudly — that there must be some truth to the “dossier” — describing Dantas’ “blackmail attempt” as a successful blackmail attempt.

It reminds me of the controversy over J.J. Rendón‘s activities in Colombia.

Rendón allegedly boasted that he could charge a Colombian lawmaker, falsely, with dating teenaged hookers, if that lawmaker — a member of the governing coalition — did not produce a political favor.

And make it stick.

(The VP and minister of defense are cousins in a family that owns a gazillion-jigawatt megaphone — a media company, that is.)

Vladimiro Montesinos in Peru paid huge bribes to newspapers and broadcasters to run hysterical, bogus nonsense about his political foes. And filmed himself doing it.

Compare

Veja engineered a moral panic campaign that led to the removal of a lawmaker named Ibsen Pinheiros, in which it reported that the man’s bank account contained US$1 million.

Shortly before it ran, its fact-checking department said it had information, properly founded, that the account actually contained R$1,000.

Veja ran the US$1 million figure, “corroborated” by an anonymous source — a political adversary of Pinheiros.

It was wrong.

This by Veja‘s own account.

Not long after, it disbanded its fact-checking department. See

Ecce Veja.

Bribes, hookers, and drugs (or booze).

It’s always bribes, hookers, and drugs (or booze) with these people. See also

Uncharacteristically, Mr. Fortes — I admire this journalist — wallows a bit in the prevailing cheap Schopenhauerean pessimism that is the stock in trade of the Brazilian pundit corps.

Seria impensável em qualquer lugar, menos no Brasil. Portanto, não espanta, nesta altura dos acontecimentos, a conclusão do inquérito do delegado federal Disney Rosseti. Na segunda-feira 10, Rosseti indiciou Dantas e Frank Holder, o ex-agente da CIA que preparou o dossiê, por calúnia, baseado na Lei da Imprensa. A Editora Abril saiu ilesa da história. Não há nada contra a Veja, concluiu Rosseti.

Only in Brazil. For that reason, we are not surprised, at this point, by the conclusion of the investigation conducted by federal police investigator Disney [!] Rosseti. On Monday, December 10, he charged Dantas and Frank Holder, the former CIA agent who prepared the dossier, with slander, based on the [1967] Press Law. The Editora Abril emerged unscathed. There was nothing against Veja magazine, Rosseti concluded.

À exceção da Folha de S.Paulo, que registrou a conclusão do inquérito de forma burocrática, o resto da mídia silenciou sobre o resultado, apesar de, à época da publicação das contas, ter repercutido o noticiário de Veja. Os principais alvos do dossiê também se calaram. Nenhuma nota de repúdio, nenhum gesto de indignação. É como se tudo não passasse de estripulias de uma criança espevitada em vez de uma jogada com claras intenções e previamente calculada: chantagear autoridades e desestabilizar ainda mais um governo mergulhado na crise.

With the exception of the Folha de S. Paulo, who registered the conclusion of the inquiry in a perfunctory report, the rest of the news media was silent on the subject, even though, at the time the dossier was published, they widely reported Veja‘s article. The principal targets of the dossier also remained silent. No note of repudiation, no gesture of indignation. It is as though this were nothing more than a tantrum by a petulant child, rather than a premediated game whose intentions were clear: Blackmail public officials and further destabilize a government in crisis.

Calúnia, nos termos da lei, é o ato de atribuir a alguém falsamente fato definido como crime. Em caso de condenação, a pena prevista é de seis meses a três anos de prisão, além de multa. Pela Lei de Imprensa, e por envolver o presidente da República, essa pena pode chegar a cinco anos de cadeia. O delegado Rosseti alega ter optado por essa legislação para aumentar a pena e evitar a prescrição do caso antes do julgamento, se o Ministério Público Federal decidir denunciar Dantas e Holder à Justiça.

Slander [“calumny”], in legal terms, is the act of falsely attributing a crime to someone. If found guilty, the defendant can receive from six months to three years in prison, and a fine. Under the Press Law, and because it involves the president, the sentence can go as high as five years. Rosseti says he opted to bring charges under this law in order to increase the sentence and avoid having the statute of limitations run before the trial, should the prosecutor decide to accept the charge and indict Dantas and Holder.

Para não indiciar a Editora Abril, responsável pela veiculação do crime, e os autores da reportagem, o delegado ateve-se ao argumento da “liberdade de expressão”. Também levou em conta o fato de Veja ter sido processada, criminalmente, por Lacerda, seu ex-chefe e hoje diretor da Agência Brasileira de Inteligência (Abin).

In order not to charge Editora Abril, which published the charges, and the authors of the report, the fed availed himself of the theory of “freedom of expression.”

This is a peculiar thing about the role of the police delegado in Brazil: it seems to have legal interpretive powers that overlaps with prosecutorial functions.

He also took into account that the magazine faced a criminal complaint brought by Lacerda, his former boss and now director of ABIN, the Brazilian National Intelligence Agency.

De acordo com o dossiê, Lacerda teria 1,1 milhão de euros em contas no exterior. Os demais seriam donos dos seguintes valores: Lula, 38,5 mil dólares; José Dirceu (ex-ministro da Casa Civil e deputado cassado do PT), 36,2 mil dólares; Antonio Palocci (ex-titular da Fazenda e atual deputado), 2,1 milhões de dólares; Luiz Gushiken (ex-secretário de Comunicação da Presidência da República), 902,1 mil euros; Bastos, 1,4 milhão de dólares; e o senador Romeu Tuma (PTB-SP), 1,1 milhão de euros. “Se eu soubesse que tinha esse dinheiro, teria comprado um presente para dona Marisa”, ironizou Lula, à época, quando soube da notícia, durante uma visita oficial à Áustria.

According to the dossier, Lacerda had €1.1 million in offshore bank accounts. The rest had the following amounts: Lula, $38,500; Dirceu (the former minister of the Casa Civil and impeached federal deputy), $36,200; Palocci (former Treasury minister and current federal deputy), $2.1 milion; Gushiken (former presidential communications secretary), €902,100; Bastos, $14 million; and Senator Tuma (currently of the PTB), $1.1 million. “If I had known I had this money, I would have bought my wife a present,” Lula joked upon learning of the report, during an official visit to Austria.

Embora a investigação tenha durado 18 meses, Rosseti atuou no caso, de fato, por 11 meses. Isso porque, por longos sete meses, o caso ficou emperrado no Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF), nas mãos do ministro-relator Eros Grau. O processo foi parar no STF, no início do ano, ante determinação do procurador-geral da República, Antônio Fernando Souza, por envolver autoridades com direito a foro privilegiado. Somente em agosto passado, com base em um parecer do procurador-geral, Grau decidiu arquivar o caso. Entendeu o ministro não haver qualquer indício capaz de provar a existência das supostas contas no exterior. Os autos voltaram à primeira instância da Justiça Federal de Brasília e, de lá, para as mãos de Rosseti. A partir de então, as investigações resumiram-se aos casos de Lacerda, Gushiken e Dirceu, pelo fato de o trio não ter sido incluído no balaio do foro privilegiado do Supremo.

Though the investigation supposedly lasted 18 months, Rosseti was active for only 11 months, in fact. This because for 7 long months, the case was held up in the Supreme Court by Justice Eros Grau. It wound up there at the beginning of this year based on a determination by the federal attorney, Antônio Fernando Souza, that it involved officials with a right to a privileged forum. Only last August, based on a finding by Souza, did Grau decided to dismiss the case. He found there was no evidence of the existence of the alleged offshore accounts. The case file was remanded to the lower court in Brasília, and from there, came into Rosseti’s hands. From then on, investigations into those cases were added to the cases of Lacerda, Gushiken, and Dirceu, who had not been found to have a right to a privileged forum.

Rosseti, então, entrou em contato com o Departamento de Recuperação de Ativos e Cooperação Jurídica Internacional (DRCI) do Ministério da Justiça para utilizar as ferramentas de acordos de cooperação mútua com a Suíça (onde haveria as supostas contas de Lacerda e Gushiken) e as Ilhas Cayman (Dirceu). Esperou por 60 dias e recebeu informações lacônicas. O governo suíço alegou impedimento legal para responder ao pedido porque, formalmente, só pode abrir esse tipo de informação se houver provas de envolvimento do suposto correntista com crimes de corrupção no país de origem. Ou seja, se o indício de corrupção for justamente a existência de contas no exterior, a suspeita morre no nascedouro. Em Cayman, não foi diferente. Nos dois casos, a PF contou com o apoio do Conselho de Controle de Atividades Financeiras (Coaf), o órgão de inteligência do Ministério da Fazenda, para chegar à conclusão de que nenhum dos envolvidos jamais havia remetido dinheiro algum para as supostas contas levadas por Dantas à Veja.

Rosseti then got into touch with the DRCI, the Ministry of Justice’s Department for Asset Recovery and International Cooperation, in order to make use of mutual cooperation agreements with Switzerland (where the Lacerda and Gushiken accounts supposedly existed) and the Cayman Islands (Dirceu’s alleged account.) He waited 60 days and received terse replies. The Swiss government alleged legal obstacles to responding to the request, because technically speaking it can only provide this type of information if there is evidence that the supposed accountholder is involved in crimes of corruption in his or her country or origin. That is to say, if the evidence of corruption is precisely the existence of offshore accounts, the suspicion dies stillborn. The same occured in the Caymans. In those two cases, the PF was supported by COAF [the Brazilian FinCEN, sort of], the Treasury ministry’s intelligence bureau, and concluded that none of the parties had every sent a single dime to the alleged accounts that Dantas took to Veja.

The byzantine passions of the case at hand aside, this narrative of the “follow the money” investigation is damned interesting for its own sake. Which is why I am always ready to provide a reader testimonial: CartaCapital is almost always worth the cover price. You can learn stuff.

Além disso, o delegado foi atrás dos endereços brasileiros de dois dos bancos envolvidos no caso, o Delta Bank, dos Estados Unidos, e o Deutsche Bank, da Alemanha. Nas agências localizadas em São Paulo, também não conseguiu sucesso. Foi informado de que somente as agências envolvidas no caso poderiam se pronunciar sobre as contas. No relatório final, entregue ao MPF, Rosseti aproveitou para criticar a burocracia e a ineficiência dos tais acordos de assistência judiciária mútua assinados pelo Brasil com outros países. As ferramentas, embora tenham sido boladas para facilitar a comunicação e a investigação entre as justiças internacionais, atrapalham mais do que ajudam, de acordo com o parecer de Rosseti.

Rosseti also went after the Brazilian addresses of the two banks involved in the case — Delta Bank in the U.S. and Deutsche Bank in Germany. At the agencies located in São Paulo, he had no success. He was informed that only the branches involved in the case could comment on the accounts. In the final report handed over to the MPF, Rosseti took the opportunity to criticize the bureaucracy and inefficiency of Brazil’s mutual assistance treaties with other countries. The tools, though designed to facilitate communication and investigation among law enforcement agencies of different nations, hindered more than they helped, according to Rosseti’s report and finding.

Como último recurso, pediu aos advogados de Lacerda, Gushiken e Dirceu para estes solicitarem, em caráter pessoal, informações sobre as tais contas nos referidos bancos. Os pedidos foram feitos, mas nem os supostos detentores das contas conseguiram obter dos bancos estrangeiros informações sobre se eles próprios eram detentores de numerários nas instituições. Inacreditável.

As a last resort, Rosseti asked attorneys for Lacerda, Gushiken and Dirceu to personally request information on said accounts at said banks. The petitions were made, but not even the supposed accountholders could get the foreign banks to provide information about whether they were the owners of accounts in those institutions. Incredible.

Um primeiro parêntese: O Delta Bank é uma instituição conhecida das autoridades brasileiras. Milhões de dólares de envios ao exterior feitos pelo Banestado, no maior escândalo de remessas ilegais da história do Brasil, passaram por lá. O Opportunity de Dantas, personagem central dessa trama, era useiro e vezeiro das “facilidades” do Delta. O banco de DD usou a instituição norte-americana para movimentar contas de aplicadores no Opportunity Fund, sediado em Cayman. Os gestores do fundo foram condenados pela Comissão de Valores Mobiliários (CVM) por abrigar investidores brasileiros, o que feria regras do sistema financeiro.

A first aside: Delta Bank is well known to Brazilian authorities. Millions of dollars of remittances made by Banestado, in the biggest scandal of illegal remittances in the history of Brazil, passed through it. Opportunity, the bank headed by Dantas, the central figure in this episode, was a user and [habitué] of Delta’s “facilities.” Dantas’ bank used the U.S. financial institution to transact with the accounts of investors in its Caymans-domiciled Opportunity Fund. The fund managers were punished by [the Brazilian SEC] for hosting Brazilian investors, which is against the rules of the Brazilian financial system.

Um segundo parêntese: Na longa disputa judicial travada com o ex-sócio Luiz Roberto Demarco, e da qual saiu derrotado, Dantas e a irmã, Verônica, executiva do Opportunity, foram acusados de forjar documentos e provas. Entre os papéis falsificados, segundo a conclusão da Justiça britânica, estavam assinaturas de clientes do fundo sediado na ilha caribenha. Dessa forma, os executivos brasileiros movimentavam dinheiro à revelia dos aplicadores. Em tese, poderiam abrir contas em nome de terceiros sem autorização.

A second aside: In the drawn-out legal dispute with his former partner, Demarco, which he lost, Dantas and his sister Verônica, an Opportunity executive, were accused of forging documents and evidence. Among the forged papers, a British court concluded, were the signatures of clients of the Caymans-domiciled fund. In this way, the Brazilian executives moved money without their investors’ knowledge. In theory, they could open accounts in the names of third parties without authorization.

Ao Ministério Público, Rosseti alegou não ter encontrado outro crime senão o de calúnia, no caso de Dantas. Ele teria até pensado em usar a Lei de Segurança Nacional, por causa do envolvimento do nome do presidente Lula, mas achou que isso iria reforçar uma das teses de defesa usadas por Dantas, sobretudo em processos respondidos por ele no exterior: o de perseguição política por parte do governo brasileiro. Com certa freqüência, afirma ter sido extorquido em 50 milhões de dólares, em 2003, pelo então tesoureiro do PT, Delúbio Soares. Assim como até agora não provou ter pago nada ao PT, Dantas também não conseguiu se livrar da acusação de ter montado o dossiê.

To the Public Ministry, Rosseti alleged not having discovered any other crime except that of [calumny, slander, libel] in the case of Dantas. He even though of invoking the National Security Law because of the president’s involvement, but thought this would only reinforce one of the defense theories used by Dantas, especially in lawsuits he faces abroad: That of political persecution by the Brazilian government.

And charging him under Brazil’s atavistic, dictatorship-era 1967 press law — a frequent target of international criticism — does not feed into that defense theory? And what provision is he to be charged under, by the way? I happen to have a copy right here, and I am curious.

He has frequently asserted having been extorted to the tune of $50 million in 2003 by then treasurer of the Workers’ Party (PT), Delúbio Soares. Just as he has yet to prove he paid anything to the PT, Dantas has not managed to free himself of the accusation of having dummied up the “dossier.”

Nem poderia. Além da confirmação obtida pela PF dos encontros do banqueiro com os repórteres de Veja, sobram provas da ligação de Dantas com Holder. Na edição 394, de 24 de maio de 2006, CartaCapital publicou um extrato de pagamentos no valor de 838 mil dólares ao ex-agente da CIA feitos pela Brasil Telecom em períodos em que a operadora era controlada por DD. O extrato integra o relatório de auditoria realizado após o Citibank e os fundos de pensão, principais acionistas, terem conseguido retomar o controle da empresa. Segundo os auditores, não foram encontradas comprovações dos serviços prestados por Holder à operadora de telefonia.

Nor could he. Beside the confirmation by the PF of his meetings with Veja reporters, there is other evidence of his ties to Holder. In Issue No. 394, of May 24, 2006, CartaCapital published [records reflecting] payments in the amount of $848,000 to the former CIA agent made by Brasil Telecom at a time when it was controlled by Dantas. The records are part of the audit conducted after Citibank and the pension funds, the principal shareholders, managed to wrest control of the firm from Dantas. According to auditors, no records were found documenting the services rendered by Holder to the company.

Not sure how to translate extrato de pagamento precisely — cancelled check? payroll register? — the translator fudges.

A PF acredita em dois motivos principais para o crime. DD queria se vingar de Bastos e Lacerda, por conta da Operação Chacal. A investigação, realizada em outubro de 2004, resultou em uma devassa na contabilidade do Opportunity e na apreensão do disco rígido do computador central do banco. Em 2006, depois de a ministra Ellen Gracie, do Supremo, tê-lo mantido sob sigilo por dois anos, foi dada autorização da análise do conteúdo do hard disk (HD), com algumas limitações. O HD será analisado pela 5ª Vara de Justiça Federal de São Paulo, onde tramita uma ação contra o banqueiro e diretores da Kroll em decorrência da arapongagem, em 2002, de desafetos e concorrentes do dono do Opportunity. Na denúncia do MPF, Dantas é apontado como “chefe de uma quadrilha internacional de espionagem”.

The PF believes in two motives for the crime. Dantas wanted to revenge himself on Bastos and Lacerda for Operation [Jackal.]

They raided the offices of Opportunity and Kroll, claimed to have found evidence of illegal wiretapping, and brought criminal charges.

That investigation, in October 2004, resulted in a thorough analysis of Opportunity’s books and the seizure of the hard drive of the bank’s central computer. In 2006, after Supreme Court Justice Ellen Gracie had maintained the hard drive under seal for two years, authorization was given to analyze its contents, with some restrictions. The HD will be analyzed by the Fifth Bar of the São Paulo Federal Court, in which a case is underway against Dantas and Kroll executives for illegal wiretapping, in 2002, of rivals and competitors of the Opportunity owner. In the federal indictment, Dantas is charged with being “head of an international spy ring.”

As outras autoridades teriam sido incluídas no dossiê porque DD pretendia pressioná-las. À época, o Opportunity disputava o controle da Brasil Telecom com o Citibank, a Telecom Italia e os fundos. Durante a investigação, Rosseti recebeu cópias de extratos de teleconferências e e-mails trocados na Brasil Telecom, quando Dantas estava no comando. Neles, o banqueiro trata com Holder do monitoramento de autoridades no Brasil. Coincidentemente, as mesmas relacionadas, depois, no dossiê, como detentoras de contas no exterior.

Other officials might have been included in the dossier because DD intended to pressure them. At the time, Opportunity was disputing control of BrT with Citibank, Telecom Italia and the pension funds. During the investigation, Rosetti received copies of extracts of teleconferences and e-mails exchange at BrT when Dantas was running it. In these, the banker discusses the monitoring of Brazilian autorities with Holder. Coincidentally, the same authorities later reported to be the holders of offshore accounts.

Rosseti ouviu o banqueiro no Rio de Janeiro. DD afirmou ter tomado conhecimento das tais contas durante uma reunião nos Estados Unidos entre diretores do Opportunity e da Kroll. Em seguida, diz ter contado a história para os repórteres de Veja em um encontro em setembro de 2005. Os jornalistas Márcio Aith e Mário Sabino foram ouvidos formalmente pelo delegado e confirmaram a história. A Rosseti, disseram ter recebido a lista das contas, primeiro, por fax. Depois, em um envelope entregue à Editora Abril por Holder. Este último, embora indiciado, jamais foi encontrado pela PF, desde o início das investigações. O delegado pediu, inclusive, auxílio ao FBI (a polícia federal americana), sem sucesso.

Rosseti took a statement from the banker in Rio. DD said he learned of these accounts during a meeting in the U.S. between Opportunity and Kroll execs. He says he then told the story to the Veja reporters in a meeting in September 2005. Journalists [sic] Márcio Aith and Mário Sabino gave formal statements to Disney and confirmed the story. They told Rosseti they had first received the list by fax, and later, in an enveloped delivered to the Editoral Abril by Holder. Holder, though charged, was never located by the [Brazilian feds] at any time during the investigation.

I know his business address, at least.

And I know who his lawyer is.

His lawyer, conveniently, is also his employer.

Since February 2005, Kroll now claims.

(The founding partner of the lawfirm he works for, now deceased, represented the Luchese crime family of New Jersey in his day. True fact.)

It’s all a matter of public record.

I read about his new job in Crain’s New York Business, an announcement I found, incredibly, just by googling the guy.

(Actually, it was a little more sophisticated than that: I looked him up in the press archives at the public library. Over the Internet, though.

Sadly, most Brazilians grew up in a country without adequate public libraries, and so may not be accustomed to the idea that well-organized collections of public information like this are freely available.)

Rosseti even asked the FBI for help, but without success.

In this day and age, FBI agents are still not issued a computer as standard equipment.

A technology Big Dig to update its technological infrastructure has developed many of the characteristics of its Boston namesake, the city’s ill-fated Pharaonic traffic engineering project. I saw this on C-SPAN.

Some years ago, when an FBI agent in the Southwest tried to inform headquarters about some suspicious character who was reported taking flight training — and telling his instructor he did not need to learn how to land — he had to send it by snail mail, basically.

It did not arrive in time to do any good.

A participação de Holder e da Kroll Associated, empresa veterana em escândalos de arapongagem ilegal no Brasil, é outro ponto pouco esclarecido pela investigação. Formalmente, a Kroll nega qualquer participação no caso do dossiê falso e imputa toda a responsabilidade a Holder, fora da firma, segundo informação passada à PF, desde dezembro de 2004. A empresa abriu um processo contra o ex-funcionário nos Estados Unidos dois dias depois da publicação da história do dossiê, em clara estratégia de salvaguarda. Alegou descumprimento, por parte do ex-agente da CIA, dos deveres de consultor. No processo, Holder aparece, porém, como formalmente contratado pela Kroll até 28 de janeiro de 2005.

Holder’s role, and that of Kroll Associated [sic; Kroll Associates], a veteran of wiretapping scandals in Brazil, is another point left murky in the report. Formally, Kroll denies any role in the case of the false dossier and imputes all responsibility to Holder, who left the firm, according to information passed to the PF, since December 2004.

Holder resigned in December and terminated employment in January, but signed a consulting agreement in February. I think the parties to their contract dispute have stipulated to that.

Fortes goes on to say that, too: his official last day at work was January 28, 2005.

Kroll has been in other wiretapping messes?

List, please!

(Stick it in a sidebar.)

I recall its parent company running into some trouble with Attorney General (now Governor) Spitzer, too ….

Ocorre que, três dias depois, 1º de fevereiro de 2005, Holder fechou um contrato de consultoria independente com a Kroll para prestar serviços, justamente, à BrT, então sob a gestão de Dantas. Na ação de maio de 2006, impetrada em Nova York, a Kroll acusa Frank Holder de ter acertado com a Brasil Telecom um contrato paralelo para serviços de investigação. Agora se sabe o teor da consultoria e quem, de fato, pagou pelo serviço, embora tudo tenha acabado em um simples processo de calúnia. Há chances incalculáveis de Dantas se safar desta. Como de costume. Estamos no Brasil.

It happens that three days later, on February 1, 2004, Holder signed an independent consulting contract with Kroll to render services to BrT, then under Dantas’ direction.

And to another company. I have been meaning to look that up.

Fortes gists the lawsuit against Holder by Kroll, then winds up:

Now the nature of that consulting is known, and who, in fact, paid for the service, even though it all ended in a simple libel case. There is actually some incalculable chance that Dantas will save himself from that charge. As usual. Only in Brazil.

Mr. Forte seems gloomy about the outcome.

He seems to suggest that the investigation, was, well, maybe a little on the Mickey Mouse side.

He should heed the wit and wisdom of the fun-loving, Nazi meeting-attending, dream-factory imagineer, Walt Disney, himself:

“You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you.”

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