CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Ohio's newspapers seem to have been stricken with sleeping sickness. Or maybe they have lost consciousness. Or maybe they just don't give a damn. What else could explain how the Los Angeles Times dug up a story about a $4.5 billion Oho corporation that seems to have been treated leniently by the Bush Administration in a case involving pay-offs to terrorists.
The Times says Justice Department prosecutors were "incensed" that nearly three years passed before criminal charges were brought. The company is Chiquita Brands International Inc., which has its headquarters in downtown Cincinnati. There are questions over whether the multi-national received special treatment in Washington:
"According to the Justice Department sources, the prosecutors were incensed by Chiquita's continued payments to the right-wing United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia, or AUC, after what they described as repeated warnings. But current and former department officials said they were opposed on some matters by political appointees in the department . . ."
Reporters in Ohio have not been aggressive in covering this story. Editors in Ohio have not been aggressive in pushing for headlines. It is a major journalistic fiasco, a complete and total failure to explore whether political connections in Washington allowed a giant multi-national company, for a time, to violate federal law.