The mainstream media has treated accusations of large-scale fraud in the Pigford settlement with overt skepticism and a distinct lack of journalistic curiosity. The press has blindly repeated the Obama Administration’s claim that there are only a handful of fraud cases among the twenty thousand or so paid Pigford claims. Worse, the media has helped promote the narrative that those raising concerns about fraud in Pigford are racist.
You’re about to watch a video clip where Othello Cross, an attorney for Pigford claimants with about fifteen years of experience on the case, admits that he is personally aware of hundreds of cases of fraud in the state of Arkansas alone. Furthermore, he explains how easy it was to commit that fraud and receive a $50,000 check from the government; it’s appropriate to deduce from Cross’s revealing statement that the actual number of fraudulent claims is likely much higher than the hundreds he knows about.
You’re about to watch this clip for the first time, but the USDA watched it over a week ago — I sent it to them for comment about 10 days ago.
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After a number of phone calls to the USDA, I was given the response that Secretary Vilsack now acknowledges around ten cases of fraud, up from his original statement that there are only three known cases. If I were inclined to spin the government’s response, I’d praise the USDA for finding 300% more instances of fraud in just a few days, but the reality is that the USDA can watch a video where a pro-Pigford claimant lawyer says in no uncertain terms that he knows about hundreds of cases of fraud — over ten million dollars worth at bare minimum — and still will only acknowledge ten cases.
As Andrew Breitbart points out, the media simply doesn’t want to cover Pigford. I also sent this video to a few major media outlets that stated they wanted to “research” this. I haven’t heard back from any of them.
You’ve watched the clip. Do you think Mr. Cross could have been any clearer that there are hundreds of cases of fraud he is personally aware of in just one state? Did the press research the charges of racism against Congressman Steve King? Did they research the government’s claim of three cases of fraud?
This is where citizen pressure can hopefully have some impact on them. If you have a blog, please embed and share this video and give your own opinion. If you have a Twitter or Facebook account, please post the video to your account.
The press and government seem to feel confident that they can ignore this story. Let’s prove them wrong. It’s time for formal hearings that will allow whistleblowers to come forward. It’s time for transparency — transparency for the black farmers who deserve justice and for the taxpayers whose government has wasted billions of their dollars. It’s time to investigate Pigford.