SEC Persecutes Mark Cuban for Relationship with Loose Change
November 18, 2008
It’s a classic example of political persecution: a billionaire entrepreneur and owner of the Dallas Mavericks who financed an antiwar film and a landmark 9/11 documentary is the target of an SEC civil suit alleging insider trading.
So obvious and egregious is the persecution of Cuban, the New York Times wrote on November 17: “Did Mark Cuban, the Internet entrepreneur turned owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team, and would-be buyer of the Chicago Cubs, violate insider trading laws in a particularly egregious fashion? Or is he the victim of a political hit job because he helped finance a movie that was scathingly critical of President Bush?”
As the New York Times points out, Cuban may have been targeted not so much for his financing of Brian De Palma’s antiwar movie, Redacted, but rather for his involvement with another controversial film: Loose Change.
“A person close to Mr. Cuban provided me with a copy of an e-mail message said to have been sent by Jeffrey Norris, an S.E.C. lawyer in the Fort Worth regional office,” writes Floyd Norris (no relation to the SEC lawyer) of the New York Times. “This e-mail message seems to have been sent after an exchange in which Mr. Norris complained that Mr. Cuban had financed a movie called ‘Loose Change’ that discusses the president’s actions relating to Sept. 11.”
In the email sent to Cuban, Floyd dismisses the viewpoint presented in the documentary as a “conspiracy theory” and accuses Cuban of “smearing the good name of a patriot like President Bush.” He then promises to send the email to Christopher Cox, the chairman of the SEC who was nominated for that position by Bush. Although there is no actual evidence, it appears the outraged Mr. Norris may have provided the SEC with the idea of going after Mark Cuban for daring to declare his intention of financing Loose Change, not for any serious criminal behavior in regard to stock trading.
Since Chairman Cox may not know the background, I will explain. Mark Cuban is the owner of the Dallas Mavericks and has participated in distributing the vicious and absurd documentary, “Loose Change,” which posits that President Bush planned the demolition of the World Trade Center as a pretext for going to war against Iraq. We have had some past exchanges about my opinion the Mr. Cuban’s support for this project is irresponsible and immoral.
In fact, the Loose Change documentary does not directly accuse Bush of planning the September 11, 2001, attacks, but then neocons and Bush supporters seem to specialize in misrepresenting the facts and making absurd allegations.
On Numerous occasions, Bill O’Reilly used his nationally syndicated bully pulpit to attack Mark Cuban for his association with Loose Change. He also attacked Charlie Sheen and Rosie O’Donnell.
It should be noted that unlike Sheen and O’Donnell, Mark Cuban claims he does not believe the theories posited by Loose Change. “I don’t believe the movie. Not at all,” Mr. Cuban told James Ragland of the Dallas News. “But I do believe that lies in the shadows are far more dangerous than lies you can confront and refute. There probably will be a movie that responds to this one, and we would be more than happy to distribute it as well, for the very same reason.” Bill O’Reilly, however, vehemently disagrees and considers the very existence of Loose Change as unpatriotic and treasonous.
Regardless of Mark Cuban’s opinion on the events of September 11, 2001, the unmistakable conclusion, as the New York Times alludes, is that Cuban has fallen afoul of the SEC not because he is an inside trader, but rather because he has financed two films critical of the government, in particular a film that questions the official version of 9/11, an unspeakable heresy in the political environment shaped by the criminal neocons who brought about a “new Pearl Harbor” in order to realize their agenda of mass murder and unchecked global imperialism.