CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The oath of allegiance in America dates back to Valley Forge and calls for the defense of the Constitution "against all enemies, foreign and domestic."
But what exactly constitutes a domestic enemy?
How about a force that caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs and homes with millions more losing equity in their pensions and housing values?
That's exactly the economic onslaught that Wall Street investment banks together with predatory lenders wrought upon our country through unregulated derivatives, market manipulation and unbridled greed.
Worst among them was Citigroup, which just this year celebrates its 200th anniversary with a Madison Avenue marketing blitz designed to hide their legacy of corporate corruption.
So deep has Citicorp's reach been into illegal activity that it is impossible to list but a fraction of their countless corrupt and unlawful activities over the years.
In just the past 15 years, Citigroup has been involved in money laundering and conspiracy at the highest level of the Mexican government (1998), a $3 billion settlement for complicity in their role with the Enron scandal (2001), and a $400 million settlement for biased financial research used to deceive their own investors (2002).
Citigroup also paid a $2.6 billion settlement for its role in the WorldCom banking and accounting scandal (2004), and another $75 million settlement associated with its role in the Global Crossing telecommunications bankruptcy (2005).
During this same period, Citigroup was also involved in a European bond scandal that centered on manipulating various government bond markets and was suspended from Japanese retail banking operations for "suspicious transactions, including money laundering."
Citigroup is also the bank that exposed the United States taxpayer to massive losses during the financial crisis of 2008 requiring three separate bailouts totaling $45 billion initially.