When The Incompetent Meet The Corrupt: The U.S. Postal Service vs Lance Armstrong

Left to right: Lance Armstrong's lawyers, the U.S. Postal Service, Lance.

Left to right: Lance Armstrong’s lawyers, the U.S. Postal Service, Lance.

The U.S. Postal Service, virtually insolvent and incapable of doing anything about it, wasted $31 million in 2000 on a four-year contract sponsoring Lance Armstrong and his cycling team. Why? Search me. Still, it was , the Service says, paying to endorse champions, not cheaters, which is what Armstrong and his team were. Now Postal Service is joining a false claims lawsuit, claiming that Armstrong and the team defrauded the government and violated their sponsorship contract by using performance-enhancing drugs. The Postal Service filed the suit shortly after Armstrong finally admitted that what had been alleged for over a decade, what he had denied and sued over and attacked and protested and postured indignantly in pained and defiant terms was, in fact true. He had used illegal and banned substances and methods on the way to his epic success, hero status and world fame.

Armstrong is also a crook, taking millions from the Post Office and other sponsors who believed he was a real champion rather than a phony one. It would be nice, inspiring even, if just one lying, cheating miscreant voluntarily returned the millions he acquired through dishonest means, rather than using those millions to hire super-lawyers to allow him to keep the ill-gotten gains. Lance, however, bottom of the ethics barrel-scum feeder that he is, would not be my most likely candidate for such a noble display. Indeed, he is living up to my low expectations.

Lance’s lawyers have asked a federal judge to throw out the lawsuit, arguing that the U.S. Postal Service got what it paid for from its sponsorship of him and his team. “The government wanted a winner and all the publicity, exposure, and acclaim that goes along with being his sponsor,” the  court filings argue. “It got exactly what it bargained for.” Since the government was aware  of investigations into allegations that his team was using performance-enhancing drugs at the time of the contract was signed, Armstrong is claiming that it is too late and disingenuous to say they didn’t know he and his team was dirty.

Or, as Otter memorably says to Flounder after the Deltas wreck his brother’s car in Animal House, “You can’t spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes. You fucked up!  You trusted us! ”  True, Lance was playing the virtuous champion smeared and unjustly persecuted, but come on. Who was stupid enough to believe him? I mean, other than just about everybody?

Armstrong is making the clever but miserable argument that  the U.S. Government’s quest for burnishment by association with a winner was  successful whether the winner was cheating or not, and furthermore, the government didn’t care which it was. Who knows—the defense may work. It’s slimy, and cynical, and Armstrong is trying to get away with defrauding the American taxpayer, who were also robbed by the inept Post Office wasting their money on bicycle racing sponsorships in the first place. Whether it works or not, let’s hear no more—ever-–about Armstrong being contrite, or full of regret, or remorseful, and most of all, let us never hear about how everyone deserves a second chance. Here was a second chance to do the right thing and return money he took under false pretenses from his country.  He doesn’t want the chance, thank you–he wants the money. That’s Lance.

Armstrong is a sociopath motivated by greed and self-interest. He isn’t a patriot, he isn’t a hero, and he doesn’t have a noble instinct in his body. Congrats, Lance, you scammed the pathetic Postal Service, and got the government to waste more money.

What an awful human being.

__________________________

Sources: Washington Post 1, 2, Business Insider

Graphic: Armed Robbery Files

 

18 thoughts on “When The Incompetent Meet The Corrupt: The U.S. Postal Service vs Lance Armstrong

        • I am curious like Farmstead. I saw, on the silly program “1000 Ways to Die,” a depiction of something which, I believe, was a Greek bigshot’s way of thanking some guy for the guy’s creative construction of a death chamber – created for the bigshot’s entertainment. The guy invented/constructed a large, hollow, steam-emitting metal bull. The bull derived its steaming-from-the-nose capability (I presume that is where it steamed from, that is, if not from the horns too) from having a person placed inside of it and cooked, as a result of building a fire underneath the big bull’s body. There’s no fun quite like being cooked inside your own made-for-killing oven.

  1. Your mention of using his ill-gotten gains to hire super lawyers made me think of something- when an alleged drug kingpin is arrested, his assets are often seized and cannot be used to pay for legal defense because you are not allowed to profit from a criminal act- to do crime to get money and then use a portion of the money to get away with the crime.

    I’m curious why that wouldn’t apply here- does the rule not apply to civil suits? I’m fairly sure some, though not all, steroids and doping agents are illegal. Or do I just have that rule confused (stupid Law and Order marathons…)

    • Civil suits do not necessitate forfeiture. Also, the idea of civil asset forfeiture upon suspicion of a crime is beyond horrible.

  2. Interesting mention of the ancient Greeks (not the Deltas, although any mention of “Animal House” is always commendable and I wonder what the fellows at the Jewish fraternity are saying about Lance Armstrong). Again, the U.S. is essentially a Classical Greek culture, ethically speaking. The rules don’t apply to the Titans and the Gods. The rules are for the little people, the mortals. The Alex Rodriguezes and Lance Armstrongs of the world get to take magic potions and do mythical things and cavort with rock starlets in PR heaven, until they tire of the rock starlets and throw them to Earth. They’re never ethical, they’re Gods. And the Oprahs of the world are their Homers. Although that’s not really fair to Homer. He had a critical eye, even though he was blind.

    • Again, I like the analogy. But the ancient Greeks wrote their mythic stories about the Gods and Heroes who became great by embracing society’s values and virtues followed by their inevitable fall and punishment due to flaunting society’s values and virtues or embracing particular vices. The intent being to teach the ordinary Greek that certain behaviors were unacceptable.

      Modern celebrities and leaders (who you analogize) are not being used to teach people how not to be, but rather are encouraging the same behavior among the masses.

      • But isn’t Bill’s point that the celestial celebs, even though they may be encouraging the mortals to follow the gods’ leads and some mortals are acting out as such, are demonstrating their entitlement to their behavior at the expense of the mortals for whom such behavior remains off-limits, crimes etc? That is, there is no double standard, only a standard, which is that some people are more equal than others?

        • That is, there is no double standard, only a standard, which is that some people are more equal than others?

          Perfect.

      • Re-read your Bullfinch’s when you get the chance now that you’re no longer in HS and have seen the world for yourself. The Gods were total awful. They were anything but role models. If anything, their awful behavior was used to explain the chaos nature seemed to be constantly visiting upon mortals. Remember what Zues tossed down when he was pissed, which was most oft he time?

  3. Who was stupid enough to believe him? I mean, other than just about everybody?
    **************
    I believed Lance.
    I’m usually an excellent judge of character but I still believed Lance.
    Maybe because at the time we really needed an American hero, one that was rubbing it in the faces of the Western Europeans that just could not shut up about how stupid, fat, and warmongering Americans were.

    Never a follower of cycling, I now ate my evening meal over the day’s replay of the race, cheering for US Postal.
    Each new yellow jersey made my eyes sting with tears.
    Some nights I felt the same swell of pride as I did when I watched the Shuttle Atlantis launch (in person).
    These are your countrymen, I thought.

    Live and learn.

  4. Re-read your Bullfinch’s when you get the chance now that you’re no longer in HS and have seen the world for yourself.
    ********************
    I’m on a Raymond Carver binge. 🙂

  5. I’m reluctant to comment on such an old post; however, I don’t want to comment off topic in a current post. Why is this scum bag (Lance Armstrong) being given more airtime? Why would anyone want to see another interview of this crook, cheater, cretin, asshole, etc.?

    I’m watching the first game of the Stanley Cup Playoffs Monday evening when during the first intermission, they have clips from his latest interview that aired (I guess sometime this week). I tuned in for hockey, not cycling cheaters.

    Sorry, I had to find someplace to vent.

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