Thursday, December 20, 2012

It's Official! Justice is America is DEAD (unless you're rich and powerful)

Young women of color serve life sentences for minor drug offenses, while billion-dollar money launderers for drug cartels and terrorists aren't even indicted. What can we expect from a DOJ that attacks medical marijuana patients and providers, but refuses to prosecute Wall Street fraud? This is Obama's DOJ, just one more of the ways he's failed to be an ethical, honest leader.

What will it take for average American citizens to wake up and realize we have lost this country? This isn't our government! It doesn't even pretend to operate for our benefit! The corrupt PTB operate for the the benefit of the investor class, the wealthy, the CEOs. And if this week hasn't convinced you  (assuming you weren't convinced already!) that this government doesn't work for us, than you're probably too dense to participate in a democracy anyway.

The following is from Glenn Greenwald, and it's truly a must-read:

Life Sentence for the Poor, Immunity for the Wealthy
Glenn Greenwald

The US is the world's largest prison state, imprisoning more of its citizens than any nation on earth, both in absolute numbers and proportionally. It imprisons people for longer periods of time, more mercilessly, and for more trivial transgressions than any nation in the west. This sprawling penal state has been constructed over decades, by both political parties, and it punishes the poor and racial minorities at overwhelmingly disproportionate rates.

But not everyone is subjected to that system of penal harshness. It all changes radically when the nation's most powerful actors are caught breaking the law. With few exceptions, they are gifted not merely with leniency, but full-scale immunity from criminal punishment. Thus have the most egregious crimes of the last decade been fully shielded from prosecution when committed by those with the greatest political and economic power: the construction of a worldwide torture regime, spying on Americans' communications without the warrants required by criminal law by government agencies and the telecom industry, an aggressive war launched on false pretenses, and massive, systemic financial fraud in the banking and credit industry that triggered the 2008 financial crisis.

This two-tiered justice system was the subject of my last book, "With Liberty and Justice for Some", and what was most striking to me as I traced the recent history of this phenomenon is how explicit it has become. Obviously, those with money and power always enjoyed substantial advantages in the US justice system, but lip service was at least always paid to the core precept of the rule of law: that - regardless of power, position and prestige - all stand equal before the blindness of Lady Justice.

It really is the case that this principle is now not only routinely violated, as was always true, but explicitly repudiated, right out in the open. It is commonplace to hear US elites unblinkingly insisting that those who become sufficiently important and influential are - and should be - immunized from the system of criminal punishment to which everyone else is subjected.

 Worse, we are constantly told that immunizing those with the greatest power is not for their good, but for our good, for our collective good: because it's better for all of us if society is free of the disruptions that come from trying to punish the most powerful, if we're free of the deprivations that we would collectively experience if we lose their extraordinary value and contributions by prosecuting them.   More here.

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