Monday, December 15, 2008

The Rule Of Law

Illinois Governor Blagojevich was quickly skewered after being arrested for his efforts to benefit from selecting the person to fill Barack Obama's now empty Senate seat.

Compare and contrast that with this from Glenn Greenwald:

We have a law in place that says it is a felony offense punishable by five years in prison or a $10,000 fine to eavesdrop on American citizens without warrants. We have laws in place that say that it is a felony punishable by decades in prison to subject detainees in our custody to treatment that violates the Geneva Conventions or that is inhumane or coercive.

We know that the president and his top aides have violated these laws. The facts are indisputable that they’ve done so. And yet as a country, as a political class, we’re deciding basically in unison that the president and our highest political officials are free to break the most serious laws that we have, that our citizens have enacted, with complete impunity, without consequences, without being held accountable under the law.

And when you juxtapose that with the fact that we are a country that has probably the most merciless criminal justice system on the planet when it comes to ordinary Americans. We imprison more of our population than any country in the world. We have less than five percent of the world’s population. And yet 25 percent almost of prisoners worldwide are inside the United States.

What you have is a two-tiered system of justice where ordinary Americans are subjected to the most merciless criminal justice system in the world. The full weight of the criminal justice system comes crashing down upon them. But our political class, the same elites who have imposed that incredibly harsh framework on ordinary Americans, have essentially exempted themselves and the leaders of that political class from the law.

No doubt you are concerned, just as I am, that it is yet to be determined if Governor Blagojevich is an ordinary American.

1 comment:

Nick said...

That's a fascinating statement from Greenwald. I hadn't even thought of it in those terms.

What makes me laugh is the phony outrage people are expressing at this whole incident. Is this really the first time a Senate seat has been for sale?

I would actually be more shocked if Blagojevich had chosen a replacement solely on their merits.