• artahammer

Injustice Our Triumph

Updated: Jan 8, 2019

The criminal justice system is aptly named as it exists in tension with a preponderance of the laws it prosecutes civilians for, thus functioning as a criminal’ enterprise. And what an enterprise it is; generating billions of dollars on state and local coffers, it rolls into trillions when the entire enforcement package is considered:


Prisons, courtrooms, jails, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, stenographers, cops, FBI, CIA, DEA, NRO, ICE, BATF, NSA, DOD, ONI, DARPA, the Supreme Court, Justice Department, Blackwater (or whatever they call themselves this week), police stations, cars, boats, helicopters, planes, jets, computer systems, systems analysts, Urban Assault Vehicles, TSA, Homeland Security, guns, bullets, Tasers, pepper spray, mace, clubs, body armor, handcuffs and on and on.


Many will no doubt note that I included the Department of Defense in the above list and some of them will decry my inclusion of the vast, unquenchable military in consideration of law enforcement. But the military has been and continues to be deployed within the continental US for the specific use of law enforcement duties against US citizens, so to exclude that vast sinkhole of despair would be disingenuous. And I ain’t disingenuous.


To further cement the reality of the Pentagon as the ultimate police agency, as they engage in no actual ‘defense’ activities (as evidenced on 9/11) they can then only accurately be described as an offensive international police agency. Because that is exactly the business they are in: enforcing the dictates (laws) of the leaders of the USA upon those they declare existing in violation of them, where ever that might be. The USA is the globe’s angry, racist, drunken, mega-violent cop, dispatching justice through explosive fury and undercover backbiting.


We have a higher prison population than any other nation, sheer numbers (over 2.2 million and climbing) and as a per capita ratio. The land of the free has more of its citizens in the prison system than China or India, with well over a billion citizens each and hundreds of millions of their citizens living in grinding poverty. A nation of 300 million some odd citizens, with more of them in prison than a nation with almost a billion more citizens – let that sink in.


We are also in good company with other nations which kill their citizens: China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Yemen, North Korea, Somalia, Japan, Iraq, Botswana…58 in all. Of those nations, those oh so progressive nations, 23 execute their citizens for drug related offenses. Over the last 22 years 9 nations have executed juvenile offenders.


The USA is included in each of those lists. Like our buddies in Iran, we kill juveniles, drug users and traffickers and, hell, even the retarded. While George Bush Jr. was king of Texas, he presided over the murder of over 150 of his fellow citizens. Americans one and all.


His solitary clemency was to serial killer Henry Lee Lucas, likely a professional courtesy. At least one person that Bush had executed, retarded and under-aged, was found not guilty: after he was murdered. Ironic then isn’t it that a quantifiable serial killer like Mr. Bush could muster the support to steal Iraq, then execute its leader for effectively the same crimes.


Actually, the people Saddam was murdered for murdering were 148 people who had unsuccessfully tried to murder him, exemplifying the wisdom of getting that kind of thing right the first time. The people that Bush murdered in Texas, he knew little to nothing about – they had made no threat to him, their crimes had no personal impact upon him.


How, one wonders, is it a crime to murder people who attempt to murder you but not one to send a sad, pathetic man to his death, with the knowledge that he was a boy when he was arrested and his counsel appeared in court drunk, actually sleeping through parts of the trial. His name was Johnny Frank Garrett and he is now dead, a victim of a system that claims to exist in opposition to murder.


They make a lotta those kinda mistakes in Texas – a coupla good sources are the excellent documentary The Thin Blue Line by Errol Morris and the eye opening novel White Lies by Nick Davies, both detailing deliberate falsification of evidence by district attorneys and prosecutors, cops, corrupt judges as well as paid witnesses. Both were death penalty cases, both men were convicted on unbelievable evidence, imprisoned for years and eventually exonerated, both came within hours of murder by the state.


Apologists will no doubt point to the fact that they were exonerated; but this occurred as the result of the efforts of independent investigators and advocates against the full weight of the state and all the legal resistance they could muster. The case of Randall Adams came to light owing to the documentary about his case, The Thin Blue Line. Most death row inmates don’t get documentaries about them and hence that avenue is not open to them.


Morris didn’t set out to do a documentary about Adams: his original subject was a guy known as Doctor Death, James Grigson. Grigson was popular with Texas prosecutors because he would sit down with the accused for 15 minutes, have them copy some boxes and circles and shapes on a piece of paper, then declare in court that if they were ever released, they would kill again, thereby not only convicting them, but assuring the death penalty. He was good, helping prosecutors win over 100 trials resulting in a death penalty, the issue of actual guilt a lesser consideration.


Our proud legacy of justice for all (who can afford good representation) doesn’t stop with state sponsored murder – some would posit that as a preferable alternative to the primary consequence of incarceration: degradation. The legal system exists for nothing more than generating profit from human degradation. Degradation in the punishment – degradation in the crime.


Where insufficient degradation exists beforehand, the system applies it liberally to assure dehumanization is complete. It is the dirty little secret of no one that prisons are rape cages – young men and women, falsely accused of crimes, convicted of smoking a joint or some other innocuous offense, are locked in cells, cages, with brutal and savage people with the full design of the system that they will be ravaged.


Thus our shame is exposed, as we proxy rape our children for sumptuary crimes – to teach them a lesson. The punishment is a far greater crime than the crime itself and the real criminals facilitate this degradation. They think it’s funny. Educational.


Sumptuary laws are codes of conduct enforced through royal edict. The first noted sumptuary laws were in ancient Greece, decreeing that jewelry and other gaudy apparel was only to be worn by prostitutes, one imagines to avoid the embarrassment of trying to pay a hairstylist for a blow job. As Christianity and Islam really took hold, laws became enacted governing personal deportment, language, over-eating or consuming alcohol.


An interesting note about the prohibition of alcohol in the USA is that the Volstead Act only outlawed the manufacturing and sales of alcohol. So, for example, when opponent Woodrow Wilson saw it would pass, as did his successor Warren Harding, they stockpiled booze so they would not only remain in compliance with the law, but drunk as well. Harding had his booze stored in his temporary residence, the White House.


One wonders as to the prohibition of murder by a government engaged in perpetual warfare.


Consider the case of the West Memphis Three, adeptly chronicled in the Paradise Lost series of documentaries following the course of three pathetic victims of ignorance and racism in Arkansas – two commodities we truck nationally in abundance – over the course of 20 years.

Three preteen boys were discovered in a creek, naked, bound, beaten, sexually mutilated, bled out – dead. The most logical suspect was the drunken, violent, church going, step-father of one of the victims – the boy whose crotch was skinned. He admitted to beating him (his step-son) on the day they disappeared. He had too much suck in a town where the dating pool was apparently limited to family members, mutations and livestock.


So, the local constabulary arrested a 16 year old boy, IQ around 75 (the boy, not the constabulary which was considerably lower), grilled him off the record for 12 hours, then turned on the tape recorder. He told of how he and two other teenage boys had killed the victims as part of a Satanic ritual. Then they arrested the two other boys. Damien, the proposed head Satanist, wore black and listened to Metallica. These were contributing factors to his and the other boys convictions.


After 20 years in degradation, the state agreed that, well, sure they were innocent, but if they were to release them, it could never be admitted to. To avoid costly litigation and civil rights violations and such. So they were released tacitly innocent but still guilty enough for the record to keep the DA and his criminal justice system out of the dock. For raping falsely imprisoned boys by proxy, while letting the killer go free.


What did they do to deserve this? What do millions of people do to deserve this? They make themselves easy targets for the hyenas and jackals of a legal apparatus which profits from human degradation. They are too poor to afford representation, too ignorant of the law to mount an effective defense and too stupid from decades of television and soda pop and tainted drinking water and big Pharma and liquor to even know where to begin. And once you are owned by the legal system your good options tend to dissipate rapidly.


In-country rendition: men in black with machine-guns burst into homes and businesses, killing, looting, destroying, capturing hostages, bringing them back to be held in torturous custody, to be tried in an adversarial court by anyone but one’s peers, convicted, sentenced and locked away for years of forced buggery. Just like war: for profit. Just like war: utterly destructive to human life.


This is not an advocacy of releasing these captives en masse back into the wild, nor a suggestion that there are not many people who do need to be isolated, for the good of all involved. There are truly malevolent people about, on both sides of the prison walls and we are not benefited as a society by allowing predators to rampage unrestricted. Regardless how they dress.


But is it not telling that those who behave the worst in our society are of the system? The majority of violent criminals have had a good deal of training by the system. Foster care, wards of the court, kids start out in juvenile hall and end in the big house. Charlie Manson was raised by the system. Mass murderers like Timothy McVeigh tend toward military backgrounds.


Consider the legal system: a violent apparatus, once engaged, as military, they plow through opposition then investigate the wreckage to establish who was at fault. Police officers, soldiers, government bully boys (and girls) all operate under the premise that their interpretation of events around them is correct to the exclusion of any who might disagree. Opposition is crushed, dissent stifled. The uniform, as Cardinal Richelieu’s vestments, imbues absolute authority.


These our peace officers, trained in violence and armed to the teeth, become the martial force applied to the populace, to shock us into submission, just as employees of the defense department shock and awe others to death. As an army, they view the citizens as the adversary, subjects of their control based upon authority imbued upon them because they were hired by somebody in an office somewhere.


Part of our social stunning is the belief that law enforcement exists to protect the public, while little could be further from the truth. Case after case of citizens bringing action against the police for inaction in the face of crime has set a firm precedent: the police have no mandate, nor legal obligation to help the public. They are law enforcement officers, not public safety monitors.


If you sue them for letting you get robbed, raped, beaten, you will lose, just as surely as you would if you tried to bring prosecution against the police for robbing, beating or raping you. Soldiers follow orders, Sir, yes sir! without thinking. Police enforce the law – busting drug dealers pumps more into police coffers than defending citizens who are in a fix. They will happily show up after and issue citations or arrest annoyances. But, they are not here for us.


We are, by our own measure, the most criminal people on the face of the Earth. More in prisons, more on parole, more in the system than any other nation on the planet, as noted above, even the ones with disproportionately higher populations. We’re a criminal nation.


Yet, we prosecute other nations for being in violation of our dictates, while existing in almost complete violation of our own laws. Police officers break the laws with impunity – daily. Hourly. Like soldiers, spooks, other government authorities and private security contractors, they get away with murder. When they kill, the system backs them to the hilt, or casts them off as ‘bad apples’. Good apples don’t get caught.


The 1996 House of Representatives’ Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence released a report (#3 in Russ Kick’s informative 100 Things You’re Not Supposed to Know) stating that the Clandestine Services (CS) of the CIA commits over 100 thousand extremely serious crimes each year, engaging in highly illegal activities as a matter of course. Murder, abduction, torture, terrorism, rape. Interestingly, there was no suggestion that it should be stopped or even that it was bad, it was merely noted in the report.


The current government exists in pretty much complete tension with its founding document, the Constitution, all human rights accords, treaties (which according to the Constitution are US law) and the World Court, which the USA foisted upon the world, then declared the USA (government) exempt from any of their rulings. All of our presidents’ murder, by proxy, like a Mafia don, “remove da stone from my shoe…” they all lie and during the State of the Union address they lie directly to congress (and the world). You or I try that and see where that gets us.


They don’t see prosecution; they are too insulated, isolated. Other world leaders are punished and executed for war crimes (by us) but ours are only punished for word crimes, if at all. Clinton wasn’t impeached for blowing up Bosnia, or Iraq, or Sudan, he was accused of lying about being blown. Naughty, naughty man. Reagan was only challenged for his approval of any of the numerous felonies committed in his administration – Nixon not for his numerous war crimes, but for his approving of break-ins and cover-ups. Word crimes. Our leaders sign off on the deaths of millions of innocents, or least non-combatants, yet they are challenged over semantics.


We hear the confused bellowing of the conservative, demanding less government and more prisons. Lock em all up, death to socialism! But is not everyone that is locked up supported by the society? Is not prison the ultimate socialized housing project? Is it not interesting that we have no problem socializing the things which oppress us, which diminish our lives and the lives around us (police, soldiers, spies, corporate mercenaries, surveillance, drones, bombs, death) yet oppose things which empower us by improving our lives, (health care, education, infrastructure).


We pay criminals in congress and statehouses to write laws to make pretty much everything illegal, socializing their bad behavior, putting them above the very laws they create. We pay thuggish people to selectively enforce these criminal laws; then pay corporations to build and manage our prisons, an increasingly dismal prospect, because corporations are not about justice and for the most part are very good at skirting the law.


Corporations are about profit. The government takes our tax dollars, pays corporations to take over the prison system, payment based upon occupancy rates. An empty prison, while suggesting either a very successful prison break or law abiding community, is red on the ledgers of companies paid per head. Even though our crime rate is relatively low (among the citizens) the hue and cry for tougher law enforcement, merciless justice and more money for the apparatus are merely corporations seeking more support from the government to keep their profits high. More draconian laws, more filled cells, expanded profit potential – a win/win for everybody but the people who pay for it.


And, with nice little donations to the law and order faction, more crimes are committed in the name of reducing crime and more people unemployed on the outside are reduced to slave labor on the inside, to further bolster corporate profits upon the degradation of our fellow citizens.


Because now corporations can compel prisoners to work for them which – unlike in-country outsourcing (hiring illegal aliens) – becomes tantamount to the concentration camps so popular in Germany in the 30s and 40s. This appears to be our national model: fascism.


Corporatocracy. Rule by the rich.


Money is an invention, that’s all, just something we made up. Originally as a unit of exchange, a way to simplify transactions, evolving into empire and emperors and our frenzied desolation clutching at what we know is invented while plummeting right over the edge of the very real precipice we dance upon, oblivious.


The majority of our criminal population exists because some men, long dead, let another man, a fanatical man also long dead, declare prohibition on certain substances. That prohibition, on the heels of another failed prohibition (well, it was successful at creating the police state and organized crime) has led to the majority of the crime responsible for our vast prison population.


The Volstead Act, which led to the prohibition of alcohol sales and manufacturing, was such an affront to civil liberties that the Constitution had to be amended to make it law and then reamended to repeal it. The prohibition on cannabis, psilocybin, LSD, MDMA (ecstasy) and a host of other intoxicants is not Constitutionally applicable – there is no Volstead Act or multi-state ratification acknowledging the elimination of millions of citizens Constitutional right to control the contents of their person. Alcohol Prohibition, while wrong-headed, was legally ratified as a Constitutional amendment – cannabis and other non-lethal drug prohibition is a series of ordinances and regulations, oppressing human rights through bureaucracy and the legal apparatus of enforcement.


It is estimated that about half our population is on some pharmaceutical or another. Or a bunch. A large number of us drink alcohol, a dangerous drug with a body count of about eighty thousand a year that leads to anti-social behavior. A larger number still embraces some of the most odious fairy tales known to man, tales we still murder each other over.


The decriminalization of drugs, all drugs, would cut crime in half almost immediately, while replacing criminal drug lords with criminal pharmaceutical corporations. The elimination of all advertising for any drug, including alcohol, tobacco and over the counter drugs would reduce our dependency on such things. We would be less inclined to run to the easily swallowed solution without considering all those pesky side effects.


We claim the USA is the greatest nation upon the Earth yet we treat our citizens as criminals and annoyances and enemies – kinda like we treat other nation’s citizens. Perhaps we would be better served considering what the real crimes are. Perhaps we would be better served considering who the real criminals are.


We have met the enemy and, as Pogo opined during Vietnam, he is us.


Peace

© 2012

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