[Marxism] Wash Post - NON punishment will deter lawbreaking by political officials

Dbachmozart at aol.com Dbachmozart at aol.com
Sat Dec 20 09:22:16 MST 2008


 
Glenn Greenwald - salon.com
 
 
Saturday Dec. 20, 2008 07:55 EST
If criminal penalties are removed, what will deter lawbreaking by political  
officials?
clip -- 
The evidence demonstrating that this is an exact analogy to what Marcus is  
advocating, an exact analogy to what we've generally been doing with political  
leaders and are doing now, is equally self-evident.  A central observation  
in Marcus' column is that the controversies that have now arisen over Bush  
lawbreaking in the areas of interrogation and surveillance are not new.  As  she 
points out, these are the very same controversies that we've been  confronting 
for decades. 
That's exactly right.  The same controversies over government  lawbreaking 
arise over and over.  And why is that?  Because our  political leaders keep 
breaking the law -- chronically and deliberately.   And why do they keep doing 
that?   Because there is no deterrent  against it.   Every time they get caught 
breaking the law, the  Ronald Reagans and Ruth Marcuses of the world step in to 
insist that they  should not be punished, that the criminal law is not for 
elite leaders in  political office, that those involved in the noble function of 
ruling America  are too intrinsically well-intentioned to warrant punishment 
even when they  commit crimes, that it's more important to look forward than 
back.   
Every time we immunize political leaders from the consequences of their  
crimes, it's manipulatively justified in the name of "ensuring that it never  
happens again."  And every time, we do exactly the  opposite:  we make sure it 
will happen again.  And it  does:  Richard Nixon is pardoned.  J. Edgar Hoover's 
lawbreakers  are protected.  The Iran-contra criminals are set free and put 
back  into government.  Lewis Libby is spared having to serve even a single day  
in prison despite multiple felony convictions.  And now it's time to  
immunize even those who tortured detainees and spied on Americans in violation  of 
numerous treaties, domestic laws, and the most basic precepts of civilized  
Western justice. 
full ---  
<_http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/12/20/marcus/index.html_ (http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/2008/12/20/marcus/index.html) >
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