Sunday, November 23, 2008

BANANA REPUBLIC

Here’s a straw in the wind: Recently, a local court of an un-named, fiscally dissolute country, indicted the 2nd-in-command of the national government and the country’s top law enforcement officer for torturing citizens imprisoned in some of the privately-run prisons run – at great public cost – by newly erected private corporations who were awarded contracts by the government – corporations in which the 2nd-in-command held shares of stock; the indictment is for engaging in organized criminal activity.

The state prosecutor refused to show up in court and was being sought – on order of the court – by territorial police. He and other local prosecutors are named as defendants in the charges that they colluded in the whole thing. The missing prosecutor’s official secretary said she doesn’t know where he is. The top law enforcement officer of the nation is accused of attempting to stop investigations into the whole thing.

Attorneys for the high government officials insist – apparently with a straight face – that the local judge should turn the whole matter over to the nation’s top law enforcement agency for investigation.

A local politician is also indicted because he ‘consulted’ for the corporation and received handsome remuneration.

The judge is hobbled because the Clerk of that Court is also under indictment. When the judge asked him whom the Court should appoint as a temporary replacement to handle the cases, the Clerk stated that his deputy is a witness in the trial and the next in line is – spoken presumably with a straight face – ‘out of town’.

The judge gave the task to the Clerk from the next-over jurisdiction, whose chief judge is also under indictment. Charges against some of the other officials include “official abuse of official capacity” and “official oppression”.

After police conducted a raid on his official office earlier in the month, the now-missing prosecutor “camped outside the courthouse in a borrowed camper with a horse, three goats, and a rooster.” He was threatening to dismiss literally hundreds of cases in his purview because “local law enforcement had aided in the investigation against him” – which seems to be what local law enforcement in civilized countries is supposed to do, but not, apparently, in his opinion. We are reminded of the Scooter-Libby defense (no doubt We’ll be hearing it again): criminal law is for ‘criminals’ and is not appropriately deployed against members of the government or law enforcement (remarkably similar to the military justice rule-of-thumb that courtsmartial are for little people and not for the generals).

The world is confronted with this spectacle as a reminder that lawlessness is still rife, and that the cause of true justice is not yet established in this darkling and darkening world.

The jurisdiction is Willacy County, Texas, and the matter is ongoing.

What has happened to Us?

For reference, the AP article is on Truthout, written by AP correspondent Christopher Sherman under date of Thursday, November 20, “Cheney’s Indictment in South Texas Moves Forward”, http://www.truthout.org/112008K )

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