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6/15/01

STRAPPADO WRACK

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Above the Law for Some - Means Justice Denied for Us

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Let no man forget that the prosecutors are the agent of the State. Their capacity to decide if a case should be pursued, the kind of charges to be filed or if the action itself needs to be dropped, is a power that few within our Society possess. Today we have two notable examples that ought to rock the confidence of the average citizen in this system gone mad. The Justice Department is no longer demanding that former FBI agent Robert Hanssen face the death penalty. Contrast this decision with the one on the state level, that moved to dismiss the involuntary manslaughter charge against FBI sharpshooter Lon Horiuchi, of Ruby Ridge fame. What do they both have in common?

The image of the blindfolded woman, that we are so familiar with, gives the impression that justice is being handed out in the courts without regard to one's race, gender, or social background. But does her vision penetrate the cloth curtain of universal equality as she bestows favorable treatment to those of her own, who serve or could harm the interests of the State? The average man on the street is perplexed when accounts like these are offered as rational for the expediency that taints these decisions. The reasons presented for not seeking the death penalty for Hanssen seems suspect now that McVeigh has just paid the ultimate price. Who did more damage to America? Can the exposure of methods and procedures in operations be more important to keep out of open court, than the accountability? Well, we all know the sad answer to that question.

But what about the dismissal of charges against Horiuchi? Where is the pressing national interest in this determination? The egregious conduct of this goon is beyond the pale. Just following orders is not a defense. Nor can a society remain FREE if it allows its citizens to be murdered by elements of sanctioned SWAT Teams. The essence of both decisions is that government has interests separate from the public and the governance of justice. When a perceived conflict is detected, the State closes ranks, protects their own and allows the symbol of equal justice to be raped.

That assault is not just against her. It is an attack against each and every one of us. A dagger is poised at her heart and soon will reduce this lady to an expired corpse. Killed by those who swore to protect and honor her, and buried by the rest who ignored her passing. At the core of an orderly and free society is the requirement for Justice. Having different standards for an inner circle is cancerous. But evading accountability for those in authority is the death nill of a civilization.

The numbness that instances like these strike upon our collective consciousness is a result of decades of benign neglect. But that innocuous quality has forged a disconnect from the consequences that indifference breeds. What was just once inattention, has now become acceptance. What once was disregard is now concurrence. And what was many years ago just insensitivity, is now complicity. We all let them do this to US . . .

You already know the details and the sorry circumstance that befell Mrs Weaver. You also know that Horiuchi pulled that trigger. But are you willing to accept that the same can be done to you and your family? It could and most would conclude that you probably deserved it, if the squad was set in. Horiuchi is not unique. How many of his ilk follow those same orders all too frequently?

But let us hope that Hanssen is the rare exception! However; after Walker, Pollard and Ames, can any of us be secure when the turncoats are turning over the keys to the nations secrets? When plea bargains become the chosen method to impose resolution, the public is short changed from the entire sorted story in open court. What is feared is that the accomplices will be exposed. The agencies, their policies and cultures cannot bear the risk of public scrutiny. Isn't that the real reason that deals are cut, so that the only the tip of the icebergs are divulged, while the hidden details are concealed for the good of the government?

When the 'First Traitor' was let off the hook for his treason in his dealings with China, you witnessed the dissolution of the American character. Horiuchi is a storm trooper in that demise. Hanssen is an opportunist who sought to profit from that collapse. And we are all the gored victims of their mutual degeneracy. But our shared responsibility for allowing this ongoing decline to go on uninterrupted, is the burden we all bear. Our penalty is to live under continued abuses. There is a price to be payed by the little people for their misdeeds, but leniency for state sponsored terrorists and traitors. If only Lady Justice would cast off that blindfold and open her eyes to the duplicity that now serves as her bar of equity! When will accountability be dispensed, and when will responsibility become the standard?

SARTRE - June 15, 2001

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