Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, June 9, 2011 11:00 pm

What we’ve learned

Filed under: Evil — Lex @ 11:00 pm

A year ago yesterday, I asked my federal elected officials to take the action required of them by the Constitution with respect to acts of torture and other crimes against humanity ordered and carried out by former and current U.S. government officials. I have reproduced verbatim my original request and all subsequent correspondence, and I’ve summarized a telephone conversation I had with an aide to Sen. Richard Burr.

To summarize: I got no response at all from the White House or from Sen. Kay Hagan beyond the autoresponse one receives when one submits e-mail through their respective websites. The responses I got from Rep. Howard Coble and Burr were only barely on point. They in no way acknowledged the constitutional duties I was calling upon them to carry out.

To the surprise of no one except Dr. Mary Johnson, who has made clear she believes I am an idiot, I am not actually surprised by this lack of response. Sheer odds dictate that the likelihood that the elected officials would even read my note in the first place were exceedingly slim. I thought — correctly — that actually having known Howard Coble in real life for more than 20 years would make it more likely that he would respond personally, but the substance of that response was, to put it kindly, lacking. And while I appreciate the diligence of Sen. Burr’s aides in acknowledging my communication, he gets a big, fat zero in acting on it.

But, as I say, I expected nothing else. This exercise was just that: an exercise, an experiment to test my hypothesis that the rule of law is dead in this country.

Despite having developed this hypothesis over the course of a decade-plus, I still haven’t worked out all the implications. I ain’t that bright and I don’t have that much spare time.

And for sure, it doesn’t mean you can go out and, say, run a red light or rob a bank (with a gun, I mean — mortgage fraud, particularly if you’re anyone in the mortgage food chain other than the borrower — is fine) with impunity.

But here, I think, are some of the things it means:

  • In service of the War on Terror, the government is going to do what it damn well pleases, which is what pleases the interests that profit from that war. If that means allowing crimes by government and its contractors to go unpunished while persecuting those who try to blow the whistle on such activities, so be it.
  • If your crimes are sufficiently, breathtakingly large, if you sin on a world-historical scale, the rest of the world will 1) just throw up its hands and say there’s nothing anyone can do; 2) actually start defending you, in some sick manifestation of Stockholm syndrome; and/or 3) try to get a piece of the action.
  • The era of the United States as (an admittedly flawed) moral paragon is over. The era of payback is only beginning.

And you know what they say about payback.

1 Comment

  1. […] If these things do not happen, then we are not a nation under the rule of law, plain and simple. I wish I could say that we are, but experience suggests that nothing will happen. […]

    Pingback by Is we is or is we ain’t a nation under the rule of law? | Blog on the Run: Reloaded — Monday, April 14, 2014 12:10 am @ 12:10 am

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