An Unjust Justice System

by Philip Greenspan

February 3, 2003


"The government of the United States is a foster child of the special interests."
--Woodrow Wilson

Those poor peasants who suffered from the cruelties of a despicable ruler were told 'The King Can Do No Wrong.' In fact, whatever the character of the ruler, his subjects were told 'The King Can Do No Wrong.' Translation: the guy who's got the clout is the guy who wins the bout. And buddy, it ain't been changed a bit. Might still makes right. They're a little more sophisticated in how they pull it off but the results are just the same. The guys who run the show have been learnin' for years how to keep the damn peasants down. And in all those years they have learned pretty well what crap the gullible will swallow and so they've stewed it to his taste. When the new rulers -- the real ones -- knocked off the kings, they realized that there was great power in the people. Hey, with the aid of the masses they were able to kick out the kings. So once they usurped the new governments they had to watch out that the poor souls didn't realize their power and boot them out as well.

When King George's privileged subjects in the new world took over they were very meticulous in how they set up their government. A nice representative group of the fat cats sat down to create a government that would protect their wealth and privileges against the hard working stiffs. (1)

Those revered founding fathers were not ordinary farmers, artisans, soldiers, women, blacks, Indians -- the majority of the people in the country -- but the elite who were anxious to exploit that majority and to protect and expand their wealth. (2)

The Constitution that they drew up made sure that the elite would control the government and that the rights of property would be sacrosanct. Analyze that document and see how cleverly they protected themselves.

And to create that government they violated the instructions that set up the Constitutional Convention. They were directed to amend an existing document that the majority of the people supported -- the 'Articles of Confederation,' an association of individual states -- that was to be unanimously approved by the thirteen states. (3)

Instead, in secret meetings they created a strong central government taking from the states some of their existing powers and resolved that only nine of the thirteen were needed to create that new government. (4) Even then they could not pull it off as easily as they had hoped. To get even nine to approve they had to promise a bill of rights to restrict that government from encroaching on many of the basic rights of individuals. With a great deal of unsavory tactics they were able to achieve the desired ratification. (5)

That constitution was extremely important for them. It insured that they would be the masters of the new country; they would be in control of the country's government; they would enact the laws and they would enforce those laws.

As opposed to the Articles that had only one branch -- a legislative branch elected by the voters from each state -- the new constitution had two additional branches, executive and judicial, both, in the original document, selected by the right people. (6) Having enacted favorable laws, it became necessary to convince the masses that a wonderful paradise had been created and, to the present day, they keep grinding out loads of garbage to keep those innocents content.

"Law and Order;" ". . . liberty and justice for all. . .;" "Equality before the law" -- are just a few of the elegant phrases that are so palatable to the unsuspecting public. Those fancy phrases are great PR devices -- that work. "Law and Order," a very good one, an important principle for maintaining an elite-approved society. Behind it are laws made by the establishment to benefit themselves at the expense of the others. When those others defy those unfair laws they are slapped down. You can't allow lawlessness -- 'We must maintain law and order!'

Justice? Forget it! Law and order is the rule. The Supreme Court, in a decision written by the eminent Oliver Wendell Holmes, ruled that the innocence of an individual established after his conviction may not save him from the death penalty. He was accorded, so they claim, all his rights with a fair trial, and maintenance of order in the judicial system is more important! (7) Wow, an innocent guy and they know it but ya' musn't upset the damn apple cart!

The old Hollywood westerns epitomized it perfectly -- 'We've got to give him a fair trial before we hang him.' What is so wonderful about maintaining law and order is that the right guys not only write the laws that usually screw the little guys to begin with but then the right guys through their police and their courts enforce those laws.

Because men with careers in law enforcement and government bureaucracy are wedded to the rule of law, their humanity has been eroded. Accordingly it took a pharmacist, former Governor George Ryan, to strike a formidable blow against the death penalty. (8)

The years after WWII brought increasing confrontations with the established culture of the U.S. First, blacks fought fiercely against the southern establishment to undo the injustices of Jim Crow. (9) Women took on a fight for their rights. And then millions marched against the continuation of the Vietnam War. All these movements were frightening to the men who run the show.

To reassert control, repressive laws were enacted. The more fearful the big boys become the more repressive are their laws. If they see no threat, why would they enact restrictive legislation?

Still, they love to have ineffective people speaking, publishing and demonstrating. It permits them to convince the gullible of how much freedom they enjoy. But effective voices are silenced and harassed. Historically there was Eugene V. Debs -- an extremely popular Socialist who received over one million votes for president -- imprisoned for speaking against the US entry into WWI. The FBI harassed and/or conducted illegal surveillance of Martin Luther King, Paul Robeson, Albert Einstein and other influential popular figures. (10)

The double barrel approach to law and order requires strict enforcement of the laws after enactment. Government agencies will stop at nothing to achieve desired convictions.

In testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Alan Dershowitz alluded to the public statement of conservative Judge Alex Kozinski of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, a former clerk for Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and a Reagan appointee, "It is an open secret long shared by prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges that perjury is widespread among law enforcement officers." Dershowitz's testimony also cited other law enforcement officials -- police chiefs, another judge, and the Mullen Commission Report -- with similar statements. (11) Starting with the Nixon administration new crime legislation was enacted and enforcement mechanisms were provided for police throughout the country. Those upstarts had to be corralled and the tremendous increase in incarcerations has shown how successful that operation was. (12) The foregoing is just a perfect lead in for ". . . liberty and justice for all. . ." A rudimentary knowledge of how the system really works makes you either laugh or cry. Laugh for how ridiculous that stupid saying is, or cry for all the injustice that exists in a system that proclaims that de jure (13) phrase while the de facto (14) results are so radically skewed.

From colonial days minority groups have been suffering from a plague of discrimination and abuse -- the Native Americans, the dispossessed original occupants whose agony has not ceased, the enslaved blacks and indentured servants. As the country expanded so did the shit list. Immigrants, particularly Asians, were given that special hospitality.

During wartimes, hot and cold, extra special abuses were dispensed. World War I concluded with the infamous Palmer Raids. World War II saw the relocation camps for the Japanese. The cold war bred McCarthyism and Cointelpro. And now Moslems must endure The USA PATRIOT Act and 'Homeland Security' measures.

Perhaps the most absurd statement in the light of the recent corporate scams is "Equality before the law." The current edition of Harper's Magazine, February 2003 (page 11), reports that 344 California inmates are serving 25 years to life under the 3 strikes you're out rule for robberies of less than $400. Since none of the recent corporate culprits have been indicted as of yet, if they ever will be, we do not know what slap-on-the-wrist punishment they might receive but there is a suitable guideline, the S&L Scandal.

Yes, yes, the S&L Scandal. An unprecedented scandal of theft, fraud and corruption that should have gotten those government regulators busy correcting all those defects in the system. They did such a magnificent job that the latest scandals exceed even S&L!

The grand master of depravity, Charles Keating, showed how the supposed servants of the people actually serve. For a nice hunk of change ($1.3 million), he was able to recruit five senators, including the highly respected presidential hopeful John McCain, as well as Alan Greenspan, ($40,000) then a private consultant now head of the Federal Reserve Bank to delay an imminent investigation that would have closed his operation. The delay cost American taxpayers $2.6 billion and 17,000 defrauded investors $190 million. (15) Whoa man, that's lotsa, lotsa, lotsa, lotsa, lotsa, lotsa bucks and looks like $2,600,000,000. and $190,000,000.

But don't fret. That's how the system is supposed to work. Those founding fathers were there to protect the wealthy and the so-called peoples' representatives were there to aid the right people. Oh, yes, for his nefarious deeds Keating was given a ten-year sentence but served only four years before his sentence was overturned on appeal. As to the punishment of other S&L culprits, in spite of papa Bush's claim: "We aim for a simple uncompromising position: Throw the crooks in jail." Very few of the culprits went to jail and for those who did go to prison, the average term was 36 months. (16)

Surprisingly, an occasional admission from that special world is elicited by one of their own should he feel he might benefit from disclosure. The following statement was disclosed by Woodrow Wilson in 1912 while campaigning for president: "Suppose you go to Washington and try to get at your government. You will always find that while you are politely listened to, the men really consulted are the big men who have the biggest stakes -- the big bankers, the big manufacturers, the big masters of commerce.... Every time it has come to a critical question, these gentlemen have been yielded to, and their demands treated as the demands that should be followed as a matter of course. The government of the United States is a foster child of the special interests." (17)

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References and Notes

1.  Jerry Frescia, "Toward an American Revolution," South Island Press Boston, 1988. "The 'inferior' people or 'men of more humble, more rural origins, less educated, and with more parochial interest' had too much political influence; they had used state legislatures, in some instances, to curb private economic power and expansion in the interest of community. . .The Framers preferred a system more like Great Britain in which the 'better' people had the authority to use the state to promote the expansion of a private economy independent of what the 'inferior' people might think is in their best interest." (pg 47)  (back)

2.  Charles A. Beard, "An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States," The Macmillian Company, New York; 1948  (back)

3.  Jerry Frescia, "Moreover, the Constitutional Convention had been called to amend the Articles only and any proposed changes had to be approved by all the states before they were adopted." (pg 50)  (back)

4.  Ibid. "But the Framers defied these legal stipulations, abandoned their authorization to amend the Articles only, designed an entirely new centralized national government, and inserted in the Constitution that it should go into effect when ratified by only nine states." (pg 50)  (back)

5.  Ibid. ". . .a federalist mob went into the homes of two of the more radical assemblymen and dragged them, protesting, through the streets of Philadelphia and into the Assembly hall, their clothes torn, their faces 'white with rage.' . . .'Roving bands of supporters of the new constitution roamed the street, banging on doors and lobbing rocks through windows" (pg 64); "in Massachusetts, a less forceful but somewhat manipulative strategy was used by Constitutional supporters. . .the Conciliatory Proposition asked that amendments to the Constitution be proposed. . .anti-federalists suggested nine amendments. . .The strategy worked. The resistance was broken and Massachusetts ratified the Constitution. The proposed amendments were, for the most part, later pushed aside." (pgs 64-65); "A similar situation unfolded in Virginia when it was pointed out that Massachusetts had proposed amendments to be adopted at a later date. . .the federalists, perhaps ingenuously, accepted every amendment put for the by the anti-federalists. . ." (pg 65); "in New York, two-thirds of the selected delegates were opposed to the Constitution. . . In any case, the federalist were able to secure yet another victory. . .this time by promising to work at once to call a second constitution convention, at which the Constitution could be revised. . . In Maryland, the Constitution was ratified, again with the proposed opportunity for amendments." (pg 65)  (back)

6.  Ibid. The Constitution: Resurrection of An Imperial System (pgs 47-49)  (back)

7.  Moore v. Dempsey, 261 U.S. 86, 87-88 (1923) (Holmes, J.) "[W]hat we have to deal with [on habeas review] is not the petitioners' innocence or guilt but solely the question whether their constitutional rights have been preserved."  (back)

8.  William F. Schulz, "Illinois Governor Ryan's Commutation Empowers 38 Executing States to End Capital Punishment" - http://www.amnestyusa.org/news/2003/usa01112003.html;
Robert Anthony Phillips, "Ryan commutes all death sentences in Illinois" - http://www.thedeathhouse.com/deathhousenewfi_352.htm  (back)

9.  Diane McWhorter, "Carry Me Home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution," Simon & Schuster New York, 2001  (back)

10.  M. Wesley Swearingen, "FBI Secrets: An Agent's Exposé," South End Press Boston, 1995 - Foreward (pgs. i-v)  (back)

11.  Alan M. Dershowitz, Testimony before the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee, December 1, 1999, with citations of the sources. "Police perjury in criminal cases -- particularly in the context of searches and other exclusionary rule issues -- is so pervasive that the former police chief of San Jose and Kansas City has estimated that 'hundreds of thousands of law-enforcement officers commit felony perjury every year testifying about drug arrests' alone. . . . As the Mollen Commission reported: The practice of police falsification in connection with such arrests is so common in certain precincts that it has spawned its own word: 'testilying.' . . . 'the evidence suggests that the . . . commanding officer not only tolerated, but encouraged, this unlawful practice.'. . .William F. Bratton, who has headed the police departments of New York City and Boston, has confirmed that 'testilying' is a 'real problem that needs to be addressed.' He also placed some of the responsibility squarely at the feet of prosecutors: When a prosecutor is really determined to win, the trial prep procedure may skirt along the edge of coercing or leading the police witness. In this way, some impressionable young cops learn to tailor their testimony to the requirements of the law. . . . as Judge Irving Younger explained, 'Every lawyer who practices in the criminal courts knows that police perjury is commonplace.'"  (back)

12.  Christian Parenti, "Lockdown America: Police and Prisons in the Age of Crisis," Verso London New York, 1999; Nixon Goes to War (pgs 9-13)  (back)

13.  De Jure, "legitimate, lawful, complying with the law" - http://www.pixi.com/~kingdom/dejure.html  (back)

14.  De Facto, "actually, in fact, existing" - http://www.pixi.com/~kingdom/defacto.html  (back)

15.  Publicus "State Of The Union -- Corrupt" - http://www.rense.com/general19/stateaa.htm ; Chris Suellentrop, "Is John McCain a Crook?" - http://slate.msn.com/id/1004633/  (back)

16.  Jeffrey Reiman and Paul Leighton; "Getting Tough on Corporate Crime? Enron and a Year of Corporate Financial Scandals" - http://www.paulsjusticepage.com/RichGetRicher/fraud.htm  (back)

17.  Publicus, "State Of The Union -- Corrupt" - http://www.rense.com/general19/stateaa.htm  (back)


Philip Greenspan on Swans (with bio).

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Published February 3, 2003
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