Sunday, October 19, 2008
The NeoConned assault on Lady Justice: The frightening trend of proving false negatives
America. Land of the free, home of the brave. America. Home to the world's best example of equal justice. For centuries we have operated under the warm blanket of "innocent until proven guilty". Prosecutors are required to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury of 12 fellow citizens who have been selected at random.
Have there been times when the guilty have gone free? Yes. Have there been times when the innocent were found guilty? Yes. The system is not perfect. It does walk in some faithful harmony with our Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Our Founding Fathers believed in humanity for all citizens of the world. This is why you will not find an indirect or direct reference to "U.S. citizens" in the Bill of Rights. For it is a document which outlines what the government can and cannot do against any people of any nation on earth (yes, even members of al-Qaeda!)
The American justice system is currently broken. It used to be that one was presumed innocent until proven guilty. In eight short years the Neoconned have abducted and assaulted our Lady of Justice. The result: if you are not a registered Republican, neoconservative and/or Fox News watcher, you are now presumed guilty until you are proven innocent. Yes, this has happened. Let's take a look back starting on September 12, 2001.
It is considered common knowledge at this point that the Iraq War was essentially planned prior to Bush's inauguration. 9/11 was simply a catalyst to be able to invade Iraq on ridiculously thin intelligence and the brilliant strategy of fear-mongering. When the U.S. were forced to comply to some set of rules laid out by the UN, they requested that Iraq provide intelligence and documentation on its weapons of mass destruction program. When Iraq complied and submitted a 19,000 page document, we conveniently erased the parts that stated that they did not have a WMD program and then asked Iraq again to come clean...or cleaner? Iraq clearly did not have WMD. However, when you send 150,000 troops to the Gulf to "negotiate diplomatically" it becomes increasingly difficult to continue to search (and be patient) for the truth.
Iraq continued to deny that they possessed WMD (most likely due to the fact that they did not have any). We still refused to accept that claim. This is perhaps the first instance of forcing someone, in this case an entire country, to prove a false negative; that is to say, that Iraq was clearly presumed guilty and ultimately was unable to prove its innocence.
As we are discovering on almost a daily basis, the U.S. knew that Iraq did not have WMD. In fact, as early as February of 2001 both Colin Powell and Condi Rice stood before the American public and claimed beyond doubt that Iraq had ceased to produce WMD and that they currently DID NOT possess any operational WMD.
There have been thousands of cases, obviously on a smaller scale, where this fascist system of justice has been present. Wiretapping, torture, denying prisoners habeas corpus are all elements of this upended American ideal. Persons who have spoken out against the war are on the government No Fly List. Protesters have been arrested for no reason other than exercising their constitutional rights. This perversion of real justice is a small but significant step in the direction of transforming a democratic state into a fascist state.
But recently this evil ideology has permeated the presidential race. Because the Republican party is unable to run on any type of solution-based platform, they are now forced to run on personal attacks, rumors and fear-mongering. The Republicans have hugged tightly to the various associations that Barack Obama has had prior to his candidacy. William Ayers, Sal Olinsky, Reverend Wright, the Chicago Cubs and ACORN (okay, not the Cubs but hey, Fox News spares no one in their attempt to start rumors) are the top four words you will hear on Fox News. Forget Osama bin Laden...no, seriously, I mean, I know we're not looking for him and we've already forgotten about him but forget about him again.
You would think these individuals have been responsible for events such as but not limited to: 9/11, the economy, the No Billionaire Left Behind Education Program, the housing crisis, Jamie Lynn Spears getting pregnant, blocking off-shore drilling, gas prices, Larry Craig's bathroom sex sting operation and for giving reporters tricky questions to ask Sarah Palin; questions like, "What newspapers do you read on a daily basis?"
Because Obama has met these individuals on few occasions or has had some type of brief relationship with them, he is presumed guilty and now must prove his innocence.
Here's the predicament. He has explained the connections on numerous occasions. The facts show that he is telling the truth. But since he is being forced to prove a false negative, he is unable exonerate himself.
It is similar to someone accusing you of being in a certain place on a certain day. They didn't see you there but they report the incident as if it were factual. You are then forced to prove something that is false. You are forced to prove you were not there but perhaps you can't because you were home alone during the evening in question. Amazing, isn't it? Our whole system of justice turned upside down. Imagine how court cases would play out. Would anyone be innocent ever again??
What exacerbates this particular situation is when this is played out in the public court of opinion and when the situation involves the future of our country. We are faced with going backwards or moving forward out of the most miserable eight years of our country's existence. We are forced with moving closer to a fascist state of government where the Constitution will continue to be sodomized and civil liberties be stripped away or returning to our fundamental principles that are clearly outlined in the Constitution.
Democracy is an interactive exercise. Let's put the blindfold back on Lady Justice.
"Constitution first, Country second"