Friday, December 03, 2004

Is This the Death of Rule of Law?

There is a sense that the political atmosphere in America has become so partisan and charged, that the policies of the government have become so widely opposed and of questionable legitimacy, that the rule of law itself has broken down.  What appears to matter now is not whether an action or policy is legal or ethical, but that it is simply permissible by virtue of the fact that no force exists to effectively counter it.  What matters is simply raw power; the power to block investigation, oversight, scrutiny and above all accountability.

This breakdown extends not only to massive crimes like Abu Ghraib, the war in Iraq, the overthrow of the Haitian government and the theft of the Presidential election(s) in 2000 (and quite possibly in 2004), but also to pending legislation seemingly designed to facilitate and legitimize anticipated future governmental criminal activity.

In this sense, the United States' fanatical obsession with being exempted from provisions of the International Criminal Court serves as strong evidence that a culture of lawlessness has been institutionalized at the highest levels of the American government.

If in fact the United States government no longer respects the rule of law, yet ordinary American citizens remain bound by its restrictions (and in fact can be subject to strategic enforcement or disenfranchisement depending upon our level of resistance to official criminal conduct), how should we respond?

--Daily Kos, Dec 3


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