American Justice Isn’t Blind; It’s Simply Well Bribed

 On October 13, the New York Times “News Alert” to online subscribers was:

Hedge Fund Founder Raj Rajaratnam Sentenced to 11 Years in Insider Trading Case

Should this make us feel good about the rule of law in America? Presumably our justice system is now patting itself on the back because it nailed a Wall Street player like Raj Rajaratnam for insider trading. But isn't that like a cop handing out a summons for illegal parking while ignoring a rape taking place right before his eyes?

Sure, Raj is a Wall Street crook and should go to jail. But his crime didn’t have any real victims, and was only “petty cash” when compared to the Wall Street crooks from Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, and CitiGroup, who destroyed our economy, stole $16 trillion from the taxpayers, and threw millions out of work (and out of their homes). Yet they have not been (and probably never will be) prosecuted, let alone put in jail. Instead, they are all sitting on multi-billion dollar bonuses and happily sipping mojitos in the Hamptons.

 That’s the way justice operates in America. We righteously put street-level drug dealers in jail, but wouldn’t think of prosecuting the high-level politicians who enable them by keeping drugs illegal (and profitable), or fining the big U.S. banks that complicitously abet the international drug cartels by laundering their obvious (and easily traceable) cash flows.

 The deck is stacked. The big guys never have to pay. If you murder your neighbor, you get the death penalty. But if you murder hundreds of thousands in deceitfully instigated wars – as Kissinger did in Vietnam and Cambodia, as Obama is doing in Afghanistan and Libya -- you get the Nobel Peace Prize.

 No wonder the Tea Partiers are on a rampage and the 99-per-centers are occupying Wall Street. The mainstream media would like us to believe that Tea-Partiers and Wall Street Occupiers are motivated by Right- or Left-wing political agendas. But in fact they are neither Left nor Right; they are simply fed up – frustrated and deeply resentful at the obvious unfairness that pervades so much of our society.

 It simply remains to be seen whether pressure from either group will force the radical reforms necessary to revitalize our society. Unfortunately, as is usually the case, those with the power to bring about such reforms are the same people who benefit from keeping things the way they are.

AlterNet / By Steve Brown

Posted at October 15, 2011, 4:02am

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