Two verdicts were handed down this week that will stand in the annals of law as indictments of the corrupt authorities that rendered them. One verdict came from the embedded mass media in the case of a government scientist who seems to have been framed for murder. “Guilty!” said the commercial press. The other was rendered by a jury of military officers in the case of an Arab who drove for a paramilitary outfit in Afghanistan. “Sir, Guilty, Sir!” declared the brass sharply.
The scientist worked with microorganisms and, according to the FBI, made and mailed the anthrax powder that killed at least one person not long after 9/11. He died last week and federal authorities say he committed suicide. The case against him (and the case for suicide, claimed to be the result of an overdose) is altogether circumstantial and he had no motive. People who knew him discredit the accusations, but the bureau is putting the case to bed, and the reporters are considering themselves well rid of it.
Nobody in the commercial media has suggested that concluding the case on such a dearth of evidence might implicate the commander-in-chief–who exploited the “anthrax threat” as a pretext for war–in this transparent fabrication. “You don’t know and you don’t want to know,” character assassins in the media seem to be arguing. “Let’s just say the scientist did it.”
The Arab driver may have chaufferred Osama Bin Laden and he may have had a rocket launcher in his trunk when he was taken prisoner and he may have confessed to diverse crimes and we’ll never know for sure because he was tortured during interrogation, because so much of the evidence against him was hearsay, and because the informants were mostly anonymous and non-English-speaking and were never subjected to cross-examination.
At the heart of his conviction was evidence kept secret by the government. The process the young man was subjected to was concocted long after his capture, and six years passed before he came to trial. The “jury” consisted of sworn enemies of the accused, duty-bound and fully licensed to shoot him under appropriate circumstances. The military judge sentenced him to time served, and he’ll be out before his appeal is heard.
Our constitution forbids every aspect of the driver’s prosecution, and common decency should have inhibited the commercial media in their vicious attacks on the scientist. Are we expected to tolerate this? Are our social institutions so damaged that we should take even unprecedented, outrageous miscarriages of justice for granted?
The prosecuting authorities and the culpable reporters and editors who conspired tacitly with them to manipulate us should know that they will be held to account. These are gross breaches of the rule of law, and the law will out in a republic, as some wrongdoers will discover before others. The criminals that now occupy our government may spend every waking hour over the coming months trying to figure out how to cover their butts, but they will fail because their malfeasance has been so sweeping and so open. Multitudes of geezer-lawyers like me are aching to bring them and their crimes to a judge and jury. The wheels of justice grind slowly, but they grind exceeding fine.
And so stool pigeons will sing and rats will abandon ship, and this group will be brought low. It will be prison–possibly death–for Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rumsfeld, and it will be an abrupt career reversal–and maybe a change of address–for hundreds of corrupt lawyers, bureaucrats, law enforcement agents, and elected officials. Some will be shipped abroad to face charges in international tribunals. Some may go willingly to escape the death penalty prescribed by Texas and other states in which they committed capital crimes.