Thursday, October 4, 2012

Redefining justice

Glenn Greenwald explains how the Obama administration is trying to change the meaning of "justice":

President Obama has repeatedly vowed that those responsible for the Benghazi attacks will be "brought to justice". That term is Obama-speak for: I will order people summarily executed without a whiff of due process or transparency, based purely on my say-so and my suspicions (just as it was Bush-speak for the same concept).

In other words, Obama "justice" means summary assassinations ordered in secret without a even a pretense of due process. As Glaser wrote, the reported Libya approach "demonstrates their preference to kill suspected perpetrators as opposed to apprehending suspects and carrying out a transparent trial in court, something the administration seems long ago to have abandoned in favor of night raids or drone strikes." Moreover, just as "terrorist" means "those the US government accuses of being a terrorist," the term "responsible for the Benghazi attack" means: those whom the president secretly decides is guilty.

Trying to apprehend people you think committed crimes and then punishing them once their guilt is proven in a duly constituted judicial tribunal is so obsolete and wimpy: so pre-9/11 and inconsistent with the Age of the Proud Progressive Warrior.

I guess this isn't specific to the Obama administration. I'm sure most Republicans and the American public in general would define justice in a similar way, despite the fact that it's not how our legal system defines it. But the Obama administration is actually carrying out policy based on this made up definition.

This is covered in Batman Begins. Bruce Wayne wants to kill the man who killed his parents. He tells his long time friend Rachel Dawes that doing this would bring justice. Also, his mentor, Ra's al Ghul, says that justice is balance. But Rachel says that Bruce wouldn't be enacting justice. He would be getting revenge. This difference is why Batman doesn't kill people. It's not justice.

What the Obama administration is doing is even worse than the Batman Begins example. At least Joe Chill was tried and convicted of killing Bruce's parents. As Glenn points out, these people the Obama administration is claiming they can kill haven't been tried and convicted of anything. That isn't justice.

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