Aug 24, 2014
The Bodhisattva Marshall Plan, Part 4: Eliminate Phony Law Enforcement
by Charles Carreon
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
Our society is ostensibly dedicated to what is popularly referred to as "The Rule of Law." This is supposed to inspire us in some way, suggesting that we, as a society, are superior to societies that are not "governed by The Rule of Law." Since European-based colonization efforts dovetailed with racial genocide and the mass destruction of societies that were governed by rules other than "law," this argument has never been put to the test. As a young law student, I was fortunate to hear a talk by the Native American lawyer, Vine Deloria, Jr., author of Custer Died for Your Sins, discussing Native American approaches to what we call "law," i.e., the system of social ordering.
Deloria was an impressive speaker, a very big man, well over 6 feet, dressed in bib overalls, standing to the side of the lectern on the podium in front of a packed classroom, looking like a giant draped in washed denim. The main thing I remember him saying was that Native Americans didn't have jails. As he explained it, the tribe "didn't have any extra braves to put to watching other braves who had misbehaved." That observation fascinated me. Obviously, Native Americans had a system of social control that deterred anti-social conduct and encouraged pro-social conduct; however, it had nothing to do with the terrifying institution that Europeans created, called "imprisonment." This is not to say that Meso-American governments, Aztecas, Incas, and others did not use confinement as a form of punishment. I always assumed that they did; however, it was Deloria who made me aware that this practice was not universal.
Deloria's invocation of a society in which imprisonment was unknown has always stood as a sort of enigma to me. I have never been able to figure it out, and am not the type to accept modern-day explanations for the conduct of people whose traditions have been destroyed. I just don't know how they did it, and I think it's a pity that we can't find out. The "law" that kept unruly braves in line amongst the Shoshone, Crow, Creek, Lakota, and other tribes who were committed to the wandering lifestyle made possible by the abundance of escaped Spanish horses and their wild progeny, can never be understood. It is a terrible pity, because imprisonment is, in my view, the greatest blight on humanity afflicting us today.
I make this denunciation with a relatively clear knowledge of the incarceration system. As a federal contract public defender from 1995 until 2000, I visited many imprisonment facilities, local jails and penitentiaries. There is nothing quite like motorized steel doors clanging shut behind you. Being able to call a jailer and ask to leave seemed like the greatest luxury, especially when I did it after concluding a meeting with a client who didn't have that power. As I explained to many young men, that was the primary difference between us. I could leave, and they couldn't.
My social authority as an attorney allowed me to visit inmates almost any time I wanted, unlike their friends and relatives, who had to wait to see their incarcerated loved ones on visiting days for short periods of time, often separated by glass and speaking to them through telephones. I, on the other hand, could arrive at a moment's notice, ask to see my client, and be ushered into their presence. I finally gave up this line of work, in large part because I just couldn't stand saying goodbye to any more young men who were doing 10-year stints for delivering contraband substances. It was that, and the heartbreaking, completely useless cases involving the deportation of Mexican citizens who had already established families here in the United States that were being torn asunder with bureaucratic efficiency and complete coldness. Witnessing this trail of destruction really became too much for me, especially since my role was very limited, and often I could offer nothing more than competent representation and soothing words that felt hollow and impotent.
It was against this background that I formulated my conclusion that law enforcement in this country is phony. It is phony because it masquerades as the pursuit of "justice," when in fact it is the vehicle for enforcement of class inequality, White Master-Race status, and Nordic values, dubbed "Judaeo-Christian" for political, not religious, reasons. Since when do the two religions most antagonistic to each other become conflated into a single philosophy? You can take your choice -- Jesus of Nazareth's philosophy of mercy and kindness, or the genocidal practices of Jehovah -- the two don't mix and weren't meant to. The only important feature of "Jesus" as he is currently popularized, is that he is depicted as a Nordic European. The rest of what we call "Christianity," when it is applied to national policy, is a pure Old Testament power-trip.
Class inequality, and the supremacy of the White Master-Race, is enforced by the use of imprisonment, an institution directly derived from bondsmanship, that was once the fate of generations of European peasants. Bondsmanship came to be called "indentured servitude," often "for a term of years," among Whites. Because of race prejudice and the pious hallucinations of White people who defined Africans as soulless animals, colonial slavers treated them far more cruelly than White bondservants. Slavery achieved official approval from our nation in the Dredd Scott decision, where the Supreme Court held that a slave remained a slave when he crossed into a free state where slavery was illegal, because as an item of property, he could not cheat his owner of his value simply by fleeing the jurisdiction where his owner resided. The persistence in our society of the technologies, economies, and social hierarchies created by "law enforcement" are but the echo of the slave-holder State that was supposedly put to rest by Sherman's march to the sea. But the fires that burned Atlanta were never put out, and slavery's legacy of hate still smolders. Because of the enormity of the cruel, systematic brutalization of Africans by the people and governments of this nation, the national government and the several states stand unified in denial of the crime.
Persecuted minorities always find that their social customs are illegal, their sacraments and intoxicants are "drugs," their ceremonies are "heathen." For Native Americans, speaking their native language was a crime. Excluded from the professions (ever see a Black airline pilot on a U.S. domestic flight?) and access to capital, minority people are forced to engage in illegal commerce, often fed by law enforcement that conspires with gangsters to predate on poor communities. Minority citizens are often exposed to prosecution, their activist political leaders can always be slandered as drug dealers, and the artists and creatives easily fall prey to Cointelpro-style setups that lead to their imprisonment.
Minorities find their work made illegal even when it is perfectly honest. The classic victims here are Mexican and Latin-American immigrants who come to the agricultural centers of the nation to find employment. They seek honest employment that, due to their transformation into "consumers," "American" people cannot do. "Consumers" are too sissified to handle work that involves gutting a steer in under a minute, or doing anything at all in blazing heat, like picking fruit and vegetables. Other immigrants, the Wops, Micks and Polacks of the past, venerate their ancestors for their pluck in crossing the seas, and claim noble ancestry by way of their passage through Ellis Island, blessed by Lady Liberty as members of those "huddled masses yearning to breathe free." These arrogant White braggarts deride Mexicans for demonstrating the same pluck. These hatemongers call Mexicans "illegals" as if they were unlawful down to the very bone, rather than being persons who simply do not have the right piece of paper to be on this side of an imaginary line. An imaginary line drawn by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that concluded the war but did not end Anglo hostility.
It goes without saying that when Mexicans and Black people and Asians sell painkillers and euphoriants, it is illegal, because they do it without the necessary licensing. When pharmaceutical companies flood our nation with toxic anti-depressants that are driving people crazy, and super-strength painkillers like Oxycontin, aka hillbilly heroin, now the true opiate for the masses, that is of course legal. In fact, even the "illegal drug trade" is legal when the government manages it.
Which gets us to the rest of the story, which is that the Government's enterprise is lawful, whatever it does, whether it be good or evil, even horrifyingly, transparently evil, such as extreme rendition, torturing people, and the other CIA-Pentagon exploits supposedly confined to the Bush/Cheney/Gonzales/Yoo/Bybee era. It is always lawful, because the Government makes the laws, and since Gonzales took up his pen as the Torturer General, the enactment of laws that make anything legal that is defined as "lawful" has become the routine authoritarian practice in the supposedly democratic precincts of Washington, D.C.
The Government's business is always legal, and today it focuses on keeping many evil and destructive practices a part of our daily life. The Government continues to support extraction businesses around the world as they rape and predate on natural resources and generate ill-will with Native people and other nations. The U.S. Supreme Court's vacating of the verdict against Chevron obtained by Ecuador in its own courts is an extreme example. The Supreme Court's upholding of the Vulture Investor's rights to collect debt against Argentina at its full face value with crushing interest, debt that the market has savagely devalued, is another example.
The United States has completely given up the effort to appear as the world's benefactor, and is making itself known for the imposition of its will by means of extra-judicial force, most blatantly in the case of drone deployments in places like Pakistan, Yemen, and Afghanistan, whose people suffer from leadership so craven and despicable that they allow their skies to be patrolled by a foreign nation, and tolerate the killing of innocents within their borders as the price of "global cooperation."
The United States has turned itself into Fortress America, but what the citizens of the nation have not realized is that this Fortress imprisons and surveils them. Within the borders of Fortress America, bundled into their virtual realities, the consumers of the United States are like a termite farm observed by marketers interested in exploiting their habits. The insectile analogy is not misplaced. The consumer role in modern society is obligatory, and closely reflects the insectile model, which is to say, the insectile mind. If you can imagine being judged by an insect, like a preying mantis, or being investigated by a dragonfly, you can imagine the cold mentality that prevails among modern technocrats, who see not people, but demographics, not starving families, but underperforming economies, not soft human bodies, but "terrorists" and "unavoidable collateral damage."
If I seem to have merged the enforcement of class injustice with the topic of foreign policy, that is because U.S. foreign policy towards dark people and people in southern nations closely parallels its domestic treatment of dark people even while they are its own citizens, whose ancestors hail from defeated nations like Africans, the Native American tribes, Arabs, Iraquis, and Mexicans. If you reflect upon it, you will perceive that virulent race hatred is only spewed against defeated minorities. There's no prejudice against Austrians, Canadians, Norwegians, and only mild prejudice against the Japanese, who took their WWII internment politely, and fought manfully enough that they were made the guinea pigs for a nucleo-fascist experiment on live human beings.
As for our beloved Americans of German ancestry, their German-American clubs and anti-war organizing in the lead-up to U.S. entry to WWII was never held against them. Sure we burned a number of cities, incinerating a few million Germans, but here in the USA, they weren't rounded up like the Japanese, and with Operation PaperClip, we made smart, weapons-grade Nazis honored Americans who helped us build ICBMs. That's what you call technological progress as a side-benefit of war!
Domestically, we can see how dark people from defeated nations get a lower brand of justice when they go to court. Poor people are most likely to go to court as criminal defendants or civil debtors. As I will explain, in both of these situations, they will receive a lesser quality of justice. If you want to see how utterly biased towards conviction the criminal justice system is, let's think about this. You have all heard that criminal cases must be proved "beyond a reasonable doubt." You may have heard that civil cases, lawsuits over physical injuries in car accidents and industrial accidents, for example, need to be proven to a "preponderance of the evidence." If you are ever asked to sit on a civil jury, they will explain to you that this is a "lower standard of proof" than "beyond a reasonable doubt." Theoretically, an injured person's right to receive damages when their house is blown up by an exploding oil refinery, needs to be proved only to "a probability," or "a likelihood," in order to obtain a verdict against the oil refinery.
In order to give this lesson a little color, let us use a metaphor. Let us compare trying cases to shooting baskets in a basketball game. Prosecutors, because they are required to prove the facts beyond a reasonable doubt, are shooting through a regular-sized basketball hoop. Civil trial lawyers, who can prevail merely by showing that their client "more likely than not" deserves to win, are shooting hoops through a larger basketball hoop, say, twice as big as an ordinary one. Given this setup, you would expect that the civil lawyers would be racking up much higher scores in their games. They would be scoring into the hundreds of points. Prosecutors, on the other hand, would play games in which scores were much lower. Why? Very simple. It's just easier to shoot a basketball through a larger hoop.
It might surprise you then that civil plaintiffs lose their cases more often than prosecutors. A little under 50% of plaintiffs win their cases, on average, while prosecutors, even the most inept of them, always average much better than a 50% victory rate. Truly aggressive prosecutors achieve victory rates above 90% as a regular matter. Federal prosecutors, because of the powerful bias of the federal court system toward procedures that aid in achieving convictions, secure convictions at a very high rate. The only criminal cases that are harder to win than civil cases are those that have been made particularly difficult for the prosecution by the U.S. Supreme Court's imposition of special procedural hurdles in prosecutions of banks, bankers and ENRON-style megafraudsters.
It is much more difficult for a civil trial lawyer to win an auto accident case than a criminal case because juries don't apply the correct standard. In fact, when they are judging people accused of crimes, juries accept less convincing proof than when they are deciding whether to make a negligent driver pay money to an injured person. A person who finds themself sitting in front of a jury hoping to recover damages because they lost a limb in an industrial accident, or have been put in a wheelchair by a reckless driver, will discover that their lawyer has a far more difficult case to prove than does the prosecutor prosecuting a drunk driver or wife abuser in the courtroom next door. Why? American juries have been so indoctrinated by fear of awarding damages to injured civil plaintiffs that they see them as greedy malingerers, seeking to obtain a windfall at the expense of a poor, unfortunate defendant. Thus, the average civil juror, handed the opportunity to do justice with their verdict, dispenses relatively little justice to their own kind. But when it's time to join the Prosecutor in his noble cause of hammering those who have offended the Judaeo-Christian moral code by dealing in contraband substances, they are only too happy to throw their match into the bonfire. It gives them a good feeling. They know they are doing the right thing.
I also mentioned that when they come to civil court, most poor folks will come in response to creditor lawsuits -- a credit card company or a car dealer will sue them for unpaid debts. Most times, they will be without attorneys, and unlike a criminal prosecution, it does not come with a free lawyer. Since these cases are seen by judges as "cut and dried," those pro se defendants who try to fight discover but modest judicial patience for their efforts. Judges promptly rule against the debtor after reciting a legalistic explanation for the record. Like the experience of the criminal defendant, this is a lower standard of justice than any represented corporation would get in a similar case.
Looking a little bit more closely at how the civil justice system protects corporate entities, we are all now familiar with the much-hated Citizens United decision in which the United States Supreme Court recognized the First Amendment rights of corporations, notwithstanding the fact that any corporation could choose, with the vote of their board of directors, to renounce good forever, expressly join forces with Satan, and ally themselves with the forces of evil as a matter of corporate charter. Indeed, after the Hobby-Lobby decision, that corporation could probably refuse to employ people who insisted on "keeping holy the sabbath," or some other such non-Satanic practice. Corporations are by nature entirely amoral, and therefore are creatures of the moment. If I could buy your corporation outright, I could fire everyone in it, overturn all of your policies, and turn it into a vehicle solely for my will. No entity so subject to arbitrary alteration as to its purpose, and so devoid of moral character can possibly be granted the rights of a citizen. Such an entity cannot be held responsible for anything, because it obviously has no conscience and no moral compass. It could not be instructed in ways of virtue if the project were attempted. It is a machine, and like any machine, it can only be as good as the people who drive it. And it can have no other voice than theirs. Giving such an entity "First Amendment rights" distinct from those of the men who drive it, is merely a legal fiction adopted to benefit the media corporations that design and dictate the consciousness of our nation.
U.S. media cannot be called anything but "White" media. Its ownership is White. Its orientation is to promote White culture. It depicts other cultures and races as objects of hatred, jaundiced criticism and arrogant pity. What is quite amazing to me is that the Arab-American community, possessed of considerable wealth and influence prior to the 9/11 disaster, sat around for 20 years while the Israel-America/AIPAC lobby that dominates Hollywood churned out one hateful depiction of Middle Eastern people after another. This drumbeat of demonization set the stage for the Iraq war, and has locked us into the contemptible complicity with the "nation of Israel" that can most accurately be described as East New York, a place to ship angry young Jews from Brooklyn so they can play with guns in the settlements that the U.S. government supports as insurance that the conflict will last forever. The management of American opinion regarding the innumerable conflicts that have erupted in the Middle East since the Bush regime initiated its war of aggression on Islamic peoples under the title of "Global War on Terror" has boxed Americans into an untenable view of the world for which we will ultimately pay a very great price. I cannot tell you what that price will be. I can only tell you that when an entire people turns over its productive capacity to a murderous elite that takes it into its head to promulgate its Master Race mandate across the world, and brooks no opposition, that will lead to disaster.
The United States has long flattered itself with the notion that it is "the world's policeman," and its leaders have most often mused over whether the United States can "afford to continue this role." This sort of arrogant self-depiction of our nation as the dispenser of order in a disorderly world is most reminiscent of the arrogant attitude of the British Raj before Gandhi set the English fox's tail on fire and sent it back to its dangerous little island. India, the English said, would shatter into a million bits if the English left. This was like cancer trying to sell itself to the body as a benefactor, since without it all the organs would fight with each other, rather than with a common foe. Today, from his command post at the center of Fortress America, "President Barack Obama," a puppet for international powers no different than the puppet presidents put into place in Greece and Italy, but managing his tenure with far greater success thanks to his perfidious alliance with the Wall Street/City of London Axis of Financial Evil that treats the world's economy like one big spreadsheet to be managed with the bottom line profits all going to the largest financial entities in the world, in a cycle that sucks wealth into an ever-smaller number of hands. This is the ultimate end of the White technocratic power structure in the United States. Of course, as it internationalizes in foreign affairs, America will increase its capacity to engage in doublespeak, preaching the language of freedom and justice, wearing the robes of Jefferson and Lincoln, while promulgating policies that seek to subject all individual human beings to the will of enormous faceless multinational entities.
Phony law enforcement on the international level is the establishment and maintenance of Fortress America, and the pursuit of policies that seek to divide and conquer enemies and purported friends alike. The Machiavellian attitudes of those who run the U.S. government have been exposed again and again on the international level, most recently by Edward Snowden's disclosures of widespread phonetapping even of the German head of state. As the United States educates the other world's players in power politics, it is sowing dragon's teeth.
At home, phony law enforcement has established an atmosphere of intimidation towards the citizenry that has reached an almost ideal level. No one in their right mind would think of organizing any kind of anti-governmental resistance that involved the destruction of property, occupying of buildings, or obstruction of public facilities. All of these things can be characterized as terrorism by aggressive prosecutors, and expose people who indulge in such behavior to severe penalties, including lengthy prison terms for apparently trivial conduct, or even no conduct at all, simply the agreement to perform criminal acts in the future. Because of the nationwide enforcement of anti-drug laws, virtually anyone can easily be arrested for possession of narcotics by the use of a little planted evidence or false testimony. Thus, a serious political threat can easily be neutralized by the use of crooked vice squad cops and their usual associates, scumball dealers.
Meanwhile, due to social media, people are ventilating their misdeeds and ill-considered behavior where all the world can see it, including the NSA. Arrest records and mugshot photos proliferate online, as do websites that destroy the self-respect of young women whose carelessly shared selfies get into the wrong hands and circulate on the Internet. So much can be known about everyone by anyone, and law enforcement is enjoying a feast of access to compromising data about everyone. The only time they don't seem to like it is when they themselves get caught.
The excesses of U.S. foreign military interventionism and the excesses of domestic law enforcement going paramilitary-style have produced a hybrid form of excess at the local level since the U.S. Government launched its program to move high-tech weaponry just returned from Iraq out to the hustings by giving things like 30 ton armored vehicles to small towns that barely have a fire engine. With this kind of trend appearing before us, it behooves us to try and get rid of phony law enforcement before law enforcement gets rid of all limits on its conduct. What has long been a White power structure is now turning into a one-faced monolithic entity that is going to crush everybody under one gigantic system of oppression. The advantages that Whites have enjoyed under the existing system will evaporate like spit on a griddle.