FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Politicization of Justice

by NORMAN POLLACK

Tuesday, Feb. 26, the Supreme Court, Allito’s majority opinion, took a significant step in linking counterterrorism to the ugly strain of anticommunism, McCarthyism, redbaiting, going back to the 18th century Alien and Sedition laws, and defining much of the ideological landscape beginning with the suppression of the IWW, the Palmer Raids, Japanese internment in concentration camps, etc etc.

No, I do not exaggerate.  The Court has become a rubber stamp for Obama’s campaign of traducing the US Constitution, creating a climate supportive of heinous acts such as targeted assassination and Executive power-grabbing, as in the National Security State, use of the Espionage Act, and remodeling the CIA into a paramilitary force closely aligned with JSOC—across-the-board the clear violation of international law, all under the umbrella of glistening liberalism.

What is worse, targeted assassination or indefinite detention—there is no answer, both being the curse of totalitarianism while the people avert their gaze, too self-indulgent, selfish, wallowing in a condition of false consciousness, even to care.  But this decision will go forth without a murmur, which is to wrap counterterrorism in the flag of legitimacy, and thus encourage more of the same: further deprivation of civil liberties, more drone attacks directed to terrorizing whole regions, providing the juices for keeping up US efforts at unilateral global political-economic dominance, and internally, intensified disparities between rich and poor.  Poor Allito—a not very bright jurist whose credentials for the job are set down in his record: dependable reactionary, supporter of repression, a hackneyed individualism that sanctions the destruction of the welfare dimension of democratic argument.  I say “poor” because obviously he is not alone, whether on the Court or in public life, and therefore should not be singled out for comment.  Obama with his contempt for social justice and legal principles is his fitting companion.

When all three branches are arrayed against humane standards and practices of government, America is in deep s—.  My NYT Comment follows.  Hopefully, there will be a groundswell of repudiation of a public policy, having the imprimatur of the Constitution behind it, indeed, a force egging it on, which allows the government to kill, incarcerate, spy on, whomever it declares an enemy, with complete impunity and with immunity from prosecution.

[My NYT Comment, Feb. 26. The abyss of illegality]:

Let me be blunt. Obama supporters take note: he and DOJ were pleased at the Court decision preventing the test of government’s extraordinary degradation of civil liberties. Allito’s fiction that complainants do not have standing before the Court, applying, beyond wiretapping, to surveillance in general, rendition, and indefinite detention, turns counterterrorism into the New McCarthyism. We see here the politicization of the law.

Not surprising, however, given Obama’s obsession with secrecy (the two go together) which envelops all of government. Why this vicious disregard of due process, habeas corpus, rule of law? Except that he, and Brennan, with the prostitution of justice by the Court, after decades of commitment to civil liberties, are fearful, correctly, of revealment of war crimes, particularly the program of armed drones for targeted assassination. Obama keeps digging a deeper hole into the abyss of illegality, and in practical terms, political murder. A one-way ticket to the International Criminal Court for Obama, Brennan, and Allito, would suit me fine.

Norman Pollack is the author of “The Populist Response to Industrial America” (Harvard) and “The Just Polity” (Illinois), Guggenheim Fellow, and professor of history emeritus, Michigan State University.

 

 

 

Norman Pollack Ph.D. Harvard, Guggenheim Fellow, early writings on American Populism as a radical movement, prof., activist.. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism. He can be reached at pollackn@msu.edu.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

February 23, 2017
Dave Brotherton
Trump, Moral Panics and Resistance
Jonathan Cook
One State: Trump Has Reminded Palestinians What It Was Always About
Bill Quigley
Ten Examples of Direct Resistance to Stop Government Raids
Linn Washington Jr.
Bigot Boy Business: Trump Exposes His Ignorance and Intolerance, Again
John W. Whitehead
The Illusion of Freedom: the Police State Is Alive and Well
Ralph Nader
Restricting People’s Use of Their Courts
David Macaray
Women As Labor Union Organizers
Kathy Kelly
Friendship in Defiance of War
Doug Weir
Why Did the US Use Depleted Uranium Weapons in Syria?
Steve Horn
Former GOP Congressional Staffer Follows Revolving Door, Now Latest Keystone XL Lobbyist
Binoy Kampmark
From Rights to Repentance: Norma McCorvey and Roe v Wade
Thomas Knapp
The Target of the “Border Adjustment Tax” is You
Chris Zinda
Open Letter to Neoliberal Environmentalists
February 22, 2017
Mike Whitney
Liberals Beware: Lie Down With Dogs, Get Up With Fleas
John Grant
On Killers and Bullshitters*
Peter Linebaugh
Catherine Despard, Abolitionist
Patrick Cockburn
The Bitter Battle for Mosul
Ted Rall
Sue the Bastards? It’s Harder Than You Think
Yoav Litvin
The Emergence of the Just Jew
Kim Scipes
Strategic Thinking and Organizing Resistance
Norman Pollack
Mar-a-Lago, Ideological Refuge: Berchtesgaden, II
Fred Donner
Nixon and the Chennault Affair: From Vietnam to Watergate
Carl Kandutsch
Podesta vs. Trump
Ike Nahem
To the Memory of Malcolm X: Fifty Years After His Assassination
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Tough Talk Won’t Fix Chicago
Paul Donnelly
Betsy DeVos and the War on Public Education
Ebony Slaughter-Johnson
The End of an Alliance for Police Reform
Richard Lawless
Wall Street Demanded the Nuclear Option and the Congress Delivered
Liaquat Ali Khan
Yes, Real Donald Trump is a Muslim!
Ryan LaMothe
“Fire” and Free Speech
CounterPunch News Service
Bloody Buffalo Billboards
February 21, 2017
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
Finance as Warfare: the IMF Lent to Greece Knowing It Could Never Pay Back Debt
CJ Hopkins
Goose-stepping Our Way Toward Pink Revolution
John Wight
Firestarter: the Unwelcome Return of Tony Blair
Roger Harris
Lenin Wins: Pink Tide Surges in Ecuador…For Now
Shepherd Bliss
Japanese American Internment Remembered, as Trump Rounds Up Immigrants
Boris Kagarlitsky
Trump and the Contradictions of Capitalism
Robert Fisk
The Perils of Trump Addiction
Deepak Tripathi
Theresa May: Walking the Kingdom Down a Dark Alley
Sarah Anderson
To Save Main Street, Tax Wall Street
Howard Lisnoff
Those Who Plan and Enjoy Murder
Franklin Lamb
The Life and Death Struggle of the Children of Syria
Binoy Kampmark
A Tale of Two Realities: Trump and Israel
Kim C. Domenico
Body and Soul: Becoming Men & Women in a Post-Gender Age
Mel Gurtov
Trump, Europe, and Chaos
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail