Freedom Without Justice


[Summary: As the president took his act on the road to Eastern Europe, where some may still believe he is the leader of the free world, we at home were left to ponder his legacy in action and in words: The dubious wisdom of George W. Bush.]

There are times when rhetoric must yield to logic and fundamental truth. There are times when the emptiness of words becomes so clear it cheapens the very concept of language as the foundation of human interaction.

For the last several weeks, in every community with a Clear Channel radio station, replete with a patriotic sound track, our president has delivered a simple message that his sponsors clearly wish to imbed into the minds of the public as emblematic of the Bush presidency. Ironically, in the mind of this observer, it has worked.

“In the long run, there can be no freedom without justice and there can be no justice without liberty.”

One expects the president to emit occasional nonsense in place of meaningful words but these words were carefully chosen by the political machine that rules our nation in consultation with the most brilliant public relations minds money can buy. They are delivered with passion and a sense of profundity, as if the president has taken them to heart, and yet, when all is said, the high-sounding words are completely devoid of meaning and are therefore a perfect symbol of the most dubious presidency since the Civil War.

Consider the proposition: There can be no freedom without justice.

Perhaps the president, after a quiet evening of reading, was contemplating Henry David Thoreau’s assertion of freedom in a prison yard. Thoreau was jailed for refusing to pay a poll tax that supported the war against Mexico.

Perhaps he was considering the case of Kevin Benderman, who faces court martial and imprisonment for refusing to return to an immoral and unjust war, a war of naked aggression initiated by this president.

Perhaps he was pondering a pardon for Lakota leader, Leonard Peltier, falsely imprisoned since 1976 for the alleged murder of two FBI agents. Not since the Gulf of Tonkin or Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, has there been a more blatant case of falsified evidence.

All of these cases involve the revocation of freedom by injustice but they do not support the reverse proposition. Clearly, our legal system is founded on the principle that freedom can and should be denied in the application of justice. Clearly, the president’s words are hollow and designed for effect without contemplation of meaning.

Consider the president’s second assertion: There can be no justice without liberty.

Here is a proposition so absurd it disallows application as intellectual fodder. If, indeed, it held a grain of truth, the gates of all prisons, bursting at the seems and feeding a booming private incarceration industry, would swing open at once and allow all to walk free.

The people of Latvia, Georgia, Ukraine and elsewhere should be forewarned: This president’s lofty words are only sound and syllables signifying nothing.

By contrast, Russian President Vladimir Putin, taking the stage in Moscow’s Red Square, chose his words carefully and employed them to double meaning:

“History teaches us that [we] must do everything possible to prevent [our] eyes closing to the emergence of new lethal doctrines, to anything that can become fertile soil for new threats. The lessons of the war send us the warning that indifference, temporizing and playing accomplice to violence inevitably lead to terrible tragedies on a planetary scale.”

His words reached out to his target audience while floating safely over our president’s head.

“In the long run, there can be no freedom without justice and there can be no justice without liberty.”

Listen to the words and wonder how they could be conceived, written and delivered with such seeming sincerity. They may in fact be the most revealing words the president has ever uttered.

In the long run, Mr. President, words matter. They inform us that there is a vast divide between your testament and your ideology, between your ideology and your policies, between your stated purpose and the underlying intent. They inform us that you are not the author of your own mission and that you are nothing more than a mouthpiece for the powers you serve.

JACK RANDOM is the author of the Jazzman Chronicles, the War Chronicles (Crow Dog Press) and Ghost Dance Insurrection (Dry Bones Press). He can be reached through his website: www.jackrandom.com.















More articles by:

Jack Random is the author of Jazzman Chronicles (Crow Dog Press) and Ghost Dance Insurrection (Dry Bones Press.)

August 19, 2019
John Davis
The Isle of White: a Tale of the Have-Lots Versus the Have-Nots
John O'Kane
Supreme Nihilism: the El Paso Shooter’s Manifesto
Robert Fisk
If Chinese Tanks Take Hong Kong, Who’ll be Surprised?
Ipek S. Burnett
White Terror: Toni Morrison on the Construct of Racism
Arshad Khan
India’s Mangled Economy
Howard Lisnoff
The Proud Boys Take Over the Streets of Portland, Oregon
Steven Krichbaum
Put an End to the Endless War Inflicted Upon Our National Forests
Cal Winslow
A Brief History of Harlan County, USA
Jim Goodman
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is Just Part of a Loathsome Administration
Brian Horejsi
Bears’ Lives Undervalued
Thomas Knapp
Lung Disease Outbreak: First Casualties of the War on Vaping?
Susie Day
Dear Guys Who Got Arrested for Throwing Water on NYPD Cops
Weekend Edition
August 16, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Uncle Sam was Born Lethal
Jennifer Matsui
La Danse Mossad: Robert Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein
Rob Urie
Neoliberalism and Environmental Calamity
Stuart A. Newman
The Biotech-Industrial Complex Gets Ready to Define What is Human
Nick Alexandrov
Prevention Through Deterrence: The Strategy Shared by the El Paso Shooter and the U.S. Border Patrol
Jeffrey St. Clair
The First Dambuster: a Coyote Tale
Eric Draitser
“Bernie is Trump” (and other Corporate Media Bullsh*t)
Nick Pemberton
Is White Supremacism a Mental Illness?
Jim Kavanagh
Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit
Andrew Levine
Have They No Decency?
David Yearsley
Kind of Blue at 60
Ramzy Baroud
Manifestos of Hate: What White Terrorists Have in Common
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The War on Nature
Martha Rosenberg
Catch and Hang Live Chickens for Slaughter: $11 an Hour Possible!
Yoav Litvin
Israel Fears a Visit by Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib
Neve Gordon
It’s No Wonder the Military likes Violent Video Games, They Can Help Train Civilians to Become Warriors
Susan Miller
That Debacle at the Border is Genocide
Ralph Nader
With the Boeing 737 MAX Grounded, Top Boeing Bosses Must Testify Before Congress Now
Victor Grossman
Warnings, Ancient and Modern
Meena Miriam Yust - Arshad Khan
The Microplastic Threat
Kavitha Muralidharan
‘Today We Seek Those Fish in Discovery Channel’
Louis Proyect
The Vanity Cinema of Quentin Tarantino
Bob Scofield
Tit For Tat: Baltimore Takes Another Hit, This Time From Uruguay
Nozomi Hayase
The Prosecution of Julian Assange Affects Us All
Ron Jacobs
People’s Music for the Soul
John Feffer
Is America Crazy?
Jonathan Power
Russia and China are Growing Closer Again
John W. Whitehead
Who Inflicts the Most Gun Violence in America? The U.S. Government and Its Police Forces
Justin Vest
ICE: You’re Not Welcome in the South
Jill Richardson
Race is a Social Construct, But It Still Matters
Dean Baker
The NYT Gets the Story on Automation and Inequality Completely Wrong
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Retains Political Control After New US Coercive Measures
Gary Leupp
MSNBC and the Next Election: Racism is the Issue (and Don’t Talk about Socialism)