FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

No Standing to Lecture on Justice

U.S. officials are hopping mad over the outcome of a criminal prosecution in Iraq. Two Iraqi officials who had been accused of kidnapping and murder walked out of an Iraqi court Monday as free men after the prosecutor moved to drop the case for lack of evidence. The two men were former Iraqi Health Ministry officials. The case was being tried in the multimillion-dollar Rule of Law Complex, which is quite a site to behold.

Why were the American officials, who chose to remain anonymous, so angry and upset? Because the prosecutor’s decision was not in accord with what American officials felt should have been done. They felt that the defendants should have been prosecuted and convicted. According to one anonymous U.S. official quoted in the Washington Post, the dropping of the charges “shows that the judicial system in Iraq is horribly broken.”

One obvious question arises: What business do U.S. officials have intervening in Iraqi judicial matters? But a much more important question arises: What standing does the U.S. government have to be lecturing anyone, including the Iraqis, on a proper judicial system?

After all, let’s not forget the U.S. government’s model “judicial” system in Cuba. It’s “principles” include:

1. The accused are denied the right to an independent judiciary to preside over their case. Instead, the trials are conducted by military tribunals headed by biased U.S. military officials who answer to President Bush as their commander in chief.

2. Trial by an impartial jury is not permitted. The guilt or innocence of the accused is decided by military officials who have to answer to President Bush as their commander in chief.

3. The judges get to make up the rules of procedure as they go along, producing a perfect model of arbitrariness at every step of the proceeding.

4. The accused are denied speedy trials. Some of them have been incarcerated for several years without trial.

5. The accused are tortured into confessing their guilt.

6. Evidence acquired by torture can be used to convict the accused.

7. Hearsay evidence is admissible to convict the accused.

8. Defendants are not guaranteed the right to confront their witnesses and cross-examine them.

9. Cruel and unusual punishments, including torture, can be inflicted on the defendants, even before conviction.

10. Defendants are denied the right to habeas corpus.

In fact, it’s entirely appropriate that this despicable and shameful kangaroo system is located in Cuba because it is quite similar to the one run by Fidel Castro’s minions on the other side of the island. One thing is for sure: the U.S. government’s model “judicial” system in Cuba flies in the face of every procedural principle of due process enunciated in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Also, it’s ironic that the judicial complex in Iraq is called the Rule of Law Center, given it would be difficult to find a better example of a violation of the “rule of the law” than the U.S. government’s arbitrary post-9/11 power to send accused terrorists either down the federal-court route or the kangaroo military-tribunal route.

We also shouldn’t forget the U.S. government’s kidnappings, torture, rendition, torture-through-proxy, indefinite incarceration, murder, disappearances of detainees, spying, and warrantless searches, along with its practice of granting immunity to U.S. officials and their compatriots in the private sector who commit such crimes.

The best thing that U.S. officials could do is close down their kangaroo “judicial” tribunal system at Guantanamo Bay, transfer all prisoners to the jurisdiction of U.S. federal courts, leave the Iraqi people alone, and stop lecturing the world on law and justice. It would be a good first step toward restoring America’s moral standing in the world.

JACOB HORNBERGER is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

 

 

 

 

 

More articles by:

December 13, 2018
John Davis
What World Do We Seek?
Subhankar Banerjee
Biological Annihilation: a Planet in Loss Mode
Lawrence Davidson
What the Attack on Marc Lamont Hill Tells Us
James McEnteer
Breathless
Ramzy Baroud
The Real Face of Justin Trudeau: Are Palestinians Canada’s new Jews?
Dean Baker
Pelosi Would Sabotage the Progressive Agenda With a Pay-Go Rule
Elliot Sperber
Understanding the Yellow Vests Movement Through Basic Color Theory 
Rivera Sun
The End of the NRA? Business Magazines Tell Activists: The Strategy is Working
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
Historic Opportunity to Transform Trade
George Ochenski
Trump Trashes Sage Grouse Protections in Another cCollaboration Failure
December 12, 2018
Arshad Khan
War, Anniversaries and Lessons Never Learned
Paul Street
Blacking Out the Yellow Vests on Cable News: Corporate Media Doing its Job
Kenneth Surin
The Brexit Shambles Rambles On
David Schultz
Stacking the Deck Against Democracy in Wisconsin
Steve Early
The Housing Affordability Crisis and What Millennials Can do About It
George Ochenski
Collaboration Failure: Trump Trashes Sage Grouse Protections
Rob Seimetz
Bringing a Life Into a Dying World: A Letter From a Father to His Unborn Son
Michael Howard
PETA and the ‘S’-Word
John Kendall Hawkins
Good Panopt, Bad Panopt: Does It Make A Difference?
Kim C. Domenico
Redeeming Utopia: a Meditation On An Essay by Ursula LeGuin
Binoy Kampmark
Exhuming Franco: Spain’s Immemorial Divisions
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
Democratizing Money
Laura Finley
Congress Must Reauthorize VAWA
December 11, 2018
Eric Draitser
AFRICOM: A Neocolonial Occupation Force?
Sheldon Richman
War Over Ukraine?
Louis Proyect
Why World War II, Not the New Deal, Ended the Great Depression
Howard Lisnoff
Police Violence and Mass Policing in the U.S.
Mark Ashwill
A “Patriotic” Education Study Abroad Program in Viet Nam: God Bless America, Right or Wrong!
Laura Flanders
HUD Official to Move into Public Housing?
Nino Pagliccia
Resistance is Not Terrorism
Matthew Johnson
See No Evil, See No Good: The Truth Is Not Black and White
Maria Paez Victor
How Reuters Slandered Venezuela’s Social Benefits Card
December 10, 2018
Jacques R. Pauwels
Foreign Interventions in Revolutionary Russia
Richard Klin
The Disasters of War
Katie Fite
Rebranding Bundy
Gary Olson
A Few Thoughts on Politics and Personal Identity
Patrick Cockburn
Brexit Britain’s Crisis of Self-Confidence Will Only End in Tears and Rising Nationalism
Andrew Moss
Undocumented Citizen
Dean Baker
Trump and China: Going With Patent Holders Against Workers
Lawrence Wittner
Reviving the Nuclear Disarmament Movement: a Practical Proposal
Dan Siegel
Thoughts on the 2018 Elections and Beyond
Thomas Knapp
Election 2020: I Can Smell the Dumpster Fires Already
Weekend Edition
December 07, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Steve Hendricks
What If We Just Buy Off Big Fossil Fuel? A Novel Plan to Mitigate the Climate Calamity
Jeffrey St. Clair
Cancer as Weapon: Poppy Bush’s Radioactive War on Iraq
Paul Street
The McCain and Bush Death Tours: Establishment Rituals in How to be a Proper Ruler
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail