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.

 

 

 

More articles by:

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.

February 22, 2018
Mark Schuller
Haiti’s Latest Indignity at the Hands of Dogooders, Oxfam’s Sex Scandal
Jeffrey Sommers
Bond Villain in the World Economy: Latvia’s Offshore Banking Sector
Mark Schuller
Haiti’s Latest Indignity at the Hands of Dogooders, Oxfam’s Sex Scandal
T.J. Coles
How the US Bullies North Korea, 1945-Present
Ipek S. Burnett
Rethinking Freedom in the Era of Mass Shootings
Manuel E. Yepe
Fire and Fury: More Than a Publishing Hit
Patrick Bobilin
Caught in a Trap: Being a Latino Democrat is Being in an Abusive Relationship
Laurel Krause
From Kent State to Parkland High: Will America Ever Learn?
Terry Simons
Congress and the AR-15: One NRA Stooge Too Many
George Wuerthner
Border Wall Delusions
Manuel García, Jr.
The Anthropocene’s Birthday, or the Birth-Year of Human-Accelerated Climate Change
Thomas Knapp
Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Russiagate
February 21, 2018
Cecil Bothwell
Billy Graham and the Gospel of Fear
Ajamu Baraka
Venezuela: Revenge of the Mad-Dog Empire
Edward Hunt
Treating North Korea Rough
Binoy Kampmark
Meddling for Empire: the CIA Comes Clean
Ron Jacobs
Stamping Out Hunger
Ammar Kourany – Martha Myers
So, You Think You Are My Partner? International NGOs and National NGOs, Costs of Asymmetrical Relationships
Michael Welton
1980s: From Star Wars to the End of the Cold War
Judith Deutsch
Finkelstein on Gaza: Who or What Has a Right to Exist? 
Kevin Zeese - Margaret Flowers
War Preparations on Venezuela as Election Nears
Wilfred Burchett
Vietnam Will Win: Military Realities
Steve Early
Refinery Safety Campaign Frays Blue-Green Alliance
Ali Mohsin
Muslims Face Increasing Discrimination, State Surveillance Under Trump
Julian Vigo
UK Mass Digital Surveillance Regime Ruled Illegal
Peter Crowley
Revisiting ‘Make America Great Again’
Andrew Stewart
Black Panther: Afrofuturism Gets a Superb Film, Marvel Grows Up and I Don’t Know How to Review It
CounterPunch News Service
A Call to Celebrate 2018 as the Year of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois by the Saturday Free School
February 20, 2018
Nick Pemberton
The Gun Violence the Media Shows Us and the State Violence They Don’t
John Eskow
Sympathy for the Drivel: On the Vocabulary of President Nitwit
John Steppling
Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk Into a Bar…
John W. Whitehead
America’s Cult of Violence Turns Deadly
Ishmael Reed
Charles F. Harris: He Popularized Black History
Will Podmore
Paying the Price: the TUC and Brexit
George Burchett
Plumpes Denken: Crude thinking
Binoy Kampmark
The Caring Profession: Peacekeeping, Blue Helmets and Sexual Abuse
Lawrence Wittner
The Trump Administration’s War on Workers
David Swanson
The Question of Sanctions: South Africa and Palestine
Walter Clemens
Murderers in High Places
Dean Baker
How Does the Washington Post Know that Trump’s Plan Really “Aims” to Pump $1.5 Trillion Into Infrastructure Projects?
February 19, 2018
Rob Urie
Mueller, Russia and Oil Politics
Richard Moser
Mueller the Politician
Robert Hunziker
There Is No Time Left
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Decides to Hold Presidential Elections, the Opposition Chooses to Boycott Democracy
Daniel Warner
Parkland Florida: Revisiting Michael Fields
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail