Click here to read ‘Devil protects his own (part I)’
1.) Joseph Stalin (lived to age seventy-four). Former leader of the Soviet Union. His social policies resulted in the starvation of millions; his purges murdered millions more; his mistrust of his own spies prior to Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941 is estimated to have caused the deaths of twenty million Soviet citizens. To conceal his incompetence, he either had these spies executed, or refused to negotiate for their release from foreign prisons.
2.) Mao Zedong (lived to age eighty-two). Former leader of China. His programs, such as The Great Leap Forward and The Cultural Revolution, resulted in the deaths of millions of his countrymen.
This tradition of silencing dissent with brutality persisted after Mao’s death, culminating in the deadly attack on student protesters in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Yet, while the United States maintains an embargo against Cuba for alleged human rights violations, China has become one of America’s largest trading partners, with entire retail outlets profiting from the sale of products made in China. Apparently human rights are only a concern to the United States when there’s no inexpensive labor or lax environmental standards to exploit.
3.) Pol Pot (lived to age seventy-two). Leader of the Khmer Rouge. He was responsible for the torture and murder of millions of his countrymen in Cambodia, yet died peacefully in his sleep, never having to face any court or tribunal, despite committing what may be, in proportion to Cambodia’s population, the worst genocide in history.
4.) Josef Mengele (lived to age sixty-seven). The Angel of Death, as he was known, was responsible for some of the worst atrocities ever committed against his fellow human beings. A doctor who devoted his skills, not to healing the sick, but to conducting grotesque human experiments, Mengele escaped to South America after the collapse of the Nazi regime, where he lived out his years in relative comfort, protected by many of the South American dictatorships supported by the United States. When he drowned while swimming in 1979, many tried to find solace in the belief that his death resulted from divine intervention. Nevertheless the fact remains that this mass murderer never had to answer for his crimes against humanity.
5.) P. W. Botha (lived to age ninety). Former President of South Africa and unapologetic defender of its racist apartheid system, Botha refused to testify before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in post-apartheid South Africa. This Commission asserted that Botha was responsible for numerous human rights violations during his presidency. It is also believed that he ordered the bombing of the headquarters of the South African Council of Churches.
6.) Richard Nixon (lived to age eighty-one) and Gerald Ford (lived to age ninety-three). After the assassination of Robert Kennedy, Richard Nixon won the presidency by running on a “law-and-order” platform. Ironically, he sanctioned some of the worst lawlessness ever seen in the modern-day United States. As in the case of John Lennon, Nixon used governmental agencies to conduct personal vendettas against perceived “enemies,” and he ignored or supported the wrongful arrests, unjust imprisonments and brutal suppression of anti-war and civil rights activists. He presided over a cabal of criminals who were so desperate to undermine democracy and secure Nixon’s reelection that, in 1972, they attempted to break into the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate hotel, only to be thwarted by a hotel security guard. The resulting investigations exposed the extent of the Nixon administration’s criminality, resulting in Nixon’s resignation from the presidency in 1974.
Yet the man who so arrogantly exploited the criminal justice system to destroy others was too cowardly to face it himself. After Nixon’s resignation, vice-president Gerald Ford ascended to the presidency. Less than a month later, Ford gave Nixon a “full and unconditional pardon” for his crimes, a action that, not surprisingly, had been promoted by then-governor of California, and future president, Ronald Reagan.
7.) J. Edgar Hoover (lived to age seventy-seven). This megalomaniacal director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began his “law enforcement” career by conducting the illegal and unconstitutional Palmer Raids, which were designed to silence voices of dissent in America. Seeing how easily the protections provided by the United States Constitution could be circumvented or ignored, particularly when it interfered with his personal agenda, Hoover turned the FBI into a racist, blackmailing, perjurious, burglarizing and, in many cases, murderous organization. His efforts were primarily directed against anyone he considered to be “un-American,” which basically meant anybody who did not agree with Hoover.
The crimes of this agency during his tenure include: attempts to goad members of organized crime into murdering civil rights activist Dick Gregory; instigating internecine violence within political organizations; inciting violence between rival political organizations; protecting informants who engaged in criminal activity, up to and including murder; utilizing agency resources to illegally spy upon politicians and other public figures, often using the material obtained for blackmail purposes; efforts to undermine the civil rights movement by zealously investigating alleged crimes committed by African-Americans, while reluctantly investigating crimes committed against African-Americans or white civil rights activists; refusal to warn activists of known assassination plots against them; and disseminating outright lies about American citizens to destroy their reputations and careers. Tragically, in the case of actress Jean Seberg, this tactic also resulted in her suicide.
Yet for years Hoover refused to acknowledge the existence of organized crime in the United States. Some argue this was because organized crime figures possessed materials that could have exposed Hoover’s alleged homosexuality. How ironic it would be if the Master Blackmailer was himself the victim of blackmail. But, regardless of his motives, Hoover’s efforts transformed the FBI into an agency that is more concerned about protecting corporate profits, capitalism, and the wealth of the privileged few than defending the constitution, protecting human rights, and ensuring “justice for all.”
8.) Ronald Reagan (lived to age ninety-three). This “darling” of the conservative movement, while governor of California, was so anxious to destroy the anti-war movement in his state that he openly declared, “If it takes a bloodbath, let’s get it over with.”
He wasn’t joking. When a police officer shot and killed twenty-five-year-old James Rector, who had been watching student protesters from the University of California, Berkeley as they attempted to march to an area known as THE PEOPLE’S PARK, Reagan crony Edwin Meese proclaimed that “Rector deserved to die.” Later, during Reagan’s presidency, Meese would serve as attorney general, the highest law enforcement position in the land.
But the blood on Reagan’s hands did not stop with Rector. They also dripped with the blood of thousands of innocents throughout Central and South America. His hypocrisy was so transparent that he instituted economic sanctions against the nation of Libya, then refused to do the same against the apartheid regime of South Africa, claiming sanctions “don’t work.” And, like Gerald Ford before him, he abused his presidential powers by pardoning two FBI agents convicted of violating the rights of anti-war and civil rights activists. His alleged motive for doing so was to “forgive those who engaged in excesses.” Not surprisingly, this alleged “forgiveness” did not extend to those activists wrongfully convicted because of the “excesses” of these agents or the agency that employed them. In fact, many of them remain in prison to this day.
9.) George W. Bush (age sixty-one and counting). There is a saying that, “No man has a mad desire for power unless he secretly knows that he is weak.” Such is the case of George W. Bush, whose mad desire for power was conspicuously evident when he relied on his brother Jeb, corrupt election officials, and unethical Supreme Court “justices,” to steal the elections of 2000 and 2004.
Like Nixon, Bush is also a coward, and used his family’s influence to avoid military service in Vietnam. Now he makes bellicose speeches while young people die in Iraq, an illegal invasion launched through his mendacity and prolonged through his ineptitude.
But what is death to a coward when others have to face it? While governor of Texas, Bush was so disdainful of life that he routinely refused death row inmates’ requests for DNA testing that could have resulted in their exonerations, even though the wrongful conviction rate in one Texas county exceeds the wrongful conviction rates of entire states.
10.) Dick Cheney (age sixty-six and counting). Allegedly the “brains” behind George W. Bush, he also shares Bush’s cowardice. Although he now makes jingoistic speeches at American Legion Halls and military academies, Cheney received five deferments to avoid serving in Vietnam. He has also used the resources of the United States military to profit his former company through the use of “no-bid” contracts allegedly designed to fund “rebuilding” projects in Iraq. A man who lies without compunction, Cheney was largely responsible for propagating the myth about Iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” and Saddam Hussein’s alleged involvement in the events of September 11th, 2001. Although he is reported to have heart trouble, this has not impeded his political career, since he appears to be perfectly capable of functioning without one.
Out of this list of “Profiteers,” four—Ford, Reagan, Bush and Cheney—have been the target of assassination attempts, and most of the others faced constant danger from political rivals. Yet those who are now deceased all evaded assassination and lived long, prosperous lives, and if history is any barometer, there is little doubt that Bush and Cheney will too.
I’ll admit, after writing these lists, and realizing that the names upon them are just a small sampling of the names that could be there, I had to ask, “Why do those who abuse their power to destroy others incessantly escape punishment, in some cases even being rewarded for their crimes, while those who strive for a more just world are far too often violently removed from it?”
Since I had been trained in the art of logic, respect for the scientific method, and the merits of inductive and deductive reasoning, I sought the answer to this question through these methods, and they assured me that those who violently cause the deaths of others will not escape death themselves.
But standing alone this explanation was unsatisfactory. After all, many of those who profit from death have experienced great power, and enjoyed great wealth, during their lifetimes, while those they killed often knew only poverty and powerlessness. If life is all there is, what is the point of being honest, when liars tend to win the day? What is the point of voting, when corrupt officials can steal elections at will? What is the point of speaking out against injustice and hypocrisy if the result is economic hardship, social ostracism, suffering, and, in some cases, premature death?
If human justice is the only justice, it means that Ronald Reagan, J. Edgar Hoover, Josef Mengele, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Joseph Stalin, and others of their ilk will never have to atone for their crimes. It means that the killers of Frank Little and Harry and Harriette Moore have literally gotten away with murder.
If the evildoers never have to pay for their deeds, how foolish it was for Frank Little to speak out against corporate mistreatment of labor, how ill-advised it was for the Moores and Dr. King to struggle for racial justice, how reckless it was for Ruth First and others like her to stand against apartheid, how vacuous it was for Richard Oakes to remind the world about the plight of Native-Americans. After all, he not only paid with his life, but with his daughter’s as well. And none of these people ever lived to enjoy the changes they struggled to bring about.
But what if nobody spoke out? In all probability America would still have slavery or legalized racial segregation, women would still not have the right to vote, there would be no safety standards for workers, children would still be laboring in coal mines, and lynching would still be considered a viable way to preserve “law-and-order.”
It was then I understood that life cannot be examined logically, because life is not logical. There is a higher truth: The mortal world is the devil’s domain, and the devil will always protect his own. Eternity, however, belongs to God. And it is within this realm of Eternity that true justice can be found.
So even though politicians are quick to take credit for social change and progress, they only advocate for such change when it is politically expedient to do so.
Never forget that true progress results from the sacrifices of courageous individuals who struggle for change even when it’s unpopular, and often dangerous, to do so. You usually won’t find their names in standard history books, but you will always find them in the heavens.
David R. Hoffman,
Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
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