Recently, in my article AN AMERICAN LYNCHING (Pravda.Ru, 5/10/12), I discussed the killing of Trayvon Martin and the specious "stand your ground" defense being raised by his killer, George Zimmerman. What helped to make the Martin case a national, and international, news event were Online Petitions and Social Media sites that demanded an investigation into the police department's handling of the incident.
But there are many other situations or incidents in America today that also cry out for fair and honest investigations. These cries, however, have fallen upon unhearing ears, primarily because in some instances the perpetrators would be investigating themselves, and in others because the investigators would be just as corrupt and lawless as the people they are investigating.
So below are six investigations that will never be:
1). The Destruction of Democracy by the United States Supreme Court: In 2010, in a sickening display of their continuing disdain for human rights, justice, democracy and freedom, five of the most unethical and biased "justices" in the history of the Supreme Court-Scalia, Thomas, Alito, Roberts and Kennedy-ruled, in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, that corporations and labor unions are analogous to flesh-and-blood human beings when it comes to the right of "freedom of speech."
As innocuous as this may sound, the reality is that corporations and unions, and those who profit from them, can now make unlimited financial contributions to political candidates. It also means that weakening the financial resources of one of these groups will ensure the political dominance of the other.
Evidence of the corrupting influence of the Citizens United ruling has already materialized, as evidenced by the anti-labor agendas of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and Indiana governor Mitch Daniels.
Walker was even duped by a prankster into accepting a telephone call congratulating him for his attacks on labor that he believed was coming from one of the billionaire Koch brothers, the men many contend are the primary beneficiaries of the Citizens United ruling. And just a few days ago, a video of Walker surfaced where he tells Wisconsin billionaire Diane Hendricks how he plans to destroy labor unions with a "divide and conquer" strategy.
It has also been reported that both Scalia and Thomas have been attendees at Koch brother sponsored events, which casts significant doubt on their "impartiality" in the Citizens United case.
It is clear that a legitimate democracy cannot exist in a milieu where candidates from the two major political parties must approach their corporate or billionaire masters on bended knee before they can run for public office, because the interests of their masters will always supersede the interests of the people.
Before the tattered cloak of America's already dubious democracy becomes unwearable, an investigation must be conducted into how extensively the Citizens United decision has corrupted American politics, and also into the finances, ethics and political motivations of the so-called "justices" who sanctioned this corruption.
2). Mitch Daniels, Governor of Indiana: No discussion about venality, mendacity and hypocrisy would be complete without the inclusion of Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels. Although Walker is the poster child for political puppets paid for by Citizens United, three lesser-known puppets, Mitch Daniels, Brian Bosma and David Long, served their billionaire masters even better than Walker when they transformed Indiana into a "right-to-work" state.
For readers unfamiliar with the term, "right-to-work" is a deceptively sounding phrase for forcing labor unions to represent workers in union shops who refuse to pay union dues. Through "right-to-work" legislation, the financial resources of labor unions can be depleted, leaving only the voice of corporate interests in the political arena.
Coincidentally, or perhaps prophetically, (although I profess to have no such powers), I discussed the "divide and conquer" strategy in my Pravda.Ru article Boycott Indiana (1/11/12):
"American workers, through a political 'divide-and-conquer' strategy, are constantly being duped into acting not only against their economic self-interests, but against the economic interests of the entire nation. And no political party is more adept at exploiting this strategy than the Republican Party (GOP). The GOP [has] cajoled so many members of the middle-class to loath the poor and ignore the 'corporate welfare' distributed to the rich that the middle-class is now disappearing into the ranks of the poor; it exacerbates racial fears to turn whites against African-Americans and Hispanics, and African-Americans and Hispanics against each other; it turns men against women; 'white collar' workers against 'blue collar' workers; and non-union workers against union workers."
In promoting his anti-labor agenda, Daniels knew that, unlike Walker (who is currently facing a recall election in Wisconsin), Indiana has no recall process. And, unlike Ohio, where an anti-union law was recently defeated in a voter referendum, Indiana does not have to make voter referendums mandatory. So naturally Daniels, Bosma and Long have gone to great lengths to ensure that no "right-to-work" referendum will be presented to the Indiana electorate.
To exacerbate his mendacity, Daniels even tried to credit the "right-to-work" law when an Indiana business expanded and added new jobs. But when asked about Daniels' assertions, company president Eric Holloway stated that the "right-to-work" law played no role in his decision to expand.
The duplicitous nature of Daniels goes far beyond his anti-labor histrionics, because, like so many self-professed "pro-life," conservatives, he is also a hypocrite. As governor, he endorsed a law banning Planned Parenthood from receiving state funds, because it offers abortion services. Yet he so dramatically curtailed the financial resources available to the Indiana Department of Children Services (DCS) that fewer child abuse cases were being investigated. Then, to propagate the lie that Indiana had "record low [child abuse] deaths" during his tenure, Daniels manipulated statistics by labeling many of these deaths "not the responsibility of the Department of Child Services."
This manipulation ultimately compelled Dr. Antoinette Laskey, head of the Child Fatality Review Team, to resign. In her resignation letter, Laskey noted that the so-called "improvements" made by Daniels were "no success story," and that she could "no longer participate in a process that is unable to work effectively in this state."
So while Daniels may feign concern about the unborn, he apparently doesn't give a damn about those already here.
Many of you may be asking why this should prompt a demand for an investigation of Daniels, especially since most successful politicians in America are liars and hypocrites.
The answer resides in Daniels' dubious "bookkeeping" methods, and the possible motivations behind them.
It was recently revealed that the Daniels administration "erroneously" withheld $206 million dollars in funding from County governments. This error was in addition to $320 million dollars in tax revenue his administration had "misplaced" until a few months ago.
An investigation is necessary to determine if these funds were intentionally misplaced and/or mismanaged so that Daniels and his anti-labor lackeys could promote the passage of unneeded "right-to-work" legislation by painting a fraudulent picture of Indiana's economic climate.
3). Rick Perry, Governor of Texas: While many states impose the death penalty, the State of Texas revels in it so orgiastically that judges have refused to keep their offices open so that death-row inmates can file last minute appeals; appeals courts have ruled that defense lawyers provided effective assistance of counsel in death-penalty cases even when they fell asleep during trials; inmates have been executed before the United States Supreme Court had the opportunity to review their appeals; and at least one person, Carlos De Luna (and probably many more), was executed for a crime he didn't commit.
The result of this rabidness is that some Texas counties have had more wrongful convictions than entire states. But instead of taking this as evidence that Texas's so-called "criminal justice" system is in desperate need of reform, Governor Rick Perry's greatest concern is definitive proof will surface to show that the State of Texas has executed innocent people under his watch.
Enter Cameron Todd Willingham, a case I discussed at some length in my article, People Without Souls, (Pravda.Ru 3/13/12). Willingham was tried, convicted and sentenced to death for setting a fire that killed his three small children. Shortly before Willingham's execution in 2004, Perry received reports that criticized the outdated "arson science" used to convict Willingham. But, amoral sociopath that he is, Perry ignored these reports and allowed Willingham's execution to proceed.
Yet, much to Perry's dismay, Willingham's execution did not silence the critics, and the Texas Forensic Science Commission began to investigate the case. But shortly before an expert in arson investigations was scheduled to testify, Perry replaced the commission's chairman with political crony John Bradley, a conscienceless reprobate in his own right.
Bradley then did everything in his power to stifle the commission's work until a disgusted Texas Senate ordered his removal. Undeterred, Perry simply turned to another conscienceless reprobate, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who promptly issued a so-called "legal opinion" stating that the commission had no authority to investigate the Willingham case.
The pathetic excuse used to justify these machinations is that the demands for an investigation into Willingham's execution are not based on concerns about his guilt or innocence, but on Texas's use (or more accurately abuse) of the death penalty.
Given the amoral depravity of Perry and his cronies, and the efforts he's made to conceal the fact that an innocent man might have been executed, it is time, indeed past time, for an independent investigation of the Willingham case and Perry's cover-ups. A State whose officials and legal system have such callous disregard for civil and human rights and/or the pursuit of truth should not have the power of life and death in its hands.
4). The Federal Courts' Abdication of Their Role in the "Check and Balance" System: Former Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black once opined that court decisions in America are often guided less by law, and more by whatever hysteria is gripping the country. The Supreme Court's endorsement of the "Alien and Espionage Acts" during the first "Red" scare (the period that followed America's entry into World War I), and its endorsement of the Smith Act during the second "Red" scare (the period that followed the end of World War II), certainly gives historical credence to Black's opinion.
But, hysteria or not, reprobates and cowards in black robes have often gone to the ends of the earth to rationalize lies, racism, or injustices, yet refused to even cross the street in the name of truth, equality or justice. These same reprobates and cowards often subject statutory laws to the strictest scrutiny if they protect or expand human rights and freedoms, yet simply rubber-stamp such laws if they assail or diminish human rights and freedoms.
Doubters need only look at the recent antics of the United States Supreme Court. While several of its so-called "justices" expressed skepticism over the constitutionality of a health care reform law that could improve the quality of life for millions of uninsured and uninsurable Americans, many of these same justices had no such skepticism when they recently ruled that law enforcement officials can subject persons arrested for minor violations to invasive and degrading strip-searches.
But it has been the so-called "war on terror" that has made the federal judiciary's rubber-stamp particularly active. Through the use of "immunity" doctrines or vague references to "national security," federal courts have done absolutely nothing to outlaw or punish (and in most cases have actually encouraged) the American government's use of torture, extraordinary rendition, detentions without charge or trial, abuses of material witness statutes, the destruction of evidence depicting acts of torture, or the use of anti-terrorism laws to investigate crimes unrelated to terrorism.
The result is that some of the worst torturers, war criminals and human rights abusers in history will never have to bear any criminal or civil responsibility for their crimes.
The most recent court to roll out the red carpet for torturers is the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In a shameful decision that demonstrates how low America's legal system will sink to protect government-sponsored torturers and war criminals, judges overturned a lower court decision that had permitted Jose Padilla, an American citizen, to sue former Justice Department official John Yoo for encouraging and/or authorizing acts of torture against him.
In making their so-called "ruling," these judges puked out the pathetic excuse that it was unclear whether Padilla's abuse amounted to torture at the time it was being administered.
Although he was not part of this ludicrous decision, one of the federal judges serving on the Ninth Circuit is none other than Jay Bybee, signator of the infamous "torture memos" during the Bush dictatorship.
Clearly torture victims have very little chance for justice when the torturers themselves are wearing black robes.
Many, if not most, of these war criminals, torturers and human rights abusers have been defended by the "progressive" Obama administration. But being above the law has not satisfied some of them. Former CIA official Jose Rodriguez-who, in defiance of a court order, destroyed ninety-two videos depicting the torture of terrorism suspects-is now complaining because Obama has categorized many CIA interrogation techniques as torture.
All decent people throughout the world should be asking why Yoo, Bybee and Rodriguez are not behind bars, and why Obama, a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, is so zealous in his defense of torturers and war criminals that he has strong-armed foreign governments to impede them from conducting their own investigations into America's human rights abuses.
An investigation must be conducted into the federal court system's inexcusable, and perhaps even unconstitutional, failure to "check-and-balance" the executive branch of government, as well as its abject failure to bring any government-sponsored torturer, war criminal or human rights abuser to justice.
Without such an investigation, how can the United States, that self-professed bastion of "democracy, freedom and human rights," have even a modicum of credibility when it demands the prosecution of torturers, war criminals and human rights abusers in other countries?
And while this investigation is being conducted, all federal judges and Supreme Court "justices" should be required to endure the same treatment Padilla did, so they can experience first-hand the tactics they are too gutless to call torture.
5). The Truth about the 9/11 Attacks: There is a popular saying, "Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you." This statement could apply to a group of skeptics known as 9/11 "truthers." Often dismissed as "uninformed," truthers do have two arguments in their favor to support their belief that the Bush dictatorship played a role in facilitating the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
First, these attacks created the atmosphere of fear and anger the Bush dictatorship needed to launch its illegal invasion of Iraq. And American history has shown that its government has exaggerated facts, and even lied, to start or escalate wars: the explosion of the Battleship Maine in Havana harbor, that led America into the Spanish-American war, is now believed to have been caused by an internal explosion of the ship's ammunition; the Gulf of Tonkin incident, although largely fictitious, was used as a justification to increase United States military involvement in Vietnam; and there are still lingering questions about the excuses used to invade Grenada in 1983 and Panama in 1989.
Second, this atmosphere of fear and anger also instilled in the American populace a willingness to sacrifice freedom for security, which allowed the United States government to decimate the document it detests above all others: the Bill of Rights.
Containing most of the fundamental rights and freedoms Americans enjoyed before 9/11, the Bill of Rights had also served as a limitation on the power of government. And even the most rudimentary student of history knows that power abhors being limited.
Federalists, like Alexander Hamilton, feared giving the "turbulent masses" too much freedom, so the Bill of Rights was not included in the original constitution but added a few years later.
Almost immediately John Adams, also a Federalist and America's second president, significantly weakened the right to "freedom of speech" through his "Alien and Sedition" Acts, and since that time almost every American president, often in collusion with the federal judiciary, has searched for excuses to further eviscerate the Bill of Rights.
But 9/11 gave George W. Bush, Barack Obama and the corrupt federal judiciary more than just an excuse for evisceration-it gave them the power and ability to destroy the Bill of Rights completely.
Skeptics might counter that even a man as soulless, sadistic, sociopathic and self-serving as George W. Bush would not kill roughly three thousand people to create the pretext to invade Iraq or destroy the Bill of Rights. But Bush also surrounded himself with men who were more soulless, sadistic, sociopathic and self-serving than he was, like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Karl Rove. And their culpability for 9/11 might not have come through an act, but through an omission.
It is conceivable that Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and/or Rove intentionally ignored warnings or signs of a possible terrorist attack so they could later blame it on Saddam Hussein. It is also conceivable that they may have envisioned a traditional airline hijacking, where passengers would simply be flown to foreign soil and held hostage; thus they were unprepared for the magnitude of the 9/11 attacks.
An honest investigation would not focus on the attacks themselves, but on whether George W. Bush and/or any of his minions had prior warnings of them, and whether those warnings were ignored in order to foment American bellicosity against Iraq and extinguish the Bill of Rights.
6). The Illegal Invasion of Iraq: What were the real motivations for the invasion of Iraq? It is now obvious that the claims about "weapons of mass destruction," and "Saddam Hussein's involvement in 9/11" were nothing but lies. And while Hussein certainly had an abysmal record when it came to human rights, he was no worse than many other dictators, including some supported by the United States.
Did Bush invade Iraq so Americans would forget about the corrupt way he stole the 2000 election, much like his father invaded Panama to divert attention from the domestic "Savings and Loan" scandal? Or was it a reelection ploy designed to lure in gullible American voters who are often loath to change presidents during wartime?
In his recent book, Colin Powell, the man responsible for lying to the United Nations about Iraq's "weapons of mass destruction," claims the decision to invade Iraq had been made long before his UN fiasco, and places a large measure of blame on perhaps the most venal, sadistic, hypocritical and gutless excuse for a human being to ever hold public office: former Vice-President Dick Cheney.
Cheney's sadism is so pronounced that he has often participated in "caged hunts," where helpless animals are penned in and have no avenue of escape. However, when it came time to face adversaries who could shoot back, Cheney obtained five deferments to avoid military service during the Vietnam War.
So maybe the true reason for the illegal invasion of Iraq was so the cowardly Cheney and the equally cowardly Bush-who avoided combat duty in Vietnam by performing some still nebulous "military service" in the Texas Air National Guard-could vicariously pretend they were "warriors" without actually having to risk their own lives. The almost gleeful glint in Bush's eyes when he boasted to interviewers about being a "wartime" president, and his challenge to Iraqi insurgents to "bring it on" while he was safely ensconced in the White House, certainly supports this possibility.
Or maybe it was so Bush and Cheney could award lucrative "no-bid" rebuilding contracts and other perks to political cronies in the military-industrial complex.
Regardless of the reason, taxpayer money was spent, military resources were used, and American and Iraqi lives were sacrificed to advance Bush and Cheney's personal agendas. This means that every conceivable motive for the illegal invasion of Iraq stinks of treason. Americans should not be satisfied with Robert McNamara style mea culpas. They must demand an honest investigation into, and the prosecution of, the criminals who deceptively instigated the war against Iraq.
Will any of these six investigations ever occur? Of course not. There are too many people involved in or profiting from the warmongering, the abuses, the tortures, the injustices, the corruption, the destruction of democracy and the evisceration of the Bill of Rights. In such soil, it is impossible for anything that remotely resembles honesty or justice to blossom.
Perhaps it is fitting that I close with a quotation from the movie Billy Jack that began running through my mind the moment I started writing this article: "When policemen break the law, then there isn't any law-only a fight for survival."
Today we can add to this list the lawlessness and/or cowardice of federal judges, justice department officials, CIA agents, governors, Supreme Court "justices," and American presidents. There still isn't any law, but too few people in positions of power are willing to fight for America's survival.
David R. Hoffman
Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
Forest fires in Siberia have been raging for three months already. They have become a disaster not only of Russian, but of global scale. The fires have already scorched 12 million hectares of land