Barrett Brown, Kathy Kelly, and Bonny Mahoney are the kind of people who are imprisoned in America. It is not the perjurers and liars, the torturers, war criminals and mass murderers. It is the good people who peacefully protest the crimes of those who control the US government and its policies.
Since around 1990 I have studied and reported on cases that have resulted in the erosion of the protective features in law that made law a shield of the people instead of a weapon in the hands of the government. Barrett Brown’s statement to the Judge in his show trial shows that the US Department of Justice has been successful in preventing the system from delivering any justice. The US Court system delivers support for the government’s crimes. That’s it.
Brown’s statement shows how the system works. The government brings false charges against you or they bring charges that are not illegal under law as understood. However, prosecutors invent new interpretations of laws and judges and juries accept legislation-by-prosecutor-to-fit-the-made-up-case. Almost never is a jury involved, not that jurors show any inclination to go against the government’s case. However, prosecutors only face that unlikely risk in 3 or 4 percent of the cases. All other cases are settled on the basis of self-incrimination. The prosecutor tells the defendant and his attorney, “you can admit to this and that and have a sentence of 5 or 10 years. Otherwise, we are indicting you with 105 offenses with imprisonment of at least one lifetime.
Read Brown’s statement to the judge. This young man describes perfectly how the so-called “criminal justice system” actually works. I have seen it time after time in cases I have investigated. Read The Tyranny of Good Intentions.
Kathy Kelly and Bonny Mahoney were sentenced to prison for stepping across the perimeters of Air Force bases in peaceful protests against murder-by-drone. There was no real reason for charges to be brought against them or for a judge to sentence them to prison except to continue to make it crystal clear that the US government tolerates no dissent.
A democracy protected by free speech would permit these demonstrations, but the US is not a democracy and does not have free speech. That is the fact that Barrett Brown, Kathy Kelly and Bonny Mahoney are proving.
In my opinion, protesting drone murders at Air Force bases that operate the killer drones is unlikely to be effective in stopping the murders. Suppose the protests resulted in a base commander having second thoughts. What can he possibly do about it? If he disobeys orders, he would face a court martial. If he expresses doubts or makes protests to higher ups, he would be removed and a worse murderer would be put in his place.
To be effective in halting the drone murders, the protests would have to be very large and persistent, and the protests would have to focus on Congress and the White House. They would need public support, but would get none from the presstitute media or from “law and order” conservatives, patriot organizations, neoconservatives, or liberals who have bought into the “war on terror.”
What Brown, Kelly, and Mahoney are in fact proving is that the US is lawless in the sense that law serves only the government and its agenda. In America law no longer has any other meaning. There is no rule of law. We are ruled by the government’s agenda.
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.