Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Zero Tolerance vs. Zero Accountability

In America, we have "zero tolerance" for relatively minor criminality, usually involving drugs (think mandatory sentencing/"three-strikes-you're-out" crap). Yessir, we're so ToughOnCrime, yet we have "zero accountability" for those who have committed and enabled the most horrific crimes of all, war crimes. Greenwald:
Other disclosures reveal that Blair was making claims that his own intelligence services were vehemently rejecting. For all the discussion about what happened in the run-up to that war, we still have not, in my view, come close to appreciating the historic magnitude of the evil of this crime -- and, of course, there have been no consequences for anyone responsible. It's always worthwhile -- and still startling -- to look back and see how blatantly false claims such as Blair's taxi-derived "45-minute" assertion were pervasively and uncritically exploited to justify this war
The people who mindlessly passed on claims like Tony Blair's "45-minute" hysteria did it without regard to whether it was true. At best, they didn't care. They wanted the invasion and were willing to say anything to justify it. The ones who were most unquestioning were "journalists" whose only ostensible function is to question -- see but a small sampling of examples above. What's most remarkable about all of it is that virutally none has even acknowledged wrongdoing and none has suffered any consequences of any kind. This British investigation is underscoring just how extreme all of this was.
In America, if you're rich and powerful, you can get away with murdering your wife, as O.J. Simpson did, and you can get away with lying your country into a war in which thousands of your country's best and brightest young men and women will go off to die and millions of innocent civilians will be killed or displaced, hundreds more imprisoned without charges and tortured. In the UK, at least they are willing to publicly investigate these crimes. Let's see what happens with their findings.

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