With Liberty and Justice for some, Glenn Greenwald

Glenn Greenwald is a hard-hitting, lawyer turned blogger who has recently signed up with the Guardian after leaving his writing platform of Salon. He has been described as excellent by the liberal-media critics Medialens and regarded with much defensiveness by already established journalists.

In With Liberty and Justice For Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful, Greenwald takes on the effectively two-tiered US legal system which leads to elites facing no repercussions to the most extreme of law breaking while those of society who are the poorest and most powerless are ever increasingly and more harshly subject to incarceration and the full brunt of the law.

He begins by contemplating the type of society the founding fathers of the United States wanted, by tracing the principles of the constitution – equality before the law for all citizens and especially in order to subject those in power – and then contrasts this with the practises of the US governments in recent years.

The wire tapping practices which while blatantly illegal saw no one convicted and even had legislation passed to retroactively protect the perpetrators.

There is the Iran contra scandal and the conviction against the United States for arming Nicaraguan guerillas which was simply ignored.

There was the illegal war in Iraq; the torture which was widely admitted but which saw no one in a position of power convicted; and the use of arbitrary and secret extra-judicial killings by Obama: the infamous kill list. (see this brilliant Gawker video where a journalist asks Democratic delegates whether they would trust Romney with the kill list).

There is also an examination of the prison industry and Obama’s failure to prosecute Bush’s crimes.

“To date, Obama has succeeded in blocking and suppressing virtually every investigation into Bush crimes, whether by congressional committees, courts, international tribunals, or even internal executive branch inquiries.”

This is a thorough and motivating read as Greenwald’s anger gives it a vibrant tone. I had to put it down* a few times when the examples were so repugnant that it was hard to comprehend the type of society the United States have become. Some of the more heartbreaking points were statistics about people being jailed for life for small crimes. One person’s life destroyed, just like that, by an unfair system.

You can find Glenn Greenwald on Twitter

5/5

*figuratively speaking as I was reading an ebook on my Kindle app on my phone

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