Glenn Greenwald on Our Justice System

Monday, November 07, 2011

Glenn Greenwald argues that, over the past four decades, the principle of equality before the law has been replaced with a two-tiered system of justice—the country's political and financial class is virtually immune from prosecution, while the politically powerless are imprisoned with greater ease and in greater numbers than in any other country in the world. With Liberty and Justice for Some reveals the mechanisms that have come to shield the elite from accountability. He shows how the media, both political parties, and the courts have abetted a process that has produced torture, war crimes, domestic spying, and financial fraud.


Glenn Greenwald

Comments [15]


And our current "progressive" president is still (like all U.S. presidents) in the pockets of the big money interests:

"New figures show President Obama continues to pull in huge donations from the financial sector, with more money from Wall Street this year than all other Republican presidential candidates combined. According to the Washington Post, Obama has raised a total of $15.6 million from banks and other financial firms, with nearly $12 million of that going to the Democratic National Committee. Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney has raised less than half that much from Wall Street, around $7.5 million. A top banking executive and Obama fundraiser told the Washington Post that reports of Wall Street antagonism toward Obama "are exaggerated and overblown ... [but] it probably helps from a political perspective if he’s not seen as a Wall Street guy.""

Nov. 07 2011 04:11 PM

john from office, you wrote:

"Manning is a soldier, not a private person. His crime was treason. His situation is different."

A private person can be accused of the crime of treason too (e.g., the Rosenbergs). Perhaps you meant that there are certain military laws which prohibited Manning from doing what he did?

Nov. 07 2011 03:47 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

It's an old question, is the King above the law?

Nov. 07 2011 12:36 PM
Eric from Brooklyn

"If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for the law."- Louis Brandeis. I completely agree w Glen Greenwald and his pointing out this longstanding travesty of justice is a great public service. For the elected officials to have been true to the country's avowed principles, the pardon of Nixon should have come AFTER a trial. After Ford's death, the late Sen Kennedy publicly stated that he thought the pardon had been justified.... astonishing. Do we believe in the rule of law, or is it just lip-service?

Nov. 07 2011 12:23 PM

How does Mr. Greenwald interpret the endless investigations into Bill Clinton in this era of elite immunity? And why might Obama be trying so hard to ignore abuses of power despite the fact that the Clinton experience suggests that he will not be given the same courtesy?

Nov. 07 2011 12:23 PM
The Truth from Becky

I agree systemic fraud, someone should have gone to jail for 2008 - bush, cheney and a few others!!

Nov. 07 2011 12:23 PM
esteban from Bronx, NY

Just wondering if Glenn knows much about the impact of zealously punishing whistleblowers. I'm particularly thinking about the impact of the military whistleblowers who tried to speak out against torture and were haunted by their experiences. Does Glenn know how this affected continued systemic impunity for US detainee abuse and torture?

I read about this in the book "None of Us Were Like This Before." It seems like a very important story, and one that reveals how quashing whistleblowers has a real impact on undermining accountability. I hope he can answer my question. Thanks!

Nov. 07 2011 12:19 PM
michelle from soho

Talk about unbalanced: Another all-male Lopate show. As is usual, women's views on WNYC are hard to hear during Lopate's show.
If i could i would take back my donation to the station!

Nov. 07 2011 12:15 PM
john from office

Manning is a soldier, not a private person. His crime was treason. His situation is different.

Nov. 07 2011 12:15 PM

A further point: If you, as a regular citizen, are convicted of a crime, forget about getting a job.

But the Wall Street criminals, the Bush and Obama war criminals, aren't just getting away with their crimes, they're profiting. Rumsfeld, Rice, Cheney, and the rest, have made millions from their crimes. The Wall Street criminals have made billions.

Crime is career and life destroying for us. (So we have reasons to obey the law.) Crime is very profitable for the 1%.

Nov. 07 2011 12:15 PM
William from Manhattan

Didn't Andrew Jackson say, when the Supreme Court ruled in a way he didn't like, "Gentlemen, you have rendered your decision. Now I encourage you to enforce it." ?
There is nothing new in politicians thumbing the scales of justice. That doesn't mean we shouldn't fight against it, but it undermines one's credibility to suggest it is a recent development.

Nov. 07 2011 12:14 PM
john from office

There has always been inequality, since the cave. It is about money and influence. Read Animal Farm again please.

Nov. 07 2011 12:10 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Even the Biblical prophets stated that judged must favor neither the rich NOR the poor. That all, rich and poor, must stand equal before the law.

Nov. 07 2011 12:09 PM
The Truth from Becky

Yeah Nixon and Lindsay Lohan.

Nov. 07 2011 12:08 PM
Enrique Escobar from Elizabeth NJ

I admire Glenn a lot.

I'd like to know if he reads Fidel Castro (his reflections are translated into english as soon as they are published in that countrie's national paper-website)?

Like him or not, is the greatest statesman alive.., and Glenn's judicial input in all his works and opinions, based on of the rule of law, reminds me of the ex-cuban president (a lawyer before anything).

Nov. 07 2011 11:55 AM

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