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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 10/6/14

The Trial of Stanley L. Cohen: Justice as Farce

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"but the state is determined to remove any friction. They do not want anyone to confront them, much less expose what they are doing. We have lost judge after judge that was willing to hear counterarguments. These judges have been replaced with former Wall Street lawyers, political hacks, those who are owed political favors or those who benefit from political patronage. These [newer] judges played the game. They sold their souls years ago. And justice is not really their concern. You go up against them and you hear the echo chamber of the state."

The corruption of the law to advance the interests of a corporate elite requires harsher and harsher measures to check a restive population. This misuse of the courts characterizes despotic rule. Radicals have long understood that the function of the courts in a closed society is to thwart justice. And to counter this judicial despotism we must not only be alienated from power but antagonistic to power. Cohen has exemplified this antagonism.

"The supreme law of the State is self-preservation at any cost," wrote the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin...

"And since all States, ever since they came to exist upon the earth, have been condemned to perpetual struggle -- a struggle against their own populations, whom they oppress and ruin, a struggle against all foreign States, every one of which can be strong only if the others are weak -- and since the States cannot hold their own in this struggle unless they constantly keep on augmenting their power against their own subjects as well as against the neighborhood States -- it follows that the supreme law of the State is the augmentation of its power to the detriment of internal liberty and external justice."

Cohen, who was raised in a Jewish orthodox household but who is avowedly secular, nevertheless finds meaning in his religious roots. He said he is "proud to be a Jew, but not a Jew who believes in the Judaism espoused by the generals of the Israel Defense Forces." Judaism, authentic Judaism, means for him "standing with the oppressed, the disadvantaged and the disaffected." And as the Hebrew prophets understood, this kind of Judaism comes with a price.

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Chris Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

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