The one great thing about President Obama is that he inspired
millions with his great Chicago speech.
Those who had given up on government as an unrepresentative failure,
were inspired by his great speech, and were once again drawn back into the
system. The biggest tragedy of his administration
is his shattering the new found hopes of those who came back. He let millions down by reneging on every
campaign promise he made. Not only did
he renounce his promises, he has undermined the rule of law, cloaked the government
in a wall of secrecy, and created a two tier system of justice, which has
further eroded any confidence Americans had in their government. We are now approaching a very dangerous and critical
point in the evolution of this country, where people are ready to take to the streets
because of inequality, and injustice for the masses, but with great privilege
for the chosen few.
Who are the "chosen few" who gain special treatment, favor, and immunity? Start with Wall Street and the large banks. Those who led the country into economic free-fall, devastating millions in 2008, have been given immunity. Not one major banker has been indicted, charged, or imprisoned, for any of the many crimes committed. Not only did the large banks cause the financial collapse, they were given 12 trillion dollars as a "bail out", which was taken from the public without their permission or even asking, and given to the large banks. One might call is socialism in reverse; taking money from the bottom and redistributing it to the top. Banks were given immunity with the government's declaration they were too big to fail, then justified taking the public's money and donating it to the large banks. Americans know the power of Wall Street and the large banks; we are just powerless at this point to do anything.
Banks, as a result of the disaster, have not been regulated or brought under control by a PAC dominated Congress. Nothing has changed and the stage is once again set for another collapse. But it gets even worse, because big banks were involved in money laundering billions of dollars for the large Mexican drug cartels, and in doing so enabled and helped the cartels to expand. Cartels were spending too much time and effort managing and counting their money, so their solution was to let the large banks do it for them, thus freeing the cartels to just be the "sellers" while banks handled their money. Not one banker has been imprisoned for money laundering for drug cartels, but the little guy on the street gets imprisoned for minor drug offenses. Banks guilty of money laundering have been fined, but they merely turn around and collect from consumers. Don't think the public is not aware of the double standard; they are just powerless.
Police are part of the "chosen few" and are allowed to shoot people at random and never get indicted or charged. A Cleveland policeman fatally shot a 12 year old boy after a 2 second confrontation, which illustrates the officer got out of the car with the decision already made. He was going to shoot the 6th grader, knowing there would be no consequence. As long as a policeman can claim he felt his life threatened he is allowed to kill with immunity. Who determines if his life was in fact threatened? The police. Makes no sense and the public knows it, but they are powerless to do anything.
Government torturers and killers are given immunity from prosecution. Long before the torture report was released it was common knowledge that torture existed, and in fact was done almost as a routine by the CIA, and the military. The infamous pictures from Abu Garib told us all we needed to know. Most of us know torture when we see it, just as we know a murder by police when we see it on a cell video. Those who gave the orders to torture were given immunity from prosecution. There is a double standard here and we all know it.
The neocons who lied us into a war with Iraq, causing the deaths of millions have been given de facto immunity by Obama, who insisted we not look back, but forward. The public is not stupid; we know Obama is granting the liars a free ride to protect his own lies in the future. We know he is protecting torturers and war criminal by withholding evidence and records of the criminal doings. If those who lied us into a war were prosecuted and punished, the precedent would be set, and act as a deterrent in the future, but the President is more intent on protecting his legal future, so he has granted those who caused mass murder, immunity. Why is Dick Cheney and the rest of the neocons not in front of a war tribunal? Because they, unlike you and I, are immune, and are allowed to commit heinous crimes.
Government officials like James Clapper the Director of the NSA, blatantly lied to Congress, insisting the NSA did not collect bulk data on the American public, which later was proven to be an outright lie. If you lied to Congress you would not see the light of another day, but there is a double standard here and the public is not fooled.
But who has been prosecuted, and who is in jail? Bradley Manning is now serving 30 years in jail because he saw cold blooded murder on a video screen, which he naively reported, only to be told to keep quiet. His conscience would not let him rest until he released it, believing the US public had a right to know that murder was being committed in their name. For those who have forgotten, watch YouTube video "Collateral Murder". You will know murder when you see it.
Few even know about John Kiriakou, formerly of the CIA, who was the first to blow the whistle on the torture that had taken place. He is in jail; not the torturers or those who gave the order to torture. Kiriakou has been prosecuted using the Espionage Act. He is a '"whistleblower" who courageously thought the public should know about torture, and is now serving his sentence. Yet another double standard.
Then came Edward Snowden who saw wrong and wanted to right it by making it public. He is now a fugitive and most likely will never come home from his exile in Russia. All the wrongdoing and lies he exposed has not resulted in one prosecution or imprisonment of any guilty official. Only the man who had the courage to expose wrongdoing and lies faces prison. Another double standard.
The larger danger here is that the public sees and comprehends the double standard. There is a standard for us, but none for them. The longer this is allowed to continue the more public confidence and trust will erode. At some point, the public will insist they will not put up with it any more. Perhaps the protest by thousands against police killings is just the tip of a massive surfacing iceberg.