(Romeo and Juliet, act 4, sc. 5)
Comments. Sometimes interesting revelations are found when and where they are least expected – in the instance by the ruling by the New York Court of Appeals, in the criminal case of People v. Edgar Morales, last week. Morales, after a christening party, had killed in a gang shooting a rival gang member and, accidentally, a bystander, a young girl.
To the charges of murder and related crimes the prosecutors had added the charge of “terrorism”, under an anti-terrorism law that was enacted in New York in the aftermath of the 9/11 attack. The jury in the initial trial had concurred on the charge of “terrorism” – on the grounds that the murder by Morales was designed to and would instill fear in the Mexican-American community at large.
The Court of Appeal reversed the decision ordering a re-trial due to the inability to define “terrorism”, other than a “collective understanding” of the term. As examples of the “collective understanding” other cases of “terrorism” were cited. It turns out that they were all committed by Arabs.
Therefore the New York Court of Appeals concluded that, “The offenses committed by defendant (Morales) and his associates after the christening party obviously are not comparable to these instances of terroristic acts.”
The Court could have dismissed the “terrorist” charge but ordered a new trial because “there are special rules that govern a trial whenever a defendant is charged with “terrorism”, and these rules are so permissive, so designed to ensure conviction, that it is inherently unfair to convict someone under these rules who is not charged with terrorism”
Translation. What the court admits is extraordinary. That is, when someone is accused of terrorism, the rules governing trials and law completely change. What the state is normally barred from doing on the grounds that it is unjust suddenly become permissible when someone faces terrorism charges. Indeed, so “prejudicial” are these special rules of “justice” for terrorism cases that anyone convicted under these rules is, by definition, treated unfairly if terrorism is inapplicable.
But if these special rules for terrorism cases are prejudicial and unfair when applied to murder defenders, then they are unfair for everyone. It means these rules are inherently unfair. And that’s what has happened in the post-9/11 era: a whole new system of “justice”, with all new rules designed to ensure convictions and long prison terms, have been invented exclusively for those facing “terrorism” charges. And since the term “terrorism” has no discernible meaning other than “acts of violence committed by Arabs and/or Muslims against westerners”, the conclusion is simple. “Liberty and Justice for All” means “Liberty and Justice for non-Muslims.”
Moral of the Story. There are too many American interests vested in the perpetuation of this irrational fear. Interests that have given rise to a flourishing and completely parasitic “terrorist experts” industry.
Domestic homeland security costs have increased by more than $1 trillion since 9/11, even though the annual risk of dying in a domestic terrorist attack is about 1 in 3.5 million. In their book “The Terrorism Delusion” John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart conclude, “…Americans seems to have internalized their anxiety about terrorism, and politicians and policymakers have come to believe that they can defy it only at their own peril. Concern about appearing to be soft on terrorism has replaced concern about seeming to be soft on communism, a phenomenon that lasted far longer than the dramatic that generated it … This extraordinarily exaggerated and essentially delusional response may prove to be perpetual.”
Or more simply, “terrorism” is such a confusing term that can suit anybody’s personal ideology. Proving, as demonstrated here and as embodied in Shakespeare’s lines, that confusion’s cure lives not in these confusions.
Besides, as Glenn Greenwald writes, quote, These “terrorism experts” form an incredibly incestuous, mutually admiring little clique in and around Washington. They’re employed at think tanks, academic institutions, and media outlets. They can and do have mildly different political ideologies — some are more Republican, some are more Democratic — but, as usual for D.C. cliques, ostensible differences in political views are totally inconsequential when placed next to their common group identity and career interest: namely, sustaining the myth of the Grave Threat of Islamic Terror in order to justify their fear-based careers, the relevance of their circle, and their alleged “expertise.” Unquote.
And as another attorney noted, “[I]t’s rarely acknowledged that the [9/11] attacks have also led to what’s essentially a separate justice system for Muslims. In this system, the principle of due process is twisted and selectively applied, if it is applied at all.”
It’s a separate system of justice so intrinsically unjust and unfair – designed to ensure that Muslims accused of “terrorism” have basically no chance of acquittal – that any trial that proceeds under its warped rules for non-terrorist defendants must be thrown out in its entirety, said the New York Court of Appeals. Readers may draw their own conclusions.
Tips for Use. Bring a loud arguing group to silence and/or reason.
In the Play. Juliet appears dead (but is only heavily drugged) and the house of the Capulets is in understandable great confusion. Fr. Lawrence invites them to order and reason.
Image Source: http://blog.gryphonnetworks.com/Productivity/bid/58092/Avoid-Do-Not-Call-Compliance-Confusion