Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Arresting development

It's awfully amusing to see that a number of online petitions have cropped up, demanding Paris Hilton be jailed for violations of her probation, which she engendered following a DUI conviction.

I'm guessing that by jailing Paris Hilton, the masses are supposed to extract some trivial sense of satisfaction in thinking that the entrenched power structure is actually answerable to the law, that frivolous, rich twits are treated the same as the hoi polloi within the US system of justice. It may be true that we like to see such twits fall under the gavel once in awhile. But this episode merely serves as a veneer of legitimacy for our mythical egalitarian "rule of law" fantasy. We stomp up and down and wail: Paris Hilton must be jailed! This will show us all how great the American legal system is.

Spare me.

Ignoring the immense litany of illegality, corruption, graft and larcenies both petty and grand that currently swirls around the Bush administration, yesterday came news that Chevron would likely agree to settle with US prosecutors over that company's role in the oil-for-food scandal, a scam whereby our own Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, as chair of Chevron's public policy committee, was complicit in illegally directing millions of dollars in direct payments to Hussein's regime, a direct and illegal violation of UN and US sanctions. For this, Chevron will agree to several million in fines and admit that the company "should have known" that its consciously illegal activities were ... illegal. It will not admit that it did anything wrong.

For her part in illegally funding the Iraqi regime, Rice will remain untouched by our system of justice, the one that we're supposed to wish would jail Paris Hilton and make us all feel that "the law" is blind.


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