Thursday, 15 November 2012

John Pilger - The End of Justice in America


The trial in late 2004 and 2005 was out of Kafka. It began with the prosecution successfully petitioning the judge to prohibit the defence from examining any links with “terrorism”. “This ruling turned into a brick wall for the defence,” says Katherine Hughes, who was an observer in court. “Prosecutors could hint at more serious charges, but the defence was never allowed to follow that line of questioning and demolish it. Consequently, the trial was not, in fact, what it was really about.”

It was a political show trial of Stalinist dimensions, an anti-Muslim sideshow to the “war on terror”. The jury was told darkly that Dr Dhafir was a Salafi Muslim, as if this was sinister. Osama Bin Laden was mentioned, with no relevance. That Help the Needy had openly advertised its humanitarian aims and there were invoices and receipts for the purchase of emergency food aid was of no interest. In February this year, the same judge, Norman Mordue, “resentenced” Dr Dhafir to 22 years – a cruelty worthy of the Gulag.

Stunning conviction

With their “terrorist” case “won”, the prosecutors held a dinner to celebrate, “partying”, as a Syracuse lawyer wrote to the local news­paper, “as if they had won the Super Bowl”, having “perpetuated a monstrous lie [against a man] who had helped thousands in Iraq suffering unjustly”.

No executive of the oil companies that did billions of dollars of illegal business with Saddam Hussein during the embargo has been prosecuted. “I am stunned by the conviction of this humanitarian,” said Denis Halliday, “especially as the US state department breached its own sanctions to the tune of $10bn.”
http://www.newstatesman.com/world-affairs/world-affairs/2012/11/end-justice-america


[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, November 15th, 2012.]

No comments: