Friday, October 7, 2016

Is the Rule of Law finally dead in the USA?

I'm sure there are those who say that the Rule of Law died a long time ago in these United States, but I think it's been largely intact until a couple of years ago.  Now, though . . . I'm not so sure.

Two recent examples have sorely tested my faith in our laws.  The first, and most blatant, was the refusal to prosecute Hillary Clinton for her breach of security laws and regulations.  As Austin Bay notes:

PRN means Platte River Networks, the outfit who Hillary hired to handle her rogue server system. The Apple MacBook mentioned in the timeline contained backup copies of Hillary’s emails.
  • Early 2014—Monica Hanley advises Undisclosed PRN Staff Member to wipe the Apple MacBook clean after uploading Hillary’s emails to the new PRN server but he forgets to do it
  • Early 2014—Undisclosed PRN Staff Member mails Apple MacBook back to Clinton and it is promptly lost
  • Dec 2014—Hillary delivers 55,000 emails to State Department
  • Dec 2014/Jan 2015—Heather Samuelson and Cheryl Mills request emails be deleted from their computer using BleachBit
  • Dec 2014/Jan 2015—“Unknown Clinton staff member” instructs PRN to remove archives of Clinton emails from PRN server
  • Mar 2, 2015—NYT releases an article showing that Hillary used a personal email server in violation of State Department rules
  • Mar 4, 2015—Hillary receives subpoena from House Select Committee on Benghazi instructing her to preserve and deliver all emails from her personal servers
  • Mar 25, 2015—Undisclosed PRN Staff Member has a conference call with “President Clinton’s Staff”
  • Mar 25-31, 2015—Undisclosed PRN Staff Member has “oh shit” moment and realizes he forgot to wipe Hillary’s email archive from the PRN server back in December…which he promptly does using BleachBit despite later admitting he “was aware of the existence of the preservation request and the fact that it meant he should not disturb Clinton’s e-mail data on the PRN server”
  • Jun 2016—FBI discovers that Undisclosed PRN Staff Member forgot to erase 940 emails from the gmail account he created to help with the PRN server upload
. . .

Now tell me, Comey. Do you really think (as Zerohedge says, tongue in cheek) “Mills, Hillary, President Clinton’s Office were all blissfully unaware of the actions of their rogue IT guy”? You and your agency know Hillary failed to turn over work-related emails to the Committee. You think these curiouser and curiouser shenanigans were all accidental? Are you and Alice living happily together in Wonderland?

There's more at the link.  It's a pretty damning indictment of the FBI and the Justice Department for the way they (mis)managed the Clinton investigation and appear to have displayed what can only be either partisanship, or rank incompetence, in their handling of the entire affair.  What price the rule of law when those officially responsible for its enforcement fail to do their jobs?  (Meanwhile, of course, others responsible for its enforcement continue to selectively make all sorts of problems for those who aren't in political favor.)

The other example is selective enforcement of our laws by immigration authorities.

The Obama administration is delaying deportation proceedings for recent immigrants in cities across the United States, allowing more than 56,000 ... to remain in the country legally for several more  years.

Again, more at the link.

Laws are meant to be universally enforced, not selectively applied.  I swore the same oath of office used by members of the FBI and every other Federal law enforcement agency:

I [name] do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

I meant my word, and I kept that oath of office during (and since) my term of service.  However, it seems that many (not least FBI Director Comey) are honoring it more in the breach than in the observance.

How can any honorable person swear such an oath, then flagrantly disregard it at the direction of those in political power?  Isn't the only honorable response to resign one's office rather than be a willing accomplice to its corruption?  Or am I hopelessly naive and out of touch with reality?  I hope and pray that I'm not, and the example of some friends and colleagues persuades me that there are many like me in Federal service.  However, sadly, there are many more who don't exhibit the same moral character.

So, is the Rule of Law dead in the USA?  Or is it merely in abeyance for a short time until it can be restored?  Please let us know your thoughts in Comments.  I won't be able to check in often, but I'll look forward to reading the discussion when I have time.



Rob said...

The rule of law is not dead, just some special people are above the law. Not me mind you...but some people.

We have banks too big to fail, it's not that much of a stretch to find politicians above the law.

Toastrider said...

It's neo-feudalism. One law for the nobility, and another for the peasants.

Minecraft Chuck said...

Rule of law is dead. Has been for decades, it's just that the stench is more noticeable now. The Constitution was murdered by the New Deal, the Great Society, and most importantly, the abominable acts of 1964 & 1965.

RHT447 said...

I have been telling my contacts in law enforcement for years that the day is coming when they will be forced to choose between their badge and their oath. If the rule of law is not dead, it is most certainly on fire. POTUS, Vice-POTUS, AG, FBI---who ya gonna call?

Murphy's Law said...

I foresee a very comfortable retirement in Comey's future...unless Hillary loses and the incoming administration investigates him properly. In that case, I see an orange jumpsuit in his future.

Rolf said...

The rule of law has always been an ideal, celebrated more in the breach than the fact. It's been dying for a long time, though we can argue exact dates: Anything Clinton, the IRS and the Tea Party, Ruby Ridge, Waco, GCA '68, Immigration act of '65, internment camps circa WWII, the new deal, Bretton Woods, the Civil War, Shay's Rebellion, etc. ad infinitum.

But the coffin-nails being driven home each year are becoming larger and harder to ignore or paper over.

Alice Finkel said...

1992 Whitewater failed prosecution of the Clintons, thanks to Bill's election victory. Subsequent theft of hundreds of personal FBI files on political enemies of the Clintons by Hillary-hire Craig Livingstone. And much more that has not been revealed.

20 years ago and the same dirty tricks are being successfully pulled off by the same set of people. This is corruption as it has been carried out by ruling classes and the wealthy for thousands of years.

The US has always had its share of corruption, but since the election of the Clintons in 1992 and subsequent elections of Obama et al the corruption is integral to how things are run. It is all that Hillary knows, and she will fit neatly into the apparatus that is already in place.

VFM #7916 said...

Dead, Unless:

A significant portion of the deep state is cleaned out in the next administration (You know the one I mean)

The mechanisms that allow for the deep state to be corrupted are changed. (I suggest Heinlein's idea of a fourth house of government: The House of Repeal)

Anonymous said...

"Laws are for little people..."

Anonymous said...

Not only is the rule of law dead but the entity known as The United States of America has been dead for a very long time. The movement you happen to see is just the vermin consuming the rotting corpse from the inside.

Anonymous said...

The rule of law is dead. It is now the rule of the administrators they make the laws that we must follow now, want to build something ,where is your permit ? Want your kids to sell lemonade on the street as a fundraiser , where is your permit ? Your property rights are what the laws permit you to do, on and on.

Don't even start looking down the rabbit hole of Civil Forfieture laws .

Scott H said...

The rule of law is dead. The only thing that could revive it is prosecution, conviction and serious jail time for those that killed it. I would add a treason conviction and execution for Obama.

B said...

This proves something that is debated over and over.

The police (and the FBI) will follow orders....even though it may go against their oath.

Don't expect them to follow their oath if things get "sporty"....They will follow orders.

Bet on it.

Anonymous said...

Rule of law has always been a facade; we were just less privy to the exception when we didn't have access to data. More seems to be coming out of the woodworks because of this thing called the Internet. Data, people, and events are harder to completely bury. The dirt has always been there but in the old days of paper...getting rid of it means burning the paper along with the body. Harder to do that when it's bits of electrons.

Glenn B said...

Yes, it is dead. There is no such thing as the rule of law and has been dying of more rapidly as each of the last 6 presidential administrations (each 4 year term of a president counting as an administration) disregarded the Constitution.

Gail said...

I fear it is. I don't even know what to believe in anymore. Is there hope with Trump?

Anonymous said...

All Federal hires take that same oath, leos, military, Postal Employees, Park Rangers. ALL

JohninMd.(HELP?!??) said...

It's only hope is taking the govt. back. An Article 5 Convention? Educate the people, who are totally clueless as to the Founding Principles, by a school system only interested in turning out useful drones.
Unless it happens, dark days are ahead for the Republic, I fear.

Grog said...

Good thought, JohninMd, but an Art.V Convention would do nothing except perpetuate the bloated monstrosity that projects the illusion of a national gov't, and by extension, the state/local govt's. Which is the overriding priority of any gov't, to perpetuate itself.

No, the only practical solution, as ugly as it is, and will be, is to let the system crash. As mentioned in previous comments, Rule of Law is dead, and has been for decades. The illusion of this has been very well maintained, in all aspects.

Peter has a better perspective than most of us as to how ugly the crash will be, with the life events he has witnessed and endured, and described to us over the last several years, as all of us that frequently read here can confirm.

Consider what happened in Athens, GA, just after WWII with the voting scandal, and what the aftermath of that was. That event will be a shadow of the near future, with only 30 or so days until the "election", and about 2 weeks for the final tally to be presented.

Paul said...

dead as a door nail. and what is about to follow will make feudalism look pale in comparison.

things are going to get very sporty soon. When police can select to execute who they wish and get away with it. When a class of people complain they are unfairly persecuted, and they aren't, when someone can use the law to bludgeon compliance against religious principals we do not live in a country that has a constitution.

I know lots of good cops. But I would have to say the fbi is less than admiral.

it is sad to be in this country. I would with a lot of h1b visa people and they want to come to this country. they also do it legally. I also know of some people who came here illegally and have 0 respect for any one or anything in this country.

I am thinking it is time to head up into the high country and leave the flat landers to screw up on there own.

Sad days indeed.

kamas716 said...

At this point I think it's fair to say that the American People have no faith in government. We are dangerously close to having an elected Monarchy, people who may do what they will with impunity, while the serfs are forced to abide by their directives.

deborah harvey said...

true law may not be restored without the awakening of the people.
people have not read the Constitution. they do not know what is in it or why.
they are glued to television, almost literally.
they are entranced and if they wake up it will only be if the Prince awakens them, like sleeping beauty.
so many laws are illegal and those elected to see fair play have no interest in fairness, only in keeping their jobs and feathering their nests.
only a great awakening would change the downward spiral.
God help us.

deborah harvey said...

by the way, if any of you are strong enough to take it on, learn about government and bring your skills to local government.
run for local office and maintain high standards.
maybe the floodgates will open and good men may be elected.
be prepared to be crushed by thugs, some of them physically violent.

Quartermaster said...

The combination of the Lincoln's misrule and a corrupt reconstruction, scared the elites of the time, and they backed off a lot. Then the progressive virus jumped from the GOP to the Dims and the Dims sent up Wilson, FDR, Truman, Johnson, Carter, Clinton, and now Obama (Nixon and the two Bushes didn't help a bit), which has pretty much murdered the system and corrupted the entire country. Rule of law has suffered in tandem as the corruption increased.

Rule of law is now dead. The Roman Republic was strongest right after the tables of the law were posted on the Forum. The message being sent as the law applies to all. You can't have different ways of applying the law and maintain rule of law. As a consequence, the rule of law is dead and the government has delegitimized itself in the process.

What comes next, I shudder to contemplate.

Unknown said...

Only Cruz and Webb ran on restoring Rule of Law.
Cruz got less than a third of active Republicans.
Webb was rounding error with active Democrats.

The proposition to restore equality under the law and accountability government officials clearly fails due to supermajority opposition.

Unknown said...

The 9th and 10th Amendments already exist.
What are we going to do, reiterate them and add "we really, really mean it?"

Unknown said...

Hope of vengeance on those who betrayed us?

Will red rural communities stop being crushed by a massive influx of illegal aliens and Muslim refugees?

Beyond that...
Probably not.

Steve Sky said...

On Why Diabolical Narcissists Like Hillary Clinton WANT To Get Caught – And It Isn’t For the Reason You Think

I was having a conversation with someone not long ago about a case of a priest who kept a female concubine/baby mama for many years, and how openly and shamelessly the priest and the woman carried on. The person I was visiting with then postulated that either the priest, the woman, or both of them WANTED to be caught, wanted to be exposed, wanted people to know the truth, even though they both were inveterate, dead-eyed, facile liars whenever confronted about their scandalous conduct. I assured him that he was in fact correct, they DID want “to be caught”, but not for the reason he thought. He thought that they wanted to repent, to have the burden of their guilt lifted from them. Would that it were so. That would indicate even a flicker of psycho-spiritual normalcy. Sadly, the reality is exactly the opposite, and we see this today all around us, but most especially in the realm of politics, with Hillary Clinton being the most obvious example that comes to mind.

The hideous truth is that Diabolical Narcissists / sociopaths / psychopaths have no interest in repentance, reform or apologies. DNs define themselves by, and their entire warped psycho-spiritual existence revolves around, the notion that they are superior, a separate caste, distinct from and above other human beings. They are “the elite”. They are “oligarchs”. They are a “nouveau-aristocracy”. One of the main ways that this psycho-spiritual psychosis expresses itself is in terms of the law, and the Rule of Law.

Have you noticed that the further a government descends into tyranny and evil, the thicker and thicker the code of statutes becomes? On the surface, one would think that flagrant law-breakers in positions of power would tend toward anarchy, removing the “roadblocks” from the law that might jeopardize or imperil them as they pursue ever-increasing levels of power through criminal activity. This is exactly wrong. DNs, because they define themselves as “elite”, need a metric against which to measure and quantify their “eliteness”. That metric is The Law, specifically the extent to which The LAW DOES NOT APPLY TO THEM.

Unknown said...

The yuppie Nuremberg defense, "I had to pay the mortgage."

I expect them to follow orders, instead of their oath until such a time as it's much safer to follow their oath.
Same goes for social security recipients, etc.

I wouldn't hold my breath for a full scale revolution. Everybody still has too much to lose.

Will said...

Hi Peter,

you might find this writer's perspective to be interesting:

The Land of, Uh, Opportunity?