Licensed to Lie

Prisoners need to realize that the injustices they have likely experienced at the hands of their federal prosecutors and the court system are not just their bad luck, but are experienced by most convicts.

There are a number of good books that depict these problems through actual cases. Certainly one of the best of these is LICENSED TO LIE. Sydney Powell’s book poses fundamental questions about American “Justice” in much the same way that the child-hero in The Emperor’s Clothes exposed a prevailing confusion about reality.

What makes her book so powerful is that the great disfunctionality of justice in our land is shown, not to be a political problem (the problems have existed for decades as America has gone from Republican- Reagan, Bush, to Democrat- Clinton, to Republican- Bush, to Democrat- Obama), but an American problem.

She uses the cases of Sen. Ted Stevens, Enron, Arthur Andersen, and Merrill Lynch to prove that moral and intellectual rot has attached itself, to not only the highest reaches of the DOJ, but to what seems to be the majority of federal judges.

Her book is a highly readable and fascinating story. It is not a philosophic treatise, but it does put forth a number of theses. To my mind, the central thesis is that the U.S.A. is a sovereignty whose obligation to its citizens is to have a government which governs impartially. It follows that a U.S. Attorney is a representative of that sovereignty and therefore when he or she pursues a criminal prosecution, the goal is not the winning of the case, but that justice be done.

The story of these various cases (all within the same timeframe and with various connections between them), with a spotlight on the tactics of the prosecutors and the small handful of higher-ups, shows beyond doubt, that much is “rotten in Denmark”.

In spite of a marvelous appellate judge who smelled out the corruption and took courageous steps to bring it out into the open, it was all swept back under the rug. Powell’s conclusions do not stop with merely the bold accusation that the DOJ had lost their hearts and sold their souls, she lays the blame where it belongs- with all of us. She says, “Justice in the life and conduct of the state is possible only as it first resides in the hearts and souls of its citizens.”

When I see prisoners, many of whom are the direct victims of this rampant injustice, whiling away much of their days in the TV room, and doing nothing productive toward righting these wrongs, it’s hard to imagine that more than an all but insignificant percentage of our society cares either.

Hearts and souls, folks. Hearts and souls.

It will be interesting to see where Powell’s boldness leads to. She not only names the names of corrupt federal prosecutors, but of bad, lazy and ignorant federal judges. It wouldn’t be surprising if she’s had to leave the practice of law.

One encouraging event, which comes to me second hand from an inmate who listens to Sean Hannity on the radio, is that Sydney Powell is being invited to the White House as an advisor. We’ll see how that goes.