Power & Market

No One is Above the Law?

No One is Above the Law?

In the recent criminal prosecutions of Donald Trump and Hunter Biden, prosecutors and others emphasized that “no one is above the law.”

Really? No one?

How about retired Lt. Gen. James R. Clapper, Jr.? When he was serving as the Director of National Intelligence, he got caught lying under oath to Congress after he falsely denied that “the NSA was collecting data on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.”

Imagine Clapper’s surprise when Edward Snowden revealed the evidence establishing that Clapper had lied. Do you see why the U.S. national-security establishment hates Snowden so much and would love to get their hands on him?

So, was Clapper ever indicted, prosecuted, and convicted, like Trump and Biden? Are you kidding? Clapper was part of the U.S. national-security establishment. No one goes after those people for criminal offenses.

Consider the Pentagon’s and CIA’s decades-long torture regime at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Torture is illegal. How many high U.S. officials have been indicted for committing the crime of torture at Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere as part of the much-vaunted “war on terrorism”? None!

In 2020, U.S. national-security state officials assassinated Iranian Gen. Qasem Soleimani. That was nothing more than straight-out murder, no different in principle than the Saudi regime’s murder of columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Was any U.S. national-security state official charged with murder? Don’t make me laugh.

Of course, none of this is any news. Ever since the U.S. government was converted to a national-security state, Pentagon, CIA, and NSA officials have violated criminal laws with impunity.

In 1970, for example, U.S. officials in Washington, D.C., and Virginia conspired to have Chilean thugs violently kidnap Gen. Rene Schneider, the overall commander of the Chilean armed forces. Why did they enter into that illegal conspiracy? Because Schneider was standing in the way of an illegal military coup in Chile that U.S. officials were trying to instigate.

When the kidnapping attempt took place, Schneider, who was armed, fought back. The kidnappers shot him dead on the streets of Santiago. Under the felony-murder rule, that made the U.S. conspirators here in the United States guilty of murder.

Were any of the conspirators ever indicted? Of course not. Murder isn’t murder when it’s committed by the U.S. national-security state. It’s considered to be protecting “national security.”

Three years later, U.S. national-security state officials participated in the state-sponsored murders of two American citizens, Charles Horman and Frank Teruggi, Jr. The murders took place during the course of the Chilean coup in 1973, which U.S. officials were finally successful in instigating.

Were those U.S. officials who participated in those two murders of American citizens ever indicted? Nope, at least not here in the United States. One of them was indicted in Chile many years later but by that time he had escaped justice by dying.

And of course, there was the U.S. national-security state assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, along with the illegal fraudulent autopsy that was conducted on his body as part of the official cover-up. (See my book The Kennedy Autopsy.) They got away with murder and illegal tampering with a body in that case too. But even if the malefactors had gotten indicted, there is little doubt that the U.S. Supreme Court would have let them off the hook on grounds of protecting “national security,” the “political-question doctrine,” and qualified immunity.

No one is above the law? That’s because the national-security establishment is the law.

Originally published at “Hornberger’s Blog.”

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
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