The Price of Injustice of Our Justice System

I used the following piece as an experiment of sorts, checking whether justice is a liberal value, a conservative value, or a professional value for legal professionals.

To check its appeal to liberals I submitted it as an op-ed first to the New York Times, and then to Washington Post. Both rejected it. So we can be positive that justice is NOT a liberal value. On the conservative side, neither the Washington Times, nor the Wall Street Journal, nor the on-line journal The American Thinker were interested. So justice is definitely NOT a conservative value.

On the professional side, I tired the American Lawyer. No interest whatsoever — from which we can rightly conclude that justice is certainly NOT a professional value for legal professionals.

So it looks as if justice is of concern only for the person to whom it had been denied. And yet, as my piece amply demonstrates, such is not the case: injustice perpetrated in one place manages to bulge out, and cause horrible problems in elsewhere.

So may be we all should care for justice, after all… Just judge for yourself:

 

The Price of Injustice of Our Justice System

Lev Tsitrin

Let’s figure the price tag of 21st century’s wars of religion. Take the cost of the attack of 9/11, 2001; add that of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Throw in the impending war against the Islamic State. Provisionally, factor in the upcoming effort to keep Iran from going nuclear. And then, there is small change – drone attacks in Yemen and Somalia and suchlike not-too-conspicuous action.

Comes down to a pretty penny, right? A few trillion dollars so far, give or take.

And this is just cold cash spent on personnel, logistics, equipment, and munitions. There is also cost in human suffering, less tangible but far more painful – some ten thousand Americans killed and few times as many maimed and wounded, not to mention several hundred thousand Middle Easterners killed either because they chose to get into the fight, or because they just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, becoming either the “collateral damage” of anti-terror strikes, or victims of suicide bombings.

And then, consider the effectiveness of that huge expense of life and treasure. Does it get us any closer to putting an end to Islamic terrorism? Not really. It simply treats the symptoms. The disease itself – the desire to bring the benighted humanity into compliance with God’s will as revealed to Mohammed – is by no means dented. Hundreds of high-minded fresh recruits willing to fight and die for that noble cause keep popping up daily.

Of course, there is another way of dealing with the problem – by attacking head-on its underlying cause, the idea that underpin terrorists’ actions. For it is easy to show (as I did in the book “The Pitfall of Truth: Holy War, its Rationale and Folly”) that Islamic terrorist’s worldview rests on a single, unconscious (or, to use logicians’ professional term, “hidden”) premise: the instinctive assumption that he or she can determine that Mohammed was a prophet. However, once clearly articulated and examined, this philosophical cornerstone of the entirety of a “true believer’s” thinking and action turns out to be factually wrong: there is no way for anyone to know whether God did, or did not, talk to Mohammed. The thing is simply impossible. And while this does not sound too dramatic in the context of a secular culture, in purely religious terms that reliance on what’s unreliable is of tremendous consequence, since it turns the eager fighter for
the cause of True Faith into nothing more than an idolater – a person whose object of worship is a figment of his own imagination.

Keep in mind that idol-worship is something deeply despised in Islam. So to throw terrorists off-balance and to nip Islamic terrorism in the bud, it is sufficient to point out that bin Laden, Khomenei, Nasrallah, and their followers are just idol-worshipers. The self-styled “true believers” would have to realize that they are what they hate the most – and would have to change their ways. Problem solved.

But this rational response to terrorism is not deployable: our government, apparently realizing that the pen is mightier than the sword and that words are weapons, regulates our presumably “free” speech in a way that is more in keeping with the Second amendment, requiring tight control, rather than with the free-for-all First.

Here is how it works: you put your ideas down on paper – but book publishers are just not interested. So, counting on this being the land “with liberty for all,” you decide to publish your book yourself – for after all, what’s the difference between a book and a book? The difference is, that because government doesn’t want you to speak out of your own mouth, without another’s permission, it keeps your book out of its database built for the libraries and bookstores to find and acquire upcoming titles in their area of interest, the database that is the gateway to the mainstream “marketplace of ideas.” Without passing this entry point your book it still-born, starved of the mainstream audience. Only corporate publishers are allowed in by the government, so only “vetted” books (government’s term, not mine) could find their way to the readers. (It is amusing that the much-maligned “Citizens United” decision of the Supreme Court gets bashed because it presumably grants corporations the speech rights of individuals – while individuals’ rights are literally nothing when compared to corporations’!)

This neat arrangement means that we do not have “free” speech (this kind can only be uttered by individuals.) What we do have, is the collective, corporate, encumbered speech – the supervised, altered, emasculated speech that passed someone else’s approval first, the approval of the corporate publisher acting as a censor. The “free marketplace of ideas” turns out to be the marketplace of censored (sorry, “vetted”) ideas.

Since this scheme (or, more accurately, scam) clearly abridges authors’ speech rights (given that speech is a communication between the speaker and the audience, abridgment of audience of author-published books effected by the government is a clear-cut abridgment of author’s First amendment’s right to speech), as well as of his or her property rights (for the government’s database is obviously a tool of exercising the copyright, and copyright always belongs to the author, not the publisher), you put your trust (not to mention tons and tons of money) into “justice for all” to restore First amendment’s “liberty for all,” and sue the government.

And you lose, because it turns out that federal courts do not work as advertised by the ubiquitous Lady Justice, impartially evaluating arguments provided by parties. Federal judges do not hear cases that were filed; instead, they adjudicate cases that they invent out of thin air, cases based not on parties’ argument, but on imaginary argument either fabricated for a party by judges themselves, or concocted by them by reversing a party’s actual argument. To read their decisions is to hear judges audibly tell you “if the government argued what it actually argued, I would have decided the case for you; but because the government argued something utterly different from what it argued, I decided the case for the government,” or “if you argued what you’ve actually argued, I would have given you the victory. But because you argued the exact opposite of what you argued, I gave victory to the government.” And then, judges simply attach the decision in the
made-up case to the actual one.

Given that at the most basic level, justice consists of the judge hearing a case – and that actual cases are not being heard – the practices of our federal judges have as much to do with justice as Burnie Madoff’s had to do with investing. But there is a difference: Burnie Madoff is serving 150 years in jail, but if you sue judges for fraud (as I did), you will be told that judges have the right to act “maliciously or corruptly” (per Pearson v. Ray), and that substituting parties’ argument with judges’ own fantasies, or with the exact polar opposite of the actual argument of the party is the “classical application of the judicial function” (per Tsitrin v. Vitaliano). So forget “justice for all.” And with it, forget “liberty for all,” forget the constitutional promise of free speech.

That our federal courts do not aim at delivering justice does not come as a shock to the legal professionals I talk to; to them, the sheer Kafkaesqueness of what we call the “due process of the law” is a given. As one lawyer matter-of-factly put it, “the judicial system was not created to deliver justice. This is simply not its purpose. It has its uses, but justice simply isn’t one of them.”

So let us count what this absence of justice cost us. Because it deprives us of free speech, we cannot defeat terrorism by using reason to expose the basic error of terrorism’s underpinning philosophy. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but it is being silenced by judicial fraud.

So we shoot instead of talking. The reason is silent, the sword is unleashed – to the tune of trillions of dollars wasted on wars, and of horrid shrieks of hundreds of thousands getting maimed and killed.

Federal judges obviously see the absence of justice as beneficial. One wonders whether this benefit – be it real or imagined – is worth such a frightful price.

Lev Tsitrin is the author, under pen name “Vel Nirtist,” of The Pitfall of Truth: Holy War, its Rationale and Folly. He is founder of the Coalition Against Judicial Fraud, www.cajfr.org

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