Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Indictment of a People

The Article

April 04, 2006

By Robert Leifels

The politicians and intellectuals have missed the boat regarding the death of former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt and label their Wall Street Opening Bell-like screaming as a rush to judgment. It is quite natural for them to worship at the shrine of the perceived beauty of their own words; a need to sell newspapers and so on. After all, a scorpion can't help himself for being what he is. But the “judgment” they blabber on about was already passed down years ago. I know because I witnessed it while it was happening.Mr. Milosevic, according to Western law, was to be considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Yet he was found dead before his case was finished. So one can say that according to the rule of law, when Milosevic died he was innocent.

All the journalists who heralded the trumpet of freedom and democracy in denying this condition have therefore forgotten this basic principle of Western law. And the Hague judges too have most certainly lost their way in their quest for self-glorification. Mr. Milosevic’ corpse wasn't even through rigor mortis yet when the Bench declared he was “probably” going to be found guilty anyway. In America, such a statement made by a sitting judge would be grounds for a mistrial, were the defendant alive.

Respect for the System

Throughout twenty years of service as a New York City police officer, I and my colleagues were constantly under scrutiny. Sometimes oversight verging on the fanatical, we thought, was enforced to ensure that the power of law enforcement entrusted to us and those we served with was not abused. It is well known that power unchecked will lead to abuse, and the truism that “absolute power corrupts absolutely” can apply to anyone in a position of power, not just to high politicians. Most of the time, the feeling of being under a microscope was unpleasant and it was resented. But fundamentally, such oversight was a good thing; there were indeed times when justice did prevail and “the system worked.”

Continued to Article............................................


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