A coworker alerted me of this story: http://harpers.org/archive/2007/12/hbc-90001951.
Now, rape, murder, and assault are serious crimes, and they deserve serious attention. But it shouldn't shock anyone to learn of the DoJ's apathy. They took a long time to deal with Abu Ghraib, and they've worked hand in hand with Bush to cover up military abuses (the four US soldiers who killed an Iraq family and brutally raped at least one of the female members), and the DoJ hasn't done anything to help interject a bit of "justice" into the Guantanamo issue. Given, they don't necessarily have the power to do much, but they do have the ability to dictate HOW crimes are dealt with by the government. They are responsible for getting the ball rolling, but as of late, all we've seen is homeostasis. It's as if they didn't understand the concept of kinetic energy, and are throwing all their potential power for good into defending corporate scum and federally approved methods of terror in the form of torture.
The military wrongdoing, and this new development on DoJ policy shows the Bush Administration's crass misdirection and inability to reason an out an argument. But the more sinister and troubling issue behind the military problems and the private contractor mess is that, though creationists wouldn't phrase it like this, there is a disregard for human life and liberty -- and it's only evolving into a more ferocious animal. As horrible and completely unjustified as the defects of Guantanamo, torture/water boarding, and soldier abuses are, the administration could argue, as they have (rather ineffectively), that these abuses were for US security reasons -- in other words they would invoke that horrible adage and scarily frequent bumper sticker phrase of red-states across the country: "freedom isn't free." (insert pause here to wash your mouth and eyes out). But, when the DoJ, backed by the administration, refuses to set in place a method of criminal action against the independent contractors, who are committing crimes not just against Iraqis or potential terrorists, but their own, American coworkers, it shows a disregard for American lives at its core. It proves that the administration isn't doing anything in America's best interests, it is doing only what it sees as it's own, insular priorities, to hell with the rest. These contractors have found not only a place and time in which to capitalize on profits, they've found a new frontier, a new Wild Wild East were the law is theirs to make or ignore. Manifest destiny has switched direction and continents and though different -- it is also the same: the contractors go not in wagons, but in tanks, and they are in search of treasures, profits, and adventure. Well, the technology has changed, but the unbridled Hobbesian existence, making life either nasty, brutish or short, has not
Hobbes argued that man left to his own devices in nature will not lead a fulfilling life and therefore the state, that mighty Leviathan, is necessary to keep things in check and make people see the positives,and create a structure where social contract and absolute sovereignty were key. But here's the anomaly -- the Bush administration is taking the worst from Hobbesian theory. They are acting like sovereigns at home and allowing contractors, Federal interrogators, and in rare cases, soldiers, act as if they are void of government, which in turn makes them revert to their brutish state of nature - and the raping, destruction, and murder abounds. The problem is, the administration does not understand the concept of social contract, or consent of the governed, which isn't just an tabula rasa for whatever policies that would benefit the administration, but an oh-so-fragile contract between the government and the governed, that says the polis will be cared for by an informed and Empathetic authority. Conscience should not stray from capital hill, and people should not be easily ruled over by a government that does not respect human life, and the very inalienable rights that the administration has now placed on a sliding scale.
Hobbes said the freedom of the absolute individual, without social contract was one in which you could do all that you wanted to defend yourself, including death and destruction to another. Somehow, Bush and his cronies has decided that civil society should not be barred from absolute administration's freedom and autonomy to harm whomever they see as a threat. Perhaps this blogger should start searching for a good hiding spot.