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With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful Hardcover – October 25, 2011
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“Greenwald lets no one off the hook in demonstrating the vast differences in legal recourse between rich and poor, powerful and weak… When the executive, judicial and legislative branches collude to avoid enforcement, lawlessness is the end result.” ―Rachel Maddow
“Glenn Greenwald's latest book is an absolute must-read. Incredibly persuasive, rigorous and damning.” ―Christopher Hayes
“Glenn Greenwald is not just the American Left's most fearless political commentator; his fearlessness is such that he has shifted the expectations for everyone else, too. His rock-ribbed principles and absolute disregard for partisan favor have made U.S. political discourse edgier, more confrontational, and much, much better.” ―Rachel Maddow
“The first thing I do when I turn on the computer in the morning is go to Glenn Greenwald's blog to see what he said. He is truly one of our greatest writers right now.” ―Michael Moore
“The most important voice to have entered the political discourse in years.” ―Bill Moyers
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Top Customer Reviews
In a tightly written narrative, Greenwald covers how the law has been used to favor what he calls political and financial elites since the 1970s. He begins with President Ford's decision to pardon Richard Nixon despite his egregious crimes against the constitution and carries forward to the present day. Neither Republicans nor Democrats are spared. He is critical of the worldwide torture and doemstic spying that occurred during the administration of George W. Bush. But he also criticizes Obama for failing to prosecute both former members of the Bush administration and the financial elite on Wall Street.
The book is divided into five sections. The first covers the origin of elite immunity and talks about how the problem of inequality first developed in the public sector. The second covers the spread of elite immunity to the private sector including Wall Street. The third section entitled Too Big to Jail deals with how many on Wall Street and in the banks have escaped prosecution. The fourth entitled Immunity by Presidential Decree deals with presidential pardons; and the final section on the American justice system's second tier deals with how the system works for non-elites.Read more ›
The best section, for me at least, was the final chapter on the second and third tiers of the justice system. America's prison state is appalling, and most of this section's material was brand new to me.
If I had one criticism it would be that if you've followed his blog as closely as I have, almost none of this--the last chapter partially excepted--is going to be new to you. But Glenn has published many thousands of words over the past three or four years, if you haven't read them all you'll find Glenn's aggressive style refreshing. He pulls no punches, names names, and doesn't necessarily play nice with the Beltway establishment. But that's what makes his voice so unique and needed--even if you disagree, you won't say that Glenn is pandering to anyone.
Greenwald makes the case in the United States today, rule of law is disappearing. Instead, we have what he calls "The Principle of Elite Immunity,"-the idea that political and business elites are never to be punished for their crimes, except perhaps if their crimes harm other elites. Greenwald blames the current mindset on Ford for pardoning Nixon and justifying the pardon on the grounds that prosecuting Nixon would be too divisive.
Now, personally, I don't think the pardon of Nixon would have been such a bad thing if it had been a one-time thing and the country had gotten back on course afterwards. However, Greenwald convincingly argues that the Nixon pardon was the beginning of a pattern of bad excuses for forgiving any and all high-level wrong doing in this country. Thus, we get pardons for Iran-Contra criminals, Bill Clinton suppressing inquiry into Regan and Bush's illegally providing of weapons to Iraq in spite of having promised investigations, and Obama's failure to prosecute the crimes of the Bush administration.
It's important to stress that the excuses really are ridiculous-read the book for the full recitation, but here's one especially bad example, both in terms of the flimsiness of the rationale and the fact that it was given by a member of our government's alleged watchdog, the media.Read more ›
As he does on his blog, Glenn fills his book with example after example of the legal double standards in the United States. It is in pointing out these double standards that he's at his most impassioned and readable. But just as his strengths carry over from his blog to the book, so do his weaknesses. The biggest one is that Glenn never really gets beyond the listing of grievances to offer a compelling explanation of why injustice has grown in recent decades (although, to Glenn's credit, he notes it has coincided with a massively growing economic gap). In other words, Glenn describes well, but explains poorly.
His attempt to provide an over arching framework is to cite the pardon of Nixon as a watershed moment, as if the pardon was a consciousness raising moment for political elites who were then emboldened to break the law with impunity. The problem with this historical narrative isn't that Nixon's pardon wasn't exceptional. It was indeed exceptional, but for a completely different reason. It symbolized a brief moment in U.S. history where grassroots pressure resulted in the exposure of crimes at the highest level of government. It was the exposure of the crimes, crimes which LBJ, JFK, and so many other previous presidents (of both parties) engaged in, that was remarkable. Not the fact that political leaders were getting away with the crimes, not the fact that political leaders began to expect to get away with their misdeeds.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
well documented. very readable. capable of evoking disgust in reader about our system of justice.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Shows exactly what is wrong with the political scene in the
USA, from previous administrations through the current administration with Obama
Excellent book well documented. Probably the most scary and disgusting indictment of our democratic systemPublished 7 months ago by N.R.S.