The hypocrisy of the ‘political class’

It often seems that Glen Greenwald has made it his life's work to document this hypocrisy as one can find it in Washington, DC. For instance, in his latest Salon post, Greenwald compares the mandatory and severe prison sentences given to those convicted for committing petty crimes to the leniency demanded for those individuals who authorized heinous war crimes and the rankest abuse of the law:

Our political class has embraced mandatory minimum sentencing schemes as a way to eliminate mercy and sentencing flexibility for ordinary people who break the law (as opposed to Bush officials who do) [emphasis in the original].

The American way — sadism reserved for the weak, mercy showered on the powerful:

Under all circumstances, arguing that high political officials should be immunized from prosecution when they commit felonies such as illegal eavesdropping and torture would be both destructive and wrong [not to mention, in the case of the latter crimes, a clear violation of a treaty which the U.S. (under Ronald Reagan) signed and thereafter ratified]. But what makes it so much worse, so much more corrupted, is the fact that this "ignore-the-past-and-forget-retribution" rationale is invoked by our media elites only for a tiny, special class of people — our political leaders — while the exact opposite rationale ("ignore their lame excuses, lock them up and throw away the key") is applied to everyone else. That, by definition, is what a "two-tiered system of justice" means and that, more than anything else, is what characterizes (and sustains) deeply corrupt political systems. That's the two-tiered system which, for obvious reasons, our political and media elites are now vehemently arguing must be preserved.

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