Seminar on ‘US Justice System: Dynamics and Practices’
PS seminar on US justice system examines its myths and realities.
US needs uncompromised leadership on its core values, democracy, human rights, justice, truth and righteousness: Cynthia McKinney.
Aafia’s case is nothing less than murder of justice: Sara Flounders Human spirit has never accepted tyranny: Akram Zaki
Islamabad (December 4, 2012) Speakers at a seminar at the Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad criticized the US justice system and were of the view that the United States has always followed two policies: one declaratory and the other operational. While declaratory policy advocated higher principles orchestrated by the White House, the operational policy, which was led by the CIA, was aimed at having the low-key objectives. Today the line between the two policies is no more!
The interactive session on ‘US Justice System: Dynamics and Practices’ was addressed by Cynthia Mckinney, former member of the US Congress for six terms and Sara Flounders, co-Director, International Action Centre, while former federal secretary foreign affairs and ambassador M. Akram Zaki chaired and former senator Barrister Saadia Abbasi moderated the session. A select gathering of former ambassadors, ex-military officials, legal experts, academics and researchers participated in the session.
McKinney narrated several events in the US history, which reveal the fallacies about the declared notions of freedom, equality and justice by the superpower and said that the hopes of the American nation have been shattered time and again with events like the assassinations of Malcolm X to Martin Luther King Jr and Robert F. Kennedy.
She was of the view that FBI and CIA and other law enforcement agencies through their so-called counter terrorism programs have continued to violate the US constitution itself, national and international laws and human rights throughout the American history. She said “Islamic fundamentalism” was a political tool used as an argument for the war against terror.
She stressed that US needs an uncompromised leadership on its core values like democracy, human rights, justice, truth and righteousness. She was hopeful that unrelenting resistance will bring the inevitable change.
While talking on the US justice system Sara Flounders stated that US has one of the largest prison populations of the world indicating the unavailability of justice. This prison population in the US is 10 times to any industrially developed country today and conditions are not satisfactory in which prisoners have been forced to live in as they have been treated as slave labors of the state.
The state was being run on criminal policies! In fact US system of justice is the system of injustice and the people at the helm of affairs were all war criminals by all legal definitions, she claimed.
She stated, “What we have in the US was a ‘prison industrial complex’. It is for people of color and for Muslims now”.
Sara Flounders stated the policy of drone attacks, extraordinary renditions, and Aafia Siddiqui all represent the case of how innocent citizens were caught up in this web adding that in reality her case was not properly taken by the media in the United States and Americans were not properly acquainted with the case.
She argued that, “We have a media which sells war, yet 80 percent of our population does not want war. These wars are coming at a great cost to the US, to its health and education sectors, and social welfare.”
Being a witness to Aafia’s trial, Sara stated that her trial was nothing less than murder of justice. According to the US Ambassador to Pakistan, Pakistani government had never formerly requested for her repatriation, she revealed.
Highlighting the discrepancies in the US polices, Akram Zaki noted the US had always had two policies: one declaratory and the other operational. While declaratory policy advocated higher principles orchestrated by the White House, the operational policy, which was led by the CIA, was aimed at having the low-key objectives.
He was of the view that the line between the two policies of the US was removed when Bush Senior was elected the president of the US and it was actually CIA itself entering the White house!
Zaki termed the Bush era as the era of illegality and injustices, adding that the struggle and conflict between tyranny and justice was rooted in the history of mankind but history also witnessed the supremacy and prevalence of justice.
He said, “If you calculate cost of all the US wars since the Vietnam wars, you will understand how American economy has been ruined methodically. They were all waged on false premises, giving total lies to the people of America. No US soldier in Afghanistan feels that he is fighting a war to save that country”.
He informed that in the US alone 250,000 people are employed in the Homeland Security, the institution that spies on each and every American citizen.
Zaki pointed out that the self-righteousness, frontier psychology; disposable consumerism and stock exchange value were some of the major characteristics of the United States today.
He said that whenever somebody had raised voice against tyranny he had to pay with his life. This has happened in the country called the United States again and again. Edward Kennedy, Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., were all pioneers who were killed by forces of tyranny, represented by the CIA and FBI, with whom lies the responsibility of eliminating them.
“Human spirit has never accepted tyranny,” he remarked concluding the session.