Trump indictment

If in power in America one can get away with murder but one can’t get away with keeping some secret documents

Imran Jan June 15, 2023
The writer is a political analyst. Email: Twitter @Imran_Jan


No one is above the law, except when you open your eyes. It is not always the crime that triggers the law into action but rather the politics that does most of the time. Trump is facing various charges at a Miami court as I write this. I have not been a fan of Trump and have written extensively in the past criticising him. But hating this man is not enough to make him a criminal. I guess that is what the politics triggering the law means. If those in a country who matter are upset enough with someone popular, they trigger the law into action against that person. Make no mistake, it is all driven by politics and sometimes vendettas.

Many are saying that the prosecution of a former president is a testament to the neutrality and greatness of the American justice system. But the air leaves their argument like a fart as soon as they finish that sentence. Where is the logic in that?

President Obama had killed American citizens without the due process of law based on their speech. Sure, Anwar al Awlaki started saying awful things and encouraged people in America to make attacks against America, but a law abiding and a civilised society that America likes to label itself would have arrested him and prosecuted him for his crimes. Obama also killed his teenage son, who had committed no crime and had not even said one word against America. He was only a Playstation playing teenager who had gone to find his father in Yemen. They killed him with a drone strike. When is the American justice system prosecuting and jailing the hopey-changey former president?

President Bush invaded Iraq based on absolute lies. He sent American soldiers in harm’s way looking for WMDs that weren’t there. More than 600 American soldiers inhaled harmful chemicals in Iraq, which were leftover stashes from the time when the US had given them to Saddam to be used against Iran. President Bush ensured that the sick and wounded soldiers who had inhaled those chemicals would remain a secret because it was going to hurt his re-election campaign. Toward that end, the wounded warriors were even denied veterans healthcare. When is the US justice system prosecuting the former cowboy president?

In 1967, Israeli Air Force and Navy motor torpedo boats attacked the US spy ship called Liberty, killing 34 US crew members onboard the ship. Later, Israel merely apologised for the incident. Israel and the US government concluded that the attack was a mistake but others including the surviving members of the spy-ship had rejected that conclusion and maintained that it was a deliberate attack. Israel paid monetary damages to the family members of the deceased crew members. Not much different than the blood money that was given to the family members of those killed by Raymond Davis in Lahore. There was no prosecution for the US president at the time, President Lyndon B Johnson, for not punishing Israel for killing 34 Americans. Remember, the al-Qaeda attack on the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen in the year 2000 had killed half that number of US sailors. Would they have accepted the same blood money from Bin Laden?

If in power in America one can get away with murder but one can’t get away with keeping some secret documents. A piece of paper or the secret information on it is deemed very sensible because the leaking of that can result in the killing of Americans overseas. But that very actual act of the killing of Americans overseas is actually not considered a crime. That is why Obama is free and Trump is not.

The world may have progressed enormously. But even today, we reward compliance and marching with popular beliefs. We punish disruptions, differently thinking, recalcitrance, questioning the status quo, and above all; speaking truth to power. Truth only works in science. In the rest of human affairs, lies win the day. Everyday.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2023.

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