DUMBO — On the evening of Nov. 7 at the powerHouse Arena, 37 Main St., DUMBO, former constitutional rights attorney and best-selling author Glenn Greenwald will read from his new book With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful, a ferociously argued indictment on the American legal system.
Greenwald whose daily Salon blog aggregates in the millions and who consistently ranks among the top political pundits, restates the founders’ beliefs that the rule of law would be the great equalizer of American life.
He examines how our justice system has radically departed from this basic tenet. He charges both parties, the justice system, and our political culture with creating an oligarchy for political and financial elites.
Greenwald maintains these groups are afforded not merely strategic advantages within the legal system, but actual immunity in the face of the most egregious criminality.
Beginning with Watergate, through the Iran-contra scandal, and culminating with absolute immunity for what Greenwald describes as the massive political and financial crimes of the Bush era, With Liberty and Justice for Some lays plain the myriad ways in which we have collectively embraced explicit arguments to shield the powerful from accountability from the most serious crimes.
Conversely, we have allowed those very same elites to create a vast and merciless prison state for ordinary Americans. Greenwald argues that this two-tiered justice system is profoundly unjust on its face, promotes elite corruption, and could increase the levels of populist rage and social unrest.
As we face total repudiation of the central promise of the American founding — that all would stand equal before the rule of law no matter what other political and economic inequality was allowed — we must consider the grave consequences. “Only as a nation of laws, not men,” Greenwald plainly argues, “can America hope to endure.”
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