“This man has suffered enough.”
These words spoken by Senator Diane Feinstein speak volumes about the separate and unequal justice system that has developed in the US.
Feinstein was speaking up for ex-four star general David Petraeus, who in 2012 resigned from his position as head of the CIA when a torrid affair he was involved in with his military biographer came to light. Now, after years of investigation, prosecutors have submitted a request to the justice department that Petraeus be charged with sharing classified information with his lover.
To be clear, we are not at all concerned about the affair. Whatever consenting adults agree to do in their own time has nothing to do with us as long as they keep it private. In fact, for someone at that level of public trust, even private affairs can be dangerous since bad-actors could use knowledge of the affair for blackmail. We acknowledge this, but think that the crime is in the act and not in the possibility. General Patraeus is now being accused by government prosecutors of sharing secret information with his lover. That, if true, is a crime perpetrated at the highest level of the government and needs to be dealt with severely.
What Senator Feinstein’s words speak to more than anything else is the double justice system we have in the US.
For regular people, small crimes can result in massive legal troubles, fines, and jail time. Often extenuating circumstances are not taken into account as police and prosecutors seek to bump their numbers. Further, as has been increasingly coming to light recently, police have been engaging in aggressive asset forfeiture – or the seizing of citizen’s property when police claim that the property was involved in a crime, or in the case of money, when they say that it’s just unreasonable to think that a regular person would be carrying around that much money. The police can seize assets without making any charge and the process to get those assets back is made intentionally torturous to keep people from wanting to try.
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Regular citizens are thus at the mercy of the full force of the justice system – whether or not any crime is even alleged to have been committed. Meanwhile, we have crimes being perpetrated by those of our wealthy elite who are let off because of ‘affluenza‘ or because they ‘wouldn’t fare well‘ in prison.
There is the growing sense throughout the nation that the system has been subverted. It works perfectly for the people who own it – the wealthy and the powerful – and it works not at all for all the rest of us. Feinstein’s protection of Petraeus underlines once more this injustice. This man, more than almost anyone else in the country, should be held to a higher, more severe justice because of the public trust he held. In the absence of this justice, those aspiring to power see only that they can get away with nearly anything and those watching from below understand that different rules apply.
Feinstein, by coming to the defense of General Petraeus, has done nothing more than undermine once again the trust that the people have in their public institutions – legal and financial. Without that trust, people will inevitably seek to create systems that work for them, and not just for the wealth and powerful.
Bitcoin is an idea born out of inequity and injustice. It is no panacea that will cure all these ills, but it the thin edge of the wedge that will begin to take control out of the hands of those who seek to rig the system and put it back into the hands of all of us.
It’s time for Bitcoin.