Sep 28 2012

Unequal justice

Glenn Greenwald gives us a horror story of how the US government will go to any lengths, however cruel, to prosecute ordinary people for minor crimes that were well intentioned, while ignoring the major crimes of important figures.

His recounting of the story of how they treated Dr. Shakir Hamoodi should make people’s blood boil.


Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Marcus Ranum

    Meanwhile, the Wall Streeters who rigged the financial markets, repeatedly lied to their customers, cheated, etc – they all walk free. Because of, you know, important priorities.

  2. 2

    I signed the petition. I’m ashamed to say this, but I don’t think I knew the extent of the suffering the Iraqi people had endured under sanctions. How is it that we can do this to a civilian population and it’s not a war crime?

    Off topic: Mano, NPR aired a follow-up story this morning about the woman who said that Michelle Obama “doesn’t look like a first lady.” Thought you would be interested if you missed it:


  3. 3
    Mano Singham

    Thanks! I heard it too and am planning to post a brief update.

  4. 4

    That (when they commit a crime(or are suspected of one)) is one side of the way the justice system treats people differently. The treatment is equally unbalanced when it comes to the victims of crime.

  5. 5

    That (when they commit a crime(or are suspected of one)) is one side of the way the justice system treats people differently. The treatment is equally unbalanced when it comes to the victims of crime.

  6. 6

    I have signed.

    It bugs me that this was ever even illegal. I get it that trade with foreign powers is under government jurisdiction.

    But making it illegal to send money to your family? There’s something seriously screwy about that; and whatever the legal issues; the moral and ethical ones seem pretty obvious. It was an unjust and cruel law, and obeying such a law while your family starves is an immoral and unethical stand, it seems to me.

    It appears that Dr Hamoodi was open about what he was doing; and what he was helping others to do.

    The basis for imprisoning him seems to be simply that prison time was determined to be required for his deliberate flouting of the law. Legally; that actually makes sense.

    Ethically, it stinks to high heaven. The law was in the wrong, and a pardon is appropriate. Along with an apology and an acknowledgement that he did right to disobey such a law.

  7. 7
    Jared A

    Perhaps he should have demanded a trial by jury and then requested a jury nullification.

  8. 8

    To be fair – “mercy” doesn’t win votes. In an election year, judges face pressure from mayors/governors/presidents, they crack down, and people get Made Into Examples. It happened to my cousin – he committed a crime during an election year and received a far harsher sentence than he, almost certainly, otherwise would have been given. From the article, “his father’s guilty plea was accompanied by the near certainty that he would receive no jail time” and “very light sentences were given, including by the same judge in my father’s case, who had just given another Iraqi national probation for having sent more money than my father”. I am quite confident that Dr. Hamoodi is another victim of timing.

    Was it wrong to have sanctions? Sanctions enable a nation to pressure another nation into conforming with its wishes, without going to war. I, personally, would far rather have sanctions on the table as a diplomatic option, rather than the alternative. If all Iraqi expats felt free to give money to their families during the sanctions there would have been no/less Iraqi domestic unrest – the teeth of the sanctions would be dulled. So breaking the sanctions must have an adequate punishment, or they serve no purpose.

    I pity Dr. Hamoodi – he seems like a good man. And, yes, there are far worse criminals who are getting away without punishment. But blood boiling? Not quite.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>