Saturday, June 04, 2011

Jail and Criminal Elites

The usually-right Glenn Greenwald has an overwhelmingly right piece up this morning about double vision at The Washington Post over criminal law: one law for us, the political elites, another for them, the great unwashed who deal dime bags in the 'hood.   Or perhaps I should say no law for the elites who in the eyes of the post ought to be able to do pretty much what they damn please.

A skeptic will say--well, what about DSK, the uber-elite who spent at least a few hours at Rikers on his rush trip to ignominy?  It's an interesting question and strictly speaking, I don't know whether the Post has weighed in on it or not--though from what we hear, the French establishment seems to be taking the Post-like view that you just don't do such things to such a (nice) (powerful) (well-dressed) man.

But here is a possible distinction: DSK's offense looks like a crime.  As the old Kingston Trio song goes: I don't know whether to hang you or not but thisshere shootin' o' deputy sheriffs has just naturally got to stop.  Trying to inflict yourself on an African maid is uncool, at least the new uncool.  At least in the case of white-collar crime, that might be one reason for the iconic American perp walk: you want to make em look like criminals, for those citizens who simply cannot make head or tail out of the actual charge.

Flipside: it is very hard to tell the difference between aggravated criminal politics (or banking) from what they appear to do every day.  Let me think about that...

Afterthought: this is perhaps what the Post editors don't want to put their friends through.  Or anyone else, you would think.

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