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White Guilt & Jury Misconduct

Thursday, May. 04, 2006 12:49 AM

As a jumbo-sized entry in the What The Fuck??? Department comes an op-ed piece from the Wall Street Journal by a gentleman named Shelby Steele.

Steele believes that America has been reticent to apply its full military power in war; a post-Vietnam policy of minimalism and restraint has us embroiled in a long, drawn-out conflict against an insurgency that Steele believes we should be able to handily defeat.

But his argument takes a detour into some strange territory as he ascribes this alleged minimalism to, "... the world-wide collapse of white supremacy as a source of moral authority, political legitimacy, and even sovereignity."

Thus, white people, eager to not be associated with past sins ascribed to unchecked white imperialism and racism, shy away from exercises of power, even if it means the difference in winning a war quickly or slogging along with no perceivable end in sight.

And so our failures in Iraq are an outgrowth of, "... managerial minimalism that shows us to be beyond the passions of war." Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo are "stigmatization campaigns" intended to dog us with the sins of the past, and grant some kind of moral superiority to the anti-America crowd.

To Steele, the solution is simple. America doesn't need to apologize, because we're not doing anything wrong. Beat the fucking snot out of Iraq. Pound the goddamn Taliban into dust. Iran wants some? Bring it on, we'll turn your fucking country into radioactive glaze!

Despite my beliefs that the War on Terrorism has not been predicated on a fight-to-win approach, it is more that we are suffering from attention-deficit disorder at an executive level. In order to apply force, one must know where to direct it. One must be frank about one's capabilities and will, as well as the enemy's.

It's not the decline of white supremacy or the spectre of racists past that are tripping us up in Iraq.

It's fundamental dishonesty.

And questions about jury misconduct are coming to light in the Lodi Terror Trial, where Hamid Hayat was recently found guilty on charges of providing 'material support' to terrorist (by way of attending a training camp in Pakistan) and lying to federal agents.

Originally in favor of acquittal, Juror Arcelia Lopez claims she was pressured by jury foreman Joseph Cote to change her vote for an unanimous guilty verdict. Cote is also alleged to have spoken to alternate jurors, which is against the rules.

Cote denies the allegations. He claims he may have spoken to an alternate juror, but not about Lopez or her vote.

Folks, as someone who has sat on a jury before, the instructions exist to protect not only the defendant, but the objectivity of the process. Jurors are not to discuss the case amongst themselves, nor with outside parties. It's that simple. Hell, you can get that much watching Law & Order.

If Hayat is, in fact, guilty, the seemingly small matter of jury impartiality can result in a mistrial.

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