Our legal system is designed to protect individuals from authoritarian abuse but if you sniff the legal air closely, you will smell something unpleasant.
Anyone accused of a white collar crime, for example, can refer to their attorney, or accountant under police or legal questioning and say for all practical purposes that the question can only be answered by said accountant or attorney–as if their actions suddenly became the property of someone else or a ghost with actions distinct from themselves. Hillary Clinton employed such ghost language in referring to her husband's sexual antics on television. One was left with the distinct impression that she completely disengaged her own awareness of the former president's actions by referring it to counsel, as if only counsel could determine what she already knew and was not adverting to. I am reminded of trials conducted by defendants who will ask those whom they shot or maimed to identify the "attacker" as if they themselves were somehow not involved–indeed hoping to confuse the jury with such nonsense. I refer to this as the "ghosting of causality" with attorneys seemingly degenerating into a priesthood of criminal shamans whose sole purpose is to collect fees for disengaging actions from individuals by totemically ghosting them onto causes such as environment, heredity or vague social processes that are documented with reams of legal gibberish. This sort of contorted sophistry is a blatant violation of legal counsel that is constitutionally designed to protect the individual from injustice. The protection of individuals against injustice should never be confused with the further injustice of never administering justice or so watering it down that it becomes meaningless.
Bill Clinton, for example, during the Monica Lewinsky
affair, posed the ridiculous question: "it depends on what you mean by
is" as a way of legalistically decoupling himself from his own actions. In
such an Alice and Wonderland world, sex does not include oral sex and genocide
is only genocide if you say it is genocide. 900,000 Rwandans died in the 1990s
while Bill Clinton was president (and having his genitals orally screened by
gender qualified consultants) because the President's stooges in the state
department did not want to admit that genocide was underway in Rwanda. The
reason: the United States was a signatory to the Genocide Convention which
specifically states that if genocide is declared anywhere in a country that is
party to that convention, then the signatories must come to the aid of that
country. Our racist, liberal ex-president, "friend" of black people
everywhere had no interest in saving lives if it meant putting his own political
ass on the line. The same might be said of our stinking European allies. Wake up
and smell the shit.
–Sean O’Reilly, Ghost Language