One would assume that, because of the title of this entry, that I’m going to discuss the amazing movie that is A Few Good Men, but that is not the case. Instead I’m going to ramble on about something I noticed in the movie that made me think about the current state of justice systems in place within supposedly “developed” nations. In the film, Lt. Daniel Kaffee (played by Tom Cruise) has a challenging situation in that he decides to call Col. Nathan R. Jessep to the witness stand. Going into the movie, I didn’t think anything of it. However, I was rapidly reminded that the predicament revolved around Kaffee calling a ‘highly respected’ officer as a witness and accusing him of committing a crime.
That’s when it hit me: political position, and the respective power that comes with it, is enough for a person to avoid punishment. Simply because of Col. Jessep’s position with the United States Marines, he is safeguarded against investigation?!? To me, that seems like a bit of an injustice. Anyone, anywhere, and of any authority should be held at the exact same level of accountability! If Jessep was found guilty of the accusations that Kaffee was making, then everything was just fine: Jessep would be dishonourably discharged, arrested, and sentenced. However–and this is one hell of a “however”–if Jessep was found to be not-guilty of those previously-mentioned accusations, Kaffee would be court-martialed, would surely lose his respectable position, and would be hard-pressed to find a job as an attorney elsewhere. Though Kaffee chose to proceed with the questioning, I don’t believe many lawyers would do so if they were in that same situation.
Further, if Jessep would have been found not-guilty, he would have been acquitted of all charges before news even reached other officers, let alone the press, or God-forbid, the public! When a regular peon civilian is charged with a crime, it is rapdily plastered all over the front page of the newspapers and people gasp at how horrible of a person he or she is. Then, if the defendant is later found to be not-guilty and acquitted of the charges, that will show up as a classified-sized blurb on the back page of the paper, falling somewhere between the winner of the state-wide frog-jumping contest and an advertisement for a new medication to either make sex more pleasurable or lessen the effects of gorging one’s self at the buffet.
I then started thinking that maybe this apparent lack of justice only regarded members of the military, political elite, and government officials, but I found that I could come up with a few examples that didn’t fit into any of those categories. The one that most readily came to mind was Microsoft… you know, that company that started an empire of computing to which the entire world is supposed to bow down? They have safeguarded themselves as well. In their acceptable use policy and license agreement–to which one must adhere in order to install the misnomer that is the Window$ operating system–is a line about disassembly of their software. If Microsoft had ever used someone else’s code (which I am neither accusing them of nor suggesting they have done), nobody would be able to disassemble their software in order to prove it.
Alright, there is no grand conclusion from all of this jibber-jabber, which is why it fell under the “Ramblings” category. It is merely something over which you can ponder for the next few seconds, minutes, or even hours of your life.
|:| Zach |:|