Thursday, February 22, 2007

Justice

Imagine, if you will, a turbulent summer. Heat and tempers rise, a fractious Quebec election erupts in violence. People are injured, some seriously. The streets fill with protestors, there are clashes with police, several officers and more people are hurt. A woman in the custody of security forces is raped and serially sexually assaulted by officers.

Despite the obvious stress and the physical and emotional trauma, she comes forward. Brutalized and violated, she summons the courage to file a charge. Despite the stigma of shame in the eyes of her family, her community, her church. It is difficult enough to prosecute a faceless assailant, a stranger. To accuse the very authorities, honour bound to serve and to protect, must be sheer terror. These are armed men, organized and powerful and possessed of great access and resources.

Imagine the chill sense of dread in the hearts of your wives, sisters and daughters in every step they take beyond the shelter of a locked door. Imagine the hesitation of trust as public guardians stand accused, the potential for violent reprisals looms and public outrage mounts. Then imagine that within fouteen hours of the news hitting, the Prime Minister, the leader of the nation, dismisses all charges outright. He goes on to call the woman a liar and a criminal. He promises to reward the men accused of gang rape.

Imagine that.

Fourteen hours after the report of a violent crime, the fucking Prime Minister has parachuted in. He's collected all of the pertinent evidence, documenting, securing and verifying chain of custody. Because the charges are quite serious, he puts a rush on the forensic work-up. Hell, if you want something done right, do it yourself. So he takes the lead, DNA samples are gathered to match against saliva, semen, blood or lies. The clock is ticking. Thorough interviews are conducted with both accuser and accused. It's almost lunch, the Prime Minister skips lunch and finishes his dissertation to become a forensic psychologist. Tiring somewhat, he takes a thirty second nap.

Leaping into the afternoon, he curses the DNA machinery, too damn slow. He takes out his sliderule and redsigns the software on the fly, coding with a Sinclair because it's cute. While the code executes, he reviews all of the interviews from memory because playback is too slow. By dinner the DNA results begin to come in. He pauses to relax for a few minutes, reading a few dozen books on case law and dining on a single grape (wouldn't want to over-stimulate). Finally, as his day draws to a close he testifies before himself and hands down his verdict, case dismissed. What a great fucking Prime Minister that would be. Isn't democracy grand? You can really smell the freedom, it smells just like mayhem.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

there are terribly evil people in the world. as a survivor, this story is familiar. maliki's political agenda supercedes reality.
guess what folks? a woman cannot call out the truth and be taken seriously. get the picture?
that is the reality. in canada. us. iraq.
everywhere.

the rev. said...

hey, my first computer was a Timex/Sinclair --the original laptop/almost palmtop computer, if you don't count the tv monitor.

Mike said...

Freedom on the march in Iraq. Good thing Saddam is gone...