Commentary: The Rule of Law Hostage to ‘Enemy Action’

by Roger Kimball


I have always admired the admonitory wisdom that Auric Goldfinger imparted to James Bond early in Ian Fleming’s novel named for the gold-loving villain: “Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it’s enemy action.”

I have thought often of that sage advisory in recent months as so many once-trustworthy institutions of American life seem to have been weaponized against the people they were meant to serve.

This is, alas, a huge topic, and today I will only scratch the surface.

What makes the rule of law the rule of law is its more-or-less consistent application.

I say “more-or-less” because we live in an imperfect universe and, though we may strive for complete consistency, it will always elude us. But that’s not to say that we can’t say that some societies come closer to the ideal than others.

In a rational society, the laws are few, publicly proclaimed, and impartially enforced. How about in our society?

As to the number, I’ll just say that in 2008, The Heritage Foundation estimated that there were nearly 4,500 federal crimes on the books. That was 13 years ago.

The question of their impartial enforcement brings me to my real subject.

One impediment to impartiality is pragmatic. There are only so many prosecutors and so many judges. Hence the phenomenon of “prosecutorial discretion.”

The Department of Justice has to pick and choose which bad guys to go after because it doesn’t have the resources to go after them all. OK, but is it impartial in its discretion?

No. Which is why another reason for the lack of impartiality is political.

During the Trump years, why was it that the awesome power of the state was routinely brought to bear against anyone in the president’s orbit while people in the Justice Department and various intelligence services could lie, leak, and even alter critical evidence with essentially no consequences?

Why is it that the Biden DOJ “declines to prosecute” five people arrested as Chinese spies while it continues its policy of harassing, arresting, and incarcerating people who were milling about the Capitol on Jan. 6?

Why is it that the Biden DOJ has declined to investigate the scandal of blue-state nursing home deaths in the wake of the COVID-19 hysteria?

“The Department of Justice will not pursue investigations into New York, Pennsylvania, or Michigan nursing home policies,” the Washington Examiner reported, “that resulted in thousands of residential COVID-19 deaths.”

It wasn’t just that the policy of stashing COVID-19 patients in nursing homes was a deadly mistake, there was also a massive cover-up.

In New York, for example, an aide to Gov. Andrew Cuomo admitted in a leaked Zoom video that the Cuomo administration “purposely undercounted nursing home deaths to avoid a federal investigation.”

Don’t try this if you’re a Republican governor.

Meanwhile, what about the battalions of protestors who rampaged throughout American cities last summer, smashing, burning, maiming, and murdering people?

They caused some $2 billion in damages, injured scores, and killed at least a dozen.

What happened to them?

The headline says it all: “Charges Against Hundreds of NYC Rioters, Looters Have Been Dropped.”

It was the same thing in cities across the country. “Portland Drops Charges for 90% Arrested During Recent Riots.”

In Washington, D.C.: “Nearly All Rioters Freed from Jail in D.C., Most Avoid Felony Riot Charges.”

In Minneapolis: “Most Charges Against George Floyd Protesters Dropped, Analysis Shows.”

The moral? George Orwell got to the heart of the matter in Animal Farm: “All animals are equal. But some are more equal than others.”

You see what Goldfinger meant by “enemy action.”

– – –

Roger Kimball is the editor and publisher of The New Criterion and the publisher of Encounter Books. His most recent book is “Who Rules? Sovereignty, Nationalism, and the Fate of Freedom in the 21st Century.”

RealClearWire partnered with Epoch Times to make this article available.








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4 Thoughts to “Commentary: The Rule of Law Hostage to ‘Enemy Action’”

  1. Fa Cube Itches

    Wait! You mean that people in government may not be completely honest in their thoughts and deeds? Wow…that is shocking!

  2. robert orians

    When those men and women who just wanted to be left alone by the corrupt government do finally get fed up it will be too late to stop and it won’t be pretty . Commies are gonna commie and boomers are gonna boom.

  3. CCW

    From the Governor of Texas:

    “As the Governor of Texas, I have a responsibility to protect the people of Texas — a responsibility that grows more urgent by the day while the Biden Administration sits on the sidelines. I have the authority, and duty, under the constitutions of the United States and of Texas to protect Texans and our nation. I also have the authority under long-established emergency response laws to control the movement of people to better contain the spread of a disaster, such as those known to have COVID-19. My duty remains to the people of Texas, and I have no intention of abdicating that.”

    The Biden administration should “stop admitting migrants who are not authorized by Congress to be admitted,” Abbott said. “That would substantially reduce the importation of COVID-19 while also fulfilling the federal government’s role to faithfully execute the laws of the United States.”

    Merrick is now asking a federal judge to block Abbott’s order, arguing, “In our constitutional system, a State has no right to regulate the federal government’s operations,” adding “this restriction on the transportation of noncitizens would severely disrupt federal immigration operations.”

    What does the U.S. Constitution say?
    “Dec 04, 2011 · The Constitution states: “[t]he United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion…” [See Article IV, Section 4] If aliens entering into a State from a foreign country constitute an “invasion,” then the federal government is constitutionally mandated by this provision to intervene and protect the State.”
    The constitution says nothing about the United States offering amnesty and total welfare, including protection and transportation to illegal aliens crossing our borders and going into the interior.

    1. 83ragtop50

      CCW – Biden, in the image of Obama, does not care what the Constitution states. Their technique is to use Executive Orders and other non-laws to do as they please. (e.g. DACA and the CDC eviction moratorium) and force those who want to uphold the law to file suit to stop the unconstitutional act. Then the scoundrels just find a friendly activist judge to override and restraining order. It is a dictatorship in action.