Thursday, July 11, 2013


From Wikipedia1:
An accessory is a person who assists in the commission of a crime, but who does not actually participate in the commission of the crime as a joint principal. The distinction between an accessory and a principal is a question of fact and degree:
● The principal is the one whose acts or omissions, accompanied by the relevant mens rea (Latin for "guilty mind"), are the most immediate cause of the actus reus (Latin for "guilty act").

● If two or more people are directly responsible for the actus reus, they can be charged as joint principals (see common purpose). The test to distinguish a joint principal from an accessory is whether the defendant independently contributed to causing the actus reus rather than merely giving generalised and/or limited help and encouragement.
In the United States, a person who learns of the crime and gives some form of assistance before the crime is committed is known as an "accessory before the fact". A person who learns of the crime after it is committed and helps the criminal to conceal it, or aids the criminal in escaping, or simply fails to report the crime, is known as an "accessory after the fact". A person who does both is sometimes referred to as an "accessory before and after the fact", but this usage is less common [bold emphasis added].
SO, if one is hired by a company (or country) and told to keep its unlawful, unconstitutional, fraudulent, or deceptive activities quiet (or perhaps even to carry them out), AND WE DO, what does that make us?

How many accessories and principals are out there in our beloved countries? Out there and afraid? Afraid to lose jobs? reputations? homes? loved ones? freedoms? perhaps their very lives?

Any déjà vu here?

Why have we begun to look so much like our former AND current enemies?

How about we have an international re-screening of Judgment at Nuremberg? How about doing it on September 28, the International Right to Know Day2? Or better yet, do it on September 29 and call it the International Responsibility to Know Day, since so many of us seem to prefer to NOT know those things that challenge our preconceptions of self and country?

Will we too, in some future year, when things have run their course down this slippery slope of suspicion, surveillance, and surreptitious “judgment,” hear some judge say to us:
The charge is that of conscious participation in a government-sanctioned system of cruelty and injustice in violation of every moral and legal principle known to all civilized nations. The tribunal has carefully studied the record and found therein abundant evidence to support beyond a reasonable doubt the charges against these defendants.3
3. From the screenplay, Judgment at Nuremberg.
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