Saturday, October 15, 2011

Legal questions follow Iran's 'bizarre plot'

Plot described by the US Attorney General sounds like a bad action movie, but why would he lie?

Hamid Dabashi

"....So the question ultimately boils down to this: What is the difference between a "lie" and a "faulty intelligence" - except perhaps for the legalese language game in which the legal profession thrives? This points to the calamity we face today - that in fact both the Islamic Republic of Iran and the United States are ruled by lawyers.

The rule of the Ayatollahs in Iran is the rule of the jurists, of the Shia legal scholars, with their own peculiar penchant for Perso-Arabic legalese. Scarcely anyone, except for that profession, understands it. The Supreme Leader occupies the office of Vali-ye Faqih/The Master Jurist, established and theorised by the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Khomeini.

And lo and behold the same holds true in the United States, where from President Obama to Attorney General Eric Holder, people are ruled by lawyers - and their penchant for legalese Gobbledygook. Under this framework, officials can offer a used-car salesman with mismatched socks and misplaced keys as a star witness, just a few weeks after having provided legal justification for the assassination of an American citizen.

While the lawyers may find amusing or empowering their ability to manipulate words to get away with murder - the rest of humanity is at the receiving end of the dire consequences of what they say. The instant impact of Attorney General Eric Holder's announcement is that the right wing hawks in the US and Saudi Arabia are now salivating about this news and itching to attack Iran....."

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