Local Vocal: Outsource justice for disgraced Bush officials to China

by Sam Margulies

The New York Times announced on Wednesday that China’s minister for food and drugs, arrested just months ago for bribery, had been executed. Wow, who says government has to be inefficient. Now I know why China is out-producing us. But I also think there is a resource here that the Bush administration should be using because it is so consistent with the rest of its policies. The Chinese criminal justice system is an underutilized resource and it is time we took advantage of it. Look at all the disappointment over Scooter Libby. It takes two years to get the guy to trial. Then after a lengthy process he gets convicted. Then weeks later he gets sentenced. Then a month later the president commutes his sentence, thus undoing several years of work by his own Justice Department. Is this not government at its worst? No wonder so many Republicans want smaller government. Here is what we ought to do. We clearly have a problem with corrupt officials (and not a few CEOs). And getting these guys investigated, indicted, tried, convicted and sent to prison is a big, expensive nuisance. It’s taking up a lot of time and resources that Alberto Gonzales could obviously use elsewhere. So let’s outsource them to China. Let’s pay China to do the work and dispose of the culprits efficiently. Just consider the advantages. First, the Chinese know how to do capital punishment, already a favored policy of President Bush. And unlike our sissified approach to capital punishment the Chinese don’t wait around trying to find a licensed physician to dispatch the condemned in a healthful and stress-free way. “We find the accused guilty. He is sentenced to death.” Then, “Bam!” and its over. One cheap Saturday night special, one bullet [made in China] and one guard on his break. What could be easier? That’s clarity for you. Second, outsourcing criminals is consistent with the administration’s approach to civil liberties, so we wouldn’t be troubled by Constitutional problems. After all, we have been “renditioning” troublemakers for years. Without the necessities of those pesky formalities we pick them up here or abroad (extradition is such a waste of Alberto Gonzales’ time) and after picking them up we take them to Egypt or Kazakhstan or any other country with a tradition of due process and fair play where they can be tortured into admitting anything we want them to say. After we get the confession, convicting them’s a cinch. Third, outsourcing important jobs to China is already a major element in the administration’s support for big business. Deregulation and outsourcing has been a staple for corporate contributors to the administration. So there is really nothing new here and this would be very popular with most Republicans. Fourth, we would save a lot of money. This would allow Bush to cut even more taxes for his cronies. Fifth and finally, it would make Alberto Gonzales’ job much easier. Imagine Gonzales negotiating with a Ken Lay or any other CEO caught red-handed backdating those stock options. “Well Ken we can do this the hard way or the easy way. We can do this here in the States or we can do this in China. Now, you wanna deal?”

Sam Margulies is a conflict mediator and the author of Getting Divorced Without Ruining Your Life and A Man’s Guide to Divorce. He lives in Greensboro.

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