It may be no surprise that throughout American history, some of the nation's biggest scandals and crimes have been committed by the people at the top. It was President Richard Nixon who violated federal law when he tried to cover-up the break-in at the Democratic National Committee during the Watergate Scandal. Just a decade later, it was senior Reagan administration officials who secretly sold arms to Iran, and diverted the profits to anti-communist rebels in Nicaragua, during the Iran-Contra affair.
In both cases, while there were some convictions, nearly all parties were later pardoned — and very few people ever saw the inside of a courtroom, let alone the inside of a prison cells. These cases, where the punishment doesn't seem to fit the crime, are part of what Glenn Greenwald calls America's two-tiered justice system. That's the focus of his book, now out in paperback, "With Liberty and Justice for Some."