"The federal witness protection program is a moral assault on our society. Deals with the Devil are evil by their nature. When people can trade up to nineteen lives for the opportunity to relocate from one coast to an Arizona desert (to ultimately establish a drug business), the government, whatever its original intent, has made fools of us all. Perhaps a more novel approach might be to rethink a Society Protection Program ... where someone who admits to killing nineteen people* might rot away in a cell before they burn in hell."That reminds me of the ringing, righteously didactic voiceovers you'd get in some 1950s crime movies. But it also reminds me of Three Seconds, the Dagger-winning crime thriller by Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström, which meditates on the ethical hazards of using police informants — cheap ways of outsourcing intelligence-gathering, as one character says.
Another one of Stella's books has a similarly ringing preface, this time denouncing Enron and Arthur Anderson and wishing upon the perpetrators of that scandal a look at real prisons where real people go. So you don't need to join an Occupy protest or the tea party. Just read Charlie Stella instead.
© Peter Rozovsky 2011