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Tactics of tyrants

September 28, 2013

[J.P.’s Moment of Common Sense on Broad View, KRNG 101.3 FM Reno. Listen live Saturdays at 11:00 AM Pacific Time.]

Tyrants never throw you in prison for nothing.  That would make it too obvious what they are.  Instead, they invent a pretext.  In the old Soviet Union they wrote special laws just to give them excuses for locking people up.  Russian novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was sentenced to eight years in a labor camp for making derogatory comments about the Communist Party in a private letter to a friend.

(That must have been a helluva letter.)

They called his letter “anti-Soviet propaganda under Article 58 paragraph 10 of the criminal code” and “founding a hostile organization under paragraph 11.”  Doesn’t that sound better than, “We’re hauling you off to prison for being critical”?

If you live in the United States of America, don’t start feeling superior.  Remember Mark Basseley Youssef?  He’s the Egyptian-born Coptic Christian who was thrown in jail a year ago for making a video clip denigrating Muhammad.  Barack Obama was frantic to blame the attack of the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on someone else, to take the attention off his and Hillary Clinton’s incompetence, skullduggery, and malfeasance so he blamed Youssef and his dumb little YouTube video.  The poor unlucky slob just got out last month.

The pretext for jailing Youssef was that he signed the video with a nom de plume.  Muslims being known for crazy bouts of suicidal violence, he was nervous about using his real name.  Who can blame him?  Thanks to Obama, every Muslim in the world knows his real name now.  He probably can’t buy life insurance at any price.

Another recently freed political prisoner is Tom Delay, the former Republican House Majority Leader, who was forced to resign from the House of Representatives in 2005 after being indicted and eventually convicted for money laundering.  Last week an appeals court overturned that verdict citing the complete lack of evidence.  Everybody in the state of Texas knew the prosecution of Tom Delay by Democrat Party hack Ronnie Earle was politically motivated baloney but that didn’t stop the “legal” process.  They hounded Delay for eight straight years, costing him millions of dollars in lawyer fees and his position in Congress.

You see what happened, right?  They couldn’t just grab Delay for being a Republican, toss him in a cell, and throw away the key.  That would be too obvious.  Americans might open their eyes and compare Democrats to Soviet Communists.  So they invented convoluted legal charges and forced him out of office until he didn’t matter anymore.

Pretext.  To hide what they are.

If you’re curious about how often this happens, how often the U.S. judicial system is used as a tool for political oppression, there are two clues that give away the game.  Number one, tyranny always comes from the left—Democrats, liberals, socialists, and their buddies.  Republicans don’t throw Democrats in jail for being Democrats, it’s always vice versa.  Most of the time, you can’t put a Democrat behind bars even when they commit a real crime.  Congressman William Jefferson, for example, was caught in an FBI sting taking bribes from foreign governments—the marked bills were found wrapped in bundles, hidden in his freezer—and he still won two more elections.

Nancy Pelosi wanted to put him on the Homeland Security committee, for crying out loud!  I guess she figured, “Who knows more about flaws in homeland security than a congressman who takes bribes?”

Or look at Democrat Charlie Rangel.  As Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee he was in charge of writing our tax laws while cheating on his own taxes.  Pretty hard to plead ignorance when you’re the guy writing the doggone laws but that’s what he did.  They gave him a slap on the wrist, no criminal prosecution, and he’s still in Congress.

(And probably still cheating on his taxes.  Why not?  What’s the downside?)

Compare Rangel’s treatment to what happened to Tom Delay.  Or to what happened to Ted Stevens, the former Senator from Alaska.  They indicted Republican Senator Stevens on convoluted charges and convicted him right before the 2008 election, which, unsurprisingly, caused him to lose.  Then, right after the election, the judge threw out the conviction because prosecutors were caught lying, hiding exculpatory evidence, and making shit up.

That’s why we have Obamacare, folks.  It passed by one vote and the brand new Democrat senator from Alaska was that one vote.

The second clue to look for is “obstruction of justice” charges.  When the tyrants can’t find any other reason to lock you up, they will claim you hindered their investigation.  Obstruction of justice is a watered-down easier-to-prove version of perjury.  When they can’t prove you lied under oath—perjury—they convince some gullible jury that you “obstructed justice” by almost lying, or sort of lying.  They call this a “process crime,” which means there never was an actual crime committed but during the process of wasting everybody’s time investigating, the investigators got irritated by something you said... or they didn’t like your attitude... or you reminded them of their ex... or you belong to the wrong political party.  That’s what happened to Scooter Libby—he belonged to the wrong political party.

Scooter Libby, former Vice President Dick Cheney’s aide, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for supposedly making misleading statements to federal investigators in the Valerie Plame case.  The special prosecutor in that case, Patrick Fitzgerald, is infamous for expensive, long-lasting, political witch hunts that go nowhere, bankrupt the defendant, result in no convictions for the underlying crime, but send someone to prison for irritating Patrick Fitzgerald (otherwise known as obstruction of justice).  Conrad Black was another of his victims.  Black was the first international media titan to risk publishing news from the conservative side of the political spectrum and they made him pay for it, by golly.  How dare he?  His successor in conservative publishing, Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation, which owns Fox News, is currently under investigation by the FBI for—wait for it, wait for it—obstruction of justice.

(The list of famous people convicted of obstruction of justice but no underlying crime includes Martha Stewart, Casey Anthony, and Barry Bonds.  And that was the charge against President Richard Nixon when he resigned.)

The tyrants on the political left, like the tyrants of the old Soviet Union, are clamping down on individual liberty and using the government as their tool.  We’ve spent the last six months hearing revelations about how the IRS has been hunting and harassing Barack Obama’s conservative political opponents.  Even liberal news sources like the New York Times and Washington Post were aghast and reporting the IRS story.

They better watch out.  If they’re too honest, they could be next.  Telling the truth might be considered “anti-Obama propaganda” or “obstruction of justice.”

That’s... today’s dose of common sense.

“Tyrants have always some slight shade of virtue; they support the laws before destroying them.”—Voltaire

“Kings will be tyrants from policy, when subjects are rebels from principle.”—Edmund Burke

From Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA       

September 29, 2013 - I anticipate that "obstruction of justice" will eventually be used to nullify the Fifth Amendment's protection against self-incrimination. It's already being used to harass persons who dare to record police interactions with private citizens. Can't have a video record of arbitrary, high-handed police behavior unsupported (if not wholly forbidden) by law, now can we? That might stop the cops from giving a "bad guy" what he deserves.
Perhaps I worry too much. By then, refusing a "lawful order of a police officer" will probably be grounds for summary execution. Just to unclutter the justice system, y'know. – Francis P., New York

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