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Special Privileges For Feds

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Men resort to talking only when they haven't the power to enforce their convictions upon others. 
Lin Yutang

Special Privileges For Feds

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Do you want to hang them that high?

If you believe that Martha Stewart is an enemy of the state, you are right. However, is she a desperado that deserves the fate of corporate plungers? Well, the art of stealing from public companies is often rewarded for the skilled crook; but if you are caught in a lie, you are the worst of the worse. The focal point in this soap opera is missed by the media. Back in June of 2002, in Steward of the Public Trust, we asked: "Should Ms. Stewart be tarred and feathered for using etiquette banned by the SEC? Or are we supposed to swing Martha's stockbroker, Peter Bacanovic, from the highest tree for getting her out of a down market?"

In the rush for a hangman’s noose, most forget securities fraud charges were dropped against Martha Stewart. U.S. District Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum ruled: "I have concluded that no reasonable juror can find beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant lied for the purpose of influencing the market for the securities of her company". Since this was the most serious charge, isn’t it curious that Sam Waksal, the former ImClone CEO, didn’t have his jail time interrupted to testify against Martha? If they were so close, why didn’t Sam just give the heads-up to sell, and avoid the Bacanovic loop?

Now that Stewart is convicted, the public will move on to the next sporting event from the court network. Nonetheless, there is a crucial point that is easily lost in the fray. When you hear that the cover-up is worse than the crime, this observation requires further examination. U.S. Code Title: 18 Section: 1001 tells the tale.

Section 1001. Statements or entries generally

(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any

matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or

judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly

and willfully -

(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or

device a material fact;

(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent

statement or representation; or

(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the

same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent

statement or entry;

shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5

years, or both.

(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to a party to a judicial

proceeding, or that party's counsel, for statements,

representations, writings or documents submitted by such party or

counsel to a judge or magistrate in that proceeding.

(c) With respect to any matter within the jurisdiction of the

legislative branch, subsection (a) shall apply only to -

(1) administrative matters, including a claim for payment, a

matter related to the procurement of property or services,

personnel or employment practices, or support services, or a

document required by law, rule, or regulation to be submitted to

the Congress or any office or officer within the legislative

branch; or

(2) any investigation or review, conducted pursuant to the

authority of any committee, subcommittee, commission or office of

the Congress, consistent with applicable rules of the House or

Senate.

At the outset, this statue applies only to the federal government. Individual states do not claim or profess to eradicate the Bill of Rights with the same arrogance as practiced in the federal courts. The Fifth Amendment clearly states a fundamental right that each citizen maintains: "nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself".

The operative standard is to keep quiet. However, how is it possible to invoke your 5th Amendment right and avoid concealing material facts that federal officials deem relevant? This central point is clouded with legal advice that as long as you refrain and refuse to make any statement, your protection remains intact. Seldom is it questioned by what legitimate authority of superior status are federal investigators and prosecutors, so ordained, that they can demand and be the arbitrator of truthfulness? Juries are supposed to be the judge of facts.

However, anyone who has experienced the hubris of the Department of Justice will attest, the self serving agenda of federal authorities is central to their targeting of citizens. The notion that assistant attorney generals serve the people is about as absurd as asserting that politicians and bureaucratic insiders are subject to the same standards as ordinary citizens. The big lie is not that told by defendants, but resides within the scam that justice is pursued by federal authorities. If this conclusion was inaccurate, why are there so many corpses from cooperating and telling the truth? Simply, the truth that federal officials want is that which conforms to their case.

When warnings are directed at witnesses to give up defendants under the threat of their own prosecution, what are the odds of honest evidence? If the law was really designed to protect the public, why are the rules applied so selectively and what gives implicated exemptions to administrative goons? If Rush Limbaugh claims prosecutorial bias in his Florida State investigation, just think what is would be like if the Feds were asking the questions!

Martha Stewart’s failure was in a lack of appreciation that once you are in receipt of a DoJ letter that YOU are a subject of a federal investigation, you MUST say nothing. Section 1001 was constructed to be the reliable fall back Catch-22 for anyone who has the misfortune to pop up on the Fed’s radar screen. The general public is ignorant how the judicial system really works. They have even less understanding and fail to recognize the routine immunity that federal officials flaunt, when they violate the constitution. Law abiding citizens know it can’t happen to them, they did nothing wrong.

If lying to a federal official is a crime, just what do you call what federal officials do to the public when they plot and scheme to destroy civil liberties? Deplorably, most citizens are unable to bring themselves to face the facts. The true outlaws are the ones that enforce a corrupt legal system. Martha will decorate her cell, and Bacanovic will need to seek future employment that doesn’t require a license. What a win for society! The professional lawbreaking political class just chalked up another scalp. The probity of the system must be protected . . .

SARTRE - March 7, 2004

Those who are convinced they have a monopoly on The Truth
always feel that they are only saving the world when they slaughter the heretics.
Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

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