Friday, November 26, 2010

Where Is Justice?

David Olofson is in jail for thirty months because he happened to own a firearm that was defective and would sometimes fire more then one round for each pull of the trigger. This made it an unregistered machine gun to the ATF. A government agency that had to use several types of ammunition to duplicate the problem. The job of any law enforcement agency should be to find truth and justice, not to rack up convictions. The defense firearms expert was not allowed to physically inspect or test the rifle. This article is not specifically about Mr. Olofson, it's about the abuse and selective application of the laws of the country.

An Congressional ethics committee document indicates that Representative Charles Rangel owed The IRS $16,775 as of 1990, but he has paid some of the back taxes. It's important to understand that Representative Rangel was the Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means committee which writes the nations tax laws. Mr. Rangel was convicted of 12 ethics violations. Many of these violations would be considered crimes for we lowly serfs and we would be charged with crimes. One of the violations was “Violating Ethics in Government Act and House Rule26: Mr. Rangel submitted incomplete and inaccurate financial disclosure statements, and failt to report or erroneously reported items he was required to disclose under the Ethics in Government Act from 1998 through 2008. In particular, Mr. Rangel amended certain financial disclosure statements only after a House committee began investigating his reporting of income from his Dominican villa.” How many of us would still be free if we filed a fraudulent government document?

In late 2003, former national security adviser to President Clinton, Samuel Berger, stashed highly classified documents under a trailer in downtown Washington in order to evade detection by the National Archives personnel. He then removed and destroyed them. Many, if not all, of the documents were originals so there is no way to know the extent of Mr. Berger's crime. What was Mr. Berger's punishment? He agreed to pay a $10,00 fine and accept a three-year suspension of his national security clearance. Would you or I get such lenient punishment for mishandling, actually out right stealing, classified data?

The CIA learned that in 1996, John Deutch, former director, had mishandled classified materials by keeping them on several unsecured home and office computers. These internet connected computers were also used by Mr. Deutch's children. The CIA didn't report this security breach to the Justice Department until March 1998. Congress was not notified until June of 1998. In April of 1999, the DOJ found that Mr. Deutch's actions, while sloppy, where not criminal. His security clearance was revoked in July of 1999, 3 months after his friends in high places let him off the hook. I'm sure we would get such treatment. Mr. Deutch's case was reopened shortly after Wen Ho Lee, who didn't have friends in high places, was railroaded through the system by Energy Secretary Bill Richardson and others. Mr. Deutch was eventually convicted of mishandling classified information. President Clinton later pardoned him but not Wen Ho Lee.

With such massive willful abuse of authority it's easy to understand why such a large percentage of people distrust the government. What is not so easy to understand is why that percentage is not 100? I guess the families of the corrupt are forced to agree with them.

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