I’ve got two freedom updates from Radley, the first here. Twenty-five year jail sentence
for Mark O’Hara for possessing 58 Vicodin tablets for which he had a
legal prescription. Prosecutors admit he wasn’t selling them, but the
law provides for a de facto charge of trafficking based solely
on quantity. The law said they could get him, so they did. I’m sure it
looks great on their resumes. Let freedom ring.
Next up, 140 years of jail for four people wrongly convicted,
two of them now dead. Small price to pay, since in in keeping them in
jail, the State was better able to maintain the integrity of a mob
investigation it had going that I’m sure reaped just tons of the one-two punch tough-on-crime and we-protected-you political clout, not to mention ladder climbing and opportunities for appointment to high posts for some of the investigators and prosecutors involved. Upholding freedom for all is a trough job, but thankfully not thankless, anymore.
Indeed, it must have been important, since the FBI
commended and paid bonuses to the guys who did it — and later, for
keeping it hidden — clearly, so as not to tarnish the FBI’s good name as defenders
of freedom. It’s a thin Blue line, you know. It’s also nice to get a
little honesty from the Bureau, eh? In spite of being able to cover up their gig for 35 years, they unexpectedly don’t even deny the men were
innocent and went to jail anyway. But, see, the law says that they
don’t have to give up information that would prevent an injustice, such
as a false imprisonment and 40 wasted years of a life. I guess they
ought to know, since they’re the Justice Department in this here free country. Billy weighs in on this one, too.
Finally, most people have zero to no idea of what was behind or caused the
Enron debacle. I never cared a whole lot about it, because as I
understood the business model, the company essentially derived arbitrage by taking advantages of differences in government price
fixing for various forms of energy across different jurisdictions. It’s not that I necessarily have
anything against it from a business or even moral standpoint — it’s
rather that I frown on business models that take profitable advantage of state
force in a way that’s not trying to put itself out of business.
Those who worked for Enron or did business with them were
responsible themselves to understand its business and hold themselves
responsible for the risk — a risk that turned out to be greater, I
think, than anyone could have predicted. In a rational society, risky
ventures such as this wouldn’t likely get off the ground on this scale
because they wouldn’t enjoy the false sense of security implied by
federal securities regulations that, in the end, harm more people than they help because they shield people from the consequences of their own actions.
Even still, there was just no excuse for the sort of wolf-pack
feeding frenzy that ensued and essentially played on and bolstered the
seeming natural human propensity to the vice of envy, i.e., hating
good. Enron qua business may not be your cup of tea, but that’s no
cause to cheer its destruction and the lynching of its executives.
And, as it turns out, the "clear wrongdoing" that everyone at the
time didn’t even stop to question may not have been so clear, as even
the long arm of the prosecutorial beast and their staffs of attorneys can’t seem to make their cases hold together (link: Meyer) even with their stock-in-trade witness and evidence tampering, and that’s saying something.