Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

““The real damage is done by those millions who want to ’survive.’ The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. Those with no sides and no causes. Those who won’t take measure of their own strength, for fear of antagonizing their own weakness. Those who don’t like to make waves or enemies. Those for whom freedom, honour, truth, and principles are only literature. Those who live small, mate small, die small. It’s the reductionist approach to life: if you keep it small, you’ll keep it under control. If you don’t make any noise, the bogeyman won’t find you. But it’s all an illusion, because they die too, those people who roll up their spirits into tiny little balls so as to be safe. Safe?! From what? Life is always on the edge of death; narrow streets lead to the same place as wide avenues, and a little candle burns itself out just like a flaming torch does. I choose my own way to burn.””     Sophie Scholl

November 11, 2008

Justice Department: Indicting Spitzer is Not in the “Public Interest”

by Stephen Littau

Last March New York governor Eliot Spitzer resigned because of his involvement in a prostitution scandal. This is all well and good; I was among many others who called for Spitzer to resign. But should his resignation from office be enough? I think not.

Apparently federal prosecutors disagree.

Washington Post, November 7, 2008

Former New York governor Eliot L. Spitzer will not face criminal charges for his role in a prostitution scandal that drove him from office this year, prosecutors announced yesterday.

Investigators for the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service uncovered no evidence that Spitzer had misused public or campaign money to pay women employed by the Emperors Club VIP, a high-priced New York prostitution ring.

Justice Department guidelines disfavor indictments against clients of prostitution rings, even those who transport women across state lines to have sex in violation of the Mann Act. Spitzer acknowledged making payments to the service, which amounted to “acceptance of responsibility for his conduct,” said Michael J. Garcia, U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

“We have concluded that the public interest would not be further advanced by filing criminal charges in this matter,” he said in a statement issued yesterday.

What “public interest” is ever served by prosecuting an individual who makes a peaceful business transaction with another consenting adult? But as long as there are vice squads throughout the country investigating and arresting individuals who happen not to be in positions of power who participate in activities such as prostitution, it seems to me that our public servants should be held to at least the same standard if not a higher standard.

And if the Justice Department “disfavors” indicting Johns who violate the Mann Act, this suggests to me that government officials can pick and choose the laws they wish to enforce and against whom they will enforce them (which does not surprise me).

So much for the rule of law!

I disagree with the Justice Department; there most certainly is a public interest being served when hypocrites in positions of power like Eliot Spitzer are treated like any other citizen of this country.

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5 Comments

  1. I think when Nixon recited “Are we a nation of laws or of men?” our nation chose the latter.

    Pithy, I know, but how else do you explain the select enforcement of law; be it by signing statements or outright [lack of] enforcement and prosecution.

    Comment by Paul — November 11, 2008 @ 1:56 pm
  2. Must be nice to be above the law.

    This is yet another case of what’s good for the goose, IS NOT good for the gander.

    M.C. Hammer comes to mind when these public officials get away with anything and everything: “Can’t touch this”

    Can’t you just see Spitzer dancing side to side in his parachute pants?

    Comment by Aimee — November 11, 2008 @ 3:58 pm
  3. I’ve been trying to formulate the correct politician-whore joke for some time, but must move on. The actual details of such a joke are left as an exercise for the reader.

    Comment by Akston — November 11, 2008 @ 3:59 pm
  4. Well, at least with a whore the customer is getting screwed. With politicians, we are all getting screwed.

    Is that where you were going with that Akston :)

    Comment by Stephen Littau — November 11, 2008 @ 4:21 pm
  5. That’ll do nicely. :-)

    Comment by Akston — November 11, 2008 @ 4:46 pm

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