STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
Guilty by Investigation: Sentenced to Scrutiny
By Joe Jarvis - May 14, 2017

Innocent until proven guilty may be a thing of the past if an investigation itself is punishment.

An investigation by government authorities can be quite damaging, even if that investigation turns up nothing in the end.

Investigations can be used as a warning to the target and others that Big Brother is watching.

Investigations can insinuate guilt, serving as a punishment in the court of public opinion.

And each of these scenarios can cause economic damage to the target by making others (customers, partners, sponsors) flee because they are afraid to be associated with a targeted individual, whether because they think them actually guilty, because they don’t want to be targeted themselves, or because they fear the public backlash stemming from one of those two scenarios.

A perfect example is Hillary Clinton. Yes, she was probably actually guilty and only escaped due to corruption, but the investigation did officially turn up nothing. This means her prospects of becoming President were impeded by an investigation and not a conviction.

The same goes for Trump and the Russia probe. Again, regardless of the actual merit of the investigation, it alone damaged his public image and took the wind out of the sails of his first 100 days.

And last year, many called for gun control legislation which would disallow anyone under FBI investigation to own firearms. Since basically all civilians are under FBI investigation in some way, this would effectively outlaw guns. Clever.

Then there were the IRS audits of Tea Party groups, which were costly for the leaders’ businesses and chilled the movement. Why would you paint a target on your back if you are a business owner or wealthy? Better to not publicly express support for the Tea Party.

It is hard for the government to directly attack free speech. They need to come at it from the side. They need to attack “hate speech” and “fake news.”

Investigations which the government knows will turn up nothing, in the end, are one outlet for suppression of freedom of speech.

“I Disapprove of What You Say, But I Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It”

-Evelyn Beatrice Hall and/or Voltaire

Stephen Colbert is crude, not particularly funny, and deserves the freedom of speech to say crude unfunny things. He made a joke about Trump, meant to suggest he is a pawn of Putin, and now the FCC is investigating him.

The joke aired after 10 p.m. with certain words bleeped out. This time-frame is within when the FCC kindly allows free speech on the air. But not really. The FCC claims:

Obscene content does not have protection by the First Amendment.  For content to be ruled obscene, it must meet a three-pronged test established by the Supreme Court: It must appeal to an average person’s prurient interest; depict or describe sexual conduct in a “patently offensive” way; and, taken as a whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

When the government gets to define words it doesn’t matter what rights are enshrined in the constitution. The ones who interpret the words will have dictatorial power.

Even when the FCC defines obscene content, it still could be debated endlessly the meaning of the definitions themselves! Basically, the government can always make the case that something is not free speech because it is obscene, fake news, hate speech, incitement etc.

It seems unlikely that anything will come of this investigation, officially. But unofficially, this sends a message to comedians and activists–Big Brother is watching and disapproves of your jokes about Trump.

Think twice about who you criticize.

Stephen Fry was also recently investigated in Ireland for a blasphemy law still on the books. The investigation was dropped, but again, the investigation alone is the message and slap on the wrist.

But in this case, where Fry made derogatory comments about God not being compassionate, the message seems to be: Your neighbors are watching.

Fry’s comments were reported to the Gardai by a man who claimed to be doing his ‘civic duty’, saying they breached the Defamation Act.

…’This man was simply a witness and not an injured party. Gardaí were unable to find a substantial number of outraged people.

‘For this reason the investigation has been concluded.’

The man who made the report told the newspaper he was happy the matter had been investigated, stating: ‘I did my civic duty in reporting it.

‘The guards did their duty in investigating it. I am satisfied with the result and I don’t want to comment further.’

He said he had not personally been offended by Mr Fry’s remarks.

It is one thing to be investigated by the government you offended; obviously, they are annoyed that you have stepped out of line and must be intimidated back into submission.

But it is actually more terrifying when a fellow citizen turns you in to the Gestapo, not because he wants to see you punished, but because he simply realizes you broke a law, any law.

And further horrifying is that had a mob been angered over Fry’s comments, he would have been lynched by the system. If they had found a substantial number of outraged citizens, the investigation would have continued. This means your fate is left up to the masses to decide if you can speak freely, or not.

Perhaps there should be more evidence of actual wrongdoing required to even open an investigation, since the investigations themselves have turned into the punishment, not for breaking the law, but for offending the ones with power, or the societal mob which has far too much say in your fate.

A good sign, however, is that each of these investigations only made the target more popular. As they say, there is no such thing as bad publicity.

The real problems come when it is not the famous targeted by these investigations.

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in STAFF NEWS & ANALYSIS
  • Dimitri Ledkovsky

    In the Soviet Union knowledge of being “watched” was as good as the kiss of death. Being seized for questioning was the kiss of death. How far are we from resurrecting this terror state?

    • LawrenceNeal

      Not very. Already seizing people for black holes in Chicago.

    • paul crosley

      That is why we have the bill of rights.
      Amendment #2 especially, it protects the others.

      • Don Duncan

        Rights are non-existent, ignored, when convenient for authorities.

        If authorities decide when/how the law applies to them, the law only applies to those without authority. If the populace excuses whatever authority does, the minority who do not excuse abuses will be silenced by whatever means necessary. When citizen sovereignty is forfeited to the official protectors, who will protect us from our protectors?

        • paul crosley

          So what are “authorities”? Some clown wearing a costume because some other clown said he could? To answer your question, we protect ourselves from our “protectors”. It seems we have forgotten this simple “right”.
          Sorry for all of the quotation marks.

          • Don Duncan

            No protection is necessary if the monster (authority) is not created in the first place. But once sovereignty is forfeited, “we” (not me & you) are psychologically and physically disarmed and at the mercy of a merciless machine called the govt. (law). And no defense is possible, as many an innocently incarcerated victim can testify. But all of us are victimized daily by taxation/regulation. We (Myself, Paul & other voluntarists) can resist somewhat because we are unlike the zombies who self-enslave.

          • paul crosley

            True! I understand what you are saying. The vast majority of people are fast asleep watching “Dancing with the Stars” and other mindless drivel while stuffing themselves with GMO laden fast food.
            I’m sure you heard of the 3% theory. Still, it is discouraging when the majority is functionally brain dead.
            In the immortal words of Forest Gump, stupid is as stupid does!

    • Don Duncan

      Read the NDAA. It “authorizes” the president to secretly arrest, imprison forever, torture, and murder, as the president wishes. This was explained as the new due process. How many people have been victimized? I doesn’t matter. The power exists. And perhaps it has been going on for decades and Obama wanted to codify it. Who knows? The govt. grants us no privacy, but demands the right to classify every bit of govt. activity.

      And some are ok with this: “If it makes me safer…” In the spirit of full disclosure we need to change a song lyric: “…in the land of the ruled and home of the cowardly.”

    • robt

      In Canada, as in many other places, we have something called Crimewatch. You simply have to report anything about anybody to the police, it’s completely anonymous (they give you a number), you never have to testify in court, and you can get a cash reward if the target is convicted. They advertise this in the media. If the target is not convicted, or if the investigation reveals nothing, and even if the reporting was of malicious intent, the informer suffers no consequences.
      Of course, just the sight of police cars rolling up to the target’s house or perhaps even putting them in the police car for a ride downtown is sufficient to cloud an innocent person’s reputation. And who knows how long surveillance and suspicion linger even after the target is ‘cleared’?
      In the Soviet Union, in Germany during the ’30s and 40s, similar systems were in place to report your neighbours, albeit usually with no reward other than the hope of gaining special favor.

  • … and so the sewer soup of MARXhu Akbar begins to boil over …

  • Jim Johnson

    Lynch mobs are very democratic, and is why governments are formed: to protect you from them. That governments forget this is why our Constitution was written.

    • autonomous

      Governments are formed to allow some people to tyrannize the rest.

      • Jim Johnson

        Our Constitution expected it, and gave us the tools to reset with. Get with your Convention of States up to the 2/3 needed, then destroy the monster. Or spill blood. The choice is ours.

    • Sorry, Bro., but you’re not getting that one past the scrutineers.

      Lynch mobs are never a majority: they are a tiny sliver of the population.

      The crowd at the lynching of Jesse Washington in Waco (in 1916) was estimated at 10,000… Waco had a population of about 30,000 at the time. Most of the people in the crowd ,were not part of the ‘lynch mob’ proper.

      Also, the State never took much effort to putting a stop to it (whether the victims were white or black: the numbers tend to go 60-40 black-white)…

      “in 1933 in San Jose, Calif., such
      an act of violence drew applause from the state’s highest officials. In
      fact, to hear the governor talk about it, he’d have pinned medals on
      the chest of each and every member of the bloodthirsty mob, if anyone
      had made much of an effort to find them.”

      Governments are not enacted in order to defend the rights of individuals – every government ever enacted claimed that was why it existed, but so what? Even if the snake-oil salesman believes his own schpiel, it’s still false.

      Governments are enacted in order for a set of grifters to live parasitically on the rest – to capture as large a slice of the ‘excess’ productivity as they possibly can and divvy it up between themselves and their cronies, saving some crumbs from the table to pay the army of class traitors to be the muscle required to keep the grifters in power.

      That is why the political class, the senior bureaucracy and judiciary, live far better than the median member of the tax herd).

      S&F (I’m MM, Mark MM, Chapter, KT… all lapsed, as you might imagine!)

      • Jim Johnson

        I detect a fine intellect in you, Krat. Educate it.

      • Jan Christian

        It looks like you have everything figured out and have all the figures, Krat. But do you and your partner have Jesus? If not, you don’t have nuthin!

        • The Lovely and I have muddled along for 24 years together, without feeling any urge to believe primitive Iron Age fairy tales.

          My parents celebrate 54 years together this year; The Lovely’s parents have their 50th next year… all without telling silly stories to their kids (neither set of parents told their kids lies about Tooth Fairies, Easter Bunnies, Father Christmas, or any other myth or cult nonsense: we did not grow up being lied to, so we have zero tolerance for religion).

          Some people need that kind of thing in their life in order for their life to have meaning, but I think it’s a sign of a failure to grow past childhood (needing to believe that a foreskin-obsessed Sky Wizard has a plan for all of us… despite the fact that he’s objectively the most evil character in all fiction; despite the fact that his explanation of how the universe happened is obviously wrong in major details; and despite the fact that there is no archaeological support for any of the supposed historical events, from Genesis to Revelation).

          One of my life goals is to reduce (preferably to zero) the number of charlatans who fleece me or otherwise seek to live at my expense by telling easily disproved lies – so belonging to any organised religion (or political party) is out of the question.

          Read some scholarship from good disinterested archaeologists who studied the region (people like Israel Finkelstein): it’s all a bunch of myths made up by a set of scattered hill-tribes to make themselves feel special.

          Plus, as I always say: people who claim to believe this nonsense don’t *act* like they actually believe.

          They don’t walk into traffic in the full-hearted belief that (a) god will intercede and save them; or (b) it’s god’s plan that they get run over and get to heaven lickety-split. (Those are the only two possible outcomes, if you genuinely believe).

          Both of those outcomes are things that they claim to believe are core elements of their system: _Deus Vobiscum; Deus Vult_.

          In fact by checking the traffic before you walk into it, you’re effectively refusing to believe that God’s there to protect you… the stories say he tends to get all genocide-y when folks don’t take him at his word.

          It’s funny to hear fake-faithful blathering about how they would ‘fear no evil’ as they ‘walk through the valley of the shadow of death (blah blah)’ – and yet at the crosswalk outside their church they make damn sure that they’re only walking when the little green man is lit.

          Here’s my exhortation to anyone who pretends to believe that nonsense. I first wrote it down in 1993 and have it in a text file that has followed me through ten PC upgrades, across 4 continents, and about 30 different mobile phones.

          Show the world you really believe: run onto a highway at full speed, without looking – in the full-blooded and heart-felt faith that all the nonsense you pretend to believe, is true… show that you genuinely believe that a psychopathic super-fairy who drowned the entire planet in a fit of pique, will swoop down and save you.

          You won’t do it – which means you don’t believe what you claim to believe… which means you’re smarter than you give yourself credit for. The Enlightenment even trickled down to the ‘faithful’ (by making their faith mostly bullshít).

  • Gerry

    The concept of plasphemy law demands that any logical conclusion or critical examination in relation to faith based though processing and the expression of that result is against the law. How ludicrous and stupid is that ?.

    • It’s only ludicrous and stupid if you think that the objective of a law is to furnish sensible outcomes (‘to protect people’s feelings’ might even qualify, if you find a way to add up people’s feelings in ways that make sense).

      but that would be a very naïve view of why legislation of any type exists.

      Blasphemy laws – and other laws abridging the right to say anything you like – have always been a hat-tip to a powerful constituency.

      Political vermin agree to prevent people from rocking the boat for the Ecclesiasts, and the Ecclesiasts agree to spruik the virtues of government (to within small-δ).

      The big thing about blasphemy laws is the naked display of power: say anything that poses a risk to a powerful, government-aligned constituency, and that constituency will use the tax-funded State to (attempt to) ruin you – using a State-run process that very nearly guarantees that the State wins (and if it loses, the process very likely destroys the target emotionally and financially).

      Blasphemy and hate speech laws derive from exactly the same process – just that those who would destroy a man based on ‘hate speech’, are prepared to do so in order to suppress narratives that call into question the validity of their badge for ‘SJW World-Improver Value-Signalling’.

      • Gerry

        Thank you Kratoklaste. I could not have put it better.

  • Scuttlebuttin’

    “A perfect example is Hillary Clinton. Yes, she was probably actually guilty and only escaped due to corruption, but the investigation did officially turn up nothing. ‘

    How can an article be taken seriously when it gets something so simple so obviously and egregiously wrong? Officially, plenty of evidence was found, but the “officials” redefined the law to say that “intent” somehow mattered, even when the law states “negligence” is enough (not to mention there is plenty of evidence to demonstrate intent on HRC’s part).

    “This means her prospects of becoming President were impeded by an investigation and not a conviction.”

    The official declaration that the fake ‘nothing turned up’ trope was to be the FBI’s position came with time enough left for any fencesitters to vote with a clean conscience that HRC “did nothing wrong”. It was also a compromised investigation that prevented the conviction she so richly warranted, not some valueless “witch hunt”.

    Try picking examples that actually illustrate the point you’re attempting to make.

    • autonomous

      Sounds like you missed the whole point of the article.

      • Scuttlebuttin’

        Unless the argument of that point is “the (specious) legal truth is the same as the truth unalloyed”, then, no I didn’t miss it. Their chosen example damaged their position instead of reinforcing it.

        • autonomous

          The point of both the Hillary example and the article was that accusation has become the weapon; even the investigation is not necessary. In the Hillary example, while it is clear that the investigation turned up nothing, it was obvious that it was not intended to do so. In fairness to your point, that was not so stated in the article (in error, I believe).

  • Earn nest

    End the Fed.

  • autonomous

    “the societal mob which has far too much say in your fate.”
    A good definition of democracy. Even that ‘a democracy is two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for supper.’

    • Although it’s entertaining, the heart of that ‘two wolves and a lamb voting’ trope implies that in democracies, majorities decide outcomes.

      That is a misdirection, since there has not been a single national-level democratic contest in any full-franchise Western democracy where the winning team got anywhere near 50% of the vote.

      Governments (falsely) assert ‘representativeness’ based on a parliamentary majority (i.e., a majority of the seats in a determinative body – usually the lower house in bicameral systems).

      For the record: the ‘most representative’ election – in terms of the proportion of eligible voters who voted for the winner – was the German Reichstag elections of March 1933.

      An 88.7% turnout voted 43.9% for the NSDAP – thus they got 38.9% of all eligible votes.

      The NSDAP leadership then formed a coalition to obtain the required number of seats to form a parliamentary majority.

      No US President in the full-franchise era (i.e., after the Civil Rights Act) has gotten close to that number: for US presidential elections, ithe average since the Civil War is 31% (for a bunch of that time there were no votes for chicks, blacks, Indians, or white men who didn’t own land); the average for the 20th century is 31% (no votes for chicks prior to the 1920s; or for blacks prior to 1968). In the full-franchise era, the average person who sits on the US Throne, gets the votes of 29% of eligible voters.

      So (rounding 29 down to 1/4) it’s like 1 wolf and 3 sheep voting, but only the wolf’s vote matters.

      Oddly, the ‘wolf’ in democratic contests is the most gullible quarter of the population – those who are directly dependent on government, plus those stupid enough to believe that choosing between two sets of careerist parasitic megalomaniacs will make a solitary bit of difference to the lives of “we the livestock”.

  • There are a couple of other things you missed or glossed over:
    (1) the ruinous expense of the legal system is because of unionisation (tight control over entry into the profession by a ‘peak body’; ‘no-ticket-no-start’) plus monopoly (government) provision;
    (2) in criminal matters, near-blanket immunity for egregious wrongs committed by anyone on the State’s side (police, prosecutors, judges, ‘expert’ witnesses, crime labs), which means that the State’s agents can ruin a man’s life based on fabricated inculpatory evidence, undisclosed exculpatory evidence, and deliberate misdeeds by other State actors; and
    (3) State agents have massive budgets, and significant career disincentives to voluntarily admit they were wrong. (If you are wrongly incarcerated for two years prior to the ‘speedy’ trial to which you have a guaranteed right… too fücking bad, son).

    This is why when someone wrongs me, the only consideration I have is whether there is anything to be gained by engaging one of a wide array of private sector ‘solution providers’ – who will exact retribution or extract resources from the offender much more surely. and at significantly lower cost, than participating in a $100k-ante falsely-solemn State-run theatrical set-piece.

    Disclosure: my life partner is a barrister – one of the people who is paid way too much to participate in those quasi-ecclesiastic set-pieces. She would never knowingly break any law; I will break any law that I didn’t agree to in writing, if it suits me and breaking the law is consistent with the NAP.

  • Brisue1398

    I can’t believe you are ignorant enough to write that the investigation into HRC turned up nothing (officially). It officially turned up enough reported evidence that anyone with 2 brain cells knows she should have been charged with a crime. INTENT has NOTHING to do with whether she broke the law or not (although her intent couldn’t have possibly been any more obvious).

    • We agree, the point was that the official story was that nothing was uncovered. More evidence of the uselessness of the investigations.

  • al p

    Daily Bell here misses the point that Colbert was not merely expressing his right to Free Speech. He is in fact a puppet of the War Hawk Deep State that intentionally scripted his vulgar abuse of the media. It was a political assault against Trump and Putin for daring to attempt to ratchet down tension.

    That this DB writer appears clueless to this reality is quite disheartening. DB went from being one of the best sources of thoughtful journalism to an irrelevant ‘stream of consciousness’ babble. Theres a strange clarity on concepts yet an absolutely blurry fogginess when it comes to actual events and the players and situations involved.

    For accurate reports on such current events I urge people to go to http://www.larouchpac.com and http://www.larouchepub.com

    • So should the state investigate Colbert for being a deep state operative? Doesn’t sound like a very promising solution.

      • al p

        The point is Daily Bell should provide accurate reports. And if the media is indeed being used as a weapon to aggravate war, it should be at least recognized.

        That in itself is capable of defanging the weaponized potential of the media. Instead yr article increases the credibility of Colbert as if he’s some genuine voice of the people.

  • georgesilver

    Do you think we should be allowed to discuss the “Holocaust”. There are laws in many countries telling you what to believe. Do you think truth needs a law or do you believe truth doesn’t need a law?
    I think this fits nicely with your article but I presume the DB will ignore this elephant in the room.

    • We believe in the right to be wrong. Obviously we don’t support any laws criminalizing any kind of free speech, no matter how offensive some believe it to be.

      • georgesilver

        Does the DB believe it offensive to discuss such matters?

    • WolfEmperor

      I’m a Holocaust revisionist … so … YES!

  • Spanky Lee

    You got it half right. Free speech is great for me, but not so much for you. Not anyway, unless you happen to agree with me on every issue.

  • Praetor

    Freedom of Speech. When it comes to speech, the only speech that should be outlawed, “LYING”. You could say, “half truths” speech should be also outlawed, because, it is not the truth and nothing but the truth.

    Some where in the distant past, someone lied and got a way with something and it has been in vogue ever since.

    Just try and imagine our world were lying speech does not exist, even little white lies.

    Wonder what kind of world that would be.!!!

  • Q46

    ‘…but the investigation did officially turn up nothing..’

    Is that true?

    I understand the investigation turned up the fact that she had indeed used a private email server for Government business, some classified, instead of a secure Government server and despite rules of which she must have been aware and security briefings which she was given. Her defence being she was too stupid to understand the rules or danger to security.

    Even without a conviction for wrongdoing her self-confession of reckless stupidity disqualified her from public office.

    There is no doubt she did wrong, but a law enforcement officer (since fired) ‘decided’ she had not committed a crime thereby bypassing judicial due process where prosecution services decide whether a crime may have been committed and a jury determine whether it is so based on the evidence.

  • r2bzjudge

    “A perfect example is Hillary Clinton. Yes, she was probably actually
    guilty and only escaped due to corruption, but the investigation did
    officially turn up nothing.”

    Officially, the investigation turned up enough to indict. Comey laid out the case against Hillary in his July 2016 press conference.

  • jacob

    Article is spot on, which is why honest lawyers (yes, there are plenty) work hard to keep their clients out of court. This is another outrageous manifestation of a rigged political system designed to destabilize and control to achieve widespread legal theft by remote criminals. “Brave New World.” “1984.” Not harbingers of things to come, but reflections of opaque modern systems of governance. Gets clearer every day.

loading