If you don’t think our government is infuriating, I invite you to reconsider.
While watching another episode of Top Chef’s Washington DC season, I again grew furious as another important political person wasted their time being featured on the reality cooking show. The elimination challenge took place at the CIA, where high-level personnel pretended to be food critics when they should have been doing their jobs. They have all of their retirement to play as pretend celebrities.
Now the government strikes again. The New York Times is reporting that congress has indicted Roger Clemens on charges of making false statements, in regards to his steroid use denial. He was also charged with perjury, since he was sworn in to testify. Why worry about health care, education, rebuilding the economy and other such chores when there’s an old baseball player out there to punish?
The indictment comes about two and half years after Clemens testified under oath at a hearing before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. In 2007, federal authorities in San Francisco indicted Barry Bonds on charges he perjured himself before a grand jury investigating the Bay Area Laboratory Co-operative. Bonds is scheduled to go on trial next March.
These two baseball stars that went from hero to villain by becoming the face of the steroids generation, are being harassed by the government for denying in testimony that the government brought them in to make. It’s not just a waste of time, energy and money, it’s also kind-of a trap.
Neither of these players went out to deceive the government. They got on the denial train and rode it to BustedTown. You’re not allowed to commit perjury or lie to federal investigators, understood. However, the exculpatory no doctrine was designed to protect idiots like baseball players from getting into real trouble.
The Exculpatory No Doctrine (as defined by Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law), was a doctrine in federal criminal law that said an individual cannot be charged with making a false statement if the statement is a false denial of guilt made in response to a federal investigator’s question. The doctrine is based on the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, and is often used as a defense to a charge of knowingly making a false statement. The doctrine is recognized in most federal Courts of Appeals.
According to this handy-dandy doctrine, Bonds and Clemens would be in the clear. However, the Supreme Court has decided that the doctrine isn’t supported by 18 U.S.C. Section 1001, which criminalizes making any false statement within the jurisdiction of a federal agency (as used recently with colossal idiot Rod Blagojevich). The maximum penalty if found guilty of 1001 is five years of imprisonment.
So congress forces these juice-heads to testify and they, surprise-surprise, deny their juice-use to spare their images (which worked out real well, except the opposite) but the government insists on going after them for denying. All for what? To maybe send Clemens and Bonds to jail in a world that only keeps Lindsay Lohan in jail for a week? Come on, now, government. Lunch hour is over. Get back to work.
NOTE: I’m not a lawyer and I do not know all the details of these cases, I just know that tax dollars weren’t meant for this crap.