The Four Indictments

There are two potential antidotes to misinformation or disinformation: criminalization of speech or competitive speech.


We have officially adopted criminalization of speech, and have now broadened that concept to include criminalization of thought. This is not just a manifestation here in the States; we see it happening in Europe too.


Where China and the former Soviet Union had embraced such practices (with horrific consequences), we have now begun the inexorable march towards parity.


I have been very hesitant to comment about the Trump indictments for a couple of reasons… first and foremost, I was not sure I completely understood them.


The grand jury indictments relating to the documents at Mar-a-Lago seemed to have some merit, albeit the move to actually indict seemed… well… odd. The gravamen of the “crime” seemed tangential at best, political persecution at worst. While I am fundamentally distrustful of centralized power, the idea that the Department of Justice would morph into a political enforcement division seemed beyond the pale. There simply had to be more “there” that I was not seeing. The lawyers at DOJ are, by definition, educated people and surely they understood the implications of a weaponized DOJ?


The New York indictments I frankly dismissed. Alvin Bragg is a political reptile, and the timing, as well as the standards of the indictment, were so flimsy I basically ignored them. The fact he is a New York State prosecutor attempting to shoehorn in on a federal claim made the whole travesty that much more farcical. Yes… they were troubling… not that the claims have been made, but that they were made in the first place. Bragg could be, and should be, subject to the voters of New York removing him and replacing him with a more serious prosecutor.


Then there were the last four brought forth a couple of weeks ago.


These are the ones that have shaken my faith.


President Trump has now been formally indicted for promulgating an idea, and communicating that idea to his constituents.


The First Amendment has as its core purpose the protection of political speech. What Trump has been indicted on is the communication of political speech.


The AUSA has claimed, or at the very least implied, that political speech is in fact not protected unless the party uttering the line actually believes the line.


As the great George Costanza said to Jerry Seinfeld, “Jerry, it is not a lie if you believe it.”


So… apparently the acid test now is the belief of the individual?


This road gets remarkably dangerous.


This is where the term “Thought Police” comes into the fold.


In England a retired service member was arrested for standing in the general proximity of an abortion clinic and bowing his head in prayer. He has, in fact, admitted he was praying, but he could have also been just standing there looking at his shoes or trying to relieve the pressure of a migraine. There were no outward signs he was doing anything, other than simply standing in one place and looking down with his eyes closed. The police arrested him. His case is ultimately going to turn on what he was actually thinking in his head. Thoughts evidently have a criminal context.


Jack Smith has stated in his indictment that Trump knew, or should have known, he lost the election… after all… others advised him that he did.


What if he didn’t believe them?


Does this negate his criminal intent? Does a reasonableness standard now exist when it comes to third-party advisors?


The whole thing is absolute garbage.


If Trump wanted to stand behind the podium and bloviate about a “stolen election”, the proper remedy is argument with empirical evidence to support that argument.


But when a regime is inherently insecure, when it realizes its power is totally dependent on the population buying off on a contrived social construct, then contrarian viewpoints take on an existential threat.


This is why the Soviets were so utterly terrified of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. These are the people that publicly proclaim the “Emperor has no clothes”.


If the Emperor in fact is naked, then this proclamation might bring down the entire empire.


So… the easy way, the most “efficient” way… is to simply imprison, exile, or eliminate the proclaimed.


Who knows what “evil” lurks in the minds of men? Well… we have been told “The Shadow” does… what we didn’t realize was The Shadow has the force of the State behind him and will use the threat of force to compel “correct” thought… or at the very least…”correct” speech.


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Comments (8)

  • Howard Wallace Reply

    Well said (as usual)! Do you think they have a couple of camps set up in remote areas waiting for people who need to learn how to speak correctly? It would be voluntary of course.

    08/16/2023 at 08:26
  • Gary Reply

    Thank you for your thoughtful commenting and insights.

    08/16/2023 at 09:25
  • Dave Campbell Reply

    As usual great analysis. The other scary part of the indictment is the fact that the defense attorneys defending Trump who are supposed to be a barrier between their client and the government are being charged with RICO violations for simply doing their sworn duty to defend their client. Their efforts to defend their client is now being criminalized. These lawyers are no going to have to lawyer up to defend themself’s and it will be very costly. The prosecution is hoping that the will cave because of the cost to defend themselves. In my opinion, this is the regimes attempt to dissuade any attorney to defend take on clients as they tool could be prosecuted for simply bringing a defense for their client. This is a serious threat to our representative republic.

    08/16/2023 at 09:35
  • Adam Sheck Reply

    I’m no expert in law, that’s your thing. And I agree that our Constitutional Rights, including #1 are sacrosanct and critical to our nation functioning. Yet I also consider disparities of power (and force). And maybe I’m mixing apple and oranges, yet these are my thoughts.

    For the CCW holder, disparity of force is one of the key criteria in assessing whether a SD shooting is legal. So that is my thought #1 in prosecuting people in power. This I understand legally.

    Also, as a Clinical Psychologist licensed in the State of California, I understand disparity of power and its legal/ethical implications in my profession. My position can be considered one of more ‘power’ compared to my psychotherapy patients. That is why we have legal/ethical constraints on so-called ‘dual relationships’, etc. What I say to my patients may be taken in a disproportionately impactful way, as they value my perceptions, my opinions, what I share with them. I have a responsibility to be mindful of this. I am not a victim of this, I chose to be aware of this when I committed to this profession and this licensure. Politicians aren’t victims either. They make a commitment, and their ignorance or willful denial of their professional responsibilities doesn’t obviate them.

    What is ethical behavior versus what is legal behavior is in that gray area and in the eye of the beholder, in the professional ethics boards and in the legal system. For me and my profession. Some professions we question these days about who they are accountable to, e.g., the SC. Who are politicians accountable to is the question society is asking, the government is asking, the world is asking?

    Don’t have answers, yet feel that accountability is the matter at hand, as well as accountability of those in power, past, present and future. Interesting times.

    08/16/2023 at 10:07
  • Michael W Mullin Reply

    Thanks for sharing we agree with you 100% What mess in Washington

    Best Regards

    Mike Mullin

    08/16/2023 at 10:55
  • Jerome Schammel Reply

    “1984” is sadly and rapidly becoming the state of our political reality. The prosecution of Trump is ultimately the prosecution and control of us all.

    08/16/2023 at 11:35
  • Robert Hagler Reply

    Thank you Steven for expressing what many of us are feeling. We see these crazy events unfolding, which are like an out-of-control freight train, headed for derailment! It is like a giant societal blender has been turned on and we are in the mix! HELP! I don’t know what the answer is, although I do have my opinion. My Mother (and Grandmother) were democrats (different era altogether), and my Father was a Republican (different era altogether) and yet everyone had the core values of good family, safe environment (good policing), rule of law, and a chance to vote for some upstanding politician who would do the right things. My worries are that many people will turn and look the other way while bad law is being practiced. I have often wondered why half of one particular political party seems to remain very quiet and seemingly un-involved. Makes me believe we might have a uni-party system of politics. However, lady justice is supposed to remain blind and fair. Powerful people are off the rails in America, and the people are held hostage to the daily mess.

    08/16/2023 at 12:52
  • Norm Ellis Reply

    Personality I think the whole thing is crazy and the news can’t get anything right. So, who do you believe…

    08/20/2023 at 15:05

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