Friday, August 31, 2007

Senator Larry Craig

"Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation." Henry Kissinger

Yesterday, Radio host Mark Levin, Constitutional Attorney, Former DOJ assistant to Ed Meese, author of "Men In Black" (An expose of the Supreme Court), and founder of Landmark Legal foundation, played the entire recording of the initial interview of Idaho Senator Larry Craig, by the police officer who arrested him on his radio show.

It was a classic case of Police coercion.

Once again, I know a little something about the tactics police use to force a confession out of a suspect. I have experienced the tactic first hand.

I was once charged with a crime I didn't commit, and was subjected to exactly the same sort of interview that Senator Craig endured. It is brutal.

The interrogation begins with an assumption of guilt from the start. All that BS about an assumption of innocence was not (and rarely is) observed by the police officer that interviewed me and it wasn't observed by the officer who interrogated Craig.

It's a "We know you did it, we just want you to tell us how and why" kind of thing.

Throughout the interview Craig maintained his innocence. Not one time did he ever admit any guilt of anything. His explanation for his actions in the men's room stall were plausible. Nevertheless, the officer doggedly pursued a guilty confession, one he never really received.

The officer jumped the gun. If he had wanted a strong case, he should have received an overt proposal before the arrest. He didn't get it. He based his entire case on the arguably accidental or intentional bumping of Senator's foot against the officer's foot underneath the common wall between two stalls, and the appearance of Craig's hand under the wall. No contact other than the feet touching occurred and no words were exchanged. And the arresting officer, based on this completely inconclusive evidence, made an arrest.

It was far from conclusive evidence of any impropriety. He was coerced into a guilty plea. It was entrapment and coercion.

I am not saying Craig is innocent. I don't know, and based on the recording of the interview, I am unconvinced of either his guilt or innocence, but let me tell you what I experienced:

In my case, the detective kept pushing me for a confession of guilt, regardless of the fact that there was no physical evidence to support his case, other than testimony from an extremely unreliable and biased witness.

He stated with authority that if I just confessed, I would get off "scot free", in his words. He hammered that point. All I had to do was confess and the whole unfortunate incident would just go away and life would return to normal. No one would ever know that I was ever charged. My reputation would be left intact.

But, he said if I refused to confess, I would be arrested and tried and found guilty and serve time in state prison. He seemed genuinely sure that was my future if I didn't tell him what he wanted to know. This is a frightening concept for anyone, guilty or innocent.

The stress and anxiety is unbelievably high. Trust me. You don't want to experience this.

In effect, he lied to me, and he knew he was lying.

The really outrageous thing about all this is the fact that my attorney was right there, listening in silence to ever word, and said nothing. He knew I was being lied to, and coerced, yet he said nothing.

I was young and naive and had never been in any situation remotely similar, and in my naivety and innocence, I believed the officer when he told me I could go free if I just confessed. I really truly believed him.

Now, I said I believed the police officer, and nothing would have made me happier at the time than to walk out of that police station that day, scot free.

But I was innocent. Finally, after what seemed like hours, I said, "Let me get this straight. If I just say I did it, you'll release me and I can just walk out of here free?"

"Yes", said the detective, "you'll get to go home and the most that will happen is you may have to do some counseling."

, I replied, "I'd sure love to go free, but if I confess, I'd have to give you details, wouldn't I?"

"Yes, you would."

"Well, I'm sorry, but since I didn't do it, I don't have any details to give you, and if I made up details, they wouldn't agree with what you think you already know, so I guess I'll have to take my chances with the court."

Interview over. I was arrested, and stood trial, and since I was innocent and the lack of evidence proved I was innocent, I was freed.

The recording of Craig's interview brought all those memories back to me as if it all happened yesterday.

Now. Here's the difference: Craig pleaded guilty.

How stupid was that? He is a United States Senator! How could he ever think by pleading guilty, this whole situation would go away? How could he have believed the officer? He is supposed to be smarter than the the average citizen. Certainly, he is much older and wiser than I was when I was in a similar situation. Could he really have been so naive to believe Americans wouldn't find out about his arrest?

He pleadedd guilty. By law, that means he's guilty. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. He is guilty.

Even if he's innocent.


Liam said...

So... it's perfectly normal behaviour when using a toilet stall (for its intended purpose!) to rub your feet against your neighbour's and reach your hand underneath the divider into their space?

It's nice that you Americans have overcome that aversion to phsyical contact with total strangers in public lavatories. We Brits are still so prudish in that regard!

D.Daddio Al-Ozarka said...

Just goes to cannot trust government.

Francis Lynn said...

Craig was charged with a disorderly persons offense. Disorderly persons offense is not a crime.

Craig may be as queer as a $3 bill, but he did nothing that could be considered chargeable. He made foot & hand signals. ok, so he wants to connect with a gay guy. That's as far as it went. He committed no public sex act. Craig may have taken the guy to a hotel - you can't assume he wanted sex right there & then.

Disorderly persons offense can literally be anything that is considered alarming or offensive or disturbs the public. It's a catch-all for cops to charge someone when they fail to find a higher offense.

Craig may have pled guilty to end it instead of having a court trial with all the attendent media circus.

A disorderly persons offense or petty disordely offense results in a small fine. The police are not looking to charge disordely offenses - they are looking to intimidate those who practice bathroom sex & they are looking to send a message to the gay community.

NJ has an offense called "making terroristic threats." Sounds pretty bad, especially in today's climate. But what it's directed at is if I tell Mark I'm gonna punch him in the face next time I see him. Go figure.

Lone Ranger said...

The GOP says Craig will resign on Saturday. So, once again, just an ALLEGATION is enough to unseat a Republican. Meanwhile, Barney Frank, who fixed traffic tickets for his lover and who had a gay prostitution ring running out of his apartment, is still in the Senate and still as arrogant and belligerent as ever.

What's funny is that on the liberal sites, they are screaming that Craig is a HYPOCRITE for preaching family values while secretly being gay. When you think about it, they mean that gays should not have family values -- or at least should shut up about them, or risk being called a hypocrite.

And is it homophobic to demand a man be ousted from the Senate because he's gay? Or is it Republican-phobic? Hey, I can make up words too.

Juuust wondering.

Henry said...

"We Brits are still so prudish in that regard!"

Oh really? Where do you think the concept of tearoom comes from?

Timothy said...

Hi Mark,
You definitely have added a new twist to this story. I'm waiting to see what will happen, and haven't really given it much thought. Thanks for the different take on it.

Henry said...

I'm surprised your lawyer didn't insist on you remaining silent from the outset; that's his job.

I'm not surprised he said nothing to the police about their BS; that's their job. It's perfectly legal for them to lie to a suspect.

How to deal with the police in two easy steps:

1. Say NOTHING unless under arrest and read your Miranda Rights.

2. If under arrest and read your Miranda rights, repeat the following phrase:

"I would like to see my lawyer, please."


There's a reason they're called "mouthpieces".

Trust me. I'm married to one.

Liam said...

Hey Lone Ranger, he’s not a hypocrite because he’s gay, he’s a hypocrite because he’s a married man, one of whose political platforms is ‘family values,’ who has been caught soliciting for sex in a public toilet.

There’s quite a good discussion of the Craig situation on Free Republic; worth reading.

Henry, re-read Mark’s post, then read my comment again, then (if the penny hasn’t dropped) go look up ‘sarcasm!’ :o)

Erudite Redneck said...

There is no presumption of innocence in a police interview. There is presumptiomn of innocence in a court of law.

Abouna said...

Mark, Like you I do not know if Sen. Craig is guilty or innocent, and by listening to the tape it is not clear either way, but one thing is for certain, the Cop did not get the confession he hoped for, and Craig was a fool to have plead guilty even to the disorderly conduct.

I believe that the Republican party has become way too paranoid that they dump their members who are even only under suspicion of moral turpitude, while the Democrats shamelessly keep re-electing their morally bankrupt reps and senators, which, as I have stated many times, speaks volumes of the morals of the democrat electorate.

Lone Ranger:
Barney Frank did way much more than
fix traffic tickets for his lover and had a gay prostitution ring running out of his apartment, there was also a sworn statement (under oath at a federal court case) made by a young man, that when he was a boy in his early teens, Barney Frank had taken him to his Boston home and had sex with him on numerous occasions. Nothing was ever done about this and yes, Frank
is still re-elected over and over again and is still as arrogant and belligerent as ever, as are the rest of the crooked and immoral dems in congress.

About three or four days ago, I heard a former head of the DNC say that it is different for the Democrats when their members do something wrong, because they don't
claim moral family values (SO THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE?)

Trader Rick said...

This guy is not a wet-behind-the-ears teenager, he's a seasoned US Senator, for gosh sakes. He plead guilty. He resigned. Good Riddance!

Henry said...

I reread both, and I can see your comment going both ways (no pun on Craig's proclivities intended).

The medium of blogs/comments is somewhat flat. The lack of non-verbals which normally occur during face-to-face communications can, and will, lead to misunderstanding. Such is the case here.

The subtlety of your snark eluded me, and I apologize.

Dan Trabue said...

abouna said:

I believe that the Republican party has become way too paranoid that they dump their members who are even only under suspicion of moral turpitude

To be fair, for the most part, the Republicans eat their own ONLY in cases where sexual peccadilloes are involved. If it's war crimes (Reagan, Bush, W), torture (W), rank hypocrisy (...long list...), etc, Republicans tend to stand by their white men.

You are correct, though, in suggesting that the Dems don't usually have much shame. The Dems, for instance, should have insisted that Clinton step down and they didn't.

Vote Green. Or Libertarian even. Just throw the rascals out.

abouna also offered this bit of false witness:

Barney Frank did way much more than fix traffic tickets for his lover

Oh? Where are the convictions? The evidence?

I'm not defending Frank - I don't really know that much about him. But spurious and unproven charges are not the same as proven reality.

If you had said that Frank appears to have been involved in much worse, you'd be fine. But to offer it as reality - lacking any hard evidence - suggests that you think you have more omniscience than the evidence supports.

Abouna said...

I respectfully ask that Dan Trabue click on the following link and read the for himself what I was referring to regarding Barney Frank:

If it doesn't work by clicking on the link, then please do a copy and paste.

I happen to personally know the former FBI agent (Ted Gunderson) who did most of the investigations of this sordid incident. Do a google search of Ted Gunderson and you will find his website where you will see some real shocking information.

Gayle said...

Hello, Mark.

I, like you, don't know whether he's guilty or not. One thing I do know is that because he plead guilty, the Republicans were quick to accuse him. I think one thing the Democrats could teach Republicans is to stick together. The Dems always take up for their own, guilty or not. We presume guilt even before a trial. That's just plain stupid. Craig pleading guilty was also just plain stupid. I heard that he didn't even have a lawyer there.

I didn't know anything about all this toe-tapping stuff until all this came out. I'd better watch it. I have a habit of humming while stuck on the commode and tapping my foot. Not going to do that anymore, that's for sure! LOL. That's probably more information than I should be putting on the internet!

About three weeks ago some woman in the stall next to me stuck her hand under the stall. I asked: "what do you want? Toilet paper?" Suddenly the hand withdrew and the stall slammed shut. I heard footsteps and then nothing. She apparently left. This was in a Wal Mart restroom. If I had known what I now know I probably would have stomped on her hand.

Sheesh! You just live and learn, ya know? I feel so naive!

mr know-it-all said...

This is classic, Dan.

"If it's war crimes (Reagan, Bush, W), torture (W), rank hypocrisy (...long list...), etc, Republicans tend to stand by their white men.

And then, right on the heels of that, is this:

"abouna also offered this bit of false witness:

Barney Frank did way much more than fix traffic tickets for his lover

Oh? Where are the convictions? The evidence?

We are all anxiously awaiting your evidence and list of War Crimes Convictions against the Bush Administration and the Republican Party.

(Or your apology to abouna, and admission to your own guilt for bearing false witness.)

D.Daddio Al-Ozarka said...

Dude! He ran a faggot WHOREHOUSE out of his apartment for goodness sake!

You of those places of exchange for loving, committed relationships.

D.Daddio Al-Ozarka said...

You know, Mark. You've written this post about the subject that should actually be the real story.

And because it is NOT the real story in the MSM, it reveals the hidden agenda behind the gay/leftist alliance.

Fags should not be carrying on about Craig...they should be writing articles like this one! They should be trying to get the COP fired...not trying to get some pathetic Republican fag to resign from his elected office...that's in the same body as a guy who ran a queer escort service out of his apartment and who is still SERVING!

Homo-perverts aren't offended by anything anyone calls them...they understand why most people are offended by their is evidenced by the lack of an MSM demand for the cop's removal.

They'd rather see a fellow-closeted fag crucified simply because that fellow-fag is a Republican.

Fag-activism is nothing but POLITICAL ACTIVISM!

Watch your back, Homos! (LOL!)

That probe you anticipate might actually be a knife in your back.

Especially if you are a Republican.

Dan Trabue said...

abouna (and friends), I ask for some evidence is all. What I get are more accusations against Frank and a link to something called Tom where there is an accusation repeated.

Frank may well be guilty of something, but you'd have to do better than that to demonstrate. Where are the convictions?

As to my evidence about war crimes:

Reagan/Bush got the US convicted of war crimes for their actions in Nicaragua in the 80s [ source], it's a matter of record. No one denies that we did what Reagan/Bush orchestrated. We broke our own laws and international laws by illegally supporting terrorists (Contras) in Nicaragua.

George W Bush has paid scant attention to legal requirements when it comes to torture. He hired a AG who called the Geneva Convention (which has the force of law for us) "quaint" and "out-dated."

We know that torture has been green-lighted under this administration. Do you doubt the reality of this? Most "conservatives" don't doubt it, they just say it's called for.

I can cite more sources, if you wish. I just thought this was a matter of record and obvious. No one on the Right seriously denies any of this, they just think it's justified (regardless of our laws).

Mark said...

I think the terms, "War Crimes", and "Illegal war" are oxymorons. What is ever moral about war anyway?

mr know-it-all said...

Dan, I'm a little unclear on one point... Maybe you can help me out.

When did Al Qaeda or the insurgents in Iraq sign the Geneva Conventions?

Do they abide by those guidelines when determining how they should treat any American captives, or with their general conduct when engaging our soldiers and marines in combat?

Oh, and by the way... The techniques used by the U.S. at Guantanimo Bay and Abu Graib could hardly be categorized as "torture" by the standards of most of the world, and I might also point out to you that when it has been determined that inappropriate behavior has occured, the people involved have been tried, convicted, and punished.

I am unaware of the President personally torturing anyone, or ordering anyone to be tortured. (If you have any evidence of that happening, then please share.)

I AM, however, aware of the scandal a while back involving Barney Frank.

To claim that he was innocent in THAT affair is to claim that Frank is so completely clueless that he did not know what was taking place in his own basement. (Which is fine by me, if you want to assert that he is that stupid, I will not argue that point with you.)

Although I will ask you one more question.

If you summarily dismiss everyone else's links and sources, then why should any of us pay any attention to your's?

Just asking...

mr know-it-all said...

As to the subject of your post, Mark...

Scandals like this one put Demo... uh... Liberals in a strange position.

They are forced to decide whether their hatred for Republicans is stronger than their desire to never be judged for their behavior, no matter what.

If they love the behavior more, then they are forced to come to the defense of a Republican.

If they hate Republicans more, then they are forced to demonize a Homosexual for homosexual behavior.

Either way they go, their hypocrisy is exposed.

Whether Barney Frank or President Bush are guilty of anything is irrellevant.

The Republicans have not "stood by their white man", and had he been a Democrat, we would scarcely have heard a peep about any of this. (See the Hsu/HillBillary Fundraising incident.)

Great post, by the way.

Dan Trabue said...

"The Republicans have not "stood by their white man", and had he been a Democrat, we would scarcely have heard a peep about any of this. (See the Hsu/HillBillary Fundraising incident.)"

I agree entirely. It's pretty disgusting.