Thursday, June 23, 2011

FBI Investigates Long Time Obama Comrades

Mairi sent me this article from Accuracy in Media. AIM says that according to The Washington Post, the FBI is conducting an investigation of communists in Chicago that has reached "Chicagoans who crossed paths with Obama when he was a young state senator and some who have been active in labor unions that supported his political rise.” Also according to AIM:

Those under investigation are suspected of providing support to foreign terrorist organizations such as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in the Middle East, a Marxist group. The Post called them 'Colombian and Palestinian groups designated by the U.S. government as terrorists.'

The FBI must be a racist organization. The proof: they are investigating Obama's associates. Obama's media supporters probably won't explain why the president possibly has associated with terrorists. After all, in The Economist's view, presidents rise to the office. Perhaps in four years the Democrats will run Bill Ayers himself.


Anonymous said...

So now you stoop to guilt by association.

Mitchell Langbert said...

Perhaps you've heard of the RICO statute?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps RICO is unconstitutional. And even if it has been held constitutional you of all people support it?

Mitchell Langbert said...

The felony murder rule is part of common law. It says that an accomplice can be held guilty for murder if he was participating in a felony like a robbery. That is, even if he tried to stop his confederate from committing the murder.

There are other common law doctrines that recognize guilt by association. I'm not enough of a lawyer to talk in an informed way, but I believe that conspiracy is a long standing common law crime.

Groups like the mafia and the KKK are not very different from government. Government is established to protect the public from crime and criminals like these groups. Organized crime is a counter-government, and it is appropriate for government to aim to minimize the amount of compulsion and violence.

In my theoretical imagination there is a balancing test. If RICO results in less violence and compulsion in society by arresting criminals who commit acts of violence and compulsion, then it is a good law.

I don't know how it works in practice because it has been inappropriately extended to areas that do not involve compulsion and violence. Like anything government does, it is bungled.

But that doesn't mean that we should become anarchists, although I'm sympathetic to the anarchist argument. The problem is that the Tony Sopranos of the world commit violent acts no different from the IRS or other government agencies. If the law minimizes the amount of violence (the violence due to the law is less than the violence of the criminals) then it works.

Much government does not minimize violence. It uses violence to redistribute wealth, regulate harmless economic activity, wage pointless wars, etc. All of that violence should be eliminated.

But government's chief purpose is to protect the public from criminal violence.

RICO was passed to stop organized crime. Its application to areas beyond organized crime is improper if it is used to harass or attack citizens for reasons other than organized crime.

I don't oppose its use against organized crime.