Your Lying Eyes

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04 August 2005

What Kind of a Country Are We Becoming?

Ah yes, the War on Drugs marches bravely on. Forty-nine convenience store clerks have been arrested by federal agents in Georgia for selling cold medicine, "charcoal, coffee filters, aluminum foil and Kitty Litter." These items, you see, can be used to make methamphetamine. That's right - convenience store clerks! - among the economically most pathetic people in the country, have been thrown in jail for failing to properly monitor and assess the buying habits of fake customers. They were supposed to spot that these plants were likely methamphetamine manufacturers and then refuse to sell to these scary people. To make things worse, this was a "sting" operation mounted against - yes - convenience store clerks. It's not like the feds were monitoring the activities of actual drug operations and the clerks just got caught up in the net. Nope - it was good old fashioned entrapment. "Prosecutors paid confidential informants - some former convicts, others offered the promise of lighter punishment for pending charges - to buy products in stores in six counties beginning in early 2004, and drop hints that they were making drugs." Wow - so scumbags who actually made and sold methamphetamine were given a break to help the US Government throw harmless store clerks into jail. All they had to do was agree to buy perfectly legal products while muttering something about needing to "finish up a cook." For this, these poor people face 10 years in jail.

I am really beginning to despise the United States government. What kind of a despicable human being is this prosecutor, David Nahmias, to engineer such an abominable entrapment? What kind of a legal system do we have that you can be torn from your home and thrown in jail for selling perfectly legal products? "While those people may not think they're causing any harm, the harm they cause is tremendous," Mr. Nahmias said. "We really wanted to send the message that if you get into that line of business, selling products that you know are going to be used to make meth, you're going to go to prison." What a bastard - an ambitious, loathesome, bully. I'd love to see him clerk in a store and tell some seedy, scary con that he can't buy lighter fluid to "do a cook." God forbid he went after the actual dealers and manufacturers. That would be too much work - too much real detective work - too much actual investigating. Nah, just throw a bone to some low-life dealer, strap on some wires, have the transcripts typed up, and voila! - 49 notches in your belt! What a latter-day Eliot Ness we have here - a real crimebuster!

And where is the outrage. Give credit to the Times for printing this story, but in typical weenie fashion the article focuses on the unfortunate situation of the Indian immigrants caught in the sting for whom a language barrier is an obvious problem. Clearly, if not for the "Cultural Differences," this wouldn't be a story worth printing. As far as the Times is concerned, English-speaking American citizens are fair game in this hunt.

Where's the liberal outrage, great protectors of the underdogs? Oh no, these aren't muslims caught in a global conflagration imprisoned at an American military base, so who cares? Outrage - that's reserved for Ten Commandments displays and theoretical library subpoenas, not for real police-state actions.

What about the libertarians on the right? Hello? Well, unfortunately, the clerks didn't also sell cigarettes and guns to the informers - then we would have had a real brouhaha on our hands.

A couple months ago, in the War on Terror, the feds pulled off another daring sting operation where they got some M.D. to agree to care for wounded men in Saudi Arabia if needed. For this he faces a lifetime in jail.

The War on Terror, the War on Drugs - the downfall of American freedom is written in these words.

UPDATE: I am not alone, thankfully. Scientist/Science Fiction writer Jerry Pournelle has commented on this as well on his Chaos Manor website.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Dano said...

Would like to hear from the former prosecutor, but have to agree.

Next he'll be evicting people from there homes for a shopping center with a view of the water


Dano

August 04, 2005 7:00 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Methinks we are unlikely to hear the former prosecutor opine on this ex officio. Perhaps he'll send an e-mail - I'm very interested as well.

August 04, 2005 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Jim lV said...

This can't be true- what a waste of resources.
But maybe the poor convenience store folks can get badly needed dental work done while the are in the slammer- at the taxpayers expense..

August 05, 2005 1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how do the police even know the clerks knew what "finish up a cook" meant? did these clerks even speak english?

August 05, 2005 2:33 PM  
Anonymous Harlem said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

August 05, 2005 7:14 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

how do the police even know the clerks knew what "finish up a cook" meant?
Good question - the article noted that in the court papers Investigators footnoted court papers to explain that the clue the informants dropped most often - that they were doing "a cook" - is a "common term" meth makers use. Lawyers argue that if the courts could not be expected to understand what this meant, neither could immigrants with a limited grasp of English.
There are some humurous moments in the article because it focuses on the plight of the Indian immigrants. It notes that of the 49 arrested, 32, mostly unrelated, are named Patel .
Read the following in a cheesy Bombay accident: "This is the first time I heard this - I don't know how to pronounce - this meta-meta something," said Hajira Ahmed, whose husband is in jail pending charges.
But it's not really funny - and it's not just wrong in those cases where there is a language barrier.

August 05, 2005 7:35 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Harlem - whaddya mean "turn" me? And this did not start 5 1/2 years ago! Your refusal to look at the endemic problem of our justice system being perverted away from the common law, and instead looking at this as a partisan issue tied in with Iraq is the type of approach guaranteed to ensure this continues. I am outraged by Ruby Ridge, Waco, Martha Stewart, any number of businessmen thrown in jail for creative legal interpretions or entire firms extorted by forfeiture laws, use of police officers to pretend to be 14 year old girls to entrap so called child predators, and 11 year old girls hauled off to detention centers for throwing a rock. But, no, you want to Blame It On Bush - yep - it's all Bush's fault.

August 05, 2005 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Still Anonymous said...

My gay lover left me “it is symptomatic of the general movement of the government in the past, dare I say it, 5 1/2 years”

My dog died “it is symptomatic of the general movement of the government in the past, dare I say it, 5 1/2 years”

My car broke “it is symptomatic of the general movement of the government in the past, dare I say it, 5 1/2 years”

My printer is out of ink “it is symptomatic of the general movement of the government in the past, dare I say it, 5 1/2 years”

August 05, 2005 8:08 PM  
Anonymous Harlem said...

My sympathy goes out to "Still Anonymous" who has clearly had a tough 5 1/2 years.
If the insinuation is that I'm blaming every problem we have on Bush, it is ill placed. But....
Under this administration I can see how your gay lover might leave you and return to the "striaght" life, given the intolerance of the current administration.
The death of your dog is truly sorrowful and I wouldn't suggest that it is anymore attributable to the Bush administration than to your abuse of the animal. In fact, given the limitation of the Bush adminstration on the health of your dog (dogs don't vote), I'd be looking at you as the cause, unless the death was natural.
Sorry about the broken car but, given the current gas prices, you may be better off. How do we justify a 32% increase in Exxon-Mobil profits last quarter when the gas prices keep going up? Are you taking gas orally?
Your printer being out of ink is a bummer. You can get it refilled via the Internet but not by a company or country that employs US citizens. Does that make you happy?
I don't blame everything on Bush and his crew and don't suggest that Gore or Carey would have done any better. Being critical of the current regime doesn't make a person a supporter of the alternative.
Try using the keyboard beyond the "cut & paste" operation. What's your opinion, beyonds the fact that I'm wrong? Happy with the way things are going, are we?
Harlem

August 05, 2005 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Harlem said...

My sympathy goes out to "Still Anonymous" who has clearly has a tough 5 1/2 years.
If the insinuation is that I'm blaming every problem we have on Bush, it is ill placed and shallow.
That said:
Under this administration I can see how your gay lover might leave you and return to the "striaght" life, given the intolerance of the current administration.
The death of your dog is truly sorrowful and I wouldn't suggest that it is anymore attributable to the Bush administration dogs don't vote) than to your abuse of the animal. In fact, given the limitation of the Bush adminstration on the health of your dog, I'd be looking at you as the cause, unless the death was natural.
Sorry about the broken car but, given the current gas prices, you may be better off. How do we justify a 32% increase in Exxon-Mobil profits last quarter when the gas prices keep going up? Are you taking gas orally?
Your printer being out of ink is a bummer. You can get it refilled via the Internet but not by a company or country that employs US citizens. Does that make you happy?
I don't blame everything on Bush and his crew and don't suggest that Gore or Carey would have done any better. Being critical of the current regime doesn't make a person a supporter of the alternative.
Try using the keyboard beyond the "cut & paste" operation. What's your opinion, beyond the fact that I'm wrong? Happy with the way things are going, are we?
Harlem

August 05, 2005 10:14 PM  
Anonymous Harlem said...

I apologize in advance (actually afterthe fact) for my duplicate entry. It clearly supports any anti alcohol/drug plans that might be under consideration.
Harlem

August 05, 2005 10:56 PM  
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