Abuse of Power

During my childhood I recall an opinion held by most of my playmates that one could not go through the activities of a day without unknowingly violating a law or laws. This concept even appears in the Bible in that everybody commits sins without even being aware of so doing. Based on some of the current news reports there appears to be some validity of that related to some people in the public realm. It could, of course, be that some folks knew (or should have known) that what they were doing was wrong, but felt they wouldn’t get caught.  To me much of what I’ve heard related to an on-going government investigation, regarding something that is not even known to be illegal, brings to mind the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment*. Granted that the wording in the clause refers to the states, but it seems that the Federal Government should itself honor what it requires of the individual states. So far most of what has been found in a widely publicized investigation seems to have no incriminating connection to the issue ostensibly being investigated.

It seems that issues of a person’s affairs that do not relate to that for which an investigation was initiated should not be subject to that investigation.  It could reasonably be compared to searching a person’s home for something without probable cause. If you found something illegal during an illegal search it would be, as I understand it, unusable as evidence in court. I am left with the impression that “we” are engaged in searching for cause to bring charges against those “we” don’t like while overlooking compelling evidence about the possible misdeeds of those “we” do like. Based on the intents both specified and implied in the equal protection clause, “we” are abandoning the principles of fair treatment for all for which the 14th Amendment’s first section was created.  To be completely fair perhaps everybody’s affairs should be looked over in the same detail to ensure there is no hidden, or otherwise unknown, skullduggery lurking therein. But that being an impractical endeavor at such a broad level, perhaps it would be appropriate to use sampling techniques at a narrower level to do something statistically practical. But it seems that current “abridged” samplings are primarily designed to facilitate getting rid of those “we” don’t like. I should clarify that I use the word “we” to denote those who represent us in government.

* ”No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Greg Crompton

Dobbins, Ca.

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