I wrote yesterday about the present legal difficulties of one of my National Review shipmates from a cruise or two back:
I have no use for Dinesh D'Souza, for example, but it seems obvious that he's been set up as this season's Benghazi video maker. There are gazillions of $20,000 campaign-finance infractions across America, but the only guy that's been singled out is the fellow who made a hit anti-Obama movie.
Some readers demanded to know what I meant by that "no use" crack. Well, we disagreed over his appalling book a few years ago, and, on my brief acquaintanceship on that cruise, I found him somewhat unappealing. I don't dislike him as strongly as many other conservatives apparently do. But that's the point: We're not showing solidarity with D'Souza because we like him, but rather for the obvious point that civilized people do not gloat when overbearing state power descends unjustly and arbitrarily even on those they revile - a virtue that seems lost on the gleeful lefties. Powerline's John Hinderaker writes:
D'Souza is accused of contributing $20,000, more than the legal limit, to the Senate candidacy of his friend Wendy Long. The U.S. Attorney in New York announced a "zero tolerance" policy with regard to campaign finance, and D'Souza was arraigned in New York, handcuffed briefly, and released on $500,000 bond.
I was not aware of the handcuffs until John mentioned it, but it's true:
D'Souza's bail was set at $500,000 and he was released after promising that one financially responsible person would sign "a personal recognizance bond" within a week. The case was then adjourned until March 4. D'Souza spent six hours at the courthouse and was briefly handcuffed.
D'Souza, the filmmaker behind 2016: Obama's America, also must surrender his passport, adhere to pretrial supervision, make no new travel applications and restrict travel to the continental U.S. with prior approval.
D'Souza has pleaded not guilty. Of the $20,000 he gave to Wendy Long, $5,000 is entirely lawful under America's campaign-finance regime. So the "crime" is $15,000. Yet, for 15 grand, a hitherto law-abiding citizen is put in handcuffs, cannot travel from New York to Boston without the permission of a federal judge, and has to post bail for half-a-million? As The Blaze noted, that's considerably more than the bail set for various accused rapists, kidnappers and murderers. For a crime of 15,000 bucks.
The cuffs, the bail, the internal exile: Sick, sick, sick. And Americans should be ashamed of themselves for putting up with it, presumably on the quaint belief that as long as they keep their heads down they're unlikely to catch the eye of their so-called "Justice" Department. I quoted the other day my old boss Conrad Black on federal "justice", so let me do so again:
Those who do exercise their constitutional right to a defense receive three times as severe a sentence as those who plead guilty; 95 percent of cases are won by prosecutors, 90 percent of those without trial.
D'Souza has made his first mistake by having the impertinence to plead "not guilty". But it's not so difficult to picture him a year or three down the road belatedly copping a plea in return for only two years in jail instead of the 15-30 or whatever crackpot sentence each individual count commands. And the rest of us will all learn an important lesson in what happens when your anti-Obama tract is too successful.
I am an immigrant to this great land, and it is a condition of my admission to this country that I am not allowed to foment the overthrow of the United States Government.
But there are days when the urge to foment rises dangerously high in my gullet...
PS Thank you for your continued support in my own expensive and time-consuming legal difficulties. I promise you it won't be wasted - and there'll be no plea-copping or settling.
BONUS! Ever anxious to help, Barry Bickmore (apparently auditioning to be my Javert) suggests that yours truly plead not guilty on grounds of insanity.