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View Diary: ID-Sen: Larry Craig's day of reckoning, live from Boise (135 comments)

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  •  interesting (2+ / 0-)
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    poee, StageStop

    i don't even have tv.  it just made me really uneasy that the whole thing hinges on the cop's eyewitness testimony, none of the events in and of themselves seem explicitly solicitous (the waving's weird, but the documentation is sparse and open to interpretation), and we never actually hear what the cop accuses him of on the tape.  for these reasons, i believe this is one of those stories where he will be vindicated in a multi-million dollar civil suit and liberals will be vilified for "railroading" him years later, when really he probably WAS soliciting bathroom sex, but jeez guys you gotta wait until he says "i'll *** **** **** for $100" before you go a'bustin.

    eventually, what's right becomes popular

    by mediaprisoner on Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 12:18:40 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  This is what I meant by swiftboating (2+ / 0-)
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      mediaprisoner, StageStop

      I am not saying Craig didn't lie, nor that he didn't plead guilty, nor that the cop wasn't truthful, nor that he hasn't been living a decades-long lie.

      But for a 27-year Congressman - the second-longest serving in Idaho history -  to be run out of Congress in one week's time over a minor misdemeanor in a men's room?

      I don't like Lary Craig. I disagree with him on pretty much every issue. But I think the guy was dumped on this week ... big time ... by the national GOP.

      From Wikipedia: "Swiftboating is American political jargon that is used (primarily) as a strong pejorative description of some kind of attack that the speaker considers unfair—for example, an ad hominem attack or a smear campaign."

      Coming this fall: DemocracySpace, a nonpartisan blog for community activists and public officials.

      by Red State Rebel on Sat Sep 01, 2007 at 12:24:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't buy any of this Craig as victim stuff (3+ / 0-)

      First of all, if you listened to the tape you saw that the police treated with dignity and respect.  Nobody was using "police state" tactics on him.  

      Second, I lived in Minneapolis for 20 years, and the police dept. there was a trailblazer in developing positive relationships with the GLBT community.  It was one of the first police depts. in the country to establish official liaisons to the GLBT community, to actively recruit new officers from the GLBT community (I remember their recruiting booth at gay pride back in the 80s). So I don't think they are out to make up shit about people just to get them arrested in a sting.

      Third, as the Idaho Statesment story goes, Craig has a history of soliciting sex from men in public restrooms, so it's not like this is out of the realm of possibility, and the cop didn't know who Craig was when he first saw him lurking in the restroom.

      Fourth, if Craig was innocent, why did he please guilty?  He his a senior Senator with access to legal resources few people have, so if he was truly innocent I don't understand why he didn't swear his innocence and get the best legal defense money could buy.  Perhaps the answer is that his actually did what he was accused of doing.

      •  If Craig was innocent of what the officer (1+ / 0-)
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        charged him with, then he would have fought it tooth and nail. If he really was "misinterpreted," then he'd have a small army of lawyers land on that officer's head. So even as I am confident that justice appears to have been done in this particular case, it still bothers me that ambiguous "signaling" is all they need to make an arrest and then pressure the perp into a plea.

        After reading the officer's written report and listening to the tape, it concerns me that he was arrested and convicted on -- what? his foot touched the officer's? he waived his hands under the stall divider? Is the gay sex in that bathroom so hot 'n heavy that they just don't have time to let a perp actually commit a crime?

        If Craig did everything that cop said he did, why not let him seal the deal? It was apparently imminent. Let him solicit the cop, or grope or whatever is the actual offense, then you've nailed him good.

        But to just initiate the arrest after some strange, non-verbal, and easily deniable "signaling" seems to me to unnecessarily open it up for interpretation and doubt (in the legal sense). I imagine that if the operators of that sting had known their quarry was so high profile, they would have given him enough rope to hang himself and gotten it on camera, too.

        As it was, the cop knew he had to get a confession out of Craig, as the "evidence" was hardly compelling, and he clearly handled him that way. He pressured him to take the deal so he could "get out of here" quick. He assured Craig that this information didn't have to come out in court if he just cooperated. It is a classic trap often sprung on closeted gay defendants: "We know you don't want anyone to know about this, so just confess and pay your fine and you can be on your way..." It perpetuates the whole noxious spiral of self-loathing homosexuals who feel they have no option but to hide in the closet. And no, you don't have to be a right-wing-pandering hypocrite to feel that from a cop.

        It is an unfortunate circumstance that police can (and are trained to) exploit a defendant's fear of being outed to convict on almost nothing for evidence. We have come a long way, but not nearly far enough; it is still a terrifying prospect for many to come out of the closet in Red State America.

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