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There have been a number of diaries that reference Peter King's latest YouTube video (King also features this video, seemingly proudly, on his home page) where he slams Michael Jackson as a "pedophile", a "child molester", and a "pervert".  Short of physically wrapping himself in the flag, he goes on at length to implore Americans to celebrate real heroes - volunteers, those dying in Afghanistan - and NOT Michael Jackson.

I can't argue that Americans should, always, honor everyday heroes.  They're around us all the time, and not just fighting in Afghanistan.  They're fighting for healthcare and a decent chance for the middle class and stuff like that.  But I digress.  Over the fold, I'm going to implore Peter King to do something for me as well - and that's the real point of the diary.

It's not my place to defend Michael Jackson against the legal and civil allegations he faced during his lifetime, particularly those related to his relationship with children.  I don't really know what happened with Michael Jackson with respect to the latter charges - only the parties involved really know.  And I'm not going to speculate.

What I DO know is this:

The Constitution of the United States

Article I - The Legislative Branch

Section 1 - The Legislature

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.


Article 8 - Powers of Congress

To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

[Many powers are listed - I just included the relevant one]

So, simply - The US Constitution, the founding document of our country, sets forth the creation of the Legislative Branch (of which King is a member) and furthermore grants powers to the Legislative Branch, among which includes the ability to make laws.

So lets explore.

Rule of Law: a state of order in which events conform to the law.

Conviction: The judgment of a jury or judge that a person is guilty of a crime as charged.

Acquittal: Judgment, as by a jury or judge, that a defendant is not guilty of a crime as charged.

None of this is a novel concept - unless, of course, you're Peter King.  Clearly he needs to:

  1. Go back and read the Constitution
  1. Understand his role as a member of Congress and how being a member of Congress relates to the Legislative Branch as spelled out by the US Constitution.
  1. Understand that Congress is integral in the foundational concept of "rule of law".
  1. Understand the difference between "conviction" and "acquittal".

King's tirade against Michael Jackson were ill-conceived, to say the least.  He sounds petty at best in railing against the media coverage of Michael Jackson's death.

But what underlies his comments are much, much scarier than mere petulance.  King is a member of the law-making body of the United States, yet seems to utterly fail to grasp that Michael Jackson was never convicted of the crimes to which King refers.  

Peter King clearly doesn't understand his Constitutional role within the US Government.  On the one hand, he vilifies Michael Jackson by verbally convicting him of crimes for which he was, in reality, acquitted.  On the other, he rails against investigation of a known illegal activity, torture.

Again - this isn't a diary about Michael Jackson or defending his controversial record.  This is a diary about FACT.

The FACT is that Peter King is a member of the Legislative Branch of Government.

The FACT is that, in this capacity, Peter King (one would assume) should possess a basic understanding of the US legal system.

The FACT is that Michael Jackson was acquitted, in a court of law in the United States, of the charges against him.

The FACT is that Peter King appears to believe that "acquittal" is a formality, and that it's approrpiate, in his role as a lawmaker, to verbally cast aside said acquittal.

The FACT is that torture is against the law, but Peter King feels that investigating the violation of this law is inappropriate.

So really - the FACT is that Peter King is unfit for the office that he holds, simply because he doesn't seem to conceptually grasp the concept of the rule of law, its process, and its conclusions.

Originally posted to RenaRF's Random Ramblings on Tue Jul 07, 2009 at 09:15 AM PDT.

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