Saturday, May 2, 2009

The American Gulag . . .Dykes, Drunks and Dick-less Dwarves

One day, in your mail, you find a letter from your local U.S. Attorney. It informs you that you are “a person of interest” in an on-going federal investigation.

What happens next? You find an attorney and pay a retainer of at least $50,000. Federal law forbids your employer (if this involves the employer) from paying your legal fees. You are on your own. Will you have to sell your house?

Quite likely you will lose your job – even if the investigation does not involve your employer – if you hold most kinds of licenses or are bonded. If you apply for work at the FBI, they will ask you, “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” Good for them. Virtually every other job application you will see in your lifetime will ask you, “Have you ever been arrested? Have you ever been the subject of a federal investigation?”

Also, quite likely, you will never be charged with a crime – i.e., you will never be called before a Grand Jury to explain yourself and defend against indictment. You will never be tried – i.e., given an opportunity to defend yourself or to require the prosecutors to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

The U.S. Attorney’s office will never give you a letter releasing you as a “person of interest” – not ever . . .unless you cooperate by incriminating someone else. You have a life to live – perhaps a family to support. Imagine you’re an orthopedic surgeon with a 12-year professional education, a practice that employs 20 people, $3 million in debts and a family; would you? Do you act as an informant? Imagine you’re a single-mother, working as an administrative assistant, who desperately needs the medical insurance from your job; do you make up a story to incriminate your boss? Would you really do that?

This is not the world of Dostoyevsky or Solzhenitsyn. This is America in the 21st Century. You are in The American Gulag with an unknown, uncounted number of other citizens. Estimates of your Gulag companions range in excess of 300,000.

Who are the Dykes, Drunks and Dick-less Dwarves? Those are the federal prosecutors who send you letters and hold your files, thus described by a prisoner of The American Gulag.

For one modest window into the Gulag, look here: