The feds are currently prosecuting Jesse Benton, a campaign aide in Ron Paul’s 2012 presidential race. Benton’s supposed crime? The feds say he lied to the FBI when he denied knowledge of a scheme to purchase the endorsement of an Iowa state senator during the 2012 presidential race.
That’s the sole charge against Benton. The presiding judge in the case dismissed all other charges that federal prosecutors brought against Benton. (The feds have officially acknowledged that regardless of what happened, Ron Paul himself had nothing to do with it.)
Here’s my prediction: During upcoming jury arguments, the federal prosecutor is going to stand before the jury and proudly pontificate about the importance of telling the truth. He’s going to talk about such high-minded principles as integrity and honor. He’s going to ask the jury to return a verdict of guilty for supposedly not telling the truth to a federal investigatory bureaucrat who was checking into supposed campaign finance violations by a campaign aide whose candidate, coincidental or not, just happened to be a libertarian.
Now, let’s examine the testimony not too long ago of James R. Clapper, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence:
Sen. Ron Wyden: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”
Director Clapper: “No, sir.”
Sen. Ron Wyden: “It does not?”
Director Clapper: “Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect, but not wittingly.”
There are three things about Clapper’s testimony that are noteworthy:
First, Clapper gave those answers in an official congressional hearing.
Second, Clapper was under oath when he gave that testimony.
Third, Clapper lied, and since he was under oath, his false testimony, under the law, constitutes perjury. That Clapper lied was established by the revelations of Edward Snowden, which is one of the reasons the national-security establishment is so angry at Snowden.
What about Benton? Well, whatever it was that he said to those FBI agents, one thing is for sure: It wasn’t under oath, like Clapper’s testimony was before Congress.
Question: Why are the feds prosecuting Benton and not prosecuting Clapper?
Answer: Because Clapper is part of the national-security state branch of the federal government, which includes those who are considered to be the political elite within American society. When they commit crimes, the U.S. Justice Department is not supposed to consider their crimes to be crimes.
In other words, it’s okay for national-security state bureaucrats to lie to the elected representatives of the American people, even under oath. In the eyes of federal prosecutors, that’s just no big deal and certainly is not considered to be a criminal offense.
But when a private citizen supposedly lies to a federal bureaucrat who is investigating violations of ridiculous laws, rules, regulations, and edicts pertaining to “campaign finance laws” — you know, the laws that keep Big Money out of presidential campaigns — well, then all hell breaks loose, with criminal indictments, prosecutions, and all sorts of pontifications about the importance of citizens telling the truth to federal bureaucrats.
Do you ever get the feeling that there are two systems of justice in this country, one for the political elite and one for regular people? If you don’t, just talk to Jesse Benton and James Clapper. They’ll straighten you out.