Sunday, October 9, 2011

ThoughtCrimes, Continued

Morning, kids. Hope you're all keeping it easy like Sunday Morning so far. I know I was.

You know, when I posted an entry on Monday of last week labeled "All ThoughtCrimes Will Be Persecuted", I was kind of joking with the title. The revisionist tactics I discussed from The New York Times and their staff member Al Baker were certainly Orwellian to say the least, but that didn't mean that I truly believed that there were crimes being made out of thought. At least until I read the article I'm going to share with you today.

From U.S. Drug Policy Would Be Imposed Globally By New House Bill

Don't really know where to begin with this one...

The basic idea of the story is this - the House Judiciary Committee passed a bill on Thursday that makes it a federal crime for US citizens to discuss or plan activities that violate the Controlled Substance Act, even if the country these plans are to be carried out in have no laws against the activity.

So, let's give an example.

The article provides an example describing a young couple planning their wedding. Let's say the couple plans on having their ceremony in the historic and picturesque city of Amsterdam. OK, no laws broken yet. Now, let's say this same couple discusses procuring a bag of marijuana for the bridal party. Well, while marijuana may be legal in Amsterdam, since it is not legal in the United States, despite having no intention of smuggling the illicit substance onto American soil, these young love-birds would be guilty of a federal crime simply in planning their wedding. They don't even have to actually pick up the bag to be prosecuted.

But the bill doesn't stop there, sir! The bill goes the extra mile in allowing conspiracy charges to be brought against anyone who discusses or advises in any activity that would result in a violation of the CSA. So, to continue with the example of the Amsterdam wedding, should charges be brought against the wedding planners for having the thought of getting a little weed over seas - then conspiracy charges could be laid on anyone involved in the planning of the wedding, even if they had no idea that there were plans for a little doobie during the celebrations. So, let's say that it was your wedding being planned in Amsterdam, and your loving mother decided to help by booking the hotel. Well, while your mother had no inkling of your intentions to light up in a country where it is perfectly acceptable by law to do so, she too could be charged with breaking federal law for her involvement.

EDIT: A helpful comment informed me that I was full of shit with the stricken out part there. Whoops. My bad. Thank you, Jack McCoy.

And American Imperialism marches on.

See, this is what happens when you allow the reins of government to be seized by a group of morally uptight religious zealots. You have all these bible-thumpers who have been told since birth that in the eyes of the Lord, even thinking about committing a sin is a sin in of itself. Yes, those pesky "Thou Shalt Not Covet" commandments make it a slight against God to even consider wanting things that don't belong to you, never mind the fact that there is already an established commandment against outright theft, or adultery. The mere desire for your neighbor's wife or possessions is a direct violation of God's ten most sacrosanct instructions. Well, it is no wonder that people that have been weened on this rhetoric since birth feel a moral obligation to try and enforce this line of thinking with legislation. That's the real frightening thing here. This new law doesn't make it illegal to perform acts overseas that are allowed in whatever country you happen to be in that might be against the law here at home. No, this law makes it illegal to plan such actions.

All in all, sounds very Minority Report to me. Arresting people for crimes that haven't happened yet.

Thank God we live in a country who's judicial branch lives off the mantra "innocent until proven guilty." It's just a damn shame you can now be called to account for the idle fancies of a wandering mind, rather than the physical repercussions of a crime that has actually been committed.

Some people said I think to much, so I had a think about it, and I think they should shut the fuck up

Seize The Ride.


  1. Not entirely right about the conspiracy point - conspirators are those who act with the knowledge that their actions will (likely) further a criminal enterprise. If mom doesn't know you're going to get high, she won't be guilty of conspiracy for buying a plane ticket.

    That being said, the law is bullshit and shouldn't be passed for obvious reasons.

  2. Thank you, Jack. Looks like I may have been a little hasty in throwing this one together.