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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Cheney's Elements to Intimdiation: He's living in another reality


INTIMIDATION, DO BY MEANS OF - to say or do something in such a way that a person of ordinary sensibilities would be fearful of bodily harm. Ref

This is what Cheney said:

It’s absolutely essential that eight weeks from today ... we make the right choice, because if we make the wrong choice then the danger is that we’ll get hit again

Danger implies not an actual event, but a "Condition" as in "condition of being susceptible". That is not a threat, nor is it specific, nor is it the basis to say someone would be fearful of bodily harm; rather the Vice President merely states that there are "conditions for susceptibility" not that there is a specific threat.

He doesn't predict terrorism nor does he say "terrorism"; he says "there's danger". His view is that "the danger" is always with us; so "whether we vote for or against a candidate" doesn't change "the danger".

Cheney's using the same "mincing of words" used in re Iraq and AlQueda. Cheney argues, "he never said it" but he sure created that impression. Suggestions are the art of propagandists.

It's how advertising works, and manipualtion works: To get people to focus on the positive qualities of a product or the negative qualities of "not choosing that product." Think of retirement. How much money goes into financial services when they hope to induce people to save for retirement. They never actually tell you "the means to save that money could very well put that dream at risk."

Rather, they focus on the retirement [images, freedom, waterfalls, golfing], and induce people to associate today's risk [action] with a future reward [emotion]; never mind that today's risk might wipe you out, or expose your capital to an unreliable financial reporting and regulatory system whose consequences for securities fraud are meaningless.

Election: Media is fueling the coercion

Compare Cheney's original comment to the headlines. You'll notice a disconnect.

Look at what Cheney said again. Indeed, it was the media that said made the leap.

Headlines Comment
"Vote for Bush or die" ref
Cheney warns of terror in Democrat win WashingtonTimes ref
"Cheney says electing Kerry risks terrorist attack" WCNC, NC KAIT, AR WBAY, WI WQAD, IL, AZ
; "Bush team's pitch: Vote for us or die" [Atlanta Journal Constitution]
"Cheney claims Kerry is wrong man to lead US" [Glasgow Evening Times, UK]
"Kerry presidency would undermine nation’s security, Cheney warns" [Chicago Tribune]
"Cheney: Wrong Vote Invites Attack" [CBS News]
"Cheney says 'wrong choice' on Election Day would risk terrorist attack" [AP, The Daily Transcript, San Diego]



538 US 343: On remand, VA stated that that cross burning was not intimidation. Ref

Cross burning is not intimidation in Va; doesn't say that intimdiation is lawful; only that some conduct may or may not be intimidation. Thus, if a flaming cross on one's law is not intimdiation, could a lesser statement predicting terrorism amount to intimdiation; or is the "reasonable man" presumed to know that this is merely puffery, speculative?

Given that "cross burning" is not intimidation, is this the "basis" for Gonzalez to argue that "unmuzzled dogs" were not intimidation in Abu Ghraib? Ref

However, the conventions are clear: THe banned conduct is more than mere intimidation, but applies to other factors.
Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.
Gonzalez runs into to trouble when he presumes that "because intimidation in re cross burning is not intimidation, then other conduct is acceptible." Rather, the Convensions doesn't just prohibit the acts, but it says that the prisoners must be protected against insults.

What has happened is the White House Counsel, in "approving" unlawful intimdiation in Guantanamo, Afghanistan, and Abu Ghraib [the memo was released, and sent through official channels; was an official document] means that the Vice President has now given himself "permission" to engage in the same conduct against the American public.

IN short, because the Vice President incorrectly assumes that "intimidation of prisoners is acceptable," so too can he engage in acts "less than burning crosses" and not be held accountable for intimidation. In other words, in Cheney's universe [whereever that is], he could even burn a cross on the lawn of voters, and that would not amount to intimidation of them; so anything "that is not as serious as cross burning is acceptable."

In Cheney's univese, he could predict nuclear annihilation at the hands of terrorists, going into great graphic detail of the destruction that could ensue, all the while knowing that he is protected. In short, he can discuss the "possible threat of terror" [by anyone] in order to shock the voters.

This was the same tactic used prior to the invasion of Iraq: Shock the Congress into fearing annihilation, all the while knowing there was no evidence; he spent 14 trips in the CIA headquarters [unprecdented] in order to have his view of reality applied to the evidence. We have no WMD, but we do have 1,000 dead American soliders in Iraq.

Constitutionally proscribable intimidation: Proscribe defined.



1. Defendant acted knowingly;

Pursuant to section 4-5 of the Criminal Code of 1961, a defendant is deemed to have acted knowingly if he was consciously aware that his conduct was practically certain to cause the offense defined in the statute. 720 ILCS 5/4-5 (West 2000). By its very nature, the mental element of knowledge is ordinarily established by circumstantial evidence rather than direct evidence. People v. Weiss, 263 Ill. App. 3d 725, 731, 635 N.E.2d 635 (1994). Knowledge may be inferred from the facts and circumstances of the case. People v. Holt, 271 Ill. App. 3d 1016, 1025, 649 N.E.2d 571 (1995). Ref

The issue is not whether the conduct would cause the vote to change; but whether the conduct [speaking out] would cause the offense of intimidating the voters. It doesn't matter whether voters actually change their votes; only that voters were intimidated or coerced.

Whether defendant Cheney was consciously aware that making this statement was pratically certain to cause people to feel indtimidated to vote? This tends to fail when we look at the text; as "practically certain" is possibly questionable since CHeney said, "the wrong person." Yet, would anyone credibly believe that "the wrong person" was anyone other than Kerry; or that Cheney ~might~ possibly be referring to Bush? This is absurd. It would ask that we believe Cheney was ~possibly~ referring to someone ~other~ than Kerry when he spoke out about voting for the "wrong person."

It's reasonable to conclude that defendant Cheney had no one else in mind, and that Cheney was clearly and with certainty: Referring to Kerry; hoping to dissuade voters from voting for Kerry; and hoping to encourage voters to vote for Bush.

2. Defendant acted willfully;

446 Mich. at 141. Compare Ill. Ann. Stat. § 10/1-210, which defines "willful and wanton conduct" as follows: "Willful and wanton conduct" as used in this [Governmental Employees Tort] Act means a course of action which shows an actual or deliberate intention to cause harm or which, if not intentional, shows an utter indifference to or conscious disregard for the safety of others or their property. Ref

Does Cheney's comment amount to an actual intention to get the voters to change their vote, or vote for Bush? It appears so; otherwise, why would he say the risks are high if the "wrong" candidate is voted for. Further, even if it is argued "he didn't intend to," there is a compelling argument that Cheney is saying [paraphrasing] "Don't vote for the wrong person" that he showed an utter indifference and disregard to whether these comments would be interpreted in any other way other than, "Don't vote for Kerry."
306 Ill. App. 3d 1149

3. Action and course of conduct was designed to intimidates, threatens, or
coerces, or attempts to intimidate, threaten, or coerce,

4. Action was directed at any person who was in fact made to feel that the defendant was actually attempting to influence their vote, and would suffer harm if they failed to heed that call to vote for the particular candidate.


The elements of aiding and abetting are also well-settled. Jones, 44 F.3d at 869. Under 18 U.S.C. 2, the Government must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the defendant: (1) "willfully associate[d] with the criminal venture," and (2) "aid[ed] such venture through affirmative action." Jones, 44 F.3d at 869. Mere presence at a crime scene is insufficient to prove aiding and abetting. See id. Although knowledge a crime is being committed is relevant, some showing of intent to further the criminal venture must be introduced at trial. See id. Ref

Complaint form; dual track.

18 USC 594

342 U.S. 246

"intentional," "wilful," "knowing," "fraudulent" or "malicious," will make criminal an otherwise indifferent act ref

413 U.S. 548

18 USC 594 has already been tested in CSC v. LETTER CARRIERS, 413 U.S. 548 (1973) as constitutional.

Public Law No: 107-252

Intimidatin to dissuade freedom of expression.

18 USC 1515: Applies to government workers who attempt to dissuade the public from reporting allegations of intimidation by the Vice President.

As it applies in this case, the statute of conviction requires the government to prove two elements: (i) that the defendant knowingly used intimidation, physical force, or threats against another, and (ii) that this conduct was intended to "influence, delay, or prevent the testimony of any person in an official proceeding." 18 U.S.C. § 1512(b)(1). Ref



Here's the rest of the story

Cheney knows he's making suggestions. And "legally" he cannot be accused of threatening terrorism.

Rather, the "real story" is the psychology going on. Those who agree with Cheney [that Kerry is evil] are not goign to compplain about what Cheney said; rather, they're likely to make no comment when the headlines read "Cheney says voting for Kerry will bring terror."

At the same time, the pscchology goes like this: For those who speak out saying, "Cheney can't say voting for Kerry will cause terror" will get trounced by the legal team because Cheney never actually mentions the word terror, nor any specific action. He simply suggests it.

The psychology goes like this: If someone speak out about "this statement is actionable," they're likely to be called a crackpot because "the reasonable person" would either agree with Cheney, or see that the statement is propaganda, and unlreated to any actionable claim upon which relief can be granted.

Rather, if we look simply at the text, there is no way that anyone would fear bodily harm as Cheney never mentions a specific threat. However, CHeney also knows that getting hit "again" also refers back to the images of the 9-11 attacks. Although CHeney doesn't mention terrorism, attacks, firey infernos, or explosions, he knows this is the ~image~ [emotion] that surfaces.

Thus, because legally CHeney has made no specific statement about fire, bombs, or explosions, the public could not argue that they could fear bodily harm. This is especially so given Cheney specificaly said, "danger" [a set of conditions] and made no specific mention of specific acts, nor made any statement about certainty.

Thus, the point of this discussion is to show that "reading between the lines" Cheney hopes to intimidate the voters [and that is a cause of action, and impeachable]; but the strict textual references show that "the basis for the intimidation" is not in the words, but in the image that is never mentioned: 9-11 World Trade Center, and Pentagon, and fire.

Thus, because there is no specific event Cheney is threatening "will occur" if people vote for Kerry, the court would find that there is no reaonable basis to believe that a specific person would be fearful of bodily harm.

Thus, anyone claiming that "they are fearful of bodily harm" after reading or hearing Cheney's statement would tend to be ostracized; so they keep silent, vote for the "protector" and distance themselves from those who are opposing the protector.

Who is going to admit that they were fearful of bodily harm? I will admit that I interpreted Cheney's statement as a threat that should be investigated -- all the more reason why "my interpretation" will go nowhere. Nobody in their right mind would bring this cause of action before the House Judiciary Committe, as there is no textual foundation for the claim, the President makes no specific mention of specific events.

In short, if we were to actually assume that Cheney's statement was to intimidate and coerce [which it was through propaganda] the chorus of naysayers would likely label "those so interpreting the statements" as being a person of non-ordinary sensibilites, or in left field.

This is the purpose of propaganda: To silence teh opposition, to get people to be quiet about the propaganda, and to also get those who wish to challenge propaganda through the judicial system to lose credibility.

There is no legal foundation to take anyone to court when it is the ~audience~ that makes the leap, and the propagandist never mentions the text required to bring a claim.

Thus, those who speak out against the intimidation might be silenced. There is no reason to be silent against those who continue to use these methods to win an election. They used the same non-sense prior to the invasion of Iraq, and those statements were not adequatley challenged. It is time that the Vice President be asked some tough follow-up questions about what exactly he was saying.

Follow-up questions for Vice President Cheney

There has been some speculation that the future might be different if Bush is elected; however, the reality is that the hypothetical future risk of bad things happening misses the point. The "bad things" have already happened under the Bush Administration. We've already been hit by terrororism under the Bush Administration.

  • Did you mean that the voting public would certinaly suffer grave bodily injury if they vote for Kerry?

  • Putting aside the issue of who might actually win the election, why will this risk be different if the voters vote for Bush?

  • What specific different is there between the Bush and Kerry's approaches to issues that will make the country more suceptible under one approach than another?

  • Terrorists have already taken acation against the United States under President Bush. If they take action against Kerry, would not their planning have had to occur under the Bush Administration; and why isn't the Bush administration able to stop the planning for terrorism?

  • Iraq has a poor legacy of actually spending funds associated with reconstruction. This was behind Kerry's vote not to appropriate additional funding--there was no specific plan to rebuild Iraq. What methods, plans, or program will actually expend money and funds to address the conditions which others are using as "reasons" to bring "speculative future events" to the United States?

  • The 9-11 commission advocated looking at the root causes of terrorism and focusing our energy on providing economic relief and contribute to better economic conditions. Yet, the UNited Stests controls Iraq, but chooses not to provide direct contracts nor appropriate money for rebuilding. A coherent foreign policy would actually address the root causes of these problems driving those who desire to lash out. What specific plans do you have for the money that has already been appropriated to address these issuse; why hasn't the money been expended for these programs?

  • When you say "get hit again" do you mean that if the voters vote for Kerry, that specific individuals are definitely going to suffer specific terrorist attacks to include death, bodily injury, and harm?

  • When you say, "The wrong choice" are you saying that the voting public's only possible right choice is to vote for Bush; and that if they do not vote for Bush the voters who vote for Kerry are going to be the victims of a terrorist attack and suffere bodily injury?

  • Is your goal in making these statements about "the wrong choice" related to your desire to be re-elected?

  • What will happen to those who make "the wrong choice": Will they be killed?

  • When you say "get hit again" could you be specific what you mean by this in terms of: What you envision happening, specific events that you anticipate others planning?

  • Please desribe the lawful methods the Administration is taking to prevent these events?

  • What is the basis for estimate that these plans and efforts are adequate?

  • Given the legacy of the planning in post-war Iraq, why should the public believe that the planning to mitigate similar events in the United STates is reasonable, adequately sourced, or thought through?

  • Just after the war in Iraq, the President declared that we had victory. Yet there are more combat deaths. Please describe what specific conditions and outcomes would be reuqired to ensure the united states is victorious against terrorism. What do the voters need to do on election day to ensure that there is no terrorism?

  • Why is the voter being asked to "make a decision related to whether or not terrorism will occur" when it is the duty of the state to ensure the state is protected?

  • To what extent will methods, plans, and success critera be defined in terms of factors that are contrary to the constittuion: How many individuals will be detained and forced to account for themselves; how much additional information in secret databases which local and federal official keep will be required to say "We have enough information" to ensure there will be no problem?

  • How many people will be stopped, detained, questioned, and thratened with handcuffing unless they share personal information?

  • There seems to be a disconnect between "where the problem is" and "what is being done." If there are bad things happening overseas that are driving people to take acction, why is DoJ and local law enforcmene stopping Americans on the street, when the actual economic conditions warranting attention lie overseas?

  • Probable cause requires that there be a linkage between the reason for teh stop and the conduct that is observed, and that there be a plausible linkage between the observed behavior and criminal activity. Why are American citizens being detained stateside to address the economic failures overseas?

  • Stickers here: