Author Topic: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation  (Read 92028 times)

Pete at Home

  • Members
    • View Profile
Quote
Honestly, does that mean when asked a reporter will now have to present their actual drivers license in an undercover investigation or face 2-20 years in prison?

It's news to me that forging official documents is OK for investigative journalists.  Is this established law, or just your POV?

Didn't say it was "OK.". But having the wrong law applied, to create a 20 year sentence, is some pretty totalitarian stuff, SF.

Seriati

  • Members
    • View Profile
How is it different?
How is different to lie about who you are and to impersonate a federal officer?  If I lie and say I'm a professional baseball player are you compelled to provide me with answers to questions I ask?  If I on the other hand, present the credentials of an IRS agent and demand you submit to a deposition, the threat and implication of the consequences for your non-compliance are enormous.
Quote
Wasn't the intent of the fake ID's to make them more likely to speak candidly?
Of course, but the intent behind impersonating a federal officer is to compel them to do so.

There's lot of ways to ask the same question without involving the complete different situation where the person is under the mistaken belief they have to speak.  PP did not believe they were required to speak to these guys, the fake id's didn't create an appearance that they had to do so.

Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
good chance that's been interpreted to mean financial harm, theft or some other violation of law given what this statute is typically used to cover, none of which are present here

You've got a tough case showing they didn't intend financial harm, since the immediate result of the videos was to get PP de-funded in some places. I guess you could argue they intended even worse for PP and that de-funding was a lesser version of the harm they wanted to cause, but giving them the benefit of the doubt that they weren't trying to manipulate criminal law and were only trying to tarnish PP's image, the objective would then have been financial harm.

Seriati

  • Members
    • View Profile
I understand your point Fenring, but you're going down a further tangent to my tangent.  I don't know that they have interpreted it to mean financial harm - just a guess - but if they have you should consider the context of where this law is typically used.  People engaging in fraud to misappropriate funds, directly taking cash from a victim.  We should find out how the law is actually interpreted before we make a claim about whether or not an indirect financial harm would satisfy a test I was just speculating about.  It's usually a tough sale to claim that a governmental action (ie defunding or fines) is the responsibility of a private person.

NobleHunter

  • Members
    • View Profile
If their intent was to engage in slander or libel, wouldn't that count as intent to harm? Though mixing criminal and civil like that seems weird.

I think a major question is if they actually thought they would discover illegal activity or were just planning on creating the appearance of it. I don't think arguments based on journalistic privilege apply to people who had (IMHO) no intentions of acting like journalists.

Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
I don't think arguments based on journalistic privilege apply to people who had (IMHO) no intentions of acting like journalists.

If someone intends to do something borderline illegal in order to expose a shady operation, it would also help their argument if they had a press pass from an accredited news organization. Any clown can engage in semi-legal activity and then claim "oh no, I'm a journalist!" It helps if you actually have a background in journalism or are employed by a news agency if you want to make that claim. I can tell you, for instance, that if you're shooting a film and you do something not really legal you aren't protected at all just by virtue of the fact that you're a film-maker, even if it's a documentary. If being a journalist is supposed to offer you some protection from prosecution over and above a normal civilian (which I'm not even sure if it does, unless you have a law enforcement journalist pass) then you have to pass muster for actually being in such a career.

NobleHunter

  • Members
    • View Profile
While it would help, I don't think it's necessary. I'd prefer to judge someone's status as a journalist based on their actions. Accreditation comes to close to censorship and control. It might have been acceptable when a journalist needed a lot of support to do significant reporting but now a facebook post can reach more people than the nightly news.

Pete at Home

  • Members
    • View Profile
Quote
How is different to lie about who you are and to impersonate a federal officer?  If I lie and say I'm a professional baseball player are you compelled to provide me with answers to questions I ask?  If I on the other hand, present the credentials of an IRS agent and demand you submit to a deposition, the threat and implication of the consequences for your non-compliance are enormous.

Yes.  Otoh, if you are at a bar, and claim to be an IRS agent and don't use that pretended authority, other than to pretend you have a job, it's not as serious as actually exercising the power of the pretended office.

Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
NH, it would only matter if you were involved in something semi-legal or illegal. If neither of those conditions are met then there's no effective difference between a journalist and anyone else in the sense we're discussing it. I only mention it because Seriati brought up the fact of them being 'journalists' should allow them some leniency in forging documents and so forth. If that's true then unless you want everyone forging documents you need a standard. Imagine an underage minor with a fake ID trying to buy booze, and when caught making the claim that he's a journalist trying to expose shady store owners. It's a BS defence unless you can really show that's your line.

NobleHunter

  • Members
    • View Profile
I'd see journalism as an affirmative defense. That is the defendent would have to demonstrate that they intended to somehow publish the results of their activity in a manner consistent with journalistic ethics. Certainly having an actual job as a reporter would be a good way towards demonstrating that.

The minor scenario would run into problems if he actually took possession of any booze. There are difficulties but Pete does have a point about laws being used to protect and shield abusers and law breakers. It's hard to maintain a healthy press if "investigate/publish and you'll be arrested" is a common response.
Quote
Yes.  Otoh, if you are at a bar, and claim to be an IRS agent and don't use that pretended authority, other than to pretend you have a job, it's not as serious as actually exercising the power of the pretended office.
Reminds of a favoured scene from Criminal Minds. It's not a good idea to try that trick (or pretend to be an FBI agent) in Washington . Though at least the guy was smart enough not to flash a fake badge.

Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
The minor scenario would run into problems if he actually took possession of any booze. There are difficulties but Pete does have a point about laws being used to protect and shield abusers and law breakers. It's hard to maintain a healthy press if "investigate/publish and you'll be arrested" is a common response.

Right, but don't forget the argument being put forward is that it wasn't really their intention to procure illegal substances, they only solicited purchase of it to see if PP would comply. If this is the case being made then the actual transfer of materials isn't that relevant compared with the attempt itself. When a minor tries to buy booze, he's already broken the law. The fact that he may or may not succeed is not strictly relevant, although obviously having the bottle in hand is stronger evidence of the deed than the word of the vendor. After all, it's not illegal for a minor to possess booze; the crime is the attempt to procure. If the guy behind the counter at a convenience store was an undercover cop and a kid flashed a fake ID the kid would already be guilty. It's not like the cop would actually hand over the bottle and then tell the kid "aha!" The point is that you can claim any intention you want when attempting to procure, but when you say you didn't really want to actually obtain the thing it becomes somewhat irrelevant as a defence unless you can prove a journalistic background or assignment. Likewise, solicitation of a prostitute is also illegal, and in no way does a person have to actually go back to their place, sleep with her, and then pay in order to be guilty. Asking for the service is already a crime regardless of intent, and I don't think cops would take the defence of 'journalist!' too seriously unless you had creds to back it up.

As far as a healthy press goes, again, we're talking strictly about semi-legal or illegal activity for undercover purposes. I could accept that there would be leniency for the press in this regard, but I doubt very much you want universal leniency for such laws under the weird premise that 'anyone is a journalist if they say they are.' The point isn't about protecting shady operations from undercover investigation; it's about verifying that whomever is doing that investigating is actually in the reporting business and is versed in journalistic ethics.

Pete at Home

  • Members
    • View Profile
I understand your point Fenring, but you're going down a further tangent to my tangent.  I don't know that they have interpreted it to mean financial harm - just a guess - but if they have you should consider the context of where this law is typically used.  People engaging in fraud to misappropriate funds, directly taking cash from a victim.  We should find out how the law is actually interpreted before we make a claim about whether or not an indirect financial harm would satisfy a test I was just speculating about.  It's usually a tough sale to claim that a governmental action (ie defunding or fines) is the responsibility of a private person.

Are you not understanding what he said?  It's not about the motive. It's about whether the deception has an effect of coercing. 

The counterexample to seriati's point is if someone dresses as a fed officer in an informal setting to get admissions of wrongdoing from fellow feds.  With impersonating a doctor, the wrongdoing could be if someone gives information that he wrongly believes is privileged. 

Seriati

  • Members
    • View Profile
Fenring, sorry you're really muddling things up here.  Kids buying alcohol is specific enough a circumstance that its handled with its own provisions.  It's not the attempt to buy that is illegal, it's the sale itself and the use of a fake id in connection with the transaction.  If a kid without a fake id walks up to the bar and orders a drink, its the bar who's in trouble not the kid.

In this case, the fake id isn't relevant to the supposed legal violation.  In other words the kid can only buy the alcohol by presenting a falsified document, there's no indication that anyone would have to present an id to buy fetal parts.  They had to present it to get to a meeting.  It's completely anciliary to the "crime" in question.
Quote
Right, but don't forget the argument being put forward is that it wasn't really their intention to procure illegal substances, they only solicited purchase of it to see if PP would comply.
The substances are not illegal, nor is procuring them, the only illegality is buying them for more than cost.  Is there any evidence that they in fact put money on the table to buy the parts?
Quote
If this is the case being made then the actual transfer of materials isn't that relevant compared with the attempt itself. When a minor tries to buy booze, he's already broken the law.
See prior, but this is not generally true.  The seller is the one required to comply with the law, the minor's crime is using the fake id to make the purchase.
Quote
If the guy behind the counter at a convenience store was an undercover cop and a kid flashed a fake ID the kid would already be guilty. It's not like the cop would actually hand over the bottle and then tell the kid "aha!"
But that's because using the fake id to buy booze is what's illegal.  That's the whole point of the original summary I was trying to put in.  The fake id's here are used incidentally and not as a required part of the "illegal" transaction.  They could have done the whole thing without the id's at a coffee shop.  You can't separate them out in the kid's buying booze scenario.
Quote
The point is that you can claim any intention you want when attempting to procure, but when you say you didn't really want to actually obtain the thing it becomes somewhat irrelevant as a defence unless you can prove a journalistic background or assignment.
What you're getting at is the question of whether its a strict liability style standard (it happened, and doesn't matter why) or whether you have to have an intent.  The shading of intent is what separates one crime from another all over the legal code.  And here its even a further step removed, because it isn't a crime to procure fetal parts, and to pay for them.  Essentially the "crime" here is trying to get someone to agree to accept extra money over and above what they are allowed to take, how does that even work?  Did PP quote their costs of provision and the "buyer" come back with a higher price?  No they tried to get them to admit that the were selling the parts for a profit.  What's the crime they committed again?
Quote
Likewise, solicitation of a prostitute is also illegal, and in no way does a person have to actually go back to their place, sleep with her, and then pay in order to be guilty.
Well yes solicitation is actually illegal.  That doesn't mean that all crimes are two sided, sometimes you get a crime and for the "other" side all you can get is an "aiding and abetting" charge, sometimes the other side is itself illegal as well.
Quote
Asking for the service is already a crime regardless of intent, and I don't think cops would take the defence of 'journalist!' too seriously unless you had creds to back it up.
Well, accept of course that its doubtful that "asking" without an intent to actually buy is actually a crime.  Does anyone know if its the sale or purchase or both that is illegal here?
Quote
As far as a healthy press goes, again, we're talking strictly about semi-legal or illegal activity for undercover purposes. I could accept that there would be leniency for the press in this regard, but I doubt very much you want universal leniency for such laws under the weird premise that 'anyone is a journalist if they say they are.' The point isn't about protecting shady operations from undercover investigation; it's about verifying that whomever is doing that investigating is actually in the reporting business and is versed in journalistic ethics.
What we're talking about it, this time, is whether those with a legitimate interest in falsifying their identity (like journalists, but not like underage kids) should face felony charges for preparing and using documents to protect that identity.  There's no question that if they used the documents to commit a crime, like filing for someone else's tax refund, to gain entry to a government building, or to obtain an official driver's license, they'd be going outside the scope of a legitimate use. 

But showing it to prove your fake name to building security so you can goto a meeting someone intentionally scheduled with "fake you"?  Doesn't seem unreasonable.  Think of the impact of a contrary rule in a world where you have to show id to get past the lobby of every building (already that way in many cities).  All you'd have to do is invite someone to your office to avoid any risk they were an undercover journalist.

Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
Are you not understanding what he said?  It's not about the motive. It's about whether the deception has an effect of coercing. 

Seriati's comment about coercion was related to the comparison made between what these guys did and between faking being an IRS agents. I didn't understand that comment as addressing my position since I didn't make that analogy. In terms of his comments to me Seriati made it pretty clear that motive is supposed to be central to a prosecution and that we'd have to take a closer look at how these laws are actually interpreted to see whether this prosecution fits within the normal context or not. He cited attempting to cause financial harm as an example, and I made an argument suggesting that this might count as that.

Pete at Home

  • Members
    • View Profile
The wrong inflicted here isn't the ID, though. It's the big lie.  What was done here isn't much different than the duplicity associated with the movie "Borat" where footage was obtained under false pretenses and then displayed out of context in order to present people in a false light.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2016, 04:11:54 PM by Pete at Home »

Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
But showing it to prove your fake name to building security so you can goto a meeting someone intentionally scheduled with "fake you"?  Doesn't seem unreasonable.

This is sort of the main issue, though, isn't it? If they had used a fake ID just to get an interview with the PP people because they couldn't line up an interview any other way (busy schedules, whatever) then that would be one thing. But they used the fake ID in order to set up a meeting about procuring human tissues. It wasn't just to get in the building, it was to initiate an illegal transaction, the meeting for which happened to be in the building. According to the charges being made it is illegal to try to procure human tissues unless you have certain credentials. Maybe this fact is inaccurate, but assuming for the moment that this is, in fact, a crime, then what we're really talking about is how much intent matters when using a fake ID for this purpose. Maybe they really should be indicted for abetting the other guy's attempt to procure human tissues; or maybe it should be something else. I'm not a lawyer, but in this case faking the ID seems to me to be more than just passing through security.

My analogy about minors and booze may not be perfect, but the point is that it's not legal for a kid to present fake ID. It's not like a cop witnessing this would say to the kid "Nice try, better luck next time," since no illegal transaction really happened. The presenting of the fake ID is itself illegal, although you're right to point out that it's a different kind of illegal than would be a store owner knowingly selling that kid booze. The transaction is one thing, but taking illegal steps to try to pursue the transaction is another. As it happens in this case, the claim is that attempting to procure human tissue is illegal, although I'm not at all sure that having obtained it is illegal. The attempt to procure may be 'more illegal' than the possession of it in this case.

Pete at Home

  • Members
    • View Profile
The intent was not to procure human tissues, but rather to obtain footage related to the human tissues business.


AI Wessex

  • Members
    • View Profile
If they hadn't released the videos, what would their motive have been?  Everything they did up to that point was consisted with actions for the purpose of acquiring the tissue under false pretenses.  Maybe they were considering doing it but chickened out.  The trial is the right venue to explore any and all possible motives.

Pete at Home

  • Members
    • View Profile
I don't even believe that you believe what you just said, Al. 

"If they hadn't released the videos, what would their motive have been? "

No, you don't get to change the facts and then speculate on their motives based on your counter factual hypothesis.  That's not what a trial is for.

"The trial is the right venue to explore any and all possible motives."

No. That's just stupid. A trial looks at charges and mindsets REASONABLY de r I cable from the facts.  Not any possibility you pull out of your ass.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2016, 08:09:13 PM by Pete at Home »

AI Wessex

  • Members
    • View Profile
Why is it unreasonable to assume that they might have intended to do exactly what they said they were doing?  I'm not saying they were, just asking the question.  If you were the prosecution, wouldn't you consider that as a possible motive?

yossarian22c

  • Members
    • View Profile
AI, don't play obtuse.  These are clearly anti-abortion activists looking to smear PP.  Yes the prosecution could entertain that thought for about 5 seconds before realizing none of the evidence points to that being the actual case.

Pete at Home

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #71 on: February 01, 2016, 10:05:58 AM »
Why is it unreasonable to assume that they might have intended to do exactly what they said they were doing?  I'm not saying they were, just asking the question.  If you were the prosecution, wouldn't you consider that as a possible motive?

No, I would not.  And the prosecution would only I'd they had reason to believe the judge was a whore who would wink at their chicanery rather than appropriately applying rule 11 sanctions. 

Really, Al, for one who prattled incessantly against "lawyers" you adopt strategies that most lawyers would not touch with a ten foot pole.

Wayward Son

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #72 on: February 01, 2016, 03:17:35 PM »
Remember, buying fetal tissue is only a misdemeanor and really has nothing to do with the felony charge.

The felony is based on using government ID from another state with intent to do harm.

So any prosecution will depend on what is considered "harm."

If "harm" only means stealing money or physical injury, they should get off easy.

But if "harm" can also mean slander, then they could be in big trouble.

But don't fixate on whether they actually meant to buy fetal tissue.  Consider whether they meant to do harm to Planned Parenthood.

AI Wessex

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #73 on: February 01, 2016, 03:23:21 PM »
I yield to all of your responses.  I won't mention it again unless it comes up at the trial :).

Pete at Home

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #74 on: February 01, 2016, 10:51:43 PM »
Remember, buying fetal tissue is only a misdemeanor and really has nothing to do with the felony charge.

The felony is based on using government ID from another state with intent to do harm.

So any prosecution will depend on what is considered "harm."

If "harm" only means stealing money or physical injury, they should get off easy.

But if "harm" can also mean slander, then they could be in big trouble.

But don't fixate on whether they actually meant to buy fetal tissue.  Consider whether they meant to do harm to Planned Parenthood.

While your argument has the relative virtues 1. of not being transparently dishonest, 2 actually thinking about the law, and 3.(most importantly IMO) trying to identify the gravamen of the relevant offense, your interpretation of harm as defamation is ambiguous and problematic.  I'd be happy to explain further if anyone is interested.  If you mean defamatory as in harmful (which confusingly is just one element of American legal defamation) then the standard would hurt any news reporter that wanted to expose a wrongdoing.  For example, exposing a curry tobacco company's practices would be "harming" the tobacco company.  And I don't think we want to slap 20 year sentences on people for wanting to inflict that kind of "harm."

On the other hand if you mean intending to defame, as in committing ALL of the elements of US legal defamation, then that's a nearly impossibly high standard.  In this case we might show that they ended up tortuously defaming when they presented the material to the press, but you would have a very hard time proving that such was their intent when they presented the false Id to secure the interviews.  More likely they intended to catch the Planned Parenthood folks saying or doing illegal and reprehensible things.  And like many newbies, when things weren't as juicy as they hoped, they sexed it up.

consider the precedent we are setting in an era where authority and power are already unchecked, with folks going to prison for taping abusive cops, Obama trimming back whistle-blower protections, etc. Let's not go running around with fire extinguishers during the flood

yossarian22c

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #75 on: February 01, 2016, 11:11:48 PM »
Actually I'm quite concerned with the recent liberal (which I consider myself most of the time) attitude towards trials.  The idea that people who probably aren't guilty of anything, or guilty of minor offences, should be put through the stress and life-altering consequences of a legal trial just to make sure or to show the legal system is "working" is perverse. 

The worst that should happen to these clowns is a civil suit for slander/libel/defamation (whichever is the correct term for deceptive editing of a video) and a small misdemeanor charge for the fake IDs.  I don't like locking people up for being non-violent and slightly dishonest ideologues.

Fenring

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #76 on: February 02, 2016, 12:57:22 AM »
If you mean defamatory as in harmful (which confusingly is just one element of American legal defamation) then the standard would hurt any news reporter that wanted to expose a wrongdoing.  For example, exposing a curry tobacco company's practices would be "harming" the tobacco company.  And I don't think we want to slap 20 year sentences on people for wanting to inflict that kind of "harm."

Isn't the standard of defamation in this sense that the message being put out with the intent to harm them is factually untrue? For instance, if I release lies about tobacco in order to harm them that would be, to my understanding, defamation, whereas if I publish an authentic study showing harmful effects, since my findings are factual this cannot be defamation. Isn't this how it's judged, rather than just inspecting as a blanket statement whether your actions could be said to harm their interests? Likewise slander and libel, I thought, strictly pertained to releasing false or misleading information.

Overall I agree with some of you that a felony charge seems extreme for fabricating ID's. On the other hand I'm still a little hung up on the issue of impersonating a doctor, regardless of the reason. It's not as bad as trying to perform a surgery, but I'd put it up there with trying to score opiates or something as DJ mentioned. Not a crime with much of a victim, but clearly not ok. I tend to agree that a misdemeanor charge would suffice, notwithstanding the fact that the damage they inflicted on PP may well have repercussions far beyond the scope of having a trivial sentence of time served.

Pete at Home

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #77 on: February 02, 2016, 07:52:47 AM »
If a new student claims to be a physician at a party in order to impress the hostess, I don't think scoring opiates is a reasonable comparison.



D.W.

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #78 on: February 02, 2016, 09:18:36 AM »
Actually I'm quite concerned with the recent liberal (which I consider myself most of the time) attitude towards trials.  The idea that people who probably aren't guilty of anything, or guilty of minor offences, should be put through the stress and life-altering consequences of a legal trial just to make sure or to show the legal system is "working" is perverse. 

The worst that should happen to these clowns is a civil suit for slander/libel/defamation (whichever is the correct term for deceptive editing of a video) and a small misdemeanor charge for the fake IDs.  I don't like locking people up for being non-violent and slightly dishonest ideologues.

Well in THIS case at least, (not sure what makes for the trend you see) the desire to "throw the book at them" is because of the actual and potential impact this endeavor can have.  The number of lives effected is considerable.  PP opponents could of course argue the same.  Part of me agrees that they should (if found guilty) be sentenced to the maximum extent of the law.  Does 20 years seem "fair"?  No, probably not.  But breaking the law in an attempt to short circuit or manipulate governance is a pretty big deal.  The intent is a far more grave offence than the laws broken to achieve it.

Even typing that out the lawful part of my D&D alignment thinks it's horse poo.  Doesn't really stop me feeling that they should lock the door and throw away the key.  But, if you were the type to hate even a little bit of what PP does, then that whole justification / retribution fantasy never pops into one's head I'm sure.

cherrypoptart

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #79 on: February 02, 2016, 10:26:39 AM »
How will this apply going forward to the animal rights activist muckraking journalists who go undercover by applying for jobs under false pretenses and even fake identities to get the evidence of animal cruelty want to expose?

What if a journalist did something like this to get evidence that Obama filled out applications as a foreign student to qualify for financial aid and other benefits? Or what if a journalist broke privacy laws to find out when Obama registered for the Selective Service and if it was backdated? Can you break the law to catch someone else who broke the law when you know it's not going to happen any other way?

I do remember a case of a man after issuing many complaints to the police about drug dealers in the neighborhood actually buying some drugs and bringing it to the police as evidence and then, of course, promptly getting arrested by the police for trying to tell them how to do their jobs which is exactly what is happening to these muckraking journalists.

D.W.

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #80 on: February 02, 2016, 10:28:48 AM »
Accept in this case they built a meth lab, made the drugs themselves and then tried to frame the "dealers".  :)

Pete at Home

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #81 on: February 02, 2016, 10:44:02 AM »
I think that Yossarian's proposal is probably the only constitutional solution under present law and circumstance.   I have long argued for a law against blood libels (falsehoods which persuade the masses that an entire class of innocent persons is guilty of atrocities).  But there is no such law, DW, and our constitution, and the history of reasonable law, prohibits us from pulling new ex post facto laws out of our ass.  Which includes re-tooling old laws to purposes that they could not reasonably have been intended.

If lying about the facts in order to make political opponents look monstrous is to be construed as altering a government record, then a lot of people are going away for 20 years.  And if criminal laws can be stretched and reinterpreted for political convenience as DW just articulated, then as different parties come to power there aren't going to be a lot of politically active people left who aren't behind bars.  Remember there are bastards out there that will convict a prolifer of "defamation" for merely saying that abortion is "killing."

Out of curiosity, how many folks here not calling for this 20 year law to be applied, can even explain what specific falsehood that the video makers conveyed to the public?   If you could be momentarily honest with yourselves, isn't what you're actually upset about the fact that the public was brought to think about late term fetuses?  The fact that they have usable human organs making it hard to keep up the brainwashing that these are lumps of unformed tissue rather than persons?  Ultimately, isn't most of the harm to planned parenthood coming from people thinking about the actual facts?

I think that on the whole Planned Parenthood provides a positive service for the country, and although Obamacare is intended to take over basic birth control needs, half the candidates in the election want to repeal it.  But I don't think that unconstitutional ex post facto legal manipulation is necessary or helpful. Fact is that the obfuscation could not last forever.  What's needed here is knowledge.  What's the breakdown of late term abortion?  What are the medical necessities that lead to these operations?  Stop hiding behind bullcrap authority worship phrases like generic medical necessities.  Spell them out.  Not by individual, but through statistics.  How many are extraction of already dead fetus?  How many involve a conflicting condition such as cancer?  How many involve some complication of pregnancy specifically, and how many involve a genetic defect in the fetus?  If there are cases of abortion for psychological reasons, then spell them out for us.  Give examples. 

Treat pro-lifers like they were human beings capable of sympathy, and you might be surprised at what happens.

Stop the obfuscation, and stop *censored*ing with freedom of speech.  Because even if you win that battle, you lose.




Pete at Home

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #82 on: February 02, 2016, 10:46:28 AM »
Accept in this case they built a meth lab, made the drugs themselves and then tried to frame the "dealers".  :)

I was not aware that the anti-PP journalists actually impregnated a woman, aborted a fetus, and harvested its parts to make the video.  If those are the facts, then I would agree with you that the law applies, because they would have actually committed the crime.

Pete at Home

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #83 on: February 02, 2016, 10:50:35 AM »
How will this apply going forward to the animal rights activist muckraking journalists who go undercover by applying for jobs under false pretenses and even fake identities to get the evidence of animal cruelty want to expose?


I already pointed out to them that Texas currently has laws that treat someone who gets hired with the meat industry to expose animal cruelty, is treated as a TERRORIST.  Obviously since this case is being tried in Texas, corporate goons are using the case as precedent to kill investigative journalists, but no one seems to be paying attention to the tedious mechanics of the constitution.  It's like trying to reason with a feeding frenzy of sharks when there's blood in the water.

D.W.

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #84 on: February 02, 2016, 11:09:40 AM »
Quote
But there is no such law, DW, and our constitution, and the history of reasonable law, prohibits us from pulling new ex post facto laws out of our ass. 
Wait, I can’t tell by the punctuation.  Are you informing me there is no such law or citing me as one who along with history and the constitution guard against such abuse?  :)

I agree with your points on why it’s wrong to sentence in such a way.  Doesn’t stop me from wanting it, knowing full well it’s wrong and would be abused.  Were I holding the gavel though, I doubt I could bring myself to pass that sentence.  It’s “fun” to think about these people getting punished though.  I do love me some irony. 

Quote
Out of curiosity, how many folks here not calling for this 20 year law to be applied, can even explain what specific falsehood that the video makers conveyed to the public?   If you could be momentarily honest with yourselves, isn't what you're actually upset about the fact that the public was brought to think about late term fetuses?  The fact that they have usable human organs making it hard to keep up the brainwashing that these are lumps of unformed tissue rather than persons?  Ultimately, isn't most of the harm to planned parenthood coming from people thinking about the actual facts?
As we’ve gone over in past abortion topics, I’ve never shied away from considering it ending a life.  I don’t need to dehumanize or play the label game.  I value choice by the woman over the life not yet sustainable outside her body.  The name, appearance, time passed or any other consideration doesn’t matter to me enough to force that choice on anyone. 

Oddly enough I’d be all for harvesting those organs for research.  I’d just be against selling them.  The only thing stopping me is that as vehemently as I oppose coercive measures meant to force a woman to keep a pregnancy she doesn’t want, I equally oppose (and find repulsive) the idea that someone may have an incentive to motivate her to abort a pregnancy when she is on the fence, because it may aid future research.  As I don’t know how to safeguard against that possibility, the idea of selling or harvesting fetal tissue/organs for research is disturbing.  To me at least, it’s not about the fetus, it’s about interfering with the woman’s choice.

NobleHunter

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #85 on: February 02, 2016, 11:21:48 AM »
Quote
I think that on the whole Planned Parenthood provides a positive service for the country, and although Obamacare is intended to take over basic birth control needs, half the candidates in the election want to repeal it.  But I don't think that unconstitutional ex post facto legal manipulation is necessary or helpful. Fact is that the obfuscation could not last forever.  What's needed here is knowledge.  What's the breakdown of late term abortion?  What are the medical necessities that lead to these operations?  Stop hiding behind bullcrap authority worship phrases like generic medical necessities.  Spell them out.  Not by individual, but through statistics.  How many are extraction of already dead fetus?  How many involve a conflicting condition such as cancer?  How many involve some complication of pregnancy specifically, and how many involve a genetic defect in the fetus?  If there are cases of abortion for psychological reasons, then spell them out for us.  Give examples. 
I'd be somewhat surprised if this data is easily available. Similar kinds of data for gun control is either non-existant or ridiculously unreliable. I don't think it'd do much good. If for no other reason that it's a utilitarian argument in a debate that is largely about principle. Except when I'm tilting at windmills online, I don't see much point in trying put reason in front of the unreasoning.

Pete at Home

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #86 on: February 02, 2016, 11:39:15 AM »
Quote
But there is no such law, DW, and our constitution, and the history of reasonable law, prohibits us from pulling new ex post facto laws out of our ass. 
Wait, I can’t tell by the punctuation.  Are you informing me there is no such law or citing me as one who along with history and the constitution guard against such abuse?  :)

I agree with your points on why it’s wrong to sentence in such a way.  Doesn’t stop me from wanting it, knowing full well it’s wrong and would be abused.  Were I holding the gavel though, I doubt I could bring myself to pass that sentence.  It’s “fun” to think about these people getting punished though.  I do love me some irony. 

I respect that position.  I'm in an ironic position myself, since I have reason to *hope* fetal tissue goes forward since it's AFAIK the only slim chance I have of ever having a conversation with my second son in this life.   OTOH, I see the harvesting as ethically problematic.



Quote
Out of curiosity, how many folks here not calling for this 20 year law to be applied, can even explain what specific falsehood that the video makers conveyed to the public?   If you could be momentarily honest with yourselves, isn't what you're actually upset about the fact that the public was brought to think about late term fetuses?  The fact that they have usable human organs making it hard to keep up the brainwashing that these are lumps of unformed tissue rather than persons?  Ultimately, isn't most of the harm to planned parenthood coming from people thinking about the actual facts?
As we’ve gone over in past abortion topics, I’ve never shied away from considering it ending a life.  I don’t need to dehumanize or play the label game.  I value choice by the woman over the life not yet sustainable outside her body.  The name, appearance, time passed or any other consideration doesn’t matter to me enough to force that choice on anyone. 


Sounds like our positions are close.  But my question is, what specific *falsehoods* have these folks propagated? 

Quote
Oddly enough I’d be all for harvesting those organs for research.  I’d just be against selling them.  The only thing stopping me is that as vehemently as I oppose coercive measures meant to force a woman to keep a pregnancy she doesn’t want, I equally oppose (and find repulsive) the idea that someone may have an incentive to motivate her to abort a pregnancy when she is on the fence, because it may aid future research.  As I don’t know how to safeguard against that possibility, the idea of selling or harvesting fetal tissue/organs for research is disturbing.  To me at least, it’s not about the fetus, it’s about interfering with the woman’s choice.

What if a woman needs an organ herself?  Should the law permit her to get pregnant intentionally with a sperm donor of a compatible blood type, raise the fetus to 8 months, terminate, and take the needed organs and/or tissues?  Say a new liver and cornea transplants?

Could she be paid for her time to be a surrogate for someone that needed a set of organs?

(Just saw "Get the Gringo" last week.  Good show.)

D.W.

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #87 on: February 02, 2016, 11:55:26 AM »
I have not watched the videos.  After reading that they were edited in a way that was intentionally misleading, and given my position that even if it WERE accurate, I consider it morally gray and would just wait curiously to see what happened as a result, I didn't go out of my way to watch them.  So that makes me unqualified to give you the answer you want from me.

My *impression* is that they edited videos in such a way as to suggest that the PP staff would be willing to, or regularly had, provided fetal tissue in return for compensation.  Specifically compensation above and beyond that required to transfer this tissue rather than just disposing of it.  As I don't believe that is a common practice (and to my knowledge no investigation has shown that to be the case) and I don't believe they agreed to do so despite policies against it; THAT falsehood.

Again, I leave that to the experts but as you apparently equate me declining to answer as a dodge or that by answering you prove a point, there it is.  My opinion on what falsehood.  Manipulation of video / conversations to convey a false narrative.

D.W.

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #88 on: February 02, 2016, 12:04:55 PM »
Your last question is quite interesting.  I would be against this process.  Choosing not to bring a child to term is different than doing so for personal gain.

To me, that's similar to choosing to execute a prisoner in order to harvest their organs for a law abiding citizen.  Again, something I may not oppose if I could be satisfied it wouldn't hasten executions or lead to sentences of death for compatible donors who may otherwise have had a lighter sentence.

You could even blur the lines further and ask if becoming pregnant with the intent of harvesting the tissue for some not for profit research where the impregnated woman was not compensated at all would be "OK"?

I'd still be against it, but I could see a lot of people having less issues with the prospect.  As I consider the fetus a person (just one who lives or dies at the whim of it's mother) I can't justify creating that life for the express intent of terminating it for raw materials. 

scifibum

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #89 on: February 02, 2016, 12:19:35 PM »
Pete, I think if people watched the videos without any prompting they would be disturbed that abortion providers can be so cavalier about the whole affair, and by seeing parts of fetuses in a tray, and in general offended and revolted. 

What they wouldn't conclude without some extra help was that PP was illegally profiting from the sale of fetus parts.  And that's the bandwagon that politicians jumped on to launch investigations and try to withhold funding, etc.  And it's a lie that sticks; a large contingent of my pro-life acquaintances still think PP is primarily running a fetus parts business, because they already demonized abortionists and everybody likes some bias confirmation.

The public that was already outraged about abortion found marginally more outrage in these videos, but I still think the harm done to PP came from the actions of posturing officials who used it as an excuse to pile on to build political capital.  I say posturing, because many of them are still making the same accusations that investigations have cleared up.

Pete at Home

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #90 on: February 02, 2016, 01:00:52 PM »
Quote
I think that on the whole Planned Parenthood provides a positive service for the country, and although Obamacare is intended to take over basic birth control needs, half the candidates in the election want to repeal it.  But I don't think that unconstitutional ex post facto legal manipulation is necessary or helpful. Fact is that the obfuscation could not last forever.  What's needed here is knowledge.  What's the breakdown of late term abortion?  What are the medical necessities that lead to these operations?  Stop hiding behind bullcrap authority worship phrases like generic medical necessities.  Spell them out.  Not by individual, but through statistics.  How many are extraction of already dead fetus?  How many involve a conflicting condition such as cancer?  How many involve some complication of pregnancy specifically, and how many involve a genetic defect in the fetus?  If there are cases of abortion for psychological reasons, then spell them out for us.  Give examples. 
I'd be somewhat surprised if this data is easily available. Similar kinds of data for gun control is either non-existant or ridiculously unreliable. I don't think it'd do much good. If for no other reason that it's a utilitarian argument in a debate that is largely about principle. Except when I'm tilting at windmills online, I don't see much point in trying put reason in front of the unreasoning.

I don't think it's fair to call abortion opponents unreasoning, when those who are in possession of the facts (Planned Parenthood) do not share them. 

Confidentiality doesn't prevent gathering of statistics re typical procedures.  It wouldn't take an act of congress, for example, to find out what percentage of persons getting kidney transplants are diabetics.

It seems intellectually slovenly to renounce reason when reasoning has never honestly been tried.  And there is no reasoning without the facts.

NobleHunter

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #91 on: February 02, 2016, 01:07:51 PM »
Given how much hoopla is being made over these videos and the subsequent baseless investigations into PP, unreasoning seems entirely warranted.

It's not confidentiality, it's effort and accessibility of data. And vested interest, potentially on both sides, in not providing data.

There are facts and a great many people have shown no interest in them. They have shown rather more interest in slander, falsehoods and quackery.

Pete at Home

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #92 on: February 02, 2016, 01:09:51 PM »
I have not watched the videos.  After reading that they were edited in a way that was intentionally misleading, and given my position that even if it WERE accurate, I consider it morally gray and would just wait curiously to see what happened as a result, I didn't go out of my way to watch them.  So that makes me unqualified to give you the answer you want from me.

My *impression* is that they edited videos in such a way as to suggest that the PP staff would be willing to, or regularly had, provided fetal tissue in return for compensation.  Specifically compensation above and beyond that required to transfer this tissue rather than just disposing of it.  As I don't believe that is a common practice (and to my knowledge no investigation has shown that to be the case) and I don't believe they agreed to do so despite policies against it; THAT falsehood.

Again, I leave that to the experts but as you apparently equate me declining to answer as a dodge or that by answering you prove a point, there it is.  My opinion on what falsehood.  Manipulation of video / conversations to convey a false narrative.

I have received the same vague impression from news articles, and cannot put my finger on what the video makers are supposed to have done dishonestly with regard to the public.  I suspect that SciFi may be right that the key deception here was not in the video-makers but in Congress members and news reporters that presented video clips out of context and painted a false picture of a bloated profitable business of baby parts.

Seems to me to be jumping the gun to debate what someone's punishment should be, when we haven't really identified who did what.


Quote
You could even blur the lines further and ask if becoming pregnant with the intent of harvesting the tissue for some not for profit research where the impregnated woman was not compensated at all would be "OK"?

What about for some religious ceremony?  Some neopagan priestess of Ashtaroth wants to put her firstborn through the flame, and decides that until US law degenerates to allow killing of neonates, that fresh fetal tissue will do.

« Last Edit: February 02, 2016, 01:21:52 PM by Pete at Home »

AI Wessex

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #93 on: February 02, 2016, 01:10:42 PM »
Quote
Confidentiality doesn't prevent gathering of statistics re typical procedures.  It wouldn't take an act of congress, for example, to find out what percentage of persons getting kidney transplants are diabetics.
That information is not secret, but that doesn't mean they can keep insisting that the information isn't "sufficient", especially when the objective is to skew what they learn to make false "conclusions" about PP activities. For instance,
Quote
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sparred with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards during a high-profile hearing on Sept. 29. One of their face-offs originated with a chart Chaffetz flashed, indicating that Planned Parenthood performed more abortions than "life-saving procedures" in 2013, a complete reversal from just seven years ago.

The chart features a pair of lines crossing — one headed upward (abortions) and the other headed downward (cancer screening and prevention services).

When referring to the chart in the hearing, Chaffetz said, "In pink, that's the reduction in the breast exams, and the red is the increase in the abortions. That's what's going on in your organization."

"This is a slide that has never been shown to me before," Richards responded. "Excuse me, my lawyer is informing me that the source of this is actually Americans United for Life, which is an anti-abortion group. So, I would check your source."
...
"Then we will get to the bottom of the truth of that," Chaffetz agreed.

Many news outlets characterized the chart as misleading, so we too wanted to get to the bottom of the truth.

As it turns out, Richards’ lawyer was correct about the source of the chart -- it comes from an Americans United for Life web post from June 2015.

The chart, we found, gives a misleading impression. The numbers listed on the chart are based on actual statistics, but they are small and were hard to read during the televised hearings. The chart’s most prominent feature — the much larger crossed arrows — suggests a conclusion that’s flat wrong.

We reached out to Chaffetz’s office but did not hear back. A spokesperson for Americans United for Life told PolitiFact that the graphic is accurate and honest.

Experts, however, begged to differ.

"That graphic is a damn lie," said Alberto Cairo, who researches visual communication at the University of Miami. "Regardless of whatever people think of this issue, this distortion is ethically wrong."
Note the highlighted sentences.  They can't be trusted to make their case honestly; this is on top of the deceptive and highly prejudiced tapes.

Pete at Home

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #94 on: February 02, 2016, 01:18:44 PM »
Given how much hoopla is being made over these videos and the subsequent baseless investigations into PP, unreasoning seems entirely warranted.


Well if people are unreasoning and ignore the facts, then why blame the videomakers for that state of affairs?

Seems to me that when you give up on humanity's ability to reason, you necessarily abandon any meaningful democracy.


Quote
It's not confidentiality, it's effort and accessibility of data. And vested interest, potentially on both sides, in not providing data.

Oh, I agree with you there.  But why would either side suppress data, if not out of fear that a reasoning public might change their point of view?

The ignorant dichotomy of choice vs. Life has been a major part of the landscape since the 1970s.  Political parties and allegiances might fall apart at the seams, if pro-lifers became aware of how stupid the whole blastocyst = human being assumption is, and hard core pro-choicers might not be willing to march into hell to save NARAL if, say, 50% of late term abortions were being approved because of the psychological "medical necessity" of a patient that wanted a boy instead of a girl.

NobleHunter

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #95 on: February 02, 2016, 01:26:05 PM »

Quote
Well if people are unreasoning and ignore the facts, then why blame the videomakers for that state of affairs?
I blame the videomakers because it seems likely the hoopla was the intended result.

Quote
Seems to me that when you give up on humanity's ability to reason, you necessarily abandon any meaningful democracy.
Just on specific topics.

That fear is exactly it. Though I suspect it's more of a problem for the pro-life side.

Pete at Home

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #96 on: February 02, 2016, 01:34:22 PM »
OK, I'll bite.  What specific facts do you see the pro-life side ignoring with regard to late term abortion?

(I agree that they are obtuse with regard to pre-embryonic development, but it seems to me the choice side that goes obtuse and factproof when it comes to the late term abortion procedures.)

NobleHunter

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #97 on: February 02, 2016, 01:44:36 PM »
I think they ignore its relative scarcity and the most common causes. They conflate the potential casualness of early abortions (when it's not even an outpatient procedure) with the imagery and consequences of later term abortions.

Pete at Home

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #98 on: February 02, 2016, 01:46:51 PM »
I think they ignore its relative scarcity and the most common causes.

Why should the relative scarcity matter more to the pro-lifers than to the pro-choicers, who fight over those ones tooth and nail?  What documentation and statistics show what the most common causes of late term abortion are?  I thought that's what you just said was unavailable?

D.W.

  • Members
    • View Profile
Re: Grand jury returns criminal indictments in Planned Parenthood investigation
« Reply #99 on: February 02, 2016, 01:48:31 PM »
Quote
I suspect that SciFi may be right that the key deception here was not in the video-makers but in Congress members and news reporters that presented video clips out of context and painted a false picture of a bloated profitable business of baby parts.
Not when the congress members cite the films as their proof. 
Quote
What about for some religious ceremony?  Some neopagan priestess of Ashtaroth wants to put her firstborn through the flame, and decides that until US law degenerates to allow killing of neonates, that fresh fetal tissue will do.
You are asking the wrong person.  I’m borderline hostile to religion as an institution in general.  That’s a better question for someone who is OK with harvesting for research or even your further personal organ donation / organic farming brand of human cloning.