Legalized Witness Tampering
It has been more
than 15 years since
Whenever a witness refuses, on the basis of his privilege against self-incrimination, to testify or provide other information in a proceeding before or ancillary to—
(1) a court or grand jury of the
(2) an agency of the
(3) either House of Congress, a joint committee of the two Houses, or a committee or a subcommittee of either House,
and the person presiding over the proceeding communicates to the witness an order issued under this title, the witness may not refuse to comply with the order on the basis of his privilege against self-incrimination; but no testimony or other information compelled under the order (or any information directly or indirectly derived from such testimony or other information) may be used against the witness in any criminal case, except a prosecution for perjury, giving a false statement, or otherwise failing to comply with the order.
By misusing this protection, a witness’s testimony could be suppressed indefinitely on false pretext of continuing to pursue his prosecution in defiance of his innocence, exculpatory evidence, or violations of his rights sufficient to grant him immunity.
In addition, threat of unmerited litigation can be and is used to force the silence of persons who feel they cannot financially bear the burden of an expensive lawsuit. Some call these Strategic Lawsuits against Public Participation (SLAPP) and some states have implemented some screening of civil lawsuits to prevent them.
I am certain that the former is the legal pretext by which my adversaries sought my silence these many years. Covertly, they have communicated the latter threat as well. Perhaps recently, some who value justice might have pled for time to investigate such a complex case. The continuation of the false legal measures depicted however leaves doubt as to the sincerity of any such claim.
To all this you can add the recent (or not so recent) disclosure of improper use of National Security Letters. These devices make legal demands on citizens and leave them under a permanent gag order. The terms of the letters specify jail time for those who do not comply. Those served with such letters, which they considered unjust, have stated that the emotional burden of the gag order was almost too hard to bear. A Congressional investigation in this matter revealed as much as 10% misuse of the letters by many agencies even by the letter’s own legal guidelines. A high court also ruled them unconstitutional. I believe some Air Force Generals were disciplined about the same time. In spite of this, I believe that they are still in use. If you have received such a letter and it does not specify your right to legal consul, your rights have probably been violated in much the same way as someone arrested without being read his Miranda rights.
Is anyone going to stop this piracy?