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The Blackmail Paradox
www.futilitycloset.com ^ | 3 8 14

Posted on 03/08/2014 8:42:37 AM PST by InvisibleChurch

It’s legal for me to expose your infidelity.

And it’s legal for me to seek $10,000 from you in a business transaction.

So why is it illegal for me to blackmail you for $10,000?

“Most crimes do not need theories to explain why the behavior is criminal,” writes Northwestern law professor James Lindgren. “The wrongdoing is self-evident. But blackmail is unique among major crimes: no one has yet figured out why it ought to be illegal.”

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1 posted on 03/08/2014 8:42:37 AM PST by InvisibleChurch
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To: InvisibleChurch
"...no one has yet figured out why it ought to be illegal.”

Interesting, but my first thought would be that assisting in a cover up for financial gain make you a party to the fraud (or whatever the case in question is).

2 posted on 03/08/2014 8:52:32 AM PST by Sam's Army
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To: InvisibleChurch
...Northwestern law professor James Lindgren.

Ah, the Chicago way...

For any number of reasons. In liberal-speak, it's an invasion of privacy...

In reality, it's either theft, an accessory after the fact to a crime, or a bribe to continue on doing illegal acts.

I would throw in indentured servitude as well, such as in the case of pols/bureaucrats acting against their constituencies.

There are many more reasons, of course.

3 posted on 03/08/2014 8:53:31 AM PST by Calvin Locke
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To: InvisibleChurch
"But blackmail is unique among major crimes: no one has yet figured out why it ought to be illegal.”

Because the people who make laws tend to have secrets?

4 posted on 03/08/2014 8:54:52 AM PST by pepsi_junkie (Who is John Galt?)
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To: InvisibleChurch

“So why is it illegal for me to blackmail you for $10,000? “

Contracts are to be entered into freely and not under coercion. In blackmail, coercion prevents a free contract.

But we really shouldn’t call it “blackmail” - that is stereotype of blacks. Perhaps greymail.


5 posted on 03/08/2014 8:55:15 AM PST by aMorePerfectUnion
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To: InvisibleChurch

That’s all? Looks like some kind of hoax. A bona fide law professor would give reasons and explanations for what on the face of it seems to be a fairly goofy thing to say.


6 posted on 03/08/2014 9:00:36 AM PST by PapaNew
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To: aMorePerfectUnion

I find it amazing (maybe I shouldn’t) that such a simple concept is apparently beyond the grasp of a law professor.


7 posted on 03/08/2014 9:01:09 AM PST by Bob
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To: aMorePerfectUnion

I’ve always preferred “Extortion.”


8 posted on 03/08/2014 9:02:13 AM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: InvisibleChurch
"Give me money or I will do harm to you."
Gee, it takes a law professor to even ask why extortion is bad.

9 posted on 03/08/2014 9:04:59 AM PST by BitWielder1 (Corporate Profits are better than Government Waste)
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To: Sam's Army

Forcing an individual to give you money by use of a threat is theft, so is blackmail -— unless you are the government.


10 posted on 03/08/2014 9:13:13 AM PST by Do the math (Doug)
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To: Sam's Army

I had an idea for a movie.

The idea is to have some group that has access to NSA data etc. They use this info to blackmail someone, not for money but to blackmail someone else. The second target is blackmailed by the first, again not for money directly, but for new legislation or regulations that would benefit the small group.

I am thinking the first target is a lobbyist, the second target a powerful Senator that deals with CIA or Defense funding. Funding that is rarely questioned or scrutinized, but is in the billions.


11 posted on 03/08/2014 9:15:58 AM PST by Zeneta (Thoughts in time and out of season.)
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To: InvisibleChurch

Blackmail it’s how one gets elected or not.


12 posted on 03/08/2014 9:16:31 AM PST by Vaduz
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To: InvisibleChurch

Is it blackmail if the exposure is planned without profit, but a price is offered for silence?


13 posted on 03/08/2014 9:29:58 AM PST by ctdonath2 (Making good people helpless doesn't make bad people harmless.)
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To: InvisibleChurch

It is not blackmail when a lawyer signs the letter. “Give us a gazillion bucks or we will sue you for two gazillion!”


14 posted on 03/08/2014 9:31:07 AM PST by yawningotter
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To: BitWielder1

The “harm” is legal, hence the paradox.

Should exposure of embarrassing truth, devoid of profit thereby, be illegal?


15 posted on 03/08/2014 9:33:00 AM PST by ctdonath2 (Making good people helpless doesn't make bad people harmless.)
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To: Cyber Liberty

extortion is the perfect term. The blackmailer is never done. Once they can use their information as leverage once, they can use it again and again. They now own the other person.


16 posted on 03/08/2014 9:38:24 AM PST by Flick Lives ("I can't believe it's not Fascism!")
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To: InvisibleChurch

Lawyers write blackmail contracts all the time. They are called “Non-disclosure agreements”.


17 posted on 03/08/2014 9:40:05 AM PST by Fido969 (What's sad is most)
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To: InvisibleChurch
Are we talking about Chief Justice Roberts here?
18 posted on 03/08/2014 9:40:08 AM PST by Gay State Conservative (Stalin Blamed The Kulaks,Obama Blames The Tea Party)
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To: InvisibleChurch

And what is the penalty when members of a political party pressure a candidate to “step aside” because of incriminating details they have in a folder/file?

NEVER are the parties prosecuted for blackmail.


19 posted on 03/08/2014 9:48:20 AM PST by a fool in paradise (The Texas judge's decision was to pave the way for same sex divorce for two Massachusetts women.)
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To: InvisibleChurch
It's illegal to protect the blackmailer from being murdered by the blackmailee.
20 posted on 03/08/2014 9:52:16 AM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (If Barack Hussein Obama entertains a thought that he does not verbalize, is it still a lie?)
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To: aMorePerfectUnion
But we really shouldn’t call it “blackmail” - that is stereotype of blacks. Perhaps greymail.


That's RACIST!!!

21 posted on 03/08/2014 9:56:40 AM PST by null and void ( Obama is Law-Less because Republican "leaders" are BALL-LESS!!)
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To: Gay State Conservative

Not that I can see.


22 posted on 03/08/2014 10:03:32 AM PST by Talisker (One who commands, must obey.)
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To: InvisibleChurch

My comment:

Northwestern law professor James Lindgren is a dolt.

“blackmail is unique among major crimes: no one has yet figured out why it ought to be illegal.”

What a moronic statement!

Just my opinion.


23 posted on 03/08/2014 10:03:51 AM PST by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both.)
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To: Flick Lives

The victim has two choices. 1) Expose his own misdeed or 2) kill the extortionist. It’s a dangerous game.


24 posted on 03/08/2014 10:10:27 AM PST by Cyber Liberty (H.L. Mencken: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.")
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To: InvisibleChurch
It is all in how you look at it. Chalie Sheen's take on prostitution:

“I don’t pay them for sex. I pay them to leave.”

25 posted on 03/08/2014 10:12:18 AM PST by central_va (I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: Gay State Conservative
Not just him, by any means!
To: null and void

In my mind’s eye I can see the meeting:

Hillary produces proof 0bama was born in Kenya.

Obama shows Hillary proof of a fraction of her felonies.


What’s the worst that could have happened to 0bama?

He declares that he was always told he was born in Hawaii, and had never been informed of the true circumstances of his birth, apologizes, and then he gracefully steps down and goes back to being a senator.

What’s the worst that could still happen to Hillary!™?

If 1/10th of the rumors are true, She’d be facing being stripped of all her congressional perks, serious jail time and perhaps even the death penalty.

In this show-down, guess who blinks...

10 posted on Mon Feb 8 09:00:00 2010 by null and void (We are now in day 382 of our national holiday from reality. - 0bama really isn't one of US.)

26 posted on 03/08/2014 10:17:41 AM PST by null and void ( Obama is Law-Less because Republican "leaders" are BALL-LESS!!)
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To: InvisibleChurch

“It’s legal for me to expose your infidelity.”

It’s even legal to make money from the story by selling it to a third party media outlet in exchange for the exclusive information. In that sort of case, it does seem kind of odd I guess.

FReegards


27 posted on 03/08/2014 10:34:51 AM PST by Ransomed
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To: Bob

It’s beyond your grasp too, because you haven’t explained why blackmail is illegal (or should be illegal).

The Blackmailer’s Paradox isn’t something this particular professor thought up. People - including but not limited to law professors - have been arguing about this for at least half a century.


28 posted on 03/08/2014 10:55:22 AM PST by BCrago66
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To: InvisibleChurch

Who cares. If you are morally corrupt to be blackmailed, perhaps you SHOULD be blackmailed. In a free society, I can make money however I like. If I have you committing adultery, it is my RIGHT to ask for monetary compensation from you. If you choose to decline (you right as well), then I have the RIGHT to go sell the rights to somebody willing to pay.

If you have skeleton in your closet, perhaps you should save up some dough to pay off people who see business opportunity there.


29 posted on 03/08/2014 11:37:27 AM PST by sagar
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To: Sam's Army
Interesting, but my first thought would be that assisting in a cover up for financial gain make you a party to the fraud (or whatever the case in question is).

Depends upon what is being "covered up."

If it is some repellent and immoral but legal behavior (such as an extramarital affair), it is not fraud to "cover it up," and thus it should not be illegal to demand payment for not revealing it.

Why should it be illegal to, e.g., tell the deceived spouse, "I happended to see your better half the other day, 'canoodling' with another person," or to offer to refrain from mentioning it - in exchange for payment?

Regards,

30 posted on 03/08/2014 12:03:12 PM PST by alexander_busek (Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.)
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To: Do the math; InvisibleChurch
"Give me money or I will do harm to you." Gee, it takes a law professor to even ask why extortion is bad.

Forcing an individual to give you money by use of a threat is theft, so is blackmail [...]

Depends upon your definitions of "harm" and "forcing."

If the activity in which the "victim" of the extortion is engaging is not illegal, then neither should offering to not reveal that activity should not be illegal, either.

For example: It is not illegal to take one's secretary to a remote cabin for a weekend of fun and games, even though one has lied to one's spouse that one will be attending a boring industry fair instead.

It should therefore not be illegal to offer (for a price) to refrain from revealing any such information that one has come by about such perfectly legal adultery.

Would it be illegal to notify the deceived spouse about her husband's infidelity? No. Then it should not be illegal to refrain from notifying her (even if only for a price).

Regards,

31 posted on 03/08/2014 12:12:52 PM PST by alexander_busek (Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.)
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To: InvisibleChurch

Because once a legitimate business transaction is done, it’s done. With blackmail, a person can demand multiple payments for the same non-disclosure. There’s no way to be sure a blackmailer will be “done” with their blackmail.

Even if it involves photos or videos, copies can be made for future blackmailing.

Why is this even considered a paradox?


32 posted on 03/08/2014 12:36:04 PM PST by Two Kids' Dad
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To: Zeneta

Funny, I had a similar idea about a movie involving multiple kidnappings to get a large sum of money to the original kidnapper using the same basic premise.


33 posted on 03/08/2014 12:39:38 PM PST by Two Kids' Dad
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To: yawningotter
It is not blackmail when a lawyer signs the letter. “Give us a gazillion bucks or we will sue you for two gazillion!”

No. That's called negotiation.

34 posted on 03/08/2014 9:59:43 PM PST by rmh47 (Go Kats! - Got eight? NRA Life Member])
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To: Sam's Army
Interesting, but my first thought would be that assisting in a cover up for financial gain make you a party to the fraud (or whatever the case in question is).

Bill Clinton was complicate in seeing that Monica Lewinsky was paid off (with a 6-figure salary at a friend's corporation) to lie under oath. None of them did any jail time.

35 posted on 03/09/2014 5:56:13 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (The Texas judge's decision was to pave the way for same sex divorce for two Massachusetts women.)
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To: yawningotter
It is not blackmail when a lawyer signs the letter. “Give us a gazillion bucks or we will sue you for two gazillion!”

Al Sharpton made big bank in the mid-80s pulling that racket on the music biz. He sued the company doing Michael Jackson's world tour because there weren't enough black people. He got his hush money and dropped the suit (without changing the status quo).

36 posted on 03/09/2014 5:57:30 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (The Texas judge's decision was to pave the way for same sex divorce for two Massachusetts women.)
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To: InvisibleChurch

Because contracts are a “meeting of the minds”.

And the basis of civilized society is that contracts happen only when they are entered “knowingly, willingly, and voluntarily”


37 posted on 03/09/2014 6:01:22 AM PDT by djf (OK. Well, now, lemme try to make this clear: If you LIKE your lasagna, you can KEEP your lasagna!)
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To: InvisibleChurch
But blackmail is unique among major crimes: no one has yet figured out why it ought to be illegal.

Really? Try coercion. You are forcing someone to do something they are not inclined to do under threat.

"Nice business, be a shame if something happen to it".

"Nice family, be a shame if they found out about your mistress."

38 posted on 03/09/2014 6:08:53 AM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Proud Infidel, Gun Nut, Religious Fanatic and Freedom Fiend)
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