Skip to comments.Letter to DoJ - Investigate Democrat Senators Who Threatened Disney/ABC
Posted on 09/12/2006 8:34:00 AM PDT by DocFarmer
I'm planning to send a letter to the DoJ as regards last week's attempt by five lib/dem/soc/commie senators to stop the ABC program, "The Path To 9/11". However, since I'm not a member of the legal profession, I'm not sure if I've worded this correctly. I'd appreciate any help or advice you'd be willing to provide. Many thanks.
The Honorable Alberto R. Gonzales
Attorney General of the United States
Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001
12 September 2006
Dear Mr. Attorney General,
I write today to request a formal investigation of five (5) United States Senators
Senator Harry Reid
Senator Dick Durbin
Senator Debbie Stabenow
Senator Charles Schumer
Senator Byron Dorgan
on the following charges:
(1) Violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America
(2) Violation of the Senate Oath of Office
(3) Abuse of Power
(4) Attempted Blackmail/Extortion
The specifics of the accusation are as such. On or about 07 September 2006, the above-mentioned Senators sent a letter to one Mr. Robert Iger, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Walt Disney Corporation (hereinafter referred to as Disney). In that letter, the Senators made specific threats of legal action against the corporation unless they removed or significantly edited a privately-funded and created television program, entitled The Path To 9/11. The Senators used the letter to threaten Disney and its program distributor, the American Broadcasting Corporation (hereinafter referred to as ABC) with sanctions (including but not limited to the revocation of broadcasting licenses of ABC affiliate stations) should their demands not be met.
In the matter (1) above, the action of these elected government officials is a clear violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, which provides all private citizens with the right to comment on government actions (past and present) without fear of reprisal or interference by the government. While Congress may create laws to regulate broadcast frequencies (as public airways), they have no business controlling political content, whether it be positive or negative coverage. To threaten a private corporation with sanctions simply because a certain political party or group may disagree with the message is a most fundamental and base violation of American rights.
In the matter (2) above, the action of the Senators shows a clear disregard of their Oath of Office, to wit:
I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.
The letter sent by the Senators shows a clear disregard of their oath to support and defend the Constitution (and all of its amendments), as well as their inability to bear true faith and allegiance to same.
In the matter (3) above, the actions of the Senators show, they have gone beyond the scope and authority of their good offices, and have indeed abused their position of power not only in the Senate, but as part of the Senate leadership. While no elected official should be tolerated in such a base manner, the fact that these five Senators are part of the Senate hierarchy makes their action all the more offensive.
In the matter (4) above, the actions of the Senators show, their actions are such that they tried to blackmail or extort actions (not funds) from Disney and ABC, if the demands in their letter were not met. The fact that Disney and ABC did not bow to that pressure does not excuse or ameliorate their attempt.
The letter from the Senators mentioned in specifications (1) through (4) (inclusive) is a matter of public record, and can be obtained by your office directly, from the Senate offices, or from the recipient of the threat (Mr. Robert Iger).
I would appreciate that swift action be taken to investigate this obscene action by duly elected officials of the United States Senate.
cc: Senator Harry Reid
Senator Dick Durbin
Senator Debbie Stabenow
Senator Charles Schumer
Senator Byron Dorgan
Senator Bill Frist
Mr. Robert Iger
President George W. Bush
I appreciate your idealism. I doubt the attorney general would accept your wish and open an investigation (it is not GWBs nature to fight his political fights in the same aggressive spirit as the Dims).
However, in the arena of public opinion, with the enough help ($$$) the mass marketing of a public notice of your request could help achieve the public sanctioning of the Dims that they deserve.
>Frankly, I'm not too concerned with what the Senators or the DoJ think. I'm more concerned with doing what I believe to be right.<
I'd be willing to co-sign that letter with you, Doc. We all know what happens when good men do nothing, so go for it!
Ah, I understand now. Thanks for the clarification!
Using an official public government office and the power of that office to threaten to take action against those who make political statements in dissent to your political sentiments, simply because you do not want their political statements aired does constitute the use of an official position to attempt to extort the said action demanded in the threat. It is illegal; whether or not the threat was answered by meeting its demands.
Whether or not GWB wants to engage his political position in acknowledging that clear power-abusing threat and its illegality is another matter.
I appreciate the offer, Paperdoll. When I complete the letter's final draft, I'll send a formatted copy to anyone who wishes to send it themselves. I'll also do what I can to include all the e-Mail addresses/contacts required to send it to the DoJ and the folks on the cc list.
It wouldn't hurt in my opinion. But as long as you're sending it out widely, make sure to include all the members of the Ethics Committee, the majority leader, the whip, and anyone else who seems like they might be amenable to reason. Include any Dem Sens you can; Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson?
I wonder if a mass distribution/mailing of the letter from Freepers would be a low-cost alternative.
I'll make sure to send the message to ALL members of the committees and leadership as you suggest. Many thanks.
So your position is that words can be illegal even if they aren't even intended to be followed up with action? Wow, that's a weak branch you're sitting on. Yelling "fire!" in a crowded theather would be illegal, but I don't see the Dem Senators' speech as rising to that level.
I think this is much more akin to someone saying, "You know, a lot of rich people keep money in that bank and there's not even a security guard." In your world, that would be enough to convict of conspiracy to rob a bank.
I disagree with your analogy. If I threaten to extort you for a million dollars if you don't do what I say, and you go to the cops with that information instead, I'm still guilty of extortion. If I threaten your ability to speak out against the government, even if you go ahead and speak, I'm still guilty of violating the First Amendment.
First of all we are not talking about mere "words", as if someone just wrote a string of meaningless words on a page.
Communicating a threat is not simply "words", the communication itself is a form of action. It is not germane if the person to whom the threat is made believes or does not believe the threat will be acted on. The person receiving the threat has no way and no requirement to know if the person making the threat intends that threat as a bluff of not. The intent to act or not is irrelevant to the law with regard to the act of communicating a threat.
Did the Dim Senate Leaders threaten Disney/ABC? Yes, by direct implication. Did they imply that they would take action against Disney/ABC if Disney/ABC did not give in to their threat? Yes. Was the cause of that threat the fact that Disney/ABC, exercising its free speech rights, was going to air something that portrayed an opinion that differed with the opinions of the Dims and they did not want the public to hear that opinion? Yes. Does any American public official have the right to abridge the free speech rights of someone, simply to abridge those rights for their own political benefit and due soley to political differences of opinion? No.
Second: The analogies you presented are not analogous to the exact particulars of the situation.
It would. If attempted, they should be encouraged to use all their Internet based abilities - Email address book, other blogs they are members of, other Email "lists" that they are on, other conservative outfits and lists that they receive notices from.
Maybe some conservative venues with a good size audience will even post it on their web page. Make sure to mention that anyone can reproduce it in any manner as long as you are given attribution as the source. That would allow it to be used on venues that people have to pay to get to. It would also allow commercial venues to publish it (without paying you) but then I figure wide distribution and not money is what you seek.
Here are the updates I've made thanks to your comments...
When I get the last of the comments in from here, I'll post the final version for you folks.
Sandy Berger and Bill Clinton are lawyers, so your expectations of what the "legal" advice the Dim Senators got far exceeds the quality you should expect they actually got.
Did you even read the letter?
I read the letter. That's why I'm writing to the DoJ.
Oops, I think I replied to the wrong person there. Sorry 'bout that...
I agree with you Doc. All you mainly have to do is sketch out the facts and sign a valid name. What usually happens is a great complaint is made but it is anonymous, and thus easily ignored. This is extortion/criminal intimidation and may even work into a RICO action (like the pro-life people protesting abortion clinics, expressing their "free" (HA!) speech rights)
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