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Entrapment Does Not Wash Here (William F. Buckley on Larry Craig)
Townhall.com ^ | 9/4/07 | William F. Buckley

Posted on 09/05/2007 7:18:27 AM PDT by blitzgig

The news of the incident in the men's room at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport needs to be absorbed layer by layer. It can already be referred to as the "infamous" meeting between Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho and the police officer.

Freeze the story at this point, and you have simply a pickup story, another one of those "dirty old man stories," as one might have it.

U.S. Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) holds an impromptu news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington in this March 2, 2004 file photo. Craig confirmed on August 27, 2007 that he pleaded guilty earlier this month to a charge of disorderly conduct after he was arrested at a Minnesota airport.

Several arguments were instantly made. The first, which will be the most enduring, is simply the tale of sexual freedom. Its formulation, boiled down, is that as long as someone is not exercising coercion on an unwilling partner, the enforcers have no defensible interest in what goes on in bedrooms. But of course, this was not a bedroom, and there are laws against soliciting sex in a public facility.

The defense will seek to wipe away the distracting qualification, relying on the argument that what is truly being prosecuted here is a failure to uphold "family values." They will say that if the engagement had been between the senator and an enterprising whore, the story would not have been considered newsworthy -- who cares about one more successful procurement done by a practitioner of the oldest profession in the world?

But the defense is wearing down a bit. It is a long way from freedom for gay sex in the bedroom, to freedom to solicit gay sex from a stranger. That one could be fought over, and the paradox certainly exists, of relative permissiveness toward straight sex as compared to gay sex. It is not unreasonable, even in contemporary America, to wince rather more sadly over homosexual promiscuity than its heterosexual complement.

When it comes to solicitation, you will find, certainly in New York City -- and probably in Minneapolis and most other big cities -- fliers that advertise both kinds of sex. That such fliers advertise activity that is not in fact legal points to the waywardness of law enforcement, not the crystallization of new civic codes.

So the defense might edge over in the direction of entrapment, leaning on the convention that someone should not be prosecuted if the crime he allegedly committed was brought on by a contrived temptation. When my brother James was in the Senate, he defended an American soldier who was jailed in Turkey for trafficking in foreign currency. What had happened was that the soldier had forked over some dollars, accepting local currency in return, to an apparently desperate petitioner who said his wife was dying for want of a medicine that could only be purchased with U.S. dollars.

But entrapment does not wash here. The defendant did not accept an illegal solicitation; he was its initiator. It was he who made the signals that were understood as an offer to engage in sexual activity. The defense, in short, has nothing to rest on save the pitiable renunciation by the senator of his own guilty plea.

What the Senate will now do is a matter of public interest. As we have seen, there is no supervening moral doctrine that can be adduced in an effort to obliterate what went on in that men's room.

It isn't only with legal concern that one focuses on the case. Consider, first, the utter, incredible, suicidal stupidity of Larry Craig. Postulate that he suffers from a satyriasis that stuns any capacity to think -- but what is such a man doing as a seated member of a legislative chamber that passes laws regulating other people's conduct?

Second, what do we learn from the situation in general? Does every washroom in every airport need to be patrolled for sex hounds? How many undercover policemen are out there, and how frequently do they bring in regular folks on these charges? Banks need guards, races need timekeepers, tennis matches need umpires, but do airport restrooms really need police officers? Are the economics of air travel affected by the ghost of Idaho? Here, certainly, are matters for congressional investigation.


TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: craig; larrycraig; williamfbuckley
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1 posted on 09/05/2007 7:18:29 AM PDT by blitzgig
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To: blitzgig

bump


2 posted on 09/05/2007 7:24:38 AM PDT by lesser_satan (Fred Thompson '08)
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To: blitzgig

Buckley BUMP.


3 posted on 09/05/2007 7:26:40 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: blitzgig

Interesting. Rush is a great fan of Buckley, but they disagree on Craig. It might be interesting to see if Rush changes his tune today.


4 posted on 09/05/2007 7:32:05 AM PDT by Ingtar (The LDS problem that Romney is facing is not his religion, but his Lacking Decisive Stands.)
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To: blitzgig

Libertines want to hand over women’s restrooms to transsexuals; so, why not hand over men’s restrooms as gay sex stations.


5 posted on 09/05/2007 7:39:05 AM PDT by donna (If America is not a Christian nation, it will be part of the Islamic nation. Take your pick.)
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To: blitzgig; donna; lesser_satan

“It was he who made the signals that were understood as an offer to engage in sexual activity. The defense, in short, has nothing to rest on save the pitiable renunciation by the senator...”

I disagree. I heard the exchange and the officer clearly told Craig what those signals were, not the other way around.

What if Craig was unaware there even WERE any such signals, as was I - just maybe the officer is overly zealous in his attention to cleaning restrooms?


6 posted on 09/05/2007 7:54:39 AM PDT by Froufrou
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To: blitzgig

The other problem Craig has with claiming “entrapment” is that by doing so, he admits that he was indulging in an illegal activity. His defense is that he was led into it by the cop, but he is admitting to participating.

So for him to claim on the one hand that he was entrapped and on the other hand that it was all a misunderstanding, is illogical and contradictory.

It’s like a kid who is blamed for having broken a toy he had previously borrowed and claims it was already broken when he borrowed it bot also claims it was unbroken when he returned it.


7 posted on 09/05/2007 7:56:06 AM PDT by Wil H (Islam translates to "submission", not "peace" - you can figure out the rest.)
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To: blitzgig; eyespysomething
Does every washroom in every airport need to be patrolled for sex hounds?

No, but we should have police patrolling every alley, bathroom, mall, golf course and any other building or facility, private or public, and arresting U.S. Senators.

One down, 99 to go.

8 posted on 09/05/2007 7:59:04 AM PDT by SittinYonder (Ic ■Št gehate, ■Št ic heonon nelle fleon fotes trym, ac wille fur­or gan)
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To: Ingtar

“Interesting. Rush is a great fan of Buckley, but they disagree on Craig. It might be interesting to see if Rush changes his tune today.”

Rush is wrong on this one. There is no defense for this behavior especially when Craig already admitted guilt. Purging clowns needs to be a priority.


9 posted on 09/05/2007 8:01:18 AM PDT by bigcat32
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To: blitzgig

Good article.


10 posted on 09/05/2007 8:03:59 AM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: SittinYonder

When tapping toes are outlawed only outlaws will tap toes. I’m a Drummer, I’d better control my feet from now on if an Aerosmith song comes on the stereo system in a Men’s Room.


11 posted on 09/05/2007 8:04:10 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: Froufrou; blitzgig; lesser_satan

Craig performed the signals before the two spoke a word. The recording was of the police interview after the event.


12 posted on 09/05/2007 8:13:30 AM PDT by donna (If America is not a Christian nation, it will be part of the Islamic nation. Take your pick.)
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To: massgopguy
When tapping toes are outlawed only outlaws will tap toes.

Is that the signal they're talking about?

13 posted on 09/05/2007 8:14:53 AM PDT by SittinYonder (Ic ■Št gehate, ■Št ic heonon nelle fleon fotes trym, ac wille fur­or gan)
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To: Donn; blitzgig; lesser_satan

You’re missing the point.

It’s one man’s word against the other’s that these were ‘signals.’ They argued about whether or not Craig was facing the officer’s stall based on the officer viewing [or not, as Craig said] Craig’s wedding ring.

Craig said he spread his feet to avoid having his trousers hit the floor. That sounds quite plausible, IMHO, and I do that too, having some slacks that cost megabucks to dry clean.


14 posted on 09/05/2007 8:18:48 AM PDT by Froufrou
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To: Ingtar

I think Rush’s problem wasn’t that Craig resigned, but rather how quickly Republicans dumped him. Rush is seeing, as am I, a subtle transformation on the standards under which a Republican “must resign.” Craig’s situation represents the start of a somewhat slippery slope. Is he resigning because he plead guilty to a misdemeanor instead of having the common sense to fight it or is he resigning because he is a hypocrite who is hiding a secret life? It really doesn’t matter because the Drive By Media and dems have labelled it the latter. Thus, they seek to make the standard that any Republican who ever ever does anyting one micron inconsistent with their voting record or stance on an issue must resign. Well, under that standard ALL Republicans must resign (hell all politicians). Ahhh yes, the soft coup goes on.

Meanwhile, the democrats are insulated from having to resign due to crime or corruption. Why? Simple, it isn’t hypocritical at all for them to remain in Congress or power since they have always been corrupt and condoned corruption.

Sooner or later the Republicans are going to have to draw a line in the sand or become extinct. I mean really, anyone expecting perfection and purity from politicians, even Republicans who preach family values, is dreaming. Politics is, was, and will always be a matter of choosing the lesser to two evils.


15 posted on 09/05/2007 8:29:25 AM PDT by FlipWilson
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To: blitzgig
do airport restrooms really need police officers

They need their fair share of sex-sting collars to prevent the practice becoming a public nuisance.

Additionally, there is the specter of world-wide travel and spread of dangerous disease through anonymous stranger contact with an abusive sexual practice.

16 posted on 09/05/2007 8:41:47 AM PDT by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain And Proud of It! Those who support the troops will pray for them to WIN!)
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To: donna
Hey, where am I going to pee?

Actually, there are plenty of places in stores and restaurants. Nevertheless, since playing quite a bit of golf, I prefer the al fresco way -- but it doesn't work too well downtown.

17 posted on 09/05/2007 9:05:30 AM PDT by expatpat
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To: xzins
Does every washroom in every airport need to be patrolled for sex hounds?

Well, Hartsfield at least. The Chairman of the MARTA board was taken down there not too long ago for arranging to meet a fellow (?) from Cincinnati who flew there specifically for the purpose of a handicapped stall assignation.

18 posted on 09/05/2007 9:08:43 AM PDT by Wally_Kalbacken (Seldom right but never in doubt)
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To: blitzgig
there are laws against soliciting sex in a public facility.

I guess pickups in bars and other public places are illegal too.

19 posted on 09/05/2007 9:20:54 AM PDT by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: cinives
I guess pickups in bars and other public places are illegal too.

Bad news for Diane Keaton and Richard Gere...

20 posted on 09/05/2007 9:44:40 AM PDT by Jeff F
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