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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

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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To: lesser_satan

This all presumes that the cop isn’t lying through his teeth.


21 posted on 09/05/2007 10:06:21 AM PDT by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: mvpel
This all presumes that the cop isn’t lying through his teeth.

In this case I'm going with the cop.

L

22 posted on 09/05/2007 10:11:33 AM PDT by Lurker ( Comparing moderate islam to extremist islam is like comparing smallpox and ebola.)
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To: Froufrou
What if Craig was unaware there even WERE any such signals, as was I

I've thought about that too. And the only line of defense I could come up with as to why he pled guilty is to avoid the necessity of obtaining a lawyer ($$$), avoid having to go to court probably several times in Minnesota (time and $$$)and thinking that by just paying the fine his anonymity would remain and that would be the end of it.

Speeding tickets are misdemeanors and how many people driving out of state and getting caught for speeding are actually willing to hire attorneys and spend the time in court rather than just paying the fine?

23 posted on 09/05/2007 10:21:59 AM PDT by Hot Tabasco (A broken heart is one thing but I can't live with a broken truck.......)
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To: Hot Tabasco

Yes. I admit, I’m one of those people who takes the “aggravation factor” into account. I’m very often for the shortest solution and it’s not always the best.


24 posted on 09/05/2007 10:48:12 AM PDT by Froufrou
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To: Hot Tabasco

If you listen to the tape of the interview between the cop and Craig, the impression you get is that this would be easier for Craig if he’d just plead guilty, like the next poster mentioned with traffic tickets.

Frankly, even if he did do this, and I don’t have any conclusion on that, I don’t see this as any worse than someone propositioning another in any other public place. There was no charge of “improper conduct” or “lewdness” or anything other than some foot tapping and hand waving. I think the guy was an idiot for pleading guilty, but that’s just me.


25 posted on 09/05/2007 11:08:00 AM PDT by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: blitzgig

Craig responded, Craig got arrested.

End of the story IMO.


26 posted on 09/05/2007 11:08:54 AM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: A CA Guy

and wasn’t he in there for 13 minutes?

no man occupies a stall for 13 minutes

unless he is very ill


27 posted on 09/05/2007 11:13:55 AM PDT by Vinomori
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To: Vinomori
He’s old and could have been sitting down, taking lots off his mind and out of his belly.

The issue was his extension of his leg back under the stall to another man, you have to try and do that, it was not natural and was the reason why he got caught IMO.

28 posted on 09/05/2007 11:17:38 AM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Froufrou
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.

Is it normal to bump the feet of person in the neighboring stall? Is it normal to slide your hand - palm up - across the bottom of the partition, 3 or 4 times? The only thing he could possibly be doing is making the signals to solicit gay sex.

It is one man's word against another, but one of them is a cop, so he has a little more credibility than the average Joe. In addition, Craig was at the time being investigated by an Idaho newspaper for this very behavior, and he knew he was under investigation.

Craig is a disgrace.

29 posted on 09/05/2007 11:21:21 AM PDT by Swordfished
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To: Swordfished

I don’t know about a newpaper investigation. I heard the man [Craig] say he ‘didn’t know’ if his foot touched the officer’s and that he wasn’t palm up unless steadying himself against [grabbing] the partition.

The officer’s tone was impudent, accusing Craig of ‘disrespecting him.’ It’s not outside the realm of possibility that he targeted Craig in particular. Let’s remember that the bathroom was full and there was another stall on the officer’s other side.

Of course, he’d have missed those signals, having set his cap for Craig. ;o)


30 posted on 09/05/2007 11:29:44 AM PDT by Froufrou
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To: A CA Guy

Why don’t they jusst make the side walls of bathroom stalls come all the way down to the floor? That would end that problem.


31 posted on 09/05/2007 11:35:43 AM PDT by murron
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To: murron

Stalls need ventilation for obvious reasons in the health code.


32 posted on 09/05/2007 11:39:36 AM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: A CA Guy; murron

Not buying that ventilation arguement. Ever been to the loo in Europe? Yeah. Separate little rooms.


33 posted on 09/05/2007 11:41:24 AM PDT by Froufrou
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To: blitzgig

I really don’t care about Craig one way or the other, but it does seem Buckley knows a lot about men’s room pick ups.


34 posted on 09/05/2007 11:42:01 AM PDT by ozzymandus
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To: bigcat32

I am a Rush fanatic, but I’m listening to him right now and he’s talking about how Romney was pandering to the Christian Evangelicals by dropping Craig.

My guess is that Rush doesn’t know all the facts of this story. He came back from vacation in the middle of this story.

Apparently, this guy (Craig) has had suspicions about him all along.


35 posted on 09/05/2007 11:42:03 AM PDT by bethtopaz (A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you hav)
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To: Froufrou

Europe is dirty, why would you compare the USA to Europe regarding public rest rooms.

In Europe, it can be a hole where you spread your legs and let it drop, not in our league IMO.

Craig should just not go after boys in the rest room.


36 posted on 09/05/2007 11:47:48 AM PDT by A CA Guy (God Bless America, God bless and keep safe our fighting men and women.)
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To: Wil H

“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.’

And yet, it happens. In the trials following the Teapot Dome scandal of the 1920s, Interior Secretary Albert Fall was convicted of taking a $100,000 bribe from oilman Harry Sinclair, who was acquited of the charge of giving Fall the money.


37 posted on 09/05/2007 11:58:24 AM PDT by gcruse (...now I have to feed the dog as if nothing has happened.)
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To: blitzgig
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?

I am often amazed at the amazing stupidity of too many elected officials who do indeed pass legislation regulationg my conduct...scary.

38 posted on 09/05/2007 12:02:34 PM PDT by 1Old Pro
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To: blitzgig

Craig is an idiot, that’s why he needs to resign.


39 posted on 09/05/2007 12:06:20 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: jwalsh07
“Craig is an idiot, that’s why he needs to resign.”

I would argue that being a Democrat is enough to qualify as an idiot, but none of those will ever be asked to resign for that reason or for any kind of sexual (homo or hetro) irregularities. The media would make them heroes.

40 posted on 09/05/2007 1:51:23 PM PDT by Western Phil
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To: Ingtar

What has Rush been saying about Craig. I’ve been trying to hide from the subject because its to sickening for an Idahoan.


41 posted on 09/05/2007 3:26:12 PM PDT by Delphinium
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To: cinives
there are laws against soliciting sex in a public facility.

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

I think Buckley may be using "public facility" as a fancy name for public restroom.

42 posted on 09/05/2007 5:15:07 PM PDT by wideminded
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To: wideminded

I agree with you - much as railroads and bus companies are called “common carriers”.

But, if you follow the logic, bars, shops, etc are no different, really - they invite and serve the public, ie they are not by invitation only.

I’m just saying it’s a step down further into the nanny state that now the gov’t is regulating toe tapping in bathrooms.


43 posted on 09/06/2007 4:48:57 AM PDT by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: cinives
But, if you follow the logic, bars, shops, etc are no different, really - they invite and serve the public, ie they are not by invitation only.

1. Most people aren't dropping their drawers in bars and shops. Whatever laws relate to soliciting sex in public restrooms have a lot to do with people wanting to do their business without having to deal with peeping toms, sexual come-ons and homosexual activity in the next stall.

2. Another difference is that although people may be soliciting for sex in bars and shops, they are in general not attempting to carry out the act in these locations.

44 posted on 09/06/2007 5:48:29 AM PDT by wideminded
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To: wideminded
Again, you forget the point. Larry Craig was charged with soliciting sex, if you call toe tapping and hand gestures soliciting; he was not charged with engaging or exposing himself or touching or anything as blatant as explicit words. Secondly, ask any woman how they feel about intimidating come-ons by guys (or lesbos for that matter) on streets, in bars and other public places. There's threatening/intimidation, and then there's the signalling of availability. Two totally different things, in my book.
45 posted on 09/06/2007 10:22:50 AM PDT by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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