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Guilty by Investigation: Sentenced to Scrutiny

by Joe Jarvis, The Daily Bell:

Innocent until proven guilty may be a thing of the past if an investigation itself is punishment.

An investigation by government authorities can be quite damaging, even if that investigation turns up nothing in the end.

Investigations can be used as a warning to the target and others that Big Brother is watching.

Investigations can insinuate guilt, serving as a punishment in the court of public opinion.

And each of these scenarios can cause economic damage to the target by making others (customers, partners, sponsors) flee because they are afraid to be associated with a targeted individual, whether because they think them actually guilty, because they don’t want to be targeted themselves, or because they fear the public backlash stemming from one of those two scenarios.

A perfect example is Hillary Clinton. Yes, she was probably actually guilty and only escaped due to corruption, but the investigation did officially turn up nothing. This means her prospects of becoming President were impeded by an investigation and not a conviction.

The same goes for Trump and the Russia probe. Again, regardless of the actual merit of the investigation, it alone damaged his public image and took the wind out of the sails of his first 100 days.

And last year, many called for gun control legislation which would disallow anyone under FBI investigation to own firearms. Since basically all civilians are under FBI investigation in some way, this would effectively outlaw guns. Clever.

Then there were the IRS audits of Tea Party groups, which were costly for the leaders’ businesses and chilled the movement. Why would you paint a target on your back if you are a business owner or wealthy? Better to not publicly express support for the Tea Party.

It is hard for the government to directly attack free speech. They need to come at it from the side. They need to attack “hate speech” and “fake news.”

Investigations which the government knows will turn up nothing, in the end, are one outlet for suppression of freedom of speech.

“I Disapprove of What You Say, But I Will Defend to the Death Your Right to Say It”

-Evelyn Beatrice Hall and/or Voltaire

Stephen Colbert is crude, not particularly funny, and deserves the freedom of speech to say crude unfunny things. He made a joke about Trump, meant to suggest he is a pawn of Putin, and now the FCC is investigating him.

Read More @ TheDailyBell.com

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