Monday, January 25, 2016

Planned Parenthood Indictments: They Shoot the Messenger

A Texas grand jury has indicted two officials from the organization that conducted the undercover conversations with Planned Parenthood discussing the sale of body parts from aborted babies. On the surface, this is deeply troubling.

We need to await further details here, but this seems blatantly political.

As for tampering with government documents, I assume here that this might involve the undercover identities that the Center for Medical Progress obtained. Maybe that ran afoul of some government document system. I don't know.

As for attempting to traffic in body parts-c'mon. They were working undercover. There was no criminal intent on their part. This is like indicting me after I worked undercover with DEA negotiating with a drug trafficker to buy his drugs-which I did. If you are going to prosecute the undercover operative, why not prosecute the ones actually committing the crime?

Good luck prosecuting this stinker of a case.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

If such an indictment was rendered in TEXAS, I think there may be something to it. If it happened in New York, well, I'd take it with a big grain of salt. New York once tried to dictate by ordinance how pro-life pregnancy centers advertised themselves -- an ordinance shot down by many federal courts, without ever needing to reach the Supremes.

The fact that the "news team" was working undercover is neither here nor there. The question is whether they did something illegal, working undercover. Merely engaging in journalism is not illegal. But, this group not only had an agenda, as the dust settles it seems clear they were willing to lie and manipulate. Perhaps that is merely slander, not criminal, but I certainly wouldn't reject the indictment out of hand.

Gary Fouse said...

Maybe they actually bought body parts, but that has not been reported. There may be a technical violation on their getting fake documents for their UC operation-again, I do not know. As for negotiating for body parts, I just don't see criminal intent. They were working UC.

Sammy Finkelman said...

Planned Parenthood was evidently cleared of the charge of trafficking in human organs because they consistently said they were not selling body parts, but only charging for what is called, in other contexts, “shipping and handling.”

Expenses, that is, calculated no doubt using Hollywood-style movie-profits accounting.

While the activists, on the other hand, had made a blatant offer of a legal agreement to buy body parts.

The offer itself is illegal.

Planned Parenthood never agreed to that, but invariably insisted, like their lawyers told them, on saying they could only charge for expenses, and they could not sell them.

Any offer to traffic in baby parts that acknowledges a law is being broken, rather than a loophole used, is itself illegal. The activists went to considerable pains to make it appear their offer was genuine, and kept on repeating that they were buying baby parts even when Planned Parenthood people repeatedly characterized it another way. And in particlar there was an e-mail offering $1,600 to buy fetal tissue, which Planned Parenthood ignored. So, the grand jury decided, the activists were guilty, but Planned Parenthood was not guilty.

Moral? Before doing anything that resembles a sting operation,
consult a good lawyer, especially if your target has good lawyers. Be especially wary if they also have lobbyists and have political influence. They can get you indicted.

And, by the way, only law enforcement officials can make offers to commit crimes, and even commit overt acts, without penalty.

This whole indictment is designed to make a repeat of this sting operation impossible.

The purchase and sale of human organs charge, by the way, is only a minor charge, a misdemeanor. Nothing like “tampering with a government record” which carries with it a possible 20-year sentence. That carries with it a possible 20-year sentence in Texas. That apparently consisted of faking a driver’s license and maybe some other fake things, which I am not sure about, but it sounds like it has something to do with creating a fake corporation.

Gary Fouse said...

Some good points, Counselor, but I doubt Planned Parenthood would alter its abortion procedure for the purpose of collecting body parts if they only wanted to charge shipping and handling.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

And in fact Gary, there is NO evidence that Planned Parenthood DID alter its procedure.

Some overheated clumsy amateurs broke the law with the intention of proving that their intended victims were breaking the law, got stonewalled, and now they stand indicted for breaking the law, which it appears they did.

Gary Fouse said...

No evidence? What about their own statements on videotape?

Siarlys Jenkins said...

The statements amount to no contract, no sale, no commitment, mostly a lot of questions, and some off-hand remarks of no particular relevance. The PP reps were clumsy clueless idiots, but committed no crime, and nothing that would be made a crime by any pending legislation.

Gary Fouse said...

You miss the point. The statements made by the PP reps reveal what they are engaged in.

Siarlys Jenkins said...

You miss the point. They don't.

Gary Fouse said...

So the PP reps were lying to the UCs?

Siarlys Jenkins said...

The PP reps didn't state intention or willingness to do anything illegal. Some asked pointed questions, and others made clueless conversation, but none agreed to or proposed anything illegal. Essentially the phony reporters didn't get a bite in terms of any transaction.