Sometimes I wish the birthers could hear themselves the way others do.1 I’m sure it would be a shock. Here’s a little bit of transcript from the Mike Volin “Where’s Obama’s Birth Certificate” Internet radio show yesterday talking about the delivery of his Sheriff’s Kit to members of Congress.
Caller: Hey Mike, I just wanted to mention that if we send these kits to like the TV stations, the news outlets, the papers and any other senators or congressmen, we should send them “certified” or “registered.” That way they actually have to sign for them. They actually have someone there, has to sign and acknowledge that they got the kit.
… doesn’t want to be on the wrong side of this – when it comes down, because anybody that is on the wrong side and has notification of the evidence in hand are complicit with this crime, and that is one of the things that we need to keep these congressmen and senators on their toes. “You’re complicit with the crime that you have been made aware of.”
Some words don’t mean what birthers think they mean, and “complicity” may be one of them. Knowing about the commission of a crime and not reporting it is complicity. Where I think the first caller is mistaken, is in confusing complicity with being an accessory to the crime. Generally complicity is not itself a crime without significant subsequent involvement. Let me list some problems with calling anything here “complicity”:
- The Sheriff’s Kit never specifies exactly what the crime is. Even if the birth certificate is a fake, putting a fake document on the Internet is not a crime, and every President lies (well maybe not Jimmy Carter which was one of his problems). The birth certificate was never submitted to anyone as a legal document or used in candidate filings. Lying on TV is not fraud.
- Even if we did say that Obama’s selective service registration was forged, it happened more than 5 years ago and the statute of limitations has run out.
- Even if we did say that Obama’s birth certificate was forged, the Sheriff’s Kit doesn’t say who did it, when or where.
- Reading the Sheriff’s Kit does not give a member of Congress any personal knowledge of the commission of a crime. Indeed the compilers of the Sheriff’s Kit have no knowledge of the commission of a crime, only conclusions. The presentation is a narrative of arriving at conclusions, not evidence of a crime.
- Complicity implies failure to report a crime. The Sheriff’s Kit is public information, and law enforcement is already aware of it. The birthers actually think that the information they are plying on Congress actually came from law enforcement in the first place! There is noting left to report.
- The birthers want people to do something about a crime (whatever it is), but failure to do so is not complicity. TV stations, news outlets and papers have no legal duty to do something about a crime they are aware of—that’s not complicity.
- Congress has no role in prosecuting crimes. They can remove someone from office through impeachment, but not prosecute them for a crime. The decision to impeach or not is wholly up to the members of Congress and the failure to do so is not complicity.