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September 16, 2004

But Was It a Crime?

I don't know how to read the statute posted by Bill From INDC except to conclude that this was a crime committed by whoever actually created the forgeries.

I don't know if Bill Burkett did anything more than pass the forgeries along, but it would seem to be a good idea for his lawyer, the Howard Dean endorsed friend of Bill Clinton David Van Os, to lay off the "what difference would it make?" defense.

I don't see anything in the statute that says it's okay to create forgeries if you believe "in your heart" that the contents of the forgery are true.

But a "Political Partisan Internet Critic" Attacks My Reportage!" The Volokh Conspiracy, whom we can dismiss out of hand as politically-motivated, pajama-wearing cranks, says I'm all wet, and that most forgery statutes require not just a forgery but the intent of defrauding someone out of money or defrauding an official investigation-- neither which we would seem to have here. (Skip down to Sept. 14th posts for Volokh's opinion.)

There have been convictions for similar forgeries, but the circumstances aren't quite similar enough.

Nevertheless, I expressed my opinion after dilligently fact-checking my story and consulting with four anonymous experts, at least two of whom said that I was maybe, sort of, possibly right, although they're not really quote-unquote-lawyers per se.

Given the fact that I investigated this story for at least five minutes, and the producer of this story (me) has a virtually unblemished reputation in fake journalism, I stand by the original story, as the "preponderance of evidence" supports me.

When I discover DEFINITIVE evidence that I am wrong, offered by a non-political-partisan source, I will consider issuing a statement that I am "redoubling my efforts" to get the story right after the fact.

In other words:

My facts may be entirely wrong, but the "heart of this post" remains unchallenged.

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posted by Ace at 03:55 PM

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