Leopoldo Lopez. Antonio Ledezma. Roger Stone. What do these three men have in common? Would it be too much to say that all are political prisoners of tyrannical governments that hold little to no regard for the civil liberties of their citizens? Let’s take a moment to examine this premise, to determine whether there is any validity to it:
- Lopez and Ledezma had been highly critical of the Venezuelan government.
- Roger Stone has been highly critical of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s “Russiagate” investigation.
- Political dissidents Lopez and Ledezma were arrested in the middle of the night in Caracas, Venezuela.
- Heavily armed FBI agents stormed the Fort Lauderdale home of political consultant Roger Stone in the wee hours of the morning.
- A video posted on Twitter shows flak-jacketed agents putting Leopoldo into a Venezuelan intelligence vehicle and taking him away.
- Exclusive CNN video shows a sizeable team of FBI special agents wearing tactical gear and arriving in the dark morning hours to arrest him.
Subduing Stone with All Due Force
Roger Stone is a 66-year-old political strategist. In no way does he resemble a violent criminal. Yet, he later discussed his arrest as nothing short of a made-for-TV spectacle. Appearing in court on Friday January 25, following the show of force on his nicely manicured lawn, Mr. Stone said, “At the crack of dawn, 29 FBI agents arrived at my home with 17 vehicles, with lights flashing, when they could have contacted my lawyer.”
Stone’s attorney amplified this point when he told Fox News:
“A SWAT team, searching the house, scaring his wife, scaring his dogs—it was completely unnecessary. A telephone call would have done the job, and he would have appeared. Mr. Stone has nothing to hide.”
But contacting Stone’s lawyer would have ruined the exclusive CNN footage. Are you wondering how it came to be that CNN cameras were trained on Stone’s home – staking it out at the crack of dawn? Some coincidence, eh? Even the president noticed when he tweeted, “Who alerted CNN to be there?”
We know why CNN had their cameras trained on Stone’s Florida home – because one of the Feds tipped them off. It’s that simple, folks. In the world of journalism, this is pretty much how the story rumbles.
Sic Semper Tyrannis
Stone’s dramatic arrest and the subsequent charges somehow do not seem to be in accord. He is accused of “process crimes” – offenses that allegedly occurred during the Mueller investigation, not before it. The seven-count indictment includes five counts of making false statements, one count of witness tampering and one count of obstruction of an “official proceeding.”
These hardly seem worthy of a bevy of CNN cameras and a SWAT team.
Attorney Alan Dershowitz made the television rounds after the Stone arrest and averred on Newsmax TV, “You arrest this guy in a dawn raid, handcuff him, put him in shackles, and then you don’t even ask the judge to raise the bail. $250,000, which is nothing bail. Clearly, this was just a show, an attempt to put pressure on him.”
Liberty Nation spoke with constitutional attorney and LN Legal Affairs Editor Scott D. Cosenza for some insight on Stone’s arrest:
“Roger Stone should not have been arrested in a pre-dawn SWAT deployment. In a world where prosecutors weren’t trying to deliver personal messages and where police militarization had not run amok, he wouldn’t have been. Time was, a nonviolent person with no criminal conviction well-known to law enforcement would have been ordered to surrender himself. Sadly, prosecutors and law enforcement often use the power of their offices not to seek justice but punish defendants they dislike. That $250,000 bail number is a bit misleading as well – it was a signature bond. Mr. Stone did not have to put up any money or pay a bail bondsman – he simply promised to pay it if he does not show up for court later. That Robert Mueller thinks this raid-style arrest is an appropriate use of DOJ resources does not speak well of him or his ‘investigation.’”
The United States of America has always hung its hat on the concept that all men are created equal. At the same time, we also realize that all men are not the same. Thus, as this government round-up of those who worked on behalf of and supported the Trump campaign continues, it is worth noting the reaction of various individuals to their arrest. Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen ran crying to mommy faster than a speeding bullet when the Feds applied the screws to him. Paul Manafort, meanwhile, has been a bit more circumspect about “singing” to save his own derriere. Roger Stone signals he will be another animal entirely; if early indications prove true, he plans to go all ten rounds with the office of the special counsel.
Ultimately, the victor of this fight will be an indicator of who we are as a people. Will we continue to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, or have we descended into a tyrannical republic that seeks to arrest, punish and publicly humiliate its political opponents?