Monday, January 27, 2014

The Criminalization Of Conservatism?

Gary L. Bauer

Is America on the verge of becoming a tyrannical police state? There are many ways in which the state can abuse its power. Among the worst is when law enforcement officials plant evidence to convict innocent people. A more subtle form of tyranny is the selective enforcement of the law in a way that targets political dissent.

Last week conservative author, filmmaker and Obama critic Dinesh D'Souza was indicted for election fraud. The charge is that he convinced people to make political donations and then reimbursed them. That is a violation of the law. He is facing charges that, combined, could send him to jail for seven years.

I know Dinesh D'Souza well -- he worked for me in the Reagan White House. He is an extremely intelligent man and an articulate spokesman for conservatism. I won't defend illegal behavior, but this case seems fishy.

Historically, cases like this have been treated as misdemeanors and handled with fines, at least when the offender was a liberal. Usually it happens in hotly-contested elections where every dollar is critical.

In D'Souza's case, the race was never in doubt. The candidate D'Souza supported had virtually no chance. So why was the FBI targeting this race unless someone decided to go after Dinesh D'Souza?

Gerald Molen, who produced D'Souza's "2016: Obama's America" as well as "Schindler's List," fears the indictment may be political. "I've never had the occasion to think that I had to fear my government," Molen said. "I never had the thought that I had reason to think I had to look over my shoulder until now."

If D'Souza broke the law, he should be held accountable. But given the harassment of conservatives in Hollywood, the treatment of Tea Party groups and Christian ministries and the targeting of James O'Keefe's Project Veritas in New York, it is hard not to question whether justice in America today is indeed still blind.

And add to that list of questionable activities what is beginning to look like a a political purge of top military officers. How is it that the administration did not act when Major Nidal Hasan was engaged in activities that should have set off alarm bells, but somehow it is routinely uncovering the officer who drank too much in Moscow, who used fake poker chips in Iowa or the top general who had an affair?