Making free speech a crime

Earlier this year Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse suggested the Justice Department prosecute the fossil fuel industry and climate change deniers in the same way it went after the tobacco industry, using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, the law intended to take down mobsters with enhanced penalties and civil court action.

Whitehouse pointed out that in 2006, Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled against tobacco companies, saying, “Defendants coordinated significant aspects of their public relations, scientific, legal, and marketing activit

y in furtherance of a shared objective — to . . . maximize industry profits by preserving and expanding the market for cigarettes through a scheme to deceive the public.”

Earlier this month a bunch of climate change acolytes weighed in from amen corner with a letter to the administration backing Whitehouse’s plan.

While both are assaulting free speech in an aggregious manner, neither noted that a court has tossed out part of the prior enforcement against tobacco.

A week before Whitehpise’s posting, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled tobacco companies must tell consumers cigarettes are addictive, but the court said tobacco companies did not have to say they had purposefully made cigarettes addictive and had been deceptive.

The court split hairs over the extent of the law, but this was not what RICO was meant to do.

As John Milton said, truth will win in a free fight. It is not the purview of some judge.

16 comments on “Making free speech a crime

  1. Bruce Feher says:

    The criminals that think they are gods in the government will be dealt with soon!

  2. Patrick says:

    We are not in a free fight, and the truth, as it did when tobacco companies lied for decades in the identical fashion, using the identical tactics, with many of the same people involved, stands the same chance it did then.

    Cigarette companies killed millions, global warming is qualitatively different in that no human, whether they use fossil fuels or not, is immune to the consequences. And the damage is this far greater.

  3. Steve says:

    Except, global warming happens with or without human activity. BIG difference.

  4. Rincon says:

    If some con man lies and deceives in order to fleece money from some schmuck, it’s called fraud; if a fossil fuel company does the same to the entire population, it’s called freedom of speech.

  5. Steve says:

    If some con man lies and deceives in order to fleece money from some schmuck, it’s called fraud; if radical greens do the same to the entire population, it’s called freedom of speech.

  6. Rincon says:

    Both should be considered fraud because both sides have deceived to varying extents. So why can’t the fossil fuel industry accuse the “science industry” of fraud? Because they would be in a glass house.

  7. Steve says:

    So why can’t the “science industry” accuse the fossil fuel industry of fraud? Because their glass house is paid for with public money.

  8. Steve says:

    And their glass is both frosted and smoked.

    Nothing to see here, just keep giving us your money.

  9. nyp says:

    The average price of gasoline is now down to $2.37.
    Must be because of President Obama’s War on Oil.

  10. Steve says:

    The price of Gas here is $3.17 mostly due to California’s war on oil!

  11. It is more than $4 at remote stations in the high desert.

  12. Steve says:

    My energy stocks dropped like rocks today….must be Obama’s war on oil…more likely the world economy is creating a glut of supply while Obama’s war on oil keeps US prices high!

    And the Sage Grouse was not listed but MORE federal lands are now off limits to exploration and ranching, Whee!!!!

  13. Patrick says:

    Only thing keeping gas prices high is big oil. And, go figure; why sell a lot of a limited resource for a little, when all you have to do is choke off the supply coming out of refineries that you control?

    Conservatives are so dumb.

  14. Rincon says:

    Short term low prices for oil are needed to maintain the addiction.

  15. Steve says:

    refineries that you control?

    Or California controls…..

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