Reading news about the presidential-pardon applications crossing Bush’s desk (he does not seem inclined to make many pardons right now), one caught my attention. It seems John Walker Lindh, who was picked up a few years ago fighting with the Taliban in Afghanistan, wants a pardon. He’s serving a 20yr prison sentence.

Deborah Jeane Palfrey (aka The DC Madam), was facing a possible maximum sentence of 55 years when she was killed/committed suicide (take your pick). She, of course, ran an escort agency/fantasy-sex service/prostitution ring (take your pick). Article-writers covering the story said she realistically faced anywhere between 4-15 years in prison.

All this over $2 million in income she paid taxes on, with a stable of consensual employees and a very consenting clientele.

And Lindh wants a pardon because his prison sentence is obviously a bit much for him. Perhaps he feels like the victim of a miscarriage of justice.

13 thoughts on “terrorism is obviously a priority

  1. Gillette,

    It is indeed.

    Blog readers can be glad that I did not write the transcript of my actual verbal reaction when the lightbulb went on in my head while reading the news.


  2. They (the government) drove the DC madam to suicide unless they killed her themselves. It is a shame how the system uses the word “terrorist” so loosely. Anybody breaking the law nowadays and making money is linked to terrorism and Al Queda. It is a propaganda technique the system has been using since 9/11.

    How could you justify putting people in prison for 5, 10, 15 or 20 years or any time for running a escort service. I mean it is legal in some parts of the world so even if it is illegal in this jurisdiction how could it be so bad to justify such a cruel and harsh penalty. If you sell liquor without a liquor license or drive without a license I am sure you would not face such harsh penalties.

    Also if you don’t pay taxes it seems you are better off with a tax evasion rap (usually they just want money to squash that) than risk paying taxes and get hit with money laudering and racketering charges.

    I hope with Obama coming in they will cut back on spending and wasting money on stupid things like investigating, arresting, prosecuting and even imprisoning people who promote sex workers, sex workers and their clients. Let them go after real terrorists and violent criminals.

  3. I was a personal best friend of Brandy Britton. She was someone I really turned to throughout high school. I have letters an pictures of my best friend memories and would have never thought this would happen to her. I am now living in Oregon City, not to far where I grew up in my teenage years in Damascus not far from Boring. Brandy was a great friend and I see her totally different then what has been reported by the press. I am regretfull I did not follow up on her letters she sent me right after graduation when she headed for Hawaii. I attended OSU but never reconnected, but my memories and letters are so significant in my life on a friend who needed a friend, my regrets. Would like to share my story of a friend who had her share of problems but would always be remembered as the friend who gave me my first dog, named it Brandy. I would love to share my memories and photos with everyone, as I saw the special on CNBC, I thought it was important to share how special she was.

  4. Kathleen,

    Thank you so much for this. It means a lot to me. People HAVE to realize that sex workers are human beings — we do not exist in a vacuum but have lives like everyone else.


  5. Kathleen that is so sad what happened to your friend Brandy Britton. My deepest sympathy for your loss. Whatever consenting adults do sexually from doing it in the missionary position to fetishes or if they are gay or if they are charging a fee for the time they spend with the person they are having sex with this should not be a factor in a career especially a teacher and especially a professor who teaches adults. It is these hypocritical and ignorant hangups that some people have that are used to destroy good productive people. All people must unite and say this is wrong. Even if you feel another lifestyle choice is not for you we should all fight for a persons right to choose that lifestyle if we are truly a democratic society who loves freedom! When we cosign the government restricting other peoples freedom based on their beliefs or lifestyle choice then we are vulnerable to the government to do it to all of us and guess what we will be next and no longer do we then live in a free nation!

  6. I think that using national crises to push personal and political agendas has been around forever; it’s not a 9/11 thing. Just think of McCarthyism.

    On Lindh, I think that the death penalty should apply to US citizens who partake in terrorist activities: it’s treason in wartime, not a lapse in judgment, we’re talking about.

    On comparing sentences, well, numbers often don’t add up. The legal system has been patched up too many times, is too complex and full of archaisms, and is in need of an overhaul, like the tax code.
    But judges usually exercise their discretion to hand out sentences commensurate with the severity of the crime and the threat to the public. Sometimes, they abuse their power and show bias, unfortunately.

    Even if one considers sex work a crime (I don’t, but an unfair law IS the law), we’re not talking about anything near the ballpark of terrorism or even “simple” violent crimes. In the absence of any other related offenses, such as tax evasion or drug distribution, anything more than a citation or probation is outrageous overkill to me.

  7. I know, Amanda. I get very serious about those issues that I discuss on other boards. Faisal Shahzad, a more recent case came to my mind. No doubt that those are people who deserve every bit of the manhunts and harsh sentences they get (and more, IMO), and yet they still have the gall to complain about harrassment or ask for pardons.

    So to watch Big Brother go after harmless sex workers with a vengeance rubs us all the wrong way.

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