The Freeware Hall Of Fame

United States Myths - and their realities

By Rey Barry

"You cannot be forced to incriminate yourself"

Tell that to anyone called before a Grand Jury. Constitutional protections do not apply there and you can be jailed for insisting on them.

We adopted Grand Juries from the country we defeated for having them, 17th Century England. Grand Juries are the power of the state versus you, and you can't have a lawyer in the room. There is no presumption of innocence with a Grand Jury. It sits to indict and as a New York judge once famously put it, would indict a ham sandwich. Here you can read about prominent writer Edward Jay Epstein's 30 days on a Grand Jury.

Tell former Sen. Robert Packwood about self-incrimination. He was forced to give the US Senate his private, personal diary unrelated to his public responsibilities. They leaked it to the press.

Tell Lt. Col. Oliver North and countless others who were granted immunity from self-incrimination in exchange for telling a congressional committee something Congress had a need and a legal right to know. They prosecuted him just the same and he had to appeal his conviction on the grounds of immunity.

Do you still call it winning when you're left with a $2 million legal bill?

There are times you cannot be forced to incriminate yourself; there are times you can. It depends on which room they take you to.

Of course that was back when they had to take you to a room. Since passing the Patriot Act they don't have to. That Act allows them to simply remove you after telling their secret court you "aid terrorism." Some would say exploding American myths aids terrorism. Probably, in their eyes. It is the nature of all governments to equate truth with sedition, the advocacy of rebellion.

Thomas Jefferson foresaw that. He said, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it's natural manure." Jefferson didn't live to see mass market democracy create unnatural manure.

Choose another?

Introduction - How these myths began
"The US separates church and state"
"Justice will triumph"
"We have self-government"
"We have free speech"
"Americans have free television and radio"
"No Man is Above the Law"
"Corporate political contributions aren't bribery"
"The best is yet to come"
"Abner Doubleday originated baseball"

The name Freeware Hall of Fame is Service Marked by Rey Barry (rey at
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