Feb 5, 2009

Bomb

I'm not sure if the title of Philip R. Klein's latest article refers to the Southeast Texas Political Review in general or only this article. He first quotes Lt. Curtis Breaux's testimony in the Keith Breiner arbitration hearing:

Over the years we've had occasion to speak with the district attorney's office. I knew it was perfectly OK from past experiences. There's not a clear policy on it and I know it's permissible by law and the acts had already been committed."

Let me make this perfectly clear for Philip, who is has a problem understanding even the simplest of points. I'm neither condemning nor defending Officer Breiner, Lt. Breaux, or any other person involved with the case. Rather, the focus of this article is Philip Klein's ignorance of this issue.

I'll note, however, that the SETX Bayou blog article from which Klein pirated his article points out that Lt. Breaux has given conflicting testimony in the past.

Typically, Philip claims that he's verified his wingnut opinion with his so-called anonymous sources (emphasis is mine):

We called two DA's offices in Texas that we have done business with in the past. We asked the question - would you approve of a case if the officer had sex with the person charged?

The first laughed and said : "What DA's office would approve that?" And the second said : "You are kidding me right?"

As I've repeatedly pointed out, Philip's sources use the same grammatical train wrecks, the same phrasing, and the same tired idioms as Klein. Most readers will see the similarities between Philip's source and his own words in previous articles (again, emphasis is mine):

  • Unemployment - Rises in Southeast Texas. You have got to be kidding right?
  • You are kidding me right? Do the crime do the time. Grow up.
  • You have to be kidding right? The tax dollars raised by industry in Jefferson County makes up most of the tax base.

There are many more examples, but these three are quite sufficient.

Most importantly, the controversy over this issue has been going on for quite a while. In 2006, the Washington Post detailed the practice in a county sheriff's office in Maryland:

In Spotsylvania County, as part of a campaign by the sheriff's office to root out prostitution in the massage parlor business, detectives have been receiving sexual services from "masseuses." During several visits to Moon Spa on Plank Road last month, detectives allowed women to perform sexual acts on them on four occasions and once left a $350 tip, according to court papers.

Spotsylvania Sheriff Howard D. Smith said that the practice is not new and that only unmarried detectives are assigned to such cases. Most prostitutes are careful not to say anything incriminating, so sexual contact is necessary, he said.

Actually, these cases have some striking similarities:

Smith said most "professionals" know better than to name an explicit act and a price. And with the Asian-run parlors that have periodically sprung up in Spotsylvania, he said, "they don't speak much English. There's not a lot of conversation." Smith and Spotsylvania Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Thomas Shaia likened the situation to investigators buying drugs from a drug dealer -- a necessary violation to prove a larger crime.

I'm sure this sounds quite familiar to those who are familiar with the Jefferson County Case.

The practice has been debated in academic circles, as well.  Dr. Gary Marx wrote in an article entitled "Under-the-Covers Undercover Investigations: Some Reflections on the State’s Use of Sex and Deception in Law Enforcement:"

Prostitutes know their behavior is illegal and that police will use deception to arrest them. The prostitute chooses to convert sex into a marketable commodity. For law enforcement to use deception in the pretended, or real, purchase of sex is less morally questionable than to use deception in circumstances when it is not for sale, but instead, is voluntarily given out as part of what is presumed to be an intimate relationship.

Criminal Justice Ethics (Citation:  vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 13-24, Spring 1992)

But, our shrewd political consultant and his anonymous sources are aware of the controversy. Or, is that "our shrewd politician?" I'm not sure which one Philip claims to be today.

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