Michael, who also just made a “Comment of the Day”-worthy point regarding the recent post about schools banning homemade lunches for students (you can read it here), makes an important point about reports that dismiss allegations of government misconduct as “unsupported.” There is an obvious parallel with the public’s misinterpretation of verdicts finding the likes of O.J. Simpson (who did kill his wife and Ron Goldman) and Barry Bonds (who did lie to a Federal Grand Jury) “innocent” because the government prosecutors did not meet their burden of proof “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Here is Michael’s Comment of the Day on the post, Finis: The New Black Panthers Voter Intimidation Affair:
“The problem with such reports is that unsupported is assumed to be the same as not true. In fact, it means not able to be substantiated to the government’s standards. This is true in any case that isn’t videotaped, on paper, or e-mailed. A senior administrative official could have stood up in a meeting and said something as outrageous as “Only minorities deserve protection, we don’t care if the Black Panthers were shooting people at the polls, as long as the dead were all white. That comes down from the top. Anyone who has a problem with that needs to leave”. Any government investigation would say that the allegation that it happened is unsupported because there is no recording of it, there is just a set of accusers who said it happened, and others who said it didn’t. Such reports don’t try to decide who is lying and who is telling the truth. If there isn’t clear-cut, undeniable evidence, it is unsupported. This doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.
Look at the FBI whistleblower cases and the reports from that. You will see very quickly how ‘unsupported’ can be used as a weapon to destroy the credibility of a whistleblower.”