November 21, 2003
My money isn't mine!
Jesse Jackson (among other people) thinks that Rush Limbaugh should face prison for money laundering.
Atrios reports on the matter but as far as I know has not weighed in on it. (Here is the story he links. Does anyone know for a fact that Atrios is a "he"? I guess the masculine subsumes the feminine, but that's not the point....)
A conviction on such charges in Florida would be a first-degree felony, punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Rush Limbaugh says that he wasn't engaged in "money laundering," but instead only paid money out.
The issue is not whether Rush or anyone considers paying out large sums of money (regardless of the recipient) to be "money laundering." Certainly it is not what most people think of when they contemplate the "crime." What matters is the statute: it is illegal to fail to report a cash withdrawal of more than $10,000 -- or to structure withdrawals in such a way as to avoid such reporting.
To me, this is an issue much larger than Rush Limbaugh. I don't care whether he wasted the money on overpriced drugs, bought a luxury yacht and used it for target practice, or piled up the cash and set fire to it. If it's your money, you should be free to do anything you want with it.
The "money laundering" statutes are outrageous, and another example of how the War Against Drugs is a war against liberty. I have no idea what Rush Limbaugh has said about them, and I don't care. If it turns out he hypocritically supports the enforcement of these money laundering statutes (for people other than him) then I'm still against them.
People who use Rush Limbaugh as an excuse to support such legislative tyranny are being shortsighted.
posted by Eric on 11.21.03 at 01:00 PM
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