Okay, here’s what I want you to do: Please read this article about the USADA’s “case” against Lance Armstrong, and, as you read, substitute DOJ in the place of USADA and substitute one of the Enron Broadband Services (EBS) defendants (say, Joe Hirko or Scott Yeager or Rex Shelby) for Armstrong. If you do this, you will find that the article explains the EBS case fairly accurately. Here are just a few of the analogies:
In the Armstrong case, there is no tangible evidence of a crime. All the actual recorded drug tests indicate that Armstrong was drug-free. The USADA has built a case largely on verbal testimony from tainted witnesses.
In the EBS case, there was no tangible evidence of a crime — the only tangible evidence, the actual network and software, was disassembled and auctioned off before anybody was indicted, with the explicit knowledge and permission of the federal prosecutors. The DOJ made sure that this tangible evidence was not available to the defendants before they brought their indictments!
In addition, the written evidence, the technical documents and weekly status reports, also indicate that there was no crime at EBS. Yet, in his autobiographical Book, Convictions, federal prosecutor, John Kroger, said that he decided to ignore the “more than ten million documents” of available written evidence and to build a case “primarily on the testimony of witnesses.” These witnesses were incredibly tainted, having largely been coerced and coached into testifying by the federal prosecutors.
Study after study has shown how unreliable oral evidence is, even in simple situations. In complicated white-collar cases, oral testimony is essentially worthless. And when the witnesses are expressly testifying only because they are under the thumb of the prosecutors, as they were in the EBS case, then the oral testimony is worse than worthless — it is coached, tainted, and deliberately misleading.
Look, I have no idea if Lance Armstrong is guilty of doping. All I can say is that the USADA has not made a case and has shown no tangible evidence. The idea that Armstrong could be arbitrarily stripped of his titles by such an organization is ridiculous. Lance Armstrong is being presumed guilty by the USADA and being asked to “exonerate” himself.
Sorry, USADA, it does not work that way in a just society! The burden is on the USADA to make a public and compelling case against Armstrong. Armstrong has no obligation whatsoever to participate in the farce. Declaring that a person is guilty of a crime and then telling him he must prove his innocence is not justice — it is a witch hunt.
The press and the public let the DOJ get away with a witch hunt in the EBS case. Let’s hope we can show more grit and indignation and sense of justice in Lance Armstrong’s case.