Martha Stewart: Political Prisoner

There are a number of interesting stories covering the witch hunt the government is pursuing against Martha Stewart. A number of papers are running stories such as "Official Poll: Is Martha Stewart guilty?" and Poll: Majority of New Yorkers think Martha Stewart is guilty. How the hell is Joe Shmoe supposed to know the details of the legal code or what Martha did or did not do? Fortunately, most of the editorials I’ve seen recognize the case for what is is: "U.S. government makes her the subject of a criminal test case designed to further expand the already unrecognizable boundaries of the U.S. federal securities laws." A number of sites in support of Martha have popped up, including Martha’s own MarthaTalks.com and the SaveMartha.com, which features several hilarious clips from her "enemies."

Martha’s own defense has been to say that she is only being prosecuted because she is a successful woman — but I think this take is misguided. Many successful men have gone to jail for insider trading, and Martha’s defense is doomed unless she acknowledges the real motivations of her prosecutors: to inspire fear, uncertainty and doubt into successful businessmen everywhere, and gain political prominence in the process. As the must-read article "Martha Stewart: Political Prisoner" points out,

It is politics, not the pursuit of justice, which is driving this case. Stewart is well-connected politically, but it is to Democrats, who control none of the branches of government at the present time. Her wealth and public persona make her a convenient target of a very political U.S. Department of Justice and of U.S. attorneys who see the example of the Guiliani path to fame and fortune.

I can’t say whether Martha broke the law or not: I’m not lawyer, I don’t know the facts of the case, and even if I were a lawyer, the SEC regulations are vague enough to mean whatever the government wants them to mean in any particular case. What I do know, is that the insider trading laws are a mockery of justice, and that the witchhunt against Martha Steward is only happening because she and Sam Waksal are successful individuals, and in today’s world, success can be a very dangerous thing.

5 Comments

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5 Responses to Martha Stewart: Political Prisoner

  1. Sam, the Woman

    From the very beginning of the Martha Stewart scandal, it was evident that she would be found guilty…the Press and others needed a scapegoat so why not choose a highly successful self-starter who just happens to be a woman? Although never a big fan of hers, I defend her right to do no more or less than the Enron-ites!

  2. Anonymous

    Where in the world can I sound off to show support for Martha. She is not guilty of anything except being a brilliant woman, and making lots of money, which apparently is against the law in America now. What a tragedy for all of us, we could all be put away if someone wants revenge or jelous of our creativity. If K-Mart stops selling her wares, I will never go into the store again. Also if the magazine drops her name I’ll drop my subscription. We are not all narrow minded people, we will support Martha and pray for her and wait for her return into our lives. How do I get the word to the people who need to hear? There are plenty that feel like I do, and someone needs to know that, Lou Robertson

  3. Lou Robertson

    Where in the world can I sound off to show support for Martha. She is not guilty of anything except being a brilliant woman, and making lots of money, which apparently is against the law in America now. What a tragedy for all of us, we could all be put away if someone wants revenge or jelous of our creativity. If K-Mart stops selling her wares, I will never go into the store again. Also if the magazine drops her name I’ll drop my subscription. We are not all narrow minded people, we will support Martha and pray for her and wait for her return into our lives. How do I get the word to the people who need to hear? There are plenty that feel like I do, and someone needs to know that, Lou Robertson

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  5. anke lenzing

    What possible good comes out of “jailing” Martha Steward?Why not use this talented woman for community service,teaching young moms sharing all her experiences..setting up seminars…on building lives[using herself as a metaphore/example…Her gutsy,creative,ginious way,would do far more and reach more people in a positive way,than incarceration ever would!!! anke

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