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Larry Craig, Where’s the Proof?
JR Dieckmann

Am I the only person in the country who is willing to give Sen. Larry Craig the benefit of the doubt? It would appear so. Everyone seems just too eager to rush to judgment on Craig’s guilt without a conviction, proof, or shred of evidence other than the world of one police officer who may have been himself guilty of misinterpreting what he witnessed in a public bathroom. An officer who may have jumped to a conclusion, then tried to cover himself. I say this based on reading both the police report and the police interrogation interview with Craig.

It is not my intention to defend Craig’s innocence or guilt here, only to point out some inconsistencies and what I see as mistakes being made in the media and the general public.

I'm still not convinced that Craig is guilty of anything. Why would a man in his position jeopardize his career by doing such a thing in a public restroom? It doesn't make sense. Surely there are more discrete ways he could have used if he was looking for what he’s been accused of. Everyone wants to just assume the worst without any evidence other than the statement from the cop who was there for the expressed purpose of catching someone for inappropriate activity.

Maybe Sgt. Dave Karsnia of the Minneapolis Police Dept. wasn't having any luck and was tired of hanging around the bathroom as gay bait. Maybe he was just looking for any excuse to get away from that horrible assignment. Maybe Karsnia misinterpreted what he claims to have witnessed because it’s what he was looking for. We just don't know - there is no evidence or proof of anything. There isn’t even a witness to support the charges. Did Karsnia jump to conclusions, and are we doing the same thing?

With absolutely no prior evidence of homosexual activity, the media has labeled Craig a homosexual and a liar based on this one police report in spite of his denials of both. It's all based on circumstantial evidence that doesn't prove a thing.

For example, the police report states that Craig ran his hand along the bottom of the divider 3 times, each time further into the next stall. Isn't it a little odd that in the interview, Karsnia didn't ask Craig about running his hand 3 times along the bottom of the divider, but only that he could see his hand? Why didn't he? Maybe because it didn't happen?

Another claim in the police report states that Craig's bag was placed against the stall door and indicated that it was taken as a sign of inappropriate behavior. I would ask, where else is he going to put it? Next to the toilet where someone in the next stall could steal it? In front of me is where I would put my bag too. That's where it’s in sight and there is room for it. He says these things that make Craig look like a pervert, but Craig didn’t admitted to any of it.

Craig was told if he just told the truth he could pay a fine, walk away, and be done with it, there would be no calls to the press and he wouldn‘t go to jail. Karsnia continually accused him of lying. Why would he lie and risk going to jail?

The point is that there could be other explanations for everything that was charged other than accusing him of being gay and making advances to a complete stranger in a public bathroom. To me, it just doesn't add up. Since when do we, as Americans, convict someone simply on the word on another person with nothing to back it up? Where is there any evidence of homosexual behavior in Craig's past?

I'm not defending Larry Craig here, I never even heard of him before this incident appeared in the media. I'm defending justice. And right now, I’m not seeing much of it where Craig is concerned.

It seems the big question here is, why did Craig plead “guilty?” Is that really so difficult to understand? What would you have done in his position? He had two choices. 1. He could enter a “guilty” plea to a lesser misdemeanor charge, pay a fine, and walk away from it. 2. He could plead “not guilty”, hire a lawyer, go through a big public trial, and endure the media circus which certainly would have cost him his career long before it ever went to trial, just as it did with Tom Delay. Remember, just as Frank Salvato pointed out in his column last week: Allegations Trump Adjudication Where Media Is Concerned. Craig pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and paid a fine hoping it would just go away, which it did until someone went on a witch hunt and dug it up.

We're only getting the media's version of this. I think there is another story here that isn't being told. Was Craig targeted and railroaded by the Democrats simply for political advantage as so many others have been? That is their agenda. They have a war room of people doing nothing but witch hunting for any dirt they can hang on a Republican to get rid of them.

Do the names Tom Delay; Scotter Libby; Mark Foley; Karl Rove; and Alberto Gonzales ring any bells, to name a few? They tried to get Dick Cheney too but failed. This, and trying to appease liberal socialists, is the entire agenda of the Congressional Democrats. They can’t win on substance so they use personal attacks to get rid of Republicans. That is what they are all about and nothing more. The sad thing is, they're getting away with it and Republicans are allowing them to. Is Craig simply their most recent victim.

In the closing statement of the interview after discussing Craig‘s Congressional status, Karsnia said this: Embarrassing, embarrassing. No wonder why we're going down the tubes." Does that sound like a impartial political comment to you? What exactly did he mean by that? Did Karsnia have an agenda and a motive to entrap Craig? You wouldn’t think so from an AP article profiling Karsnia but I can’t rule out possible political influence in the Minneapolis Police Department.

Now that the worst has happened, Craig is considering reopening the case and it wouldn't surprise me if he files a lawsuit against the Minneapolis Police Department for liable and slander. He says he has been falsely accused and intends to clear his name. Why do we insist on denying him the benefit of the doubt and assuming guilt without any facts or evidence? That is not the American way, it’s the Democrat’s way.

I have no idea if Craig is guilty or innocent of these charges, I wasn’t there. But there are inconsistencies in the report that I believe warrant consideration. I’m just not ready to jump to conclusions without proof as most others seem to be doing. Larry Craig has been doing a good job for Conservatives in the Senate and should be given the benefit of the doubt until proven guilty. If he is proven guilty, then I say hang him, but not until then. He deserves his day in court, not to be convicted by the media and those who believe their spin.