As many of you are no doubt aware, the baseball player Roger Clemens has been accused of using steroids and other performance enhancing drugs. He's been testifying before Congress about these allegations, and recent news is that it seems he was lying about it and may end up facing criminal perjury charges.
What I want to know is Why the hell is any of this happening and why is Congress wasting our time and money on this nonsense???
As far as I know, there are no laws against using steroids or HGH. I can go and take them until I explode without violating any laws.
Major League Baseball has rules against players taking performance-enhancing drugs. This is not in question, and I don't even disagree with the rule. But that's all it is - one corporation's rules regarding the conduct of its own employees (which is what these players are, right?)
If I start a corporation and require my employees to wear yellow name-tags, and one employee refuses, I can fire him. If it's in his contract, I might even be able to sue for breach of contract to recover some kind of damages. But that's where it stops. There's no way this person could (or should) be jailed, and Congress certainly shouldn't get involved.
But that's what we're seeing here. MLB has a rule against steroid use. Clemens was accused. So MLB should conduct an investigation and depending on the result, they can fire Clemens and maybe sue him for breach of contract. If the investigation's results are in dispute, then maybe they should go to binding arbitration, or a local court (e.g. a wrongful termination suit.) But for some reason, it is going way way beyond that. Somehow, Congress - the supreme legislative branch of the United States - has gotten involved in what is still an MLB internal affair. They are having hearings before committees all over the place, treating this as if it was a matter of national security. And for what? Because a baseball player is accused of violating league rules? That's it?
And they're going to pursue criminal charge against him because of what? Because he was caught in a lie (so the committee says) while testifying about this BS that should never have begun in the first place?
What's next? Federal tribunals for people accused of jaywalking or spitting on the sidewalk? At least in that case, a law was broken.
This is yet another incident in a long chain of prosecutorial abuses by our legal system. Somebody in Congress likes baseball and doesn't like Clemens. So he sets up a show-trial, with no actual charges, solely for the purpose of forcing Clemens to either lie or make a career-destroying statement (or even better, both).
But it's not all that surprising. It's now a tradition to send unpopular people to jail on trumped up charges. Lewis Libby and Martha Stewart were also convicted of perjury regarding crimes that were never committed. And this won't be the last case either - you can be certain that in a few months, some other unpopular public figure will be similarly railroaded.