September 4, 2007

"What most people do when they see a law being broken: go get a cop."

That's a line from a piece by Arianna Huffington, which complains about the sting that got Larry Craig arrested in an airport men's room.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not wild about walking into a public restroom and seeing a couple using the a stall for something other than, as Sgt. Dave Karsnia, the arresting officer in the Craig case put it, "its intended use."

But that is not what Larry Craig did. If he had, someone in the restroom could have done what most people do when they see a law being broken: go get a cop.
So -- in Arianna's world -- if you have an airport bathroom that's become a notorious place for gay sex, you don't need to station an undercover cop inside to catch anybody and deter the behavior, you can just hang back and wait for the bathroom-goers to see the sexual beharior and to do what "most people do." These busy travelers will officiously run around the airport looking for a cop. That doesn't sound to me like the way "most people" react to sleazy quality-of-life crimes. I think most people would be disgusted, immediately leave the bathroom and plan to avoid that bathroom -- and maybe that airport -- in the future.

Even assuming that men going to the Minneapolis airport bathroom would go searching for a cop, the cops in the airport should be a paying attention to other things, not dealing with a very particular problem that has nothing to do with airport security. Yet Arianna says:
And as it happens, since Craig was arrested in an airport, presumably there were plenty of law enforcement officers nearby looking for, you know, real threats -- like explosives or folks on a Watch List.
And you want to take them off that task to go after some guys having sex in the bathroom (who'd probably be gone by the time he arrived)? How on earth is that better than using a police officer like Karsnia who is trained for a specialized task?

But Huffington thinks Karsnia's job is simply ridiculous:
It's unsettling that more people here in the land of the free aren't at all discomfited at leaving it up to the prognostication skills of Sgt. Karsnia and his crack team of B-men to determine what crimes people might have committed if not for the mind-reading and daring-do [sic] of Minneapolis' Special Forces Bathroom Unit.
What other public servants with difficult jobs -- imagine training to be a cop and then getting assigned to sit on a toilet all day -- does the imperious Arianna Huffington think deserving of her mockery?
Is sending Sgt. Karsnia into the men's room to spend all day trying to get other men to look at him and tap his foot really the best way to use our limited law enforcement resources?

And just how much money is Minneapolis/St. Paul spending on sting operations like this one? Just since May, 40 men have been arrested on allegations of illegal sexual activity at the same airport. And how much taxpayer money in total is being allocated across the country by local police to protect us from people whom the Sgt. Karsnias of the world think might, at some point, commit a crime?
I'm not an economist, but it seems to me that the sting is cost effective. One police officer, carrying out very few arrests, ruins the reputation of this bathroom as a place for sex encounters. That bathroom is in the state's most important airport, a hub of commercial activity. Minnesotans have a huge interest in maintaining the quality of their international airport, and travelers have endless opportunities to choose other routes when they dislike an airport. I would speculate that Karsnia's work probably produced a large net benefit to taxpayers.

63 comments:

Matt Brown said...

Arianna's horse is so very high, isn't it? The height doesn't deter her from climbing it so frequently.

EnigmatiCore said...

"I'm not an economist, but it seems to me that the sting is cost effective. One police officer, carrying out very few arrests, ruins the reputation of this bathroom as a place for sex encounters."

Apparently not, unless Sen. Craig was one of the first arrests by any officer in that bathroom. I think it is clear that the reputation of that bathroom had been unscathed at the time of the incident, and probably would still be had this not broken nationally.

I would bet that a cop stationed, in uniform, outside of the bathroom would work just as well. People would not have to 'go looking' for him, we would be further from the line of entrapment, and the cop would not be forced to spend his time on a commode.

Christy said...

One has to wonder if this is a problem at all airports? And how do other jurisdictions handle it? I cannot imagine that the subset of regular Minneapolis flyers looking for anonymous bathroom sex would be large enough to have gotten the attention of the local gendarmes. It must be a more universal tradition. Do you think they use signs like the hobos did?

My nephews are going to the ladies room with me until they are all 21.

James Wigderson said...

Arianna is probably afraid they'll bust her ex-husband.

AllenS said...

Last week I heard on a local Twin Cities radion station, that there had been 41 arrests in that bathroom in the preceeding couple of months. I would imagine that people had been going to the police and complaining about what was going on for a long time.

Bruce Hayden said...

My big problem with this sting is that Craig appears to have been busted well short of actually doing something wrong. He was apparently still fully dressed, had not engaged in sex, and hadn't really agreed to it.

The other thing though is that I have little doubt that some relatively violent or larcenous crime is going unsolved in Minneapolis. And yet, instead of trying to track down real crime, they are spending their resources busting people for thinking about consensual sex in a public place. I would frankly prefer if they would concentrate on real crimes, instead of this almost minor one.

k said...

I haven't ever ventured into those areas of the interwebs, but I understand that guys who are looking for "tearoom" sex can look up lists of available locations. So I would agree with Althouse: the reputation of the locale for anonymous sex is very important and can be ruined with enough busts. I don't recall where I heard it, but one news report claimed that this particular restroom was not on the way from one gate to another, but rather in a more out of the way location. I would assume most of these "tearooms" are that way, and you have to ask yourself why a busy traveler would take the time to seek out this particular bathroom, if not for its more notorious purpose.

Hoosier Daddy said...

My big problem with this sting is that Craig appears to have been busted well short of actually doing something wrong. He was apparently still fully dressed, had not engaged in sex, and hadn't really agreed to it.

I wondered about this myself. I was under the impression that until money changed hands, the undercover cop/hooker couldn't make the bust. If all that occured in this situation is some foot tapping and hand signals, what exactly is the crime?

I am in no way defending Craig or this kind of behavior but compared to other types of crimes one can be arrested for, the 'evidence' to be arrested for this seems to be set pretty darn low.

ZPS said...

Arianna is right. Common sense would tell someone to go get a cop if there were a law being broken. But how would the average person, taking into consideration their own state of mind (in a hurry, etc.), in an airport bathroom know that something was even going on? Furthermore, how do two people pull something off as involved as a sex act in what I can only assume is a busy facility? I've never been to that bathroom or that airport...maybe it's deserted half the time?

Still, Arianna is right to say that in this "age of terror" our law enforcement, particularly in airports, should be focused on other things. The problem I think Ann is having with this is that this observation is coming from a liberal who doesn't even buy into the whole "War on Terror", thus making her entire argument disingenuous; Arianna, like me, is of the Edwards opinion that the "War on Terror" is a bumper sticker, so who is she to demand enhanced security?

If Giuliani or some other so-called "strong on defense" conservative had argued Arianna's point, perhaps Ann would agree? Of course, no "strong on defense" conservative would ever make that point because then it might mean that they were okay with gay sex...and when it comes to getting out the vote, it's more important for conservative voters to know where their candidates stand on icky gay sex than on how to stop airplanes from blowing up.

SteveR said...

Back in the 80s there was a rest stop ("pickle park"), northwest of DFW that was known for this type of activity. The local sheriff's office set about to stop it and in so doing started busting folks for things well below the threshold of illegal activity (like talking).

Its a technique that can be abused and many innocent men tried to hide the fact they were "busted" rather than fight.

That said, what Craig did, the foot tapping routine and his subsequent conversation with the officer is pretty indicative of what his intentions were.

hdhouse said...

this is so stupid.

the good senator took that flight on a number of occaions. are you, with a straight face (no pun intended) going to tell me that 1. this was his first time and 2. this is for sure the first time in that restroom? are you?

he KNEW the CODE. hellooooo?

in going through the dance, he effectively propositioned someone for stall sex. he peeped through the door for several minutes...

more than anything, this was not an "adult only no one under 18 admitted" restroom. this was public. that also means kids who were not trying to hook up but merely to pee.

stop apologizing for this liar. I don't care who he humps or why but i do care where. When he strayed out of his home or private room into a public place it should care a great deal to you.......

ohhhhh that's right...the GOP montra..."NO UNDERLYING CRIME"...well if he was innocent why did he plead and why did he resign? helloooo? earth to apologists....come in come in...

Hoosier Daddy is all in a snitfit because the ACLU opposed a child molester ordinance in Indianapolis that would require 1000 feet buffers for anyplace kids might gather...yet Senator Craig should get a pass when caught in the act or attempting to perform the act......ohmygod, such hypocracy.

Meade said...

Bruce Hayden said...
"...consensual sex in a public place."

Consensual amongst the parties having the sex, perhaps. But where is the public's consent?

You want to have consensual sex? Fine - you're free to go to your own private place and do what you do. Just please respect the rights of the rest of us to not participate as unwitting voyeurs in your private consensual act.

Call it the public's Right to Privacy.

demian said...

Arianna knows which side of her bread is buttered. She's still receiving alimony payments from billionaire ex-husband Michael Huffington, who declared himself gay post-breakup.

It's amusing to see her newfound appreciation for the Terror Watchlist, which celebrities on her site routinely dismiss as a McCarthyite distraction.

Arianna brings to mind the driver stopped for speeding who whines to the cop he should be out catching real criminals.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Hoosier Daddy is all in a snitfit because the ACLU opposed a child molester ordinance in Indianapolis that would require 1000 feet buffers for anyplace kids might gather...yet Senator Craig should get a pass when caught in the act or attempting to perform the act......ohmygod, such hypocracy.

Hypocrisy? Do you even know what the word means? It has more t han one syllable one so perhaps not.

Hey house, can you tell me the diffrence between some guy looking for gay sex with a consenting adult and an adult looking to abduct a child and molesting them? Or are they both the same to you?

You really can't be that dense.

EnigmatiCore said...

hdhouse,

I just read through all of the comments here and I do not see anyone who is defending Craig, so I am not sure who you are reacting to, although your knee-jerk reaction to anything you perceive as a potential distraction from your party's talking points is both noted and expected.

Everyone accepts that Craig was looking for a gay sexual encounter in that bathroom. He's resigned, he pled guilty. All of that is cut and dried.

What we are discussing now is policy. It does not fit into your partisan games, so don't try to force-fit it.

Do we want our resources used in this manner? Is it the best approach? These are interesting topics for discussion, and do not fit neatly into Republican/Democratic stereotypes.

Put away the partisan blinders, and try engaging in intelligent discussion of issues. You might like it!

Sloanasaurus said...

ohhhhh that's right...the GOP montra..."NO UNDERLYING CRIME"...well if he was innocent why did he plead and why did he resign? helloooo? earth to apologists....come in come in...

he: This has been discussed with you previous threads. Yet, as typical, you just ignore that and come back and repeat the same crap. This is typical behavior from the left. You just repeat the same questions over and over again, while ignoring the debate that has previously occurred in response to such questions.

The fact is that Craig committed no crime. He pled to DC, to avoid being charged for lewd conduct. If he was charged publicly with "lewd conduct" his career would be over. A charge of DC, however, could go unnoticed. In the end it didn't. It turns out Craig was finished the moment he got arrested.

Think to yourself: if you were accidentally arrested for child pornography and the cops said they would charge you with child pornography or offer you a plea to DC, a lot of people would consider pleading to DC, just to avoid being charged with child pornography which carries a horrible stigma.

Maybe it was Craig's intention to commit an act in the stall after picking up someone. But, intent to commit lewd conduct is not an actual crime. The cop busted Craig to soon.

Craig is really only guilty of gross hypocrisy. This wasn't just a single incident or mistake. Craig needs to resign from the Senate because he has been lying to his constituents for 25 years about who he really is.

The Republican party sets higher standards for its elected members because the party's constituents take traditional family values seriously. Thus, to hold true to the party's values, the elected members have to be very careful not to fall pray to human vices otherwise you will be out.

In contrast, Democrats do not take traditional family values seriously. Therefore, it is not hypocritical for a democrat to misbehave in the family values area - the constituents tolerate it and even expect it. If a Republican president had done what Clinton did, he would have been force to resign because he would have lost all support among Republicans.

Flexo said...

Undercover stings are not at all effective in actually stopping behavior.

Police conduct countless undercover sting operations for street-corner drug dealers, street-corner prostitutes, and highway reststop (and now apparently airport restroom) gay anonymous sex. In every case, in order for the sting to work, the activity has to go on. And it does go on -- each of these things is still a problem despite countless sting operations.

If anyone was really concerned about stopping it, they would have a uniformed police officer in the bathroom or on the corner. When the cops are visibly present, nobody even thinks of doing anything wrong.

It is the same with traffic control. If you are really concerned with stopping drivers from speeding, you will have a police car visibly in the area. Then everyone will slow down. If you are not really concerned with stopping speeding, but have some other agenda, you will hide in the shadows in a speed trap, or you will borrow a couple of cameras from Big Brother, in which case everyone will continue to speed, except for the unlucky sap who gets caught.

EnigmatiCore said...

Sloan, you took his bait and now are defending the indefensible.

Once he pled guilty, he loses the ability to claim innocence. Sorry. It is that cut and dried.

And before you try to say that he was forced by a desire to keep things quiet to offer such a plea, no one seriously buys the idea that he was not in the bathroom cruising for an anonymous gay sexual encounter. And people do not want that to be going on in their public bathrooms, which is why we have crafted laws to prevent it.

Plain and simple, what Craig was doing was indefensible.

So stop defending it.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Oh and hdhouse, just for the record, I’m not in a snit over Craig. I was merely expressing my surprise over the apparent low threshold for arresting someone for wanting to have sex in a restroom stall. I also have to express my surprise that this was such a major issue in airport bathrooms that it warranted having undercover cops to combat it. After all those years of airline traveling, I always thought those grunts and groans coming from the stall next to me was simply due to the lack of fiber in one’s diet. To think someone is getting a hummer in there really adds a new dimension to the term “Hey, I gotta go to the head.”

Maybe I better not say that out loud next time. I might get arrested.

Sloanasaurus said...

. And people do not want that to be going on in their public bathrooms, which is why we have crafted laws to prevent it.

But that is the problem. We don't have laws to prevent it. The cops are forced to use laws intended for other purposes.

I suggest that we propose a law making it illegal for gays to use a bathroom to meet other gays for sex. Do you think this law would be constitutional or enforcable?

Once he pled guilty, he loses the ability to claim innocence. Sorry. It is that cut and dried.

I don't get this statement. What does he lose the ability to claim innocence to?

And FU for claiming I am defending Craig you prick. I am only questioning the circumstances of his plea. Craig should resign along with Barny Frank, Ted Kennedy, Patrick kennedy, Gerry Studds, Bill Clinton, etc... blah blah blah....

MadisonMan said...

Craig needs to resign from the Senate because he has been lying to his constituents for 25 years about who he really is.

sloan, Craig did resign. Maybe you missed the news.

Sloanasaurus said...

sloan, Craig did resign. Maybe you missed the news.

As he should have. He was a lying bastard.

How come Ted Kennedy hasn't resigned?

EnigmatiCore said...

"The cops are forced to use laws intended for other purposes."

So what?

Do you think Al Capone should have gotten off, since the income tax laws that snared him were not intended to bring down murderers?

Should police or the FBI not use any laws not specifically crafted for terrorists in their efforts to fight terrorism?

You use the tools you can. If the tools get abused, then it is up to we the people to change the tools or remove them. In this case, a guy trolling the bathrooms for anonymous sex was busted. You might convince me that we were using resources poorly, but you won't convince me that what the people wanted (namely, those trolling the bathrooms for anonymous gay sex to be busted) wasn't done.

MadisonMan said...

sloan, what crime did Gerry Studds plead guilty to that he should have resigned? How come you include him in your list and not Daniel Crane?

Sloanasaurus said...

You use the tools you can. If the tools get abused, then it is up to we the people to change the tools or remove them. In this case, a guy trolling the bathrooms for anonymous sex was busted.

I agree.

Sloanasaurus said...

sloan, what crime did Gerry Studds plead guilty to that he should have resigned?

Studds was guilty of the same "crime" that Congressman Foley was guilty of - except that Studds actually had gay sex with an under-age page (foley just sent emails).

The difference is that Studd's constituents accepted that as okay and re-elected him. Also, the Democratic party forgave Studds and appointed him to committee chairmanships.

This is a major difference between the constituents of Republicans and constitutents of Democrats.

Foley was out, Studds remained. Craig is out, Barney Frank remains.

MadisonMan said...

sloan, Studds' partner was of legal age where the sex occurred. What crime occurred? None. Representative Crane did the same thing -- how come you don't call on him to have resigned way back when?

I had a hard time with the tense of that last sentence.

hdhouse said...

Sloanasaurus said...
"The Republican party sets higher standards for its elected members because the party's constituents take traditional family values seriously.

In contrast, Democrats do not take traditional family values seriously."

and you wonder why people think you are a freak?

ed said...

I hadn't realized it until you phrased the situation like this, but this police officer sitting in the toilet waiting for an illicit proposition is STRAIGHT out of John Kennedy Toole's excellent satire novel, "A Confederacy of Dunces".

I don't know whether the Minni police read the book and realized that's how you catch these men in the act, or whether it's just a case of life imitating art, but it is an odd coincidence to me.

Sloanasaurus said...

Representative Crane did the same thing -- how come you don't call on him to have resigned way back when?

They both should have resigned. They used their office to pick up Congressional pages. Crane was defeated for re-election. Apparently his constituents thought that having sex with underage pages was not becoming of a Congressman. In contrast, the constituents from Studd's district gave him a standing ovation.

These two cases once again show the differences between the two parties. Democrats only rail on Craig because they know that Craig's constituents care about the issue. I have a hard time believing that Democrats themselves actually care. If it was Senator Kerry trolling the bathroom, there would be no resignation and Kerry would be re-elected, just like Studds.

Sloanasaurus said...

and you wonder why people think you are a freak?

Prove that I am wrong then.

You can't. Thus, the name calling is your only possible response.

Face it. Democrats don't have a problem with family values foibles, which is why they re-elect and give standing ovations to guys like Gerry Studds, Barney Frank, and Bill Clinton.

jeff said...

"Sloan, you took his bait and now are defending the indefensible.

Once he pled guilty, he loses the ability to claim innocence. Sorry. It is that cut and dried."

Nonsense. Of course he plead guilty. He was trying to keep it quiet.

The issue is he didn't break any laws. No one is arguing he didn't have the intent. Of course he did. Republican or Democrat, how does anyone NOT have a issue with someone charged with something BEFORE he actually does it?

MadisonMan said...

Democrats only rail on Craig because they know that Craig's constituents care about the issue.

And how is that reason different from the reason that Republicans are railing on Craig?

Sloanasaurus said...

And how is that reason different from the reason that Republicans are railing on Craig?

I am making the charge that Democrats generally would not have the same issues with Craig being a closet homosexual. Evidence for this is how Democrats treated Barney Frank and Gerry Studds. They re-elected them.

The same is true for our military as well. Most anti-war lefties hate our military and don't give two shits about our soldiers being killed. After all they "volunteered." However, the anti-war types keep bringing it up as a political weapon because they know that we care about the soldiers.

The same is true for Al Gore. I don't give a crap that Gore has a 20,000 sq ft house, uses private jets and burns 10 times the power that an average family does. However, I know that democrats/global warming supporters care about this hypocrisy, thus it's worth bringing up.

peter hoh said...

The airport is NOT in Minneapolis. Those who police the airport are NOT part of the Minneapolis Police Department.

Okay, a little part of the airport is in Minneapolis, and another little part is in Richfield, and the mailing address for the airport is misleading, but the vast majority of the airport lies outside city boundaries, and the airport commission runs its own police department.

Synova said...

If 40 people have been arrested the reputation of the restrooms in that Airport is intact. In fact, the fact that the sting is a sting means that the reputation as a place to hook up is being maintained quite deliberately in order to catch more men.

A greater deterrent would be a non-sting... have security *visible*.

EnigmatiCore said...

"Nonsense. Of course he plead guilty. He was trying to keep it quiet. "

Yes, he was.

And he calculated that it was in his interest to be proven guilty by his own admission than to fight the charges.

He made the calculation that it was in his interests to forfeit the claim of innocence. Ergo, he has no claim of innocence.

Beyond that, are you going to seriously try to argue that he wasn't trolling in a public restroom for an anonymous sexual encounter? Do you think that is something the public has no right to limit?

Sloanasaurus said...

means that the reputation as a place to hook up is being maintained quite deliberately in order to catch more men.

I thought of this as well. However, the goal of the sting operation is to create a counter-reputation for the bathroom, that the bathroom has a reputation for people getting busted rather than for successful hookups.

If Craig fond out about the place through the internet, you would think the police could also mount a disinformation campaign about the place on the internet... You could have anonmous posters claim they "have seen cops lurking about."

From a metrics standpoint, however, a disinformation campaign or posting a cop in plain view does not provide statistics to show superiors that they are doing something about the gay sex in the bathrooms problem.

Busting people in the bathroom does show they are doing something because you can point to actual results - i.e., number of people convicted.

Sloanasaurus said...

Beyond that, are you going to seriously try to argue that he wasn't trolling in a public restroom for an anonymous sexual encounter?

Who was actually trying to argue that... Can you cite something? or did you just decide to post it because you thought it sounded good and you have nothing else to say.

EnigmatiCore said...

I apologize if you weren't arguing that.

Harsh Pencil said...

Saurus,

I disagree that Craig did nothing illegal. Here's the argument.

1) Suppose Craig had slipped a note under the stall to the officer which read "I would like to have stall sex with you. Interested?"

That would be illegal because stall sex is illegal. While it's legal to ask a woman in a bar to go back to your hotel room with you for sex, it's illegal to ask a woman to go back to your hotel room for sex for money. The fact that prostitution is illegal makes the arranging of propositioning of prostitution illegal as well. So the illegality of stall sex makes the propositioning of it illegal.

2) Ok. Craig did not pass a note. Suppose instead that all gay people knew French and it was understood that if you wanted stall sex, you simply asked the neighboring stall, in a low voice, in French. I say, so what, propositioning to commit an illegal act is propositioning to commit an illegal act, regardless of what language you use.

3) So finally, suppose the well understood language is foot tapping versus French. It is still a well understood language. Craig was explicitly propositioning the officer to commit an illegal act as surely as if he passed a note.

That's illegal.

Sloanasaurus said...

Harsh, I would agree with you if stall-sex was the probable outcome if Craig had met someone other than a cop. However, it is my understanding that many of these encounters resulted in people having sex in hotels etc.. and not actually in the stalls. They were only using the stalls to meet anonymously.

I wonder if a better charge against Craig would have been some type of loitering, which is what Craig was really doing. He wasn't taking a dump, he was loitering in the stall, waiting for a hook-up. I am not sure about Minnesota loitering statutes, but I recall that many loitering statues passed by states to keep gangs from meeting have been struck down.

MadisonMan said...

However, it is my understanding that many of these encounters resulted in people having sex in hotels etc.. and not actually in the stalls. They were only using the stalls to meet anonymously.

People meeting en route in an airport aren't going to find a hotel. There just isn't time, especially in former Senator Craig's case. We need Maxine's take on this.

amba said...

Good point. But, strange bedfellows: Mark Steyn agrees that Karsnia's job is ridiculous.

amba said...

one news report claimed that this particular restroom was not on the way from one gate to another, but rather in a more out of the way location. [...] you have to ask yourself why a busy traveler would take the time to seek out this particular bathroom, if not for its more notorious purpose.

Because the the ones "on the way" all have long lines backed up out of them ... oh, wait, that's the ladies' room.

Harsh Pencil said...

Saurus,

What we need here is a credentialed translator. For instance, if I were a prosecutor for this, I would put on the stand an expert to testify that toe tapping and hand under the stall was a well understood code for propositioning stall sex, not going to a hotel room, as I believe it is.

Slate's The Explainer agrees.

See http://www.slate.com/id/2173033/

PatCA said...

I sort of agree that the arrest was ridiculous. If you are going to assign an officer to bathroom patrol, why not have him be uniformed? I would love to see a uniformed cop walking around an airport! Surely that would discourage public sex in a bathroom, which is the only potential offense here.

PatCA said...

I sort of agree that the arrest was ridiculous. If you are going to assign an officer to bathroom patrol, why not have him be uniformed? I would love to see a uniformed cop walking around an airport! Surely that would discourage public sex in a bathroom, which is the only potential offense here.

Sloanasaurus said...

What we need here is a credentialed translator. For instance, if I were a prosecutor for this, I would put on the stand an expert to testify that toe tapping

I agree with you on this. If the desire to have stall sex (rather than to just meet someone for sex somewhere else) is generally what the toe tapping/foot touching means, then it would, no doubt, be lewd conduct.

The cop should have gotten Craig to expose himself, thus making a lewd conduct conviction without a doubt, but maybe he was too wigged out to go that far.

Robert R. said...

I'm reminded of THE WIRE here and the idea of "juking the stats". The statistics for an arrest makes it look like you're "doing something" no matter the effectiveness. It may not matter how effective the method of prevention is, it's harder to quantify and justify.

hdhouse said...

Hey..here's a thought.

Remember when the policeman in Minneapolis asked Craig if he were were communting..i.e. on his way to Washington, ... and it was established that he was a Senator...

I thougt it odd....

then this: "Section 6. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same;..."

OK Con law people....

John Stodder said...

I'm not an economist, but it seems to me that the sting is cost effective. One police officer, carrying out very few arrests, ruins the reputation of this bathroom as a place for sex encounters.

This suggests they must have known they were going to nail a prominent person whose arrest would make national news. Otherwise, how would travelers who don't read local Minneapolis papers know?

It raises the question of whether this undercover operation was, in fact, a Larry Craig investigation rather than a specific bathroom investigation.

If you really want to deter sex in public restrooms, here's what you do: Install monitoring cameras. Have signs posted near those cameras that say, 'This facility is monitored for illegal activity.' Have a uniformed cop or security guard periodically appear at the door of the men's room and take a walk through the facility.

The camera wouldn't even have to work. The uniformed officer could be an actor. But the gay sex would stop.

Instead, they do what they did, which suggest to me that the cops have a different motive than the stated one.

Ann Althouse said...

"Otherwise, how would travelers who don't read local Minneapolis papers know?"

They'd know via those websites that keep people informed of such things.

As for cameras in bathrooms, come on! Talk about a cure worse than the disease.

Sloanasaurus said...

Instead, they do what they did, which suggest to me that the cops have a different motive than the stated one.

I think it is almost impossible that the police targeted Craig specifically. However, considering the high profile of the case, it is still worth questioning the officer about this possibility.

I think the police were using the sting operation as a way to statistically show they were addressing the problem (counting the numbers of arrests). Your idea about the cameras and officers makes sense, however, how can you prove that it is working unless you take the time to generate lots of before and after statistics, which would probably cost more than the sting operation itself.

One of the problems the Bush Administration has had with Iraq (an the left), is that there is no way to prove how bad life would have been if we had not invaded Iraq other than the numbers of soldiers deaths. There are no alternative realities to check.

The Exalted said...

Most anti-war lefties hate our military and don't give two shits about our soldiers being killed

only in your strange little world

Sloanasaurus said...

only in your strange little world

Heh....During Vietnam, anti-war protesters used to spit on returning soldiers. You know... those baby killers. At least back then they were drafted so they were victims....

Read up on it.

MadisonMan said...

I think it is almost impossible that the police targeted Craig specifically. However, considering the high profile of the case, it is still worth questioning the officer about this possibility.

What probably happened is that Senator Craig was caught on CC TV getting off the NW flight from Boise. The Vikings fan who was manning the monitor, obviously aware of the rumors re: Senator Craig and Gays that had run in the Idaho papers -- Minnesotans are NOTHING if not well-read -- automatically shut down all bathrooms on the concourse. At the same time, the musak was subtly changed so that water was heard rushing, surging, gurgling, sprinkling. Simultaneously, a simulated thunderstorm caused rain to splash against all the skylights, and puddles formed outside. Hearing and seeing all this water, the hapless Senator realized the 8 cups of Coffee he had on the plane were ready to leave, and he wandered about until he finally..FINALLY found an open bathroom, where Sgt. Karsnia, like a predatory spider, sat waiting in his web of deceit.

Revenant said...

They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same;..."

Wasn't "disturbing the peace" the actual charge he pled guilty to? That would seem to qualify as a "breach of the peace".

Ann Althouse said...

The phrase has been interpreted to cover all crimes.

blake said...

MadMan,

I think you underestimate the role of the NFL in this conspiracy.

The Exalted said...

sloan,

that was 40 years ago.

there is also some doubt as to the veracity of such a claim.

are you personally aware of this happening? can you recollect a news article describing such an event?

moreover, even if it did happen, what is your point...i could care less what the ward churchills of the 1960's chose to do, as do most people. only people like you need them for demonization purposes.

Steve Barton said...

http://www.sovo.com/2007/4-6/news/localnews/6753.cfm

Sorry about the lack of html.

Same storyline in Atlanta from earlier this year with the chairman of Atlanta's subway system, MARTA, caught at a Hartsfield men's room.

Steve Barton said...

You can search the news reports of the MARTA chairman, but I need to include this: the guy the Atlantan hooked up with had just flown in from...Minneapolis.