What is Unclear About 18 USC 4 (Misprision of a Felony) The Duties of Law and Why

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What Exactly is Unclear in 18 USC 4  and the Social Imperative For It and Related Statutes?

by Jim Craven/Omahkohkiaaiipoyii

18 U.S. Code § 4 – Misprision of felony

Current through Pub. L. 113-121. (See Public Laws for the current Congress.)
Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.
“Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” Sir Walter Scott
The U.S. Constitution’s Tacit or Explicit Fundamental Reasons, Imperatives and Logic the “Supreme Law” over U.S Law and the Legal System  
Throughout all of human history, the few have ruled the many, through a succession of modes of production within and driving wider social formations. Those few who ruled the many, no matter how well armed ruthless they and their minions, they knew they were outnumbered. They also knew well that the masses, when they reach the point where even death is better than what they are forced to endure, can be a powerful and vengeance-driven force with horrible deaths awaiting them and their families.

Further, they had ruins all around them, including some kinds of legal codes they built upon,  decaying images of once-powerful rulers and dynasties, to remind them that all things and empires must pass; but from what to what? So how to exploit those vast masses, and, even better yet for control, get them to accept their lot and even accept the rationales and pretexts of their rulers for the wars of empire in which they are fodder, and also to accept their lot as part of the “Plan” of some deity, force or doctrine they have come to accept and pass on to their young.
The first social contracts and legal codes  in recorded history, formal as well as tacit, were between and within among the first human hunter gatherer bands. The most powerful would simply offer a formal or tacit “social contract” say and demonstrating to each person covered by the “Law” power of life and death, over anyone who would challenge them, while others watched. The “social contract”, ratified into some kind of code or law of the band governing all members–and the rulers by codes of honor they were forced to accept to rule, was simply:
“Obey (me and my minions)  and your “consideration rendered” will be that  you, your family and friends may live at my discretion and will,  but you will not if you disobey for sure;  In return, you and your loved ones live -as  “consideration given. And that kind of  crude, primitive and unconscionable  “social contract” between the rulers and ruled  is still the dominant form and practice, including on the global level between nation-states (“Obey US, destined to lead the world, most powerful to back it up,  or we will do “regime change” and a lot worse to you and your People”)
We know from all of human history, even with groups claiming no obedience to any law but their own personal laws, have laws and codes of conduct to prevent the implosion of the group into Darwin Day or something like “Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome” (where they also had law–“break a deal,face the wheel”)
In any system of law, the most fundamental questions for openers are: Law as originated and ratified by whom?; On what basis of authority, reason and evidence?; Who is really being served and who is not and why?; Was the law written specifically so that one class could rule others through the law and be exempt from the very laws imposed on those they rule?; Did those who wrote and ratified the law do so so that they would not even have to break the law imposed on others covertly? Can any legal system, of any kind, survive if there is not real,  and really equal, protection, application, accountability for all, without fear or favor to any person or group? Can any “in-between-solution” between law for the rule of the few and law equally applied to all without fear or favor? Can there ever be something in-between the rule of law and the rule of the ruthless even through the illusion of  the existence and practice of  “The Law” ?
Resources of any society required for its survival expanded reproduction are scarce and often threatened from within or without. Law enforcement cannot be everywhere and prevent crimes, or even deal with them after they have occurred. This means that the vast majority of people must be able to read, understand, accept, and obey, even when not likely to be caught, so that scarce resources can be used where most needed. But why would people, if not likely to be caught, nonetheless try to actually read and understand, let alone obey, law and institutions they think are the real lawless ones; breaking the very laws they are charged with enforcing? Why would a Jew go to a Nazi court to complain about violations of the Weimar Constitution that was never formally repealed?
Further, the requirement under 18 USC 4 does not apply to reporting Torts (disputes between named persons and groups not having implications on lives and liberty of persons,  social order and stability) or aiding in the litigation of Torts; only crimes. Crimes are offenses against all of society not just named persons. This means that failure to report crimes, is extremely serious, on real people, in real ways, as well as socially on so many levels:
1) Ongoing crimes can well be, and often are, continuations and cover-ups of previous crimes and thus past as well as present, and of course future, crimes go on and/or undiscovered and their victims go on harmed, unprotected, vulnerable to more of the same and without access to legal remedies;
2) In a system based on case law and precedent, crimes unreported, perjury and obstruction of justice not exposed and prosecuted, they also leave a precedent trail that acts like FTD Flowers or STDs: “The gift that keeps on giving”–to future criminals. This allows injustices and crimes not only to go on unexposed and unreported, creating more victims in the future, but they are used further as “authority”, “precedent”, “
proof of due process” having been received,  to challenge anyone taking 18 USC 4 seriously. There are also implications in that unchallenged precedents planted into the evolving law, also shape the content and application of new law so as not to contradict now “precedent”.
3) Those who do crimes, with others involved, even after the fact recruitment, become hostages to the actions and temperaments of the others: “I do down, you all go down with me” is the tacit, but seldom openly stated,  understanding and contract between co-conspirators in crimes. And conspiracies are only as strong as their weakest and most unstable or most vulnerable links; and the criminals know this well. They rely on it themselves in gang wars. So unreported crimes not only cover-up and fail to bring to exposure past and current crimes against real people, but they actually encourage and make imperative new crimes to cover-up, keep present crimes away from discovery stay out of jail and worse.
4)  Note the key language of the law: Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felonycognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both. The logic is clear:
a) Crimes are offenses against life and liberty of persons and social order and stability, they can only continue and cause more crimes if left unreported by those with knowledge they have been committed;
b) If unreported crimes can only or likely beget more of the same as well as new derivative crimes, then
Ergo: c) Those who willingly fail to report crimes they have knowledge of, become accomplices after the fact in cover-up and obstruction of justice for an existing crime left unaddressed, but tacit or willing accomplices before the fact for the crimes committed by those they failed to due their legal duty to report; reasoning that any reasonable and prudent person knows or is expected to know under law.
From the conclusion to this syllogism, we get the derivative constructs, terms, realities and mandates:
Reality and Imperative  A. Crimes unreported obstruct justice per se and can only beget new crimes, as well as failure to expose and bring to accountability past and present crimes; this is  even if not only cover-ups in the future thus putting more future victims likely and in present danger. This is the basis for the statute as well as its provisions that deal with and make imperative, exigent circumstances, reporting and dealing with that which has been reported.
Simple: Anyone whose loved one a victim of a crime would not appreciate, and more than that, a witness not reporting it (let alone trying to stop it or call someone who could) ASAP, not being willing to report or testify or whatever because “it is not of my business”–it is– or perhaps just did not like and want to help in any way the victim because of some negative perceptions about the victim by the witness.
Reality and Imperative  B. Reality A implies Reality B:  A duty to act as “soon as possible” (partly subjective to allow for need for caution), not failing to report as a tactic or weapon to be used later when convenient) but as soon as possible.
Because if present and future crimes are likely, present action ASAP is logically and practically imperative as delay means more suffering the longer the delay in reporting but also in prosecution.  This also means that one cannot hold on to having knowledge of a crime for purposes of blackmail, extortion, a trump card or whatever rand the ASAP duty may be used and turned against the complainant later.
But this only a necessary but not sufficient condition of addressing past and present crime and preventing crime.  Reality B is also the basis of some subjectivity allowed  what  “having knowledge” of the commission of a crime means.  Hearsay is not evidence of a crime, and even someone’s bragging could be just that–bragging and fantasy. But all of that is what often leads to the discovery of what is real evidence of a crime and prevention of  future crimes as well as discovery and prosecution of past and present ones. Thus:
Reality and Imperative C.  Realities A and B imply and demand that the term “knowledge of” the actual commission of a felony be somewhat somewhat subjective and vague but nonetheless operationally definable and accountable for all parties.
Does the person know the difference between a felony and misdemeanor?; Is this direct knowledge and observation or passing on rumors?; Did the witness to crime try to cross-check and vet knowledge with others before reporting? etc) One cannot, under the law, claim fear of reprisals for doing duty under 18 USC 4 and 73 because felonies mean others could well be in harms way in the present or future, as well a present victims left unprotected and open to more of what they have endured so far.
Reality and Imperative D:  Realities A, B and C, coupled not only with the serious consequences of not reporting alleged felonies, but on those falsely alleged to have committed a felony, all those filing under 18 USC 4 must be fully accountable in law, and be made so, for any false statements, false allegations, attempt to misuse the law and law enforcement for personal agenda or reprisals.
Reality and Imperative  E. Realities and Imperatives  A, B, C and D  lead to Reality and Imperative  E:  That those who fail the duties of  18 USC 4 and 73 (Obstruction of Justice), under whatever banner or due to whatever fears, are putting themselves, as members of a whole society in danger (legal accountability on those reporting as well as those reported on) as well as others.
Further, when crimes go unreported, it also signals the victims that they can be continually victimized with impunity and sends a green light for more abuse (e.g. green light to Saddam Hussein given by April Glaspie to go to war against Kuwait). It gives a green light to crimes and practices being repeated as they were successful and not prosecuted.
Reality and Imperative F : Realities and Imperatives of A, B, C, D, E, lead to Reality and Imperative  F: Law enforcement and the whole Justice, legislative and Executive  systems have to perceived by the masses to be clean, able and willing to take and investigate credible  complaints without fear or favor to the complainant or person alleged to have committed a felony.
People reporting crime will not go to law enforcement officers imperious to or only selectively investigating, crime or even committing serious violations of the laws they are charged with investigation and enforcing.
They will be deterred from duties under law, and even encouraged to join in, when judges and justices, legislators, members of the executive are perceived to be serially violating the same laws they are charged with making others accountable to. The same applies with respect to corrupt cops who deter any submissions that might give them unwanted paperwork or attention to some being favored by those they do not favor. The same applies when judges are perceived as political hacks, ideologues, connected, megalomaniacal, narcissistic and arbitrary and capricious in their rulings.
What sensible Jew, or Sinti Roma in Germany in 1935 would go to a Nazi court to seek justice and redress for anything let alone to complain about loud marching songs played on Nazi radio by his Storm Trooper  neighbor? In so many cases in the U.S. legal system, instead of “perp walks” on TV, we find out it is more like certain perps walk.
Reality and Imperative G: Realities and Imperatives A thru F lead to the reality that 18 USC can be used to commit injustices and obstruct justice in the name of seeking Justice. Some who call themselves and are called by others “Whistle-blowers” are really snitches. This has been called the “Mandatory Snitch Law”.  But here is the difference between a snitch and whistleblower in law and practice and part of the statute aims at this fundamental difference as well as social attitudes about snitching.
A snitch is someone who is trying to save his/her own skin and/or feed his/her greed and psychological needs and is prepared to betray and even induce more crime as a CI to help take freedom away  former associates and even professed love ones, covertly and unaccountable as much as possible and his/her motives are strictly personal and not about any kind of obedience to the law or social responsibility. They sell out others to save their own skins and for personal protection, perks and income. A snitch uses some small item in a law to escaoe accountability and  undermine the very law he or she is alleging violations of  by others,  to save skin.
The true whistleblower on the other hand, risks his or her skin (along with career, income, family and even life) to save, not sell-out, others. The true whistleblower is exposed even if kept anonymous from what is being sent to law enforcement. Those who do reprisals, like those who start wars, never do so without contrived and piling-on pretexts to see what will stick. The whistleblower risks total  blacklisting by “colleagues” if for no other reason than his/her courage exposes, defines and measures their cowardice and opportunism as well as possible violations of 18 USC 4 for not reporting the same crimes that they also witnessed.
It is all very dialectical. As hot defines, exposes and measures cold–and vice-versa: courage defines, exposes  measures, indicts and reveals motives of cowardice as: principle does the same with unprincipled; lawful does the same with unlawful; truth does the same with lie and perjury; self-sacrifice does the same with opportunism; justice does the same with injustice; democracy does the same with plutocracy and oligarchy; due diligence does the same lack of due diligence; decency and compassion do the same with psychopathy and sociopathy; etc.
Who is it that says the very same laws I invoke for my own protection and that of my loved ones, that I demand others obey, are not meant for me to obey? What kind of person says that God’s grace, or some entity, spirit, or just bold-face  assertion, that they laws and constraints governing others are not for me and my special kind? Psychopaths, Sociopaths and criminals.
Reality and Imperative H:  Realities and Imperatives A thru G  make Reality and imperative H: The reporting and stopping of felonies about which one has knowledge is exigent and time-sensitive to stop or mitigate further crimes and real harm to real people as well as all of society. The standing, reputation, conduct, staffing and credibility of the justice system are critical factors to aid and assist justice rather than obstruct it or do crimes themselves.
When there is no redress in the Justice system, when whistleblowers are vilified and denied justice, then the spirit, intent, reasons for, and horrible consequences of not acting according to 18 USC 4 and 73 demand going public as did Snowden and so many others; because if those who are charged with investigating and prosecuting felonies brought to their intention (even by bad people with bad motives) under 18 USC 4 and 73, then they become the ones doing felonies including 18 USC 4 and 73, they become  to do crimes and the ones to do cover-ups  of their own failures to investigate crimes and cover-ups of others and they become both the criminals and those charged with dealing with and suppressing  complaints against themselves.
Conclusion:
No matter how we might feel about the system and how it is working and for whom it is working, where some torts are also crimes (e.g.in the context of public employment), whatever one feels about law enforcement and how and for whom they work (monitor them also for compliance with 18 USC 4 and 73 which also makes their jobs safer); whatever one feels about the “Justice” system (“Just Us”–Rich and powerful folk) failure to try to stop real harm to real people, even if it makes one sick to even be in the same room or on the same planet with some of them, those who profess to be “progressive” have to walk their talk or get out of the way; real people are being harmed in real ways and some can stop it and won’t.
The duties under 18 USC 4 and 73 are clear and binding on everyone just as is the U.S. Constitution, the Supreme (what is unclear about what that word means?) law of the land that trumps all other laws, contracts, management “respect codes”, Unions refusing to do their duty preserve acquired relationships with those with whom they bargain or by whom they have been captured and co-opted; they apply especially to those who carry badges and guns and thus authority and power the ordinary citizens do not have; they deserve special attention if they serially break the very laws they are being paid to enforce and see prosecuted.
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About jimcraven10

About jimcraven10 1. Citizenship: Blackfoot, U.S. and Canadian; 2. Position: tenured Professor of Economics and Geography; Dept. Head, Economics; 3. Teaching, Consulting and Research experience: approx 40 + years all levels high school to post-doctoral U.S. Canada, Europe, China, India, Puerto Rico and parts of E. Asia; 4. Work past and present: U.S. Army 1963-66; Member: Veterans for Peace; former VVAW; Veterans for 9-11 Truth; Scholars for 9-11 Truth; Pilots for 9-11 Truth; World Association for Political Economy; Editorial Board International Critical Thought; 4.. U.S. Commercial-Instrument Pilot ; FAA Licensed Ground Instructor (Basic, Advanced, Instrument and Simulators); 5. Research Areas and Publications: International law (on genocide, rights of nations, war and war crimes); Imperialism (nature, history, logic, trajectories, mechanisms and effects); Economic Geography (time and space modeling in political economy; globalization--logic and effects; Political Economy and Geography of Imperialism); Indigenous versus non-Indigenous Law; Political Economy of Socialism and Socialist Construction; 6. Member, Editorial Board, "International Critical Thought" published by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences; International Advisory Board and Columnist 4th Media Group, http://www.4thMedia.org (Beijing); 7. Other Websites publications at http://www.aradicalblackfoot.blogspot.com; wwwthesixthestate.blogspot.com;https://jimcraven10.wordpress.com; 8.Biography available in: Marquis Who’s Who: in the World (16th-18th; 20th; 22nd -31st (2014) Editions); Who’s Who in America (51st-61st;63rd-68th(2014) Editions); Who’s Who in the West (24th- 27th Editions);Who’s Who in Science and Engineering (3rd to 6th, 8th, 11th (2011-2012) Editions); Who’s Who in Finance and Industry (29th to 37th Editions); Who’s Who in American Education (6th Edition). ------------------- There are times when you have to obey a call which is the highest of all, i.e. the voice of conscience even though such obedience may cost many a bitter tear, and even more, separation from friends, from family, from the state, to which you may belong, from all that you have held as dear as life itself. For this obedience is the law of our being. ~ Mahatma Gandhi
This entry was posted in Aboriginal Law, Academia and Academics, Academia as Fraud, AMERICAN HUBRIS AND CULTURE, CLARK COLLEGE: PUBLIC DOCUMENTS ON SERIOUS ISSUES, Conspiracy against Rights and under Color of Law, Corruption and Intrigue in Government, CORRUPTION IN "HIGHER" EDUCATION, courage and treachery in government, cross-cultural understanding, ELITES AND NEW WORLD ORDER, Faces of Fascism, Fascism in America, Imperial Hypocrisy and Intrigue, Legal System Corruption, Nuremberg Precedents, On Leadership, Psychopathic Management, Psychopaths in Management, Whistleblowers. Bookmark the permalink.

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