Did you know the Department of Justice has the whale police?  I didn’t until I read this story called “Corzine Steals Billions Sans Charges, Errant Whale Watcher Faces Prison.”  Instead of prosecuting the people who stole money from MF Global investors or the  people in the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol Firearms and Tobacco who approved and carried out the Fast & Furious plan to violate federal criminal law and sell guns to the Mexican drug cartels, the DOJ is wasting taxpayer dollars prosecuting a woman investigated for harassing whales.  Yes, really.

“marine biologist and whale watching ship captain Nancy Black faces 20 years in prison, not for ‘harassing’ whales (which believe it or not is a crime), but because she has been charged with lying to Justice Department prosecutors investing allegations that some of her crew members whistled at a whale to keep it hanging around their boats. . . . Section 1001 charges are both entirely discretionary and subsidiary to any primary charges, making every indictment an act of selective prosecution. In fact, Section 1001 prosecutions are so selective that primary charges are not even necessary, meaning you can go to jail even if there is no underlying crime. Ask Martha Stewart about that.”

Title 18, Section 1001(a) of the United States Code states:

“whoever, in any matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully—

(1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact;

(2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or

(3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry;

shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 5 years or, if the offense involves international or domestic terrorism (as defined in section 2331), imprisoned not more than 8 years, or both.”

The reference above to Martha Stewart refers to the fact she was investigated for possible insider trading, but was never charged with that crime.  Instead, she was charged and convicted of the felony of lying to federal agents.