A while back (December 2007), I discussed the case of U.S. Marine Corps veteran Mark R. Walker, who was slapped with a rather tenuous charge of false reporting to authorities in connection with a flip comment he made to a bank teller about the contents of a package he was carrying. I don't recall anyone ever producing a good explanation of why it's a bank teller's business what a customer is taking to the post office. And I don't recall anyone following up with coverage of the trial or sentence.
That would be because there was no trial or sentence. I bumped into Mr. Walker in town the other day. (He was carrying a big backpack. I didn't even think to ask what was in it.) He says that when the whole fracas went down, he was at first inclined to go with the flow, plead, whatever. But when he realized the authorities wanted to make some sort of example on him, Walker took one simple action: he said he'd call his lawyer. That simple assertion of a basic right was all it took to make the authorities drip their flimsy homeland-hysteria case.
Walker was among the dozens laid off from Gehl last October. He plans to head up to Canada for university. And thanks to the GI Bill, you and I will fund his studies to become a planetary geologist. That's reasonable compensation for service to one's country. Now if we could just arrange compensation for treating a guy like a menace to society.
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