I really don't like Barry Bonds. I found his home run chase last summer almost painful, and was happy it was over just to stop hearing about Barry Bonds.
That being said, I am pretty non-plussed by his recent indictment on perjury charges. I really am deeply concerned about going after high-profile people on perjury charges, particularly ones that are associated with cases where no underlying crime was even prosecuted (Martha Stewart and Bill Clinton also come to mind in this category).
The problem is that these cases get prosecuted incredibly selectively. The vast, vast majority of people in Bonds situation never get prosecuted, much less have four year investigations. As a result, it is pretty clear that those who do are selected on some basis having more to do with their profile (Martha Stewart), political animus (Bill Clinton) or just because the person is incredibly unsympathetic (e.g. Bonds). As evidence for this in Bond's case, where are the similar investigations into McGwire or Giambi?
What I find most amazing about cases like this, and the Martha
Stewart thing, is that there's some sort of unstated presupposition
that the state has a right to extract information from people.
Lying to government officials on fishing expeditions isn't just a right; it's a duty.