Green Room

Lance Armstrong and the Fiefdom Epidemic

posted at 9:34 am on August 26, 2012 by

To read the news headlines about Lance Armstrong this week, you’d think his decision to stop fighting doping charges was a transparent admission of guilt.

Armstrong’s public statement tells another story. It appears, rather than finally admitting something he knew to be untrue, what happened is that he bowed to the pressure of an unelected and untouchable organization.

Read the statement for yourself. The key excerpt is here:

At every turn, USADA has played the role of a bully, threatening everyone in its way and challenging the good faith of anyone who questions its motives or its methods, all at U.S. taxpayers’ expense. For the last two months, USADA has endlessly repeated the mantra that there should be a single set of rules, applicable to all, but they have arrogantly refused to practice what they preach. On top of all that, USADA has allegedly made deals with other riders that circumvent their own rules as long as they said I cheated. Many of those riders continue to race today.”

Sour grapes? Maybe, but I have often felt that people went after Lance Armstrong and other exceptional individuals because they simply could not believe that anyone could actually be THAT good and do it fairly.

He didn’t build that, right?

Setting aside the question of his guilt or innocence, Lance Armstrong’s statement touches on the epidemic of quasi-governmental entities and big agencies increasing their reach and impact with significant enforcement power in this country.  This isn’t about USADA and cycling, but about essential freedom.

This should concern us, not just because of what happened to an elite athlete, but because it is emblematic of the behavior of the many untouchable boards and agencies in this country.  Because they operate as nearly autonomous fiefdoms, the traditional checks and balances do not apply.

All over this country, people and businesses, are fighting their own battles with these entities. They are battling for their livelihoods and for their futures.  Often they are battling entities which exert the power relative to their mission in the form of activism. The EPA raiding a guitar factory to check for contraband wood…  The FDA conducting dawn raids on raw milk providers… The USDA not allowing kids to work on their family farm…

Bureaucrats in powerful agencies can — and often do — change history.  If its not worth it to Lance Armstrong, a guy who has plenty of means and celebrity to fight back, imagine how difficult it must be for the small custom guitar manufacturer, raw milk supplier or farmer.

How can a group strip the titles of a seven-time Tour de France winner who was tested before, during, and after every race? How can the EPA create a rule that doesn’t allow a property owner to build on his property? How can the USDA decide not allow a kid to work with machinery on a family farm?

Its simple. Power is power.

This is our government.  Elected or not, these folks work for us. The people of our country should be the ones to make and change history not the unelected and non-transparent agencies or quasi-governmental fiefdoms that have become drunk on their own power.

Remember, if it can happen to Lance Armstrong, it can certainly happen to you.

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They have a lot of willing friends in the press.

HOW WAS HE CAUGHT/BUSTED are common themes.

tomas on August 26, 2012 at 9:57 AM

Armstrong Beats Cancer= Heroic to himself

Armstrong Wins 7 Tour de France bicycle races= Heroic to other cyclists

Armstrong asks the USADA what they’re smoking= priceless

Sabercat2 on August 26, 2012 at 9:58 AM

This should concern us, not just because of what happened to an elite athlete, but because it is emblematic of the behavior of the many untouchable boards and agencies in this country. Because they operate as nearly autonomous fiefdoms, the traditional checks and balances do not apply.

That we have allowed this to happen in our country is very concerning and the only way to reverse it is for every able bodied American to get involved and fight these entities.

Rio Linda Refugee on August 26, 2012 at 10:08 AM

So y’all think that a millionaire elite athlete with a Nike endorsement contract does not possess the financial means to fight back?

Bee Ess.

I don’t think any less of Armstrong if he cheated. I do, however, resent him for not fighting these basterds . . . if he was innocent.

BigAlSouth on August 26, 2012 at 12:22 PM

So y’all think that a millionaire elite athlete with a Nike endorsement contract does not possess the financial means to fight back?

Bee Ess.

I don’t think any less of Armstrong if he cheated. I do, however, resent him for not fighting these basterds . . . if he was innocent.

BigAlSouth on August 26, 2012 at 12:22 PM
With all due respect it is not about financial resourdes. It is about the time and energy it takes to be involved in a never-ending war. And trust me it would be never ending. Lokk at the Idaho family and the EPA, even after the EPA lost in court the war goes on. You have a hard time fighting when the opposition has unlimited resources and manpower. The only way to beat these agencies is for us all to come together so that we match the power and manpower. Press your elected officials to stop the madness

JKotthoff on August 26, 2012 at 12:56 PM

When I grow up, I want to beat Lance Armstrong.

Pablo on August 26, 2012 at 1:28 PM

Time (well, long past time) to stop funding the USADA.

sadatoni on August 26, 2012 at 1:36 PM

‘American exceptionalism’ — das ist VERBOTEN !!!

FlatFoot on August 26, 2012 at 2:46 PM

I’m sure that Alexis de Tocqueville would be very dejected to see his prediction come true.

SteveThomas on August 26, 2012 at 4:08 PM

This should concern us, not just because of what happened to an elite athlete, but because it is emblematic of the behavior of the many untouchable boards and agencies in this country. Because they operate as nearly autonomous fiefdoms, the traditional checks and balances do not apply.

-HE has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
-HE has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harrass our People, and eat out their Substance.
-FOR depriving us, in many Cases, of the Benefits of Trial by Jury United States Declaration of Independence

Amendment X on August 26, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Amendment X on August 26, 2012 at 6:36 PM

Amen.

GWB on August 26, 2012 at 9:08 PM

Any way you slice it, Armstrong is an amazing cyclist and when you look at some of his physiological stats like VO2 max, he has been blessed with an amazing capacity for aerobic endurance that far outstrips most other endurance athletes.

Imrahil on August 26, 2012 at 9:13 PM

From his first TDF victory the French press were sneaking in his trash cans looking for evidence, After he won #1 the noise from the French got much louder. Yet with all of the innuendos and testing Lance never got caught. Before they developed a test for EPO the UCI was banning riders if their blood counts were too high. Thats how they got Marco Pantani. Yet Lance’s blood counts never were in violation and he was never so much as warned. If his blood counts were high and not too high the French would have splashed it all over page one. I can understand his frustration.

iam7545r on August 26, 2012 at 10:06 PM

All of the complaints the founding fathers had against king George are writ large again against big govt.

AH_C on August 27, 2012 at 12:27 AM

So y’all think that a millionaire elite athlete with a Nike endorsement contract does not possess the financial means to fight back?

Bee Ess.

I don’t think any less of Armstrong if he cheated. I do, however, resent him for not fighting these basterds . . . if he was innocent.

BigAlSouth on August 26, 2012 at 12:22 PM

This. If you don’t fight, you are either guilty or stupid.

The attitude of just giving up is what has created this system they use against us all.

Spliff Menendez on August 27, 2012 at 12:09 PM

How can a group strip the titles of a seven-time Tour de France winner who was tested before, during, and after every race?

Read the rules. Testing is just one of eight ways.

This should concern us, not just because of what happened to an elite athlete, but because it is emblematic of the behavior of the many untouchable boards and agencies in this country. Because they operate as nearly autonomous fiefdoms, the traditional checks and balances do not apply.

He was never prevented from contesting the evidence or confronting his accusers. He was afforded due process and elected to give in rather than contest the charges. Innocent people don’t do that if the truth is important to them.

What ‘checks and balances’ are you referring to? The truth caught up with Lance. Is cheating ok with you? Do rules matter or is it ok as long as you don’t get caught?

lexhamfox on August 27, 2012 at 5:06 PM

lexhamfox

spoken like someone who has never done anything….if you have ever participated in even one of these “legal” disasters, you know exactly why (after maybe his 10th legal battle which occurred even though he has never, in 500 blood tests, failed) Lance would just flip ‘em the finger and go about his life….because that is what they are after, his LIFE.
The only truth to catch up with Lance is unappointed, lacking rudimentary evidence, uncontrollable and unanswerable to anyone ‘cept God Almighty, bureaucrats
You sir, are an idiot…………..remember that next time you wet your bed….
If it makes you feel better, correct my spelling….

colonelkurtz on August 27, 2012 at 6:12 PM

colonelkurtz on August 27, 2012 at 6:12 PM

I have been involved in all kinds of litigation like this and no firm I have ever worked for has ever walked away from a serious allegation either from a regulatory body, disgruntled employees, or competition.

Sworn testimony from former USPS team members and managers is more than ‘rudimentary evidence.’

lexhamfox on August 27, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Anybody involved in this kid of crap knows that the Feds didn’t pursue their prosecution because they thought the witnesses were incredibly flakey and that they would be perceived as such by any jury…so the fact USADA has people willing to testify doesn’t mean squat, because it isn’t a trial, it’s a forgone conclusion. The fact that they (USADA) will let some of these “witnesses” escape punishment by testifying against Lance shows you what a cluster jerk this is……..who are we gonna believe, the 500 blood tests (which you just seem to forget all about)and our lying eyes or somebody bought and paid for as witnesses?????
I would bet dollars to donuts that NONE of those “firms” (um…Lance is an individual, NOT a “firm”) you saw ever faced a continuous series of lawsuits where evidence is ignored and the whole proceedings are started again as soon as the last proceeding ends……you have a very bizarre idea of justice, but then again, with the right inducements, I can find 10 people that swear they saw you and the neighbors goat…well, you get the idea
Something else you should have learned long ago; 10 people telling a lie, doesn’t make it the truth (well, it does if you’re a liberal)

colonelkurtz on August 27, 2012 at 8:08 PM

One other thing;

the Feds didn’t prosecute Lance because ALL they had were the flakey witnesses. If they would’ve had ANY other blood evidence, any shred of EPO etc, they would have gone after him. If the FEDs didn’t have the evidence, USADA doesn’t have it either……End of game, end of story.

colonelkurtz on August 27, 2012 at 8:13 PM