The United States of America has dismissed all criminal charges against Ben Kuehne. The case should never have been brought. It is a farce, a disgrace, and something that should deeply concern every freedom loving person in America. In short, the government indicted Mr. Kuehne for conduct that was not criminal and which they should have known was not criminal. Mr. Kuehne spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of his money defending himself against this nonsense. He had to endure personal humiliation amongst his colleagues. He is one of the finest attorneys in Miami but his name will forever be associated with overzealous prosecutorial tactics.
But what I find ironic and almost humorous is the reaction of Mr. Kuehne and his colleagues. Some have used the Thanksgiving holiday to state that Mr. Kuehne should be especially thankful. Kuehne himself claims to be thankful. Others have offered "congratulations" to Mr. Kuehne, as if this were some sort of professional milestone. But I dissent. Why should Kuehne be grateful? Being thankful has a very definite meaning. You are thankful because you have received something you do not believe you deserve. If I am walking into a building and someone holds open a door for me, I say thank you because they had no obligation to do it. Likewise, if someone buys me a dinner as a gift, I am grateful because I am the beneficiary of someone else's largesse that was not earned. But if someone pays me back money I am owed I am not grateful for they had a duty to do so. Mr. Kuehne is thankful for the support his friends gave to him but in no way should he be generally grateful other than feeling thankful that someone has stopped beating him over the head. The government's dismissal is basically an admission that they never should have brought this case to begin with. In other words, we indicted you, almost ruined your life, put you through emotional hell, embarrassed you in front of your colleagues, but now, on second thought, we realized it was all a misunderstanding. Sorry! To which I say, bullshit! Now is not time to sit around and pat each other on the back and offer congratulatory missives and talk about what a great guy Ben is and how thankful he should be in this holiday season.
Recently, Judge Gold ordered the government to pay attorney fees to a doctor who was unjustly prosecuted. Without knowing that much about the procedural vehicle to turn the tables on the government, Kuehne owes it to himself to file a motion under the Hyde Amendment to recover his attorney fees and costs because of their pursuing this case against him. I cannot believe this was done in good faith. Citizens must have redress against the government when they are victims of prosecutorial abuse. I remember an old adage: you can beat the rap but you can't beat the ride. Well, you should be able to beat the ride, especially when the government dragged you onto the train wreck against your will. It is time for Mr. Kuehne to go on the offensive. There should be a defense fund to raise money for him to fight back. I say damn the government, time to Lock and Load, at least within a legal context.