. . . In light of all of the "cop" shows being televised as "programing," I thought it might be a good thing to provide this reminder about interactions with cops. Think about what the U.S. Supreme Court has said the next time you hear, "Well if you have nothing to hide . . ." What do you think about the words of the highest court? U.S. Supreme Court -- Ullmann v. United States, 350 U.S. 422, 426-428 (1956) *Too many, even those who should be better advised, view this privilege as a shelter for wrongdoers. They too readily assume that those who invoke it are either guilty of crime or commit perjury in claiming the privilege. [Footnote 2] Such a view does scant honor [350 U. S. 427] to the patriots who sponsored the Bill of Rights as a condition to acceptance of the Constitution by the ratifying States. The Founders of the Nation were not naive or disregardful of the interests of justice. The difference between them and those who deem the privilege an obstruction to due inquiry has been appropriately indicated by Chief Judge Magruder: "Our forefathers, when they wrote this provision into the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, had in mind a lot of history which has been largely forgotten today. See VIII Wigmore on Evidence (3d ed.1940) § 2250 et seq.; Morgan, The Privilege Against Self-Incrimination, 34 Minn.L.Rev. 1 (1949). They made a judgment and expressed it in our fundamental law, that it were better for an occasional crime to go unpunished than that the prosecution should be free to build up a criminal case, in whole or in part, with the assistance of enforced disclosures by the accused. The privilege against self-incrimination serves as a protection to the innocent, as well as to the guilty, and we have been admonished that it should be given a liberal application. Hoffman v. United States, . . . 341 U. S. 479, 341 U. S. 486. . . . If it be thought that the privilege is outmoded in the conditions of this modern [350 U. S. 428] age, then the thing to do is to take it out of the Constitution, not to whittle it down by the subtle encroachments of judicial opinion." Ohio v. Reiner, 532 U.S. 17 (2001) The Fifth Amendment provides that [n]o person . . . shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself. U. S. Const., Amdt. 5. . . . this privilege not only extends to answers that would in themselves support a conviction . . . but likewise embraces those [answers] which would furnish a link in the chain of evidence needed to prosecute the claimant. Hoffman v. United States, 341 U.S. 479 (1951), at 486. t need only be evident from the implications of the question, in the setting in which it is asked, that a responsive answer to the question or an explanation of why it cannot be answered might be dangerous because injurious disclosure could result. Hoffman v. United States, 341 U.S. 479 (1951), at 486487. We have held that the privileges protection extends only to witnesses who have reasonable cause to apprehend danger from a direct answer. Hoffman v. United States, 341 U.S. 479 (1951), at 486. That inquiry is for the court; the witness assertion does not by itself establish the risk of incrimination. Ibid. A danger of imaginary and unsubstantial character will not suffice. Mason v. United States, 244 U. S. 362, 366 (1917). But WE HAVE NEVER HELD, as the Supreme Court of Ohio did, THAT THE PRIVILEGE IS UNAVAILABLE TO THOSE WHO CLAIM INNOCENCE. To the contrary, we have emphasized that one of the Fifth Amendments basic functions is to protect innocent men who otherwise might be ensnared by ambiguous circumstances. [emphasis added] Grunewald v. United States, 353 U. S. 391, 421 (1957) (quoting Slochower v. Board of Higher Ed. of New York City, 350 U. S. 551, 557558 (1956)) In Grunewald, we recognized that truthful responses of an innocent witness, as well as those of a wrongdoer, may provide the government with incriminating evidence from the speakers own mouth. Grunewald v. United States, 353 U. S. 391, at 421422. The only prudent response to any question from a cop: Before I can make a response to any of your questions, Do you have the authority to provide me, in writing, complete and total immunity from prosecution, in any manner whatsoever, for any communication I provide to you? " If the cops answer is NO, the interview is thereby terminated by the cop. . . .