Tag Archives: Witchunt2010

The ‘Art’ of Deception, NSA style

I’ve written previously, & voluminously, on the concept of extra-legal harassment & how these tactics are used against minority activists – myself included. Even before Witchunt 2010, I had seen instances of mysterious waves of black propaganda, false-flagging, planted rumours… a certain pattern that would begin at a fairly well-defined spot and play out with a certain rhythm to it. Nothing one could pin down, explicitly: traces of traces. But, I’m “on the spectrum,” as the au courant phrase has it, and my autistic gift is pattern recognition. I could smell the pattern, and it was a pattern repeating itself…

Comes today Glenn Greenwald’s piece today in The Intercept, exposing the raw truth of spy agency disinfo, black propaganda, false flagging, and extra-legal info-harassment. It’s based on a detailed slide deck from GCHQ, but anyone who doubts the NSA is balls-deep in the same shit is living a fantasy version of reality.  The most recent source document is 50 pages of… well, read it. Seriously. Here’s the link – take 10 minutes, and flip through it:

The Art of Deception: Training for a New Generation of Online Covert Operations

Next, flip back through this piece I published in 2600 Magazine, back in 2012, entitled “Extra-Legal Harassment,” if I may ask for a bit more of your time investment:

Extra-Legal Harassment (extralegal.baneki.nu)

I’m tempted to quote, side-by-side, from each article – making painfully explicit the reality underlying things: the same tactics I could sense, or impute, or see the pattern of for years – the same tactics used against me, most viciously during Witchunt 2010 – are a routine, standard, well-funded, widely-deployed part of the toolset used by rogue military spy agencies with billion-dollar budgets to harass, intimidate, hinder, demoralise targeted activists.

This is real. ὅπερ ἔδει δεῖξαι

Only those who have been targeted by such a campaign can really understand the impact. Four years later, the months-long orgy of Fed-sponsored smears, false flags, black rumours, and disinformation threads still resonates in my daily life – as it was intended to do. It drove away friends, scared off allies, and left a lingering sense of… something. A shit-bomb, thrown into the middle of one’s life. The scent of it is impossible to eliminate fully. It becomes a part of one’s reality.

And more: every day, I lead my life not knowing if a SWAT team is going to come back to our home, smash my life physically to pieces again, and lock me back in solitary confinement… because I continue to write about these disgusting black propaganda tactics, because I continue to stand up against the system that developed and deploys them against activists, and because I continue my work as an activist in both data privacy and cross-species symbiosis. Because, when it became clear in 2009/2010 that I was “one of those people” – someone willing and able to shine a small but intense spotlight on these illegal tactics used to target dissidents by the U.S. Feds – they sent physical violence against me (and a bought-and-paid for stooge/snitch sent to set me up): Nineteen heavily-armed SWAT assault officers.

Nineteen.

Full-auto weapons. Body armour. This is what happens when you “use your words” to shine a light on the illegality of the U.S. spy regime. They didn’t kill me – some have bemoaned (anonymously) since that they didn’t – but they destroyed my life. Abducted my family. Murdered some of them, mutilated the rest. Words have power. In this case, the power to cause a spy regime gone rogue to send a squadron of military-ops LEO goons to physically abduct me & physically isolate me in a tiny prison cell, cut off from all outside access to the world.

What’s stopping them from doing it to me again? Is there another rollicking SWAT-goon raid scheduled for tomorrow morning, to abduct me again? Will they “accidentally” pull a trigger on me, this time? Will someone drop a “weapon” in my home when nobody’s looking, and try to bring a decades-long criminal charge against me – or just shoot me because I was “armed?” What’s stopping them, really?

It’s not consequences that result from being caught red-handed breaking the law. There are none. The goons who did this to my family & I in 2010 haven’t faced a single legal consequence. Nobody has been fired. Nobody’s been demoted. And certainly nobody’s been charged for their crimes & sent to prison. Indeed, when I wrote an article suggesting that prosecutors who break the law go to prison, I was again subjected to a short wave of threats and intimidation by the Feds – just a few months ago.

What has stopped them, so far anyway, is two things. First, there’s some decent people in these evil bureaucracies. Some people who see this kind of rage-driven campaign against a solitary political dissident and, perhaps, think “that shouldn’t be happening in America… not against anyone.” Some people who see a certain line, and won’t cross it – even if, previously, they flirted with far worse.

Second, the real cheerleaders for these campaigns against dissidents fear exposure. They fear their names being published, their seedy, illegal acts being posted publicly for the world to see. They fear, in an irony too deep to capture in words, the very sort of publicity & public lynch-mobbing that they’ve so casually unleashed on who-knows-how-many targeted dissidents, in the past. But it makes a certain sense: they know how powerful the tools are. They use them every day. What if someone turns the tables on them? How would they like to be on the receiving end of it? They turn tail and run.

Like all bullies, they love throwing punches but when they take a bump in the face it’s all tears and cry-mommy-stop.

Well here’s the thing. When it comes to Witchunt 2010, I don’t do black propaganda. I don’t have to. I just do facts. The facts of who did what, back then, are damning enough that simply exposing those is more than enough to make the point, and serve as deterrence. I’ve spent years documenting and helping to publish those facts – who did what, when and where. I’ll keep doing it, for years. Naming names – even though I’ve been warned under threat of violence that merely typing the names of certain unelected Fed goons is enough to result in retributive violence against my family and I. Those threats are real, issued by real people with government-issued firearms riding on their hips. Those threats haven’t stopped or even slowed my work, which by now must be painfully clear to all involved. But the threats are still real, and still part of my everyday life.

I’ve rambled, and I apologise for that. But let me close this rambling monologue with a turn-about question: how would you carry yourself? How would you handle being targeted by the tactics that Glenn & Ed Snowden’s latest documents reveal? Your reputation torn to shreds – branded a “collaborator” by a sophisticated, press-supported black propaganda campaign as free of facts as it is successful in making the label stick – and no way to really ever “set the record straight?” How would you do if you called “the press” – that means you, Mike Carter, at the Seattle Times – to correct obvious, blatant factual errors in a piece they’ve published and you were threatened point-blank by that “journalist” with additional disinfo smears in print if you “dare” to question what’s been done to you?

Think on that.

Could you get up in the morning and face that? How would you respond? When friends and colleagues see your name smeared through the dirt by butt-boy lackeys in the press (or by non-bylined HuffPo hit-pieces: nobody to even call and demand corrections from in those unsigned NSA-special weapons)… what do you say? Do you try to talk to everyone in your life, explain what’s going on? Will they believe you? Really… or will they say: “well, you know, we’d prefer you stay away from our home – it’s nothing personal and it won’t impact our friendship… but we don’t really want you here. Sorry.”

How will you respond?

Because for those of us who have been targeted by these tactics, that’s our lives. Day-in & day-out. It never stops. It’s our new reality. The weapons unleashed by the military goons (in my example, unleashed on me at the request of a corrupt AUSA who was/is trying to hide her crimes by burying me under a tsunami of hate) don’t stop working once the front line moves on. They keep detonating, over and over…

Those of us who have faced down these weapons of mass-media destruction, and survived – scarred & battered & bloodied but still alive – we’re a tiny, tiny group of activists. Our causes are wildly varied. We’ve not so much in common. Barrett Brown. Julian Assange (the fake “rape” case… makes alot more sense now, doesn’t it?), Weev, Jeremy Hammond. Scads of Anons who got in the crossfire of the global financial behemoths & saw the NSA/GCHQ unleashed on them secretly… even to a degree Ed Snowden himself. We’re vastly diverse (& no I’m not saying I’m “the same” as any, etc., &c.) but we’ve all been on the receiving end of the smear-machine. We all know the score.

Years ago, I’d be asked by close friends what could be done to protect against these kinds of tactics. I wrote up my best advice in the 2600 article, cited at the beginning of this post. But what I also said is this: basically, nothing. These tactics work because people don’t know enough to question whether they’re being used, in realtime, when they read things online. They don’t know… yet. But they will. Because these tools are being used more and more. They’ve jumped to private “hate entrepreneurs” like Jenny Edwards and Sharon McLeod. They’re becoming widespread. Sooner or later, folks will see them firsthand – a friend gets targeted, or a family member, or even themselves directly.

They they’ll know.

They’ll know to question what they see, to look for those patterns of structured deceit & targeted disinformation… to filter them out of their reality mappings. They’ll take it for granted that anyone who stands up against the NSA and the other spy-goons-gone-wild is being targeted with these tools. By definition. Axiomatic. It’s a given. Filter it out, or you’re being used by the rogue military spy machine to spread the lies further. Once a critical mass of people knows these truths, in their bones, then these tools become useless. Until then, those of us targeted by them know full well how it feels to be on the receiving end of info-artillery.

Those of us who have faced these attacks down, survived, and continued our work… we know what it means to weather the worst, and persevere. We are the spy regimes’ worst opponents: for, once hit with this stuff, one becomes functionally immune from further attacks. After all… what the fuck is some goon going to say about me, personally, to beat me down that hasn’t already been said in their earlier lie-campaigns? Seriously. That munition is spent.

Which, in closing, leaves them with the option of killing me, or locking me in the SHU forever. Options that have been considered, I know, by those with their fingers on the trigger. As to the latter – forever in the SHU – I know a certain AUSA who tried very, very hard to pull that off in 2012. She came very close, but in the end she failed. It’s all fully documented, and soon to be included in Uniquely Dangerous. Stay tuned, as they say on TeeVee… it’s a story that will chill your soul.

As to the former: killing me. I have no fear of this. If they do it, they do it. Everyone dies, eventually… even Madiba. Whether they fake up some scheme to make it look like “self defence,” or just a .50 from afar (a scenario explicitly mentioned to me by one Fed LEO in December 2012)… all the same. If they do it, they do it. So be it.

Until then, the risk of it happening doesn’t change my decisions day-to-day. I continue my work, knowing the SWAT team might reappear at any moment. No protections for dissidents, in the United States of NSAmerica. They might shoot me, or “only” kill my loved ones. They might loot my home, steal everything of value, smash my mementos, dump out the ashes of my dead friends & partners. They might do all this…

But they’ll never, ever beat me down. I go down on my knees for no tyranny, no despot, no spy regime, and no illegitimate power. Never. My work continues – kill me to silence me, but until then my work continues…

A certain type…

“But stretching the limits of a free society isn’t for everyone – it may take a certain type of character to endure the long haul of court battles and brickbats without buckling. A certain surliness might be useful as might a sense of destiny or mission, a fanatic’s willingness to lose it all for the cause.”

~ http://www.esquire.co.uk/culture/features/5597/hackers/

In re: http://wrinko.net/weev-rabite-sentencing/

Name and Shame

“Brady, of course, is shorthand for the Supreme Court decision that requires prosecutors to turn over exculpatory evidence to defense attorneys. In Olsen, a ruling from a three-judge 9th Circuit panel in January detailed extensive questionable conduct on the part of the prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Earl Hicks, who works for the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington. (Kozinski’s opinion this week doesn’t name Hicks, nor do most press accounts of the decision, but I will. These prosecutors need to be identified by name.)” {boldface added}

Radley Balko, writing on the widespread presence of prosecutorial misconduct and the pressures brought to bear in attempts to protect the these malefactors from being “named and shamed” for their unethical – and often illegal – behaviour.

‘Nuff said.

~ Andy

…casual disregard for constitutional obligations & the rights of the accused.

“Criminal liability for causing an innocent man to lose decades of his life behind bars is practically unheard of…

…I wish I could say that the prosecutor’s unprofessionalism here is the exception, that his propensity for shortcuts and indifference to his ethical and legal responsibilities is a rare blemish and source of embarrassment to an otherwise diligent and scrupulous corps of attorneys staffing prosecutors’ offices across the country. But it wouldn’t be true.

…[w]hen a public official behaves with such casual disregard for his constitutional obligations and the rights of the accused, it erodes the public’s trust in our justice system, and chips away at the foundational premises of the rule of law. When such transgressions are acknowledged yet forgiven by the courts, we endorse and invite their repetition.

…the violence done to the Constitution by the Assistant U.S. Attorney.” {boldface added}

So who is the dangerous radical making these astonishing, ripe-for-censorship statements? Whoever it is, they should probably get a good “leaning-on” to ensure s/he never, ever says these kinds of things again. Ever. In a billion years. Because saying these things is justification for threats, punishment, and extra-legal harassment of the most flagrant sort.

Right?

Well, then someone better make a call to Chief Judge Kozinski, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Because he needs to get some pressure, so good ‘ole-fashioned “state that an AUSA is in the wrong, and you’re marked as an enemy who can expect any and all manner of punishment to follow” Amerikan-style justice. Right?

Right…?

(signed: ~ Andy. I’m the guy making these posts, eh? And I’m furious as to what’s going on. For the goddamned record.)

Oh, and here’s the cite – for those who give a shit about “facts” and stuff… surely someone still does, out there, reading this?

10-36063 web

{h/t Simple Justice – again}

“Parallel Construction”

One thing I did pick up from over the summer was the Reuters article detailing the decades-long DEA practice of “parallel construction.” This is where the DEA illegally uses NSA-sourced data to “accidentally” catch people committing victim-free “crimes” involving narcotics. Then, they lie to judges and defence attorneys about where the information came from. Nice.

Estimating conservatively, that’s likely tens of thousands of instances of perjury by DEA agents who took the stand and flat-out lied about their claimed “investigations.” Plus all the AUSAs who participated in this fraud, denying defendants access to crucial information concerning the persecution they faced. And various ancillary goons, thugs, self-important power fanatics, and other badge-carrying fascists. Felony counts, if you add all this malfeasance up? Tens of thousands, on the low end. How many years of prison have men & women done as a direct result of this illegal program of deceit? Thousands, at least. Families destroyed. Lives ruined.

So how is the prosecution of this sea of felonies coming? Great! If by “great” you mean: zero prosecutions. Zero. And there won’t be any, either. Not one.

See, we live in a police state: the police rule and the rest of us mere unarmed civilians live in constant danger of their authorized use of violence (authorized by themselves, generally, but still). Were I to get on the stand, say, in the chamber of Judge Martinez and lie my fucking balls off – about an essential matter in an extant case, natch – then proceed to get caught red-handed… what do you think would happen? Oh, there’d be felony counts coming off the AUSA’s printers as fast as they could spent taxpayer money typing them up (and running them through “ham sandwich” kangaroo Grand Juries for the rubber-stamp approval). Indeed, I spent years in prison on the basis of “spiritual” transgressions of laws that don’t actually exist.

But if you’re a DEA agent – or AUSA – who lies her ass off to the judge, repeatedly, for years… destroying the lives of defendants in the process (some perhaps guilty, some surely innocent), what’s the punishment? If you guessed “absolutely nothing,” you’re 100% correct! Nothing. Not even an admonition. Indeed, the DEA doesn’t claim to have stopped this practice – and we can be sure other Fed thug conspiracies, err “law enforcement agencies” are doing exactly the same thing. They just haven’t been Snowden’d. Yet.

This strikes pretty close to home, for me. Thanks to an insider who is helping the legal team preparing civil RICO claims against a host of thugs who illegally conspired to deprive me of my civil rights in 2010, I have access to some “special” information myself. Turns out not only was my case in 2005 “parallel constructed” out of illegally-obtained spy intel (generated by a weaponized branch of the military: the NSA), it looks like some folks dipped into the same stream as they tried to “get Spink” during the winter of 2009/2010. If you’re thinking, “gee… that sounds like USPO he’s talking about” – well, I neither confirm nor deny. For now.

The ironic thing, of course, is that siccing the NSA on my ass is close to a waste of time. I’m one of those people who has concluded years ago that the NSA has gone rogue and is spying on anyone and everyone they can physically target. I don’t follow perfect OpSec – since I’m not, you know, actually committing any crimes and haven’t done so for nearly a decade… which should matter in such things. But now I know it doesn’t really matter, because the USPO… err, I meant “someone,” was accessing military-sourced illegal surveillance systems in an attempt to “get me” because of my political views and stated anti-bigotry position. That said, I do take steps to stay clean of routine (illegal, unconstitutional) NSA surveillance. It’s just a habit. At the least, they’ll have to work to snoop on my life – send the TAO after me, perhaps I’ll learn something from them along the way.

Same was true back in 2004/2005.

So the comms intercepts illegally used by the DEA – and then covered-up during my attempt to defend myself – weren’t of me. Who were they of? We’ll see if that comes clean in FOIA requests (or, more likely, in RICO discovery) – or if the thugs commit further fraud and try to cover up the cover-up by not producing dispositive FOIA materials. At which point, we’ll go after them for that fraud, too. But in any case, it sure explains the heated efforts by every police-state goon involved to falsely paint me as a snitch. Let’s take some quotes from the Reuters article, shall we. How about this…

“About 10,000 federal, state and local law enforcement agents have access to the DICE database, records show. They can query it to try to link otherwise disparate clues. “

So that’s how many badge-carrying thugs can access this “secret” database of “secret” information hoovered up by the military arm of the U.S. government – in direct contravention of the Constitution and countless criminal statutes passed by Congress and signed into law by one president or another. Note the boldface I inserted of the word “local” – that means you, Whatcom county goons. Yep.

Next:

“As a practical matter, law enforcement agents said they usually don’t worry that SOD’s involvement will be exposed in court. That’s because most drug-trafficking defendants plead guilty before trial and therefore never request to see the evidence against them. If cases did go to trial, current and former agents said, charges were sometimes dropped to avoid the risk of exposing SOD involvement.”

…you know, that’s funny, ’cause I demanded to see discovery in my case back in 2005 – and was then offered my 3 year plea deal by Friedman and Susie Roe. With no real explanation for it. But I never did see that discovery. Then, of course, they turned around and falsely branded me a snitch – which, apparently, was/is standard practice in the “parallel construction” fraud. To wit:

“One current federal prosecutor learned how agents were using SOD tips after a drug agent misled him, the prosecutor told Reuters. In a Florida drug case he was handling, the prosecutor said, a DEA agent told him the investigation of a U.S. citizen began with a tip from an informant. When the prosecutor pressed for more information, he said, a DEA supervisor intervened and revealed that the tip had actually come through the SOD and from an NSA intercept.”

So if they can’t explain where their “magic” intel came from, they just blame some random (nonexistent) “informant.” How convenient. That’s funny, ’cause I never did get a straight answer about how the investigation of my smuggling organization – that’s the one in which nobody but me was ever arrested, charged, convicted, or imprisoned… just to be clear – got started and progressed. There’s a bunch of shit that lazy “journalists” printed after being spoon-fed it by various Fed thugs – but they can’t even keep their own stories straight: each one contradicts the other.

But hey, lying is ok – so long as your a Fed. Or some corrupt thug in Whatcom county, of course. Or an AUSA suborning perjury from a witness in federal court. Oh, well…

Anyway, in 2005 they had a dirty little secret about their case against me: it was built on some form of illegal NSA intel. When I pressed for discovery – when I told them “I want my lawyer” as I sat in the rain in Monroe, WA on the night of 29 February and refused consent to search my truck – I created a real problem for them. Fight me, and I might uncover the dirty source of the info they were using (perhaps tracking Cornett or Kesling via NSA data – thus eventually hitting me since I did deliveries to both?).

Plus the fucked-up arrest procedures- nobody thought to have a drug dog with them and thus I was illegally detained for nearly an hour, in handcuffs, prior to my arrest, as it was assumed I’d simply “roll” and not demand they follow the law in their attempt to trick me into admitting guilt - added a real risk this would go to the Ninth Circuit for real review. So the fix? Offer me a “sweetheart” deal (given that, inexplicably until now, Judge Martinez insists on repeating said phrase, at every opportunity – does he know the illegal backstory on my case, in his courtroom?) and I won’t dig deeper.

Well, I sure as fuck am digging deeper, now.

Once it looked like I might start ferreting out what really happened, the disinformation guns came out: brand me a snitch. Get your pathetic little pet stoolies to print shit about me in local newspapers. Tar me so badly, nobody will listen. Operation Cover Fed Asses, eh? And thanks to the complicity, or incompetence, or laziness of local “journalists” (or a combination of all three), it worked great. Well, that and sending me back to prison for years on bullshit, trumped-up “spiritual transgressions.”

But now we’ve got an insider, and that insider has already proved to be very helpful. All my suspicions, that I couldn’t yet prove. Yep. There you go – in black and white. That’s the smell of vindication, that.

So what about 2010? Did the USP… err, “someone,” use illegally-sourced military intel in their frantic, expensive, violent effort to “get Spink?” Ah, yes, that’s an interesting question. Let’s just say that the discovery we received back then – because I did insist on a full (kangaroo court, ’cause it is only “supervised release” and not a real) trial. Which means we were legally entitled to all evidence of a potentially exculpatory nature. Like, you know, the fact that they Feds were tuning into NSA datasets to try to catch me doing something wrong (irony alert: they failed, and found nothing whatsoever).

Is this what General Alexander’s $50 billion (billion – with a “b”) spending spree of secret spy systems was intended to support? Local persecutions of unpopular minority activists, for non-crimes and for the “crime” of helping protect people against those very same illegal NSA spying programs? No, this is a police state: the military run amok, cut loose of any actual legal constraints. And, as I’ve said before, once they’re using it against “people like me” who commit no crimes and harm nobody, don’t be a crybaby when they turn Sauron’s eye on you. Except, I’m prepared for it (mostly).

You aren’t.

Nowhere in the Constitution of this country does it say that cops and other violence-happy, officially-sanctioned thugs are exempt from the laws that cover the rest of us mere mortals. Nowhere. Indeed, the idea of law being applied equally – even the President is not exempt – is a bedrock platform of the United States of America. Or it was, anyway.

Now it’s a fucking joke.

I’ve got so many instances of confirmed, undeniable, flagrant perjury at this point – DEA, AUSA, USPO, Whatcom county sheriffs and prosecutors, Laura Clark… the list goes on and on. None will ever be charged for their crimes. Of course not. This is the United Police States of America: they are above the law.

I told you so.

Now I know. Now I know what happened in 2005. Now I also know (most of) what happened in 2010 – that witchunt in which several of my canine friends were murdered by Laura Clark, and the rest mutilated for life. This was the police state lashing out against someone who is publicly sworn as an enemy of the illegal spread of police-state tactics and technology, secretly, without citizen oversight. So they came after me, with guns drawn. And beat me the fuck down. To silence me.

How’d that go, you cowardly fucks? I’m not so silent, am I?

They may well send another SWAT team after me and try to fake up some excuse to send me to prison again. So be it. At this point, it’s become parody. Also, I have far, far more tools at my disposal to protect against their efforts to frame me. I’m no babe in the woods in that regard, any more. What tools? Ah, well, like the NSA I prefer not to discuss my operational techniques. But look up “sousveillance,” and that’s a start. Who watches the watchmen? I do, now – and I make sure that watching is encrypted, archived, and stored offshore in multiple redundant copies. Try deleting that, you corrupt scum.

The police state, it wants you to be cowed. It demands your obeisance, your submission. It needs that, because even with all its tools and spying, if enough folks simply stop cooperating with it, the whole thing falls apart under its own weight. I’m not “fighting” the police state, the USPO, or anything else. I’m just not playing their game any more. I follow their rules – “spiritual transgressions” aside – but I live my own life. And I speak my perspective on the truth – at least when I’m not being gagged illegally.

It’s that speaking out part they hate, eh? Because, who knows, someone might hear me and start thinking for themselves… even after all the smears the bootlickers at the Seattle Times and Huffington Post could throw my way. Back in 2010, Susie Roe complained bitterly in open court about my “unusual resilience” after I survived my smuggling case (without sending anyone to prison but myself, and remaining on good terms with my former colleagues in “the business” along the way). How dare I! How dare I think I could rebuild my life, and worse than that start talking about anti-surveillance technology.

So there you go.

I know the reality. I’ve lived it. I’ve got the scars – well-earned – to show for it. Some of my loved ones died during the process, an unforgiveable crime for which those responsible will never, ever be free of debt. And, day by day, I have more people around me who have seen the forest behind the trees and get it – they get this isn’t about “animals,” nor even about me. It’s about unchecked governmental power, about organized violence, about the smooth rollout of Amerika 2.0: Police State version. I’m no hero – and I’m certainly not a deep digger like the inestimable Barrett Brown – but I do my part, as best I can.

And apparently that part I’m doing is getting some traction, ’cause the police state sure as fuck wants to see me dead. I consider that quite a compliment – just as I consider “hate” directed at me by fraudsters, scammers, bigots, and cowards to be a badge of honour. Besides, what goes around comes around. See also: RICO.

I bide my time out in the coastal forests, smelling the Pacific air. I mediate on all my friends still locked up in Federal prisons – I may join them in the future, I may not. What I do know is that I’ll never bend knee to the police state, never submit dumbly, never acquiesce to their theatre of fear. I don’t fight it – I just think it’s fucking pathetic. And they know it. And they fear that. As they should.

Because when we all realize their Empire of Fear is just an excuse to fleece us, and the planet, and every other living being, to support the greed of the 0.1%… it all falls apart. Peacefully, quietly, not even a whimper. Let them keep their spy machines and multi-billion-dollar monstrosities. We walk away, and go back to doing real things: making friends, building community, sharing knowledge, learning the land, and of course hearing the wisdom and love offered by the other sentient species who share our planet with us. That’s enough to keep busy, day by day – who has time for military monsters in their kiddie-costumes with the shiny pretty badges and silly shoulder pads? Fuck them.

You can’t run an empire if everyone simply… walks away. And you need not walk someplace physical, as in Daniel Quinn’s examples of such events throughout human history. You can walk away cognitively, functionally, on a daily basis. Step out of the cage of fear. Live. Share. Be kind. Show compassion. Make the world better, a little bit at a time.

They hate that, don’t they?

Let them hate. I don’t have time to care, one way or another. I’ve got waves to surf, friends to see, nails to pound. A Forks in the road, as it were…

They think I’ll go out and build things that help protect people from their illegal, immoral, disgusting obsession with Bentham’s Panopticon. They’re right. I’m taking this time to go back and refresh on the fundamentals of crypto, from the ground up. Sit. Read. Meditate. Study. Think. Then, when the Fed thugs lose their boot-on-neck stance with me, I’ll do what I’ve done for years: make good things, to help folks lead happier, more diverse lives. And also that nonhuman reciprocity stuff – living on the planet as one of many species, not with some self-defined, solipsistic sense of Doghood. Fuck that, too.

Parallel Construction. Funny how those two words can say so much. For me, it’s the lightbulb in a dim room: now I can see all the colours – and what a tapestry of deceit and disgrace it is. I thought they were corrupt, and amoral, and power-mad… now I know. And I can prove it.

Lots of you don’t care. Some do. More, every day – because you can feel the hot stare of Sauron coming your way. Those of us who have lived under it for years, we know how it feels. Welcome to our Hell. Sorry to see you here, but it’s not so bad. You can shrug off Sauron, if you know how…

I know how.

Cheers :-)

gag order = police state

An outspoken activist unafraid to speak out on controversial topics using his real name, someone who reacts strongly to abuses of power, someone not intimidated by thugs with badges who flaunt their corruption, someone who has run up against the War on Drugs in his own past life but doesn’t let that stop him from moving forward to do important work, someone who writes with strength and occasionally unvarnished vitriol, someone whose personal integrity has drawn fire from cowards hiding behind keyboards who claim to be working for the same goals but who can’t stand to see their own cowardice overshadowed by a person who steps forward to act in real life and not just in secret chatrooms, someone charged with astonishingly nebulous “crimes” that serve purely as thin cover for outright political persecution, someone imprisoned for years despite not being convicted by a real jury based on real evidence, someone who has fought back against his persecution even from within the walls of federal prison by publishing strong writing that speaks hard truth to brute power, someone whose family is attacked and harassed and persecuted by these same corrupt thugs, and someone who fights back against those family attacks with the righteous indignation entirely appropriate to these horrific crimes… an activist driving right at the core of fundamental issues that will determine the future of our planet and all its species for better or for ill.

Not me. Barret Brown.

And now Barrett has been slapped with a Fed gag order frighteningly similar to the constraints placed on me earlier this year. Of course, it’s been put in place only after the Feds have already smeared him for many months with the simpering assistance of their usual “journalist” mouthpieces; now that the smears are well-entrenched, it’s time to stop talking and just let them fester. And it’s only been put in place after Barrett’s work – along with his attorneys – has begun to show real success in unmasking the corruption, fraud, and abuse of power at the core of the persecution he faces. Only then is it suddenly necessary “for the interests of justice” to threaten him with more prison time if he doesn’t shut the fuck up.

Nice.

This is what we refer to as a “police state.” It was fine when it was applied to me – because “people like me” are legitimate targets of social persecution, just like gay folks were just a few years ago. Now, the tactics jump over to targets like Barrett – not a persecuted sexual minority, but rather a frontline political activist who gets real traction with his writing and his work exposing the underpinnings of the vast, secret, out-of-control private cyber-military complex. And still most average Americans are just… meh. Whatever. I read that he’s a druggie, so who cares – right? Gag him. Imprison him. Do what you want – he’s not a “real” person.

Then the tactic jumps further, and some lawyer who is charged with a white-collar crime is going to get gagged. Oops. Now it’s a “real” person – but it’s too late to change. The momentum is already afoot. Judges get comfortable with this shit, prosecutors learn they can get away with it, corrupt FBI agents know they can do whatever the fuck they want and they will never – ever – be held accountable. By then, even “real” people start getting gagged. Oops.

Barrett is a hero of our times. His work exposing Stratfor – before Snowden took his own courageous stance – was both ahead of its time and spot-on accurate. Like Jeremy Hammond, he decided to draw a line and take a stand: this is wrong, this is our country too, damnit, and we’re fucking sick of seeing these gun-toting thugs run roughshod over our Constitution, our society, and our culture. If we’re a country of laws, then the laws apply to everyone. If HBGary goes after the families of political dissidents, why aren’t they prosecuted?

Secret laws. Secret courts. Secret court rulings. Secret, multi-billion dollar spy schemes. Secret programs. And gag orders to prevent anyone from discussing not only the secrets, but the persecution they themselves face as a result of working to understand and expose these disgusting, perverted forms of totalitarian rot. Welcome to the United Police States of America.

And yeah, sadly enough… I told you so.

 

ps: full respect to District Court Judge Ricardo Martinez for lifting the gag order against me, in April – a gag order that (unlike Barrett’s) was not judicially implemented but rather unilaterally ginned out of thin air by the U.S. Probation Office. Mr. Martinez could have easily enough let it stand, and likely not been overruled on appeal before my supervised release was done (& thus the case would become “moot,” turning into the proverbial pumpkin at midnight & being dismissed). It took integrity and it took real respect for the rule of law for him to make the choice he did. He & I certainly disagree on plenty of other issues – I won’t sugarcoat that and I doubt he would, either – but that doesn’t change the respect he’s earned. Every American who cares about the rule of law, and about freedom of speech in particular, shares that respect for Mr. Martinez’s ruling in this matter. It’s easy to go along with the mob, to join in the witch-hunt when the pitchforks are out, to stand back and watch the lynching unfold… it takes integrity to step beyond mob insanity and to retain our humanity – more than that, to retain our cosmopolitan commitment to diversity, the rule of law, and the right of others to speak in their own words on their own behalf.

Spiritual Transgressions

I must admit to stepping away from worldly affairs for the better part of the summer. To be out in the coastal forests, working not with a keyboard but with my hands to build a future… this is good. There’s a lifetime for me to wear down my fingers writing code – it’s actually rather nice to stray from that for a bit.

Even so, my own years of conflict with the punitive forces of the United States government can hardly be forgotten – nor would I want to. And in that regard, what a summer it’s been…

Attorney General Holder acknowledges that the entire edifice of Federal drug laws is a disgraceful, punitive, unjust perversion of our country’s heritage. Years of lying on the part of countless governmental bureaucrats regarding dragnet surveillance are exposed, bare and impossible to deny, by a courageous young sysadmin who decides he won’t be part of a totalitarian nightmare. Along the way, the hope-ridden regime of Obama – water-carriers for Wall Street power to the end – has done away with any pretence of being bound by the laws that apply to mere American citizens.

Sadly, it’s another case of “I told you so.”

I’ve seen firsthand years worth of Federal employees perjuring themselves, lying, falsifying evidence, blithely committing crimes secure that they are immune because they are friends with the local AUSA (or they are the local AUSA)… all along, I was warning: “if you let this happen to ‘someone like me’ because you’ve decided your personal prejudice and hatred of my stance on fundamental equality between sentient species justifies any abuses directed at me by anyone who feels the need to abuse, then sooner or later don’t be surprised when the worm turns and the same lawless rampage that Fed goons directed at me ends up seeking you out, too.”

I’m done with this country’s efforts to persecute, harass, and subjugate me. Having survived the worst excesses of the police state, now I fear nothing the goons could possibly threaten me with. My loved ones were abducted, mutilated, murdered… what else can be done to me? Nothing. I’ve earned immunity by coming through the torture sessions, scarred but still breathing. And I warned, along the way, that the tools developed to assault my family & I won’t be put to rest once they’re done trying (and failing) to break my spirit. Nope, those tools will find new targets – new bones to break.

Are you ready for that, out there? You, reading this? Are you prepared to be the target of a multi-billion dollar cyberwar machine – the National Security Agency – that sees itself as truly immune from legal oversight, entitled to absolute secrecy, and empowered to bend the full extra-legal force of the American empire to its will in service of pursuing anyone who dares stand in its way (in re: Snowden)? Are you?

I am.

I’ve lived as a target of unjust, legally unconstrained persecution and abuse for my entire adult life. I know what it is to be targeted by surveillance not because I’ve done wrong, but because of who I am – and because of the knowledge I work to share with others. That experience is bred into my very bones – so deep it’s a part of me. Hell, I grew up with a sense of oppressive surveillance that Normals will never understand – cannot understand.

And yet now, the Normals are targets themselves: targets of the NSA’s rampage of illegal surveillance. Targets of the corrupting power of financial hegemony – stripped of their assets as Goldman Sachs gets richer by the day. Targets of multinational entities that can literally write their own laws – via lobbyists and paid-for Senators – at the drop of a hat. Targets of power: pure, unvarnished, unconstrained power.

They’re like lambs going to the slaughterhouse. You are, you reading this. You are utterly unprepared for the world in which you now live. You have no idea the power aligned against you, and no conception of what it feels like when “the law” becomes simply a tool to strip you of autonomy and value… if someone more powerful than you wills it.

This summer, the wheels came off the ragged, fantastical narrative of America as a country of laws: one nation, under Dog. All men created equal. All that claptrap. It’s all water under the bridge, now. Now, it’s those who deploy laws against their opponents, against anyone who threatens their power and privilege – and there’s those who are targeted by a police state machinery spun wildly, violently, inevitably out of any form of societal control.

Good luck what that, eh? You’re going to fucking need it.

Back in 2008, in a presentation at a hacker conference, I was teaching people how to use corporate structures to protect themselves and their anti-censorship tech projects from extra-legal harassment & persecution by shady governmental agencies. It’s the sort of thing I’ve been teaching for more than a decade – and clearly it’s gotten under the skin of the police state, because they decided they’d roll out the SWAT team in an effort to shut me up.

Specifically the federal judge overseeing my long-forgotten drug possession case – the putative justification for ongoing Fed intrusion into my law-abiding life, more than a decade later – has tripped over himself with astonishment that I dared to utter the following phrase in front of a room full of assorted technologists, hackers, activists, and social subversives, in New York City. I said…

“It’s not as much fun to to simply break the rules as it is to find creative ways to get around it [sic].”

The [sic] notes that I actually used the correct pronoun (“them” – 3rd person, plural) in the presentation, not as inaccurately quoted by the judge. 

Now, in the America of today, for a dissident such as myself to dare to do this – to teach others how to get around unjust, unfair, or over-broad statutory law by studying and understanding those laws… by knowing enough not to break them, even as one manages to continue one’s work unhindered – is to risk assault by gun-toting Fed SWAT teams. How dare I! How dare I teach others how to avoid breaking the law… not only that, but suggest it might even be “fun” to do so?

The judge, alas, seems to have no such concern for – just to pick one of countless possible examples – tax attorneys advise their clients how to creatively structure financial transactions in order to minimize taxes without overtly breaking tax laws in the process. That’s just normal business practice, right? It’s only when “people like me” get uppity – when we think that we, too, can learn to avoid breaking the law by studying the law, by noting any creative avenues around the law – that the judge is more than happy to see the SWAT teams deployed. Off to prison with you, peon! Learning how to avoid breaking laws is for the ruling class – not for “people like you.”

Fuck that.

All you’re seeing, in his repeated hyperbolic ranting – repeatedly quoting my innocuous, utterly unremarkable statement – is a concrete manifestation of the breakdown of the rule of law in America. Nobody really cared, so long it was just me being subjected to this kind of rattle-trap logical atrocity (to wit: remaining law-abiding by studying the law and explicitly seeking to avoid breaking the laws is, in and of itself, reason enough for abduction & long-term imprisonment). But now that the cat’s long since out of the bag, all the rest of you are subjected to the same kind of circular self-justification.

Manning went public with evidence of extensive war crimes on the part of America’s military – an act not only protected under international law, but actually noted specifically as a duty (the duty to speak out against war crimes) after the atrocities of World War II and the Holocaust. The legal establishment’s reaction? He’s a criminal – never mind the laws. He’s a criminal because he dared to speak truth to power, period & full stop. These pesky “laws” won’t get in the way of a good public witch-burning now will they?

Indeed, I know how that goes.

When I was sent off to prison in 2010 – because of who I am, because of my work in anti-surveillance encryption technology, because I teach others how to avoid breaking laws, because I was “unrepentant” and unwilling to turn on my community and loved ones, because I refused to allow my family to be murdered without putting up every ounce of fight I could muster, because I told Susie Roe to “go fuck herself” when she asked me to agree to their murder, because I wouldn’t bend my fucking knee to these corrupt, power-mad monsters – the judge admitted from the bench that there really wasn’t much in the way of actual, you know, wrongdoing to hang on my shoulders.

The snitch sent to entrap me – Stephen Clarke – managed to record hours of himself engaging in intimate relations at my farm… but not a frame of me doing anything whatsoever. The computers seized by three gun-toting FBI agents were encrypted… and never got unencrypted despite years of threats, demands, and escalating harassment via media slander. The customers of Baneki/Cryptocloud were never compromised, not one – not a packet of data leaked, ever. No drugs found on my property. No weapons. No evidence any crimes whatsoever.

But that certainly wasn’t going to stop the witchunt, as well all know. Facts – or laws – are mere distractions when the persecution machine is in full swing.

In the end, I agreed that I’d travelled to New York City without getting permission from my PO – the same conference cited above, ironically. That’s called a “technical violation,” and would hardly justify incarceration. Other than that, hours of smears and innuendo and random misunderstandings of simple Internet technology on the part of USPO did nothing to actually, you know, show I’d actually done something I wasn’t supposed to.

And then there’s Clarke. His affidavit claiming I knew what he was up to? He recanted, less than a year later – sworn, under oath, with witnesses. The works. So that whole campaign to entrap me ended up dying with a desperate, corrupt sigh: we didn’t catch him doing any of that cross-species stuff… but we still hate him, so fuck it – same difference.

That left the question of how to word this particular abortion of a sentencing, back in 2010 – can’t really say I broke any laws, as I never got a jury trial and all that claptrap so I could defend myself. Claiming I’d violated supervised release by, um, teaching people to protect themselves against illegal NSA surveillance sounded a bit too honest – and also lacked any actual basis in fact. So that wasn’t going to work. What to do..?

Bingo: spiritual transgression. That’s it! Sure, I didn’t really violate supervised release conditions (apart from the travel thing)… but in police state America, that doesn’t matter. Indeed, it meant I was smart – dangerous – because I’d nefariously learned how to avoid breaking the rules by actually, you know, studying and understanding the rules. Un-acc-ceptable! That deserves double punishment – the gall of it.

Thus it was that, in 2010, I was sent to prison because – I quote the judge here – I was found guilty of “violating the spirit of supervised release.” Spiritual transgression, in black and white. If we can’t hang you with a law – even a law as bizarrely open-ended as the Enumclaw Witchunt statute – then we’ll just claim you violated the spirit of the law… and off you go. Off to prison for lousy dissidents like you: it’s where you belong.

And the world applauded. To hell with these “laws” and “facts” and stuff: we hate Spink! So just skip to the money shot, sentence him to prison, and we can go back to eating our factory-farmed hamburgers & feeling sanctimoniously smug in our superior moral status. Problem. Fucking. Solved.

In his ruling lifting the gag order, the judge couldn’t help but cite this bizarre concept of “spiritual transgression” again – multiple times. Quoting from the transcript:

“…it’s the spirit behind these conditions that is important.” ~ Ricardo Martinez

Really? Wow, because in my own non-lawyerly study of the American legal system, I just can’t find much in the way of precedent on the concept of spiritual transgressions and the role of criminal courts in enforcing them. It’s just not there, sorry. If you actually read the literature, you see that – bear with me here – the idea is that we have these things called “laws.” When it comes to criminal laws, they’re written down. We call those things “statutes.” Courts interpret the language of statutes, sure… but it’s the language that encodes the laws themselves.

Not the spirit of anything.

A country in which “spiritual” interpretations of statute take front role would be the antithesis of the rule of law. That’d be a country where… oh, let’s see… James “pantsonfire” Clapper gets up in front of Congress and lies his ass off. Snowden blows the whistle and he’s caught red-handed. Liar liar, pants on fire. That’s a felony. He admits to it… but claims it’s ok because his heart was in the right place.

No prosecution. No prison time. No pesky “laws applied equally to all” nonsense. He’s above the law – his spirit was sound – and he’s exempt. Snowden, however, who exposes a vast, criminal, secret, utterly unconstitutional spy apparatus – all repeatedly denied in the most strenuous terms by Obama and his Wall Street groupies, for years – is a criminal. A traitor. To hell with any pretence of “innocent until proven guilty,” or any other crap like that: we’ll down the plane of the President of a democratic country if we think he might be hiding in the loo.

So there’s your “rule of law,” folks. I hope you like it.

- – -

As to me, all this stuff is old hat. Corrupt cops, power-mad prosecutors, broken legal systems, spiritual transgressions… it’s part of my fabric of existence and has been, now, for years. One learns to cope with it – learns to defend oneself, learns to use the system’s own warped logic against it, learns to watch it chase its own tail down the road to hell. One becomes accustomed to it, and one build a life beyond its confines.

All the rest of you… good luck with that. You’ve now got the NSA on your ass, each and every one of you, and when they decide you’ve broken the “spirit” of the NSA’s read of the way things should work, I hope the SWAT team doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Reap what you sow…

Spink gag order hearing transcript

Well, we’ve received our copy of the transcript of last month’s gag order hearing – and it’s an interesting read. Interesting, in that it accurately reflects what happened in court. Rather than, you know, being made up out of thin air. (we won’t name names, Mike… :-P )

The heart of the hearing was this interchange between Doug and Judge Martinez:

Judge: I guess what I am asking you to think about is: Is it worth it to you to think of going back into custody for several years to test it [the right to speak freely]? It wouldn’t be worth it to me. Maybe it is to you.

Spink: My First Amendment right to speak freely is worth a great deal to me, Your Honor.

Judge: Once you are done with conditions of supervised release, then those rights all come back to you. Do you understand?”

Spink: Yes, sir.

Judge: You are free to exercise your First Amendment rights… [b]ut there are consequences that may flow from doing that. You are not like everyone else out there.

Now, last time we checked there was no automagical suspension of constitutional rights for people on “supervised release” in this country. Indeed, even prisoners are afforded constitutional protections – this is not a subject of debate. So how, exactly, the “Court” (always with that Capital Letter) is able to talk of this as if somehow Doug’s First Amendment guarantee for freedom of speech is like a cheap umbrella, that can be furled and unfurled at will, is beyond us. That’s a weird, and legally anomalous, position – one that even the judge seemed more than a little hesitant to articulate on the record.

Doug once again refused to buckle under the threat of “years” in prison if he exeercises that inalienable right, and his continued stance against governmental censorship and attempts to gag him was duly noted by the Capital-C Court. Despite that threat, and countless other threats and punishments and horrific abuses prior to it, Doug has not once backed down from that stance. Which seems, at this point, to be a pretty well-settled point.

The end result of the hearing was pretty straightforward: the gag order was lifted, and Doug is now able to access the internet directly. That “minor detail” missed the attention of the Seattle Times, admittedly. But the transcript speaks true. Facts matter.

My First Amendment right to speak freely is worth a great deal to me, Your Honor.”

There you go.

There’s your “story.” In America, someone had to stand in a federal courtroom and face the threat of years in prison – all to speak freely, and without constraint, about governmental malfeasance, police abuse, and systemic bigotry.

Oh yeah, and about encryption and the importance of personal privacy & protection against governmental dragnet surveillance. You might have heard of that – PRISM, Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald, and so on – in recent weeks. And you might expect that Doug has something to say about the PRISM scandal, the confirmation that the United States is engaged in massive, extra-legal, unconstitutional, secretive spying on not only its own citizens but the entire world.

He does. And he will. Speak, that is. Because speaking freely is the first line of defence against a future of totalitarian police state horror. Indeed, the ability to speak freely is perhaps the foundation upon which all other freedoms are built.

“My First Amendment right to speak freely is worth a great deal to me, Your Honor.”

There you go.

“You are not like everyone else out there,” Judge Martinez tells Doug.

Indeed.

Testimony & Integrity

A common thread in the years-long smear campaigns against Doug Spink has been the ever-shifting sands of accusations against him. Even the Ninth Circuit court, during oral arguments last year, admitted that it wasn’t entirely clear exactly what Doug was alleged to have actually done.

There’s the obvious fabrications: the “vaseline slathered” mice that never existed; the “beastiality farm” that was conjured out of thin air (and directly refuted by the sworn statements of the government’s own snitch); ‘injured’ dogs who were in fact in excellent health before being abducted by gun-toting thugs; the “compound” which was in fact a beautiful, hand-built, ecologically sound cedar cabin set in the mountains… the list goes on. It’s the moving-goalposts style of lynch-mob attack: when one lie is refuted, two more are created to take its place. By now, it’s become a form of self-parody… with toadies in the local media reprinting silly propaganda fed to them by police state functionaries panicking that their schemes are all coming unwound.

Two things have stayed constant, and they’re closely related: the hatred of Doug by the United Police States of America, and their constant smearing of him as a snitch.

True to form, the exact story of what Doug supposedly did to get labelled a snitch never really holds stable over time. The ever-creative Seattle Times can’t quite keep him distinct from Wesley Cornett – the actual snitch who actually wore a DEA wire on Doug (and others) for several months. And then Mike “Wiki” Carter rolls out the “testified against” claim… which begs the obvious question: testified against who? Mike doesn’t know, but the lack of a “who” appears to be no hindrance to making such claims – which is weird. It’s like saying someone got married… but not ever really saying who they got married to. Weird. And not terribly credible.

A few facts help clear the air:

First, Doug worked for a Canadian smuggling organization. They delivered to clients in Seattle. One of those clients “went bad” and began cooperating with the DEA: Wesley Cornett. It happens; it’s the drug business. Quoting the Seattle Times: “…Cornett had agreed to wear a body wire and to allow federal agents to record his phone calls.” [note: If you read the rest of that story, you see that the Times is already engaging in a hand-waving conflation of Doug with Cornett - the entire article is about Cornett, his wire, his cooperation, his work to catch the two dirty lawyers... Doug comes up only in reference to an issue relating to conflict with his attorney, Jeff Steinborn - more on that below...]

Second, the night Doug was arrested he’d just picked up a load from Cornett, in Everett. Pulled over, he was handcuffed and subjected to the good cop/bad cop routine by the FBI agents who quickly appeared – his truck was locked, and its contents (officially) unknown.

Third, Doug refused to take the various law enforcement folks gathered in Monroe to his ‘meet’ location with the helicopter, in the North Cascades, later that evening. It’s pretty obvious that the goal of a “pretext stop” like this is to get him to do exactly that – and indeed later cases, dubbed “Operation Blade Runner,” saw other drivers roll over and take down helicopter crews in just that manner. Here’s how that looks:

The operation was first uncovered when U.S. police stopped a vehicle in Utah during a routine traffic stop and found 83 kg of cocaine inside, police said. An American and a Canadian man were arrested and charged, the RCMP said in a statement released Tuesday.

Information from that bust led police to a remote helicopter landing pad cut in the forest near Colville, Wash. There they arrested a 24-year-old man from Revelstoke, B.C., who they say was attempting to drop off 193 kg of marijuana using a helicopter.

CBC News later reported the pilot was Samuel Brown, who was charged and held at the Spokane County Jail, where he reportedly hanged himself on Feb. 27. {boldface added}

Doug didn’t take cops to the helicopter, and was booked into jail that night. Since the pilot of his crew (Owe Jensen, who died later in 2005 in a helicopter crash – and no, it wasn’t an “accident”) was never arrested nor charged with a crime, it’s quite obvious Doug didn’t provide information to the Feds so they could catch the helicopter. Thus was a sad fate, like the suicide of Sam Brown, averted when Doug refused the Fed offer.

Doesn’t fit the warped narrative proposed by the press lackeys, does it? Since it’s based on verified facts – not Mike Carter’s stumbling ‘hunches,’ nor planted disinformation from the Feds – it’s quite a bit more substantive. Facts matter.

Fourth, the absence of a search warrant for his truck was a bit of a sticky wicket. Since he refused to cooperate, the cops couldn’t just ransack it. And they couldn’t “out” their snitch, Cornett, since they hoped to (and indeed did) keep him “on the street” for several more months, without blowing his cover. So, in an irony hard to miss, they needed to have a drug-sniffing dog to “alert” and justify the search (per the then-recent Illinois v. Caballes ruling, from the Supreme Court). But nobody brought the dog. No dog. The wait for the dog became, in a small circle of folks in the know, legendary: “get the dog, get the fucking dog!!!” was the bellow from onsite DEA agents once Doug spoke the four magic words: “I. Want. My. Lawyer.”

Fifth, Doug went to prison that night, and didn’t step free until several years later. Indeed, he was locked up the whole time Cornett was wearing his DEA wire to meet with the two local attorneys who eventually plead guilty to accepting drug money. Despite that, the “Seattle Wiki” can’t quite seem to stop saying that Doug was responsible for these two lawyers’ subsequent legal troubles – apparently, he has magical superpowers and can arrange for meetings with people while in solitary confinement, in prison. Wow.

Sixth, Doug hired a fellow named Jeffrey Steinborn as his attorney. Steinborn was paid $25,000 in cash to take his case – delivered to him by none other than Corinne Super, aka the Langley Horse Thief. Steinborn wrote the suppression motion to contest the illegal detention of Doug during his traffic stop arrest. But, he also did some other things that aren’t quite legit. Not at all. As Steinborn likes to say, “don’t do the crime if you can’t do the crime” – he doesn’t like to follow his own advice, unfortunately. Doug blew the whistle on Steinborn’s betrayal. He’s never discussed this before, but apparently that information is shortly to be published in an upcoming book, so we don’t think it’s out of line to mention it here. Oddly, a competent writer at the Seattle Times actually got this basically right in an article back in 2005:

Friedman referred to a “conflict of interest” between Spink and his attorney. Spink’s cooperation has “given rise to independent investigation of others, including members of our bar,” Friedman said.

He said the matters under investigation involving attorneys relate to their obligations to their clients and to the court. He characterized Spink’s information as “very significant” and likened it to “turning on a light in a room.” {boldface added}

Seventh, Doug plead guilty to one count of Possession of a Controlled Substance. One count. His recommended sentence range was 6-7 years – not 10 years, not 15 years. Further, he quite clearly qualified for the “safety valve” as a first-time, nonviolent offender – which removed the mandatory minimum 10 year sentence for his charge). Here’s how Families Against Mandatory Minimums describes the safety valve: “…some defendants qualify for the ‘safety valve,’ a law Congress passed in 1994 (at FAMM’s urging) to provide relief from mandatory minimums” (a detailed overview is available here, as .pdf).

Is it fair that he could get so little time for carrying such a large load of drugs? No, it’s not – the drug laws in this country are hideously unfair. In the years since his arrest, Doug has spoken out loudly and consistently on these unfair laws – the very laws which ended up unfairly benefiting him after his arrest. They are unfair, they are indefensible, and even someone who got the less-bad end of them rejects them as evil. (Doug, it should be said, knew those laws intimately and had researched the sentencing guidelines extensively before he was ever arrested. Geeks do stuff like that. So perhaps it was not just “luck” that lead him to avoid a far worse baseline guideline range…)

Eight, Doug reached an agreement with the AUSA in charge of his case to jointly recommend a lowered sentence. As is the case with any guilty plea in any federal case, he provided a “proffer” of his involvement in the drug business. Nothing in that guilty plea resulted in anybody else being questioned, charged, tried, or convicted of anything – except himself, of course. Remember, he worked for a Canadian smuggling organization: how many Canadians were ever brought into his actual case? Zero. A pretty clear number: zero. Ove Jensen was never arrested or charged or convicted or imprisoned.

Nor, perhaps most tellingly was Corinne Super – ake the “Langley Horse Thief” – the person who recruited him into the smuggling ring, helped launder proceeds for Ove Jensen, and directly participated in smuggling operations from beginning to end – an admitted, long-time participant in the B.C. drug underground. How is it, if Doug was doing all this “cooperating” and “snitching,” that nobody involved in his case ever got in trouble – including the people closest to him, the ones most actively involved? There’s something obviously wrong here – the facts keep getting in the way of the smears and disinformation!

Ninth, when he was sentenced, the prosecutor in his case made a very specific statement to the court justifying the sentence recommendation of 3 years. He likened it to “turning on a light in a room,” and stated it related to “members of our bar” - if you want to replace that with “Jeff Steinborn,” you won’t be far off the mark. So did Doug blow the whistle on Steinborn? Yep. Lawyers who betray their own clients are lower that dirt, and we don’t know anyone who actually thinks they deserve anything but contempt when they do so.

No mention, in that statement, was made about the drug business, the smuggling business, “testifying” against anyone, or any other “cooperation” – the focus was clearly on Steinborn’s betrayal, first and foremost. Nor, perhaps not surprisingly, was there public mention of the bad traffic stop, missing drug dog, and possibility the whole thing would be tossed on a suppression ruling – that was a ‘handshake’ deal between Doug and his prosecutor.

Tenth, the specifics of Doug’s aforementioned handshake deal with the prosecutor on his case have never been made public. As we understand it, Doug gave his word not to do so and – despite what we’d honestly say are some waffles on that over the years – he’s largely kept that bargain. But, that’s about to end with that book that’s coming out, which will have the full story in it. And it’s a hell of a story… but it’s not, alas, what the Seattle Wiki keeps claiming. No surprise, as they’ve never actually asked Doug what actually happened – a telling omission.

❧   ❧   ❧

As with so much else, we expect Doug will be talking about this – in his own words – once the last vestiges of the gag order are cleared away, in due course. For now, he’s suggested that the facts largely speak for themselves – and that anyone who cares about the truth can read the uncontested facts and put together the outlines of what went down. That’ll all come clearer as real reporters – and not washed-up, bitter almost-beens – publish the results of their investigations.

But there’s one thing that we just can’t refrain from pointing out, although it should be really obvious to anyone by now:

Ten years on, the federal government – and their sock-puppets in the local press – continues to go to astonishing lengths to paint Doug as a happy ally in their War on Whatever. And… honestly… are we supposed to believe their frantic efforts to do are just, um, some concern with keeping the historical record accurate? C’mon! These folks have lied about every step in Doug’s battles with them, year after year. They’ve fed disinformation to the press, they’ve suborned perjury from witnesses, they’ve changed their stories so many times the blur becomes dizzying. One thing is constant: their hatred of Doug.

Why do they hate him, and why do they feel so desperate a need to smear him as a government agent? Not hard to figure out, really: he does a kind of work, in the encryption/privacy world, that scares the hell out of the police state. They’ve said as much in court, over and over. Alas, they can’t actually send him to prison for doing that – not yet, anyway. Instead, they’ve smeared him and targeted him and attacked him and murdered his loved ones… anything they could get away with, they’ve done. All along, a key goal has been to discredit him. And what better way to do so than a false label of “testifying witness?”

Doug plead guilty, in 2005. He made a deal with the prosecutor to get a lower sentence than his guidelines, yep. To do so is not the same (or even “the same”) as testifying against anyone, or sending anyone to prison, or anything that actually qualifies as actually betraying someone (unless you count Steinborn, and really…) Also, all that was after he refused to take the cops to the helicopter, and went to prison instead. If cutting a good plea bargain in a drug case makes him a shifty dude, then I guess he’s guilty as charged. Ironically, the Feds seem to think his deal was too good – like he outsmarted them – and some of them have been pulling strings to “get that time back” ever since. Which would be pretty bizarre behaviour, if he was helping them out so much. Right?

In the end, Doug has lived under the glare of media – and police – obsession for almost a decade now, since that arrest. Suffice to say that he’s received enormous pressure to roll over on people around him, again and again and again. Those who know him personally have seen that pressure. And the public reaction he’s had to that pressure is pretty much undeniable: he’s told the cops to go fuck themselves, over and over. That’s just the sum of it, and it’s pretty hard to claim otherwise. They’ve targeted him, and punished him, and labelled him “unrepentant,” and threatened him, and harassed him… for years. And he’s never broken, to the point where they seem (almost) to be ready to simply give him up as a lost cause. If you can’t break someone after years of that shit, what’s the point in wasting more effort trying?

You have to laugh, at a certain level, at how utterly silly the smear really is. Doug is about as “crossed up” with the United States government as a nonviolent Buddhist can get. They don’t like him, and he doesn’t like them. Not much of a secret, that. And at the same time as they’re foaming at the mouth about how much they hate him, they turn around and try to label him as a super-secret asset of their Stasi informer network. Really? Srsly? Does that even make sense? (plus, if he was a secret agent for them, wouldn’t that make him a “good guy” – so why do they keep using that as a claim against him… it makes no sense at all)

The final irony is this: the vast majority of the people who smear Doug with passed-along disinformation about “testifying” have never, themselves, stood up under a feather’s weight of pressure from cops. He sat in the rain, in a parking lot in Monroe, in February of 2005 and turned down an offer to “cooperate” that would likely have resulted him him walking scot free. He went to prison that night, and stayed there. Not many of us can imagine what that kind of decision is actually like, in actual life – it’s simply beyond comparison to how we live. He made that choice – among other choices – and he has walked off the consequences of his refusal to roll over ever since. How many people trolling him now, ten years on, have even a fraction of that credibility behind their own choices? Not many, surely. And since then he’s made the same choice, over and over – not only that, but he’s also actually gone out of his way to pick fights with specific government employees he feels have broken the law in the context of law enforcement actions… naming names, and taking real steps to hold them legally accountable. How many people criticizing him have done that? None, basically. You might say that’s dumb, or reckless, or whatever – but it’s not the sign of someone with a secret agent status, that’s for sure. (yes, Sabu pretended to be an activist while he was working for the FBI… but Doug’s been growling at the Feds, publicly, for years and years – imagining him as a double agent goes past paranoia into outright lunacy)

One thing he says to just about anyone who will listen is this: hate him for who he is, or hate him for the choices he’s made, or hate him out of envy or whatever… but hate him for something genuine, not for some fabricated bullshit. And, you know what? Fair enough. I mean, he’s certainly controversial enough that people shouldn’t need to make stuff up in order to justify hating him. That includes you, Mike Carter: don’t pull imaginary fantasies out of your ear – just pick something he’s actually done, or said, or supported and hate him for that. Fair enough, right? We all know you hate him, for whatever personal reasons or old prejudices you have – just be honest about it, and don’t wrap it up in a cloak of faked-up nonsense.

Integrity matters, and trust matters. So does the truth. Doug’s record of standing against pressure to “turn” on others is pretty damned good – that’s what the facts say, anyway. Since nobody can ever come up with anyone he’s actually betrayed, that kind of acts as a “proof by negation” by this point in time. If you survive under the pressure he’s faced, for as long as he has, without ever giving a single person up – even people who have not reciprocated that trust – well… that’s no small matter. It might not fit into a Mike Cater hit-job article, but it’s a rather more interesting story. Because it’s actually true.

A Requiem for Independent Thought

Think.

“Thinking is hard work, which is why you don’t see many people doing it.” ― Sue Grafton

A few times people have claimed “all of these posts are from the same person, Doug Spink” even when it should have been obvious that Doug was not posting anything — he’s just not allowed to.

It is clear that some education is in order to explain the support network (that is, us, and in this specific case, me) that are posting here in his digital absence. We strive to clarify the question which some might cynically phrase as “why would anyone support him?

Personally, I want to explain why a number of us have decided to actually look at the evidence while ignoring the rumors, and support who we feel is a person far more morally sound than most of the population. Frankly, with all the anti-Doug sentiment you hear (from a few vocal people) it’s a bit of a brave thing, to think for oneself. So give me a medal. :P

But to get to digging for the those facts, we’ll have to first face the wild allegations before sweeping them away with any sort of alacrity.

The Usual Suspects

Doug pissed off a few people in his years. There’s no-one who’ll deny this, not even him. In some cases, he’s really proud of that. He confronts when others might paper over a blemish, he seeks to lance, to clean, to disinfect. This is contrary to how many people deal with things: Many of us prefer to be a bit more … round-about in our dealings with conflicting things. He seeks to understand — and to challenge people.

The list of those who are totally not cool with being challenged include the following:

  • There is the notoriously slimy ex who wanted a free ride (somewhat literally) by stealing a valuable horse owned by a corporation she assumed was going to roll over and let that happen. That case is still before the BC courts, actually. She’ll spread many a story to try to sully a rep, playing the part of an innocent person despite quite a well documented personal legacy of crime.
  • There’s more than a few self-hating zoophiles who are in the ranks. For some, it’s sort of like a twist on a Münchausen syndrome where they get off on the warm attention received from others, yet instead of getting it for bad health they get it for rolling over on other zoophiles who are “measurably worse” than they are. However that’s measured doesn’t matter, as they’ll just make shit up if there are no facts: They want to be viewed as “good zoos” because, deep down, they feel ugly and dirty. They’ll even create anti-zoo websites or collaborate with others to “bring down zoos who deserve it.”

For the next set, we’ll need to do a quick history lesson (as I remember it — I can’t really ask him because of the gag order, actually): Doug co-founded a company (now a tech incubator) called Baneki Privacy Labs which believes in free speech. Free speech was this thing they used to have before around 1995, which allowed you to say basically anything out loud you wanted to say, though you were also allowed to be ridiculed for what you say if you said dumb stuff. It was deemed too dangerous, so it was made illegal.

Anyway, throughout its history, Baneki allowed many a controversial website to buy bandwidth from their servers. This meant that Baneki, and Doug, dealt with a lot of people. Some of the people were not nice.

He ran into a few people with motives which were just wrong — such as people begging for cash to pay for server time which was actually redirected to personal expenses. He also ran into people who claimed to be into zoophilia, a concept that is supposed to be about mutual respect, who actually seemed to be more interested in harming their partners.

One thing you’ll never hear about Doug is “I wish he would speak up a bit more. I hate how he keeps quiet when he feels someone needs to be called out on an issue.” Ya, Doug has studied pre-law, he worked with doctorate-level folks, he isn’t scared to speak up when he thinks something needs to be pointed out. So he points out people caught with hands in “I haven’t eaten is weeks, so please donate to my site  or the server will go down!” candy jars while they’re actually off buying hookers and blow or whatever, or he points out people who are actually on camera physically abusing partners and who are attempting to pass this off as “sexy porn.” Doug will not be quiet for that shit for a second.

Those people who are called out get really pissed off.

At least two  of them have ended up “running forums” which basically means they can post stuff to many people, and anyone who disagrees can be banned. Running a forum gives you a lot of power to type out a lot of words. My personal theory is that a lot of the “everyone hates Doug!” crap that I read comes about because rumors about bad stuff come from those two people.

Plus there’s the assorted bigots, the creepily-obsessed stalkers, the non-profit fraudsters, the perjuring Gestapo-style “Humane” wingnuts, the sadly self-harming sibling… a rogue’s gallery of opportunistic creeps that certainly does nothing to support the argument that their “side” is the good guys. But they’re not our focus here – they just showed up when it looked like they could get some kicks in against someone who they thought was helpless (a tragic mistake, most are now learning). Here, we’re putting the spotlight on those who already had an ax to grind because Doug had called them out for real wrongdoing… and done it in that trademark, no-compromises style people either love or hate but never, ever forget.

Prove It.

It is worth noting that his writing style can be very confrontational. Doug comes off as a know-it-all, and that really grates on people. I get that.

But despite that, I  have done this exercise  as have an increasing number of other educated people, and I ask anyone who really wants to believe that Doug is evil to  do the same, as it is an interesting experiment: Imagine for a moment that this is a trial, and you really have no idea if people are just making shit up or not. So each witness who comes to you with hearsay about Doug must produce PROOF. Watch each witness carefully: Some have powerful motives to crush him.

There’s the guy running the forum who allegedly got caught stealing.  He cannot be trusted. There’s the other guy who got caught trying to out zoos for personal fame and glory. Cannot be trusted.

There’s the grow-op lady who really wants to keep the horse with her so she can over train him and try to  bleed some cash out of him she can blow on coke or whatever. Can’t be trusted.

In years of looking, I have personally found no documented evidence of this evil. No abuse. No murders or maimings or dismemberments. No satanic rituals. No chewing the head off of a bat. I have only found a fairly boring and eclectic life of practicing zen and taking care of his family and helping people in need into the wee hours of the morning.

I know that all seems contrary to the spin more than a few of you have been fed, but anyone who has observed his life has seen this.

So, I guess you have a couple options. Be a sheep and just follow those people who have made up your mind for you, or do some googling and see if you can find any EVIDENCE of evil. To be clear, you cannot use allegations by police or whatever, as that is pre-trial. There is not an independent thought – an honest thought – to be found anywhere in them. Go to the trial transcripts and see what they say about him. Suddenly all the hype sounds way, way more manufactured and … boring.

It is also quite devoid of abuse.

Spink gag order transcript

DS : Okay, again. If somebody publishes on the internet words that I have written via another channel your claim is that I am gagged from making any public statement in any way that ends up on the internet, is that..?

USPO : That’s what I’ve been told.

DS : …Okay, again can I…

USPO : Is there any…

DS : …can I get that in writing so that we can start the process of working with lawyers on this, because I can’t… so not only that I can’t control whether somebody puts on the internet something I’ve written elsewhere…

Solitary Confinement

 

Solitary confinement is an increasingly abused method to attempt to punish or crush people in prison who are awaiting trials — trials in which they very well  may be innocent. We want to spend a bit of time highlighting what even Senator John McCain says “crushes your spirit and weakens your resistance more effectively than any other form of mistreatment.”

Background – Why Mention Solitary Confinement Here?

As mentioned in this Doug Spink Gag Order post, Doug Spink can no longer be quoted directly on the internet, as part of his conditions, which has led us here at wrinko.net to post things on the edges of that gag order, because, frankly, we are not part of that gag order, so until they reach out and slap us, we can still post our research and opinions. Anonymous often uses the metaphor of a Hydra and it’s effective: The cutting off of Doug’s head has emboldened a number of others to want to guest post about this strip-mining of due process that is being done without oversight.

So, let’s take a look at a part of what happened to this person, which is a very common situation with people who are brought into the system: What major news organizations are calling the “cruel and unusual” abuse of solitary confinement in the process of attempting to break people’s spirit.

Both times Doug has been in prison, he has done some time in solitary – and not because of any disciplinary problems. He’s never had any write-ups (they are called “shots” in the federal system) in all the years he was locked up. None. And obviously he has no problems being in general population – he did almost five years’ time in GP, in a bunch of different prisons. Not alot of people know it, but Doug has been a Buddhist for a pretty long time; his SHU time has been spent writing, meditating, and studying the classical Zen literature – so in that sense he is fortunate: his Zen studies are well-suited to isolation punishment cells, and he likes to write (as just about everyone knows!) – lots of other victims of the SHU aren’t so lucky.

Why was Doug in the SHU, if he didn’t break any prison rules and has no trouble “walking the yard” at any prison he’s ever been locked up at? He was placed in the SHU for… other reasons, as outlined below.

“SHU” Rules

Solitary sounds harsh, so of course the Feds have a nice “warm and fuzzy” euphemism for it, the Special Housing Unit, or SHU (pronounced like “the shoe” by inmates, as in “I was stuck in The SHU last week, so I couldn’t call my father before he passed away” or similar.)

Below are some notes Doug sent from prison, which were scanned and which were distributed in electronic format. However, due to the gag order we’re actually going to not discuss the content of the letters, but we’re going to show what’s on the other side: Solitary Confinement Rules from Sea-Tac Federal Detention Center (and if you’re wondering why these are used, part of the punishment of the SHU is a lack of resources, so they’ll only give you a few sheets of paper and some crappy romance novels and a bendy pencil that barely writes. The back of the rules are seen as valuable white space to someone starved for communications channels.)

We seem to have misfiled a page, but you get the general idea of solitary from some of the rather cold rules from within the within:

SEATAC SHU PRISON RULES 01

SEATAC SHU PRISON RULES 01

SEATAC SHU PRISON RULES 02

SEATAC SHU PRISON RULES 02

The scary thing with the SHU is that they can  pretend they put people in there when they are first arrested because they are dangerous or can’t be in general population for some legitimate reason – and sometimes I guess that’s true. However, there’s a really subtle additional usage that is not officially documented, but all inmates know it: The SHU is used to prevent justice. Basically, the usage is three-fold.

1. Reduce Communication and Eliminate Support

Once you are in the SHU, you cannot easily communicate with anyone. Lawyers are hard to contact, family are hard to contact, everything is walled off.

This is great if you’re trying to get someone to admit something they didn’t do: People in the SHU might worry that the bank is foreclosing on the mortgage, the boss is not getting told why you’re not at work, the spouse is unable to visit or phone so you’re worried about them, etc. Incredible pressure.

I’m sure I’d admit to anything to get to a phone (and read in those rules there how many calls there the Fed SHU actually allows… One fifteen minute call a month. Nice.)

 

2. Try to Break the Prisoner in Preparation for PRE-TRIAL Interrogation

Some of us who work in a busy little world with our busy little lives can almost imagine thirty days in a room with a few books and room service as a nice break. You can do so much thinking and relaxing!

Of course, after half a day, you’d probably want to peek at your iPhone for just a minute, or maybe turn on the radio. Maybe look out the window or get a bit of sun… Imagine twenty or thirty days of the SHU where none of that is possible… :(

So you’re in there, day after day, hour after hour, minute after minute. Occasionally they’ll drop some information on you to make you worry for the next few days, then drop you back in with your bendy pens and your couple sheets of paper and your swirling thoughts. Anyway, obviously, it only works with some people, but whether it should be used at all is a good question, seeing as to how many people are being convicted on false confessions and evidence in the US. Most of us think, ya, well, people in there are probably guilty anyway so whatever … until someone we know goes in, and then, suddenly, a few more friends and family are educated in how corrupt the US system justice system is becoming.

Bloomburg notes:

…as far back as 1890 the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that it led to insanity and suicide in some inmates, “while those who stood the ordeal better were not generally reformed, and in most cases did not recover sufficient mental activity to be of any subsequent service to the community.”

 

3. Generally Punish People for Not Being a Good Sheep

While researching this issue, I found reams of people in similar situations. I found that Google’s “review a hotel” feature had this entry in it for Sea-Tac Prison, which led to this article about other people stuffed in boxes for daring to stand up for his 5th Amendment rights:

Free Matt Duran - Review on Google

Free Matt Duran – Review on Google

I have had people point out countless others over the past day of research. It’s astounding.

 

The US can no longer afford the cost in dollars, or bad press of using solitary to obtain false confessions or otherwise punish people for not being sheep. It only makes people more aware of the injustices being foisted on them, and more energized to fight back against the system.

 

Gag Order — Continued

EDIT: see bottom of post for contact instructions if you want to submit an essay to this blog on censorship, gag orders, freedom of speech, or something related. 

I sadly have to say that there will not be any updates here for the next couple weeks. At least, not from Mr. Spink, thanks to a gag order.

Let me explain…

There is a stipulation on Mr. Spink’s probation that states basically that he is required to be monitored when accessing the internet. I guess the theory is that his ideas are so crazy that the government must watch them in real time. While it is a condition that is arguably overly punitive in a free society, especially since he was not convicted of any information-based crime, it’s one that the courts have requested, and thus Mr. Spink has stated that he is indeed willing to work with the probation office (PO) to those ends, and has even explicitly requested that the monitoring be set up such that he could get back to his life and writings. However, the PO has dragged their feet over setting this up, which led to the situation where over the past few months Mr. Spink was forced to dictate his words to volunteers (like myself) who carpel tunnel our way to the interwebs and post on his behalf. It’s a very labor intensive compromise, but one which satisfies the PO requirements of keeping him away from whatever evil they wanted to keep him from — or so we all reasoned.

I mean, the PO surely can’t outlaw all verbal conversations in a free society, and thus this proxy work allows some light to be shed on the rather substantial lack of due process that has already happened to him and others in his situation, while still satisfying the restrictions placed on him.

Gag Order from the Parole Board

Well, the plot thickened.

Apparently something he wrote here hit a nerve (possibly a recently removed name?) as Mr. Spink has been informed that he can no longer can have his words posted on the internet without being placed back into custody, nor can he be exposed to any information that originates from the internet without risk of being placed back into custody (for breach of parole.)

So… This over-reaching and ridiculous stipulation has led to these amazing possibilities:

  • If you sneak up to his home and slide a printout under his door with the latest price of Apple stock on it, as obtained by a Yahoo! stock quote, he will go to prison.
  • If you phone him up and he says “Hello?” and you post on the internet that he said “Hello?” he will go to prison.
  • If you phone up and he says “Hello?” and you shout “The Guardian says the Cyber Attack on Spamhaus is slowing down the internet!he will go to prison.
  • If someone writes a book about him, which is excerpted or reviewed on the internet, he will go to prison.

Whether or not you believe he is a “bad person” doesn’t really matter if you pry open the potential scope of this precedent: This is a situation that is extra-legal and just bizarrely over-reaching in a free society, and — according to Mr. Spink’s lawyer — it will not go unchallenged.

This is obviously not about satisfying the spirit of his conditions any longer, but is about a seemingly desperate desire to muzzle him, for whatever reason. Which sort of begs the question, what’s so dangerous and scary about his ideas that he can’t even tell them to others???

PS: This was obviously written without the consent of Mr. Spink. I can’t even quite figure out if the scenario of his lawyer telling me that this case is happening for this reason, and my publishing this “sorry, he won’t be here for a bit” will constitute a breach, seeing as to how it did not originate with Mr. Spink, but it’s crazy-making regardless: The internet is possible to avoid directly, but is impossible to avoid indirectly.

PPS: It is my suspicion that by pushing his rights so far into the realm of farce they have opened up the possibility that within a few weeks Mr. Spink will be posting on his own behalf. There are still some people in the court system that care about freedom of speech.

 

CONTACT: obviously if you have read the gag order details, you know you cannot email Mr. Spink, not directly and not by emailing one of his friends or colleagues or supporters. If you email us and we say to him “hey so-and-so emailed to say hello”… he goes to prison.  So that’s a conundrum. Here is what we have come up with for now: you can email one of his attorneys, Jim Turner (jamesturnerattorneyatlaw<at>gmail.com). Even Mr. Spink’s attorneys aren’t allowed to tell him anything they find on the internet (!!), but once you email Jim you can then call him and tell him exactly what you said in email, via a phonecall… at which point he can pass that along to Mr. Spink. Which really makes sense, doesn’t it? That’s how censorship works – it’s dumb.

Recanted (false) Testimony & Suborned Perjury

Recently, the good folks over at cultureghost have pulled out from the archives a press release I wrote, from prison, in March of 2011. You can read the entire document here, in full, if you’re curious.

For those following along with the story, Stephen Clarke’s false statement against me – coerced under illegal prosecutorial pressure, and used to justify my three year prison sentence despite a lack of actual criminal charges (let alone an actual conviction by a jury) – in 2010 stood in stark contrast to his earlier statements to police. In those statements, which were backed up by him taking – and passing – a polygraph exam, he made it clear I did not “authorize” (nor participate in) his amorous activities whilst at my farm. Since prosecutors couldn’t send me to prison for years if he kept telling the truth, they simply chose put pressure on him until he lied. Clarke broke after months of such pressure, and threats of years in prison if he didn’t tell the lie that the prosecutor wanted to hear.

Then, Clarke contacted my lawyer and flatly recanted that lie… about 9 months later.

By then, I was in prison in Texas. When the recantation came through, I drafted this press release. I sincerely thought that, since the sole actual piece of “evidence” that suggested any actual wrongdoing on my part (in a strictly legal sense) had been withdrawn by the actual person who gave it in the first place… well, they couldn’t keep me in prison for several years more. Could they?

They could. And they did.

Neither the courts – nor really anyone else, then or now – seemed to give a rat’s ass that Clarke withdrew his false statement against me. I’ve since been told by someone with extensive familiarity of the details of the case, that the “general feeling” justifying this blithe dismissal of the recantation is as follows: Clarke is a convicted child molester (unbeknownst to me) who was travelling under a false name (again, unbeknownst to me), someone who likely cooperated with cops in an effort to entrap me (more on that later), and got “caught” on video in intimate encounters with nonhuman animals (likely a story behind that “accident” – more later)… so, naturally, his word can’t be trusted anyway. Which is a totally fascinating statement! Because, um… they sure as hell “trusted” his word when they used his false statement to send me to prison for years in the first place, didn’t they? I guess what is really meant is that when he tells the truth – and the truth exonerates me – then suddenly his “word” becomes worthless. The logic of Normals at its best, that. The moving-goalposts version of “justice” – it’s justice if I get lynched, however that’s accomplished. And if it looks like I might escape the lynching… well, just move the goalposts. Simple and effective.

Anyhow, this has been one of many painful, ugly lessons I’ve learned about double standards, hypocrisy, and the ability of prosecutors to commit serious felonies and go skipping away merrily without a care in the world… the brass tacks of how things really work in a world where institutionalized bigotry and overt prejudice are celebrated against certain sexual minorities and unpopular sexual orientations. The proverbial real world, in other words.

Back then, however, I really felt that Clarke telling the truth would “set the scales to right” – I’m told by my lawyer that Clarke felt the same way (I haven’t had any contact with Clarke himself, directly, since 2010). We were both so laughably, childishly naive. Of course, any actual “facts” or truth-based analysis of why society used its violence and its power against us was irrelevant to the actual outcome – which was preordained in any case. The targeting was done not based on anything as quotidian and prosaic as something we actually did… nooo, it was targeting based on the class to which we belong: “who we are,” in other words. Just as all genuine bigotry plays out. [note: whether Clarke is - or is not - a "real" zoophile is one I'm not going to tackle here, for strategic reasons that will become obvious in due course]

Back then, I felt justice was imminent. I penned these words…

…[c]ontinues LeConte-Spink: “Recently, Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiabao bravely stated that ‘I have no enemies, and no hatred… for hatred is corrosive of a person’s wisdom and conscience; the mentality of enmity can poison a nation’s spirit, instigate brutal life and death struggles, destroy a society’s tolerance and humanity’ – even as he was being sentenced to nine years in prison by a politicized Chinese court as a result of his own activism and work towards a more just and peaceful world. I take much solace from his words, and echo them in my own small struggles to live up to examples such as his: I have no enemies, save the enemy of injustice and hatred. I refuse to hate those who have been so eager to hate me. Rather, I work towards a future where such hateful individuals are rightfully marginalized from civil discourse, perhaps thereby learning to see the world beyond their own prejudices and bigotry.”

“My time in prison due to my activism is tiny compared to Mr. Xiabao’s – or Oscar Wilde’s – but I nevertheless strive towards the high standards they have set. Let hatred give way to genuine compassion, genuine understanding, and genuine empathy – both within our species and between all sentient species worldwide. Hatred only breeds more hatred – and as my case sadly shows, those who descend into abject hatred may well lose their moral compass entirely and revert to immoral (and perhaps illegal) schemes like suborning perjury in a federal courtroom. We can all agree that such hatreds corrode all they touche, and now we can all take a step towards finding common ground instead. This is my sincere hope, for our shared future.”

Concludes LeConte-Spink: “I have learned much during this time of incarceration, and whatever happens I will return to my life and my work stronger, wiser, and more compassionate than before. The broad support I have received from family, friends, colleagues, fellow inmates, and community members has been both humbling and heartening. For this, and for much else, I am deeply thankful.”

I am still humbled by Mr. Xiabao’s courage and integrity, perhaps even more so than before. Coupled with that is a deeper appreciation of the rot and structural corruption that formalized bigotry brings with it. “The law,” as it has been applied to me, is a risible joke. I’m not covered by the “law” at this point in time – I’m covered by the role of mob hatreds, and rank bigotry, and the dark side of human groups when served up an approved target for social violence. Quite a different kind of circumstance, I think most would agree.

But I’m still deeply thankful. And, yes, I came out of prison stronger and wiser and in many ways a more substantive activist and a more effective change agent. The beauty of unintended consequences, eh?