Posts Tagged ‘Kafka’

Even Kafka couldn’t make up this stuff, but We can end it.

I have been following this story for awhile, and as ridiculous and beyond Kafka-esque as it appears, this is actually happening in nearby Michigan. Any precedents set by this case will be used for all sorts of nefarious purposes, so please, send your Reiki, work your magic, revoke your consent to this con, use your phones and email … whatever you can, please do. Honestly, if this happened in any other country, the US would already be bombing, er, “liberating” them. Time to liberate ourselves and each other with more effective and life honoring methods. Via RMN:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Commerce Twp., Michigan, April 22, 2015

A Michigan woman is calling on Governor Rick Snyder to intervene and protect her from being put in a federal prison after what she calls a crudely engineered criminal conviction for her refusal to comply with unlawful orders of a federal court—orders commanding her not just that she must testify, but what she must say.

Doreen Hendrickson was charged two years ago with criminal contempt of court for refusing to comply with DOJ- and IRS-requested orders from a federal court in 2007. The court commanded Hendrickson to amend her freely-made tax returns for 2002 and 2003 with content dictated by the tax agency, by which she would be made to declare that all her earnings for those years are subject to the income tax. She eventually did submit the amended returns, but with a declaration that she had been coerced. The DOJ told the judge that the IRS could not process her returns under those circumstances.

The judge then ordered Mrs. Hendrickson to sign the dictated-content forms declaring under oath that she personally believes what she has been ordered to say, and to conceal the fact that the words are not her own. Such orders have never been made to an American before in history, whether in regard to a tax return or any other kind of document or testimony. “This is not a tax case. This is about my right to be in charge of my own testimony, to speak my conscience, and to protect my own property interests in a legal contest, even when that contest is with my government,” Hendrickson says. “If the court can force me to amend my return, put numbers on it dictated by the IRS that I know aren’t correct, and make me hide the fact that I was coerced, then you might as well set fire to the Bill of Rights.”

Mrs. Hendrickson has consistently said she doesn’t believe that all of her earnings are, in fact, taxable– a view the IRS itself took when first presented with her original returns, and which it has never contradicted over any agency official’s signature. In fact, even now, many years since those original returns were filed and many years since Mrs. Hendrickson was ordered to change them, the United States Department of Treasury records continue to agree with Hendrickson’s original figures.

Mrs. Hendrickson has testified to her actual beliefs on affidavits and in live testimony under oath in every hearing and trial that has been held concerning the matter. The government has never produced any evidence to the contrary, always simply arguing that she ought to believe differently because the IRS wants her to, and because the judge appears to believe what Hendrickson is being ordered to say.

Mrs. Hendrickson views the orders made to her to be violations of her right to control the content of her own speech, and of her right to due process, since the orders demand that she declare agreement with her adversary’s position on the taxable character of certain kinds of earnings– a matter which otherwise would likely be in dispute in future litigations between her and the United States.

Mrs. Hendrickson also views the orders as a violation of her right to refuse to be a witness against herself, since being forced to declare something contradicting her prior-filed returns now would not only compel her to commit perjury today, but would amount to a declaration that her previously-made testimony was false.

Mrs. Hendrickson strenuously argues that the orders she is accused of disobeying are unlawful, and therefore her refusal cannot be criminal contempt. After all, the statute she is accused of violating, specifically qualifies that it is disobedience of a lawful order that is punishable.

The government attorneys and the judge that presided over her trials apparently agree. At the government’s urging the judge instructed Mrs. Hendrickson’s jury that it must disregard the unlawfulness or unconstitutionality of the orders when deciding whether she was guilty of criminal contempt for resisting them.

The judge also instructed the jury that it need not unanimously find that Hendrickson actually did either of the two distinct alleged acts of contempt with which she was charged—another unprecedented feature of her trial. The trial ended in November, 2013 in a hung jury, and the government then tried again in July of 2014. At the close of the second trial, her jury, thus instructed, declared Mrs. Hendrickson to be guilty.

On April 9, 2015, Judge Victoria Roberts of the U.S. District Court in Detroit sentenced Mrs. Hendrickson to 18 months in prison. Mrs. Hendrickson was ordered to surrender herself into federal custody within 60 days—IF she submitted new amended returns with the government’s numbers and without any hint that they were coerced or disclaimed—otherwise, she would be forced to surrender within 30 days. Thus, the court continues to pressure Mrs. Hendrickson not only to give up her civil rights, but to commit a felony by filing false tax returns.

“This case is unprecedented. Mrs. Hendrickson is appealing, and we are confident that the Sixth Circuit will do the right thing and see this trial and conviction as unsupportable in a free society,” said her attorney, Mark Cedrone of Philadelphia. Fearing, however, that she will be made to suffer this penalty even while waiting for her appeal to be heard, Mrs. Hendrickson has asked Michigan’s Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette to stand in vindication of her Constitutionally-secured rights between her and the federal officials.

Governor Snyder and AG Schuette have not yet responded to Mrs. Hendrickson’s request.

Contact information:

Pete Hendrickson

newsman “at” losthorizons.com

Questions concerning the ongoing federal proceedings should be directed to Mrs. Hendrickson’s counsel at mec “at”cedrone-mancano.com

A .pdf of this press release can be found at http://losthorizons.com/4-22PressRelease.pdf

Assange Statement on the First Day of Manning Trial

This is seriously one of the most important trials of our time. Please don’t close your eyes to this one. We need Prayer, Reiki, Truth, Courage, potent Intention, and some kind of Divine Intervention to turn around this blood-dimmed tide. Perhaps it’s time for the Morrigan –Goddess of Sovereignty, Goddess of the Land and a kiss a$$ battle Goddess — to protect her true warriors. Truth Warriors. Julian Assange of Wikileaks enters his statement into the public domain:

Assange Statement on the First Day of Manning Trial
Monday 3rd June 2013, 22:00 GMT

Statement by Julian Assange

As I type these lines, on June 3, 2013, Private First Class Bradley Edward Manning is being tried in a sequestered room at Fort Meade, Maryland, for the alleged crime of telling the truth. The court martial of the most prominent political prisoner in modern US history has now, finally, begun.

It has been three years. Bradley Manning, then 22 years old, was arrested in Baghdad on May 26, 2010. He was shipped to Kuwait, placed into a cage, and kept in the sweltering heat of Camp Arifjan.

“For me, I stopped keeping track,” he told the court last November. “I didn’t know whether night was day or day was night. And my world became very, very small. It became these cages… I remember thinking I’m going to die.”

After protests from his lawyers, Bradley Manning was then transferred to a brig at a US Marine Corps Base in Quantico, VA, where – infamously – he was subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment at the hands of his captors – a formal finding by the UN. Isolated in a tiny cell for twenty-three out of twenty-four hours a day, he was deprived of his glasses, sleep, blankets and clothes, and prevented from exercising. All of this – it has been determined by a military judge – “punished” him before he had even stood trial.

“Brad’s treatment at Quantico will forever be etched, I believe, in our nation’s history, as a disgraceful moment in time” said his lawyer, David Coombs. “Not only was it stupid and counterproductive, it was criminal.”

The United States was, in theory, a nation of laws. But it is no longer a nation of laws for Bradley Manning.

When the abuse of Bradley Manning became a scandal reaching all the way to the President of the United States and Hillary Clinton’s spokesman resigned to register his dissent over Mr. Manning’s treatment, an attempt was made to make the problem less visible. Bradley Manning was transferred to the Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

He has waited in prison for three years for a trial – 986 days longer than the legal maximum – because for three years the prosecution has dragged its feet and obstructed the court, denied the defense access to evidence and abused official secrecy. This is simply illegal – all defendants are constitutionally entitled to a speedy trial – but the transgression has been acknowledged and then overlooked.

Against all of this, it would be tempting to look on the eventual commencement of his trial as a mercy. But that is hard to do.

We no longer need to comprehend the “Kafkaesque” through the lens of fiction or allegory. It has left the pages and lives among us, stalking our best and brightest. It is fair to call what is happening to Bradley Manning a “show trial”. Those invested in what is called the “US military justice system” feel obliged to defend what is going on, but the rest of us are free to describe this travesty for what it is. No serious commentator has any confidence in a benign outcome. The pretrial hearings have comprehensively eliminated any meaningful uncertainty, inflicting pre-emptive bans on every defense argument that had any chance of success.

Bradley Manning may not give evidence as to his stated intent (exposing war crimes and their context), nor may he present any witness or document that shows that no harm resulted from his actions. Imagine you were put on trial for murder. In Bradley Manning’s court, you would be banned from showing that it was a matter of self-defence, because any argument or evidence as to intent is banned. You would not be able to show that the ’victim’ is, in fact, still alive, because that would be evidence as to the lack of harm.

But of course. Did you forget whose show it is?

The government has prepared for a good show. The trial is to proceed for twelve straight weeks: a fully choreographed extravaganza, with a 141-strong cast of prosecution witnesses. The defense was denied permission to call all but a handful of witnesses. Three weeks ago, in closed session, the court actually held a rehearsal. Even experts on military law have called this unprecedented.

Bradley Manning’s conviction is already written into the script. The commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces, Barack Obama, spoiled the plot for all of us when he pronounced Bradley Manning guilty two years ago. “He broke the law,” President Obama stated, when asked on camera at a fundraiser about his position on Mr. Manning. In a civilized society, such a prejudicial statement alone would have resulted in a mistrial.

To convict Bradley Manning, it will be necessary for the US government to conceal crucial parts of his trial. Key portions of the trial are to be conducted in secrecy: 24 prosecution witnesses will give secret testimony in closed session, permitting the judge to claim that secret evidence justifies her decision. But closed justice is no justice at all.

What cannot be shrouded in secrecy will be hidden through obfuscation. The remote situation of the courtroom, the arbitrary and discretionary restrictions on access for journalists, and the deliberate complexity and scale of the case are all designed to drive fact-hungry reporters into the arms of official military PR men, who mill around the Fort Meade press room like over-eager sales assistants. The management of Bradley Manning’s case will not stop at the limits of the courtroom. It has already been revealed that the Pentagon is closely monitoring press coverage and social media discussions on the case.

This is not justice; never could this be justice. The verdict was ordained long ago. Its function is not to determine questions such as guilt or innocence, or truth or falsehood. It is a public relations exercise, designed to provide the government with an alibi for posterity. It is a show of wasteful vengeance; a theatrical warning to people of conscience.

The alleged act in respect of which Bradley Manning is charged is an act of great conscience – the single most important disclosure of subjugated history, ever. There is not a political system anywhere on the earth that has not seen light as a result. In court, in February, Bradley Manning said that he wanted to expose injustice, and to provoke worldwide debate and reform. Bradley Manning is accused of being a whistleblower, a good man, who cared for others and who followed higher orders. Bradley Manning is effectively accused of conspiracy to commit journalism.

But this is not the language the prosecution uses. The most serious charge against Bradley Manning is that he “aided the enemy” – a capital offence that should require the greatest gravity, but here the US government laughs at the world, to breathe life into a phantom. The government argues that Bradley Manning communicated with a media organisation, WikiLeaks, who communicated to the public. It also argues that al-Qaeda (who else) is a member of the public. Hence, it argues that Bradley Manning communicated “indirectly” with al-Qaeda, a formally declared US “enemy”, and therefore that Bradley Manning communicated with “the enemy”.

But what about “aiding” in that most serious charge, “aiding the enemy”? Don’t forget that this is a show trial. The court has banned any evidence of intent. The court has banned any evidence of the outcome, the lack of harm, the lack of any victim. It has ruled that the government doesn’t need to show that any “aiding” occurred and the prosecution doesn’t claim it did. The judge has stated that it is enough for the prosecution to show that al-Qaeda, like the rest of the world, reads WikiLeaks.

“Liberty cannot be preserved without a general knowledge among the people,” wrote John Adams, “who have a right and a desire to know.”

When communicating with the press is “aiding the enemy” it is the “general knowledge among the people” itself which has become criminal. Just as Bradley Manning is condemned, so too is that spirit of liberty in which America was founded.

In the end it is not Bradley Manning who is on trial. His trial ended long ago. The defendent now, and for the next 12 weeks, is the United States. A runaway military, whose misdeeds have been laid bare, and a secretive government at war with the public. They sit in the docks. We are called to serve as jurists. We must not turn away.

Free Bradley Manning.

No copyright has been asserted for this document. Julian Assange has entered it into the public domain.