Wednesday, October 05, 2005

FBI In Da House

Earlier in the summer we told you about two activists who’d been jailed for their refusal to testify before a grand jury in a case of arson (“A Kind and Enlightened Country,” July 19).

The case of arson was a unique one, as such things go. It involved what highwayscribery referred to at the time as “a highly successful incident of eco-sabotage” that did away with some $50 million worth of urban sprawl.

The feds have their guy, just no evidence – a hallmark of the Bush administration. So what they did was jail some people who were at a talk the eco-warrior gave, but refuse to testify.

There names are Danae Kelley and David Agranoff, and since the last time we covered this issue, another unfortunate soul has been caught in the web of overly aggressive prosecution. Her name is Nicole Fink.

Agranoff says that under the U.S. Constitution that he’s got a freedom to associate with who he wants to under the U.S. Constitution and is not obligated to talk.

the scribe went to his little, pocket-book version of the U.S. Constitution with faux maroon leather cover that he bought at Restoration Hardware two years ago.

Let’s see...oh, Agranoff is right! It’s called Amendment I and was cooked up by the Constitutional Convention of 1789 wherein the state and their representatives got together to do a little fine-tuning.

This is what it says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

U.S. District Court Justice for the Southern District of California, Irma Gonzalez, knows this, but is keeping them in jail to essentially coerce testimony before the grand jury looking into the big fire.

She sprung them for a while, convinced they would never talk, but now they are back in jail on the judge’s supposition that “never” is a shorter amount of time than “forever” is.

The “San Diego Union-Tribune’s” Onell Soto remains on the story and reports October 5 on the latest wrinkle in this largely off-the-radar case:

Aaaaanyway, the Federal Bureau of Investigation visited Kelley’s husband at 6 a.m. on Friday morning, handcuffed he and two friends and sat them down for a three-hour show.

The show was of federal agents combing over their belongings and leaving with their most valuable possessions in tow.

Now, ya see. That’s just plain wrong. Unless you’re trying to intimidate and harass people, you can show up at a reasonable hour of the business day. The element of surprise, the groggy ill-preparedness of the home host is unnecessary. You could also subpoena the stuff first and see if the people are willing to cooperate.

But you want to harass them and you want to make life miserable for their families and friends as well.

You want to completely fuck up somebody’s life, because you’re the government and you get what you want.

That’s why you do this.

The FBI spokesperson says the agency is just doing it’s job.

No it’s not.

No comments: