Outpost of Freedom
August 26, 2017
I intended to write an article about the Freedom of the Press hearing in Portland, Oregon. However, since I had decided to testify, I had mentally prepared to answer cross-examination questions, should they be asked. My problem in writing this is that the answers given and the answers not given are mingled together in my mind, I can’t quite sort them out and be sure of the accuracy of what I say. As to discussing other matters that were brought up, as well as examination and cross-examination of the government’s two witnesses, FBI SA Jason Kruger and FBI SA Matthew Catalano, are also mingled in my mind, as well as much that was presented by both the prosecuting attorney and my able counsel, Michael Rose.
Therefore, I will, at this time, simply give an overview, from my perspective, of what occurred.
AUSA (Assistant United States Attorney) Pamala Holsinger opened by telling us how damaging my exposing the informants was. She then called FBI SA Jason Kruger to the stand. Kruger must have listened to many hours of various internet radio shows I did, as well as reading, perhaps, all that I have written in both the “Burns Chronicles” and “Freedom of the Press” series. I would say that he was accurate in his quoting from both, but often the words, without inflection and out of context, tell a story that is, at best, just close. However, his testimony, until cross-examination, simply painted a picture of me saying that what I had written would help the defendants.
However, in cross-examination, he was referred to what he had written in his 302 reports and it was pointed out that I had said that my purpose in doing the outing was to shed light on the “Misdeeds of Government”, a phrase that I has been used for decades in describing my writing.
Next came Catalano. Matthew is a nice guy and we got along well, in our two meetings. However, his examination followed the same course. Well, until cross-examination, where Mr. Rose elicited some more positive aspects of our meetings, as well as the fact that from the beginning, I had told Catalano that I didn’t believe that I was subject to a Protective Order, especially one issued out of Oregon, and me not being among those to whom the Protective Order was addressed.
Now, the dilemma is that given what they had presented, both the positive and the negative were nothing more than words. Very little about my motivation to investigate the identities and then write about the informants is addressed in the articles, themselves. And, the radio shows, well, when you speak to an audience, you are not under oath, and you may tend to not present certain statements with sufficient explanation to put a proper context on what is said. Kind of like a politician seeking election, but not telling you all that he believes.
Absent my testimony, where I could present the motivation, it would simply be a coin-toss as to whether the negative or positive would be used by Judge Anna Brown to make her ruling on the matter.
Interestingly, those who wish to ridicule me on the Internet reported that my attorney told me to “shut up”. Well, that is very far from the truth. The day before the Hearing, when I arrived in Portland, I met with him to discuss the hearing. He asked if I had any witnesses to call, and I told him that I keep all but my articles to myself — that nobody could really speak to what my motivation was — except me. He advised me of the dangers of taking the stand, though I already understood what those were. It was clear that I could not speculate on the source, which was a comfort to me, as I simply had to tell the truth, that I didn’t know who sent me the Discovery information that was the evidence I used to identify the informants. He said that he felt comfortable that I could take the stand, so it was decided that I would.
As my turn to take the stand arrived, Judge Brown asked whether I was properly advised of the potential risk, if I took the stand. Mr. Rose explained that we had discussed that, and that I was aware of the necessity that I do so. So, I took the stand and testified.
Those who have spread that he had advised me not to are lying out their backside, or are so mentally deficient that they cannot grasp something as simple of a standard admonition that the judge has to give whenever a defendant, or Respondent, in my case, chooses to testify.
Anyway, being on the stand I could explain why I said some of the things that had been testified to, but could also explain that those statements were a consequence of the outing of the informants; That my motivation was, from the beginning, to let the public know that the government enlists spies to watch and report on our every move.
Finally, in cross-examination, the anticipated question came. However, the wording that Pamala Holsinger used was not acceptable, as the question was “loaded”. Judge Brown interrupted and clarified the question with, “Would you take down the excerpted [from the 1023 forms] material, if that was the Order of this Court?” To which I responded that I went to jail in Sacramento for seven days. Then, Judge Brown graciously held a telephonic hearing in which it was agreed that I could come before this Court, without submitting to the jurisdiction thereof. That this was the second hearing that has been held to determine if this Court did have jurisdiction; and that when this Court rules, if it is that the Court does have jurisdiction and orders the removal of the offending material, then I would abide by the order and comply.
Thus ended the hearing, though Judge Brown did state that this was a very important issue, that there were many people interested in the outcome of this case, and that it was a very important case. She will take the proceedings under advisement and will give her ruling after careful consideration.
What is riding on this matter is whether, if one gains access to information that others were not to provide to anyone, that third party is free to use that information to report on the misdeeds of government. The decision balances on whether the defendants were aided and abetted by my actions. Aiding and Abetting requires collusion between parties. Whether the government has made their case of Aiding and Abetting, or not, is the deciding factor.
However, issues that are more fundamental are also at stake. For example, how can a defendant call an informant to testify on his behalf (Sixth Amendment) if the Discovery information he receives does not provide a name so that the informant can be questioned to determine if he might provide exculpatory testimony? And, if there were exculpatory information in the Discovery information, it would have been redacted out, thereby denying the defendant a source to prove his innocence.
It also raises a question of whether the Fourth Estate (the press), whose traditional role included keeping an eye on the government and reporting their doings to the people, is now criminal, affording an unwarranted degree of secrecy to government actions.