DOJ Claims Judge Who Trashed 'Made Up Plot' Should Be Removed For Being 'Hostile' To The Gov't

from the because-the-doj-can't-lose dept

The self-assured nature of federal prosecutors can be quite insane. We've talked many times in the past about how the criminal justice system is completely rigged against anything remotely looking like fairness. From grand juries to plea bargains to sentencing guidelines, the entire system is designed to make anyone who enters it presumed guilty until their spirit is crushed and destroyed. In the last few years we've noted an even more disturbing trend: law enforcement creating their own plots, in which they lure (often gullible or marginalized) individuals into a convoluted criminal "plot" in which nearly all of the other players are fellow law enforcement folks (or informants). They then build up this big plot... wait until it's about to go off (knowing it'll never actually happen) and then arrest those they lured into it. It has happened over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again. Courts have found that this is technically not "entrapment," even though it sure appears to come close to it.

That's why we were quite happy to see a federal judge finally call out one of these questionable plots. Earlier this year, we wrote about Judge Otis Wright (whose name you may recall from the beatdown he gave Team Prenda) calling out one of the ATF's homegrown criminal plots for "outrageous government conduct" in creating a "made up crime." Wright detailed how the government picked details of the entirely fictional plot at levels to guarantee felony charges, and also accused it of "trawling... poverty-ridden areas" in a "fishing expedition" dangling huge riches on people who have no money. He further noted that nearly all of the elements of "the crime" were done by the ATF:
But for the undercover agent’s imagination in this case there would be no crime. The undercover agent invented his drug-courier persona, the stash house, the 20 to 25 kilograms of cocaine supposedly inside the stash house, the two individuals supposedly guarding the stash, the need to use weapons, and the idea of robbing the stash house. He even provided the putative safe house and getaway van. Dunlap brought little to the table besides his sheer presence and perhaps the hope of being able to obtain some quick cash.

[....] ...here, the undercover agent provided a getaway van, putative safe house, and—most important of all—the entire scheme and its fictitious components. He also alleviated Defendants’ logistical and safety concerns when he “proposed that he would be inside the stash house at the time of the robbery . . . .” ...
So, how did the DOJ respond to this setback? Well, via Brad Heath, we see that the DOJ has gone to the appeals court to demand a new judge, accusing Judge Wright of being biased. Seriously.
Reassignment is warranted “to ensure not only the existence, but the appearance, of impartiality,” such as when “the district judge . . . may be viewed as having assumed the role of advocate.” ... Here, as Dunlap himself has suggested..., the district court’s tone and actions have created the appearance of hostility to the government.

As set forth earlier, the court’s tone has not been one of impartiality. To be sure, a holding of “outrageous” conduct necessarily entails strong language—condemnation is built into the very standard. But even so, the court’s comments are extreme: accusing the government of “lead[ing] us into temptation”; of “stoop[ing] to the same level as the defendants it seeks to prosecute” and “creating crime”; of targeting people simply for being poor or for having bad thoughts; and of being “cold-blooded and heartless.” Similar is the court’s refrain that the crimes of conviction were “fake,” “trumped up,” “cut from whole cloth,” or “made up”—after all, it was Hudson who initiated contact, the defendants showed up with guns, one of which Whitfield boasted could cut a man in half.... Similar, too, is the court’s repeated criticism of the investigation as a “trawling” expedition where bait was “dangled” “irresistibl[y]” before poor, ignorant defendants.

It is not just that the substance of the court’s accusations is wrong: merely erring is not grounds for reassignment. It is that the tone creates the appearance of hostility toward a government “oppressor.” ... And that tone is not limited to the court’s description of historical facts: it has been also dismissive to government counsel during hearings.
In short: because the judge called out the ATF and the DOJ for its outrageous behavior, that proves that the judge is biased and therefore unfit to hear the case. Only judges that accept our outrageous behavior are reasonable and should be allowed to hear our cases.

This is the attitude of federal prosecutors. The entire system is already rigged to support us, so if a judge somehow actually pushes back on something we did, then clearly he's the problem, rather than our outrageous behavior.

Reader Comments (rss)

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    Jay (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 6:55am

    What boggles my mind...

    I can't say anything to this. The judge pointed out facts.

    And the DOJ is denying the facts for faith. This is literally religion in a state institution and goes against the First Amendment...

    I'm just in awe at how entitled the government has become.

     

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      BSD32x (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 8:03am

      Re: What boggles my mind...

      I know it won't matter in the long run, but this seems ripe for a Tesla-esque petition. Based on his handling of Prenda alone, I'm sure the Internet canb get 100,000 signatures in support of Judge Wright.

       

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        Michael, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 8:05am

        Re: Re: What boggles my mind...

        It would be a complete travesty if he needed any support. I would expect any judge to look at this for what it is and toss out the idea of reassignment.

        If they can get this reassigned, any time a judge points out bad behavior, they could be traded out.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 8:10am

          Re: Re: Re: What boggles my mind...

          They got the Stop & Frisk judge reassigned, I don't see why they couldn't get this one, too, as ridiculous as it is.

           

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          pixelpusher220 (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 9:12am

          Re: Re: Re: What boggles my mind...

          Huh, the top of the slope just got higher...and more slippery. Who'd a thunk it?

          Exactly what you said, this is a canary in the coal mine moment folks. If the gov't is saying the impartial referee isn't partial because they want to make up their own rules...we're in deep deep trouble.

           

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            orbitalinsertion (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 10:21am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: What boggles my mind...

            That canary is long dead. He's passed on. That canary is no more. He has ceased to be. Pretty sure he was dead ten feet inside the mine entrance.

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 11:11am

      Re: What boggles my mind...

      This is what anti-intellectualism gets you.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 1:37pm

      Re: What boggles my mind...

      Statism is a religion....a religion of violence and power.

      I prefer consensual relationships and exchange.

       

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    Michael, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 8:04am

    But for the undercover agent’s imagination in this case there would be no crime.

    THAT should be the definition of entrapment.

     

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    TestPilotDummy, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 8:10am

    I can say something.

    Also applies to this thread... https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140712/22295127864/nypd-tells-brooklyn-officers-to-continue-maki ng-low-level-drug-arrests-da-has-stated-he-wont-prosecute.shtml


    I DARE you to call me for Jury Duty.
    Your goin to so PAY for your TREASONS. (yeah that's plural)

     

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      art guerrilla (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 11:08am

      Re:

      i will only mention that in many jurisdictions, you can volunteer for jury duty...

      in practice, i imagine that means only law-and-order authoritarian types with too much time on their hands actually do so, NOT fair-minded citizens interested in real justice...

      just sayin'...

       

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      sorrykb (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 11:41am

      Re:

      I DARE you to call me for Jury Duty.

      "Dismiss this juror for cause, your honor?"
      "Agreed."
      And back to the juror assembly room you go, to sit and wait and eat stale vending machine snacks...

       

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      New Mexico Mark, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 4:52pm

      Re:

      I'll never serve on a jury in the state where I now live, despite having served on juries in two other states. Five jury summons and five "never mind" responses bear that out. In this state, all potential jurors must fill out a questionnaire. Most of the questions make good sense. However, there is one question that essentially asks the potential juror if they'll ignore their conscience and just follow the judge's instructions.

      This means all actual selectees for juries in this state have no conscience because of one of the following:
      1. They don't actually have a conscience
      2. They can actually ignore their conscience when determining guilt or innocence
      3. They have a conscience, but can ignore it when they lie on the questionnaire.

      Amazing.

       

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    TestPilotDummy, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 8:11am

    I can say something. else.

    I DARE you to call me for Jury Duty.
    Your goin to so PAY for your TREASONS. (yeah that's plural)


    Not sure how much LONGER the SYSTEM can even be WORKED TO FIX.

    think about that one.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 8:12am

    Imagination

    Sounds like the ATF was playing a lot of D&D

     

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    Ima Fish (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 8:16am

    I don't know if Judge Otis Wright is biased, but he does seem to have a philosophical bent. Almost as if he believes in some nutty concept such as the separation of powers. As if it's his job to keep watch over and put limits on the executive branch. And we all know that's crazy, because the executive branch has to work with complete impunity to protect us from terrorists.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 8:24am

      Judge Wright for the Supreme Court

      Someone should start a we the people petition to nominate judge wright to the supreme court.

       

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        mcinsand, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 8:36am

        Re: Judge Wright for the Supreme Court

        Screw that!

        Judge Wright for President! Seriously, I would vote for him in a heartbeat.

        However, this is demoralizing. The Department of Justice has become a Department of Injustice, presumed innocent is a bygone concept, and we have become a police state. I guess we just make sure to write letters while we still have a First Amendment and vote while we still have some choice (even though the two parties have effectively become one.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 8:38am

        Re: Judge Wright for the Supreme Court

        this would require the death or retirement of a sitting justice, unless congress wants to raise the number of justices (and frankly i'm not sure they can). that has a chance to work out to everyone's advantage so it will clearly not be done.

         

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          pixelpusher220 (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 9:10am

          Re: Re: Judge Wright for the Supreme Court

          Ginsberg isn't long for the bench. She'll be gone within 5 years max.

           

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          1st Dread Pirate Roberts (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 8:45pm

          Re: Re: Judge Wright for the Supreme Court

          The expansion of the court is not as radical an idea as it may seem. From the time of its establishment, the size of the Supreme Court was largely dictated by the number of lower courts. As new states were added to the Union and the population grew, new trial courts and circuit courts were created – and new justices added. For example, when a 10th circuit was added in 1863, a 10th justice was added at the same time. When the circuits were reduced in 1866, the number of justices was reduced. Ultimately, the creation of the current nine-number court in 1869 was part of a Congressional decision to create parity with the number of circuits.

           

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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 8:36am

    A New Attitude

    Eric Holder, upon receiving the verbal report of Judge Wrights' ruling erupted; "What do you mean he wants to follow the Constitution?"

     

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    me@me.net, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 8:41am

    Or............

    The government, notably this kind of arsonist firefighte mentality has caused hostility to same, ie the gubment.

     

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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 8:48am

    Hitler is smiling

    Hitler is smiling from his seat in hell - he has won... :-(

     

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      jupiterkansas (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 8:55am

      Re: Hitler is smiling

      I don't think turning the U.S. into a police state was his goal.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 9:02am

        Re: Re: Hitler is smiling

        No, but destroying the US was, and this is a long step toward that destruction.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 9:04am

        Re: Re: Hitler is smiling

        Sure it was. He just wanted to be the one in charge of those police. In reality though this is what Putin wants. He is "former" KGB now openly running 1/4 of the worlds power. In response, our "intelligence" community has evened the playing field by making the whole world into the 1984 of Hitlers' dream.

         

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      Uriel-238 (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 10:51am

      Re: Hitler is smiling

      Hitler had a plan to wipe out the peoples he regarded as lesser and replace them with a German elite.

      The US is presently merely slouching towards corporate feudalism.

      If anyone wins, it's the imaginary terrorists who hate our freedoms, because those are certainly being annihilated one by one. (Real terrorists have a more specific and less US-centric agenda).

       

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        That One Guy (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 3:13pm

        Nothing 'imaginary' about them

        Don't know what you're talking about, there absolutely are 'terrorists who hate our freedoms', it's just they're not in some cave in some dusty country over in the middle east like the government likes to claim, but wearing suits, and running the gorram USG.

         

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    Coogan (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 8:52am

    he should consider himself lucky

    Nowadays, being noted "hostile towards the government" will get you blowed up by a unmanned aerial drone. He should be thanking his lucky stars that they just want him off the case.

    Either that, or in a few months we'll be reading a story about how Wright was arrested after some child porn was found on his computer. Coincidence, I'm sure.

     

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    scotts13 (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 9:11am

    Tone it down a bit?

    Well, clearly he's Wright and they're wrong - but it's one man against a big bureaucracy. As such, he'll have to follow established procedures. Make the same rulings, but tone down the language a bit. It'll take longer for them to realize he's being (rightfully) hostile to their malevolent idiocy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 9:14am

    “Hostile to the Government” sounds a bit too much like “Checks and Balances”. Can’t have that.

     

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    DannyB (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 9:17am

    How to fix the DOJ and Judicial process

    A simple fix that would have eliminated this problem, and would streamline the whole process for the DOJ would be to simply eliminate judges. Let the prosecutor be the judge. It would also save taxpayer dollars.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 9:25am

    What's the difference?

    "we wrote about Judge Otis Wright (whose name you may recall from the beatdown he gave Team Prenda) calling out one of the ATF's homegrown criminal plots for "outrageous government conduct" in creating a "made up crime."


    Now that both have received a smackdown from Judge Otis Wright, what's the difference between Prenda and the government prosecutors?

     

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      Quiet Lurcker, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 9:44am

      Re: What's the difference?

      There's a difference between Prenda and government prosecutors (other than of scale)?????

      I am shocked. SHOCKED, I tell you. That you would even THINK such a thing.

       

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    Bengie, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 9:30am

    what?

    I thought the whole point of having a judge was to question everything the government does. If all they're going to do is rubber stamp everything, just get rid of their jobs.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 9:59am

      Re: what?

      Well. A judge is to question everything about any case brought to them government or not. If enough evidence is brought to convince that it needs to be tested in court then warrants are issued and the process for a trial begins during which a judge is to preside and ensure that proper proceeding and protocol are adhered to throughout the course of the trial.

      This is one of the rare judges we need to KEEP on the payroll! He seems to be doing his real job compared to the majority that just snooze through their jobs like uncaring drones until it suits them to do otherwise.

       

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    Ninja (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 9:31am

    Welcome to the Ministerial Council for the Defense of the Reich, better known as DOJ.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 9:44am

    Our Government is run by corporations and is not living up to the Constitution of the People ,for America I motion to have them removed and publicly executed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 10:07am

    This government:
    Lies to its people.
    Lies to itself.
    Lies to other governments.
    Destroys evidence.
    Destroys lives.
    Tortures people.
    Spies on citizens.
    Spies on politicians.
    Spies on groups.
    Breaks the laws.
    Violates the constitution.
    Takes money for favors.
    Takes favors for favors.
    Rigs districts.
    Rigs elections.
    Rigs trials.
    Rigs judges.
    Rigs debates.
    Rigs evidence.
    Rigs attacks.
    Invades countries.
    Invades private property.
    Abuses power.
    Abuses authority.
    Abuses minorities.
    Ignores the will of its citizens.
    Imposes its will on its citizens.
    Imposes its will on other countries.
    Hides misdoings.
    Hides evidence.
    Hides information.
    Hides accountability.
    ...and I'm sure there are many more I am not thinking of.

    Just what is it going to take for people to recognize the corruption and take action?

     

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      Michael, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 10:13am

      Re:

      clubs baby seals

       

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      Padpaw (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 10:38am

      Re:

      51% realize this 47% think everything is fine. If you can win over the apathetic 47% then you have your revolution

       

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        Uriel-238 (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 4:19pm

        Re: Re:

        Past revolutions were able to operate with about 60% sympathy and 5% participation.

        Though that 5% enlistment is huge. Our USArmy enlistment, by comparison is 0.028%.

         

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      Uriel-238 (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 10:57am

      Revolution starts with grievance.

      Just what is it going to take for people to recognize the corruption and take action?

      Starvation and death.

      People join the resistance when their personal lives are directly affected by the process. When they get SWATted and their dog is killed (or their baby burned), when their businesses get extorted to betray their clients, when the police gun down innocents in "defense" or lie as a group in court to throw someone in jail, then those who survive, those who still remain will consider taking up arms, if there is a place to rally.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2014 @ 12:38pm

        Re: Revolution starts with grievance.

        Holy hanna, you just described the US Federal Government's methodology for creating terrorists out of foreign peasants!

         

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      Coogan (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 1:33pm

      Re:

      Just what is it going to take for people to recognize the corruption and take action?

      Shutdown ComicCon.
      Shutdown the NFL.
      Shutdown Tesla Motors.
      in progress
      Cancel Game of Thrones
      Cancel Avengers 2: Age of Ultron
      Cancel Star Wars VII
      Cancel all pizza delivery service
      Cancel Mountain Dew
      Have George R R Martin killed
      Have Tupac killed check

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jul 20th, 2014 @ 12:36pm

        Re: Re:

        You forgot to shut down all the breweries.
        As long as folks can still get pissed 3 days a week, they'll keep on thinking everything is peachy.
        OK, so maybe the word "thinking" is inappropriate when discussing drunks...

         

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    orbitalinsertion (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 10:16am

    Aw, come on now.

    Who could be hostile towards government behavior like that?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 10:27am

    Here is a man who understands the principals this country was founded on.

    Judge Otis Wright
    Status: Big Damn Hero

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 10:35am

    It has begun. I was wondering when the judges will begin being co-opted or replaced in the "land of the free", now that the government is a complete oligarchy only defending itself and its powerful members. Since the government doesn't seem to have any interest in respecting the Constitution anymore, it was only a matter of time before the justice system fell, too.

     

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    Padpaw (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 10:37am

    Another proud day in the land of the not so free where dissent of government is declared terrorism

     

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    AC, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 10:43am

    Osama won

    look at the state of your country now, Osama won the fight he took away all your rights and made your government arrest people that should never have been arrested and well now there is no privacy in the good old USA anymore. Looks like the terrorists won, and you lost.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 10:53am

    otis gets it right again.  guy is showing to be one of the best ever in my humble.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 11:03am

    So much for ...

    Judge Wright's appointment to the FISA Court, eh?

     

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    Uriel-238 (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 11:27am

    This is (now) part of the procedure.

    Lawyers with internal integrity have long since been culled out of the system by those without, probably because we human beings suck at being objective and emotionally impartial. This is also how good NYC cops are forced to do their quota (yes, I said it) of 140s. And it's how judges that don't work with lying cops to put innocents in jail are removed from the bench.

    Especially so if there are further penalties to the Honorable Wright.

    If this appeal succeeds in getting Wright ousted from the case, it will be yet another example of how the DoJ is completely busted. (Much like the incidents of law enforcement officers getting caught lying in court without penalties near what a civilian would suffer). It demonstrates that our law enforcement branches no longer serve to reasonably serve the public, but instead serve their own agendas (or those of people in power -- in contrast to offices that hold power).

    The next step, incidentally, is not outright revolution, but is twofold.

    The first is to adopt the policy of Omertà, which is to avoid calling the cops (or any responders) at all costs with the understanding that they will only make a situation worse, this no matter how grievous a matter or crime. We'll be ready to do this when we realize that the lives lost to crime or fire or disaster is a lesser cost than suffering the intervention of Law Enforcement Agencies.

    The second step is to adopt the policy of Vendetta, which is to police ourselves with violent reprisal against wrongdoers and their families (since humans are more motivated to avoid consequences to others than themselves). And ultimately to target law-enforcement officers themselves, responding to their injustices as if they are individuals rather than part of an institution. And again, we'd also target their families in order to make it clear they are responsible for their own actions, no matter how they justify it as "part of their job".

    Yes. This is messy. That is why we don't do this normally. This is why we prefer to have a police force that has internal integrity and is compelled to serve the justice of the people over preservation of the institution.

    This is, incidentally, how we dealt with the medieval Holy Inquisition. And, for that matter, Nazi occupation.

     

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      Uriel-238 (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 11:29am

      Re: This is (now) part of the procedure.

      Bleh. Bad editing.

      The line "Especially so if there are further penalties to the Honorable Wright."

      Goes below the paragraph that begins "If this appeal succeeds" and ends "but instead serve their own agendas (...)"

      Sorry all. I am dum.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    •  
      identicon
      Just Another Anonymous Troll, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 12:59pm

      Re: This is (now) part of the procedure.

      So now we're taking pages from the Mafia's playbook? And... it actually sounds better than the crap we have now.
      Our government makes me cry.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      •  
        icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 4:14pm

        Re: Re: This is (now) part of the procedure.

        Just to make clear to whatever powers that are reading (please don't SWAT my house), I'm not so much endorsing classical mobster activism, but simply saying that if history informs, that is how things will progress whether we want it to or not.

        I think it also happened in the Soviet Union, which is part of how the Russian mobs formed.

        And the reason the police are supposed to preserve their own integrity and not turn into thugs-with-uniforms is to prevent the people from having to resort to such measures.

         

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Mark Noo, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 4:46pm

    One of the nice things about federal judges (I think) is that they are appointed for a lifetime.

    Another thing to understand is that prosecutors love to overstate facts (how else are you going to put a guy with a pound of weed in jail for 10 years, you have to be full of shit to think that is right).

    Anyway, the prosecutor is a showboat.

    Maybe we will get lucky and the judge will find some reason to sanction/fine/etc this guy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 6:09pm

    It isn't actually entrapment but it looks like entrapment.

    Just get it to the Supreme Court and that should be close enough, yes?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 6:38pm

    The ATF manufactured, planned, and helped execute the crime. The DOJ is attempting to justify the crime. It's obvious who the real criminals are, but like most criminals the DOJ and ATF refuse to take responsibility for their actions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jul 16th, 2014 @ 7:16pm

    We've talked many times in the past about how the criminal justice system is completely rigged against anything remotely looking like a duck.
    FTFY

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    icon
    1st Dread Pirate Roberts (profile), Jul 16th, 2014 @ 8:42pm

    But we're protecting you from WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION

    It's all done in the name of terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. That's why Federal Marshals can swoop in and seize records on the Stinger.

    Are you guys all pinko communists? Don't you care about protecting your country?? :-)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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