By: Shane Radlif & Kyle Rearden
January 7th, 2017
“You know, there are some words I’ve known since I was a school boy. ‘With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured, the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us all irrevocably.’ Those words were uttered by Judge Aaron Satie; his wisdom, and warning. The first time any man’s freedom is trodden on, we’re all damaged.”
– Captain Jean-Luc Picard, from Star Trek
It has come to our attention that a fellow colleague and alternative media journalist is being persecuted by the federal government for simply providing judicial transparency, regarding a document that has been available on the Liberty Under Attack website for over half a year.
In September of 2015, we first interviewed Gary Hunt on the subject of political prisoners—specifically the cases of Kevin “KC” Massey, William Wolf, and Robert Beecher.
Back in November, an article was published on LUA titled, The FBI Recognizes the Existence of Liberty Under Attack, wherein the FBI documented an interview that we conducted with Hunt on the subjects of Committees of Safety and security teams. It was also posited that LUA was not the focus, but rather Hunt, who is the proprietor of the Outpost of Freedom blog. It appears that those initial inclinations were correct and that they’ve been watching Hunt for quite some time.
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On January 4th, 2017, Hunt was served a Cease and Desist Order signed by Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA) Pamala Holsinger (Oregon State Board #892638), who is the chief of the criminal division for the United States Attorney’s office in the District of Oregon. In this letter, they acknowledge his possession of the protective order in question and demand that Hunt comply and remove all “contraband” in question within 24 hours.
That said, if he were to comply, how in the hell would they ever be able to know if all copies were removed? Once something goes up on the Internet (and is shared extensively), it is there forever. And, as per the Streisand effect, the more the State tries to silence something, the more popularity it gains; a lesson they should have learned long ago.
The said 24 hour deadline expired around noon PST yesterday, and the Feds are moving surprisingly quickly—three new documents added to the docket in just one day, all in regard to their persecution of Hunt.
Before getting into the specifics, it’s first worth mentioning that the documents referenced below, whose dissemination is limited by court order, are also unclassified and heavily redacted; the question being, how can unclassified and largely redacted material be the basis for infringing upon the liberty of the press? As will be seen, it’s not like the federal government is arguing that they have a state secrets privilege, but they are still persecuting Hunt as if they had such a privilege in this case, as if it were a national security matter.
That said, these documents are hyperlinked in Hunt’s own statement, as well as below (the dates follow a yy/mm/dd format):
170104 – Cease and Desist Letter to Gary Hunt
170106 – Motion to Enforce Protective Order (Expedited Consideration Requested)
170106 – Affidavit of FBI Special Agent Ronnie Walker in Support of Motion to Enforce Protective Order
170106 – Order Enforcing Protective Order
The (2) “Motion to Enforce Protective Order” clearly explains the motive for the persecution of Hunt:
“As explained in greater detail in Agent Walker’s affidavit, public dissemination of the material produced under this Court’s Protective Order could threaten ongoing investigations and the safety of government confidential human sources, informants or others.” [Emphasis added]
Right there, the government admits that there are still ongoing investigations against who the hell knows, in addition to the fact that they are also concerned that their exposed informants may experience an acute case of lead poisoning.
Number (3) is particularly important (and it may look familiar), as it lays out Hunt’s intentions and also provides his justification for publishing in the way that he did. In that same document, the FBI agent then refers to a commenter on one of Hunt’s articles asking if he was going to publish these government documents. Gary responded with, “Absolutely not…I have agreed not to disseminate them.” [Emphasis added]
This last excerpt shows the FBI met with Hunt, so it will be provided in its entirety:
“On January 5, 2017, Special Agent Matthew Catalano telephonically contacted Gary HUNT and requested a meeting. Before agreeing to meet Agent Catalano, HUNT confirmed there was no arrest warrant issued for him. Agent Catalano and HUNT met at a restaurant near HUNT’s residence. During the meeting HUNT acknowledged he knew of the court order limiting dissemination of the discovery material but stated he was not bound by the court order. HUNT was provided a copy of a letter from AUSA Pamala Holsinger which demanded HUNT to cease and desist public dissemination of protected material within 24 hours. HUNT was also provided a copy of the final Protective Order, court record 342. HUNT said he anticipated a cease and desist order from the government. HUNT indicated he did not intend to comply with the terms of the letter. HUNT said if it could be proven that his actions were statutorily criminal he would stop doing what he is doing. HUNT informed Special Agent Catalano that he had two more articles outing CHSs in their final review stage before he uploads them. HUNT stated it was necessary to out the CHSs so they could serve as defense witnesses in the next trial. This meeting concluded at approximately 12:20 PM.”
First, notice how Agent Catalano was acting more like a process server, rather than an FBI agent interrogating Hunt as to his activities. Second, the letter itself was not a legally binding document; it just simply threatened the seeking of a court order if Hunt did not rip down his investigative articles referencing the documents in dispute. Third, Hunt admitted during the meeting that he would be more than willing to concede to the request if the AUSA could prove that he was in violation of a criminal statute, which has not been done.
Document (4): This was a document drafted by the AUSA in the language of what they believe the judge would say, but as this article goes to press, Judge Anna Brown has not yet signed the order – this is very much like when special interest lobbyists draft legislation which are often passed into law by legislatures. Shouldn’t “public servants” draft their own documentation as official acts of government, whether it be legislation or, as the case is here, court orders?
If the AUSA can draft court orders for judges to sign, couldn’t any of us, as Americans, draft court orders and then hand them to judges to sign on our behalf, to do whatever we want, regardless of whether the drafted court orders by us are in accordance with the law?
Last time I checked, AUSAs were not above the law….or are they?
Many people feel hopeful due to the results of this particular electoral cycle, but as the Electronic Frontier Foundation has warned, there is much to be concerned about the liberty of the press. And there is no reason to believe this will get any better under a Trump presidency; in this instance, he has made his stance perfectly clear.