Wednesday, March 28, 2012

"Thank God we live in a country where we do have freedom of speech."

So says an alleged militia member. A Federal District Court Judge acquitted Hutaree members of conspiracy. "U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts said the members' expressed hatred of law enforcement didn't amount to a conspiracy to rebel against the government. [Huffington Post].

The contentions: "The government asserted that the Hutaree militia's primary aim was to fight law enforcement authorities who belonged to the "New World Order" with the goal of drawing federal law enforcement into a war. Lawyers for the Hutaree militia maintained that the anti-government statements made by militant members were not serious threats and were made only in frustration." [JURIST - Paper Chase: Federal judge dismisses charges against US militia group].

More from the Judge's decision in the JURIST: "The Government has consistently maintained that this case is not about freedom of speech or association, but about the specific acts of violence alleged in the Indictment. ... However, much of the Government's evidence against Defendants at trial was in the form of speeches, primarily by Stone, Sr., who frequently made statements describing law enforcement as the enemy, discussing the killing of police officers, and the need to go to war."

This case is more about the federal government excesses of power. It includes dubious uses of FBI informants  and embedded FBI agents to make their case against domestic terrorism. This quote from the Judge's decision displays the weakness of the government's case.

"The prosecution is not “free to roam at large -- to shift its theory of criminality so as to take advantage of each passing vicissitude of the trial . . . .” [Citation omitted] "If the Government now admits that the plan alleged in Count I of the Indictment did not exist, then Defendants must be acquitted.  The inescapable conclusion of such a tactic is that the Government recognizes that its proofs at trial failed to establish the plan described in the Indictment, so it is attempting to formulate an alternative theory of criminal  liability."

And this case is about judiciary independence. The government and especially the FBI made this a 'poster boy' case about 'domestic terrorism.' "U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder [...] in 2010 called Hutaree a "dangerous organization." [Time].

An independent judiciary kept the FBI and the Obama administration reminded about the US constitution and free speech. It seems that the administration and the FBI's major focus is to keep us in fear of terrorism and to garner support for their attempts at rooting out terrorism at home.

Although it is the correct decision one has to wonder about people who seem to see the world in terms of preparing for the Antichrist. This was a group who apparently saw themselves as "Christian 'soldiers' who are arming themselves and training in anticipation of the coming of the Anti-Christ, which they believe is imminent."  [CBS News].

According to CBS: "A quote from the website reads: 'Jesus wanted us to be ready to defend ourselves using the sword and stay alive using equipment.'" It is difficult to grasp how people can feed on themselves to become committed to irrational ideas that have no basis in fact. But that's religion. And isn't it Fox News?

Related reading:

Hutaree Militia Trial: 7 Michigan Militia Members Head To Court :
Louis Klarevas: Do the Hutaree Militia Members Pose a Terrorist Threat? :
Hutaree Militia May Be Released: A Dangerous Decision?
Excerpts from Judge Victoria Roberts' decision

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