Free Speech in America

13 Sep

Annals of the Police State


Intro by Dick Fitz

Edward Snowden. Julian Assange. Chelsea (née Bradley) Manning. Barrett Brown? If you are unfamiliar with the last name, you aren’t alone. Brown is just another invisible victim of our metastatic police state, facing a life in prison for undefined crimes.

Brown is a journalist and self-appointed spokesman for the cyber collective “Anonymous”, the group that has tried to expose government and corporate crimes. Many of them are young men aware of the dangers posed by an unlimited government spy system, and they loosely collaborate to confound and disrupt those systems. In September 2012, Brown was arrested for crimes ranging from “identity theft” to “threatening an officer”. The nature of those “crimes” range from the fact that he linked to a website where hundreds of credit card details were stored, a YouTube video where he threatens to expose the misdeeds a law enforcement official, and the fact that he brought attention through his writing to a huge cache of documents “stolen” from the company Stratfor. He faces 17 counts for crimes such as obstruction of justice to identity fraud, and a 110 year prison sentence.

His main “crime” appears to be that he exposed an FBI “sting” against fellow dissident Assange before the FBI could entrap him.

He faces additional charges if he speaks out publicly about his case- the Federal judge in charge has forbidden him from speaking out about the details of his arrest, incarceration and possible (probable?) imprisonment. This “gag ruling” was issued last week because the judge ruled that he was using the media to defend himself! Thankfully Alexander Zaitchik of Rolling Stone spoke with him at length before the gag order was issued, and his article is at the link.

This case against a journalist should scare anyone who posts information critical of the government.

Here is a link to a recent short history of Brown-

Here is a link to a long and detailed article from Rolling Stone that details his case, performed before the gag order from the government.


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