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Author: grarpamp
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Subject: Re: [unSYSTEM] Chelsea Manning attempts to destroy 'grand jury' system using their actions as wrecking ball!
On 12/17/19, Razer <g2s@???> wrote:
> https://medium.com/@kevin_33184/chelsea-mannings-resistance-brings-u-s-closer-to-ending-the-grand-jury-7b9d3ad6537a
> 💝 Love you Chelsea! See you at the Barricades 🏴‍☠️

Then post her words. It's also her birthday.

Here's some related news and direct links...





Find books on the web, filesharing, libgen, etc...



Case 1:19-dm-00012-AJT Document 14-1 Filed 05/31/19 Page 1 of 6 PageID# 913

The Honorable Anthony Trenga
Justice of the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division
Albert V. Bryan U.S. Courthouse
401 Courthouse Square
Alexandria, VA 22314
May 28, 2019
Dear Judge Trenga,
During the contempt hearing on May 16, 2019, this Honorable Court
directed me to take the
opportunity during my confinement to reflect on my principles with
respect to the institution of
grand juries in the United States. This letter responds to that directive.
During the hearing, you stated that there exists “no dishonor” in
providing evidence to a grand
jury. You suggested that codification of grand juries in the text of
the U.S. Constitution provided
ample justification for this institution. In response to my suggestion
of “preliminary” or
“committal” hearings, you expressed skepticism over whether such
publicly held hearings served
the same purpose without damaging innocent people accused of crimes.
These arguments are raised frequently in discussions about the
problems with grand juries. They
are certainly not novel to me. Over the last decade, I frequently
considered these and many other
arguments while forming my opinions about the grand jury process.
After spending the last two
weeks reflecting on my decision not to testify before this grand jury,
I wish to present my
position in a more careful and complete manner than an impromptu
colloquy can provide. After
working with lawyers and researchers, I can also now cite specific
sources that support my
First, I shall compare grand juries in their earliest form, including
the ideals and practical
problems they sought to address, to grand juries as they currently
operate. Second I want to
clarify that while my objection to grand juries emphasizes their
historical use against activists, I
also view grand juries as an institution that now undermines due
process even when used as
The drafters of the U.S. Constitution, despite their many flaws,
possessed a sophisticated
understanding of modern political theory. The framers did not set out
to short-circuit due process
protections. Obviously, to a contemporary reader, we now understand
the many flaws and
compromises in the Constitution, and see some as inherently cruel and
indefensible: legal human
slavery; the legalizing of subordinate civil status for women;
segregation; and the
disenfranchisement of those who did not own land come to mind.
Some such practices might have struck contemporaries of the
Constitution as “normal” or
“necessary,” but with the passage of time, and through the tireless
work of millions of people
taking bold and dangerous action, they are now obsolete. I am
certainly not alone in thinking that
the grand jury process, which at one time acted as an independent body
of citizens along the lines


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of a civilian police review board, slowly transitioned into the
unbridled arm of the police and
prosecution in ways that run contrary to the grand jury’s originally
intended purposes. 1
The 5th Amendment provides many of our most cherished procedural
safeguards, concepts
foundational to our criminal legal system, including ‘due process,’ a
prohibition on double
jeopardy, and the right against compelled self-incrimination. The
grand jury is also enshrined in
the fifth amendment, however, prior to the recent publicity
surrounding the Mueller investigation,
most Americans only knew two things about the grand jury.
First, people hear that a grand jury could indict a ham sandwich.
Early grand juries acted
independently, as investigations by citizens. Now, the grand jury
process means the prosecutor
decides what the grand jurors see – and what they don’t see. The grand
jury imagined by the
drafters of the fifth amendment – which did not involve a prosecutor –
bears no resemblance to
what we see today, where more than 99.9% of indictments sought are granted.
Second, we learn another, more sinister thing about grand juries: they
don’t indict law
enforcement. For example, in Dallas over a stretch of several years,
more than 80 police shootings
came before grand juries. Only one returned an indictment. 2 Grand
juries have protected police
officers since the slave patrols. They were used to indict
abolitionists, but not people capturing and
reenslaving people seeking freedom from bondage. They were used to
indict reconstructionists,
while actively protecting lynch mobs. Both the ‘ham sandwich’
statement and selective indictment
happen because of grand jury secrecy.
Also, a prosecutor’s presentation of a case is shaped by their own
ideas and goals. There
does not need to be any misconduct or bad intent on the part of a
prosecutor to influence the
grand jurors in a way that destroys their independence. If you look at
legal scholarship about the
history of the grand jury, you can see how today’s grand juries are
unrecognizable from English
and early American ones. The original grand jury was more than an
investigator; they were
supposed to protect citizens not just from unjust indictments but from
unjust laws. In England,
grand jurors who even allowed a prosecutor to come into the grand jury
room were seen as
having violated their oath.3
I am positive that the founders never intended the grand jury to
function like those we see
today. If grand juries were actually independent bodies that nullified
unjust laws or their unjust
application, to determine whether it was really in the public interest
to decide who should be
made “infamous” under the law, I would feel differently. Reading the
history of grand juries, I
have read of how during the American Revolutionary war, grand jurors
refused to indict tax
resisters against the crown, because while it was technically illegal,
the grand jurors recognized

District Judge Edward Becker concluded, without chagrin, that it is
true, generally, that “the grand jury is
essentially controlled by the United States Attorney and is his
prosecutorial tool” Robert Hawthorne, Inc. v. Dir. of
Internal Revenue, 406 F. Supp. 1098, 1119 (E.D. Pa. 1975)
A grand jury could 'indict a ham sandwich', but apparently not a white
police officer – The Guardian, Tuesday 25
November 2014
3 Roots, Roger, PhD, (2010) Grand Juries Gone Wrong


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that what made it a criminal act was a law imposed by an authority
that most of them by that
time did not recognize4. Nonetheless, the grand jury once provided a
modicum of due process, at
least to the class of people to whom due process was made available.
In 2019, the federal grand jury exists as a mockery of the institution
that once stood
against the whims of monarchs. It undermines the Fourth Amendment’s
protections against
unreasonable search and seizure, and the Fifth Amendment’s guarantees
of due process. Today’s
grand juries do not safeguard such fundamental rights, and they are
easily subject to abuse.
Secret proceedings lend unearned legitimacy to prosecutorial decisions
that protect the
powerful against accountability and over-punish the marginalized. It
is not surprising that
members of the defense bar are generally unsupportive of grand jury
proceedings. Even the
Department of Justice released a report acknowledging that “grand
juries are notorious for being
‘rubber stamps’ for the prosecutor for virtually all routine criminal
matters.” 5 Moreover, because
prosecutors can compel people to show up and testify or produce
documents to the grand jury
without having to show probable cause, their unmonitored subpoena
power functions to let them
side-step the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable
searches and seizures.
Imagine a world in which you were not a judge and were not connected
to judges and
prosecutors personally. If you or a loved one has charges brought
before a grand jury, charges of
which you or they were innocent, would you believe for one moment that
the grand jury might
not indict? What rights, specifically, would you consider safeguarded
by the fifth amendment’s
provision for a grand jury? Consider that it is more than six times as
likely that you will be struck
by lightning than that a federal grand jury will decline to indict.
I object to grand juries even when used in the ways that are typically
understood to be
legitimate. The ability of grand juries to be abused or used for
political ends is entrenched and
perpetuated by the fact that jeopardy doesn’t attach with a grand
jury, so prosecutors can
repeatedly bring the same charges. Even though there are some laws
that say prosecutors must
either show they have new evidence or that it is in the public
interest to extend or reconvene a
grand jury, this is hardly an obstacle. For instance, Thomas Jefferson
had to convene three
separate grand juries in order to indict Aaron Burr for sedition - but
he was able to continue to
convene those grand juries until he obtained that indictment.
Additionally, in the Antebellum
South, grand juries routinely indicted anti-slavery activists for
sedition, while those in the North
sometimes refused -- but charges would re-presented to new grand
juries until they stuck. In
1968, a San Francisco Grand Jury was asked by Mayor Alioto to
investigate the Black Panther
Party. They refused, and the foreman gave a press conference about
political overreach.
Unfortunately, in 1969, a new grand jury began an investigation.
These examples run to the political, but grand jury shopping is
something that can be
done with any kind of case. Grand juries can also be used to coerce
defendants to give up their

The Improper Use of the Federal Grand Jury: An Instrument for the
Internment of Political Activists, Michael E.
Deutsch, 1984 Northwestern School of Law
Plea Bargaining: Critical Issues and Common Practices, by William F.
McDonald, (U.S. DOJ, National Institute
of Justice, 1985)


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trial rights and take pleas, both by threatening to indict for more
severe charges than are
warranted (which we know can be done easily), or by threatening to
call a defendant’s loved
ones before a grand jury as witnesses. The very threat of the secret
proceeding is in itself
terrifying to people. The secrecy of grand jury proceedings fuel
paranoia and fear, running
contrary to our ideals of open courts and stoking our disdain for
secret testimony. I find, when I
explain the secrecy of grand juries, people are often truly shocked
that they are constitutional,
and frequently compare them to the Court of Star Chamber.
The Court of the Star Chamber existed in England from the 15th to 17th
centuries. This
court lacked the same procedures as normal courts, and often pursued
political and religious
dissidents, and others who “sinned” against the crown. It lacked
evidentiary standards and
proceeded on rumor and hearsay. It imposed all kinds of arbitrary
punishments, except the death
penalty. In 1641, Parliament abolished the Court of Star Chamber as a
dangerous relic of the past
for its brutality and capriciousness. The grand jury was once a
progressive and protective
replacement for things like the Star Chamber, but in its current
incarnation it bears far more
resemblance to the Court of the Star Chamber than to its intended role
as a bulwark against
arbitrary state power. Apart from the fact that the grand jury itself
does not impose punishments,
the biggest difference between the grand jury and the Court of the
Star Chamber is that Star
Chamber proceedings were in fact largely open to the public.
I am not alone in objecting to the grand jury as a dangerous relic
that has evolved in ways
that increase its power without increasing its protections. This is
not even a partisan issue. For
instance, even the Cato Institute has made statements critical of the
grand jury:
Prosecutors defend their actions by reminding everyone that legislators have
approved the procedures. Legislators defend what they have done by reminding
everyone that the courts have approved the procedures. Judges defend what they
have done by reminding everyone that prosecutors and legislators are free to do
otherwise—and that the people seem content since they have not revolted against
the elected officials who run the system. Citizens, in turn, too often
assume that
someone in the government is looking out for their welfare, including their
constitutional rights. No one takes responsibility for the fact that
constitutional rights
are slipping away.6
During the hearing on the 16th, you pointedly asked me whether I had
taken an oath to
uphold the constitution. What is more important than my willingness to
blindly follow that
document is my commitment to its general principles of due process and
fundamental rights. I
refuse to participate in a process that has clearly transformed into
something that violates the
spirit if not the letter of the law. Since I reject the grand jury
process, I am totally ready to
propose alternatives to it and point out that such alternatives already exist.
Only two common law systems of justice use the grand jury: the United States and
Liberia. Even within the United States, half of the states have
dispensed with the use of grand
juries. While they reliably end with indictments, they do not reliably
end with justice. While the

W. Thomas Dillard, Stephen R. Johnson, and Timothy Lynch, A Grand
Façade How the Grand
Jury Was Captured by Government, Policy Analysis 1–18 (2003).


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grand jury is anomalous in the world, other countries are nevertheless
able to prosecute people,
demonstrating that there are alternatives to the grand jury.
While the United States is one of two countries to maintain a grand
jury system, countries
that used to have grand juries include England, Scotland, Ireland,
Canada, Australia, New
Zealand, South Africa, France, Belgium, Japan and Sierra Leone. In
those countries, grand jury
proceedings have been replaced by an open and adversarial
“preliminary” or “committal”
hearing system. Additionally, the United States military, through the
Uniform Code of Military
Justice, 10 U.S.C. §801 et seq, sets forth procedures for preliminary
hearings, rather than grand
juries, providing servicemembers with significantly more protections
than the average person.
Preliminary hearings throw open the doors to the best of all
disinfectants: sunshine.
Nearly every country that used grand juries replaced it with these
hearings, which save time and
expense, don’t criminalize refusal to comply with prosecutorial whims,
and better equip all
parties to prepare for fairer and more balanced inquiries into the
truth of matters. There exists no
shortage of due process and nothing prevents a witness who wishes to
remain anonymous from
speaking to law enforcement or the prosecution. A common justification
for grand jury secrecy is
to preserve the reputation of those investigated. First of all, as
noted, almost nobody investigated
by a grand jury is not indicted. Moreover, in countries that have
preliminary hearings, people
have an opportunity to defend themselves, and simply being
investigated does not end in ruin.
Now, I want to address my specific concerns about the ways in which
grand juries can be
used politically.
Across the world and throughout history, it has been common practice
to incarcerate or
even kill dissidents and political rivals on the mere suspicion of
being a member of an opposition
group. While in the United States we are perhaps less overt in our
persecution of dissidents most
of the time, the grand jury subpoena combined with compulsory immunity
gives unrestrained
powers to U.S. prosecutors to oppress activists and their communities.
Generally, people have no
obligation to cooperate with law enforcement investigations. But in
the context of a grand jury
subpoena, people who refuse to talk about their first amendment
beliefs and associations can be
locked away via contempt.
During the McCarthy era, when people were publicly interrogated about
their beliefs and
associations, the public was eventually outraged, and the McCarthy
hearings are widely seen as a
disgraceful episode of modern history. This kind of questioning,
however, routinely happens
under the grand jury system. Due to the secrecy of grand juries, the
public is less aware of it, and
less outraged, and therefore, it continues without interruption.
However, this is because they are
unaware it is happening and cannot feel its effects.
The investigative grand jury as we know it was developed in the wake
of McCarthy,
during the Nixon years. It was developed purportedly to battle
organized crime, but was
promptly used to subpoena members of anti-war groups, the women’s
movement, and black
liberation groups. Prosecutors issued subpoenas in conjunction with
grants of immunity, in order
to compel testimony, and routinely had resistant activists imprisoned
for contempt. For instance,
while federal agencies were investigating the Puerto Rican
independence movement, several


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community organizers refused to comply out of solidarity with their
communities. They were
arrested at gunpoint for contempt of court.
Senator Ted Kennedy was not shy about expressing his alarm:
“Over the past four years, under the present administration, we have
witnessed the birth of a new breed of political animal — the kangaroo grand
jury — spawned in a dark corner of the Department of Justice, nourished by
an administration bent on twisting law enforcement to serve its own political
ends, a dangerous modern form of Star Chamber secret inquisition that is
trampling the rights of American citizens from coast to coast.” 7
The tradition of using political grand juries to jail political
dissidents and activists is long.
The concept of a grand jury in which prosecutors subpoena activists
and jail them for refusing to
comply with the subpoena stands in stark contrast to the institution
contemplated in the
The foregoing is intended to give you a better and more nuanced
understanding of my
conscientious objection to the grand jury. I understand the idea that
as a civil contemnor, I hold
the key to my cell – that I can free myself by talking to the grand
jury. While I may hold the key
to my cell, it is held in the beating heart of all I believe. To
retrieve that key and do what you are
asking of me, your honor, I would have to cut the key out, which would
mean killing everything
that I hold dear, and the beliefs that have defined my path.
Each person must make the world we want to live in around us where we
stand. I believe
in due process, freedom of the press, and a transparent court system.
I object to the use of grand
juries as tools to tear apart vulnerable communities. I object to this
grand jury in particular as an
effort to frighten journalists and publishers, who serve a crucial
public good. I have had these
values since I was a child, and I’ve had years of confinement to
reflect on them. For much of that
time, I depended for survival on my values, my decisions, and my
conscience. I will not abandon
them now.


Washington Post, March 14, 1972, at 2, col. 3




Alexandria, VA — Imprisoned information activist Jeremy Hammond was
found in contempt yesterday for refusing to cooperate with a Federal
Grand Jury in the Eastern District of Virginia (EDVA). Chelsea Manning
was similarly remanded into custody for failure to provide testimony
before the same Grand Jury. Hammond, who was already serving his 7th
year of a 10 year Federal Prison sentence after pleading guilty for
releasing information about the Private Intelligence Firm Strategic
Forcasting (Stratfor), has issued the following statement detailing
his reasons for resisting the EDVA’s grand jury:

“As many of you know, I was just a few months from my scheduled
release from federal prison when I was unexpectedly dragged in chains
and planes to this raggedy detention center in Alexandria, Virginia. I
am outraged that the government is threatening additional jail time if
I do not cooperate with their grand jury investigation. Their
draconian intimidation tactics could never coerce me into betraying my
comrades or my principles. In the spirit of resistance and with great
contempt for their system, I am choosing silence over freedom.

“I am fully prepared for the consequences of my decision just as I had
been each and every time I was faced with similar choices before. Long
ago when I realized that government and capitalism were too hopelessly
corrupt and unjust to be reformed through legal or electoral means, I
chose to engage in civil disobedience and direct action. I knew then
that my actions could land me behind bars, yet I fought on anyway;
after a dozen arrests and even a prior federal prison sentence for
hacking, I chose once again to use my computer skills to attack the
systems of the rich and powerful as part of the Anonymous federal case
I am doing time for today.

“When I pled guilty, I took responsibility for my actions and my
actions alone. I never agreed to be debriefed or testify in any way,
unlike the government’s informant Hector Monsegur, aka Sabu, whose
reward was one year of probation while I received the maximum sentence
allowable by law. It was a painful choice, but ten years in their
dungeons was the price I was willing to pay so I could maintain my
integrity. I have never regretted my choices the entire time I have
been incarcerated, and having seen and experienced first-hand the
abuses and inherent injustice of the prison industrial complex, my
commitment to revolution and abolition has only become more deeply

“Now, after seven and a half years of ‘paying my debt to society,’ the
government seeks to punish me further with this vindictive,
politically-motivated legal maneuver to delay my release, knowing full
well that I would never cooperate with their witch hunt. I am opposed
to all grand juries, but I am opposed to this one in particular
because it is part of the government’s ongoing war on free speech,
journalists, and whistleblowers. I am insulted that those in power
claim that I have an ‘obligation that every citizen owes his
government’ to testify. As an anarchist, I am not part of their social
contract, and do not recognize the legitimacy of their laws and
courts. Instead, I believe in a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote I had
taped to the wall of my prison cell for years: ‘One has an obligation
to disobey unjust laws.’

“It is difficult to view any of this government’s laws as just when
they are so selectively enforced, and when the government turns a
blind eye to its own misconduct, misconduct that is on display every
day that Trump is in the White House. In my case, the government,
through its informant, Sabu, instigated numerous hacks, asking me to
break into governments and companies all over the world. Nearly a
decade later, this misconduct remains ignored. The NSA continues to
surveil everyone and launch cyber attacks. Trump and his corrupt
cronies continue to hold the world hostage to their megalomaniacal
imperialist pig whims while simultaneously refusing to comply with
subpoenas and inquiries into their vicious abuses of power. Meanwhile,
Chelsea Manning and I are doing hard time in this dump for the ‘crime’
of refusing to allow our spirits to break, after ‘serving’ our
sentences for exposing government and corporate corruption.

“This absurd hypocrisy and desperate ruthlessness reveals a crumbling
legal system, a system that has robbed me of the majority of my adult
life but could never take my humanity. I will continue to do the right
thing, no matter how long it takes. I know how to do time, and I will
never be intimidated by their threats. Ever!! I refuse!!”

    “Our integrity sells for so little, but it is all we really have.
It is the very last inch of us, but within that inch, we are free.”  —
Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

Additional Information

Jeremy is being represented by attorneys Susan Kellman, Sarah
Kunstler, and local counsel Jeffrey D. Zimmerman. His legal team also
includes Elisa Y. Lee and Beena Ahmad. For information on how you can
support Jeremy, and for updates on his case please visit
freejeremy.net or follow the Jeremy Hammond Defense Committee on
twitter @freejeremynet