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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 1/15/11

The Empire Versus the Two Julians, Assange and Heicklen, and the Anti War Activists

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The US government really wants Wikileaks
founder Julian Assange. They're mad at him for releasing video of the
military's murder of civilians in Iraq and more recently a list of
sensitive diplomatic cables too long to get into here. A grand jury has
been empaneled in Alexandria, VA  to consider criminal charges against
Assange. He may never be extradited to the US for trial, but what if he
is?



He has many supporters here in the peace community. This includes the Fully Informed Jury Association (FIJA ) activists  who started a campaign, Julian Assange's Fully Informed Jury,
at the website The Point. The campaign's objective is "If Julian
Assange is extradited to the United States, I will do my best to fully
inform his jury." Inform them of what you may ask? Of the right of the
jury to nullify the law regardless of the facts of a case. From FIJA's website:


The FIJA mission is to educate Americans regarding their
full powers as jurors, including their ability to rely on personal
conscience, to judge the merit of the law and its application, and to
nullify bad law, when necessary for justice, by finding for the
defendant.
The US government is also after a number of anti war activists. The FBI raided their houses and an office in Minneapolis, Chicago, Michigan, and North Carolina last September after sending in an agent to infiltrate and spy on
them. Twenty-three people have been issued subpoenas. The first are
scheduled to appear before grand juries on January 25, 2011. As this
author pointed out in "Jury Nullification May Be The Only Salvation For The Antiwar Activists":


Given that we live in an age when it has been said that "A
good prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich." It is
sadly very likely that indictments will follow. If this is the case jury
nullification may be these activists only salvation.
The
prospect of not being able to convict opponents of its tyranny must be
terrifying to the government. There is no better way to stop FIJA
activists from educating jurors and, therefore, keeping dissidents free
than to start charging them with felonies for their activism.  This may
be why they are now charging FIJA activist Julian Heicklen with jury
tampering. Professor Heicklen is a long time activist and leader in
educating juries. He has been harassed and arrested many times for
handing out FIJA literature at federal courthouses, especially the one
at 500 Pearl Street in New York City where he has to appear for a
hearing on January 24, 2011.



According to Professor Heicklen's website the summons he received was short on details as to when and where he committed the alleged tampering:


"the summons does not include any deposition from the
accuser, so that I do not know the specific incident that is involved.
The summons states that there is only one charge, but gives no
particulars, including a date, time, location of the incident, names
& dates of jurors tampered, & how tampered.
Having
been to several of these FIJA outreach events with Julian Heicklen
myself I'm quite suspicious of these charges. Not once have I seen him
tell a juror how to vote on a case. He merely hands out fliers to all
passersby. His prosecution can be seen as nothing more than an attempt
to squash our efforts to educate juries on how they can check tyranny
with jury nullification. No doubt the government will be most upset if
they try Assange or the anti war activists only to have them set free by
a jury bent on justice. To make sure that happens we have to make sure
that first Julian Heicklen is found not guilty. Whatever your political
views, show your support for him. Come to his hearing on the 24th if you
can. Together we can defeat this tyranny.

 

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Darren Wolfe is the former Eastern Vice Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania. He presently blogs as the International Libertarian http://www.theinternationallibertarian.blogspot.com/ His articles have also appeared in Ammoland.com, (more...)
 

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