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Friday, December 21, 2012

How Has King County Managed to Charge People for May Day Vandalism While the Federal Government Has Resorted to Throwing People in Prison but Has Yet to Bring a Single Charge?

Posted by on Fri, Dec 21, 2012 at 4:22 PM

Why is that? Why has the county, with its relatively paltry resources, been able to gather enough evidence to identify and charge five people with May Day vandalism, while the FBI/federal prosecutor/federal judge Richard Jones have sent four people into prison for refusing to testify (after granting them immunity from prosecution), but have yet to wrangle a single actual charge?

Two of those people in prison, by the way, are the subject of this week's feature—non-witnesses to the crime who have not been charged with nor arrested for anything, but are affiliated with the local anarchist community.

One of those people sitting in prison, Katherine Olejnik, wasn't in Seattle on May Day, which the federal prosecutor admits. She says that during her grand jury appearance, she was asked four questions about the May Day smashup and around fifty questions about other people's political convictions. (How can anyone look at this situation and not hear echoes of the House Committee on Un-American Activities?)

I asked the FBI several days ago how the county has managed to be so much more efficient about gathering evidence and charging people without resorting to sending non-witnesses to prison to coerce their non-eyewitness testimony. The FBI has responded:

Thanks for your patience, Brendan. In answer to your question about timing, the investigation is ongoing because the FBI and Seattle Police Department remain committed to conducting it thoroughly. When subjects hide their identities, naturally, it takes longer to fully investigate the crime. The FBI and its partners don't aim for a specific timeline for solving a case; we aim to be thorough and precise, and take all the necessary steps to do so.

The FBI spokesperson warned me ahead of time that the statement would be brief, this being an ongoing investigation and all.

But there it is, in case you're wondering.

 

Comments (14) RSS

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Free Lunch 1
When the title of a post is 30 words long, sentence case would be easier to parse than title case.
Posted by Free Lunch on December 21, 2012 at 5:50 PM · Report this
2
This may not be the complete answer to the question posted in the headline, but I suspect it may be the case that, in the federal system, they can't prosecute people for felonies without a grand-jury indictment (or waiver of indictment), and witnesses keep refusing to answer questions in front of the grand jury (which is the stated reason for putting the recalcitrant witnesses in jail). State courts (in Washington, anyway) don't use grand juries to bring criminal charges; the prosecuting attorney can file an information, there's a hearing in front of a single judge, and you're off to the races.

But I'm sure it's really because the FBI and the US Attorney's Office are just dicks and like putting people in jail for political reasons. That appears to be everyone's take on the situation, so it must be true.
Posted by Oliver W. Holmes on December 21, 2012 at 6:43 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 4
Police State.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on December 21, 2012 at 9:05 PM · Report this
5
@2 That is total bullshit. None of the questions that the feds have been asking in the grand juries are about specific testimony they know would lead to charges. Everything points to this being political fishing to put on a show to distract from the most interesting question of all: why are there never charges brought against any of the core organized vandals? The charges like those of the county are always against side actors. This isn't a case of acts done in the dead of night, like building arson. These acts are in broad daylight in situations and conditions where law enforcement knows there will be property destruction. Yet, the black clothes group ALWAYS slips away after their actions have done their work of discrediting the open public protestors. Hmmm....
Posted by cracked on December 21, 2012 at 9:32 PM · Report this
6
@5

Could you perhaps tell us how you know what questions are being asked in that closed grand jury?
Posted by robotslave on December 21, 2012 at 11:56 PM · Report this
watchout5 7
The county's tactic is, hey, you people in the local area, look at this face, do you know this face? You know this face! What else about this face do you know? Thank you kind citizen, we will use your information to put bad people behind bars. The people who have caused a harm to our community will be let known that this behavior is not tolerable.

The federal tactic is, YOU'RE A HORRIBLE HUMAN BEING IF YOU DON'T TELL US EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO TELL US AND EVERYTHING YOU DON'T NEED TO TELL US AND GIVING US ANY ANSWER WE DON'T LIKE A LITTLE BIT MEANS WE WILL NOT HESITATE TO THROW YOUR ASS IN FEDERAL RAPE ME IN THE ASS PRISON. NOW SIT DOWN. I SAID GET UP. SIT YO ASS DOWN.

I'm amazed anyone takes our federal government seriously, they're inept and terrible at nearly everything they do. They're making a really great case for cascadia here, go home feds, we don't need you anymore.
Posted by watchout5 http://www.overclockeddrama.com on December 22, 2012 at 2:26 AM · Report this
8
Mr. Kiley has evidently not heard of the latest development in our police system . . .
Posted by Ken Mehlman on December 22, 2012 at 9:43 AM · Report this
9
Do a public disclosure request on the SPD and LIEU and the city's intelligence audits. Juicy stuff there.
Posted by hmmmmm on December 22, 2012 at 10:50 AM · Report this
10
When subjects hide their identities....

Hmmmm....like John "the brainless" Boehner, who washed out of Navy bootcamp, then fraudulently, and illegally, claimed military service during Vietnam when he first ran for congress?

Hmmmm....like George Weasel Bush, who only made it halfway through enlisted USAF basic training, before washing out (referred to as "phasing out") then returning to Houston where his daddy Bush pinned a couple of officer bars on his uniform? (Evidently, I'm the only person who bothered to check out his "military record" some years prior to his run for the presidency --- the time he first announced for govenor of Texas.

Hmmmm....like the director of the FBI, Robert Mueller III, who was the grandnephew of Richard Bissell while his wife is the granddaughter of Gen. Cabell (those would be two of the three top CIA doods who President Kennedy fired before he was assassinated).

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2012-12-22…
Posted by sgt_doom on December 22, 2012 at 10:51 AM · Report this
11
@6 The people being questioned are telling us what they are being asked.
Posted by cracked on December 22, 2012 at 2:42 PM · Report this
12
@11

Well, no. There are people telling us what questions they claim they were asked, but they are not "the people being questioned," are they? The people telling us these things (which the question-askers can not legally confirm, primarily, and ironically, to protect the witnesses) are the people actively resisting the grand jury, and vigorously publicizing their resistance.

Do you know what questions Leah Lynn-Plante was asked, and what questions she answered?
Posted by robotslave on December 22, 2012 at 10:53 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 13
The grand jury can go jump in a lake.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on December 22, 2012 at 11:56 PM · Report this
15
Why do you act like the grand jury system is sacred? Why SHOULDN'T people defy it when it is clearly being unjust?

Has blind obedience to unjust institutions ever produced positive results for the human race?

And what business is if of the prosecutor's office what ANYONE's political views are? Your politics are supposed to be irrelevant in a criminal trial.

Really weird that you get THIS wound up over a few trivial broken windows...when you've never cared how many broken human beings the status quo produces in this country.
Posted by AlaskanbutnotSeanParnell on December 24, 2012 at 4:02 PM · Report this
Ian Awesome 17
I'm surprised Fnarf hasn't jumped into this to demand we offer our blind obedience and immediate capitulation to Our Glorious Leader the Prison-Industrial Complex yet...
Posted by Ian Awesome http://oneangryqueer.blogspot.com on December 24, 2012 at 8:16 PM · Report this

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