Sunday, October 19, 2008

Another Example of Government "chilling free speech."

Troubling Comments

By Larken Rose

Tyrants prefer to be able to use violence whenever they want.

Larken Rose

October 19, 2008 - Not long ago, I sent out a message titled The Militia Is You, encouraging people to arm themselves. I said, more bluntly than many "gun rights" folks do, that I want you, the public, to have the ability to kill government agents, both military and police. No, I wasn't telling you to go out and start gunning down feds (as my message also explained), but I firmly believe -- as did the Founders -- that the people should always retain the ability to forcibly resist their own government.

Well, the government folk who monitor what I do didn't really like that. (Of course, that doesn't surprise me. Tyrants prefer to be able to use violence whenever they want, without their victims having the means to resist.) So Floyd Miller at the DOJ wrote a letter to the U.S. Probation office, complaining about my message.

(As many of you will recall, this is the same Assistant U.S. Attorney who lied to the court, lied to the jury, and violated federal law, the Constitution, and DOJ policy, in order to get me convicted for a crime he knew I hadn't committed. The whole story, in all its gruesome detail, is found in my book, Kicking the Dragon which I'm sure the DOJ is working on banning as we speak.)

Below is the text of Mr. Miller's letter to U.S. Probation. The comments inside brackets [like this] are mine.

- ----------<>------------

It is my understand that you are the probation officer who is supervising Larken Rose.

[Actually, I've been off of "supervised release" for almost a year.]

Mr. Rose was recently released from prison after serving time for a tax fraud conviction.

[First, it wasn't "recently"; it was almost two years ago. Second, this guy can't remember what he had me wrongfully imprisoned for. It was misdemeanor willful failure to file, not tax evasion, and not any kind of fraud.]

I am sending you an e-mail which Mr. Rose recently posted on his website which, at a minimum, is troubling to say the least.

[First it was sent to my e-mail list, not posted on my web site. Second, of course it troubles fascists to think of having to oppress a populace that is armed.]

I am not certain whether the contents of the e-mail violate any of the terms and conditions of his supervised release.

[Even when I was on supervised release, there was no condition about "Don't say stuff we don't like," or anything else having to do with saying or writing anything.]

His comments clearly run afoul of civilized behavior.

[This from the guy who signed off on having a dozen Gestapo morons carry out an armed invasion of my home because I said things they didn't want people hearing. How "civilized" was that? Below are some more examples of comments from other people that Mr. Miller would no doubt think "run afoul of civilized behavior."]

If you confront Mr. Rose with this matter, he will probably cite his First Amendment Right to say whatever he pleases about the United States.

[If I was still on supervised release, I would.]

My concern is that other individuals who read his postings might be mentally unstable and decide to follow the suggestions of Mr. Rose.

[First of all, the only suggestion I made was to buy a rifle. I specifically explained that "I'm not telling you to go start gunning down feds." So far the only mentally unstable person I know of who misunderstood my suggestion was Mr. Miller. Second, my message in one place qualified my suggestion with "If you are mentally stable," and in another place said that I encouraged "all sane, responsible people" to be armed.]

For this reason, I write to memorialize this situation.

[Where will the statue be erected? This guy is the master at trying to use big words to sound educated, only to demonstrate how ignorant he is. I think he meant he wanted to make a record of my heretical comments, but that's not what "memorialize" means. (He's the same one who claimed, at my trial, that I thought I was the only one in "the continental United States" who understood the tax code. Huh?)]

Please consider whether this is a matter which should be brought to Judge Baylson's attention.

- ------<>-------

There are so many issues this brings up, I hardly know where to begin.

First of all, the letter, and even the government monitoring of what I do, is absolutely and obviously intended to have a "chilling effect" on free speech -- mine as well as yours. Tyrants know that they can silence a LOT of dissent without banning anything. A letter or a visit from a government thug, a thinly veiled threat of "legal" action, or even just letting people know that what they say and do is being watched by disapproving government eyes, makes a LOT of people choose to shut up, in order to avoid trouble for themselves. (As for me, I'm too dense to take the hint, so don't expect me to shut up any time soon.)

Peter Goldberger, the attorney who handled my sentencing and appeal, apparently didn't like Mr. Miller's little censorship attempt either, and decided to write him a letter. It's worth noting that Mr. Goldberger and I have differing views about lots of things, including the Second Amendment, but we agree that people with different views have the right to EXPRESS them. (Or, as Voltaire put it, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.") The following is the text of the letter that Mr. Goldberger sent to Mr. Miller:

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Thank you for sending me a copy of your October 14 letter to U.S. Probation Officer George Reed concerning my client, Larken Rose. Your "understanding" of this case is deeply flawed. Mr. Rose was not convicted of "tax fraud" but rather of misdemeanor failures to file returns. Nor was he "recently released from prison." His release from BOP custody occurred on December 29, 2006. His period of supervised release expired one year later.

Contrary to your unsubstantiated assertion, the e-mail you copied and enclosed was never "posted on his website." (The truth, as I'm sure you know, is that the IRS is "monitoring" Mr. Rose's communications, or at least some of them.) Your suggestion that his expression of his political and legal opinions might even conceivably "violate any of the terms and conditions of his supervised release" -- even if he were presently under supervision -- and your further suggestion that the Probation Officer might "confront" him about his political writings are designed to achieve a "chilling effect" on that expression. As you should be aware, the First Amendment prohibits you from engaging in such conduct in your official capacity, even when you feel Mr. Rose's "comments" may "run afoul of civilized behavior." If some "mentally unstable" (or any other) person were to engage in illegal behavior, which you suggest is your sole "concern," that person can be held accountable. The First Amendment does not permit provocative (or even "troubling") writings to be suppressed because a reader might interpret (or misinterpret) them as calling for unlawful action.

The government's continued surreptitious monitoring of Mr. Rose violates his First Amendment right to express his opinions and conclusions -- whether you and I agree with them or not. Even though such political surveillance by the Executive Branch has become all too common in the last eight years, it remains unconstitutional and un-American.

If you disagree with me on these important matters, I would be most interested to know the nature of and basis for that view.

- ------<>---------

In addition to First Amendment issues, Mr. Miller's letter also brings to mind a bunch of philosophical issues relating to the Second Amendment.

Breaking the law is illegal. That's a truism. The government is never going to say that breaking the law, or resisting "law enforcers" is okay. And that is true no matter what "the law" is, be it laws against murder, laws enforcing slavery, or laws saying that all Jews have to get in the cattle cars to be shipped off to their deaths. (There is one noteworthy, really weird exception to be found in the New Hampshire state constitution, and a couple of others, which recognizes the "Right of Revolution" -- the right of the people to resist oppressive government.)

MOST robberies, murders, and other assaults in history were "legal" (done by government agents), and therefore RESISTING them was, by definition, illegal. It was a CRIME to help a slave to escape; it was a CRIME to hide Jews from the Nazis; it was a crime to disobey the commands of the thugs of Stalin, Lenin, Mao, etc. And so, for much of history, the good people were often the "law-breakers," and the "law-enforcers" were often the bad guys. And that's why I always want the people to have the means to forcibly resist the government. And I'm not the only one who has ever thought so.

"The strongest reason for the people to retain their right to keep and bear arms is as a last resort
to protect themselves against tyranny in government."
[Thomas Jefferson]

I wonder if Floyd Miller thinks these words "clearly run afoul of civilized behavior."

"A people armed and free forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition and is a bulwark
for the nation against foreign invasion and domestic oppression."
[James Madison]

I wonder if Mr. Miller would like to send a letter to the probation officer of the "Father of the Constitution" for making such a "troubling" comment.

"If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is no recourse left
but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount
to all positive forms of government."
[Alexander Hamilton]

Someone ought to confront this guy about his extremist, inflammatory rhetoric. And this guy, too:

"A free people ought not only to be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms
and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them,
which would include their own government."
[George Washington]

We can't allow talk like this! Something must be done!

"Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately,
nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined."
[Patrick Henry]

Are these wackos suggesting that the common rabble should always retain the means to use violence against government agents? If we allow people to say this sort of thing, it might inspire some nutcase radicals to forcibly resist government! Oh, wait. It already DID inspire that. We now call it "The American Revolution."

As it happens, the JPFO just put out a great video about the Second Amendment:

which can be found here: 2A Today for The USA