Simi Valley Sophist

The Simi Valley Sophist ruminates on all manner of topics from the micro to the macro. SVS travels whatever path strikes his fancy. Encyclopedia Britannica: Sophist "Any of certain Greek lecturers, writers, and teachers in the 5th and 4th centuries BC, most of whom travelled about the Greek-speaking world giving instruction in a wide range of subjects in return ..."

Location: California, United States

Retired: 30years law enforcement-last 20 years Criminal Intelligence Detective.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Free Speech Can Not Be Claimed to Protect Criminals

In 2005, the G-8 Summit meeting in San Francisco was the excuse for dissidents to protest and inflict mayhem, literally. During the protest, rioters used the opportunity to fracture the skull of a SFPD officer and to set a SFPD patrol car on fire. I wrote two blogs concerning the criminal incidents, here and here.

A freelance videographer recorded the tumultuous incidents and prosecutors apparently believe that the video contains evidence of the criminal acts.

Joshua Wolf, 24, left the federal prison in Dublin, where he spent more than seven months after refusing to obey a subpoena to turn over his video from a chaotic 2005 San Francisco street protest during the G-8 summit.
In a deal with prosecutors, Wolf agreed to turn over the uncut video, which he also posted on his Web site earlier Tuesday. Prosecutors said they were not inclined to seek his grand jury testimony, although they left open the possibility that he could be subpoenaed again later in the investigation.
There is legitimate concern about First Amendment freedoms whenever the government demands disclosure. In this case, the government is seeking evidence in order to prosecute alleged criminals. Joshua Wolf resisted the government’s subpoena

Whatever the facts are relative to Wolf, the National Writer’s Union revealed its agenda:

The National Writer's Union said in a statement that Wolf should never have been jailed.

"The abuses visited on Josh and other journalists are part of an effort by governments at all levels to control the volume, flow and content of the information that reaches the public," the union said.
The last statement implies that the government, in this case, is seeking to withhold information from the public. That’s patently absurd because it is Wolf who sought to withhold the information. Wolf is withholding evidence of one sort or another. It makes me wonder which rights concern Wolf: his to publish or not publish; the right of the injured officer to redress; the right of the public for justice; or the rights of the accused to receive a fair trial?