You know, I feel sorry for Merrick Garland. First he gets boned from a Supreme Court seat thanks to a Kentucky Confederate, and when n Biden appoints him as the new Attorney General, his ass hasn’t even hit the chair before people are slinging shit at him.

Why isn’t Garland opening a criminal investigation into Trump?!? Why hasn’t Garland empaneled a grand jury into Trump’s business dealings?!? Why hasn’t Garland opened a grand jury investigation into this, that, and the other?!?

Look, this whole thing is patently ridiculous! Biden appointed Merrick Garland to undertake one of the most difficult governmental tasks imaginable. He appointed Garland to restore the integrity and trustworthiness of a Department of Justice that had been absolutely ravaged and savaged by the likes of KKKeebler the Elf, Matthew Whittaker, and Tubby the Ewok. Biden installed him to restore honor and integrity to the department, and because Garland is the most apolitical person you’ve ever met.

Look, cast your mind back to the days before January 20, 2017. Trump turned the DOJ into his private law firm of Hookem, Bookem, and Cookem. It was all political theater to terrify political opponents. But the DOJ tradition is that they do not announce criminal probes, for the simple reason that if they drop the probe, the defendant never has a chance to clear his name in court. The same thing is true for grand jury investigations, although those tend to leak because witnesses are not bound by a code of silence, and can talk to the media.

Garland is restoring the department to its former, and traditional mission, and garnering praise and support from DOJ employees for doing so. The media is pissed, because they don’t know who the DOJ is investigating, and the public is spoiled by the National Enquirer days of the Trump DOJ. I like this system better.

The public and the media have been climbing all over the DOJ’s ass about their 1/6 investigation for settling on the little fish who broke in, and ignoring the higher ups. But this is basic investigative and prosecutorial 101. Snare the little fish, grill them over an open flame, and get them to flip on the next level of fish. We already have open reporting of Oath Keepers and Proud Bois who have flipped, pleading guilty, and cooperating with prosecutors. The system is working as designed!

And now the DOJ has filed seditious conspiracy charges against 11 members of the Oath Keepers. This is a critical move for a couple of reasons. First of all, it has finally elevated charges against upper echelon figures in the extremist movement, not just the fish that pissed on the drapes in the Capitol. And that opens the possibility of one or more of them flipping on even higher fish, which could include Trump lackeys, if not Trump himself.

But it is important for a much more important reason. Since day one, everyone in both the government as well as the media has referred to the insurrection as a domestic terrorist attack. But the problem is that there are no domestic terrorism laws in the federal code. And the US Constitution restricts the ways in which the government, state and local police can investigate private citizens. It ties the FBI’s hands behind their backs in surveillance and intelligence gathering on the far right groups.

And in my opinion, what Garland is doing here, as a career apolitical jurist on the federal bench is doing, is that he is using these charges to begin to provide the framework to define these groups for future changes to both investigative as well as legal law changes that deal with how the authorities can investigate them. To provide a framework for law enforcement to separate these far right extremist groups from regular citizens for additional scrutiny and investigation.

Conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia once opined in a free speech ruling that the right of free speech doesn’t allow one to stand up and scream FIRE! in a crowded theater. It is the time, and long past, to start assigning the same principle to far right, violent extremist speech, and allow it to be investigated for the crime that it is. Leave the man alone, and let him work!


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  1. I am encouraged that the indictments of the Oath Keepers show that the DOJ is on the right track. I think most people are discouraged because Garland does not want to be out in front on everything. And good on him, most cases are not won on personalties.

  2. Which is how it SHOULD be…The AUSA’s bringing charges will make the announcements, NOT the AG…Everybody is fucked up because Tubby the Ewok kept jumping up to announce investigations against Trump opponents…That isn’t the way the system works…

  3. “But the problem is that there are no domestic terrorism laws in the federal code. And the US Constitution restricts the ways in which the government, state and local police can investigate private citizens. It ties the FBI’s hands behind their backs in surveillance and intelligence gathering on the far right groups.”

    With all due respect, Murf, bullshit. Terrorism is terrorism, foreign-instigated OR domestic. We don’t need “domestic terrorism laws in the federal code”; apply the laws against terrorism regardless of the origin.
    As for the “private citizens” bit and how the FBI’s hands are tied with regard to “far right groups,” I seem to recall the way the Feds and the FBI twisted themselves into virtual pretzels getting courts to sign off on their efforst to gather intel on MUSLIM AMERICANS (and the FBI didn’t seem to have too many problems with surveillance and intel gathering on the KKK during the early 60s).
    The SPLC (Southern Poverty Law Center) has been keeping tabs on far-right groups, calling for them to be officially designated as terrorist organization for the last couple of decades–and noting the proverbial explosion of these groups since Obama took office with a lot of growth since just 2016. (I wonder why that year was so crucial in an increase of far right groups?)

    And, I’m not sure about the Scalia reference but there’s NEVER been any right to yell “fire” in a crowded theater. The original argument was that you don’t have a right to FALSELY yell “fire” in such a situation (like so much else, it’s been dumbed down so the point’s actually meaningless). *IF* you see a fire start–even in a crowded theater–you most certainly can yell “fire” if the risk of people being injured in evacuating is less than the risk of people burning to death before they’re aware of the fire. But, the original argument was that there is absolutely NO right–under any circumstances–to FALSELY yell “fire.” The authorities might be pressed to file charges when there actually is a fire (over liability issues if people died while getting out) but they will definitely file charges over a false cry of “fire” and your “freedom of speech” be damned since you showed no concern for the safety of others. I imagine Scalia’s argument was that your freedom of speech doesn’t just let you yell “fire” just for fun. On that note, it would be kind of interesting to see what he would think of all these GOPers making directed threats against people and then just saying “it was just a joke.” Would Scalia hold to his views that certain things are not covered by “freedom of speech” or would he fall in line with the rest of the current right-wing “deep thinkers?”

    • Yes, Joseph, I am a “Friend of the Center” (the SPLC) (donations to them ARE tax-deductable, BTW), and they’ve had us a roadmap for years of hate groups in the USA. For anyone who’s never seen their maps, they are more and more terrifying every year. They are true patriots IMO, spending untold hours in court fighting for our rights.

  4. I think that concerned people were watching that ol’ ticking clock, as time marched on towards 2022, when a potential Repugnican victory in House & Senate would effectively kill all House and DOJ investigations of Trump’s coup. It seemed that Mr Garland wasn’t doing enough within the limited time available. With the Oath Breakers being charged, things are looking much more encouraging and Garland may yet become the crusading hero we need right now.

    • Exactly, I think a lot of us are nervous about all the local elections being interfered with already (we have to get the Voting Rights laws passed!), and the likelihood of the asshats winning in November will put paid to all the work the 1/6 committee has already done. I can only hope that something can be done before that happens.

  5. Note that militias are generally illegal by state law if nothing else, even if it can be difficult to prove that a group is indeed an illegal militia as opposed to a group of people espousing an ideology and carrying weapons protected by the First and Second amendments. So, IMHO, those laws on the books that prohibit militias should also be used to start decapitating these hate groups. (Although eventually some of those cases would make it to SCOTUS and Kavanaugh, Gorsuch, ACB, Alito, and Thomas would probably say extremist militias are just A-OKKK.) See, e.g.,;;;;

  6. In addition to Trump era BS, chalk up the impatience with Garland to too much distortion by way of things like Law And Order and “reality” TV. It gives people the false impression on how things work here.

  7. Until Trump is arrested, all this amounts to whistling in the graveyard. Our culture has trained us to accept black people killed whenever for whatever reason. It has trained us that cannabis is dangerous & users deserve jail while the real killers of prescription meds, alcohol, & tobbaco are perfectly fine, even letting the Sacklers go free with their money & with 100,000 Ods just LAST YEAR. It has promoted racism, sexism, selfishness, greed, shallowness of knowledge, & religious hypocrisy. It has allowed the rich to do whatever as if swift action toward them is wrong, even when everything is transparent. It has no problem snatching a pot smoker, or a daddy without a job to pay child support off the street IMMEDIATELY. So saying this is the way it works sounds like an excuse of the highest order. The point is it only works for the rich & well connected. To argue otherwise smells of self delusion. The day Trump & his minions are sitting in county jail in jumpsuits, I will agree the system works. Not until that day because I refuse to believe in anything UNTIL PROVEN. At this point, it has not been. Let the rationalizations begin…


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