Reason Roundup

Chelsea Manning Faces $1,000-a-Day Fines, Was Imprisoned Again Yesterday After Refusing to Testify for Grand Jury

Plus: An old drug warrior learns new tricks, Taiwan legalizes same-sex marriage, and more...

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"I will not cooperate with this or any other grand jury," Chelsea Manning told reporters Thursday from outside a federal courthouse in Virginia. She is now back behind bars for this refusal, after being released just last week from 68 days' confinement (much of it in solitary).

U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Trenga hasn't merely ordered Manning back into federal custody. He ruled that Manning must pay for the privilege of having her freedom taken away: $500 per day after 30 days and $1,000 per day after 60 days.

"While coercive financial penalties are commonly assessed against corporate witnesses, which cannot be jailed for contempt, it is less usual to see them used against a human witness," the Sparrow Project points out.

Manning has already served seven years in prison for her 2010 whistleblowing efforts, in which she leaked damning information about U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq to WikiLeaks. This year, the feds have attempted to haul Manning before two separate grand juries to provide testimony related to these acts.

Both times, Manning has refused, objecting to the secretive nature of the grand jury proceedings. She was forced back into federal detention yesterday, "exactly one week after her release…for refusal to testify before a separate Grand Jury that sought answers to identical questions that were asked of her today," Sparrow Project notes.

Manning's lawyer, Moira Meltzer-Cohen, says in a statement:

In 2010 Chelsea made a principled decision to let the world see the true nature [of] modern asymmetric warfare. It is telling that the United states has always been more concerned with the disclosure of those documents than with the damning substance of the disclosures.

The American government relies on the informed consent of the governed, and the free press is the vigorous mechanism to keep us informed. It is a point of pride for this administration to be publicly hostile to the press. Grand Juries and prosecutions like this one broadcast an expanding threat to the press and function to undermine the integrity of the system according to the government's own laws.

Meltzer-Cohen urged members of the press "to stand up for Chelsea in the same manner she has consistently stood up for the press."


FREE MINDS

"Nobody should be in jail for smoking marijuana," said 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden this week.

His campaign spokesperson told CNN that if elected president, Biden would "allow states to continue to make their own choices regarding legalization and would seek to make it easier to conduct research on marijuana's positive and negative health impacts by rescheduling it as a schedule 2 drug."


FREE MARKETS

About that Apple antitrust opinion authored by Justice Brett Kavanaugh… It's had a lot of conservatives in tizzy fits. But "Kavanaugh's decision in Apple is not some harbinger of incipient leftism," writes Will Chamberlain at Human Events:

The antitrust question in Apple required the Justices to parse, and apply, a poorly written, unclear, and bizarre Supreme Court decision: Illinois Brick Co. v. Illinois, decided in 1977….

This is not some grand dispute about the virtues or defects of antitrust law; it's about the meaning of one specific Supreme Court case, and just who should be allowed to sue for an antitrust violation.


QUICK HITS

  • "Section 230 is not about neutrality. Period. Full stop," Sen. Ron Wyden (D–Ore.), the original author of the statute, tells Vox. Many on the right and left have been trying to argue otherwise.
  • Is Kamala Harris the Jan Brady of 2020?
  • Oakland could follow Denver in decriminalizing psychedelic mushrooms.
  • Taiwan will recognize same-sex marriages:

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97 responses to “Chelsea Manning Faces $1,000-a-Day Fines, Was Imprisoned Again Yesterday After Refusing to Testify for Grand Jury

  1. Nobody should be in jail for smoking marijuana…

    But what are ya gonna do?

    1. Didn’t say nobody will be.

      1. Did he ever discuss descheduling it when he was in a position to influence the executive branch on this?

        1. Why should he have discussed it then? He had the VP job.
          Now that he wants the top spot, he has to lie his way into a bunch of votes. What he should be saying is that since the devil weed has proven medicinal uses, it is actually illegal to leave it on schedule one. Good luck with that one.

    2. would seek to make it easier to conduct research on marijuana’s positive and negative health impacts by rescheduling it as a schedule 2 drug.”

      So, on the schedule with amphetamine and morphine.

      Joe is not cool.

  2. The antitrust question in Apple required the Justices to parse, and apply, a poorly written, unclear, and bizarre Supreme Court decision…

    But what are ya gonna do? It’s precedent.

    1. Possibly even a super precedent.

  3. We throw out evidence from improper searches, even if you were actually doing a crime.

    Well, at least law enforcement got to view Kraft getting tugged off.

    1. Somebody has to do it. For the children.

  4. “Nobody should be in jail for smoking marijuana,” said 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden this week.

    “They should be in jail for eating mushrooms.”

    1. “They should be in jail for possessing marijuana without paying the proper taxes.”

      1. This! The whole marijuana thing is not about personal liberty or even the debate on whether marijuana is safe or not. It’s all about the government getting a cut of what people are going to do anyway. Look at how they treated tobacco years after it was found to be completely unsafe- it’s still legal and they’re still taking their cut.

        1. All of my friends on both sides of the left-right spectrum seem to say the same thing. We should legalize it so we can tax it.

          If we’re going to pay taxes on everything anyway, we might as well get a little personal enjoyment and freedom out of life. It’s not ideal, but it’s better than the stance on drugs from the last 100 years.

          1. I will continue to be a tax scofflaw. I am a proud American traditionalist after all.

      2. word.

  5. The responses to this suggest a depressing number of people find this shocking and outrageous.

    The responses to this suggest a depressing number of people want to see a video of an old guy getting a handy at a massage parlor. I suggest these people go fuck themselves.

    1. There are a considerable number of people who never have thought that throwing out evidence is the proper way to deal with improperly obtained evidence. The courts are the least democratic institution in our system of government. It is weird to have the expectation that a decision by the courts is going to change popular opinion on a contentious issue.

  6. “Is Kamala Harris the Jan Brady of 2020?”

    I have no idea who Jan Brady is, but Kamala Harris is the best candidate in this very impressive group of 2020 Democrats. She’s even saying all the right things about Russia:

    My colleagues and I have just introduced a bill to require paper ballots in all federal elections. The reason is simple – Russia can’t hack a piece of paper.

    #TrumpRussia
    #LibertariansForGettingToughWithRussia
    #LibertariansForHarris

    1. It’s always #BidenBidenBiden

      1. #BidenMyTime

    2. My colleagues and I have just introduced a bill to require paper ballots in all federal elections. The reason is simple – Russia can’t hack a piece of paper.

      Indeed. Let’s return to the days when all government work was done on paper.

    3. We should also ride horses to the polls and use quill pens.

      1. And have each party’s ballot box in plain view so your neighbors and employer can see where you placed your ballot. And why not? Your financial contribution to a candidate is chillingly transparent, so your vote should be too.

    4. So what she is literally calling for is for Florida to be inspecting hanging chads well into late December after the election.

      1. The ballot should be a blank piece of paper that you write your votes on in longhand. Then you have to actually know at least the names of the people you vote for.

        1. The ballot should be a blank piece of paper that you write your votes on in longhand.

          Racist.

    5. … but they can still post Facebook ads… right?

    6. Even though it’s Harris saying it, a paper ballot at least leaves a physical trail of evidence.

      I think hacking elections could be a problem, and I don’t even think we have to look as far as Russia for potential culprits.

  7. “His campaign spokesperson told CNN that if elected president, Biden would “allow states to continue to make their own choices regarding legalization and would seek to make it easier to conduct research on marijuana’s positive and negative health impacts by rescheduling it as a schedule 2 drug.”

    So, I suppose it’s a relief that Biden is no different from Trump on the issue?

    1. I did a quick search for quotes from Trump on marijuana. It turns out that he held just about every possible position at some point on the issue… So, yeah, pretty much the same as Biden.

      1. I don’t really need a link. I just know that Trump:

        a) Promised to leave the states alone on the issue during his campaign.

        b) Appointed Jeff Sessions, a virulent anti-marijuana crusader to head the Department of Justice

        c) Spent more than two years respecting the states on the issue of recreational marijuana regardless of what Jeff Sessions or anyone else in the Department of Justice wanted to do.

        P.S. By contrast, regardless of what Biden has said, when he was vice president, the Obama administration raided state-legal medical marijuana dispensaries in California hundreds of times. Far as I know, Biden never criticized that policy once.

        1. Interestingly, there was a quote from Trump in the 90s along the lines of the only way to win the war on drugs is to legalize them and put drug czars out of business. YES! HE GETS IT! Too bad the Republicans would never allow such heresy, and he’s had to backtrack that type of thinking.

  8. “Nobody should be in jail for smoking marijuana,” said 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden this week.

    Isn’t he still worried that legalized weed will cut into his business?

  9. “People say we should stop doing what we do, and sew or bake cookies instead—but why are only those jobs considered appropriate?”

    It’s all about landing a husband. Those skills will help you land a husband, and if men can pay for pleasure then other women have a harder time landing a husband or keeping a faithful one. HELLO.

  10. Republicans in Congress are preparing their own version of the “Equality Act.”

    This isn’t like when conservatives tried to do their version of The Daily Show, is it?

    1. You can turn off the TV. A new regulatory regime…not so much.

  11. “Nobody should be in jail for smoking marijuana,” said 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden this week.

    =======

    Fuck you Joe Biden, you’re 50 years too late. Go fuck yourself you commie ass clown.

  12. Salon Media Group, publisher of Salon.com, was just sold for $5 million to the owners of San Diego ad-tech firm Proper Media.

    They are overpaying.

    1. Only $550K is due at closing, the rest of the money is not guaranteed from what I’ve heard. Which is hilarious.

  13. Salon Media Group, publisher of Salon.com, was just sold for $5 million to the owners of San Diego ad-tech firm Proper Media.

    Sponsored discontent.

  14. “The responses to this suggest a depressing number of people find this shocking and outrageous. Folks, this isn’t some new idea… it’s the core of all modern 4th Amendment law. We throw out evidence from improper searches, even if you were actually doing a crime.”

    —-Julian Sanchez

    Because we used to throw out evidence before #MeToo is no reason to keep doing so after #MeToo. This is an old white man exploiting women–end of story.

    Also, letting defendants cross examine witnesses in sexual assault cases is insensitive and outrageous. Doesn’t Sanchez know anything about how the law works?

    1. Guilty until proven innocent.

  15. …Manning must pay for the privilege of having her freedom taken away: $500 per day after 30 days and $1,000 per day after 60 days.

    The amenities must be five star after a couple months.

    1. They should threaten to reattach Manning’s dick.

      1. To his forehead.

  16. “Salon Media Group, publisher of Salon.com, was just sold for $5 million to the owners of San Diego ad-tech firm Proper Media.”

    If they end up screwing up Salon, I guess Salon readers will have to go to one of the other 5,000 shitty, left wing opinion that hate white people for being white, heterosexuals for being heterosexuals, men for being men, and capitalists for being capitalists.

    1. Salon has a thing for libertarians. 🙂

      1. Here’s my favorite headline from the first page:

        “How Libertarian Theology and Trump are Destroying the Internet”

        —-Salon

  17. Put another on Trump’s list:

    “Trump administration pulls $929 million in funding for California high-speed rail”
    […]
    “LOS ANGELES — The Federal Railroad Administration announced Thursday that it terminated a 2010 agreement with the California High-Speed Rail Authority and will pull a nearly $929 million federal grant.
    In a release, the FRA — part of the U.S. Department of Transportation — said California’s rail authority “repeatedly failed to comply with the terms of the FY10 agreement and has failed to make reasonable progress on the project. Additionally, California has abandoned its original vision of a high-speed passenger rail service connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles, which was essential to its applications for FRA grant funding.”…”
    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/05/16/trump-administration-pulls-california-high-speed-rail-funding.html

    Which really isn’t the half of it:
    As passed by the voters, absolutely no construction was to begin without some threshold amount of private funding in hand.
    As you might imagine, no one, not even moonbeam or Clooney, or meathead was stupid enough to risk their own money on this boondoggle.
    It went to court, and somehow, they judge managed to find some wiggle-room in a ‘promise of private money’ or some such, and the
    the bureaucrats pushed the construction under the theory that once it was in construction, no one would dare stop it.

    1. That was a ‘plus sign’ for Trump’s list.

    2. Fucking liberals and their train fetishes. How many flights are there each day from San Fran to LAX? How long is that flight? An hour?

      1. “Fucking liberals and their train fetishes.”
        Trains = SEIU members, running the trains staffing the stations, maintaining the ROW and the running gear.
        Lot’s of votes there on the taxpayer’s dime.

      2. An hour? You forgot the TSA charade, etc.
        But, in any case, 9th District will enjoin FRA from pulling money once given or promised. You all know how the one way ratchet works.

    3. This goes beyond support for the train. This is just simple impropriety on the part of Sacramento. This is fraud.

      They said they would build a train from point A to point Z, and the Obama administration gave them $1 billion on the basis of that promise.

      Gavin Newsom announced that they were scrapping the whole A – Z idea, and instead they would just finish the line from A to B using the $1 billion the federal government gave them. They were given that money on the condition that they would be building the whole line–not only a section of it.

      If Gavin Newsom were a private contractor and he changed the scope of a project like that AFTER the federal government (or the state of California) gave him that money based on the original scope, he’d be on his way to prison right now for defrauding the taxpayers. Because you’re the governor of California doens’t change the legality of that fraud. No, you probably don’t belong in prison–so long as you give the money back.

  18. Woke up to news of “Chelsea” Manning, a guy who says he is a chick
    He did some time in prison, and no longer has a …

    1. …judicially-recognized testimonial privilege?

    2. right to vote?

    3. Hitler?

    4. Shot at a job with Fox News?

  19. Airlines track how much you sleep, how much you’re out of your seat, what you watch and what you eat.

    “We must eliminate the restroom loophole!”

    1. Stop collecting information that might be used to possibly make the next flight more enjoyable because they are providing more of what I want just like any other competitive business might do.

  20. So Manning objects to testifying before the Grand Jury because the proceedings are secretive. Part of the justification for secret Grand Jury deliberations is to protect the rights of the person under investigation. Perhaps Manning was never the best judge to understand why certain information is to be kept confidential?

    1. Government has no rights to keep information secret from the taxpayers who fund the government.

      1. So your income tax returns should be a matter of public record?
        During WWII, merchant marine convoy schedules and routes should have been made public?

        1. So Trump gets to keep his tax returns secret?
          Why not release the convoy schedule after they get back in port?

          1. I did not ask about Trump’s. I asked about yours.

            So it is fine to keep the convoy schedule secret before they complete the trip?

        2. Hey, our taxes and bonds are paying for D-Day. Ike, we want to know the exact timetable for the invasion of France. We promise not to tell the Nazis.

          1. My child could die in a battle Gen. Eisenhower, so you OWE it to us to reveal your entire battle plan, in detail, from start to finish.

  21. Your score on the SAT will now come with an “adversity score”:

    “This new number, called an adversity score by college admissions officers, is calculated using 15 factors including the crime rate and poverty levels from the student’s high school and neighborhood. Students won’t be told the scores, but colleges will see the numbers when reviewing their applications.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/sat-to-give-students-adversity-score-to-capture-social-and-economic-background-11557999000?

    Why should anyone be free to see their own adversity score? That might create controversy–especially with admissions to public universities.

    1. What’s the big deal? It’s not like some unknown unseen bureaucrats would assign a number to you by mistake that you couldn’t correct.

      1. Well, you want to keep up the illusion that kids are getting into college on merit. The rejected may never know how much better their scores were than the people who were accepted–or how much of a handicap you get for being of the wrong race, in the wrong zip code, because your parents aren’t shitheads who sponge off the taxpayers because they’re so pathetic they can’t even feed their own children, etc., etc.

        1. Parents that stick together, pay their own way and raise their children in safe neighborhoods make me sick.

          1. Well, we certainly can’t let their kids into competitive colleges just because of their performance.

    2. Oh, the lawsuits that going to come out of this!

    3. The left is always coming up with ways to discriminate against races they don’t like – “Asians” – which include everything from South Korean to Japanese to Indian to Iraqi to Russian to Filipino. They are intensely racist against these people and are now trying to create a system specifically designed to institutionalize that racism.

    4. On a positive note, Laurie Loughlin’s kid’s adversity score has now gone up since her mom is headed to jail.

    5. You know what they call the guy who went to the cheaper state schools and graduated in the lower tier of the medical schools?

      Doctor.

    6. SAT does not need to do that. By doing so it has already discredited itself further as an objective measure. We know how easy it is to game that system if you have the means. Putting a meaningless number on it is worthless.

      I have no problem with schools also using subjective measures in admissions. Perhaps you have a real background, grew up in adverse conditions and still excelled. You have moxie and that should matter.

      The goal of any education is to get you to the point where you do not need it anymore.

      Yet we are kidding ourselves if we think it really happens.

  22. Salon Media Group, publisher of Salon.com, was just sold for $5 million to the owners of San Diego ad-tech firm Proper Media.

    My understanding is that only $550K is due at closing. That’s embarrassing. Wasn’t this company valued at hundred of millions not too long ago? What a total embarrassment to the investors and a total failure on the part of the writers and editors that were posing as journalists. I suppose propaganda mills have useful lives of somewhere between 10-20 years.

    Didn’t Vice recently close the doors on 2 of its other brands?Hopefully this shows that people are sick of the rage bait. Probably not, but I can dream. People are probably just sick of this particular brand of rage bait.

    1. It’s hard to believe that a publication built on selling hatred of white, middle class, heterosexuals to white, middle class heterosexuals would have a hard time attracting advertisers.

    2. It’s more to the point that people typically won’t pay for something that they used to get for free, unless they consider it to be critical to their day-to-day lives. Progressive clickbait farms like Vice and Salon, and a lot of “regular” news outlets as well, would be dead and gone by now if it wasn’t for hedge fund sugar daddies keeping them afloat.

      1. I think this is probably the more likely explanation. People were having fun going to these rags and getting their daily out rage for free. Advertisers were wary of them because of the racist and sexist content and eventually investors said “eh, this one’s not going to pan out.” It’s not that dissimilar to Reason.com, just that Reason.com sometimes criticizes people based on their ideas, not the color of their skin, their biological sex or some other immutable characteristic.

        Investors need to realize, en mass, that these are bad investments. They have built their business model on intentionally insulting large swaths of people and handing that hate out for free. Hopefully we’re seeing that now, and the predictable bloodbath in new media is starting to occur?

  23. >>>”Nobody should be in jail for smoking marijuana,” said 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden this week.

    does Joe Biden know this?

  24. I’d say the biggest news coming out of California is that PG&E has finally been officially found to have caused the the Camp Fire, which killed 85 people and did oh so much damage.

    There are some interesting cross currents happening.

    On the one hand, there’s no way PG&E can avoid bankruptcy over this without further liability protection and help from Sacramento. Even if they were able to survive this debacle, what about the next one? The same environmental policies and other regulatory issues that prevent them from maintaining their lines properly are still in effect, and it will definitely happen again. No one in the private sector is about to show up as a white knight to save them.

    You might think this would be a great opportunity for the State of California to take over the energy distribution business and make it green, but if they do that, then they’ll be responsible when things go wrong. They don’t want to repeal the environmental policies that contributed to PG&E’s woes. They don’t want people blaming environmental regulation or the state of California when electricity prices go through the roof either.

    The electricity crisis under Gray Davis is still fresh in their minds, too. It’s so easy to talk about a green future and making the electricity providers eat costs, etc. Quite another to be responsible for actually delivering affordable energy at reasonable prices and all without killing dozens of people, destroying billions of dollars worth of people’s property, not to mention burning down the forests.

    Even the environmentalists in Sacramento are smart enough to approach taking over PG&E with trepidation.

    If Hillary were president, I bet she’d be bailing out PG&E. Somebody should ask Kamala Harris what should be done about PG&E. That should be instructive.

  25. You might think this would be a great opportunity for the State of California to take over the energy distribution business and make it green, but if they do that, then they’ll be responsible when things go wrong.

    That’s the whole point of fascist economic policies – leave a fig leaf of ‘private’ ownership so the government has someone to blame.

  26. Manning should have said that he cannot swear to tell the truth and therefore any questions by a Grand Jury would force him to commit perjury, so he takes the 5th Amendment.

    The US Attorney cannot give him immunity for lying constantly to the Grand Jury, so there is no reason to testify.

    He should be demanding a jury trial on this contempt of court violation and appealing everything directly to the SCOTUS.

    1. Manning should have said that he cannot swear to tell the truth…

      Manning should’ve done his job, kept his mouth shut, gotten his discharge papers, and then done whatever the hell he pleased as a private citizen. That would’ve put him leagues ahead of people like Reality Winner.

      1. Manning released some details of our US Government violating the US Constitution.

        That deserves some kind of pat on the back.

        All the rest of the stuff involving transtesticling was just a red herring. Guy did years and had his sentence commuted.

        1. They may be gone now, but she’s got bigger balls than either of you.

  27. Uh-oh Boehm. Trump is removing tariffs for steel and aluminum for Canada and Mexico.

    US to announce deal to lift steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico as soon as today

    Its almost like Trump’s strategy worked. Play hard ball with negotiations and Canada and Mexico cave and renegotiate our managed trade policy.

  28. […] “I will not cooperate with this or any other grand jury,” Chelsea Manning told reporters Thursday from outside a federal courthouse in Virginia. She is now back behind bars for this refusal, after being released just last week from 68 days’ confinement (much of it in solitary). U.S. District Court Judge Anthony Trenga hasn’t merely ordered Manning back into federal custody. He ruled that Manning must pay for the privilege of having her freedom taken away: $500 per day after 30 days and $1,000 […] Chelsea Manning Faces $1000-a-Day Fines, Was Imprisoned Again Yesterday After Refusing to … […]

  29. damning information

    Considering all the damning information that came out of the Russia investigation, I’m beginning to think journ-o-lists don’t know what the meaning of the word is.

  30. There’s a reason why a “subpoena” is named for the Latin words “under penalty”.

  31. “The American government relies on the informed consent of the governed, and the free press is the vigorous mechanism to keep us informed. It is a point of pride for this administration to be publicly hostile to the press. Grand Juries and prosecutions like this one broadcast an expanding threat to the press and function to undermine the integrity of the system according to the government’s own laws.”

    We should DEMAND the innocent be smeared by overzealous prosecutors at all times!!!!

  32. […] details about U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Manning—who is currently being held in a federal detention center in Virginia because she is refusing to testify before a grand jury about Assange—says she continues “to […]

  33. […] about U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Manning—who is currently being held in a federal detention center in Virginia because she is refusing to testify before a grand jury about Assange—says she continues […]

  34. […] about U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Manning—who is currently being held in a federal detention center in Virginia because she is refusing to testify before a grand jury about Assange—says she continues […]

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