Posted Aug 18, 2014 by Martin Armstrong
The New York Times journalist James Risen is facing potentially life imprisonment unless he reveals all his sources. Risen has gone on record stating that the Obama Administration is hunting down journalists to shut them up. Risen has refused to reveal a source and testify against a former CIA agent accused of leaking secrets. This is outrageous behavior and it demonstrates why anyone leaking info on the illegal activities of government will be imprisoned for life. Risen has called President Barack Obama “the greatest enemy of press freedom in a generation.” There is nothing more anti-American that the collective actions of the Obama Administration that when put together appear to be intent upon destroying all liberty, privacy, and freedom. Risen can be held until he dies in prison and has NO right to even a trial under the pretense of “civil” contempt. This is defined as pure coercion and therefore it is an inherent power without limit. They claim they are NOT imprisoning you for a crime, and therefore you have no right to a jury trial. A judge can just say take you away and you will die in prison with no right to anything you thought existed under the Constitution. Some have claimed Risen’s case will change journalism – sorry it already was established Risen has no right to refuse whatsoever any government demand.
One of the greatest tragedies in constitutional law is that the Judiciary refuses to recognize that there was an American Revolution. It was George Bush’s cousin, John Walker, Jr, who basically held that you have no rights under Due Process and the American Constitution to a trial or any limit to imprisonment at the sheer pleasure of a federal judge. The Revolution did not change the inherent power of judges pre-Revolution as they existed in England allowing a judge to summarily imprison you until you die with no trial whatsoever.
Walker basically held that judges can do anything and the power of contempt is “ancient” and predates the Revolution. Clearly, judges and prosecutors have ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY and cannot be sued, charged, or anything whatsoever. They cl;aim powers that pre-date the Revolution and assume that was a non-event. They argue they cannot exist without such unlimited power to basically imprison anyone they desire until they die claiming contempt. Congress limited the civil contempt power to 18 months, 28 USC 1826, but Walker has effectively held Congress has no such power to limit this inherent power to just do whatever they desire.
This “inherent” power is devastating. There can be no free society as long as it exists. They of course used this power against me, but they use it against anyone including journalists to destroy the Free Press. This is WHY Snowden could not possible go the American Press for even if you find a real journalist, they can be imprisoned for life until they rat out their sources. The government threw the New York Times journalist Judith Miller into prison until she revealed her sources. We have lost the Free Press even aside from the fact that the editors comply with government. Journalists who would love to print the truth cannot because of their editors and the law prevents investigative journalism when they have no right to remain free. So now the New York Times reporter James Risen faces prison and there is no court that will even listen. The land of the Free and the home of the Brave is infected with complete totalitarianism that is getting worse by the day.
Have we reached the point we cannot trust Microsoft, Facebook, and the New York Times because they are subject to government arbitrary action? The American press may not even be worthwhile reading anymore because they cannot print the truth whenever the government says no! Journalists can no longer investigate anything involving government. It is a sad day in American history. What will America be like for our posterity? Simply Stalinistic Totalitarianism? There seems to be no way to stop the subjugation of all of society to the sheer will and pleasure of government. The wheel of fortune has completed its revolution. Only fate now awaits our outcome.
John Walker wrote:
The Supreme Court has long recognized that “[c]ertain implied powers must necessarily result to our Courts of justice from the nature of their institution.” United States v. Hudson, 11 U.S. (7 Cranch) 32, 34, 3 L.Ed. 259 (1812). “The most prominent of these is the contempt sanction, which a judge must have and exercise in protecting the due and orderly administration of justice and in maintaining the authority and dignity of the court.” Roadway Express, Inc. v. Piper, 447 U.S. 752, 764, 100 S.Ct. 2455, 65 L.Ed.2d 488 (1980) (quotation marks omitted); see also In re Debs, 158 U.S. 564, 595, 15 S.Ct. 900, 39 L.Ed. 1092 (1895), abrogated on other grounds by Bloom v. Illinois, 391 U.S. 194, 88 S.Ct. 1477, 20 L.Ed.2d 522 (1968) ( “ ‘The power to fine and imprison for contempt, from the earliest history of jurisprudence, has been regarded as a necessary incident and attribute of a court, without which it could no more exist than without a judge.’ ” (quoting Watson v. Williams, 36 Miss. 331, 341 (Miss.Err. & App.1858))); Sigety v. Abrams, 632 F.2d 969, 976 (2d Cir.1980) (quoting the same). “The moment the courts of the United States were called into existence and invested with jurisdiction over any subject, they became possessed of this power.” Ex parte Robinson, 86 U.S. (19 Wall.) 505, 510, 22 L.Ed. 205 (1874); see also Anderson v. Dunn, 19 U.S. (6 Wheat.) 204, 227, 5 L.Ed. 242 (1821) (“Courts of justice are universally acknowledged to be vested, by their very creation, with power to impose silence, respect, and decorum, in their presence, and submission to their lawful mandates.”); NASCO, Inc. v. Calcasieu Television & Radio, Inc., 894 F.2d 696, 702 (5th Cir.1990), aff’d sub nom., Chambers v. NASCO, Inc., 501 U.S. 32, 111 S.Ct. 2123, 115 L.Ed.2d 27 (1991).
Modern courts distinguish between two forms of contempt: civil and criminal. See, e.g., Gompers v. Buck’s Stove & Range Co., 221 U.S. 418, 31 S.Ct. 492, 55 L.Ed. 797 (1911) (the lead case analyzing the differences between the two kinds of contempt); see also Int’l Union, United Mine Workers of Am. v. Bagwell, 512 U.S. 821, 826-30, 114 S.Ct. 2552, 129 L.Ed.2d 642 (1994) (discussing the differences between the two forms of contempt).
The chief characteristic of civil contempt is that its purpose is to compel obedience to an order of the court to enforce the rights of the other party to the action. Consistent with this remedial purpose, the sanction imposed is generally made contingent on compliance. This is often accomplished by a purgation provision, whereby a civil contemnor may purge himself of contempt at any time by compliance. The purpose of an order of criminal contempt, on the other hand, is punitive. It is imposed to vindicate the court’s authority. Accordingly, compliance with the court’s command will not lift the sanction.
In re Irving, 600 F.2d 1027, 1031 (2d Cir.1979) (citations omitted); see also Simkin v. United States, 715 F.2d 34, 36-37 (2d Cir.1983).
Thus, “[t]he paradigmatic coercive, civil contempt sanction ․ involves confining a contemnor indefinitely until he complies with an affirmative command such as an order to pay alimony, or to surrender property ordered to be turned over to a receiver, or to make a conveyance.” Bagwell, 512 U.S. at 828, 114 S.Ct. 2552 (citation and quotation marks omitted). The phrase “indefinitely until he complies,” however, is not quite as absolute as the use of the term “indefinitely” might suggest. A contemnor can, for example, secure his freedom, without complying, if he demonstrates that there is “no wilful disobedience but only an incapacity to comply.” Maggio, 333 U.S. at 74, 68 S.Ct. 401; see also Rylander, 460 U.S. at 757, 761, 103 S.Ct. 1548.
In Shillitani v. United States, the Supreme Court stated: “There can be no question that courts have inherent power to enforce compliance with their lawful order through civil contempt.” 384 U.S. 364, 370, 86 S.Ct. 1531, 16 L.Ed.2d 622 (1966); cf. Sigety, 632 F.2d at 976 (quoting the same in support of a state court’s authority to confine for civil contempt). Thus, we have little difficulty concluding that the district court’s inherent power to order coercive civil confinement is of ancient and traditional origins.