Last night we checked the PACER system to see if there was an update to the motion to dismiss Barrett Brown’s first indictment currently before the Court.
We found that his defense had entered a reply to the government’s opposition to this motion, but the government’s opposition itself, filed on 2/14, was not available.
We deduced that the government’s response was filed under seal. We’re only aware of the contents of this motion insofar as it is quoted within the defense’s reply.
Most striking, the government in this case seems to be suggesting that Anonymous is a violent group seeking the overthrow of the government. This is not just preposterous, as the majority of Anonymous members are engaged in ordinary, constitutionally-protected political expression, but it lays bare the cartoon level of ridiculousness that has been the hallmark of this prosecution.
Sensational accusations such as these are only a sign of a weak underlying case and a lack of evidence.
They are aware that they can’t succeed in convicting Brown for his speech, so in order to prevent a just dismissal of the charges they are implying his guilt by association. Out of desperation they are now openly misrepresenting to the judge in order to play upon fear of anti-government sentiment.
Previously, during Brown’s gag hearing they had argued that his association with Anonymous was “inadmissible and prejudicial”, but apparently now it’s “crucial”.
It’s important to point out that they have not alleged any meaningful association between Anonymous and violent conduct; except by asserting that it’s the key to understanding the significance of Brown’s comments, they are implying as much.
The government has shown its contempt for the public right of access by filing motions under seal. It stands to reason that if made public, their filings would trigger tremendous scrutiny, ridicule and negative press.
There is no compelling reason for arguments in this case to be kept secret. The filing should be unsealed, as the public and the press demands to know more about the government’s secret opinion of Anonymous.
You can help Brown’s lawyers challenge this outrageous absurdity by donating to his defense fund today.