Contact Us    
Until Barrett is Free, Neither Are We

Freedom of the Press is not a whim of the state

by Everett Wilson
February 26, 2014

Bookmark and Share

Until Barrett is Free, Neither Are We_Everett Wilson-Freedom of the Press is not a whim of the state

I had never heard of Barrett Brown until this morning, when he was mentioned in The Consent Chronicle published by Downsize DC. The link in the Chronicle led me to a group soliciting money for Mr. Brown’s defense, though all I was seeking was more detailed information. So I went to Google and learned that Barrett Brown is a young writer who skillfully dances on the line between satire and investigative reporting. While doing his dance he slipped into the clutches of the FBI, and has now spent well over a year in federal custody awaiting trial on multiple charges. It isn’t that he committed any crime; He simply disseminated information that was available to the public on the internet—something you or I could have done. Details are available on the Internet; Rolling Stone and Nation wrote about the case at some length.

The FBI investigation rose to the level of persecution, in my view, when the Agency even targeted his mother. Because she had her son as a guest in her home, she was arrested for concealing evidence—the evidence being his laptop, which to any fair-minded person would be under the Constitutional protection of the First Amendment. Brown’s response to this abuse was what you might expect from an investigative reporter/satirist-- but the FBI treated his words as a credible threat. He was arrested and a court order was issued forbidding him to write about his own case! Whose case was it, if not his?

Time for disclosure. Barrett Brown probably doesn’t know anything about me and won’t unless he reads this. I already happen to know one of his opinions of me: I am one of The Flock of Dodos, which is the title of a book he co-wrote, because I believe that the God of the Bible created the Universe. That puts me in the company of Sunday School kids, as well as of Thomas Aquinas, Augustine, the Pope, and most of the writers of the Great Books of Western Civilization. If Brown and his friends are wrong, it’s because they are wrong, not because they are young. If I am right, it is because I am right, not because I am old. By the same irrefutable logic, being President only makes the President powerful; it doesn’t make him right.

What is my opinion of Barrett Brown? Favorable, but not because he is right. He is a “zealous but not very-well-informed” young man--young enough to be my grandson. That is not all he is. He is also is an excellent, perceptive, funny, mature writer, and a brave one too. I wouldn’t be surprised if his letters from prison, though they do not discuss the case against him, become seminal literature like Martin Luther King’s Letter from the Birmingham Jail. I first heard Dr. King’s letter read aloud, just weeks after its publication, by the minister in a Presbyterian Church in Southern Indiana. Today the word travels in seconds, not weeks.

Further Disclosure: I voted for Barack Obama twice because I share his social ethics and I thought until now that I shared his ethics of justice; but I find no such ethics evident in the case against Barrett Brown.

Post a Comment

Send Us Your Opinion
(Comments are moderated.)
Your Name:*

Your E-Mail Address:*
(Confidential. Will not be published.)


Note: In order to control automated spam submissions, URLs are no longer permitted in this form.

Please type the letters you see above.


Bookmark and Share

Real Things
A novel.
Published January 2, 2008
Temporarily Unavailable

Real Things first appeared in serialized form on the Partial Observer in 2001. It is now available in print for the first time.

Over thirty years after a senseless crash redefined his life, Greg Thompson and his family finally learn why.

More Information
RSS Feed for Everett Wilson: RSS Feed for Everett Wilson
Sign up to receive an e-mail notice when new articles by this author are published. Your address remains confidential, and you may cancel at any time. A confirmation email will be sent.

Your e-mail address:
Until Barrett is Free, Neither Are We
po Books
Now Available!

Teachings of a Three Year Old... Turned Tyke,
by Hal Evan Caplan.

A father learns from the wisdom of his toddler.

More Information.

More by Everett Wilson
Necessary Things, A Companion and Sequel to Real Things
Available from Amazon Books, Amazon Kindle, and Me!
by Everett Wilson, 2/16/15
Why the United States Will not Get Competent Universal Health Care in my Lifetime
Six Obvious Reasons
by Everett Wilson, 11/15/13
An Open Letter to Congressman Jeff Fortenberry
Clean Sweep Time
by Everett Wilson, 10/2/13
An Open Letter to Congressman Jeff Fortenberry
Clean Sweep Time
by Everett Wilson, 10/1/13
Excerpt from my new novel, Scoundrels and Fools
Chapter 5: Ellis Johnson
by Everett Wilson, 7/12/13
The Rev. Marjorie Drickey's Last Message to a Dying World
And all the trumpets sounded for her on the other side.
by Everett Wilson, 2/14/13
Everett's Advent Message
The Great Expectation
by Everett Wilson, 12/1/12
» Complete List (151)

RSS Feed for Everett Wilson: RSS Feed for Everett Wilson

Recently Published
View Article More Than Gold
Pressing the pause button in order to play
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 7/30/21
Coming Together in Tokyo
The most important race in the Olympics
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 7/23/21
Weather by the Book
What the Bible has to say about our climate (and so much more)
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 7/16/21
When Life Collapses Unexpectedly
Reflecting on the condo collapse in South Florida
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 7/9/21
America Once Beautiful
New lyrics to a familiar tune
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 7/2/21
The Unmasked Bandit
Reflecting on a year of being held hostage
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 6/25/21
A Prodigal Father's Day
The patient, persistent, unconditional love of our Heavenly Father
by Greg Asimakoupoulos, 6/18/21

Get the Partial Observer's
'recently published' headlines via RSS.

RSS Feed for Recently Published PO Articles    What is RSS?

Reproduction of original material from The Partial Observer without written permission is strictly prohibited.
The opinions expressed by site contributors do not necessarily reflect those of the editors.
Copyright ©2000-2021 partialobserver.com. All rights reserved.
Home · Site Map · Top