Big Criminal Justice News — and Not So Big Criminal Justice Not News

Joe Biden just pardoned everyone convicted at the federal level of simple marijuana possession, while encouraging Governors to follow suit.

Proud Boy Jeremy Bertino just pled guilty to seditious conspiracy and weapons possession. (Here’s the statement of offense.)

And … far less interestingly, but noting for the record, FBI agents trying to force David Weiss to indict Hunter Biden leaked to Devlin Barrett just like FBI agents trying to harm Hillary Clinton leaked to Devlin Barrett in 2016.

Back to the stuff that matters. Bertino will be a witness not just against Enrique Tarrio and Joe Biggs, but also against Roger Stone (this plea happened as yet more testimony implicating Stone was introduced into the Oath Keeper’s trial). DOJ now has both seditious conspiracy trials focused on the former reality TV show host’s rat-fucker.

And my goodness, the marijuana pardon will positive affect almost as many lives as the student loan forgiveness (But See Ravenclaw’s correction here).

101 replies
  1. Ed Walker says:

    I sincerely hope Biden’s pardon of thousands will hurt the business of private prisons. Also, it might even affect the election, especially the part abour reconsidering the status of marijuana as a Schedule I drug.

    • giorgino says:

      I wonder what effect this may have on all of us Canadians who can’t visit the USA because of prior simple possession convictions?

    • Giorgino says:

      I wonder what effect this will have on all us Canadians who can’t visit the USA because of simple possession?

      • MB says:

        Cannabis is currently legal in the states of Washington and Montana, still a felony in North Dakota, legal in the states of Minnesota and Michigan, still illegal in the states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, legal in the states of New York and Vermont, still illegal in New Hampshire and legal in Maine.

        So, there’s the legal status of cannabis for all the border states with Canada. If travelling by car, cross where it’s legal and buy locally…

          • MB says:

            Yes. I would never try to cross the border while in possession.

            Having gone through both countries’ customs screenings many times over the years, mostly at the Vancouver airport, I can say the the U.S. border agents are nosier, less friendly, and more suspicious than their Canadian counterparts across the board.

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              Yes, it is painfully premature to cross borders with any listed drug, regardless of contrary US state laws.

        • nord dakota says:

          Cannabis is mostly a misdemeanor offense in ND, small amounts are an infraction, sale or possession near a school is a felony. Medical marijuana is legal although legislature has done everything it can to resist it since it was passed as an initiative.

        • Hrothgar says:

          It is against the law (in both countries) to cross the border with cannabis. There are signs in the airports stating that this is the case. The difference is that, in Canadian airports, you are given the option of disposing of your cannabis in receptacles prior to going through Security (this is also true in some US airports where cannabis is legal in the state).

          Pearson Airport (in Toronto) even has sniffer dogs that are used periodically, when there is suspicion of someone attempting to travel with drugs. You walk with the dogs side-by-side as they sniff at you…it is an unnerving experience.

      • matt fischer says:

        I sincerely doubt it will have any effect.

        Though she was not charged with a crime, a former employee of mine remains banned from the US because she was discovered with pot while crossing the border more than a decade ago.

      • Jeffrey Gallup says:

        Long ago I was obliged to refuse an immigrant visa to the wife of an American soldier who had been convicted of possession in Thailand of (I recall) a few grams of marijuana. This was a permanent bar on entry into the US.

        The law today appears to be not so severe, though subject to subjective interpretation – it bans people who the USG “has reason to believe” are traffickers in controlled substances or has aided or colluded with such a trafficker.

      • NCTim1957 says:

        I think Giorgino’s question was about Canadians with possession convictions being prevented from crossing into the US. Biden’s announcement specifically said no amnesty for foreign nationals, but did not address the punative policy toward Canadians.

      • meryvrmer says:

        It’s unlikely to make any difference in the foreseeable future. While a Canadian pardon allows you to answer No when asked by, say, a Canadian employer or police officer, it does not allow you to answer No if a CBP asks – US law does not recognize pardons granted by the Canadian Parole Board. Nor, for that matter, does a pardon in the US allow you to answer No when questioned by a CBSA agent, although if you really do have a pardon, and evidence of it, it is fairly easy to obtain a waiver if the offence for which you received the pardon was minor under Canadian law. Simple possession of weed would be considered minor; DUI and anything related to firearms would not.

        If your conviction was pardoned and erased off CPIC before it came to CBP’s attention, then you could probably get away with answering No, but if they somehow knew about it or learned about it during an entry interview, you’d be excluded, or even detained, for lying.

        You could apply for a waiver, but it is a complex and expensive process.

        The respective customs/immigration agencies can refuse non-citizens/legal residents entry for any reason, or none at all; it’s always at the discretion of the individual officer. And while it’s CBSA policy to disclose a reason, usually on the spot, CBP’s policy seems to be to not disclose if it isn’t obvious, or it’s lame, or based on false assumptions. It took a friend four years to find out that the reason he was excluded was that CBP noted (but did not comment on) the rolling papers that he used to clean his flute pads (as one does) in his flute case, and decided that they were drug paraphernalia. Ten years later, he has given up on ever going to the US again, which in his line of work has been rather limiting.

        One just can’t be too careful: CBP has also been known to seize property and vehicles on just such flimsy grounds, and it’s prohibitively difficult (never mind expensive even to try) to prove a negative and successfully challenge the seizure, then prohibitively difficult and expensive actually to get your stuff back, especially if you can’t go and get it yourself – challenging your exclusion is another process altogether.

        Sigh. I have crossed the border hundreds of times, sometimes with beds of nails, machetes, torches, and other circus-y stuff, also a pony that my dad insisted was worth only 50 cents because that’s how much I paid for the raffle ticket I bought while holidaying in WA earlier that summer, then the following year we brought back a wounded cormorant, which promptly bit the Canadian border (I gotta see this!) guy. He drew up, his eyes narrowed and his face reddened as he surveyed us standing next to dad’s decrepit VW Beetle. He pointed a shaky finger at us and was finally able to sputter, “You! You! You’re the PONY PEOPLE!!!

        Poor customs guy recovered from his near-coronary, concluded that they probably fly across all the time, and sent us on our way. But I digress nostalgic.

        [Mods, I have extended my user name to comply with the 8-digit minimum.]

        [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. /~Rayne]

        • MB says:

          Oh jeez, I used to use a $1 bill to clean my flute pads! Unfortunate circumstances surrounding your friend’s use of rolling papers for the same purpose…

          I once had a CBP agent (at the Vancouver airport) look me in the eye and ask “Do you smoke marijuana?” (this was well before legalization in either country). I was taken aback by the direct question and countered with “Can you really ask that?”. CBP guy said “Yes”. I then said “No, I don’t”, which was a lie, but I figured also none of his business. With the negative reply on my part, he let me pass through customs, but that was a weird incident…

    • Frank Anon says:

      Reconsidering the Schedule I status of weed is far more fraught than people realize. The whole basis for the current state-by-state regime is that any Schedule I drug has “no medical value”. As such, all growers and distributors don’t have practical liability for things like efficacy, chemical garbage in the product, mislabeling and on and on. The minute the federal government reclassifies as a Schedule II or even Schedule III, as a drug they fall under the purview of the FDA, and that requires things like studies to back up some of the insane claims made with marijuana today across the states, open the sellers to claims for all sorts of stuff related to what appears to be pretty dangerous practices in place today, especially from the vast amount of pesticides in most product nationally, but not exclusively. The only solution at that time is a Phillip Morris type seller that can ramp up a coherent national approval, production and distribution program that meets federal law, or the change of law which I see as likely impossible right now. Its not going to be a pleasant transition, but clearly its coming

      • Rugger9 says:

        It’s the price for being legal. It’s also a tradeoff that the legit growers would be OK with if they no longer have to worry about seizures because a fed or county mountie gets an itch.

      • pseudo42 says:

        Going forward, there is no need for cannabis to have controlled substance designation. Alcohol and tobacco don’t, they are not Schedule anything. With regard to safety, lab testing already affects every legal package in several states. As for medical use, people who obtain an Rx can be exempt from excise taxes as they are now in some states.

        I do agree in other ways, meaning I do see lots of snags. I wager the only way it can pass Congress is if testing and packaging regs have specific testing and packaging provisions that favor scale, big ag, and big brands. If so, I think most existing industry pioneers will value their independence and oppose whatever bill comes along, and they’ll form coalition with teachers and preachers and drug counselors. Plus I doubt BATF is anywhere near ready for any of this. Even if a big-weed bill were to pass, federal excise taxes could add to existing state excise taxes, resulting in truly exorbitant prices that cause people to prefer illegal channels.

    • Leading Edge Boomer says:

      Weed can be downgraded from a Schedule 1 drug only by Congress. It can happen if Democrats retain control of both House and Senate, otherwise no luck.

  2. Jim Crittenden says:

    I wonder if that covers my half-joint bust in the UK that the FBI elevated to a felony on my record “by default”.

    [Welcome back to emptywheel. Please use the same username each time you comment so that community members get to know you. Your identity also includes your email address; this is your second address. Pick one and stick with it. I want to point out that you’ve left 15 comments total at this site and had to be asked to lock down to one of four usernames — now you’re vacillating between emails. It’s not a good look. /~Rayne]

    • Jim Crittenden says:

      Sorry, my autofill behavior is a little finicky when I’m in a hurry to make a comment. I’ll stick with this for good. Thanks for making my day daily.

  3. Molly Pitcher says:

    In the Elmer S Rhodes trial, MSNBC is reporting that Don Zimmerman, a former military member/former Oath Keeper just testified that he heard Rhodes in a conversation Sept of 2020 while at a rally in Fayetteville NC, discussing ” under what parameters the Oath Keepers could operate during the rally ” ““From the questions Stewart — Mr. Rhodes — was asking, it sounded like it could’ve been” a Secret Service agent, Zimmerman said.”

      • Peterr says:

        OK: “It’s Pelosi season!”

        Roger Stone: “Pence season!”

        OK: “Pelosi season”

        Stone: “Pelosi season”

        OK: “Pence season”

        Stone: “Pelosi season”

        OK: “Pence season, Pence season, Pence season!”

        Stone, to himself: “my work here is done.”

  4. Ravenclaw says:

    The pardons are most welcome and fulfill a campaign pledge. They will make a real difference to those who’ve been hobbled by felony records over simple possession of weeds. But they won’t affect nearly as many people as the student loan forgiveness. Just 6,500 federal convictions plus a few thousand from D.C. are being thrown out. By contrast, something like 43,000,000 people stand to have their loan balances reduced (nearly half of them eliminated altogether). It isn’t as big a deal to get $10,000 or $20,000 as it is to get your name cleared, but that’s a heck of a lot of people.

    • Badger Robert says:

      The student loan cancellation program is very significant with respect to the fraudulent trade schools. It will also release many gaurantors whose federal benefits could be attached to pay student loan debt.

      • MB says:

        My guess is that governors of states where it’s already legal would be more likely to grant state pardons. And governors in cannabis-illegal states would probably double down, dig in and say no way. So…weed smokers in Wyoming, who drive into northern Colorado to make purchases, are still at risk when they come back.

        Related anecdote: a Canadian friend of mine, who just retired and moved to Belize (where cannabis is illegal), purchased a bag of weed from his landlady, who sternly warned him that if he found any seeds in the bag, that he should definitely not dispose of them by scattering them in the backyard, as tropical environments make accidental sprouting of seeds likely and she didn’t want to get busted due to careless tenants…!

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        The patchwork will remain until federal rules pre-empt contrary state laws criminalizing cannabis. Southern GOP governors, for example, would seem inherently unable to give up such a longstanding weapon in support of legal and de facto Jim Crow.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          Exactly. I’m curious to see if they’ll try leveraging the old “demon weed” as code for keeping Black men and boys in the criminal grinder, and if they do, how well that will fly–now that every middle-aged white woman I know has tried and recommended medical marijuana.

    • Greg Hunter says:

      Biden is not dumb and should know by now that the largest crime wave in American history was initiated by the passage of the 18th Amendment – Prohibition. The war on naturally occurring plants has caused a catastrophic international crime wave. It causes the current immigration issue at the border and contributed to our failure in Afghanistan.

      This war should have never started and Biden should end it by the end of his first term. The amount of money and lives it would save is incalculable.

    • Bugboy321 says:

      The best news of all is the 1. lifting the prohibition on the use of banks by the cannabis industry and 2. the lifting the prohibition of research into the use of cannabis. Both of those are a BFD, as the President says.

      [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. (At least I assume this is what you have done leaving “Bugboy” for “Bugboy321.”) /~Rayne]

      • ExRacerX says:

        Absolutely! #1 is an especially important step in the normalization of the fast-blooming cannabis industry & #2 has great potential to improve folks’ lives.

      • Bugboy321 says:

        @Rayne: You assume correct, although you know what they say about “ASS-U-ME”? Some of us ARE paying attention around here, even us “IANAL Retentive” lurkers…

        [Let’s say that I have your entire comment history at my fingertips and am therefore better informed than the usual ass-umer. /~Rayne]

  5. Blaze Trailer says:

    That the war on weed would be over. It started I’m convinced as a war on POC, then naturally morphed into an effective political weapon against the Left.
    Also helped fill State and private prisons and made a lot of money for the connected. Read Republicans. I know that they are not behind every bad thing but sometimes it’s hard to think of bad stuff they have not had a hand in.

    • PieIsDamnGood says:

      You don’t even need to speculate, Nixon’s advisor John Ehrlichman admitted it.

      “The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and Black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or Black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and Blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did.”

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Absolutely. The racist character of laws that criminalize cannabis go further back, to the inception of the regulatory state in the 1920s.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          The career of federal bureaucrat, anti-drug propagandist, and early drug czar, Harry Anslinger, from 1930-1962, highlights the vindictive and racist component of federal laws criminalizing cannabis and other drugs, including Prohibition-era alcohol use. Anslinger was considered, not least by Anslinger, to be the J. Edgar Hoover of the early war on drugs.

          Cannabis, in particular, was closely associated by Anslinger, as head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, with its use by black and Latino populations, and the post-WWII rejection of immigration, generally.

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Correction: The “post-WWI” rejection of immigration, owing to the association of immigrants from eastern and southern Europe – many poor and from the defunct Austro-Hungarian, German, Ottoman, and Russian empires – as, variously, Catholic, dark-skinned and/or mixed race, or likely to bring in socialist and Communist and, therefore, pro-union and anti-capitalist beliefs.

        • Peterr says:

          And then you add a 1998 law that says “if you have a pot conviction, you are ineligible for federal financial aid” which pushes folks further down the socio-economic ladder.

        • Knox says:

          There was one other factor in the demonization of marijuana: William Randolph Hearst owned forests and paper mills, as well as newspapers. Paper/newsprint made from industrial hemp was a threat to his economic hegemony in that market. How convenient he owned all those newspapers to mount those campaigns against that beneficial plant.

        • Gertibird says:

          William Randolph Hearst in CA who was good buddies with Anslinger had a great dislike of minorities and believed which use of “Reefer makes d*rkies think they’re as good as white men.” He used his newspaper to vilify and get marijuana illegal. This also helped his own finances as he owned 10’s of thousands of acres lumber land and didn’t want hemp ( cheaper and more easily made into paper than lumber) to be used for making paper.
          Note: changed my handle to min. 8 character Gertibird

          [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. /~Rayne]

  6. Alan Charbonneau says:

    The CBS article stated there was nobody inside federal prison at the moment who is in solely for simple possession. Still it is GREAT NEWS!

    Last year I was introduced to Randy Lanier, the 1986 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year. Randy funded his racing by smuggling cannabis. (300,000 lbs of cannabis!)

    He got life without parole for and served 27 years until he got a pardon from Obama. (Netflix has a docudrama, “called The Need for Weed” that deals with his ruse, fall, and redemption.)

    Randy works with Freedom Grow Forever, a nonprofit that advocates for cannabis prisoners. I sent him a link to the announcement and he said yes, great news! I’m all smiles. He has worked on this issue since he left prison some eight years ago. 😁😁😁

  7. Alan Charbonneau says:

    The CBS article stated there was nobody inside federal prison at the moment who is in solely for simple possession. Still it is GREAT NEWS!

    Last year I was introduced to Randy Lanier, the 1986 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year. Randy funded his racing by smuggling cannabis. (He was busted for his last deal, 300,000 lbs of cannabis!)

    He got life without parole for it. He served 27 years until he got a presidential pardon from Obama. (Netflix has a docudrama, “called The Need for Weed” that deals with his rise, fall, and redemption.)

    Randy works with Freedom Grow Forever, a nonprofit that advocates for cannabis prisoners. I sent him a link to the announcement and he said “yes, great news!”
    I’m all smiles. He has worked on this issue since he left prison some eight years ago. 😁😁😁

      • Alan Charbonneau says:

        My mistake. It was 300 tons, not 300,000 lbs. He had the bales put inside of cargo ships and had steel plates welded over them. His documentary tells the crazy tale of that last deal.

        I got introduced to him by phone a year ago August and met him in person at last year’s Emerald Cup in NorCal. Great guy.

        • TooLoose LeTruck says:

          So it was even more?

          Bales… right…

          That much weed, definitely comes in bales… I’m impressed…

          And welded into the ships…

          The documentary sounds like it’s worth looking up…

          • Alan Charbonneau says:

            Definitely worth watching. The last ship was loaded when he found out someone had flipped and the feds were waiting for the ship in New Orleans. Scuttling the ship meant he owed some Columbians $25 million and didn’t want them coming after him and with the Feds waiting for him he was being squeezed. It adds to an already fascinating story.

            • J R in WV says:

              Many years ago some local boys flew a DC-6 loaded with reefer into CWA airport latte at night. They had security (deputy sheriffs) arranged and trucks to haul it away. 20 tons on board, South American crew on the aircraft.

              Unfortunately for the pot plane conspirators, they attempted to fly around for another landing, but flipped while leaving the airport, which is much like a carrier landing as it is on top of a mountain. No one was killed, but thousands of pounds of reef was strewn over the mountain side below the airport.

              Many people attempted to gather waste bales of weed, police sprayed diesel fuel on the bales the nest day in an attempt to ruin the debris.

              It was a fascinating and wild tale, indeed.

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Removing cannabis and related drugs from Schedule 1 would be a major improvement. It should remove the conflict between federal and state laws, where state laws permit recreational and/or medical use. That, in turn, should allow the distribution system dealing with cannabis and related drugs to normalize their businesses by doing such things as opening bank accounts. Courts, jails, prisons, prosecutors and public defenders should see reduced work loads.

    It could be a major step toward treating drug abuse as a public health problem, rather than one to be dealt with through the criminal justice system, which is built to punish, not treat or rehabilitate. And anything that reduces organized crime’s involvement would benefit society.

    Naturally, the hard right’s law and order crowd will scream that Joe is being soft on crime. Well, it already does that. Their screams would really be directed at two different issues: reducing the profitability of the carceral state, and removing an inherently racist drug classification that helps maintain white supremacy. So, yea, this is a bigger deal than it might seem on its face.

  9. Ginevra diBenci says:

    Speaking of uncontrolled substance, Devlin Barrett and Perry Stein make sure to remind us that Hunter Biden did crack. He wrote about it in a book! So that’s proof. Book ’em, Dan’l.

  10. B Ruff says:

    Having legal weed, with nice stores nearby staffed with helpful folks is such a normal part of my life that I sometimes forget it’s unusual.
    A step in the right direction, I suppose, but legalize it ffs!

    • punaise says:

      Our cat, named Kaya, approves. (Named by our then-college grad son who was moving back east and “offered” her for adoption).

      • Ruthie2the says:

        I moved to Maine several months ago, and in the Portland there are practically pot shops on every corner. It’s really something to see, especially in contrast to Massachusetts, where at least a few years ago they were pretty sparse statewide, never mind having one in every shopping plaza. Meanwhile, in NH, the Live Free or Die state, the state legislature flipped to R control in 2020, so no chance legalization/decriminalization will happen until that changes.

        • gmoke says:

          MA is slowly but surely opening up pot shops around the Commonwealth. I have one about two blocks from where I live in Central Square, Cambridge.

          And then there are the two medical marijuana dispensaries nearby.

    • Buzzkill Stickinthemud says:

      Having recently dabbled in edibles, it was nice feeling free from the threat of arrest.

      [Mods: using a new moniker for conformance. The names are inspired by my wife’s terms of endearment for me.]

      [Welcome back, Community Member Formerly Known As jhinx — Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. /~Rayne]

  11. Linfalas says:

    There are several side effects to being classified schedule 1. One of which is significant barriers to studying the substance. I won’t be surprised if 3-5 years from now there are trials for multiple drugs identified by studying cannabis.

      • Christenson says:

        ** and I have no guarantees those CBD oil products actually have any CBD oil in them, much less that they will do anything more for me than snake oil ** (it’s all the rage, of course, but its supposed to be good for everything!).

  12. Rugger9 says:

    I knew Hunter Biden would make an appearance for the frothers, but why not add HRC too? Anyhow, the press was doing its best to make it sound scary enough to be equivalent to all of the footsie the GQP has been playing with Putin (not just Individual-1) which I suspect is trying to neuter the effect of the OK plea. It also makes it clear that any ‘deep state’ cabal in the IC/FBI is populated by RWNJs.

    IIRC, the DE USA is an appointee of TFG, and has been dangling big news for a while. Perhaps what Durham did with his prosecutorial face plant has scared this USA off from making up phony charges, but we’ll see. I would observe that for most of this period it was not Garland’s DoJ so why wasn’t Hunter charged then if the case was so solid?

    In short, if there was a ‘there’ there it would have been ‘out there’.

    • Rayne says:

      I don’t think they want to go after HRC because the right-wing already has a massive problem with women right now post-Dobbs. They also want to make the mid-terms a referendum on Joe Biden so they’ll focus on a Biden.

  13. GSH says:

    As a practicing physician over the past 30+yrs, I avoided sending Rx for cannabis (even though it was legalized several years ago in my state) due to its Schedule-1 status and the stigma associated with providers who moonlighted their services via video visits with patients for bogus medical conditions. It’s truly unbelievable that the Biden administration made good on this particular campaign pledge; I just didn’t think it would ever happen. Is it really just wishful thinking that cannabis might actually be declassified to a lower schedule?

  14. Jack Devlin says:

    Would the marijuana pardons at federal level, or at state level, enfranchise anyone currently denied the vote?

    • Rayne says:

      This is the kind of question we’d encourage community members to research on the internet, because we do not know who is incarcerated for simple possession of marijuana alone on federal charges (news reports suggest no one individual is at this time), in what state they may be incarcerated, or the state laws governing incarcerated/released convicts’ rights to vote.

      You could find a breakdown at the National Conference of State Legislatures, for example:

      Welcome to emptywheel.

    • Alan Charbonneau says:

      I reached out to NORML’s legal people. Here is their reply
      “If someone had a federal marijuana conviction that is currently keeping them from voting, and it was expunged, the individual would be thereafter entitled to vote. However, Biden is saying he will expunge federal marijuana convictions for simple marijuana possession, and I do not believe those offenses would disqualify one from voting.”

      • Rayne says:

        Let me make the point here that you had to reach out to a group which specializes in this issue to obtain that answer.

        The EO was just published and this site is not expert on marijuana legislation and adjudication or the intersection of those laws and voting rights.

        As for affected voters in each state where marijuana is still illegal, it will be up to them to check their state’s voting laws wrt their voting rights. An “I do not believe” statement by someone at NORML is not a strong enough reason to believe one can exercise a right to vote without possible legal repercussions. One only needs to look at what happened in Florida to voters who believed they were eligible to vote in spite of their felony convictions under FL state law in 2020 and then prosecuted for doing so.

        • Alan Charbonneau says:

          I read the last sentence differently than you, I believe. He stated that Biden will “expunge federal marijuana convictions for simple marijuana possession, and I do not believe those offenses would disqualify one from voting.”

          I read the “I do not believe” statement as saying the expungement would not have any affect on them, because they weren’t disqualified from voting in the first place.

  15. harpie says:

    Here’s a timeline of info from these two documents:

    [Nordean, Biggs, Rehl, Donohoe, Tarrio [counts 1-7], Pezzola [counts 1-8]] [link]

    2] TARRIO Detention Memo [3/14/22]:

    The first of 13 BERTINO [PERSON-1] mentions is on 12/20/20

  16. Rugger9 says:

    One of the OK trial witnesses admitted to a link to the USSS on J6. It would explain why IG Cuffari wiped the phones of the text messages, and it would imply that the USSS detail around Individual-1 and probably Pence were part of the plot. Pence certainly thought so, when he prevented the USSS from whisking him away on J6.

    NSA ought to have something even if the USSS says they don’t any more.

    • J R in WV says:

      I would think that NSA, if they did have SS text msg data, would be prohibited from releasing it, and probably actually prohibited from recording that data. I seem to recall that NSA is strictly for the monitoring of foreign comms. Could be wrong… dunno for sure.

      • rip no longer says:

        Statutorily you are perhaps correct.

        In reality, who knows. Even congress doesn’t really know what is Hoovered up, by whom and for what purposes. Interesting that “Hoovered” is acceptable in this site’s spill chucker. Of course J.E.Hoover was an example of an “intelligence” agency run amok. And the many years that the NSA and other organizations had taps on the major communications lines everywhere.

        If someone really wants an answer to a particular question and can bend enough arms and pay enough money, then the answer can be found.

        (Remember “delete” doesn’t do anything other then set a flag that you don’t want this record to be visible. It will live forever.)

  17. BirdGardener says:

    Questions re. this article:

    What’s the likelihood a GOP president might later cancel this executive order? The article indicates that major businesses want this agreement, but executive orders are easy to change compared to acts of Congress.

    How likely is it that this agreement eventually leads to US citizens gaining the same data privacy? (Obviously I’m assuming we currently don’t have the same protections, as that’s what I have read.) It’d be bad PR if foreign citizens have more privacy rights in the US than its own citizens do.

    What other questions should I be asking? I don’t know enough to ask better questions, though I can see the agreement is going to have some considerable effect on our intelligence agencies.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Rayne says:

      We don’t have a crystal ball and can’t say if a future POTUS of any party affiliation might not rescind this executive order. The order, though, isn’t prospective or forward looking; it pardons those already prosecuted, not those who may yet be charged. POTUS cannot make law.

      What this EO buys is breathing room and expectation management for Congress as well as state legislatures. These pardons can’t be retracted, are wholly unlikely to do any damage to the country, and both Congress and state legislatures have a stake in the ground from which they can continue to debate legalizing marijuana.

      This has nothing to do with data privacy. No idea where you think these things are connected. The only intersection would be use of medical marijuana in health care settings under HIPAA. Data privacy is already unequal across the US — California’s data privacy laws offer an example.

      As for any other questions? Don’t ask any here for which you can find answers with a search engine and those requiring mindreading or a Magic 8 Ball or paranormal futuresight.

      • BirdGardener says:

        I’m sorry; I was asking about the article I linked on the US-EU data privacy agreement, regarding our intelligence services’ use of EU citizens’ data.

        “The order will create a new body within the U.S. Department of Justice that will oversee how American national security agencies are able to access and use information from both European and U.S. citizens. It will also give new powers to the civil liberties protection officials within the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, a body that oversees agencies’ work, to investigate possible breaches of people’s privacy rights.
        When it is established, the so-called Data Protection Review Court within the Department of Justice will allow people to file lawsuits via a so-called “special advocate” to challenge how their data is used by these agencies, marking a potentially significant limit to how the likes of the National Security Agency operate.” Though now that I’ve quoted that section, I see an answer to one of my questions; it seems American citizens will receive the same protections and have the same recourse.

        Seemed fascinating to me, and within this site’s area of interest, so I hazarded a a question. My apologies if it’s improper to introduce a different topic at the winding-down of a discussion; I thought I’d seen it done , but I may have misjudged.

        • Justlp34 says:

          Interesting article., thanks for sharing. The EU is light-years ahead of the US on data privacy. As a Californian I can say that our law is a start, but not nearly robust enough. We should be leveraging the work EU did as a template and not trying to use our usual ‘American Exceptionallism’ ‘argument to believe we need to start from scratch.

          I’m sure the tech company lobbyists will strongly disagree.

          [Thanks for updating your username to meet the 8 letter minimum. A duplicate of your comment has been deleted, btw. /~Rayne]

          • earlofhuntingdon says:

            Yes, the EU and many other countries are light years ahead of the US in recognizing and protecting data privacy.

            The biggest reason is the decades-long opposition from US corporations, which has successfully prevented the US from adopting similar privacy protections.

            It’s not just big tech, or data capturers and brokers. Many companies oppose what they consider intrusive regulations. But most do it because abusing data rights is enormously profitable.

            • timbo says:

              It’s also the two major political parties in the US; both of them use data mining to target voters and to generate donations, etc. Pollsters too benefit from having more data on the people they try to target/derive useful correlations from. It’s not clear what the average person gains by having their privacy not respected though.

              • Kurt K says:

                The thing gained from using these services/applications is usually that they are free. Users need to remember that if you don’t pay for the product, you are the product. Whether or not that trade off is worth it is generally up to the user.

        • rip no longer says:

          Yes, thank you for this link. Very interesting and shows how a US executive can work well with other countries. Totally the opposite of fpotus.

          On this site we never know when a conversation is actually winding down. Some of us take long siestas (or even vacations!) and rejoin the fray days later.

        • BirdGardener says:

          Ran across another article on this, also from October 7, with an interesting point:

          “The U.S. attorney general will have to designate the EU as a qualifying state or region under the privacy framework, which will open the door for the U.S. government to also assess the EU’s surveillance safeguards, [Peter] Harrell said.” (From the previous paragraph: “Harrell is the senior director for International Economics and Competitiveness at the White House National Security Council.”)

          “The move marks a win for the U.S. government, which has long griped that Brussels holds all the cards in data flows talks and that its national security laws are held to a higher standard than even the EU’s own. Under the new framework, the U.S. will be able to withhold use of the redress mechanism to countries or regional zones that don’t meet its standards.”

          If I get the chance to go googling for more information, I plan to post it here, barring any objections. Might not manage it, though; it’s not high on my priority list atm, interesting as it is.

  18. Justlp34 says:

    Interesting article., thanks for sharing. The EU is light-years ahead of the US on data privacy. As a Californian I can say that our law is a start, but not nearly robust enough. We should be leveraging the work EU did as a template and not trying to use our usual ‘American Exceptionallism’ ‘argument to believe we need to start from scratch.

    I’m sure the tech company lobbyists will strongly disagree.

    Note to mods – changed user name to meet new parameters.

  19. pseudo42 says:

    “FBI agents trying to force David Weiss to indict Hunter Biden leaked to Devlin Barrett just like FBI agents trying to harm Hillary Clinton leaked to Devlin Barrett in 2016.”

    A month ago I commented here taking Barrett’s `nuclear secrets’ story seriously, and I’m sorry for that. I take back any trust I had in his stories.

    • Ginevra diBenci says:

      It’s okay, pseudo42, most of us have gotten taken in by Devlin Barrett or another of his ilk at some point. Not everyone can spend all their waking hours reading mainstream reporting with a cynical eye and deconstructing the rhetorical devices Barrett et. al. use to maintain an aura of objective authority while essentially passing on gossip that serves those in power.

      I don’t recommend this as a vocation–not unless you burn with an internal fire that won’t be slaked otherwise. You’re fine.

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