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Joe Biggs is a victim of war crimes. Those responsible should be held accountable.


The trial of Peter von Hagenbach by an ad hoc tribunal of the Holy Roman Empire in 1474 was the first "international" war crimes trial, and also of command responsibility. He was convicted and beheaded for crimes that "he as a knight was deemed to have a duty to prevent", although he had argued that he was "just following orders".

In 1865, Henry Wirz, a Confederate States Army officer, was held accountable by a military tribunal and hanged for the appalling conditions at Andersonville Prison, where many Union prisoners of war died during the American Civil War.

FBI entrapment:

Same FBI tactics in Michigan as on 1/6


The FBI Allegedly Used At Least 12 Informants In The Michigan Kidnapping Case

Defense attorneys said they will argue that the FBI “induced or persuaded” the defendants to go along with the violent scheme.

The government employed at least a dozen confidential informants to infiltrate groups of armed extremists who allegedly plotted to kidnap the governor of Michigan, according to a new filing in federal court on Monday.

The filing, made by one of the five defendants in the federal case, asked that prosecutors be ordered to share more information about those informants, their relationship with the FBI, and the specific roles they played in building the case. It came among a blizzard of 15 new defense motions in the high-profile case, including requests to move it to a different district, to suppress evidence from a search warrant, and to try at least one defendant separately from the others.

Taken together, the new court papers offered a glimpse of the evolving defense strategies in the case, with several attorneys saying that they plan to argue that the FBI “induced or persuaded” the men to go along with the scheme.

The alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made international headlines last October, when the Department of Justice announced it had charged six men in a kidnapping conspiracy. Five of the defendants — Barry Croft, Adam Fox, Daniel Harris, Kaleb Franks, and Brandon Caserta — have all pleaded not guilty and have been held without bail since their arrests. A sixth, Ty Garbin, pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate in the case in January.

According to the Justice Department, the men met and trained over a six-month period in 2020, during which time they developed a plan to kidnap Whitmer from her second home and possibly take her out of state where she could be put on “trial” for being a “tyrant.” No plan was ever executed before authorities made arrests.

Eight other men were charged under Michigan’s anti-terrorism statutes for providing material support to the plotters. Half of the defendants in the combined cases were members of a militant group known as the Wolverine Watchmen, which was associated with the Three Percenters extremist movement. All but two are from the state of Michigan.

A trial in the federal case is currently scheduled for October. Monday marked a filing deadline for defense motions in that case.

Although prosecutors have acknowledged using informants to build the case, the court file to date has provided very little detail on their activities or identities save for one informant, who testified in March. According to an attorney for Franks, the government has shared ID numbers linked to 12 confidential informants but, with one exception, has not provided background on how they were recruited, what payments they may have received from the FBI, where they are based, or what their names are.

Such information would be crucial to “preparation of a defense to the charges,” Franks’ lawyer, Scott Graham, claimed.

Franks, meanwhile, asked that the case be moved out of the Western District of Michigan, on the grounds that “press coverage of (and participation in) this matter has corrupted the potential trial atmosphere to the point that Mr. Franks will be denied a fair trial in Michigan.”

Graham specifically cited a motion filed by BuzzFeed News to obtain access to exhibits shown in a hearing in the case in January as an example of the media involvement in the case and the risk of “prejudice in this case based on the extensive, negative, pervasive press coverage of the allegations.”

Franks also asked to be tried separately because he is not facing a bomb charge that was added to the case earlier this year. That count, conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, applies to three of the other defendants who are alleged to have tried to build explosive devices or procure bomb-making materials. According to attorney Graham, potential allegations by prosecutors in court about that charge “will certainly go far in frightening jurors and eliciting emotional decisions from them.”

In yet another motion, filed late on Sunday, an attorney for Croft claimed that prosecutors had provided more than 5,000 duplicate files as it shared evidence, including no fewer than 15 copies of the same audio recording, significantly increasing the burden on the defense.

Separately the attorney, Joshua Blanchard, asked the court to exclude from evidence some items that were recovered from Croft’s Delaware residence during an FBI search in October because, he claims, they were outside the scope of the warrant. Among those items were a 1-kilogram silver bar, a handwritten code cipher, and “Mr. Croft’s hat.”

Croft, a long-haul truck driver and father of three girls, is known among Three Percenters for often wearing a tricorn hat like those from the time of the American Revolution.


‘Unprecedented, Unreasonable, Unconstitutional, and Wrong’

The Justice Department won’t have January 6 evidence ready until 2022.

By Julie Kelly

During a status hearing Friday afternoon for Timothy Hale-Cusanelli, an Army reservist arrested on January 15 for his involvement in the January 6 protest in Washington, D.C., an assistant U.S. attorney admitted the government will not meet its discovery obligations for all Capitol defendants until early 2022.

Kathyrn Fifield, the lead attorney representing the Justice Department, informed Judge Trevor McFadden that the “incalculable” volume of video collected by the government related to the Capitol breach investigation will prevent defendants and their lawyers from accessing the full body of evidence against them for several more months. “No system exists to wrap its arms around [all this evidence],” Fifield told McFadden. This includes at least 14,000 hours of surveillance video plus thousands of hours of body-worn camera footage from law enforcement.

Fifield resisted setting a 2021 trial date for Hale; McFadden and Jonathan Crisp, Hale’s court-appointed attorney, told the government last month that unless a plea arrangement wasagreed upon, a trial would be set for later this year because Hale already has been incarcerated for more than six months. “If we do set a trial date, the government cannot meet discovery obligations until early 2022. That’s a conservative estimate,” Fifield said.

Despite arresting more than 550 people since January 6, the government still has no platform for posting, sharing, and transferring digital evidence. “Due to the extraordinary nature of the January 6, 2021 Capitol Attack, the government anticipates that a large volume of materials may contain information relevant to this prosecution,” Fifield wrote in a July 14 filing. “These materials may include, but are not limited to, surveillance video, statements of similarly situated defendants, forensic searches of electronic devices and social media accounts of similarly situated defendants, and citizen tips. The government is working to develop a system that will facilitate access to these materials.”

At one point, the Justice Department was sharing digital evidence on Blu Ray discs.

Earlier this month, the department signed a multi-million dollar contract with Deloitte to create a “massive database” of evidence. But that process will take several weeks if not months. “The still-incomplete database has sharply slowed down efforts by prosecutors and defense attorneys to hammer out plea deals for dozens, of not hundreds, of alleged rioters,” Politico reported on July 9. “Several defendants have sought quick resolution of their cases only to be told by prosecutors that they must wait until the database is established.”

Despite the lack of evidence against him, Hale has been behind bars since January. He is not charged with any violent crimes but the Justice Department repeatedly—and successfully—has sought his pre-trial detention. (McFadden denied Hale’s release in March.)

An informant wore a wire to record a conversation with Hale about a “civil war” and military investigators interrogated nearly four dozen of Hale’s co-workers about his alleged “white supremacist” views. (My column explaining the case here.)

Hale was transported to at least five different prisons before arriving in early February at the D.C. jail specifically used to detain January 6 defendants. More than three dozen January 6 detainees are incarcerated at the D.C. Correctional Treatment Facility awaiting trial or plea offers.

On July 7, the D.C. Circuit Court denied Hale’s appeal seeking release.

McFadden scolded the government for its backwards process. “You would not arrest [someone] then gather evidence later. That’s not how this works.” When Fifield said full discovery is in the best interest of the defendant, McFadden shot back: “Freedom also is important to the defendant.” The Trump-appointed judge raised concerns over Sixth Amendment violations. “This does not feel what the Constitution [and] the Speedy Trial Act envisions.”

Despite the government’s confession that it is not prepared to make its case against Hale, McFadden set a trial date of November 9, 2021. (He did not release Hale, who has no criminal record, from prison.)

“No January Sixer should be made to suffer in a jail cell while the DOJ continues to delay discovery simply because it can,” one defense attorney told me by text this afternoon. “This is unprecedented, unreasonable, unconstitutional, and wrong.”


This situation is not right, Fred. The DC establishment, led by Merrick Garland, is doing some profoundly evil things. The public needs to know what extraordinary circumstances justify the holding of these men without bail.


General Milley’s Imaginary Coup

8/2/21 Peter Van Buren

We need to clear some things up before they get any further out of hand, as the Dems insist on making this stuff every day’s front page. For starters, stop saying “Reichstag moment.” And when Grandpa Simpson and Kamala “Silent Shadow” Harris tottered into the White House, they became president. Between the two of them they’ll get their four years. Done.

Some 500 protesters taking selfies inside the Capitol building is a tantrum, not a coup. Among other things, a coup must have some path towards success, in this case, preventing Joe Biden from becoming president. The rioters at best might have delayed the largely ceremonial counting of the Electoral College votes until the next day. Done.

Not done. The latest addition to Coup Canon comes from then—and somehow still—Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley. Milley was so shaken Trump might attempt a coup or take other illegal measures after the election that he and other top officials planned to stop Trump. Neither Milley nor any of the others actually spell out what Trump might have realistically done in some Calvinball-like way to make said coup happen. Milley’s Strangelovian performance art is based on nothing but the spittle running down his chin. American soldiers have been required to refuse illegal orders at least since Biden wore diapers, so Milley’s histrionics are just that.

Milley nonetheless felt “growing concern” after Trump placed “loyalists” in positions of power after the November 2020 election, replacing Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Attorney General William Barr. He feared, based on his own sizable gut, these moves “were the sign of something sinister to come” (Update: Nothing sinister came.) Milley failed to recognize that all presidential appointees are “loyalists” and that somehow Trump did not replace Milley himself, who clearly had not read his oath recently, especially the part about taking orders from the civilian head of government.

In fact, if anyone is a threat to democracy it is nutjobs like Milley, who feel free to weave in and out of answering to the commander in chief based on their personal “concerns.” The general’s tough love for the Constitution apparently did not include the right to assemble, as he referred to a pro-Trump march protesting election results as “the modern American equivalent of brownshirts in the streets.”

While Milley was rewriting 230 years of military prudence in late 2020, Paul Krugman from the New York Times bunker wrote there were “substantial odds America as we know it will be damaged or even destroyed” by the election (Update: it was not.) He told us to “expect violence from Trump supporters, maybe lots of it, both to disrupt voting on Election Day and in the days that follow” until Trump “stops counting of absentee ballots, claims massive fraud, and probably tries to get the Supreme Court to overturn the result.” (Update: none of that happened.)

Over at the Nation they simply assumed Trump would illegally remain in power. The writer’s real concern was that at least “we have the moral high ground. But we don’t have, frankly, the military leadership in place to direct a guerrilla campaign against an illegitimate regime. We don’t have a government-in-exile waiting to take power. We don’t have international allies. We don’t have an underground network of spies and saboteurs. . . but we can lay our bodies down in front of the tanks.” Any hope for the rule of law? Nope. “The Supreme Court too is, fundamentally, an anti-democratic institution run by people who are not subject to the popular will of our diverse society.”

he Nation should not have worried about having to go Red Dawn unarmed. General Milley said, “They may try [a coup] but they’re not going to f**king succeed. You can’t do this without the military. You can’t do this without the CIA and the FBI. We’re the guys with the guns.” An interesting take on where power lies in a nation whose founding document begins with “We the People.”

Milley’s real plan was to prevent Trump from using the military in a coup by using the military in a coup against civilian leadership to gun down American citizens. CNN reports that after January 6 Milley feared an attack on the presidential inauguration, telling senior military leaders: “Here’s the deal, guys: These guys are Nazis, they’re Boogaloo Boys, they’re Proud Boys. These are the same people we fought in World War II. We’re going to put a ring of steel around this city and the Nazis aren’t getting in.”

But Milley is also a liar, claiming publicly at the same time, “I foresee no role for the U.S. armed forces in this election process. We will not turn our backs on the Constitution of the United States,” while planning his Ring of Steel (it sounds better in the original German, Ring aus Stahl.)

And so on to the Reichstag. With as little knowledge of history as they have of coups, the mainstream media have turned the Reichstag fire into shorthand for everything they fear Trump would do but somehow never did. The 1933 Reichstag fire was a false-flag arson attack on the home of the German parliament in Berlin. The Nazi Party used this as a pretext to claim communists were ready to overthrow the elected government.

Left out of the current misuse of the incident is the fact Hitler had already become chancellor before the fire. More importantly, missing when trying to connect 1933 to modern America, is any amount of context. Hitler had already achieved power on promises to conquer the world, implement the Final Solution, and all sorts of other Mein Kampf stuff. He had announced plans to abolish democracy via the Enabling Act, which gave him power to pass laws by decree without the involvement of parliament. That next step needed an excuse, a trigger, to crack down on his opposition—not a prime mover to seize power.

Unlike modern America, the Germany around Hitler had had only a few years’ taste of a wimpy democracy, and a long history of autocracy. No matter how dramatically someone wants to portray Trump’s non-actions, none of what never happened came within miles of what the real Nazis did.

So if there was no coup on January 6, and no possible road to a coup, why are we still talking about all this? We should be mocking, not raising up, those who have no basic understanding of current events, never mind history.

But we are still talking about all this (with Nancy Pelosi’s stacked-deck “investigation” grinding along) because the Biden agenda is stalled. He has decreed a few things to un-decree a few things Trump decreed, but is unlikely to make much progress on all those promises of infrastructure, immigration reform, or student loans. Inflation is at a 13 year high even as gas prices eat away at what’s left of our middle class. There is no vision to end the Covid-19 panic. The social justice and culture war issues which dominate the Democrats’ minds seem ever more flaccid. So what do Democrats have left to run on?

Trump. The Democratic message for the midterms and beyond is Trump, coups, January 6, white supremacy, racism-a-go-go, militias, domestic terrorism, a veritable Nazi renaissance. As one progressive journalist put it “The Capitol riot Committee… is a potent political weapon. Democrats have a massive opportunity: Shove it down the GOP’s throat.” A New York Times reporter called Trump and his 74 million supporters “enemies of the state.”

Why not? Dems have little else but fear of things that never happened to work with, and so they hope to milk the “we’re not Trump” cow one more time. They amplify voices that have been wrong in the past and make heroes of those who would replace the Constitution with their own judgment.

As for a real threat to democracy: It is General Milley preparing to disobey the Constitution and take a patriot-sized dump on his chain of command; it is progressive rag the Nation telling their readers they will fight a guerrilla war against other Americans, and that the Supreme Court, the third branch of our republican government, is an illegitimate, antidemocratic institution. Who again is the threat? Trump is out of office, but Milley still holds command of the entire U.S. military.

Fred, Milley is a turkey. Trump should not have allowed him to ascend to the position he holds.


As D.C. Murder Rate Soars, FBI Arrests Jan. 6 Protester Who Spent 17 Minutes in the Capitol, Mostly Snapping Selfies


We can all sleep better tonight. The Los Angeles Times reported Monday on the July 29 arrest of Glen Allen Brooks, 61, of Huntington Beach, Calif. His crime? Brace yourself, gentle reader, for Mr. Brooks has been identified as a participant in the Jan. 6 “insurrection” at the United States Capitol. Imagine, he’s been on the loose all these months, no doubt insurrecting to beat the band the whole time.

Mr. Brooks’s alleged misdeeds are detailed in an FBI affidavit, in which a special agent (whose name is for some reason redacted) says that on Jan. 6, at 3:13 p.m., Brooks “entered the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol by climbing through a broken window near the Senate Wing Door.” The affidavit goes on to say Brooks left the Capitol at 3:30 p.m.

And how did this dangerous insurrectionist spend those intervening 17 minutes? Did he menace any House or Senate member? Did he assault any police officers, destroy or steal any property? Did he go off in search of Vice President Pence, perhaps to cajole him into invalidating the electoral vote?

He did none of these things. He took some pictures. Photographs included in the affidavit purport to show Brooks using his cell phone to snap pictures, all in the presence of a dozen or more uniformed police officers, none of whom appear to be doing anything to stop him or anyone else from meandering about the room. Brooks reportedly shared some of his pictures with members of his church prayer group back home, one of whom reported him to the FBI.

I make no excuses for people who violate the law, but one must question the rationale for expending any of the FBI’s finite resources on arrests such as this. Yes, there were serious crimes committed by some people who entered the Capitol on Jan. 6, including assaults on police officers. Brooks is not charged with any such crime. By all means, no effort should be spared in identifying and apprehending those responsible for such acts, but the FBI’s apparent zeal to round up every last person who entered the Capitol that day, regardless of how innocuously they may have behaved while inside, gives the appearance of unfairness. This is especially so when compared to the lack of similar fervor to prosecute those responsible for last year’s nightly attacks on the federal courthouse in Portland, Ore., during which officers were injured and the building repeatedly set ablaze.

There have been 114 homicides in Washington, D.C., this year, a 5 percent increase over the same period last year, and based on the Metropolitan Police Department’s past performance, we may assume more than 30 percent of them will go unsolved. Perhaps the FBI’s time and effort would be of better use in trying to improve these statistics.

Yet another example of how our institutions have been corrupted by nefarious forces and influences.

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