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Author Topic: Re: Fossil Fuel Skulldugggery  (Read 1780 times)

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AGelbert

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Denier Roundup
« Reply #135 on: May 21, 2021, 12:27:40 pm »
May 19, 2021

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Disinfo Has Not Yet Had Its Day In Court, But Insurectionists' Defenses Might Make That Happen


The Supreme Court ruled on the Baltimore vs Big Oil case this week and while traditionally we’ve delved into these sorts of things, these days there’s plenty of excellent coverage out there- Inside Climate News, as always, is well worth reading to get all the nuance, while Emily Atkin brings up the point that a couple of the 🐍 Justices are potentially as corrupt as 🦖 big oil itself.   

As for the decision, while the oil industry is popping champagne and calling it a major win, the 7-1 decision was a very narrow, procedural ruling that has nothing to do with the case itself. Instead, the court said a lower court had to consider all of Big Oil’s excuses for why the case should be heard in federal court, and not just rule on the one and then move on. Basically this just mires the cases in even more procedural back-and-forth before finally getting to a venue where a court might actually rule on disinformation.

But we may well see some disinfo-related rulings well before that. Because while ExxonMobil and other polluters can hire lawyers by the building-full, the 400-some regular Joe’s arrested in connection to the January 6th invasion of Congress are stuck with slightly less slick legal teams, who are trying some relatively novel defenses. 

Matt Shurman at TalkingPointsMemo reported yesterday there is perhaps an unsurprising theme to many of the defenses being raised: It’s not my client’s fault they decided to travel to DC to subvert democracy, they were just following orders from Trump! ::)

Now, legally, this is essentially a nonstarter. A former U.S. attorney told Shurman that “the law doesn’t recognize it as an excuse. Whatever brought them there, whatever they were spurred on to do, social media postings or whatever, they’re equally guilty under the federal statutes.

But that’s not necessarily the point, according to Albert Watkins, the lawyer for the Insurrection Icon known as the Q Shaman and legally known as Jacob Chansley. Instead, it’s largely to try and influence judges and prosecutors into being more sympathetic to the defendants. But there were plenty of people who were subjected to the same propaganda but chose not to listen to the deranged ramblings of a Trump mind.

So far, judges aren’t buying it, and when Watkins used the argument that the Q-Shaman was just following Trump’s orders to plead with a judge not to keep Chansley detained until his trial, U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth soundly dismissed it. Turns out that even if Chansley “truly believes that the only reason he participated in an assault on the U.S. Capitol was to comply with President Trump’s orders,” that would still be just as bad, Lamberth ruled, because it “shows defendant’s inability (or refusal) to exercise his independent judgment and conform his behavior to the law.”

Watkins is basically invoking the Nuremburg Defense and combining that with a claim that his client was merely duped by Trump into participating. He also says, without any apparent explanation as to how it's relevant, that his client has Asperger’s syndrome. 

And then he said a whole lot more we won’t repeat, the least offensive of which was that “a lot of these defendants” like his client “are people with brain damage.” Not exactly the sort of thing a lawyer typically says in defense of their client, because as Judge Judy might be heard to say, stupidity is not a defense

But after doubling down on the ableist slurs, Watkins, whose bio alone is a journey, struck a slightly more sympathetic tone, pointing out that “they’re our brothers, our sisters… they’re part of our country. These aren’t bad people, they don’t have prior criminal history. F u c k, they were subjected to four-plus years of goddamn propaganda the likes of which the world has not seen since f u c k i n g Hitler.” 

Another attorney, Joe Hurley, said his client Anthony Antonio was actually sick when he broke into the Capitol building, with “Foxitis.” Apparently in an attempt to distinguish his client from “that herd of thugs that belong behind bars,” (links ours) he’s trying to claim that because Antonio was stuck at home watching Fox News all day during the pandemic, he was exposed to “the slithery snake” (link ours) that apparently convinced him to violently halt (however briefly) the workings of a peaceful and democratic transfer of power and attempt to assassinate the presidential line of succession. 

And he makes a good point. No, not that it’s fun and cool to use schoolyard slurs, or to try and deflect blame for a client’s crimes. And no, not that these are all angels — at least nine insurectionists have a (documented) history of violence against women, another was just arrested for shooting a mountain lion despite the fact that he is legally prohibited from owning guns due to a 1996 robbery conviction. (And it’s not that he needed the gun, he allegedly also killed a bobcat last January by using a slingshot and siccing his dogs on it to kill the cat. Montgomery was arrested in April and has been indicted on 10 charges including assaulting a police officer.) Not exactly an innocent sucked into violence and corrupted by Trump... 

But while the individuals who attempted to take democracy hostage should certainly be held responsible for the choices they made, the fact is that — while not a legal defense — saying “🦀 Trump told us to” is basically true. If not for the sustained propaganda of 🦀 Trump, 🐘 Republicans and 😈 conservative media, these people wouldn’t have been in DC that day. 

There should be liability for those actions as well.
« Last Edit: June 10, 2021, 12:49:05 pm by AGelbert »
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. Ps. 97:11

 

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