Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dan Choi's trial resumes in DC after 2 years


In March 2009, Iraq War veteran Lt Dan Choi went on MSNBC and came out as a gay soldier.  His 'thanks' for that was to be kicked out of the army under the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy which was supposed to allow service members a level of privacy and end the witch hunts but instead just provided more fuel for them. 

This took place after Barack was sworn in -- despite the fact that Barack ran on the promise of ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell. While Barack couldn't see to find his voice on the issue, Dan Choi had no problem using his own.  This included his 2010 actions such as chaining himself to the White House fence.  That's what he goes on trial for now. 

It actually picks up from 2011.  Dropping back to the August 31, 2011 snapshot:

Turning to the US where a DC federal court has put a trial on hold. Jessica Gressko (AP) reports that Judge John Facciola has put the case on hold because he feels Dan "Choi has shown, at least preliminary, that he is being treated differently because of the subject of his protests" and "the nature of his speech or what he said."  John Riley (Metro Weekly) adds that "the government prosecutor told the court she intended to file a writ of mandamus (or writ of prohibition) against Mag. Judge John Facciola for allowing Choi's defense team to investigate and pursue a defense of vindictive prosecution by the U.S. government against Choi for actions related to his First Amendment rights."  
The trial is now on hold. What's going on? Lt Dan Choi is an Iraq War veteran and was a member of the US military until he decided to refuse to live in any closet and came out to the world in order to embrace truth, life and equality back in March 2009.
That was months after Barack I-Will-End-Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell-If-Elected was sworn in. So it shouldn't have been an issue. But after that, he was discharged even though the administration was 'moving' on the issue (largely filing briefs opposing court decisions ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell). Since 2009, he's been one of the most visible protesters against a corrupt and unconstitutional (check the court verdicts) policy. Now he's on trial for civil disobedience and exercising free speech. Towelroad explains, "Lt. Dan Choi's trial began in federal court yesterday for protesting 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' with 12 other activists on November 14, 2010. Choi and the others chained themselves to the White House fence while chanting 'I am somebody,' 'We do this for you' and "President Obama, Silent Homophobia.' Choi faces 6 months in prison or a $5,000 fine for an obscure infraction of Parks and Wildlife federal regulations." Others accepted plea bagains, but Choi has refused to do so. Lou Chibbaro Jr. (Washington Blade) reports:

Choi told reporters at a news conference outside the federal courthouse Monday, after the trial recessed for the day, that he rejected the government's plea bargain offer because he believes the law and regulation used to arrest him is unconstitutional.
"I believe there is no law that, in the history of this country, abridges freedom of speech, assembly, or the right to protest for redress of grievances, which were clear and made plain by all of the defendants," he said.

So today's trial was put on hold August 31, 2011.  This morning Dan Tweeted:

  1. Today, one trial ends, and a new journey begins.

Speaking to Adam Kokesh. on Adam vs. the Man last week,  Dan explained:

The federal law does not just apply to the White House.  It applies to every federal land where the Park Police have jurisdiction to arrest people.  And so the consequences of case law, precedent that comes out of this, case law if the judge makes an opinion that says, "All you need to do is fail to obey" -- usually you have fail to obey with some kind of safety concerns, some violence, some kind of complaint, some kind of damage -- there was nothing.  There was not an iota of evidence so far, just the obedience and hypotheticals.

The following community sites -- plus the Pacifica Evening News, Jody Watley,, Adam Kokesh, L Studio, On the Wilder Side, Cindy Sheehan and Ms. magazine's blog -- updated last night and this morning:

 The e-mail address for this site is



iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq iraq