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Adam Kokesh is being held as a political prisoner.  America shouldn't have political prisoners.  Let's make him free.

This isn't about guns. This isn't about left vs right, or whether you like Adam Kokesh or think he's an idiot. This is about human rights.

Adam Kokesh--famed gun-rights enthusiast--made a video on Youtube where he told the federal government, in effect, "you're on notice".  His video was about gun rights, but unlike some gun-nuts he did not advocate violence.  He did not advocate shooting anyone.  He simply advocated political change.

After making the video, 30 police units swarmed Kokesh's house.  He and his girlfriend, along with some people staying with them, were beaten.  He was arrested.  He is being held without bond, without trial, and without bail. The charges are drug possession, but he's being treated worse than a murderer.

For 2 months he was in solitary confinement, which many psychologists agree is torture.

Kokesh's main "crime" was a political movement--he planned to stage a rally next July 4. He didn't hurt anyone, but he's being treated worse than a murderer. He is a political prisoner, pure and simple. America isn't supposed to have political prisoners.

I made a petition on MoveOn.org to free him.  We as a nation shouldn't imprison people without trial.  We shouldn't beat them or arrest them for political speech.  Even Republicans.  We are better than that.

Please sign and share my petition to end this abuse:

http://petitions.moveon.org/...

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Comment Preferences

  •  We shouldn't have - but we DO have (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aoeu, Julian Adorney

    Mr Kokesh can take a number and get in line behind Leonard Peltier, Don Siegelman, Chelsea Manning, et al.

    If it's
    Not your body,
    Then it's
    Not your choice
    And it's
    None of your damn business!

    by TheOtherMaven on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 03:20:28 PM PST

    •  Re: There is (0+ / 0-)

      Indeed, there is.  The Wikipedia article is accurate as far as it goes, but there have been new developments:

      http://benswann.com/...

      Whatever you think of Kokesh, it seems pretty clear that he IS a political prisoner.  And the US should be better than that.

      •  You must have a different definition (0+ / 0-)

        of "political prisoner" than I do. And a different definition of "clearly" too.

        •  Re: You must have a different definition (0+ / 0-)

          My definition is fairly simple: one who is imprisoned or persecuted for political speech, as Kokesh was.  You can claim he was persecuted for loading a gun in DC, but his crime--4 months in jail, 2 in solitary confinement, no bail or bond and no trial date--seem to hardly fit the crime.

          What's your definition of political prisoner?

          •  I can claim that he is being prosecuted (0+ / 0-)

            for the crime he is actually being prosecuted for. He broke D.C. gun laws, which control action, not speech. And he helpfully provided the authorities with videotaped evidence of his crime.

            •  Re: I can claim that he is being prosecuted (0+ / 0-)

              You can if you would like.  But answer me this:

              Kokesh was arrested by 30 cops who came to his house.  He was held in solitary confinement for 2 months, which many psychologists consider a form of torture.  He has been held in jail 4 months without trial or the promise of a trial, a blatant violation of his 6th Amendment.

              His crime, according to you, was violating a city ordinance (loading a gun in DC).  Should everyone who violates a city ordinance like that lose their 6th Amendment right to a speedy trial?  Should every violator be held for 2 months in solitary, a punishment usually reserved for the monstrously dangerous, because they violated a local gun ordinance?

              Let's even throw in the drug use charges against him.  Should everyone who's accused of using shrooms and violating a city ordinance (not at the same time, I may add) lose their right to a speedy trial?  I thought preserving these rights was the primary purpose of the Bill of Rights.

              How, then, do you justify violating the 6th Amendment, holding a man in torturous conditions, for someone who's primary crime was violating a city ordinance?

    •  I read it and I don't dislike him, on balance. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elmo

      But he did break the law pretty darn eagerly and serially and jail tends to happen to people like that.  

      You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

      by Rich in PA on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 05:27:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re: I read it and I don't dislike him, on balance (0+ / 0-)

        I agree Kokesh broke the law against loading a gun in DC--that's not in dispute.  But look at his punishment: 4 months in jail, 2 in solitary confinement, no bail or bond and no trial date.  Do you really think said punishment is justified by the act of loading a shotgun in violation of a DC ordinance?

  •  what exactly did he expect? (0+ / 0-)

    Obama and the Democrats seeing just how awesome the teabagger strap-on really is and falling down in tears begging for forgiveness?  

    Famous right wing "gun rights activist" or not, if you threaten violence against government officials - "You're on notice!  And by the way, I'm bringing all my gun friends to DC.  You do the math." - they're going to put you in jail.  That's not persecuting someone for their beliefs.

    I'm not losing sleep over this.

    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

    by Visceral on Mon Nov 04, 2013 at 05:15:51 PM PST

    •  He was not arrested for speech (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ahianne, Visceral

      but for action. He broke D.C.'s gun laws and helpfully provided them with the necessary evidence by videotaping himself doing so.

      •  Re: He was not arrested for speech (0+ / 0-)

        I agree Kokesh broke the law against loading a gun in DC--that's not in dispute.  But look at his punishment: 4 months in jail, 2 in solitary confinement, no bail or bond and no trial date.  Do you really think said punishment is justified by the act of loading a shotgun in violation of a DC ordinance?

        It seems more likely his outsize punishment is persecution for political speech and views.  Unless you think every man who loaded a gun in DC should be treated the way he was?

        •  Um, hello? (0+ / 0-)

          Do you have any idea about what's usual treatment for criminal defendants? He's being treated no differently than anyone else who broke the law.

          Do you have any evidence that he is being treated differently from any other man who loaded a gun in D.C.? If so, please show us.

          If not, your claim that this person is a political prisoner is bunk.

          •  Re: Um, hello? (0+ / 0-)

            Why yes, in fact; I do.

            'A person who violates this section by carrying a pistol or any deadly or dangerous weapon, in a place other than the person’s dwelling place, place of business, or on other land possessed by the person, shall be fined not more than $ 5,000 or imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or both'--from the DC gun ordinance in question.

            If Kokesh actually went to trial and was convicted, that would be fine.  But instead he has been held for 4 months without trial or even the promise of trial.  Pretty clear violation of his 6th Amendment right to a speedy trial.

            For 2 months he was held in solitary, which UN experts, psychologists, and others consider a form of torture.  It is generally reserved for the monstrously dangerous because of the well-known damaging psychological effects.

            In addition, Kokesh was arrested (at home) by 30 police officers.  He was beaten, as were several other people in his house at the time.

            And let us not forget the key fact: he's now being indefinitely held, with no trial or promise of a trial date.  A clear violation of his 6th Amendment rights.

            Do you really think every single person who loads a gun in DC--every person who breaks a city ordinance--is arrested by 30 cops?  Is held in torturous conditions and denied their 6th Amendment rights?  If so....wow.

    •  Re: what exactly did he expect (0+ / 0-)

      I am not sure what Mr. Kokesh's intentions were.  I do, however, know they were peaceful--he has never, in his history as a public figure, advocated violence.

      As for bringing a rally to DC: rallies on DC are common.  Given that it was over a gun issue, a rally with supporters bringing--but not using--guns seems to fit the nature of the cause.

      I would point out, as well, that DC police don't seem to buy your argument.  They charged him with loading a gun and possession of hallucinogenic mushrooms, not with an intent to sedition or treason.  Surely if they believed as you do that it was a violent warning, such a charge would have been filed?  

      If the police believed as you do that Kokesh was violent, NOT filing a treason/sedition charge would have been a violation of their duty.

      •  Peaceful? Hmmm (0+ / 0-)

        I don't seem to recall Martin Luther King or Gandhi brandishing weapons. Perhaps my memory is faulty.

        In any event, it was not Mr. Kokesh's speech that got him in trouble: it was his actions.

        You are clearly not a lawyer or even a well informed layperson.

        If the police believed as you do that Kokesh was violent, NOT filing a treason/sedition charge would have been a violation of their duty.
        •  Re: Peaceful? Hmmm (0+ / 0-)

          You know, Elmo, I've responded to your argument that Mr. Kokesh is being punished for his actions (brandishing a gun) above.  To recap:  he is being held indefinitely without trial, and was held for 2 months in solitary.  30 police officers came to his house and arrested him.  

          Do you really, honestly think that such an outsize punishment is justified by his crime of waving a gun in the air?  Do you really think we should suspend citizens' 6th Amendment rights every time they load a gun in violation of city ordinance?  Do you genuinely believe that everyone who loads a gun in DC outside of their home (the statute he violated) is arrested by 30 cops breaking down their door?

          If so....wow.

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