(What follows is an open letter to Jenny R. Durkin, US Attorney for the Western District, and any other member of the Department of Justice)
Dear Ms. Durkin,
I don’t know anything about you except for what I’ve read on the DOJ website. I’m sure you are a competent attorney and generally a good person.
And I’m a nobody from nowhere. But I’ve just gotta ask, really? Seriously, the country’s best interests are being served by keeping two 20-somethings in a Federal Detention Center – indefinitely – for refusing to answer Grand Jury questions about some self-described anarchists breaking windows and spray painting on unauthorized surfaces?
Matt Duran and Katherine (Kteeo) Olejnik have been sitting in FDC Sea Tac for going on three months. They are charged with civil contempt because they exercised their constitutional rights and answered only questions about their names and birthdates.
This, after a SWAT team busted through their door in the middle of the night to execute a search warrant looking for…….gasp…..black clothing, spray paint and anarchist literature. These are really dangerous people you have there. Black clothing: yep, I’ve got some of that. Spray paint: yep, I’ve got that too. Anarchist literature: hmmm. Not exactly sure how this is defined. Maybe the DOJ could put out a list of said literature so that I’ll know if I have any of this in my house. But I’ll just take a stab in the dark and say, probably I have a few books by anarchists.
But Duran and Olejnik are sitting in detention, not me.
Your DOJ website is interesting, Ms.Durkin. You’ve got a news link extolling all of the convictions and court appearances of people who are running guns, looking at child pornography, committing fraud – you know, criminals, and you list them by name.
For Duran and Olejnik, you publish a little apologia on how the grand jury process works, and a fantasy that it does not impede on our Bill of Rights.
Doth protest too much?
Ms. Durkin, really. You look like an idiot. I’m sure you tell yourself that you are only doing your job, because that’s what everyone tells themselves when they know, deep down, that they’ve well and truly fucked up. When you look in the mirror, do you see a good soldier only following orders?
Do everyone a favor and grow a pair and find some way to let these kids out. It’s a hideous waste of resources to keep anyone who is nonviolent locked away, and it’s particularly galling in this case because you don’t even think these kids did the crime; you’re on a fishing expedition for those who did.
Are you a human being? Or just a cog in the machine?
Let them out. You’ll sleep better.