The key witness for the prosecution in the Roger Stone trial is my friend, comic and journalist Randy Credico. I’ve been in constant contact with Credico for three years as Stone tried to bully him into perjury.
Here’s just one threat to dissuade Credico from speaking with Special Prosecutor Mueller:
The feds have charged Stone with witness tampering for the threats against Credico. Stone can get 20 years. Randy is taking his life, and the life of his famous therapy dog, Bianca, in his hands because he’s facing death threats from the violent, right-wing fruitcakes that have rallied around Stone.
What concerns me is that the Stone case is simply laying the groundwork for the long term imprisonment of WikiLeaks journalist Julia Assange. Credico co-hosted a half dozen radio shows with Assange and visited him in Ecuador’s London Embassy. That Mueller hauled Credico before a grand jury to ask about his contacts with Wikileaks should scare those of us who are trying to hold on to the last shreds of Freedom of the Press
Trump stooge Stone is a bucket of pus. Remember him as the instigator of the so-called “Gucci riot,” when Republican lobbyists rioted and successfully stopped the count of the presidential vote in Florida in 2000. And Stone lied to the House Intelligence Committee, as the indictment states. But, frankly, this is small potatoes, not evidence of collusion with Russia. In fact it’s evidence of Stone’s slapstick, self-promoting failed attempts to collude.
What concerns me is that this indictment reveals Mueller’s real targets are what he terms “Organization 1,” Wikileaks, and Julian Assange.
Let’s not get tangled up in debates about Assange’s unsavory personality or conduct. WikiLeaks is an important investigative news service, giving us Chelsea Manning’s inestimably vital evidence of official, deadly misconduct; US State Department cables about oil company crimes I’ve used in my own reporting — and yes, those Democratic Party emails about operations to subvert Bernie Sanders’ campaign in possible violation of federal elections law.
By providing a haven for whistleblowers, WikiLeaks has successfully exposed crimes against our democracy. And Mueller, true to his FBI roots, can’t stand it.
Did Russian hackers slip the DNC emails to Wikileaks to help their buddy Trump? Well, no sheet, Sherlock. I can tell you now that not every source of inside documents I receive is from a selfless informer. Everyone, including your mom, has an agenda. But neither Putin nor Assange forged the emails; isn’t that correct, Mr. Blumenthal? Are we afraid of truth, of the facts?
While I enjoy seeing that reptile Roger Stone get his time in the barrel, I am sickened watching Democratic pols and too many progressives, all in the name of cutting up Trump, applaud the return of a witchhunt against journalists and investigative journalism using tropes about foreign influence worthy of Joe McCarthy. Calls from mainstream media to shut down fake news sites have a price: My own sites and outlets face real threats of electronic blockade and censorship.
The memory of my uncle, the black-listed writer Oliver Crawford, for years in hiding from the precursor of Adam Schiff’s Committee, stands as an ever-admonishing warning, that, as journalist Ben Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Or to purchase a temporary political advantage against an odious President.
I admit to a little thrill watching the CNN footage of FBI agents made-for-TV dawn raid on Stone’s home. But I worry that, in the not too distant future, the door they knock on will be mine.