Video-Blogger & Journalist Forced Back to Federal Prison Today

Greg Palast

Josh Wolf’s Last Extensive Interview on Video

By Matt Pascarella

Editor’s note: The assault on press freedom continues. Here investigative journalist Matt Pascarella, himself a recent target of federal authorities, reports on the latest development in the Josh Wolf case. Pascarella caught up with Wolf for an extensive video interview shortly before he left New York to return to custody in California. GNN’s Anthony Lappé also met up with Wolf and filed this blog.

Only nineteen days after being released from the Federal Correction Institution in Dublin, California, video blogger and journalist Josh Wolf was forced to report back to prison this morning.

Wolf, subpoenaed by a grand jury earlier this year, refused to provide that jury with a video he shot while covering an anti-G8 demonstration that occurred in San Francisco on July 8, 2005.

On behalf of the federal government, Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Finnigan filed the motion to revoke Wolf’s bail last Thursday, September 14th.

According to the motion, the government’s argument to confine Wolf even after the court granted him bail was, “that whenever a witness refuses ‘without just cause’ to comply with a court order to testify or provide other information,’ the district court may ‘summarily order his confinement’ until ‘such time as the witness is willing to give such testimony or provide such information’.”

The motion was filed under the premise that the grand jury Wolf refuses to provide video to is still in session. In this argument the Assistant Attorney General notes, “The clock is ticking on this grand jury’s term of service and thus the coercive intent behind the recalcitrant witness statue is lessened with each passing day.”

Three days after this motion was filed, I met with Josh in New York and interviewed him. At that time he did not know that only two days later — today — he would be forced to return to federal prison.

For background on the story, in Josh’s own words, see the lo-res video rushes from the interview:

On YouTube in 3 Parts:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Lo-res Quicktime file (Takes a minute to load; higher-res to be posted soon):

Matt Pascarella is a freelance journalist and award-winning producer for investigative journalist Greg Palast. The above story is currently posted at mattpascarella.blogspot.com.