Pray for Me
Apologies for taking three months since my post celebrating that the Supreme Court agreed to hear THE UNITED STATES VS CYBERTOPHYSICAL.ORG –
I was thinking, since I had little to share but my anxiety, I should just keep it to myself.
But, my good friend, Claire Bodine of The Herald Angel, has been heckling me, in the most Christian way possible, to actually FULFILL my job as Editor of this website and begin sharing with you deeper background on the legal mission CyberToPhysical (CTP) has taken on – and the mission that YOU, with your attention and deeply appreciated contributions, have made possible.
So, let me tell you what I can, without running afoul of restrictions imposed on me while our case is under active consideration by the Highest Court in the Land.
Our legal troubles can be traced to the days immediately following the Virtual World War, when Kaz Okada, the founder and patron Saint of this website, decided to publish the complete contents from BlackBerry #98576, which tells the very inside story of how the VWW unfolded.
When I became the Editor of the site, the transcript of BB # 98576 remained on an archived part of the site on a Japanese server. US citizens could access it if they knew where to look – and the Government – more specifically, this Administration -- HATED that!
We aren’t the New York Times or Washington Post, with prestige and deep pockets, so when the Administration filed an injunction to force us to take the information down, claiming we were leaking classified material, they assumed we would tremble and fold before the combined might of the DHS, FBI, and DOJ.
But we counter-sued: we don’t see how the material meets the requirements for being classified, and we should be free to disseminate it. The government threatened criminal charges, but we figured we couldn’t be guilty of leaking something classified, if we could get a court ruling that the material had never properly been classified in the first place.
First, we slugged it out in the US District Court of the District of Columbia -- which upheld the government’s injunction. But, thanks to YOU and your donations, we persisted!
We brought the case to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, following in the footsteps of the landmark Pentagon Papers case. (I learned that I should have become a journalist! Members of the press are granted Constitutional protections that would again have our path forward so much easier.) The Appeals Court reversed the lower court’s decision, but of course then the government would not let the case rest until it was brought before the Supreme Court for a final determination.
The information on humble the BlackBerry Passport Silver Edition #98576, which spent the entire Virtual World War with me, contains a real time chronology of the events and decisions that fueled the War. According to the government, that simple, straight-forward information would cause great “reputational harm” to a number of government of officials if published. For us, that poses the question: If “reputational harm” comes from revealing the reasoning and actions of the people in power, isn’t that reputational harm DESERVED? Or because they have the full resources of the United States Government, are they entitled to bury the record of their actions -- actions which will impact us for years to come?
The Pentagon Papers case establishes that the government can’t keep a lid on the Truth because it with tarnish reputations. And public officials have very limited grounds to sue against defamation. So, we have confidence in the case we are bringing to the Supreme Court – and I am trying to maintain my confidence in the justice, and the Justices, of the Highest Court in the Land.
My friend Claire would, and has, counseled me to have Faith. I must say, my Faith in Claire, and in YOU, Dear Readers, has been wonderfully rewarded.
And thank you, eternally, for your Faith in us. Now, if we can ask one more thing of you as we wait out this nerve-wracking days:
Please, your Prayers.