Philip Geraldi, Killing the First Amendment: How “the Law” fails to deliver Justice

Philip Giraldi

When one travels nearly anywhere in Europe where Medieval government centers, including courts, remain, one will frequently see the personification of a sometimes blindfolded woman representing Justice holding a sword in one hand and a scale or a scroll in the other. As soon as human beings came together to form governments, one of the first demands has always for justice that is accessible to all and that is readily understood. That is not to say that governments have not corrupted the mechanisms that were set up to deliver justice to serve their own parochial ends, but it does demonstrate that the human desire for fair treatment under law has been strong for thousands of years.

Now, it seems, those who seek justice often find that justice is denied through various artifices that have been contrived to give the government greater control over what constitutes criminal behavior. It is an emphasis on punishment of those the government has decided to make an example of. One only has to look at the treatment of whistleblowers by the US government, most notably the cases of CIA veterans Jeffrey Sterling and John Kiriakou, where punishment was the objective to discourage anyone from exposing criminal behavior by those in charge.

Even though in theory whistleblowers are protected because they have come forward to reveal illegal activity by the government, in practice that protection is often notional. And then there are those instances where justice is deliberately perverted, as in the current case of Julian Assange, whom the United States government would like to extradite so he can be tried under the Espionage Act of 1917. But the actual charges against Assange are where things get murky. Assange is accused of having collaborated with Chelsea Manning to steal and publish classified material relating to clear evidence that atrocities were carried out by the US military in Iraq and then covered up. And perhaps more to the point in political terms, Assange is also being accused of having participated in the theft of the Hillary Clinton emails in 2016. It should be pointed out that the Federal government has not provided any actual evidence of either alleged crime.

A British high court justice has approved Washington’s extradition demand re Assange but the case has now been moved to a final effort to appeal the ruling. It is likely that Assange will be convicted if he is sent to the US in spite of the fact that his only crime was that he was an effective journalist doing what good journalists do. His life has been destroyed in any event. He spent 82 months in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London having been granted asylum status and is now in solitary confinement in the top security Belmarsh prison, where Britain sends its terrorists. He has been in Belmarsh for 31 months and recently suffered a stroke. It is rather cruel and unusual punishment for someone who has not been convicted of anything.

It is perhaps not unreasonable to examine more closely the shenanigans related to the criminal justice system as it is mismanaged by today’s “democratic” governments to include the United States and Britain. Indeed, one might consider that the games being played could be summed up by the recently coined expression “lawfare.” The word came into common use after a 2001 essay by Colonel Charles J. Dunlap written for Harvard’s Carr Center. Dunlap defined lawfare as “the use of law as a weapon of war” including “the exploitation of real, perceived, or even orchestrated incidents of law-of-war violations being employed as an unconventional means of confronting” a superior opponent. It is “a method of warfare where law is used as a means of realizing a military objective” as well as a “cynical manipulation of the rule of law and the humanitarian values it represents.” In the United States, lawfare has been particularly associated with the concept of “universal jurisdiction,” that is, one nation or an international organization hosted by that nation reaching out to seize and prosecute officials of another. Or, as in Assange’s case, an Australian citizen residing in Britain being extradited for trial by Washington for an alleged theft of classified information by an American whistleblower.

Indeed, one of the most disturbing aspects of American foreign policy since 9/11 has been the assumption that decisions made by the United States are binding on the rest of the world, best exemplified by President George W. Bush’s warning that “there was a new sheriff in town.” Apart from time of war, no other nation has ever sought to prevent other nations from trading with each other, nor has any government sought to punish foreigners using sanctions with the cynical arrogance demonstrated by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The United States uniquely seeks to penalize other sovereign countries for alleged crimes that did not occur in the US and that did not involve American citizens, while also insisting that all nations must comply with whatever penalties are meted out by Washington. At the same time, the US government demonstrates its own gross hypocrisy by claiming sovereign immunity whenever foreigners or even American citizens seek to use the courts to hold it accountable for its many crimes.

Perhaps it comes as no surprise that the nation that has officially and openly incorporated lawfare into its conduct of foreign policy is Israel. Its lawfare center Shurat HaDin is, in part, financed by the Israeli government and has gotten involved in numerous court cases in the United States, where it finds a friendly judicial audience in New York City. The ability to sue in American courts for redress of either real or imaginary crimes has led to the creation of a lawfare culture in which lawyers seek to bankrupt an opponent through both legal expenses and damages. To no one’s surprise, Shurat HaDin is a major litigator against entities that Israel disapproves of. It boasts on its website how it uses the law to bankrupt opponents.

The Federal Court for the Southern District of Manhattan has become the clearinghouse for suing the pants off of any number of foreign governments and individuals with virtually no requirement that the suits have any merit beyond claims of “terrorism.” In February 2015, a lawsuit initiated by Shurat HaDin led to the conviction of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization of liability for terrorist attacks in Israel between 2000 and 2004. The New York Federal jury awarded damages of $218.5 million, but under a special feature of the Anti-Terrorism Act the award was automatically tripled to $655.5 million. Shurat HaDin claimed sanctimoniously that it was “bankrupting terror.”

Another legal victory for Israel and its friends occurred in a federal district court in the District of Columbia on June 1, 2020 where Syria and Iran were held to be liable for the killing of American citizens in Palestinian terrorist attacks that have taken place in Israel. Judge Randolph D. Moss ruled that Americans wounded and killed in seven attacks carried out by Palestinians inside the Jewish state were eligible for damages from Iran and Syria because they provided “material support” to militant groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Interestingly, one might observe that the United States is becoming more like Israel in its employment of lawfare. It sanctions foreign entities based on what might be hearsay information and then sets up a mechanism to fine or imprison anyone who provides anything that might be construed as “material support” to them. Some readers might be aware of a recent action by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) directed against the Russian-based news and analysis site Strategic Culture Foundation (SCF). The site is admittedly not friendly to current United States foreign policy, but the Biden regime seems to believe that it is a malignant instrument of the Kremlin’s intelligence service based on what appears to be no evidence whatsoever apart from that clear hostility to US policies. During the first week in November, the Treasury Department issued a “cautionary letter” dated October 15th to me and a number of other Americans who were contributing regular articles to SCF. The letters were hand-delivered by FBI Special Agents.

The letter was quite bizarre, describing how SCF was now a “designated entity pursuant to Executive Order 13848 of September 12, 2018” which in turn relied on an April 15th designation by OFAC. “As a result of OFAC’s designation, unless otherwise authorized or exempt, all property and interests in property of SCF that are subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.”

The letter went on to indicate that SCF has “interfered in or undermined public confidence in United States elections, as set forth in the Foreign Interference in US Elections Sanctions regulations…and Executive orders issued under the authority of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act…Under applicable law, each violation of the above-referenced regulations is subject to a statutory maximum civil monetary penalty of up to the greater of $311,562 or twice the value of the underlying transaction.”

The clear intent of the Treasury letter and the legislation that it represents is to prevent American writers and journalists from contributing to foreign websites and publications if those sites and journals are critical of United States policies. The threat of a grossly punitive fine is a warning that one will be bankrupted or even imprisoned if the letter is ignored, which is lawfare at its most effective. It would appear that all of the US-based journalists involved have therefore cut their ties with SCF.

I would make several observations regarding this blatant move to eliminate or at least control freedom of speech in the United States. First, I would invite readers to go to the SCF site, where one will find numerous highly respectable international journalists and writers, including a number of former senior diplomats. Second, as a former intelligence officer who actually ran media operations for CIA in Europe and the Middle East, I absolutely reject the description of SCF as an intelligence front. Intelligence operations are based on absolute control of the agents by the directing authority, which would mean that SCF stories would have had to be scripted and designed to influence opinion in a certain way. I contributed to SCF a weekly column for nearly three years and no one ever suggested that I write on a certain subject or slant the reporting. I always went for the best story. That kind of freedom is not how an intelligence agency operates, which is a point I also made to the FBI couriers.

Finally, I would observe that the real damage is being done through the employment of government-driven lawfare against ordinary citizens who are exercising their right of free speech. It is easy to claim that a foreign news service is “undermining confidence in US elections” as it is a charge that one need not have to prove. Indeed, it is unprovable and it is a weapon that can be used to manage dissent and to narrow the bounds of acceptable discourse. And it serves to cover up an unpleasant reality, which is that American elections have been tainted by the actions of two groups referred to as the Democrats and the Republicans aided by a lickspittle media, not by someone sitting in an office somewhere in the Kremlin.

Philip M. Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest, a 501(c)3 tax-deductible educational foundation (Federal ID Number #52-1739023) that seeks a more interests-based U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East. Website is, address is P.O. Box 2157, Purcellville VA 20134 and its email is

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16 thoughts on “Philip Geraldi, Killing the First Amendment: How “the Law” fails to deliver Justice”

  1. The mis-education of the American people is on full display these days with the widespread acceptance of language that has been subverted by the hoaxers. For example, both ‘insurrection’ and ‘sedition’ refer to attempts to overturn an authority, not an election. It is a governmental action, not a political one.

    January 6th was a protest against an election, and had nothing to do with overturning the government. To assert that citizens are not allowed to question, or even overturn, an election without it threatening governmental authority makes a mockery of the Constitution and the public for whom it was written.

    1. EXCELLENT COMMENTARY, TONI! LOVE IT! And Trump did not commit incitement, either, which makes the House Hearings (intended to prove he committed incitement to insurrection) an absurdity on their face. They are scared shitless he will clean their clock again!

      1. Thanks, Jim. Good point about trying to smear Trump with the charge of incitement to insurrection. The whole January 6th charade is predicated on implicating Trump, because, you’re right: it must mean something that, irrespective of his shortcomings, Trump’s opponents are still scared to death.

      2. Not without serious election reform before 2022 and 2024. They’ll just repeat what they did because it worked. I pray Lindell’s efforts bear fruit

      3. Jim, just to mention that was one helluva guest you had on the Raw Deal today. I had to leave before it was over….just about as you were asking him about his views on the covid. I’ll be looking forward to the replay on BitChute. If this is the quality of the politicians we are putting in office now, we are in deep, deep trouble.

      4. His name is Erik Olsen, an attorney from Madison, who knows nothing about the moon landing, 9/11, or even JFK! Stunning stuff. And he attacked me as a “Holocaust Denier”, which (of course) I am as is everyone else who has studied the evidence. Here’s the link to the show:

      5. Thanks, Jim…I had finished watching it and was waiting for your update to comment. Olsen had nothing to add to the conversation other than political rhetoric. After he called you an idiot, I figured it was over. I admire your patience. He promoted the holocaust citing his family background but failed to present one fact. His replies to your questions re Fauci, Oswald et al were generalizations with absolutely no specifics. He knew nothing of the Fed. Detouring the conversation by repeating that it was important to keep the conversation going, promoting free speech and exchange of ideas did not work for me. Of course, I support those ideas, but I saw them as deflections to avoid exposing himself as uninformed on most topics that were discussed. I could say I admire his “sticking around” as you, Paul, Mitch and Scot did, but what choice did he have as someone running for office? In the end, I wound up not trusting him. I would bet his campaign does not go very far. I sure hope he’s not representative of our rising young Republicans. All that said, it was an interesting program as it showed us a stark example of someone tainted by the common narrative.

  2. This is so well done, it must be shown in full right here:

    Rigged and More: A Chronicle of The Most Successful Coup d’état in Human History… Or At Least American History

    The debate is over. After a year investigating claims of election fraud the media has determined that any fraud in the 2020 election was far too small to have changed the outcome and Joe Biden legitimately won. Now we can get back to our normal lives, or whatever passes for normal now… Except it’s fiction.

    In 44 BC Julius Caesar was murdered by Roman senators who claimed to be acting to protect the Republic but were in fact, simply seeking power. Their coup d’état put the final nail in the coffin of a Republic that had been dead in deed if not name for decades.

    Coup d’états differ from revolutions in that they’re generally orchestrated by or include people within government who seize power – often with a narrow use of or threat of violence – that results in a rapid transition of power. Revolutions are often longer affairs that include much of a country’s population and exponentially more bloodshed. (ME….this is exactly what we need…minus extreme bloodshed….because those in power WILL NOT relinquish without a REAL fight…they never do)

    A common goal of a coup is to keep much of the society and government apparatus intact, but change who’s in charge. This illusion of continuity is intended to gain the acquiescence of the population so they don’t think they’ve been plunged into a civil war.

    And that’s exactly what we got. While Donald Trump does not lay in a bloody toga on the floor of the Senate, America witnessed a coup d’état equally as viscous. Many will deny one took place because their guy won, but make no mistake, virtually every American knows one did, even if only 56% admit it.

    The moment the coup began to reveal itself Americans knew something was amiss. Many went to bed November 3rd believing Trump won, leading in enough states to secure an electoral victory, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, and Wisconsin. Strangely however, while much of America slept, densely populated Democrat counties like Fulton in Georgia (Atlanta) and Allegheny in Pennsylvania (Pittsburg) “stopped counting” votes only to “restart” later with Joe Biden having a sufficient number of votes to swing the state blue. Similarly Philadelphia stopped “reporting” at 1 AM and later reported Biden numbers sufficient to take the state.

    The morning of the 4th, as cries of fraud came from red areas across the country, the side that had spent years crying “election fraud” suddenly fell silent. Apparently 2020 had become the “most legitimate election in American history”.

    Joseph Stalin who said “Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything.” That’s exactly how we went from being a Constitutional Republic to a banana republic, but rather than the United Fruit Company or the CIA running the coup, it was Mark Zuckerberg, Democrats, the FBI and the media.

    Just after Biden was sworn into office Molly Ball of TIME Magazine wrote a glowing paean to the coup: “Their work touched every aspect of the election. They got states to change voting systems and laws and helped secure hundreds of millions in public and private funding. They fended off voter-suppression lawsuits, recruited armies of poll workers and got millions of people to vote by mail for the first time. They successfully pressured social media companies to take a harder line against disinformation and used data-driven strategies to fight viral smears. They executed national public-awareness campaigns that helped Americans understand how the vote count would unfold over days or weeks, preventing Trump’s conspiracy theories and false claims of victory from getting more traction.”

    And as with any good coup, violence was threatened: “The nation was braced for chaos. Liberal groups had vowed to take to the streets, planning hundreds of protests across the country.” In this context “protests” is a metaphor for Democrat approved violence unleashed by BLM and Antifa across the country. Ball points out that following Biden’s victory the threatened violence was called off. “There was a conspiracy unfolding behind the scenes, one that both curtailed the protests and coordinated the resistance from CEOs.”

    While Ball’s homage may be insightful, the definitive account of the coup comes from Mollie Hemingway in “Rigged”. Unlike Ball, who couches everything about the coup in the fiction of patriots seeking to “protect” America from the fascist Donald Trump, Hemingway exposes exactly how the leftist cabal set the table for the coup, and upon its execution unleashed a propaganda machine to pretend the coup never happened.
    Hemingway showcases incompetent GOP functionaries like Georgia’s Brad Raffensperger empowering Democrats led by the treacherous Marc Elias and Stacy Abrams to make unconstitutional voting rule changes. From corrupt jurists ignoring legislation and others explicitly ignoring the Constitution and allowing arbitrary election rulemaking that favored Democrats to the FBI and the media spending years attacking Trump, Hemingway exposes the coup step by step. She demonstrates how Mark Zuckerberg wrote a $400 million check and financed the coup d’état that undermined our Republic.

    In perhaps the single most telling line in Rigged, on page 221 Hemingway quotes a reporter for the Wisconsin Spotlight: “The City of Green Bay literally gave the keys to the election to a Democrat Party operative from New York.” Similar dynamics played out across the country.

    The model was simple. Red counties in half a dozen states gave their counts while blue counties stopped counting or reporting. Once the red totals were in Democrats knew exactly how many votes they needed to “produce” and those numbers magically started coming in. Fulton County (Atlanta) gave Biden a 250,000 margin of victory, enough to win the state by 12,000 votes of 5 million cast. Allegheny Pennsylvania (Pittsburg) gave Biden a 150,000 vote margin, enough to take Pennsylvania by 80,000 votes out of 6.8 million.

    When the dust settled, Biden was declared the 46th President with “81 million votes” to Trump’s 74 million. But Presidential elections come down to the Electoral College. Joe Biden won there because of three states and 103,000 votes: Pennsylvania, 20 Electors, by 80,000 votes, Georgia, 16 by 12,000, and Arizona, 11 by 11,000 votes.

    After two months of being caricatured and called conspiracy nuts or white nationalists, almost a million frustrated Trump voters went to Washington on January 6th to demand Congress investigate the election. After a rally where President Trump explicitly said to “peacefullyand patriotically make your voices heard” a riot with a few thousand people broke out at the Capital and suddenly an “Insurrection” worse than anything “since the Civil War” occurred, and anyone questioning the election was a guilty participant. That riot, which may have been planned or empowered by the FBI suddenly changed the national conversation from investigating November’s coup to the impeachment of Trump for “incitement of insurrection”. And that was it. End of debate. Biden won and Trump tried to incite a coup and any ideas to the contrary were verboten…

    But of course Americans know a lie when they see it and the debate isn’t really over. When the propagandists say there was no way fraud could have impacted an election with 150 million voters, that’s a red herring. The cabal behind the coup didn’t have to impact 150 million votes. All they had to do was impact (or create) 100,000 well placed votes, which is exactly what they did, with the help a a Covid driven hysteria and a “bit” of money. Mark Zuckerberg funded Democrats in a few states merely had to wait until the red areas reported their totals and then magically produce more votes from their stopped or paused machines. And that’s how it’s done, a real life enactment of Stalin’s adage, and it’s just another day at the office for Democrats.

    Mark Anthony could only eulogize Caesar after the Ides of March, but Donald Trump is still very much with us. We still have an opportunity to reverse this treachery and avert the disaster that naturally follows when the Rule of Man subverts the Rule of Law. But will we seize it before it’s too late?

    Me…..I had hopes for Mike Lindell’s strategy and efforts, but it seems it’s fading. Has anyone heard anything recently? SO many seem to be ignoring his efforts…I’m not sure why.

    1. OK…I have been listening to Lindell on Bannon’s War room this AM. He said they will be filing with SCOTUS in the next two weeks with at least FIVE Attorneys General onboard. We’ll see.
      Bannon just said it’s still theory UNTIL the AGs are SIGNED and onboard with standing.

  3. Likewise, do so-called heavily armed Americans have the cojones to start pulling triggers when it becomes absolutely necessary? Argue the merits of peaceful resistance? Don’t take a knife to a gunfight, all I can say.

  4. Yes, everything Giraldi says and more is true of the U.S. But it’s long-past due to no longer call the U.S. the leader of the free world but rather a (mostly) “soft totalitarian” state. We for over a century have increasingly lived under the illusion that we had: 1) freedom of the press, when in reality all the divergent opinions in the mainstream press were simply controlled opposition; 2) freedom to vote, when in reality all the major political parties with their different viewpoints were simply controlled opposition; and a 3) fair legal system, when in fact all the law enforcement bodies and prosecutors and courts of consequence are all controlled by the same entity. If anyone doubts the phoniness of our legal system, explain why no electoral fraud challenge related to the 2020 elections has been heard in a court of law, why no “false flag” trial has ever been held (except for one or two “show trials”), and why political prisoners languish without due process in DC and other gulags. But knowing the truth will not necessarily set us free, as our military is being purged and lying in wait to pounce on the awakening American public and possibly take us soon from a “soft” totalitarian state to a “hard” one. Will the average American even care?

    1. William, I could not agree more with all you have said. Would you deny that the passive approach has not worked OR are there other approaches we can take? The deep state control perception through the MSM. IF there was a way to take the People’s control of the media, I would see some hope. But I see no way to do that. As much as I would like to believe the fantasy of V for Vendetta, it just ain’t happening here in America. AND, yet….a revolution IS happening in Kazakhstan. It’s not being reported widely and where it is, they are blaming it on fuel prices. BUT, according to an eyewitness report I just listened to on Rev Radio, it’s about the vax and the mandates. Apparently, the people there could not withdraw their money from the banks without a vax passport. That was tipping point and enough for them and here are several examples of the result. I ask, DO AMERICANS HAVE THE STOMACH FOR THIS? I doubt it, but this could very well be where we must go if we want to change the narrative. Now, this is INSURRECTION…not that staged political show on January 6th in DC……

  5. Take to the courtroom and take to the streets. One without the other is not as effective. But the latter is far more effective than the former. It’s what ended the Berlin Wall and the War in Vietnam.

  6. About 20 years ago I asked my attorney about a courtroom proceeding. She remarked that a courtroom was usually the last place one could find justice.


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