I hadn’t paid much attention to the Silk Road case. It looked like a serious miscarriage of justice, but there are only so many issues I can focus on. However, something’s happened now which makes the matter of vital concern to any libertarian. An article on reason.com severely criticized Judge Katherine Forest’s delivering the outrageous sentence of life without parole on Ross Ulbricht for running a site that enabled anonymous business transactions. Forest doesn’t like having her way questioned, and a US Attorney delivered a ludicrous grand jury subpoena to Reason demanding identifying information on some commenters who made hyperbolic comments. Among the comments which the subpoena is investigating are “I hope there is a special place reserved in Hell for that horrible woman” and (in reply to that one) just the two words “There is.”
The letter with the subpoena “requests” that Reason not tell anyone about this outrage. Ken White, in demolishing its legality, says only that “a source” provided him with a copy; people who’d attempt this stuff certainly wouldn’t be above further retaliation against whoever provided it. White is a well-known lawyer on the Internet, and so a bit safer.
I hope there is a special place reserved in Hell for US Attorney Preet Bharara for this blatant abuse of office, and I’m an atheist. I’m easy to find. If this Bharbarian wants to try prosecuting me for sedition, it will be an interesting attempt.