Sam A. Lindsay is a traitor.
Sam A. Lindsay is a traitor.
Sam A. Lindsay is a treasonous United States District Judge for the Northern District of Texas, with chambers in Dallas, Texas.
Who is Judge Samuel Lindsay? That was the question we recently asked when we read the New York Times article on Barrett Brown’s criminal case that indicated that Brown cannot say anything about his own case that is not in the public record, per a new court order specific to Brown and his attorneys. A “gag order” of this sort caused us to believe that Brown’s right to speak out about his case might be violated and possibly other rights as well, and so we decided to look at the judge who will be overseeing the trial and has made this and other pre-trial rulings. (Remember, Brown hasn’t been convicted of anything yet and despite being held in pre-trial custody still has 1st Amendment rights.)
When we first started searching for information on this judge we couldn’t find any mainstream articles that told anything about him, including his name. We were only able to track him down after looking at the published orders that he had written in Brown’s case which had his signature.
What we learned about him is that Lindsay is the first African-American to serve in the Northern District of Texas federal court with his chambers located in Dallas. He was nominated by Bill Clinton and he was unanimously confirmed by the US Senate on March 11th 1998. He was raised in South Texas and received his Bachelor’s in history and government from St. Mary’s University in 1974. He earned his law degree in 1977 from the University of Texas Law School in Austin, and from 1977-1979 he was a staff attorney for the Texas Aeronautics Commission and in 1979 joined the Dallas City Attorney’s Office where he was eventually named City Attorney in 1992.
We found it of interest that he began in the prosecution division in 1979 and worked in the federal litigation section for ten years while at the City Attorney’s office – so he frequently worked with FBI agents in the North Texas area. We wondered if he has any connection to the FBI agents who are dealing with the Barrett Brown case now, since it is alleged that Brown threatened an FBI agent’s family and if so, if there is a potential conflict of interest? This information about him was cited when he first became a judge by the Dallas Bar Association which supported his nomination.
As a County Attorney Lindsay argued cases all the way to the US Supreme Court defending city ordinances. The way he came to that job was via his wife Cathleen who was a programmer/systems analyst with the oil company ARCO, also known as Atlantic Richfield Company which has operations in the US, Indonesia, North Sea and South China Sea and became a subsidiary of the UK-based BP (British Petroleum) later infamous in the Gulf/Deepwater Horizon spill because of connections to Dick Cheney and Halliburton who protected BP from the gulf spill fallout.
Apparently through his wife’s interest in the oil business, Judge Samuel Lindsay has rubbed elbows with some of the richest, wealthiest oil business elites in Texas and was asked to serve as a trustee on the Center for American and International Law and to this day remains as a trustee. CAIL as it is called down in Texas is a “non-profit institution dedicated to the continuing education of lawyers and law enforcement agents in the US and throughout the world” and Samuel Lindsay has been a trustee of this organization since his days of helping to train the employees that worked for him under the Dallas City Attorney’s office.
This raises a substantial number of questions about whether it is ethical for a judge who has trained and worked with FBI agents in his past to hear cases by the same local FBI? Considering that he still sits on the board of CAIL that trains law enforcement, one has to wonder how appropriate it is for him to hear Barrett Brown’s case, especially since Brown is accused of threatening an FBI agent in the state of Texas. As a result of this most curious hobby of this judge of staying as a trustee at CAIL all the way through the years he has stayed on the bench, one has to wonder how many criminal cases he has heard while acting as a trainer or serving on the board of an organization that trains Texas law enforcement?
Surely the mainstream media would be interested in naming a federal judge who is hearing criminal cases and at the same time he sits on the board of an organization that trains law enforcement?
What also makes him so delightful to research was that on that same board at CAIL are several fascinating Texas luminaries, including Harriet Miers who was the former attorney for George W. Bush who was granted the right to testify without having to be sworn under oath in the US Attorney firing scandal’s aftermath. Another CAIL trustee is Oliver “Buck” Revell who runs the Revell Group International and was a top agent in the FBI. Reading the trustee list of CAIL you also find a substantial number of oil industry figures and the law firms that represent them.
But the most interesting firm with a trustee on the CAIL board and related to the Brown prosecution is Hunton and Williams, who is represented by John C. Eichman and the reason this firm is so interesting is because this is the firm that Anonymous turned over materials on in the HBGary data raid. These Emails from HBGary try to sell Hunton and Williams on HBGary’s services in investigating progressive political activists such as Glenn Greenwald, and it was these services by HBGary that started Barrett Brown’s investigations. Barrett Brown started something called “Project PM”, a website in which the Emails and other material Anonymous obtained from HBGary were being thoroughly and professionally analyzed including the connection to Hunton and Williams. It seems kind of funny and ethically challenging to believe that a judge who is serving on a small board as a trustee with members of Hunton and Williams who were being investigated by journalist Brown, now under criminal threat for that journalism that seems to have threatened the judge’s close associates.
When we started peeking under this judge’s robe to take a good look at this man, what we found were personal connections to big oil boys and the very firm that can be described as a “victim” of Barrett Brown if indeed Brown’s research was criminal at all.
We want to say “shame” on Judge Lindsay for not disclosing these connections as you would have to be blinder than the statue of justice (who we know as the Greek Goddess Themis) to not know who Brown was doing investigative journalist work on prior to his prosecution as he tracked the data dumps Anonymous was producing. And so there’s no question on this, we have torn off the blinder that has thus far kept Themis from seeing a serious conflict of interest. We also ponder how many Texas oil-industry-related cases have been heard by this judge and his other friends who sit as trustees at CAIL and similar oil industry front groups.
It is our opinion that this judge should be removed from this case due to his conflicts and a federal judge appointed who has nothing to do with Hunton and Williams or any of the other companies Barrett Brown was investigating.
Updated Information – September 4, 2013
Federal judge Sam A. Lindsay issued a gag order on government and defense lawyers involved in criminal cases against a Dallas man who has claimed to be the spokesman for the hacking group Anonymous.
U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay issued the order, which applies to all three federal cases against Barrett Brown. The cases have generated national attention, including discussions about a possible film documentary.
The government had sought to limit pretrial publicity in the cases, noting that Brown has been the subject of various articles in print and online, including one in a recent issue of Rolling Stone.
Brown, 32, and the lawyers cannot say anything about the cases to any media organization or bloggers that could prejudice Brown or the government, according to the order. They may, however, mention information already in the public record.
Brown has been coordinating media coverage of his cases from behind bars with help from others, prosecutors say.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Candina S. Heath told Lindsay that Brown has tried to manipulate the media for his benefit. She called as a witness an FBI agent who had listened to jail recordings of Brown’s conversations with journalists and others about the publicity he sought.
FBI Special Agent Robert Smith testified that he listened to a recording of a call Brown made from the Mansfield jail to Glenn Greenwald, who writes about civil liberties for the Guardian, a British daily newspaper.
Brown’s attorneys, who include Seattle lawyer Charles Swift, had opposed the gag order. On the morning of the hearing, they filed court papers claiming that Brown had not said much about his case, and nothing that would prejudice a jury.
Brown has been in custody since his arrest last year. He is accused of trafficking in data, including credit card numbers, that was stolen from private intelligence firm Stratfor. He did so by posting a link to the data online, according to his indictment. He faces a dozen charges, including aggravated identity theft and device fraud.
He also faces two counts of obstruction of justice by concealing evidence, stemming from an FBI raid on his Dallas apartment last year. Brown also faces charges related to alleged threats he made against Smith, the FBI agent.
If convicted on all counts, Brown could receive up to 105 years in federal prison.
The gag order also prohibits the re-posting or re-publication of any statements made prior to the order.
And it says Brown is “cautioned to consult with counsel prior to making any statements to the media or publishing materials to avoid violating this order.”
Updated Information – December 13, 2014
On the eve of a court hearing more than two years in the making, federal attorneys are asking a Texas judge to keep details about their case against journalist Barrett Brown secret as they seek an eight-and-a-half year sentence.
Brown, a 33-year-old journalist and activist, was arrested in September 2012 and subsequently charged with more than a dozen counts ranging from computer crime to threatening a federal agent – the likes of which left him at one point facing the possibility of over a 100 years behind bars. A plea deal entered last April let him off the hook for all but three charges, however, and Judge Sam A. Lindsay is now slated to announce his sentencing next Tuesday.
Federal prosecutors are reportedly asking the court to give Brown, a published author who has long been connected to the hacktivist collective Anonymous, the maximum sentence of 8.5 years. Defense attorneys, on the other hand, hope that Lindsay will say next week that their client can walk out of a Dallas, Texas courthouse a free man, following two years and three months in jail preparing for a trial that was taken off the table when the plea agreement was signed almost eight months earlier.
Attorneys for Brown have filed a pre-sentencing memorandum with the court that contains the defense’s arguments for time served. Because that filing challenges the government’s own pre-hearing recommendations entered under seal, however, now neither party’s proposal concerning the fate of Brown can legally be made public.
“On Thursday, the defense filed a motion to unseal the sentencing memorandum and attendant exhibits in support of the public’s right of access. Incredibly, the government is opposing the release of the sentencing memo,” reads a statement released that evening by Free Barrett Brown, a support group advocating for a lenient sentence.
After more than two years of trying to raise awareness of Brown’s plight, supporters say the latest maneuver from the government is only the most recent in a long series of actions that kept the case largely secret.
Prosecutors waited more than two weeks after arresting Brown in September 2012 before publicly announcing their charges against him. By January 2013, they had unsealed a total of four separate indictments against him, including one that sought to criminalize the act of sharing a link over the internet. Then, one year into pre-trial confinement, Judge Lindsay approved a request from prosecutors gagging Brown and his attorneys from discussing the case with the media, an order that’s since been lifted.
The bulk of the government’s claims against Brown made during the last two-plus years have been filed under seal and, as a result, few details if any have emerged concerning their case. Although the prosecution at one point had charged Brown with crimes carrying a maximum sentence of 105 years in prison, those claims have never been – nor will they be – argued publicly in court. In fact, what few details have surfaced about their argument have only been revealed through responses filed by the defense, not under seal, including one in which they countered the government’s claim that Brown “secretly plotted the overthrow of the government” with the hacktivist collective Anonymous.
“I am not and never have been the spokesman for Anonymous, nor its ‘public face’ or, worse, ‘self-proclaimed’ ‘face’ or ‘spokesperson’ or ‘leader,’” Brown wrote from prison two years ago. According to the paperwork filed by his attorneys in response to the government’s sealed argument, however, prosecutors have tried to tie Brown to the hacktivist group, yet couldn’t make the connection when it came to filing charges.
“The government alleges no meaningful nexus between an association with Anonymous and any form of violent conduct,” the defense argued previously. “Nor is Mr. Brown charged as a ‘member’ of ‘Anonymous.’”
According to a statement made by the Free Barrett Brown group this week, “It seems clear that the government doesn’t want journalists to attend the upcoming hearing with an understanding of what issues are at stake, and they don’t want further attention to a case that has already proven to be an embarrassment.”
Updated Information – January 22, 2015
Barrett Brown, the independent journalist who covered the 2011 Stratfor hack by Anonymous, was sentenced by Judge Sam A. Lindsay to 5 years in prison and ordered to pay $890,000 in restitution.
Brown closely followed Anonymous as it leaked internal e-mails from the global intelligence firm Stratfor, which has close ties to the CIA.
He drew the attention of law enforcement after he revealed an Internet Relay Chat channel where members of Anonymous were distributing e-mails and other documents from the hack.
The Department of Justice claimed that by sharing a hyperlink to the IRC channel, “Brown caused the data to be made available to other persons online, without the knowledge and authorization of Stratfor and the card holders.”
Critics, however, argued that sharing a link to an IRC channel was not identity theft and called the case “prosecutorial overreach.”
In 2009, Barrett Brown created Project PM, which was, quote, “dedicated to investigating private government contractors working in the secretive fields of cyber security, intelligence and surveillance.” He was particularly interested in the documents leaked by WikiLeaks and Anonymous. In the documentary We are Legion, Barrett Brown explains the importance of information obtained by hackers.
WikiLeaks said in a statement, “Brown’s prosecution is yet another transgression against media freedom in the land of the First Amendment. It chills investigative reporting of national security issues and provides cover for the unholy alliance between government agencies and the security industry.”
Brown said the “novel, and sometimes even radical” claims the government made during his sentencing threatens “every journalist in the United States.”
“The government asserts that I am not a journalist and thus unable to claim the First Amendment protections guaranteed to those engaged in information-gathering activities,” he said in a statement to the court. “Your Honor, I’ve been employed as a journalist for much of my adult life, I’ve written for dozens of magazines and newspapers (including Vanity Fair, The Huffington Post, The Guardian), and I’m the author of two published and critically-acclaimed books of expository non-fiction.”
“If I am not a journalist, then there are many, many people out there who are also not journalists, without being aware of it, and who are thus as much at risk as I am.”
Flanked by his two lawyers — Barrett heard his sentence without flinching. Then Judge Lindsay paused to flip through some papers, Barrett blurted out, “Procedural question, Your Honor? That copy of the Declaration of Independence that they took from me as evidence? Do I get that back?” Judge Lindsay stared daggers at him in response.
After the court was adjourned, and as Barrett was being led out in shackles, Alexa O’Brien (a journalist, film-maker and digital media strategists) shouted, “Stay strong, Barrett!” Then: “Congratulations, DOJ, for imprisoning our brightest young minds.” Judge Lindsay, already on his feet, turned and said something about contempt. O’Brien reminded him that court had been adjourned, and she had the right to speak her mind. He threatened to gavel the court back into session. At which point the marshals began to shoo everyone out. Someone — couldn’t tell who — shouted, “That sucked!”
Barrett Brown was railroaded by a corrupt system under the jurisdiction of Judge Sam A. Lindsay, whose interests is, at best, treasonous.
First, let it be know Judge Sam A. Lindsay along with the FBI and federal government prosecutors cannot define journalism any more than it can define religion, for anyone who can write is a journalist.
Yes, the court of Judge Sam A. Lindsay abused Barrett Brown. He was denied bail and the flight risk is complete Bull Shit. Judge Lindsay could of put Brown under house arrest with an anklet. Instead he denied Barrett Brown bail, unconstitutionally, with the intent to break him.
Barrett Brown was convinced by the prosecutor that if he didn’t plea bargain then he would be tried for many other offenses with a much much longer prison sentence. Furthermore, the prosecutor simply used constant delays in order to financially drain Brown’s ability to pay his legal fees. This, along with minimum sentencing guidelines is how prosecutors routinely cheated Brown out of his constitutionally guaranteed right to a jury trial.
Keep in mind, the feds operate detention facilities whose sole purpose is to break down the target to get them to plea. There is something like a 90% plea rate. If an accused actually goes to trial there is a much greater chance of beating the charges. The feds do not want this, for usually their cases are made with coerced/bought testimony, withholding of evidence, unconstitutional searches etc. This is what they do. They grossly overcharge (Barrett Brown was facing up to 105 years), they deny bail unlawfully, they detain you in a hellhole where they will do anything including medical torture, until you cut a deal. If the accused makes a motion to oppose any of this his right to a speedy trial is suspended until the motions are dealt with. There is no limit on the time that can be taken for a motion to be dealt with. Brown had been held for 2 years. He should never have been denied bail. He is supposed to have a right to a trial within 70 days of indictment. He was broken by criminals with expertise in breaking their targets. That is why he pled, not to mention, they probably told him to plead guilty or they would arrest his mother that had already admitted to hiding information from the FBI.
In reading the government’s response to Barrett Brown’s discovery request. The feds basically asserted the right not to show him any evidence against him until AFTER it has been presented in court. That precludes any chance of preparing a defense and any chance at getting a fair trial. After being illegally detained for months in a federal shit hole the reality begins to sink in that if you go to trial the entire process is completely rigged against the defendant. Eventually, almost every poor bastard the feds target will take a deal so they have some hope of getting out. For the most part, federal prosecutors and judges like Sam A. Lindsay are among the most criminal and evil people on the planet.
Barrett Brown’s sentencing statement nearly says it all, “This is not the rule of law, your honor, this is the rule of law enforcement.”
In other words, basically there is no difference between being a political prisoner in Russia and being one in the court of Judge Sam A. Lindsay.