DAVID WATENICK: What about America's political prisoners?

The Wall Street Journal rightfully laments the injustice and pain that the Putin regime has inflicted on Evan Gershkovich and his family, most recently in Gerard Baker’s article, Evan Gershkovich is Stronger Than Putin.

Mr. Baker need not have looked to a distant land to find not one but far more than a thousand examples of innocent people being detained “without evidence, due process or the rights of the accused.” And these innocent people have not been imprisoned for one year as has Mr. Gershkovich, but for three years.

The innocence of more than 1,200 detainees overlooked by Mr. Baker is as self-evident as is the innocence of Mr. Gershkovich. Nearly all of the January 6 arrestees merely followed the directives of Capitol police. And they did so as docilely as their conservative poll-watching brethren vacated election halls in contested states such as Georgia and Pennsylvania when strong-armed a few months earlier. For that, the J6ers have been dragooned through all seven circles of Dante’s hell. One older gentleman was arrested when he found himself searching for the restroom in the Capitol building. A total of one thousand years of prison time has been meted out to J6ers.

The ordeal of the J6ers began when the Department of Justice adopted Lavrentiy Beria’s Law: Show me the man, and I will show you the crime. Rather than arresting those who may have committed a crime, Biden’s FBI obtained “geo-fence” warrants. These warrants compelled Google, AT&T, Verizon and other cell service providers to identify everyone near the Capitol on January 6 via cell phone tracking.

Mr. Baker legitimately writes that… ”a kangaroo court keeps dutifully prolonging his [Evan’s] detention without trial.” Such is the case of the J6ers who are held in horrid conditions for years before trial and without bail. Even Elizabeth Warren decried the prolonged detention of the J6ers, way back in April of 2021, when she said, “Solitary confinement is a form of punishment that is cruel and psychologically damaging. And we’re talking about people who haven’t been convicted of anything yet.” Some of Biden’s political prisoners have been placed in solitary confinement for more than 100 days before they were charged with a crime.

The Administration’s political prisoners are denied any semblance of justice. DC is the most Democrat-voting, government apparatchiky district in the nation. Their judges almost unwaveringly grant prosecutors’ invariable motions to forbid defendants from mentioning their First Amendment rights. Many judges punish J6 defendants with “obstruction of justice” enhancements if they dare to testify in their own defense.

The administration’s political prisoners are subjected to one-sided trials based solely on government produced evidence. Defendants can only dream about speedy trials and often have their attorney-client privileges violated.

Journalist Steve Baker documented that prosecutors and government witnesses committed blatant perjury in at least one trial. But rather than investigate such perjury, Biden’s Department of Justice charged Steve Baker, with crimes. After three years of litigation, the conviction rate for J6ers is 100% before juries; and more than 99.5% before judges. These conviction rates are not seen anywhere in the world, save North Korea and during the reign of Saddam Hussein.

And how do the J6 sentences compare with those of others who have been accused of rioting? The average prison sentences for J6ers are by far the longest in American history associated with rioting or demonstrating. For instance, Stewart Rhodes is serving an 18-year prison sentence for seditious conspiracy despite never going in the Capitol and urging followers not to go inside. In contrast, the longest term served by Black Panthers who chased out the California legislature from the State Capitol with assault weapons in 1967 was one year in jail.

How does treatment in prison for Biden’s political prisoners compare to those of Putin’s political prisoners? Very few people can answer this question with authority. However, by appearances, Mr. Gershkovich has been treated humanely. The more than 1,200 prisoners that Mr. Baker could have cited have been treated so grotesquely inhumanely that some have committed suicide and 34 others petitioned to be relocated to the holding facilities at Guantanamo, where treatment would be more humane. Some of Biden’s political prisoners have lost hair and eyesight due to malnourishment. Deprived of visitors and religious services, they rot in cells with mice and cockroaches.

Similar to self-confession sessions run by Pol Pot and Josef Stalin, perhaps the only proven avenue for leniency for Biden’s political prisoners is for them to recant their political convictions. Stating that they believed the 2020 presidential election was fair and swearing to refrain from watching Fox News has helped a handful of arrestees.

Mr. Gerard Baker concludes his article by stating, “The oppression of an innocent man by an all-powerful state isn’t a testament to the strength of the state. It is a testament to the corrupt and terminal weakness of its values, to the fragility of its system.” The application of logic to Mr. Baker’s argument is that the Biden regime is no less morally rotten than Putin’s Russia.

David Wanetick is the CEO of Davos in the Desert.

Image: Title: j6 praying grandma
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