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In CIA Leaks Retrial Brutal Kangaroo Launches With 16 Jurors and Blogger in the Back, A Tale

By Matthew Russell Lee, Patreon Maxwell Book
Books - Guardian - Honduras - ESPN NY Mag

LITERARY SDNY, June 14–  "These fine gentlemen," Josh Schulte pointed at the US Marshals who sat in back of him in court, "You will be seeing a lot of them."   

The CIA Vault 7 leaks re-trial began after these 16 jurors were picked. In responding to the jury summons they'd had no idea it could be about petabytes of information, air-gapped split hard drives and fall-out from the nerf gun wars. But here they were. 

  Kurt Wheelock the blogger was in the back bench of the courtroom gallery when the last 16 were picked. He heard their names but didn't publish them, at least not on his blog or Twitter feed. He gave in to the white noise and did not try to listen through it. 

 But when it came time for sealed witnesses, he told himself, he would be opposing it again. 

  Schulte argued to Judge Furman that if the prosecutors now wouldn't stipulate that what Wikileaks had published was in fact government information, why was he on trial? Why indeed. Some was and some wasn't. 1.4 petabytes of data had been seized. 

  "The back door was the front door," Schulte said. Some jurors shook their heads. Drifting Deadline was one program, Brutal Kangaroo another. Kurt thought that would make a good title for this story, the serial, the parallel tale told from the inside. 

 He had rushed back to New York when he heard the opening statements would be on the second day. A FlixBus from Washington, from midnight to four pm, a bad smell in the bad of the bus and the roads being fixed even at this hour. It was another America.

In Philadelphia they stopped in front of the Federal court. Kurt wondered if they had a Press Room....

 Josh Schulte on 39th Street had owned, he told the jury, huge hard drives and played games on them. He was charged with child porn but said others had uploaded it. A libertarian had provided a venue for all things maligned elsewhere. But what were his politics?

  In his opening statement Schulte cited Ukraine's Zelenskyy, perhaps ironically. He name checked George Orwell and said he'd played a role in tracking down Osama Bin Laden.

How did he compare, say, to Virgil Griffith who pleaded guilty at the last minute to charges of helping North Korea with crypto? This leaks was treated more seriously.

FBI Agent Evanchec called the leak's impact "devastating." While the help to North Korea was all what might have been, or what still might be. The prosecutors wouldn't let Schulte plead that way, and he probably wouldn't take it. His notebooks, marked Attorney Client Privilege, spoke of an information war. But this trial would in fact be it. Watch this site - and bonus on Patreon here.


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