By Charlie Johnston
If you want to infuriate a Christian conservative, tell a scurrilous lie about him. If you want to infuriate an anti-God leftist, tell the truth about him – then prove it.
The anti-God leftists who make up the abortion industry and their media and government enablers are furious with David Daleiden, who captured on videotape evidence that they are illegally trafficking in dismembered baby parts for profit. Unfortunately for Daleiden, he lives in California, which has become the epicenter for corrupted justice, corrupted judges, and corrupted public officials. California has become an ongoing criminal enterprise, run by the elite for the elite. He and his investigative partner, Sandra Merritt, were charged by California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra with 15 felony counts for taping abortion officials speaking in particularly loathesome fashion at a National Abortion Federation (NAF) Conference two years ago.
Over the course of the last two years, both Daleiden and Merritt have become friends of mine. The Kafkaesque persecution of Daleiden and his allies in this same time frame is a primer for how the anti-God left has perverted and undermined the legal system. They
have weaponized the law, using it to systematically deny conservatives and Christians of basic civil liberties and punish any who challenge leftist nostrums or reveal leftist offenses. They have used the very language and forms of law to gut it of its substance, which is to provide equal justice under dispassionate standards applied objectively to all. Most often, leftist officials have abused the platform of their position to ignore or deny the plain language of objective law. They have relied on the establishment media to act as their unwavering propaganda arm in this effort.
The video evidence that Daleiden captured is so damaging to Planned Parenthood (PP), the big dog of the abortion industry, that it has mounted several subordinate lies to try to discredit the evidence, depending on their supporters to believe whatever they say rather than review actual evidence. Let’s dispense with a couple of these lies at the outset.
- PP constantly refers to the videotapes as heavily edited. If they mean that subtitles have been added to facilitate understanding what is said, they are correct. But what they want people to assume is that the videos have been doctored in a misleading way. Incorrect. Daleiden typically released full unedited copies of the videos along with the edited versions, which include subtitles and edit out long periods where there is no substantive discussion, to show that he had not doctored anything. A forensic review by the respected cybersecurity firm, Coalfire Systems, revealed that the videos are authentic. Planned Parenthood’s own examiner, Fusion GPS, a Democratic opposition research firm, concluded that there was “no evidence that the anti-abortion group behind the attack made up dialogue,” and that there was no “widespread evidence of substantive video manipulation.” Disappointed but undaunted, PP just said there was anyway. Compliantly, the establishment media reported PP’s spin while ignoring the objective evidence.
- PP loves to tell people that a Texas grand jury investigated and exonerated it of any wrong-doing. To the contrary, a grand jury WAS empaneled in Harris County (Houston), Texas to investigate PP. But almost immediately, the Asst. District Atty. (ADA) who presided over it refocused it to investigate Daleiden – and collaborated as a partner with PP attorneys to pervert the purpose of the grand jury. The local PP attorney confirmed the collusion – and after the revelation, the DA’s office dropped the charges. The sitting DA was later turned out of office and the offending ADA was then fired. The ADA who presided over this grand jury, Sunni Mitchell, was also the ADA who no-billed an indictment against Douglas Karpen, sometimes called the “Kermit Gosnell of Texas,” despite eyewitness testimony and video evidence that Karpen had routinely executed live-born infants who had survived an abortion attempt. Actual independent investigations by the US House of Representatives and the US Senate have resulted in 22 criminal referrals against PP and its alleged partners in the illegal trafficking of baby body parts for profit. These investigations included, but were not limited to, supporters of PP.
At issue now are videos from the NAF Conference in California two years ago. Almost immediately after realizing that Daleiden had video footage from that conference, NAF went to court seeking an injunction to prevent the footage from being released. Federal
Judge William Orrick granted that injunction in his San Francisco court almost two years ago. He did so without disclosing that he was a former attorney for PP. Judicial ethics indicate that he should have recused himself or disclosed the fact and obtained waivers from attorneys from both sides to allow him to continue. And so the videos remained consigned to the censors – until California Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra used this video footage as the basis for charging Daleiden with 15 felony counts. All citizens have the right to defend themselves and publicly confront their accusers – and this superceded the civil injunction. Daleiden’s attorneys, Steve Cooley and Brent Ferreira, put the videos up on their website after they had already been released in filings by the San Francisco Superior Court. Judge Orrick and NAF were outraged. They demanded that the videos be taken down and threatened Daleiden, Merritt, and the attorneys with contempt of court proceedings. Threats were even made to independent media outlets that did not immediately take the videos down. This was treated more seriously and with greater resolve than the release of the Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsburg in the ’70s or the release of classified material by Edward Snowden a few years back. Not threatened with contempt proceedings were Becerra, who used the verboten videos as the basis of his prosecution or the San Francisco Superior Court through which the videos were released. They are apparently exempt because they constitute some of PP’s governmental muscle.
During the brief period when the videos were publicly available, it became clear why it was so important to NAF and its governmental allies that these not be seen by the general public. They show that Kermit Gosnell is not the exception, but the rule among abortionists. The footage seemed to come from a serial killers’ convention rather than an association trade show, as speakers and attendees laughed and joked about cutting themselves on skull fragments, eyeballs rolling into their laps, and offering tips on how best to dismember the child before it is fully born, notably by ripping off a leg or two. They even revealed that they don’t believe their own propaganda that a fetus is not human, recognizing that they were violently killing human beings. National Review’s Alexandra deSanctis, perhaps anticipating that NAF and its governmental enablers would leave no stone unturned to get these videos taken down everywhere, wrote down some of the notable moments from the videos in this piece – and as of this writing, is one of the few places which still has an intact copy of the preview video still available. It is gruesome, made more so by the jolly good cheer and candor with which the participants speak of such unspeakable things. Many have wondered how ordinary German citizens could possibly have remained silent, knowing of the death camps around them. Looking at these videos and our collective inaction, now we know – and we don’t even have the excuse of a Gestapo threatening to shoot us if we speak up.
The videos were originally put under a gag order because release of them might endanger the safety of the participants who were revealed in the footage. When you are captured on tape speaking and acting in ways that are loathesome and vile, I suppose that could endanger you. But the cause of it is not the person who caught you; it is that you behaved in a loathesome and vile manner in the first place. Unfortunately, leftist officials are getting in the habit of punishing whistleblowers rather than the perpetrators of the ugliness that whistleblowers reveal. At Evergreen College in Washington State, an unruly student mob was captured on tape threatening violence to a professor who had displeased them. Instead of using the videotape to find and punish members of the mob, Evergreen President George Bridges promised to find who made the videotape so he could bring criminal charges against them, the whistleblowers.
A quick synopsis, then, of where things stand. Two years ago, pro-abortion activist William Orrick used his judicial position to issue a gag order on the videos because the abortionists language was so toxic it might endanger their safety if people saw what they really think. Earlier this year, Cal. Atty. Gen. Becerra used the banned videos to file
criminal charges against Daleiden. He uses a statutory interpretation that has never been used against any other undercover journalist in California, though a multitude have used the same methods as Daleiden. Becerra is free to use the evidence to prosecute, but Daleiden is not allowed to use the same evidence to defend himself. The old Soviet show trials had nothing on Orrick and Becerra.
Orrick is no stranger to issuing rulings that have no grounding in the Constitution, statutory law or Supreme Court precedent. He is part of the vanguard of leftist judges who make it up as they go along, not acting as judges, but using judicial power to act as unaccountable muscle for left-wing priorities. Although offenses against the system of objective law come almost exclusively from left-wing officials, the center and right have responsibility, too. They have the authority to check such abuses, but shrink from the confrontation. During the civil rights movement a half-century ago, some southern states systematically deprived a certain class of citizens of basic civil rights because of their ethnic background. The federal government stepped in to enforce the law. Now a class of citizens are being systematically deprived of basic civil rights because of their political and religious beliefs. They are even being punished for daring to complain of the mistreatment. Before his confirmation, Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch criticized Donald Trump for publicly criticizing a judge. I am not offended by a certain amount of institutional tribalism, but the corollary is that leading authorities must weed out those who abuse their authority and make it up as they go along. Until officials are held to account for depredations against citizens who merely disagree with them, we have ceased to be a democratic republic. In short, if judges are going to act contemptibly, their courts will be regarded with contempt. That undermines the very consensus that stabilizes our society. The first job of public officials is to defend our liberty, all of us, not to augment their position and power.
I began contemplating in the late ’80s whether the American founders had not actually solved the problem of volatility in democratic republics, but merely postponed the onset of decay. (Democracies have historically been one of the most unstable forms of government possible, usually degenerating into chaos and terror within a decade or two). I was surprised to find that the founders were generally more pessimistic about the staying power of our system than I am. Thomas Jefferson thought a revolution would be needed every few generations – and believed that the biggest flaw in the American Constitution was that it did not provide adequate safeguards against creeping judicial supremacy. On September 17, 1787, the day the Constitutional Convention closed in Philadelphia, Benjamin Franklin spoke his approval saying that he expected the proposed government would be “well administered for a course of years and can only end in despotism, as other forms have before it, when the people shall become…corrupt.”
Because of lethargy, we do not demand accountability from rogue officials. As W.B. Yeats said in his old poem, “The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity.”
Make no mistake, though. While it is Daleiden who will appear in the docket, it is all of us and our liberty who will be his phantom co-defendants.