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Eco-Terrorist Scamp Jailed For Punking Drilling Agency Put In ‘The Hole’ For Sending E-Mail


You do not meddle with the primal forces of nature — or punk the Bureau of Land Management! (Same thing.) Tim DeChristopher, an environmental activist currently serving a two-year sentence in California’s Herlong Federal Correction Facility for winning an auction on a gas and drilling auction on public land and then was all “HAHA KIDDING! PSYCH!”, has just spent the past 19 days in a “restricted cell” within the prison because…he sent his friend an e-mail. DeChristopher was apparently concerned about the ties of one of the donors to his legal fund. According to the group Peaceful Uprising, which DeChristopher helped found, the e-mail prompted an “unnamed congressman” to request that DeChristopher be moved from the minimum-security section of the prison to the Special Housing Unit, which beyond sounding patently terrifying and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nesty, could have prolonged DeChristopher’s time in prison. Thanks to very vocal support from the public, Peaceful Uprising just announced that DeChristopher was finally removed from the “hole” yesterday. But um…why is this guy in prison again? He didn’t even essplode any SUV’s!

Starting March 9, DeChristopher was held in a small cell with one other person, and apparently was only let out of the cell four times over the course of two weeks. DeChristopher was also restricted in some of the activities he carried out in the low-security section, namely writing, reading and communicating with friends. DeChristopher’s supporters were no doubt spurred to action by the bureaucracy involved in the SHU. As Peaceful Uprising notes, “there is no definite timeline for inmates being held in the SHU — often times they wait months for the conclusion of an investigation.”

While DeChristopher is now out of “the hole,” his organization reminds us that he “is still a political prisoner,” and they plan to continue investigating the person behind DeChristopher’s move, as well as the ridiculous sentencing. [Common Dreams, Peaceful Uprising]

About the author

Liz is a writer. She has written for this site, evidently, and also The Awl, The San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, The Economist and others. She is the author of a short story collection, Cover Story.

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      1. actor212

        I have two. I offered to auction off my citizenship (and taxes!) to the highest bidder.

        For some reason, neither nation was banging down my door…

    1. deanbooth

      Not to go all Godwin (i.e., to go all Godwin), I'm currently reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, and the author suggests that one of the reasons that Hitler was able to gain power was the corruption of the justice system: right-wing offenders got off easy, and left-wing offenders got slammed. Hitler was convicted of treason, the standard sentence for which was life in prison. He served 6 months.

      Sure, we're not Nazis, but our justice/prison system is totally fucked up.

    1. Lionel[redacted]Esq

      Do you think that Mr. DeChristopher would be in jail if he shot a lawyer and bombed brown people? This is America, damn it.

    1. Negropolis

      Yeah, he'd be in Gitmo or somewhere way-the-hell-off in Poland instead of Herlong Federal Correction Facility.

    1. Doktor StrangeZoom

      I am given to understand that you got to keep the Devil way down in that location.

      1. el_donaldo

        Yes, as I recall, Tom Waits, Steve Earle, the Neville Bros., and other luminaries have all affirmed that general principle.

  1. OneYieldRegular

    You think this is bad, just wait until Rupert Murdoch gets President Romney to start imprisoning people for criticizing FOX News in the Wonkette comments section.

  2. Callyson

    An *unidentified* trope in Congress can dictate the movement of prisoners now?
    WTF??? WTF??? WTF???

    1. Fukui-sanYesOta

      How did the congressperson even find out about the bloody email in the first place? This is fucked up.

      He was tried in Utah, so I'm guessing one of the following:

      Jason Chaffetz
      Jim Matheson
      Rob Bishop

  3. SnarkoMarx

    I'm starting to get the feeling that the powers that be are trying to discourage the masses from resisting their dominance of the planet. Just a crazy hunch.

  4. DaRooster

    So this guy is in jail for this-
    "Put her there… (pulls hand away)… psych!"

    Let DeChristopher go!

  5. Doktor StrangeZoom

    The real question is why this dangerous man hasn't been waterboarded. Surely there are other oil lease auctions that are imperiled by his associates?

  6. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    Don't do the crime
    if you can't afford the lawyers to get you off in the first place.

  7. Tundra Grifter

    On NPR this morning was a local story about Judi Bari and the car bomb that crippled her – and for which she was blamed!

    Now, with an echo from the Woody Guthrie song, the thieves are using a fountain pen instead of a gun.

    Some things haven't changed a whole lot since the Great Depression, or even since 1990, and that makes me rather sad.

  8. GuyClinch

    Maybe they're hoping he strikes oil while he's in the hole? Anyhow, looks like we got ourselves an honest-to-goodness dissident here.

    And murderer-rapist Glenn Beck continues to roam the streets and airwaves freely.

  9. SayItWithWookies

    There's actually a system set up that enables federal prisoners to email certain correspondents — so there's absolutely nothing untoward about that. I wonder what the hell this congressperson was concerned about.

    1. elviouslyqueer

      More to the point, how exactly did the congressperson get access to this email in the first place? I mean, unless DeChristopher CCed the congressperson on his outgoing email or used something that would raise undue attention, how else would said congresscritter know about it and subsequently get his panties all up in a twist?

  10. MissTaken

    I'm glad to hear that criminals that pose such a high danger to society as DeChristopher obviously does are locked up while such law-abiding citizens as George Zimmerman are free to roam the streets carrying the same gun they used to shoot an unarmed black child to death with.

    Finally our country has gotten it's priorities in order.

    1. prommie

      Now Missy, you are never going to find yourself a good husband with that sarcastic mouth of yours.

      1. SorosBot

        Well some of us find the sarcasm and humor very attractive – but then I guess a liberal feminist guy is not a Real Manly Man.

  11. SorosBot

    And yet multiple felon James O'Keefe remains free – it's almost as if we have two different systems of justice in this country.

    1. Doktor StrangeZoom

      The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.

      –Anatole France

  12. Joshua Norton

    He should have just shot and killed an unarmed person while chasing them down for no reason. He'd be walking around free. Not to mention that Greater Wingnuttia and the NRA would have built shrines to him.

  13. Goonemeritus

    He should have spent his time doing something positive for society, Neighborhood Watch comes to mind.

  14. Lascauxcaveman

    Two years in prison for not paying up after winning an auction?

    Man, these guys are almost as draconian as eBay.

  15. WiscDad

    Remember back in the seventies when people (even some olds) actually gave a shit about the environment? Well those same people are the ones raping it now. How nice is that?

  16. donner_froh

    Peaceful Uprising is pretty good at this. Sensenbrenner (R-Kotex) and Olmert (R-Hell) are the chairman and vice chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security which has some kind of warped jurisdiction over locked up ecology pranksters.

    Clearly they wouldn't get anywhere with those idiots but they did something right.

    1. bikerlaureate

      For reals? I would really like to learn which of our esteemed legislators twisted the knife, here.

  17. actor212

    Can DeChristopher answer questions now?

    I've always wanted to know what "fire in the hole" meant, and since he spent all that time in it…

    1. widestanceromance

      It has something to do with eating lots of cayenne pepper to ward off prison rape. Think about it.

    1. DetectiveGrey

      The best part is that according to his legal team, he didn't even default. He raised sufficient funds and could have paid for the land, he just didn't want to. The felony was misrepresenting his intentions in the auction. It's like an actor being jailed for breaching their contract.

  18. prommie

    You are an old man who thinks in terms of nations and peoples. There are no nations. There are no peoples. There are no Russians. There are no Arabs. There are no third worlds. There is no West. There is only one holistic system of systems, one vast and immane, interwoven, interacting, multivariate, multinational dominion of dollars. Petro-dollars, electro-dollars, multi-dollars, reichmarks, rins, rubles, pounds, and shekels.

    It is the international system of currency which determines the totality of life on this planet. That is the natural order of things today. That is the atomic and subatomic and galactic structure of things today! And YOU have meddled with the primal forces of nature, and YOU WILL ATONE!

    Am I getting through to you, Mr. Beale?

  19. Exhausted66

    On the bright side, by the time he gets out, he won't need those winter clothes anymore.

  20. prommie

    Whats scary is that I went back to the Google search page for the search I used to find that Network quote up there about the primal forces of nature, and just 5 minutes after I posted it, that quote, up there, was the 5th hit of my search. Google scares me.

  21. DahBoner

    I've seen this done on ebay.

    The seller drives up the price using another email account and then when you give up and the fake winner "decides" to not purchase the item, the seller offers to let you have the item at the "fake" inflated price….

    1. ALIVE!

      This is an automatic reply. I will be out of the office in jail until Monday, June 25, 2018. If this is an urgent matter, please call my secretary. I will respond to your message in six years.

  22. meatpuppet2

    And yet Cheney can travel to Canada or wherever promoting his "Up with Torture" book and get a heart transplant (assuming he had one in the first place). All paid for by taxpayers. Just something fundamentally wrong with all of that.

  23. Naked_Bunny

    I just blame my LLC for any misdeeds of which I may be accused. It has more right than I do.

  24. valthemus

    New rule: any multi-millionaire who can fairly be referred to as an "Oil Company Executive" has to spend a minimum of six months in jail because, let's face it, even if they haven't earned their insanely huge pay packets, they've almost certainly done something to earn a few months in the pokey.

  25. OneYieldRegular

    God, this country will throw people in prison for anything. When's someone going to write our "Gulag Archipelago"?

  26. swordfis

    Seriously – can someone please explain to me what his crime was? I really don't understand.

  27. DesertTed

    Peace and nature loving hippies should all be in prison. Didn't they learn long ago when the Roman government killed that long haired Jesus fella that peace and love have no place in civil society?

Comments are closed.