DESPITE INITIAL ACCEPTANCE WITH CAVEATS WHICH WERE COMPLIED WITH
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jul. 30, 2012) — Vocus, “a leading provider of cloud-based marketing and PR software,” has summarily refused to distribute a press release submitted by The Post & Email.
The news distribution service asked us to add attribution, case numbers and complaint numbers to our submission, which we did. The piece was then rejected for a different reason.
The first response from Vocus asked us to include attribution to our statements, which we readily provided. When originally submitted, links to references which The Post & Email always includes in its work had not transmitted properly. The second response from Vocus asked for court case numbers, if applicable, and the complaint number for the alleged ethics violations of Assistant District Attorney General Paul D. Rush, which we provided. We then included additional links to mainstream news articles to support the story, as were requested.
On Friday, we were told by a marketing executive at the company that in regard to submissions, “Controversial is OK.” The article we submitted reported the development of a training program used by law enforcement nationwide using the terms “birther” and “sovereign citizen,” a story The Post & Email broke exclusively in April.
Approximately ten hours was spent on the writing, researching, consulting and editing of the press release.
The last editorial review response we received was as follows:
Dear Sharon Rondeau,
As a part of our editorial review process, this e-mail is to inform you that your press release has been put on editorial hold and requires your attention.
IMPORTANT: Please review the following information regarding the status of your press release entitled:
Federal Government Develops and Circulates Training Program Identifying “Sovereign Citizens” 9748348
Our editors have determined that some changes will need to be made to your press release in order to effectively distribute it on PRWeb. Your press release has been placed on editorial hold status in order to allow you to make the required reviews and edits.
Our editors have made the following notes regarding your editorial hold:
We apologize you weren’t told this originally, but after management review of this release, we have come to the conclusion that this release is not eligible for distribution over the PRWeb platform. You may, however, within your Vocus account, distribute this through your email distribution, as that service does not require an editorial review process.
You will need to wait to put out this press release until legal action is taken, or the training curriculum is used as evidence in a case – then you can put out a release and attribute the information to court documents. At this point, this release is premature as PRWeb can’t be used to break a story.
To edit your press release and remove your editorial hold, you will need to log in to your account at https://us.vocusm.com/Login.aspx. Once you are logged in, go to “News Releases”, click on the headline of the release, click on the “Details” tab, and then choose “Edit”. After you are satisfied with your changes, click “Resubmit” to send the release back to our editorial team for re-review.
PRWeb’s extensive Learning Center offers tips, articles, whitepapers and more to help you craft a successful press release. Please visit http://service.prweb.com/ for more information.
When we had run our raw press release through the automated editor, the first response was “You’re a natural.”
The following is the last version of the release which contained what we were asked to provide, plus additional links to support our claims:
Federal Government Develops and Circulates Training Program Identifying “Sovereign Citizens”
Government-produced training curriculum labels veterans and former law enforcement officers a threat to society for standing up to criminal activity in their communities
The Post & Email is in possession of a training curriculum which advises law enforcement officers across the country on how to deal with individuals suspected of belonging to the “Sovereign Citizen Movement.”
A CD containing different instructional tools supporting the overall course of instruction identifying so-called “sovereigns” was produced between June and September of last year by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and state and federal law enforcement entities. During the Obama administration, the SPLC has been acting as an advisory agency to the Department of Homeland Security. http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/news/splc-urges-dhs-to-reassess-resources-after-key-analyst-reveals-unit-on-domestic-terror-was-scaled-back
All of those depicted as “sovereigns” are white males and include veterans. An April 7, 2009 report by the Department of Homeland Security entitled “Right-Wing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment” contended that “the return of military veterans” and “possible passage of new restrictions on firearms” could create a rise in “right-wing extremism.” http://www.fas.org/irp/eprint/rightwing.pdf
Two Navy veterans, Walter Francis Fitzpatrick, III (Ret.) and Darren Wesley Huff, are pictured in the PowerPoint section of the program below the caption “What do They Believe?” A resident of Tennessee, Fitzpatrick has been exposing endemic corruption in the state over the past three years, particularly within the judiciary. Most recently, he discovered that laws passed in 1984 by the General Assembly mandating the redistricting of the criminal courts were never observed, casting doubt on an unknown number of criminal convictions over the 28 years since the law’s passage.
Fitzpatrick condemned all forms of violence in voluntary face-to-face meetings on March 4, March 10 and June 28, 2011 totaling approximately eight hours at his local FBI office during which he left documentary proof of judicial corruption in his county.
Huff is incarcerated after having been convicted last fall of transporting a firearm in interstate commerce with the intent to use it in a civil disturbance on April 20, 2010, a charge he denies. http://www.thepostemail.com/2012/07/14/darren-huff-moved-to-federal-prison-in-texas/ Unbeknownst to him at his trial, the training program portraying him as a “sovereign citizen” was already in use by local law enforcement. The Post & Email possesses proof that other evidence damaging to the federal government’s case was withheld at the trial.
Prior to the release of the training program, a TIME Magazine article dated September 30, 2010 described Huff and Fitzpatrick as “twisted patriots.” http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2022636-2,00.html Although author Barton Gellman claimed to have conducted numerous interviews before publishing his piece, “The Secret World of Extreme Militias,” he did not interview Huff or Fitzpatrick, both of whom have told The Post & Email that they are “standing up against local corruption.”
Gellman cited Fitzpatrick’s attempt to carry out a citizen’s arrest of the “real grand jury foreman,” but Fitzpatrick’s subsequent discovery of the 1984 redistricting laws confirms that the “grand jury foreman” was acting illegally. A local newspaper has repeated the information in the TIME article, citing incorrect dates and reason for the citizen’s arrest despite Fitzpatrick’s having contacted the editor to correct the record.
On November 17, 2011, Capt. Pat Wilson of the Monroe County, TN Sheriff’s Department told Fitzpatrick that he was a subject of the training curriculum. http://www.thepostemail.com/2011/12/04/walter-francis-fitzpatrick-iii-they-want-me-dead/ Fitzpatrick has told The Post & Email that he has “uncovered a crime syndicate in Tennessee state” and that the training program is an attempt to obstruct his efforts. “As we got closer to exposing more and more corruption, the government reacted by putting together this ‘Sovereign Citizen’ campaign to stop us,” Fitzpatrick said.
The CD contains another category of “Sovereign Citizens” which is labeled “the Birthers,” who “contest President Obama’s constitutional eligibility to hold office…based on the belief he was not born in the United States and has provided a forged Hawaiian birth certificate.” On March 1, 2012, Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his Cold Case Posse declared that there was probable cause to believe that the image presented to the public on April 27, 2011 as Obama’s long-form birth certificate is a “computer-generated forgery.” A second press conference on July 17 indicated that the birth certificate is “definitely fraudulent” and called for a congressional investigation. http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2012/07/17/Arpaio-again-doubts-Obama-birth-document/UPI-62781342573037/?spt=hs&or=tn
On March 17, 2009, Fitzpatrick brought the first criminal complaint naming Obama in the commission of treason, triggering a Secret Service response. Fitzpatrick is convinced that he has been named a “sovereign citizen” because of the complaint, which has never been answered. Fitzpatrick has attempted to bring the complaint to a grand jury but has been obstructed by the U.S. Attorney in Knoxville, TN, an Obama appointee.
During a June 28 hearing on a charge against Fitzpatrick for “tampering with government records,” case #12-108, a prosecutor suggested that Fitzpatrick is “mentally ill.” A local news report dated July 6 revealed that Assistant District Attorney General Paul D. Rush is now under investigation for ethics violations by the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility, docket #201202136-3-RW. http://www.timesfreepress.com/documents/2012/jul/11/petition-discipline-paul-d-rush/
The Post & Email has obtained a copy of the complaint and exhibits from the Board, which is supervised by the Tennessee Supreme Court. http://www.tsc.state.tn.us/boards-commissions/boards-commissions/board-professional-responsibility
Fitzpatrick has stated that the documents he removed from the courtroom on December 7, 2011 were on a table with publicly-available information, and the documents in question have since been returned. The hearings on the case are taking place in a county, rather than district, criminal court. District courts were ordered to be formed by the recently-discovered 1984 laws.
Dr. Terrence Lakin, a 17-year decorated Army flight surgeon, was imprisoned at Ft. Leavenworth for five months last year after questioning whether or not Obama was constitutionally eligible to serve as president. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/05/15/terry-lakin-greeley-birther_n_862116.html Fitzpatrick and a co-author have written a chapter on the intended power of the grand jury in Lakin’s newly-released book, Officer’s Oath. http://www.officersoath.com/
Other agencies identified as having assisted in developing the training curriculum include the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), the FBI, the Department of Defense, and the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Post & Email is a news organization which focuses on exposing government corruption at all levels. It has pursued the Obama eligibility issue since its inception in August 2009 and broken news on local and international events. Unlike major media, the newspaper is not controlled by advertisers or special interests, but rather, by reader subscriptions. In that way, content is driven by the readers themselves. http://www.thepostemail.com/
The Post & Email then responded:
I give up. You are obviously censoring the news. This is why the American people have no idea what is going on in their government.
I am canceling my 30-day trial and will be publishing a story on your stonewalling.
Editor’s Notes: Has there not already been a court case against Darren Huff? Did The Post & Email not mention that at the time of his trial, the training program had been circulated, certainly throughout Tennessee, without Huff’s knowledge, which could have prejudiced the outcome?
Before the trial, Huff was advised by his federal defender to decline to have Walter Fitzpatrick testify, according to Huff, because Fitzpatrick “was dirty from having been in jail for 24 days without a shower.”
For unfiltered but well-sourced news, please encourage those within your circle of influence to subscribe to The Post & Email. It is our view that a few dollars a year for the truth has a much higher value than “news” which is “free” but does not inform the American people of what is actually transpiring in their government. We ask for subscriptions because we do not accept the increasingly obscene advertising found at other “news” websites, and we have monthly expenses which must be met for us to continue to perform our work 365 days a year.
Earlier today, author Diana West reported on her blog that The Washington Examiner had refused to publish an article of hers about the dangers of The Muslim Brotherhood. Other news outlets including The Washington Examiner have refused to publish legitimate claims that Obama’s long-form birth certificate is a “computer-generated forgery.”
If the American people want a truly free press in keeping with the Founders’ vision of the First Amendment, it is going to cost them something. Are we to be freemen or slaves?
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.