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app-16

Chapter 16. Our raid on Texas

On the Bank Holiday weekend of June 2006, I drove 14 miles from our old farmhouse in County Wexford, to where my wife and I had retired, to meet David off the Fishguard ferry from South Wales at Rosslare Harbour. We had not met in the flesh before. I parked outside the Harbour View Hotel as agreed and looked out for a lone biker as that is how he had told me he would be travelling. A large convey of bikers came roaring off the boat and up the hill towards me, many of them tough-looking tattooed guys with equally tough-looking girls on their pillion seats, all stopping around me now to pause and perhaps fill up in the adjoining service station for the journey ahead. A tall and somewhat gaunt individual removed his helmet and came towards me.

I gestured to the assembly in wonder. “Are these all part of the group action?”

“No, I met them on the boat. They are really nice people. They are so kind and helpful.”

Once home, David and I ran a long broadband lead from my study in the house to an outhouse where he set up office and went to work on his laptop. Over the next few days the audacious plan emerged. We had a large number of good cases, some of which were convictions to be appealed, some cautions to be challenged and some where individuals had been raided and ruined but not proceeded against. Apart from the money that I was now trying to collect from the fifty or so Orees and other supporters to begin the challenge, we needed, above all, the actual killer evidence – the Landslide subscriber database and if possible other files. By now David was known also to the FBI, because of his contacts with Roland LeBlanc and Thomas Reedy and his activities were likely to have been monitored also by the British police. I had already become aware that my own emails on related matters to the US were being monitored when the FBI subpoenaed someone who had been in communication with me using encrypted emails to reveal their contents.

At the same time that this happened, my webmaster dissociated himself from the Inquisition21 web site and I was left struggling with difficult coding matters, but so great was the expertise now freely available to me from the emerging new group that all of my technical problems were soon behind me; indeed I would not have been able to work so effectively, if at all, without the expert assistance on tap from this point on.

After a few days in Wexford, once we had worked out what the killer evidence would be, David sent off more instructions to Ronald LeBlanc in Texas and, mounting his bike, took off again for the ferry back to South Wales.

Central to the ‘killer evidence’ was the Landslide subscriber database and the computer logs, neither of which had ever been shown fully to the defence. The first was the basis of the lists of names released by the US authorities through Interpol to police forces all over the world and directly by them to some countries such as the United Kingdom and Canada. It also contained the details of each credit card transaction, time, where made from and the web sites being accessed.

Perhaps even more importantly, because Landslide used its own server, there would have been logs of all transactions, providing valuable evidence about the sources of the transactions. These became known as the computer logs and they appear to have been largely ignored by the prosecution which used the subscriber database mainly.

Ronald wrote to Reedy and asked if he remembered what happened to these records and received the reply that they might have been sent to his father now living just outside of Fort Worth Texas. Ronald contacted the father by phone and was told that he did not remember getting anything from Wes Ball after the trial, but that everything he had was stored in his garage. If he wanted to come and look through it he was welcome, as he himself was too sick to look. Ronald made an eight hundred mile round trip to search the garage, returning by Wes Ball’s office to see if a personal meeting would produce better results than the messages delivered to and from his secretary.

He arrived at Reedy’s father’s house with some catfish fillets from a Louisiana fishing trip to fry up for both of them, and after a tension-breaking meal the search was begun. Ronald found nothing in the piles of dusty boxes in the garage to fit the description that David had said he should be looking for; however, on the off chance that the tapes might have been copied onto another format, he took all the tape cassettes he came across. When he got back home and contacted David, they concluded that none was the Holy Grail, but that amongst the material were the Landslide bookkeeping records.

The visit to Wes Ball’s office was even less productive. Ball‘s secretary had more or less drawn a curtain of silence over the Reedy files by saying that they had been returned, so when Ronald walked into the office to ask if he could talk with Ball about the files, it came as no surprise to him to be told: “Mr. Ball will not be in the office to talk to you until Tuesday or Wednesday next week, if you care to wait.”

“Nope, can’t wait; will call to talk,” he replied.

Back in Louisiana, after weeks of phone calls to the secretary asking to be put through to Wes Ball, he was told that any documents Wes Ball may still have from the Reedy case were Wes Ball’s property and Thomas Reedy had no right to them. This appeared to be a dead end on getting Reedy’s files returned to his representative, so Ronald contacted the paralegal service and asked them to write a letter to Wes Ball, saying they were doing post conviction work (on the 2255 Motion) and needed a copy of any files Wes Ball had on the Reedy case. After several letters, each a little more insistent about hearing a specific date when the copies would be received, the paralegal service received a letter from Wes Ball’s office, that, on such and such a date, at a specific time, all of the documents Wes Ball had in his possession would be in his office for them to copy. This meant another 800 mile round trip for Ronald, but this time he was to meet with the owner of the paralegal service, and together they would go to Wes Balls office to make copies, and see if the Holy Grail was amongst the seven boxes of material from the Reedy case. It was not. But it was not a wasted trip.

The paralegal service was mainly interested in two points of law in writing the 2255 Motion: ‘ineffective assistance of council’, that Wes Ball had dropped the ball, and ‘government misconduct’, that the government had lied to get a conviction. Documented evidence of either of the two charges could get Reedy back into court and his conviction overturned. The head of the paralegal service left the Ball office confident that he could get Reedy back into court, based on what he had found. The icing on the cake was that every one of the former employees, now tracked down and interviewed, confirmed that they had been threatened one way or another by the prosecution before the trial, but were now willing to testify on Reedy’s behalf.

The Holy Grail, however, was not in the stack of boxes that Wes Ball had in his office on that trip to Fort Worth, and Wes Ball was not to be seen either.

The physical presence of these two representatives, however, must have made an impression on Wes Ball, making him decide that Thomas Reedy was not going to fade away. Two weeks later, he contacted Ronald to tell him that, while looking for another client’s papers in his storage warehouse that weekend, he had found a packet of cassette tapes. He didn’t know what was on them, but if Ronald thought they were of any importance he would have them at his office so that he could look at them.

Didn't know what was on them! This was the evidence that he failed to use to clear his client, Thomas Reedy, and the evidence that could have halted the worldwide travesty of the Landslide fallout. This was the Holy Grail of ‘killer evidence’ so sought after by the British action team.

Ronald immediately sent an email to David Stanley to tell him this news. David informed me and urgent plans were made. Weeks only after his June visit, he returned on the ferry with a car driven by another group activist we will call Michael Collins. Once again we set up equipment in the outhouse and used a round plastic patio table for meetings that David would later refer to as our ‘round table meetings’. Because of mounting police intimidation in Great Britain and a degree of understandable paranoia, David feared that either the police or the US authorities would refuse to let him fly out from Great Britain to the US, so our plan was that he would travel out and return through Dublin Airport. Our fervent hope now was that the killer evidence was indeed what had been located in Wes Ball’s warehouse. After a day or two of preparations, Michael drove David to Dublin Airport, where he passed through US immigration. Upon landing in Texas, he went straight to the Fort Worth offices of Wes Ball and quickly saw that the tapes were indeed likely to be the ‘killer evidence’. With Ronald’s help via the telephone he was able to get the tapes released to him for that day only to make a copy of them for our analyses.

For all practical purposes, Ronald’s presence in Fort Worth would not be needed for David to make a copy of the cassette if it indeed proved to be the ‘Holy Grail’. After sleeping on it, however, Ronald decided that it just might not be that easy, so he packed up that Thursday morning and began another 800 mile round trip to meet David that afternoon. David was by now quite exhausted and agitated, because he had not been able to find a means of making copies, nor had he returned the tapes to Wes Ball’s office before the office closed that day. By now the tapes were seven years old and in an already out of date format. Ronald assured him that the situation was not as dire as it seemed, and that they would find a place the next day, Friday, to make the copies, and then return them before the weekend.

But on Friday when they went searching they found the price to be prohibitive. It helps to remember that the quality of the lives of thousands in the UK, and up to 250,000 worldwide, now depended upon getting copies of these tapes back across the Atlantic. With Wes Ball’s office closing for the weekend that afternoon, and the tapes needing to be back at the office before it closed, the pressure mounted. When they tried to locate the ever-elusive Wes Ball, to extend the time period, they were told that he was at the courthouse working on a murder case, and could not be disturbed by a phone call. Undaunted by this obvious stall, they went to look for him at the Fort Worth Courthouse, going into every room that was in session, asked bailiffs, and ‘anyone in a suit or uniform’ if they had seen Wes Ball that day, but to no avail. In fact, one attorney strolling through the halls even showed them where to look to see if Wes Ball had anything scheduled in court that day. They checked and, sure enough, they were on another wild goose chase. In all probability Wes Ball was in the inner sanctum of his office, protected by his secretary, so they went back to his office with a box of candy for the secretary and the cassettes also, should they have to return them at this late hour.

They thanked the secretary for all the help and courtesy she had provided, adding that they would have liked to thank Wes Ball personally, but could not find him at the courthouse.

She replied, “Well, I’ll ask him if he can see you now.”

Moments later she returned and informed them that Mr. Ball was too busy to see them now but that she had delivered their message. As no mention of returning the tapes had yet been made, Ronald said, “We could not get copies of the tapes made because of the expense involved at the places we took them too. Do you think it would be alright if we had some more time to make the copies?”

She could not say, but said that she would ask Mr. Ball, once again disappearing into the back offices.

It was a gamble. The odds seemed slim that Ball would allow them to keep the tapes past the deadline, but Ronald secretly believed that the odds were even slimmer that David, now that he finally had them in his briefcase, would hand them back.

She returned with the news that they could have the extension if they would both sign a pledge to bring the tapes back after they were copied.

It seems that Wes Ball was either oblivious to the nature of the tapes or was now being extremely cooperative. These tapes, however, were not copies: they were the original tapes that Reedy had given to Wes Ball for his defence, so they were Reedy’s property, and by law these original tapes should have been returned to him or his designated representative after the trial. Wes Ball had not done this. Perhaps the pledge he now demanded was simply a way of documenting that he had returned Reedy’s property and protected himself from an obstruction of justice charge later down the road. So the pair signed the pledge and left the office with the Holy Grail.

As copies could not be obtained before the return flight to Dublin on Sunday they decided that David would take the original tapes back with him, get the forensics done, and then send Ronald the results along with the original tapes which would be given to the paralegal service to be included in the 2255 motion.

There remained the concern that the tapes could be damaged by the airport security X-ray machine if put in with the luggage, and subjected to abnormal scrutiny and confiscation if an attempt was made to carry them on board by hand. Ronald, a staunch patriot, had brought David an American flag to bring home as a souvenir, so David put all the tapes into an ordinary paper shopping bag with a string handle, hung the bag from his wrist, draped the American flag over his arm to cover it, walked unchallenged through airport security and boarded his plane for Ireland.

Within hours, we were checking and photographing for legal provenance the treasure trove that was the killer evidence in my outhouse. Apart from the all-important Landslide subscriber database with the records of the credit card transactions of hundreds of thousands of individuals, including the 7,000 in the UK, we had a veritable treasure trove, including FBI files and an FBI video of the day of the raid, which showed officers accessing the computers, which should legally contaminate evidence. And we had the computer logs.

That very September Sunday evening, I emailed the group and announced on the Inquisition21 campaign website that we had secured the hitherto undisclosed evidence, hoping that the publicity of this good news would encourage the falterers and help us raise the £25,000 still required to get the campaign underway. The response was almost instantaneous. The web site was hit with both illegal material and a generated wave of unwanted traffic and Google delisted us completely, giving a standard response about de-listing sites that tried to manipulate search engine results, something away beyond my own technical abilities even if I was so dishonest. Google’s blacklisting of our site for the next seven months made the task of fundraising all the more difficult; indeed, only links from dozens of other web sites saved us from extinction. When the seven months were up, and hours after we announced that we had raised the money despite Google, and were now able to begin the class action, Google re-listed us. This part of the story should be a warning about how dangerous for freedom of speech and action it has become by letting Google become a monopoly with powers of censorship. One other great point of vulnerability throughout the campaign was that our server could be persuaded to shut down the Inquisition21 web site and the attack that included the transfer of illegal images onto it could have done just that. We were fortunate that our British server, Kualo, was supportive, located the undesirable material and cleared it from the site.

It was only the beginning, however, because once the British police knew we had the evidence the backlash in intimidation began in earnest. Jim Gamble’s public response would be laughable were it not also so chilling. He actually called us ‘irresponsible’ for getting hold of the Landslide evidence. When one considers that we had to raise £25,000 initially and £40,000 altogether between 2006 and 2009, and then find a legal team including experts and counsel to do at least £100,000 in pro-bono work and a computer forensics expert to do the same amount pro-bono, in total £240,000, just for the opportunity to get into court to reveal and attempt to overturn a grave injustice involving thousands of innocent families, and in the process be blocked, threatened and intimidated by a police force which was doing all this at taxpayers’ expense, and then be called irresponsible by the man who headed up the travesty, this should be a wake-up call to all those who have any concern for the maintenance of a society where justice is still possible to achieve.

Justice delayed is justice denied. There were many people involved in denying Thomas Reedy justice, and all of them are dependant on the Federal judicial system for their daily bread and fine life styles. The 2255 motion had to go first to Judge Terry Means, the original trial judge in Fort Worth Texas who had sentenced Reedy to 1335 years, so it was no surprise that both ‘ineffective assistance of council’ and ‘government misconduct’ were denied. Both the defence attorney, Wes Ball, and the prosecution, Terry Moore, are officers of the court that Judge Means presides over. Ronald believes that they are in effect all working together, for the same boss, the federal government, so Means was not likely to agree with the 2255 motion that Reedy had not received justice in his courtroom because of an impropriety by one of his fellow employees in the federal government.

As it stands at the moment of this writing, Thomas Reedy has been denied the right to present the evidence found on the Holy Grail by the US federal government court.

The significance of Reedy getting his sentence overturned can surely not be lost on the US government. If Reedy’s case is overturned, then everything stemming from it, including damage to many of the 250,000 individuals libelled worldwide, has no legal merit. Furthermore, all of those who were wrongly prosecuted are entitled to damages in civil court, and those who participated in the prosecution could be liable in criminal court.

At the point where we had around half of the £25,000 raised and were facing the reality that this was probably the limit of our ability to raise money from our impoverished group, David Stanley sold his house in South Wales for below its market value, paid off some encumbrances and donated slightly more than half of the total £25,000 still needed to the campaign. We were now launched but he was homeless.

Once I had secured pledges amounting to £25,000, some for around £100, many much higher, I informed Chris Saltrese that we now had the money pledged, thus effectively formally retaining him so that he could begin work. Upon asking for the money to be sent, however, two promises of £2,500 each were reneged on, one because the couple who had hoped their parents would provide it learned that it was not forthcoming, which was understandable, but the second pledger, unforgivably, simply stopped communicating with me or with the OBU forum where he had been previously very active. Fortunately for my own financial exposure, the group members once again dug deep and came up with most of the shortfall.

Returning to the main story at the point where Google delisted us. That was right after the attack on the site on September 8 2006. We had suddenly found ourselves without the means of either recruiting more members or raising the required money. We still had the evidence, which was quickly copied and stored in more than one safe place. I published a message on the Inquisition21 web site giving the impression that one copy was in Ireland to discourage the British police from raiding all those in Great Britain who might have a copy and events to be related shortly demonstrate that this was not being paranoid. We also had Jim Bates, an accepted computer forensics expert capable of both interpreting it and presenting the evidence in court.

But not for long, because within weeks the police hit Jim Bates.


Go to Chapter 17

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Created on 03/25/2010 11:10 AM by Editor
Updated on 03/11/2011 11:18 PM by Editor
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