Court denies bail for Joe Gordon

On 13 June, the lawyer and family of Joe Gordon or Lerpong Wichaikhammat petitioned the Criminal Court for bail, citing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and his urgent need of medical treatment for high blood pressure and gout. 

The court dismissed the request, repeating the same reasons it has previously given that the offences damage the reputation of the revered monarchy and the investigators have objected to bail, and so it believes that the suspect, if granted bail, will tamper with evidence.

The lawyer and his family members will make an appeal for bail at the Appeal Court in the next 15 days.

Joe Gordon, a Thai-born American citizen, was arrested by the Department of Special Investigation at his home in Nakhon Ratchasima on 24 May, and has been detained at Bangkok Remand Prison.  He has been charged with offences under Sections 112 and 116 of the Criminal Code, and Sections 14 (3) and (5) of the 2007 Computer Crimes Act.  The DSI alleges that he is the owner of a blog which offers a Thai translation of the banned book The King Never Smiles, and that he placed links to the book on the now closed Same Sky webboard during 2007–2009.

In the bail request his lawyer and family cited Article 9 of the ICCPR to which Thailand acceded on 19 Oct 1996:

‘Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody, but release may be subject to guarantees to appear for trial, at any other stage of the judicial proceedings, and, should occasion arise, for execution of the judgement.’


Apparently, the U.S. citizen

Apparently, the U.S. citizen Joe Gordon, while residing in the U.S. a few years ago posted a link to a respected Yale University book on the political history of Thailand and this act has so greatly "damaged the reputation of Thailand's revered monarchy", the only solution is to throw Joe into a Thai prison cell with 20 other prisoners, a hole for a toilet in the corner, the cement floor as his bed and gruel for sustenance.

To rot there until he either signs a false confession and [...] or ends up dead

Luckily for the Thai State apparatus, the U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, Kristie Kenney, an erstwhile U.S. Republican appointee who takes a very strong stance on the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, including the right of all U.S. citizens to express themselves freely, at least while resident in the U.S., has so little skill, daring and backbone that she finds it impossible to mount an effective campaign for Joe's immediate release and deportation back to the U.S.

So Thailand will remain intact, prosperous and safe........


It’s interesting that the US

It’s interesting that the US embassy in Thailand will spend more of an effort in getting a Russian Arms Dealer out of a Thai prison than an innocent American citizen in ill health out of one.

As for Kristie Kenney being “an erstwhile U.S. Republican appointee,” she is also an erstwhile U.S. Democrat appointee. A career bureaucrat in the Senior Foreign Service who came up from the ranks, she knows how to “not rock the boat.” She’ll party merrily along while poor Joe Gordon languishes in a rotten Thai prison.

Instead of a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, I wonder if perhaps an ambassador who was appointed as reward for a big donation to an election campaign would do a better job in managing the Thailand post.

I don't think that having a

I don't think that having a good ole boy with deep pockets as ambassador would help Joe Gordon. The US State Department is a wholly owned subsidiary of the US Department of War and anyone working for them would do War's bidding, i.e. springing the Russian arms dealer, or the cold-blooded CIA murderer in Pakistan, but there's zero help for an ordinary American.

Face it. The US government is so corrupt that we could prosecute the White House, Congress, and the Supreme Court under the RICO Act... if the last leg's membership in the Triad hadn't precluded that possibility.

As far as I can see, my countrymen and women are waiting for the complete and utter collapse of the criminal enterprise under the weight of its own heinous crimes before getting to work and doing what must be done to reconstruct a government responsive to the American people.

Meanwhile we're willing to throw all the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq; the cops, firemen and teachers in Wisconsin; and Joe Gordon under the bus... to protect our blissful torpor, as my friend Steve Hills would say.

True. Most rewarded political

True. Most rewarded political appointees don't usually work out well as ambassadors. The two weeks of training they get at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute is notably insufficient. But some of them actually do a pretty good job. I suppose the silver lining in having such a short indoctrination is that one may still have part of a soul left.

One example I can think of at the moment is Nancy Brinker. Her focus on fighting cancer marked her stint as ambassador to Hungary. While that was enormously helpful and good, many of Brinker’s subordinates and other State Department employees complained that "important issues" suffered as a result. She only lasted 2 years as ambassador there.

Of course, that's the exception rather than the rule.

Poor Joe is in a bad way, and

Poor Joe is in a bad way, and I predict that the courts will treat him even worse. The case may be flimsy, but there's a rock-solid bureaucratic resentment against any Thai who absorbs Western notions of freedom and identity. He's not on trial for slighting the King, he's on trial for turning his back on his own "Thai-ness," as prescribed by the state. One of the big problems with the Thai state is the belief that the government should enforce national identity over and above personal freedom.

Kristie Kenney seeems to have

Kristie Kenney seeems to have been an Ambassador in training with her finger in the wind while the State Department was being taken over by the War Department. She developed good US military connections, apparently, and was appointed as Director of the State Department Operations Center, a detail to the White House as a member of the National Security Council staff, and Political-Military Officer in the Office of NATO Affairs.

As well, Kristie Kenney seems to have been an Ambassador in training to handle South American countries and the compradors therein who look after US interests instead of their countrymen's. But there's just one country left like that in South America now, Colombia, and Kristie's husband has the job there nailed down.

So, unable to keep Palacio in power as US Ambassador to Ecuador, Kristie got shipped to the Philippines, where they used to speak Spanish, and took care of Gloria Arroyo, the supporter of George Bush's War on Terror there.

The next stop is Thailand, where the 'elite' and the good ole boys in the Thai military need servicing, and apparently they are getting it from Kristie Kenney.

At the expense of Joe Gordon, an American citizen, who is not.

In addition to his self-proclaimed power to have American citizens assassinated abroad Barack Obama can let them die in prison as well, I guess, when it's in the interest of a foreign oligarchy traditionally subservient to the USA.

The 5th column in Washington

The 5th column in Washington DC feels the same way about American citizens imprisoned by its compradors here in Thailand as well.

Gaza: Cradle of Killing — Americans Too

Stuffing my backpack before setting out to board “The Audacity of Hope,” the U.S. boat to Gaza, I got a familiar-sounding call from yet another puzzled friend... “You know you can get killed, don’t you?”

From some others — who don’t much care about Gaza’s plight and/or who do not wish us well — the words are phrased somewhat differently: “Aren’t you just asking for it?”

That was the obligatory question/accusation at the end of a recent interview of me that was taped for a BBC-TV special scheduled to air this coming week as we try to break — or at least draw attention to — Israel’s illegal blockade of Gaza and the suffering it inflicts on the people there.

I also have been cautioned by a source with access to very senior staffers at the National Security Council that not only does the White House plan to do absolutely nothing to protect our boat from Israeli attack or illegal boarding, but that White House officials “would be happy if something happened to us.” They are, I am reliably told, “perfectly willing to have the cold corpses of activists shown on American TV.”

I mention this informal warning for the benefit of anyone who may have harbored hope that the U.S. government would do something to protect us American citizens from the kind of violence used by the Israelis against last year’s flotilla.

Joe Gordon will not be receiving any help from his government in Washington. I'm sure the Thai authorities were assured of that fact before they imprisoned him, an American citizen, without trial here in Thailand.

John Klusmire, a 60-year-old

John Klusmire, a 60-year-old US citizen, was arrested and asked to report to a police station on Saturday

The boat was taken back to Greece where it was impounded in a naval base. The captain of the ship, John Klusmire, a 60-year-old US citizen, was arrested and asked to report to a police station on Saturday. He was charged with “disturbing sea traffic and endangering passengers” and held until Tuesday before being released. According to a report, he was detained in “shocking conditions” with no bed or toilet facilities in his cell. One of the US organisers of the flotilla, Jane Hirshmann, said, “They’re not giving him water or food. This is disgraceful. And what’s more disgraceful is that the US embassy has not paid him a visit”.

Among the ship’s other passengers were scores of US citizens, including Alice Walker, a 67-year-old Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Hedy Epstein, an 85-year-old Holocaust survivor, and several journalists, including CNN reporter Phil Black.

Although carried out by the Greek authorities, the threats of violence to force the ship back to shore underscore the pivotal role that the United States is playing in support of the Israeli regime. It is inconceivable that such threats of violence against a US-owned vessel and the arrest of an US citizen were not given the green light by the Obama administration.

It is inconceivable that the arrest of Joe Gordon, a US citizen, by the Royal Thai Government was not also given the green light by the Obama administration.

The US Government is in the hands of the Israeli 5th column when it comes to foreign policy, and even the Royal Thai Government can arrest US citizens without risking a single word of protest from the US Department of State, now a wholly owned subsidiary of the US Department of War.

We American citizens can write off any hope of help from "our" government should we be similarly beset upon by the forces of darkness anywhere in the world. The US corporatocracy has assumed the same attitude of distain towards all of us, the American people, that the Royal Thai Government has always reserved for its subjects.

No one knows better than

No one knows better than Rachel Corrie's mom, Cindy, just how depraved is the indifference of the US Government when it comes to a choice between furthering its own diabolic agenda or standing up for its citizens. It's perfectly OK with the US Government if its accomplices murder its citizens, so there's zero hope that it will stand up for Joe Gordon, a US citizen rotting in a Thai Remand Prison... sentence first - verdict afterwards.

US collusion in the Gaza blockade is an affront to human rights

My daughter's death shows the cruelty of an America that won't protect its own and is complicit in harming Palestinian civilians

After eight years, our family remains engaged in prolonged court proceedings seeking accountability that the US government has been unable to secure – though it has no difficulty sending Israel $3bn annually in weapons that do the damage.

The US government has failed repeatedly to obtain accountability for its own citizens and Palestinian civilians harmed by Israel. Now, it is an accomplice in manipulating policing of the Mediterranean and maintaining Israel's naval blockade of Gaza. It has thwarted and threatened citizens acting in the nonviolent tradition of our most revered champions of human rights. Much of the world is watching, disgusted with US abandonment of its own and with its collusion in the imprisonment of the people of Gaza.