Fred C. Arena, a former employee of the Navy Yard in Philadelphia with no criminal record, has been sentenced to 6 months in prison for the process crime of "lying to the FBI."
According to the indictment, Arena had filled out an electronic questionnaire to obtain a national security clearance for his job. On it, there he answered "no" to a question asking if he was a member of a group or organization that uses violence to deny the constitutional rights of others.
The FBI claims that Arena was lying and was a member of the nationalist group Vanguard America due to photographs they uncovered of him posing with alleged members. Federal informants were also apparently in communication with Arena on Facebook, where he admitted to attending the 2017 Charlottesville march. Vanguard America, by August 2018, when Arena was interviewed about his supposed membership, was largely defunct and has never been officially designated a criminal or terrorist organization.
The FBI never provided any hard evidence that Arena was an official member of Vanguard, but FBI prosecutor William McSwain - a "partner" of the non-governmental Israeli lobby group the Anti-Defamation League - decided to bring him up on federal charges of "lying to the FBI" over this supposed omission, along with stacking Arena with fillers like forgetting that he had a car repossessed six years ago in an interview.
What is most shocking about this case is that US Attorney McSwain called on Judge David R. Strawbridge to deny Arena bail, which the judge agreed to. Arena had no criminal history and lying to the FBI is not a violent crime, but McSwain argued that Arena's constitutionally protected nationalist beliefs were "dangerous," and that he should be stuck in solitary confinement, where he has remained since November 2019.
The FBI and various unscrupulous judges enabling them have been using the denial of bail for minor offenses as a way to torture political dissidents in solitary confinement until they plea, or in other words, sign confessions for crimes they are not guilty of. The FBI's case against Arena was transparently political and testing it in open court would've exposed this, but under the plea agreement, the defendant may be finally allowed to go home by April, so he complied.
The inability of dissidents to access fundraising and banking platforms for crowd funded legal support has allowed the FBI a free hand to violate our constitutional rights. This is how capital, the controlled media and the state have colluded since Trump's election to make the Constitution and rule of law nothing more than a museum mantle piece in order to ensure a populist movement can never rise again. Without erecting a powerful legal network to defend the vulnerable, the purge will continue.
With the abuse of Roger Stone by the FBI and its careerist prosecutors in the headlines, the public has been increasingly noticing that politically-motivated abuses like this are rampant. The FBI has been exposed as little more than a secret police agency. Just like the FBI has been using the criminal system to politically retaliate against Paul Manafort and Roger Stone for helping Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016, they have gone off the rails in their paranoid crusade to terrorize critics of permanent Washington's increasingly unpopular state ideology.