BLACK BOOT DIARIES – Squidgate Trial Part 1

“The word is ‘no’. I am therefore going anyway.”


Just after I discovered that, behind my back, my partner was considering having me committed to a mental institution, my friend Stu came over and my partner and I had a chat with him. Stu had talked Jim out of the idea. Not married…won’t be able to visit…he’ll be lost in the system…alone. This was what lead to the doctor’s appointment at which Blalding showed up. Pharma was Jim’s plan B.

Stu explained, somehow on some level understanding what was happening to me was not good (and yet enjoying that a bit too much for comfort–which I took for scientific curiosity, like seeing the effects of some mysterious subparticle that you cannot detect directly). He explained that simply recalling or recounting a traumatic experience can be as traumatic as having actually experienced it in the first place.

Now let me throw in some background, the context. Jim had had some serious issues himself, especially after the passing of his mother, the passing of his grandmother, and the discovery that his sister was very, very ill. It was not easy to deal with that kind of grief and the resulting depression as his partner. It was not trivial. I won’t pretend I was perfect, and in fact I’ll state plainly that I tried to avoid Jim at times as a result. It was not that I didn’t care but rather felt as though it was beyond my capability to help. I felt helpless. I felt as though I might get dragged under myself and then there’d be no one to take care of the day-to-day. I just wanted him to be happy again.

So, while I can imagine, empathize, understand, and to some extent forgive his feeling the same way (especially in light of his having been brainhacked and my having been drugged, harassed, and otherwise mindf***ed until I bled out my ears) I don’t recall ever having the impulse to throw him out or have him put away in a hospital. Nor send him home to his remaining family. I would have considered that last much worse for his mental and emotional well-being and we discussed that at length in theory long before Squidgate. And yet that was one of his first inclinations when I fell apart, to send me back to a place that hates homos.

Tough to know where we end and others begin sometimes, isn’t it? Where does blame begin and end with the individual and those who tortured, tricked, or otherwise violated him beforehand? Are we always culpable for our own actions even under so many circumstances beyond our control and often beyond our knowledge?

All of which is to say, this is going to dredge some s*** up that would be a whole lot more comfortable to let sit somewhere in the back of my head, pushed back and under again whenever it tries to surface.

But just reading over, for example, the letter I sent the Times Herald after the trial, I can see there are some things I’ve already forgotten about. So I am pushing through before I lose too many more details. (I’ll get to the letter in part three most likely).

March 2010

Being able to turn a negative into a plus is sometimes a good thing. (Debt into an asset, I’m not so sure. But Alexander Hamilton might have thought so. Thomas Jefferson, not so much).

Jim got back to Brooklyn after a business trip on the Friday before the trial as I recall. He really wanted me out of the apartment. So much so, that convincing him to pay the car rental for my trip to Port Huron was not difficult. (And was and is appreciated). We reserved a rather boring car that was suddenly unavailable when we got there. They were so sorry they gave me this instead:

With Connecticut plates. You know, “the Constitution State.”

I had chosen to drive for several reasons. First, I was sitting in front of the computer, contemplating flights to Detroit for the trial (I didn’t know in late December 2009 that it would not be until March and I recall reading some attempts to get it moved there from Port Huron) right about the time the news broke about the intel subcontractor that failed to catch that an individual intended to commit an act of terror against the US even though the man’s own father had reported his intentions to the American and allied embassies. He was in the database, but the system failed to prevent him boarding a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on Christmas Day 2009 when one “flying Dutchman” stopped him from lighting his shoes underwear.

Same day I learned of the Conway fire two days before when I also had that pickup truck and the smoke trick in front of Scahill’s house designed to look like it was Beaudry’s family members.

And lots more. INTERPOL was operating heavily in New York though it is still unclear why. Weird stuff at work. Parked cars and trucks near work in Rock Center and Times Square (where I wound up on New Year’s Eve) sometimes believed to have explosives inside them.

So, I decided not to fly. Driving also had the advantage of having a bit more mobility and I would have to figure out transportation in Michigan anyway. Additionally, I thought being alone in a car for many hours would help me to “clear my head.” (It would wind up taking a helluva lot more than that, and it’s still to some extent an ongoing process).

And then there was that odd thing of leaving the mysterious passenger with Watts handcuffed to a railing for six hours. Take that and add T. Ryder Smith having done The Laramie Project two months prior, that Smirh had done to voice work for Blindsight, throw in the surreptitiously administered drugs, harassment, some synthetic telepathy/voice-to-skull performed by a psyops team and you might think that the person in that car could be that one person who seems to be the only one on your side…the only person who still gives a damn about you from the looks of things. And that somehow Smith was involved…culpable. It was beginning to look like 1989 all over again but with me in the position Kara Miller had been in.

Beaudry…responsible for fire…for handcuffing whatshisname outside to a railing in December along the Michigan-Canadian border. See what I mean? Playing one party off against the next. Terrorism-by-proxy.

So, in December I had reviewed the driving directions Google gave me. I saw that it would take me through Canada and across the very same Blue Water Bridge where the incident occurred. Given the craziness, I decided to try a US-only route. I pulled the line down on Google maps and sort of committed the general route to memory.

And then I forgot all of that except I was not going to have to pass through Canada. I figured if I got to Port Huron early, maybe I’d have a chance to learn a few things, find out who was in Watts’ car with him, or at least gain some perspective and be able to avoid an angry outburst over having abused this person I’d been brainwashed over should it have turned out to be him in the car.

When I was actually driving in March, having forgotten and left Google maps behind and simply going with the GPS, hilariously, practically every sign in upstate New York was covered with soot and snow. I did not see any “Canada” signs until I got to the big bright one that had “Welcome to” prepended. (More about that trip and the drive back to New York is covered elsewhere on this blog).

Once I realized I was passing near Toronto, it seemed wise to at least try to ascertain who had been in the car. I emailed a friend of Peter’s to see if he was interested in breakfast the next day (I found a cheap hotel thanks to Jim and Google over the phone). He declined.

From their point of view, they were dealing with a nut, of course, and the potential damage to Peter’s legal defense. That was why I had only planned on asking the passenger’s age. I figured that might at least settle that question and lead to a more serene me once the trial rolled around.

But I didn’t find out. I jogged a bit once I got to Port Huron and just fought off the feelings of dread, anger, frustration, and fear that way. And, besides, whatshisname was out there somewhere. Had to just be a matter of time before we had a beer and a laugh and things returned to normal.

I had learned long ago while working for that company, PSI, that Bain wound up purchasing, that what New Yorkers consider formal and what many other places consider formal differed. I wore a suit to the trial the first day and was very over-dressed.

Jury selection mostly, some things that were discussed between the attorneys that sometimes included the judge.

“What is your interest in this trial?”

Those were the first words Peter Watts spoke to me. It’s telling, I suppose that I answered by saying, “I’m Chris in NY”, giving my screen name on his blog in the comments section. That is hardly an answer to the query. I clearly did not know at the time anyway, merely that all of the strangeness had to be connected due to the timing of it all.

“Well, where the f*** did you think I was going, passing through Toronto?”

We had a little laugh about that when he expressed surprise at my presence there.

We then proceeded to the part where Watts tried to make sure I wasn’t going to suggest aloud or in mixed company that there was anything other than a simple, common, police abuse case going on. The subtext, “Please hold back the crazy you’ve been spouting via email and the blog, at least until the trial is over.”

For some reason I can’t explain, I knew that despite the other stuff. Or maybe I can explain it. It’s not real mental illness, it’s just psyops designed to make it look that way.

“This is what happens when you have Cory Doctorow as a friend,” he added.

They got a lot of mileage out of that one. Bent and twisted that tiny comment to mean oh-so-much-more that it was ever intended to. Try to imagine having someone else interpret everything you hear and see for you and they desperately want you to take the most cynical and paranoid interpretation you can and in fact have poisoned or pinged your brain in order to make those suggestions easier. A multi-prong approach. Effective, but only to a point.

Jury selection was interesting regarding one thing in particular. A man–who wound up being selected–was incorrectly on the no-fly list. The system had screwed him over repeatedly because of a name that I gather is similar to someone in the IRA or similar. And yet…

I think that concludes the relevant parts for day one. I don’t actually recall if the trial proper began the same day (prosecution’s case?) or if it started on the next, merely that the jury got it on Thursday and didn’t return a verdict until Friday morning. In any case, I’ll pick up with my impressions of those proceedings.

To be continued…


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