Enough Already: Release the J6 Political Prisoners
"For here we are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it." That's Thomas Jefferson, the Father of the University of Virginia, describing his beloved institution's creed to English historian William Roscoe. I think it is also a fitting description of the American Thinker community, who often tussle with difficult stories because that is where the truth takes us. Several members of the community recently focused my attention on the plight of J6 political prisoner Jonathan Mellis, who has already spent nineteen months in the American Gulag for the "crime" of protesting against his government.
Mellis is one of hundreds who have endured the wrath of a wayward Washington politburo that has thrown Americans' Bill of Rights and founding principles right out the window. Dennis Prager actually managed to secure a fifteen-minute interview with the incarcerated Mellis on December 22, 2021, and has replayed the disturbing audio for his listeners several times. I encourage anyone who has not already come across it to find a few minutes to concentrate on their conversation. The thirty-five-year-old Mellis, whom Prager identifies as a native Tennessean, although he was arrested in Virginia, sounds remarkably calm and composed, considering that he had already endured nearly a full year in jail (with no end yet in sight) and was obviously communicating with Prager from behind enemy lines.
His story is similar to those of other J6 political prisoners caught up in this abusive, Soviet-style purge, yet his descriptions are unnervingly poignant. Like so many of us who angrily watched as mass mail-in balloting and other pandemic-related voting shenanigans corrupted the 2020 election, Mellis hoped January 6 would stand as a historic day when civic-minded Americans engaging in political protest would successfully convince Congress and the courts to take a hard look at the suspicious irregularities tainting the election. He is undoubtedly a fiercely patriotic American who loves his country and would sacrifice anything for it. He speaks as a man committed to America's foundations in liberty. He does not sound as if malice has blighted his heart. He arrived in D.C. to defend America's standing as the "Land of the Free." He expected to rectify an electoral injustice. He wanted D.C.'s permanent bureaucracy to visually see the resolve of millions of Americans' moral conviction. He expected triumph. And he has received little but despair.
Instead of delivering historic jubilation, January 6 has marked a hard turning point in his life and the beginning of an unrelenting nightmare. He's been in and out of solitary confinement, endured an onslaught of racist invective and other verbal abuse, witnessed beatings from guards, spit out contaminated food, been denied hygienic care, and suffered through an unsanitary hellscape of backed up toilets and filthy, fetid cells meant to break his will and coerce him into accepting some kind of plea deal. He describes the agony of surviving alone for days at a time, cut off from reality and forced to seek solace in the refuge of his mind. The last time he saw his father was when he was being dragged away with the kind of force one might expect to be used against a wanted terrorist. When his father, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, died a few months later, Judge Emmet Sullivan (yes, the same Sullivan who hounded General Michael Flynn and insisted on persecuting him long after the government sought to drop its politically-motivated criminal charges) summarily denied his request to attend the funeral, again equating him to a violent terrorist who must be made to suffer. In Mellis's words, you hear the story of a man who has been psychologically tortured and kept in a constant state of apprehension at what will befall him next. You hear a man whom the federal government wishes to drown in fear.
Yet you also hear a man who refuses to break. "We sing the National Anthem every single night, at nine P.M., with our hands on our hearts," he tells Prager. Imagine that for one small moment. The U.S. government — with its armies of prosecutors, FBI Gestapo squads, complicit judges, and corrupt news media propagandists who ask no questions while pushing the all-powerful State's lies — has targeted Jonathan Mellis and nearly a thousand other Americans for being "insurrectionists" and "domestic terrorists" intent on "overthrowing" the United States. Yet it is Mellis and a few dozen other political prisoners who seek to lift each other's spirits by singing "The Star-Spangled Banner" each night. You know — the poetic anthem that stirred in the mind and soul of Francis Scott Key as he watched a large American flag flying triumphantly over Fort McHenry while it sustained bombardment from Britain's Royal Navy during the Battle of Baltimore in the War of 1812.
So committed to "insurrection" and "overthrowing" the government of the United States are the federal government's "dangerous" political prisoners that they gather their strength when they're able and sing tribute to the very nation that inflicts upon them such grievous harm. These are the American patriots the D.C. Despots have decided to torment, torture, and betray. These are the lost Americans who have been mostly forgotten for now but who will one day serve as living testament to Washington's venality and as a breathing reminder of the horrendously ignoble American Gulag. These are the Americans the federal government wishes to break before all our eyes, so that no citizen anywhere will ever again consider electing an unapproved outsider candidate for president, calling out government corruption, or demanding justice from those who pretend to dispense it. How many denizens of D.C. could even accurately recite America's National Anthem? I wonder. It's as Prager said to Mellis upon hearing about the patriotic revelry: "That, my friend, is considered an extremist." Damn right.
Because Mellis refuses to break, he will remain a target in the crosshairs of an immoral government dedicated to persecution, not principle. He is of particular focus because he was involved directly in the mêlée that resulted in Rosanne Boyland's death. She "died right in front of me," Mellis said on a recorded phone call from jail. "I still hear the blood curdling screams for help at night." Boyland's death was originally blamed on a drug overdose, but video footage shows her being repeatedly beaten by a D.C. police officer. Mellis is seen pushing back against police, while trying to defend Boyland from further injury. As further evidence of good character, Mellis is recorded earlier in the day assisting an officer who had fallen into the crowd. Normally, we would recognize that kind of pattern-or-practice evidence as demonstrating moral courage. The federal criminal justice system sees it as proof why Mellis should be held in jail without bail, trial, or prospect of release.
None of this is right. We have gone so far beyond what is good and right or fair that the damage the Washington Establishment class continues to inflict will fester like an unhealed wound upon the nation's body politic, striking even the most complacent among us with its putrid stench. The Occupant of the White House, Joe Biden, insists that when Americans have the temerity to question election results or the sacred honor of their government bureaucrats, they threaten the U.S. Constitution itself. As with most utterances from Biden, his words are un-American and preposterous. We seek a renewal of the Constitution and a rejection of the Washington Deep State's casual disregard for its meaning and the intentional malice its bureaucratic servants dedicate to its degradation. Just as with Mellis and other J6 political prisoners, we stand with America.
Image via Pxhere.