The Inanity of Federal Secrecy: Everything Must Be Hidden in the Fog

2015 08 21_3000Here’s part of the language in the indictment against the five teamsters who are charged with extortion by violation of the Hobbs Act.

“Beginning in the spring of 2014, Company A, a non-union production company, began scouting locations to film . . . in Boston.”

Why is the identity of the company hidden in the indictment? All the articles tell us it is the “Top Chef” company. Would it be too difficult to spell it out in the indictment?

Then there is:

“On or about June 9, a representative from the City of Boston called the Omni Parker House?”

At some point we are going to find out who that person is. Why is it hidden at this point?

And this:

“[A] producer for Company A had a conversation with a Local 25 official.”

You would think both the producer and the local company official had no names. Why aren’t they named?  Is there a problem with identifying them at this time?

We are told that Company A was planning to film in Milton. (I wonder why they put the name of the town in the indictment. For consistency should they not have said “a town in Massachusetts.”)

They then go on to say:

Restaurant A is a restaurant located in Milton, MA.We know from prior news and the present coverage of the indictment that this is the Steel & Rye restaurant. Would it have been so difficult to put its name into the indictment?

I guess some day Mr. Nobody is going to stand before the federal court in Boston charged with: “That Mr. Nobody on a certain known date did conspire along with others known and unknown including Mr. X, Ms Y, and M. Z to commit a specific crime against an official in Company X a duly organized company, in that Mr. Nobody did call that official and say certain things and thereafter did some other things all in violation of the United States Criminal Codes.” 

Where there is no valid reason to hide the identity of a person or thing, that is it is already widely known or will be disclosed during the pre-trial proceedings or trial, then it should be disclosed. It is important to start moving back toward more openness.



2 thoughts on “The Inanity of Federal Secrecy: Everything Must Be Hidden in the Fog

  1. Dorchester Street’s very own,….Saint Augustine said…
    “In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?”

    Was he talking about Boston?

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