I Never Actually Made It Into the NATO3 Courtroom Yesterday, But Still In a family story I somehow never heard

until a cou le of summers a!o, my "id #rother, thirteen years old at the time, mana!ed to create and e$ lode a Molotov coc"tail durin! the %odney &in! %iots, A ril '(()* I was stayin! with my uncle in +untin!ton Beach, worlds away from South Central ,os An!eles, if only some thirty miles South of the action* The rest of my immediate family lived fifty-five miles further South yet in a house on a cul-de-sac which #ac"s u to a artments choc" full of .*S* Marines* My #rother saw what was ha enin! on the news, loo"ed u how to ma"e a Molotov coc"tail in a household encyclo edia, !athered the necessaries and some friends from surroundin! houses, then stran!ely #ac"lit the riot orn on many a nei!h#or/s screen with a fire#all in the middle of the cul-desac* 0olice were called forthwith* I recalled that story yesterday mornin! ri!ht a#out the time my two-year old u"ed all over his !reen dino snowsuit* 1e we/re 2oltin! our way over snow stormed, heavily traffic"ed roads toward the trial of the NATO3 - Brian Church, 3ared Chase, and Brent Betterly, all in their twenties* I/d reheated chic"en lin!uine for dinner the ni!ht #efore* My stomach felt 4ueasy now too* +ad I reheated enou!h5 As I a olo!i6ed to the driver and cleaned u #est I could, a 2ournalist I sometimes 7M with su!!ested that I mi!ht turn a recent Twitter s at I/ve had with a !uy from the 8lo#e and Mail into an O -9d for his com etin! outfit* Nice: But at the time, I "new I/d #e havin! e$tra trou#le !ettin! into the mornin!/s roceedin!s as I "inda sorta ti -toe my way toward free lance 2ournalism* On the side* Main duties to remain as dad, new rofessor/s hus#and, and recoverin! street astor for the time #ein!* After minor hilarity !ettin! a "id in a u"e s lattered dino suit ;tail included< throu!h security, smooth tal"in! my way ast a mostly deserted chec" oint en route to the NATO3 courtroom, a !aw" at the half do6en #roadcast cameras set u o osite the metal detectors and $-ray machines, and one deadend elevator ride on the wron! side of the #uildin!, I arrive at the scene of the s ectacle 2ust as the last s ectators, lawyers, and media are #ein! let in* The earlier chec" oint was where I ;and my two year old5< would have had to ma"e the )-= m window on >riday for an I7?#ac"!round chec", #ut I/m ho in! indy media restrictions are less severe* %eally, I "now that I/m not !ettin! in* I/m ho in! for a story anyway, han!in! around the ed!es* Seven armed and uniformed and mostly 4uite #ul"y Coo" County Sheriff/s men hover around the second set of metal detectors, with others circlin! in and out of the court room and u and down the halls* Off to the side is a re!istration des" with two women, sometimes three* To the left for s ectators, to the ri!ht for media* At first they are sym athetic to my claim to #e freelance media, havin! written a sin!le o -ed for a ma2or a er and this and that for various other u#lications* But they want letterhead or a credential or, if I/m doin! it for my own thin! @ fine @ #ut show us a #usiness license* A #usiness license5 Me and the "id aren/t !ettin! in that way* 1ell, the restrictions are more rela$ed than initially stated @ even s ectators are allowed en and a er* May#e at the #rea" as an overflow s ectator, #ut let/s see a#out restrictions on "ids ;not in the A a!e 2udicial order, unless I missed it<* Not !onna let me in as media, #ut will fud!e the #ac"!round chec" and let me in at the #rea" as a s ectator* 1ow: But now they want my Name, I7, Address, 9mail ;ah, what the hell, an old Yahoo account<* I #al" at !ivin! them a cell num#er* No #i! deal* Astonished or confused women and men in suits "ee assin! #y, as"in! what/s ha enin! here* BOh yeah, that thin!*C A Sheriff woman in lain clothes with a !un a roaches as I wait* She/s as"ed the 2ud!e* No e, no one under twelve will ass throu!h his doors for this* 3udicial decorum* 1ide latitude to control the court room* And etcetera* As e$ ected* 1ell, we/ll wait and o#serve* Sam soothes his #elly with a lesauce, runs toy cars across the hard-surfaced hallways, and as"s for coins to feed the unusually

low ay- hone near#y in the hallway* 0lanD we/ll stay throu!h the #rea" then ta"e notes as the #attery of #roadcast 2ournos file their first stories at the #rea"* And that/s when I !ather the #it I ut a little fire to on Twitter yesterday afternoon* Sam and I had wandered from the Eth floor hallway down to camera row and #ac" two or three rounds to "ill time* And we/d cau!ht interestin! sni ets alon! the way* An a!!ravated se$ual assault case is ha enin! in the courtroom in the same alcove as the NATO3 trial* Court veterans there are ut out a #it #y havin! to deal with all the e$tra co s and a second metal detector* As we head off one elevatorD Bthin! is they didn/t hesitate to "ill them*C Ten minutes later in a hallway on the first floorD Bwell, now the other #rother/s #een shot and the >BI is involved now* Yeah, he/s araly6ed, #ut he can tal"* So he can/t !et here #y u#lic transit* Can you !o with me5 In forty minutes*C These are real cases of eo le !ettin! #rutally ra ed, shot, "illed, araly6ed* But that !oes for normal in this courthouse* 9veryone involved in these conversations treats them as, interestin! for sure, #ut not articularly too far #eyond run-of-the-mill* The #i! show here is for the over!rown "ids who couldn/t even mana!e to actually li!ht the Molotov coc"tails they had to !et hel from undercovers to ma"e* 1hen my #rother 3eff com#usted a fire#all less than a hundred yards from do6ens of Marine families while riots roiled ninety miles North, a cou le of co s !ave him a stern tal"in! to and left it at that* Now, the mere ossi#ility of Molotov coc"tails is a threat to the e$istence of America as such, even if, as ointed out #y one of the defense lawyers today, such minor incendiaries are re!ularly a art of 8ree" rotests without havin! terrori6ed lar!e ortions of the o ulace there* 1hen they finally #ro"e for lunch well after one, a credentialed re orter #urst ast me tal"in! loudly and scornfully to a collea!ueD Balcoholics and otheads and they have all these wea ons, yeah*C I 4uic"ly discovered she was from the local CBS affiliate, tweeted out the 4uote once I retrieved my hone from a small items loc"er, then went #ac" and sna ed a distant icture* NATO3 tweeters then FYourAnonNews ic"ed u the tweet and soon the Internet had discovered the identity of this su osedly rofessional, un#iased re orter* 7ana &o6lov tried at first, in res onse to me, to deny that she/d revealed #ias in her re ortin! then sim ly su#tweetedD B0lease watch GNato3 re ort at E* Both sides re resented* Fc#schica!oC So I watched later* And, yes, #oth sides !et their say, #ut the lead in ;#oth the anchors/ and hers<, narrative arch, and tone are heavily slanted to lay u the state/s ridiculous a!enda* But for all the minor stir that created on Twitter, my favorite moment arrived earlier when I decided that I/d layed it safe and stayed out of the way enou!h to as" the lain-clothes woman Sheriff what she thou!ht of the Sun-Times article which called all of this so much Security Theater* B1ell it/s not,C she said, Bthis is e$actly how we treat all the hi!h rofile cases* I was here for %* &elly and the +udson family trials*C BSame 2ud!e5C I as"ed casually* BNo*C So that/s it, then* It/s not security theater #ecause how we treat trum ed u terrorism char!es is e$actly how we treat it when it/s murder of a relative of a 8rammy and Oscar-winnin! sin!er and actress*

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