The Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation of Westlake Village, California has filed an important lawsuit against Janet Napolitano, The Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Alejandro Mayorkas who is the Director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The case was filed last Thursday afternoon and has been assigned to the Honorable Gladys Kessler of the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia. Kessler was appointed to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton in March 1994. She became a “senior,” or semi-retired, judge in 2007. She is a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard Law School and continues to serve on the Executive Committee of the American Bar Association Conference of Federal Trial Judges.
If it is allowed to proceed, this case may shed light on the accelerating symbiosis between the Global War on Terror and domestic policing in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. In all of these countries the “war on terror” has focused at least as much on social outsiders and discontents as on actual terrorists. HAMC v Napolitano et al. disputes the official United States foreign policy that declares “the Hells Angels, the Outlaws, Bandidos, and the Mongols” to be organized crime groups. This policy also asserts “that these groups operated as permanent organized criminal societies. Active membership in these groups could reasonably be considered to involve a permanent association with criminal activities….”
These and other allegations can be found in U.S. Department of State Foreign Affairs Manual Volume 9. You can read the relevant paragraphs here. The pertinent law is section 212(a)(3)(B) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). You can read that law here.
From The Suit
The suit complains that the Department of State and Homeland Security far exceeded the original intent of the Immigration and Nationality Act passed by Congress. The complaint filed Thursday afternoon states:
“Congress specifically excludes aliens who are members of terrorist organizations and specifically defines a “terrorist organization” in INA §212(a)(3)(B). Congress then specifically authorizes the Secretary to designate an organization a “terrorist organization” in accordance with INA §219 which sets forth specific requirements and procedures the Secretary must follow which include making certain findings of fact, providing notice of the proposed designation, publication of the designation in the Federal Register, and creating an administrative record.
“Congress also specifically provides a process to review and revoke the designation. INA §219. The process allows the designated organization to file a petition for revocation or, if within a five year period no review has taken place at the request of the organization, the Secretary shall review the designation to determine whether the designation should be revoked.
“If Congress had intended for all members of criminal organizations to be inadmissible, as the State Department has interpreted §212(a)(3)(A)(ii), it would have codified the same detailed procedures for designating a group a “criminal organization” and provided a mechanism for the group to challenge its designation.
“The plain language of §212(a)(3)(A) calls for a consular officer or the Attorney General to review each applicant on a case by case basis and draw a reasoned conclusion as to whether or not the individual seeks to enter the United States to engage in unlawful activity.
“The State Department’s regulation, with the approval of the Department of Homeland Security, contravenes the intent and plain language of Congressional legislation.
“Defendants’ exclusion of Plaintiff’s foreign members infringes on Plaintiff’s constitutional right to associate for the advancement of beliefs and ideas.
“Defendant’s exclusion of Plaintiff’s foreign members inhibits Plaintiff’s freedom of speech.
“By designating Plaintiff as a “criminal organization” without providing any avenue to challenge said designation, Defendants have deprived Plaintiff’s members of their liberty without due process.
You can read the entire complaint here.
Since at least April, agents working for the Department of Homeland Security, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been collecting the names and photographs of bikers who have attended Hells Angels events in Europe. This list building has been accomplished by stopping, photographing and copying the identity documents of attendees at road blocks outside these events. ATF, FBI and Homeland Security agents have also participated in multiple raids on the clubhouses of multiple motorcycle clubs in order seize and clandestinely distribute club membership lists. The intent of this data gathering is to deny otherwise, law abiding Europeans entry into the United States.
Similarly, membership lists, photographs and other documents seized from raids on clubhouses in the United States have been used to deny entry of law abiding Americans into Canada and other countries.
The American led, international war on motorcycle clubs is inseparable from the U.S. led Global War on Terror. That war simultaneously supports, protects and defends the heroin business in Afghanistan, the militarization of American police and the persecution of social discontents in putative democracies.
The Big, Secret Book
Over the last three months multiple informed sources speaking anonymously have referenced a 2,000 page manual written by a German law enforcement consultant named Manfred Seitner in 2007. The Aging Rebel has not seen a copy of this book. The book details steps to be taken and strategies that can be used in an international effort to outlaw motorcycle clubs.
One informed source claims that Seitner’s manual became the basis for something called “Operation Monitor.” Both the FBI and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are participants in Operation Monitor.
A source who claims to have read Steiner’s manual said the book contains, “…large sections on the importance of controlling, subverting and manipulating the media by financial or other means…. Squeezing advertising revenue is a key tactic here.”
The ban on entry into the United States has effected numerous, otherwise admirable citizens whose political views toward motorcycle clubs have been anonymously judged to be “incorrect.” One of them is a woman named Izzy Wildheart (photo above.) Izzy, who reads and occasionally comments on this site, is the driving force behind the Big House Crew, an organization that advocates for incarcerated Hells Angels. She has written on that site that, “There are thousands of people around the world who are suffering from injustice. We can’t save the world, but we can help support our own…our family.”
The Big House Crew does not advocate exclusively for Hells Angels. The site also contains petitions on behalf of “Leonard Peltier and Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox. If you read them they could do with your signatures. They are not club members but have certainly suffered from huge injustices. Please read them and make your minds up. Injustice is injustice which ever way you slice it and the more we fight injustice hopefully the more the Governments will take notice.” You can visit the Big House Crew website here.
In 2009, Izzy Wildheart was awarded The President’s Volunteer Service Award by Barack Obama. The award stated, “Your volunteer service demonstrates the kind of commitment…that moves America a step closer to its great promise.”
In July 2012. Izzy Wildheart was denied entrance into the United States because she advocates for members of the Hells Angels and because she lives with a Hells Angel.
“I was due to fly to New York state to visit a friend of mine who is married to a Native American for her daughter’s graduation party,” she said. “I had been granted an ESTA, a kind of Visa waver. I was met at Heathrow by Homeland Security who after a lot of fucking around, calling Washington’s Homeland Security who informed Heathrow my case needed to be dealt with here in London or I would be detained in New York. I am now officially under the Terrorist Act and Criminal Organization Act and banned from setting foot in the good old US of A for life, due to my association with the club. My mother is an American citizen, I have three sisters and a brother who live in the States and I have no criminal record, but ‘the doors are firmly shut’ to me.
The suit filed Thursday in Washington seeks to end the kind of absurd guilt by association that has characterized federal law enforcement during the Obama Administration.
It specifically requests: “A judgment declaring that (the HAMC) is not a known criminal organization for purposes of the INA; a judgment declaring that, as a matter of statutory construction (the current regulation) should be rescinded as it misinterprets and violates the Administrative Procedure Act; alternatively, a judgment declaring that (the regulations) singly and together, violate the United States Constitution; the entry of a preliminary and permanent injunction preventing Defendants and their agents, representatives, successors and those acting in concert with them from enforcing the challenged provisions against the (HAMC) and its foreign members; and an award of costs and attorneys’ fees and such further and other relief as this Court deems appropriate.”