Papers publish stories based on hoax releases

— San Diego Reader

This email about hoax press releases was sent to news outlets after the Los Angeles Times and San Diego Reader posted stories based on the releases.

From: Hartman, Debra (USACAS)
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 10:09 AM
To: [Various news organizations]
Subject: Re: HOAX Press Releases — Media Availability

Two press releases purporting to be from the office of U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy this morning regarding a shutdown of local pharmacies are a hoax.

“This office did not issue those press releases. We are looking into the source of the emails,” Duffy said.

Duffy will be available at 11 a.m. today in front of the federal building for on camera interviews.

Public Affairs Coordinator Kelly Thornton, 619-546-9726
Media Liaison Debra Hartman, 619-546-8817

Stories based on the hoax releases remain online. [UPDATE: They’ve been revised to note the hoax; the original headlines are below]:

LOS ANGELES TIMES: U.S. Attorney in San Diego cracks down on pharmacies over drug sales

SAN DIEGO READER: U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy now targeting storefront pharmacies

UPDATE II: “This hoax was conducted in retaliation against US Attorney Laura Duffy for her insubordination against the Obama Administration and Government of the United States of America,” says an email. || READ IT AFTER THE JUMP.

From: dexter.haight
Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2012 11:05 AM
Subject: FAC Takes Responsibility for Rogue US Attorney Duffy is a Benedict Arnold

Government Shutdown of Pharmacies a Hoax: Rogue US Attorney Duffy is a Benedict Arnold

San Diego, CA, July 27, 2012: The “Cease and Desist” orders and “official” press release announcing the closure of pharmacies in San Diego, purportedly originating from the office of US Attorney Laura Duffy, are indeed fake.

This hoax was conducted in retaliation against US Attorney Laura Duffy for her insubordination against the Obama Administration and Government of the United States of America.

Duffy’s superiors, President Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, have both pledged that Federal resources would not be used to shut down medical marijuana dispensaries operating in compliance with state law. Despite this pledge to the American public, U.S. Attorney Duffy has used Federal power to target medical marijuana dispensaries with asset forfeiture. Her office has made it clear that she is willing to push her agenda regardless of state laws, personal liberties and the free-market.

Recently, Laura Duffy’s office has pursued the closure of San Diego County’s only permitted medical marijuana dispensary, in direct violation of official policy.

“I’m not a pot smoker or an Obama supporter, but I am a concerned citizen and property owner.” said Dexter Haight from the Federal Accountability Coalition. “Duffy’s a Benedict Arnold. She’s not following orders. And what’s more, if she shuts down a proper medical marijuana facility, how long until she goes after the pharmacies? Duffy’s actions are emblematic of erosions of our personal liberty and property rights that have become so commonplace in our post-9/11 world. What will she confiscate next, my home, my guns, the local farmer’s market?”

Benedict Arnold was an American General during the Revolutionary War whose name became synonymous with treason once it was discovered that he attempted to sell West Point to the British. After American victory in the war, Arnold was exiled to Britain where he lived out the rest of his life shamed and banished.

“Benedict Arnold betrayed America because he wasn’t liked by citizens or his peers. It’s a well known fact that Duffy is the least well regarded of the four US Attorneys in California. Bitterness festered into insubordination in Arnorld’s case and led to treason. Duffy is already insubordinate, what’s next?”

Letters distributed by the US Attorney’s office signed by Duffy have stated, regarding property seizure: “Real and personal property involved in such [illegal] operations are subject to seizure by and forfeiture to the United States … regardless of the purported purpose…” In another press release from her office she boasts of collecting “$29,725,382” in asset forfeitures in 2011 from the Southern District alone.

“I can’t believe how proud she is of taking Americans’ property; maybe it’s because she was appointed, not elected. Maybe it’s bitterness over her low reputation. Either way, it’s time she is held accountable by President Obama and Eric Holder for her flagrant insubordination.”

Haight continues, “Our founding fathers grew hemp for paper and ropes. Nobody was taking their property. Today, if someone threw a pot seed into my yard, they’d come and take my house. It’s criminal.”