In a circular room, beneath a crescent of congresspeople on their elevated soapboxes, Craig Rosebraugh, former spokesperson for the North American Earth Liberation Front, pled the 5th to all questions but "Did you submit written testimony?" (Yes) and "Are you a U.S. citizen?" (Yes) ... the latter, only after consulting with his attorney. Questions ranged from who his acquaintances are to queries about his opinions of social change tactics. Many representatives chose only to soliloquize and asked no questions. Among the assertions were that PETA and Ben & Jerry's can be considered terrorist organizations because they've given money to activist causes to which the government status quo objects.
Overall, comments about the hearing were that it seemed disorganized and amateurish, the government operatives not even equipped to answer their own legal questions. The impression was that Scott McInnis considered this hearing his own little grandstand, but had spent more time thinking about the spotlight than how to use it. Indicating perhaps a lack of real confidence, "fillers" at the back of the line were invited and admitted to the hearing in front of (and instead of) many Rosebraugh supporters patiently waiting in vain to be included in this exhibition of participatory democracy.
The media was in full attendance at the hearing, and a small protest was held in front of the Longworth building where it took place. One reporter was heard to ask McInnis if he didn't think it was offensive and ridiculous to compare activists with an organization like Al Quaeda that is responsible for much loss of life.
In the end, the subcommittee seemed nonplussed about what to do with the resolute Mr. Rosebraugh and let him go ... with the assertion that they will send him questions that he must answer to their satisfaction under threat of Congressional Contempt hearings if he does not.