“The beauty of art is that it can be interpreted many ways by many different people.”
The great American struggle: grappling with the blank page
I was sitting at my computer just before dawn, listening to the steady crackle of my overworked record player, bouncing repeatedly off the groove in the paper label of The Beatles’ Let It Be.
Procrastination never sounded so sweet. I brewed myself an espresso as I played with the idea of putting on the Smiths. My neighbors probably hear it at top volume and wallow in the jealousy they must feel, living in the shadow of the tortured dark success just sixteen feet away. The power they’ll never meet – unless they come ask me to turn it down.
People just don’t understand me. It takes a unique point of view, cultivated within the bowels of suburban all-white neighborhoods, perverted by Mormonism, to really understand where I’m coming from. And even then, they’ll probably just go on Facebook and hashtag it. Pop a pill, and feel nothing. So dark. So troubled.
In 2010, WikiLeaks released film of an American bombing of reporters in Iraq leaked by Bradley Manning, a military intelligence analyst who fell in love with a WikiLeaks operative he knew only as Nathaniel. Bradley Manning fed Nathaniel millions of State Department memos, which further destabilized America’s delicate relations with the Arab world. Some believe Nathaniel was none other than Adrian Lamo, a former WikiLeaks associate who was later known for using Social Engineering techniques to extort confessions from Bradley Manning. In his statement at the court-martial proceedings, Manning admitted his relationship with Nathaniel had become “artificial,” and said he did not even use Tor [encryption] for his final leaks.
Barrett Brown acted as spokesperson for Anonymous, a technofetishistic Internet anarchist subculture, although he was quite fond of stating that he had never declared himself such. Anonymous attacked financial institutions that blockaded donations to WikiLeaks with the use of a Voluntary Denial of Service, which they likened to a virtual sit-in. WikiLeaks also enlisted Anonymous in hacking and publishing documents from Stratfor, an intelligence publication they misrepresented as a “Shadow CIA,” part of the fake operation #Antisec, which was headed by the recently-converted federal agent, Hector Monsegur Xavier, aka, Sabu. Brown viciously defended Sabu from accusations of being a federal agent.
Brown was indicted for cooperating with Anonymous in an attack on HBGary, a defense contractor which engineered Weaponized Social Media, a form of propaganda in which thousands of fake online personas were used to influence public opinion. He was also indicted and raided by police for retweeting [spreading] sensitive identity information of Stratfor employees. Brown was alerted to the raid ahead of time, by Sabu, and hid his laptop in his mother’s dishwasher. Agent Smith, having been tipped off by Sabu, found the laptop in the dishwasher and seized all of Brown’s computers, which contained the only copies of his pending book on Anonymous. Brown’s writing quickly degenerated into paranoid babble as he intravenously injected suboxone, a liquid oral medication prescribed for heroin withdrawal. In a series of YouTube videos released on September 11, 2011, Brown orated majestically from his apartment balcony and declared war on the children of Agent Smith. He was arrested hours later.
Andrew Auernheimer, known to the internet as Weev, was credited with popularizing the gaping asshole image “Goatse,” perhaps the most important staple of Internet shock humor. Weev enjoyed spouting racism and hate speech just to offend but was also a proficient coder and adept hacker. He was most proud of hacks which took the least amount of work, and often spoke of creating impossibly powerful characters in a Multi-User Dungeon game by entering negative numbers for character attributes. In an even simpler hack, Weev unearthed the personal information of millions of iPhone users and released this information to Internet tabloid Gawker. Weev was indicted and after several hearings requested to be incarcerated for the maximum possible time, saying, “You people should be ashamed of yourselves.” As he reached for his iPad, sheriffs tackled him to the ground and handcuffed him. Friends in the courtroom chanted “cocks,” and over 30 people were ejected from the proceedings.
“Aaron Socio”, a self-proclaimed prophet who proselytized pacifism and monism to Anonymous-identifying individuals on the internet, traveled across the United States living in a Winnebago. Socio purchased a persona management network from hackers in Argentina modeled after HBGary and used this to promote his religious teachings. After influencing a powerful brain-injured savant within Anonymous, Aaron Bale, Socio built a team of elite coders headed by Bale who created the ALIO mind virus, a much-improved version of HBGary’s persona management. This system was built upon a botnet, an illegal cloud computer which was programmed to generate its own fake user profiles. These profiles were guided by Socio’s Dehegemonic algorithm and intended to push humanity towards world peace.
Despite successful deployment of this sophisticated software system on December 21st, 2012, Socio became distraught that the world had not transformed as quickly as he had hoped. Just one week after ALIO’s release, Socio sped down a highway in Missouri, pushing his Winnebago to the absolute limit. Missouri state troopers made chase for two and half hours at speeds of up to 90 miles per hour, and finally the radiator of the motor-home exploded, disabling the vehicle, which veered into the median and rolled onto its back. The irate redneck cops in Missouri worked Socio over brutally, and during this beating, Socio revealed the details of his Anonymous operation. Not believing Socio, the police charged him with terroristic threats anyway, along with reckless driving and evading arrest.
Hi, I’m Jim Ficks and this is Wal-Mart. At Wal-Mart, we cheer every morning, working ourselves up into a ravenous furor in the name of the great one and only, the provider, the destroyer – Wal-Mart of America. I’m Jim Ficks, and I have a job now. You Don’t. I’m Jim Ficks. My job is to rally employees working for $8 an hour, to rally together and “cheer” on our company name as audaciously as though they were speaking the unspeakable name of Yahweh himself.
Oh, HA HA. Don’t kid yourself! The Wal-Mart cheer not your typical high school cheer. At Wal-Mart, our morning cheers are actually the wailing song of abandoned hope, tinged with self-hatred the likes of which you never knew existed. That is, until our corporate overseer stated, in a company newsletter, that every morning from now until the end of human civilization will begin with a light-hearted climaxing chant, grow to a dull pulsing roar, and finally explode into a fireball of frenzied rage. Sweet, profit-maximizing rage. Don’t just watch – but focus – as the bald one they call “Joey” bristles with tension before snapping free from his hate-filled fervor, ready to seize the day like the throat of his enemy. Ready for blood, ready to stock shelves.
YOU LIKE THAT, YEAH YOU LIKE THAT DON’T YOU WAL-MART
WE HATE NIGGERS FOR YOU, WAL-MART. WE HATE OURSELVES. WE JUST WANNA COME IN THERE AND BUY YOU $2.15 CORN DOGS WAL-MART. WE NEED YOUR NITRATES IN OUR TOXIC BODIES TO MAINTAIN EQUILIBRIUM, WAL-MART, LEST WE TIP THE BALANCE OF HATE IN THE DEVIL’S HONOR. DACTARAI!!!!! FOR YOUR LOVE, MINE PRINCE OF PURITY. FOR YOUR PROFIT! Erodium Purus Nosferatu! MY PALE, FLUSHED FACE WAL-MART IT BURNS WITH SODIUM IODIDE, WAL-MART. WWWWWAAAAAAAAALLLL-MAAAARRRRRRRT!
NEW YORK — The release of a Justice Department inspector general report Tuesday is driving department flunkee and Pajamas Media blogger J. Christian Adams into the journalistic echelon of Nellie Bly and Upton Sinclair. Tom Perez, head of the Civil Rights Division and Obama pick for labor secretary, is actually a vehemently anti-white racist; Adams has blown the whole thing wide open, and the Beltway is panicking.
In April Adams picked up the Stormfront Kiss of Death Life endorsement after calling out the affirmative action anti-white conspiracy. Stormfront poster HeartOfLeonidas remarked that Adams’ view was “common sense,” adding:
It is sad that North America has fallen from grace and is overburdened with such a dense population of swarthy, seething, angry and jealous as sin non-whites. I blame the jews and their white libtarded and christarded co-conspirators for horribly dysgenic effect their minldessness [sic] and moralitylessness has allowed to spawn and setup [sic] residence in this formerly fair Nation over these last 100 years.
J. Christian Adams had this to say about Tom Perez:
In the report, Assistant Attorney General Tom Perez . . . makes clear that he doesn’t think Section 5 should ever be used to protect a white minority in covered jurisdictions.
Perez feels it should only be used to prop up the political position of “people of color.” If the victims of discrimination happen to be white, too bad — they are not protected.
The inspector general reports marks Adams’ entrance into the wacky and wonderful world of Daily Currant/Onion punking reporting, as Perez made no such reference to “people of color” in the entire document. It’s an entirely made-up quote from the report, and that’s pretty avant-garde.
Adams at one point in his post said he believed Perez thought “people of color are always part of a ‘disadvantaged group’” before Adams contradicts himself only 14 words later: “DOJ Voting Section lawyers employed Perez’s logic to argue against helping white victims of discrimination in Macon, Mississippi, saying: ‘Until blacks were socio-economically equal to whites in Mississippi (read: statistically) then whites should not be protected under the Voting Rights Act.’”
What Adams Thinks America Could Be Like When Perez and His Ilk “Always” Insist on Racial Enforcement of Voting Rights Act Section 5 (Photo: Getty)
So on one hand, according to Adams, Perez wants selective race-based enforcement of Voting Rights Act Section 5 “always,” even if black Americans were to become some kind of ultra-rich elite separatist set, all obsessed with inbreeding and private clubs. Then Adams admits that long before that point, white Americans would become protected by the Voting Rights Act.
Adams sees coming the middle of the 21st century, when white Americans will in fact become a statistical, if not financial, minority for the first time. He wants to be on the record for complaining early.
BIG BEAR, CALIF. — Chris Dorner shot and killed a police deputy in a gunfight outside a cabin in the Big Bear Lake area, where he is currently hiding. The cabin is on fire.
LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith asked news helicopters not to broadcast live reports because Dorner could use the footage to strategically battle police in real time.
Dorner released a tl;dr manifesto detailing plans to kill racist pigs and their families. The murder manifesto outlined his experiences as an unhinged police officer in a lockstep Hate regime, which Dorner claims never changed after the Rodney King beatings.
But instead got worse.
In the manifesto, Dorner calls on journalists to enact Freedom of Information Act requests verifying his claims.
At the beginning of the Dorner manhunt, LA police shot the living shit out of two brown women delivering newspapers. Their truck make, model, color and license plate did not match the description of Dorner’s.
From the Dorner Manifesto:
I’m not an aspiring rapper, I’m not a gang member, I’m not a dope dealer, I don’t have multiple babies momma’s. I am an American by choice, I am a son, I am a brother, I am a military service member, I am a man who has lost complete faith in the system, when the system betrayed, slandered, and libeled me. I lived a good life and though not a religious man I always stuck to my own personal code of ethics, ethos and always stuck to my shoreline and true North. I didn’t need the US Navy to instill Honor, Courage, and Commitment in me but I thank them for re-enforcing it. It’s in my DNA.
From 2/05 to 1/09 I saw some of the most vile things humans can inflict on others as a police officer in Los Angeles. Unfortunately, it wasn’t in the streets of LA. It was in the confounds of LAPD police stations and shops (cruisers). The enemy combatants in LA are not the citizens and suspects, it’s the police officers.
Terminating officers because they expose a culture of lying, racism (from the academy), and excessive use of force will immediately change. PSB can not police their own and that has been proven. The blue line will forever be severed and a cultural change will be implanted. You have awoken a sleeping giant.
I am here to change and make policy. The culture of LAPD versus the community and honest/good officers needs to and will change. I am here to correct and calibrate your morale compasses to true north.
Citizens/non-combatants, do not render medical aid to downed officers/enemy combatants. They would not do the same for you. They will let you bleed out just so they can brag to other officers that they had a 187 caper the other day and can’t wait to accrue the overtime in future court subpoenas. As they always say, “that’s the paramedics job…not mine”. Let the balance of loss of life take place. Sometimes a reset needs to occur.
If we’ve learned anything from this, it’s that: We’re ALL not Chris Dorner.
John Tiessen repeatedly accused my favorite literary character, Kurt Vonnegut’s Kilgore Trout, of child molestation. Mr. Tiessen also made overt threats of physical violence and nuisance litigation (accompanied by veiled threats of violence in the courthouse) towards this fictional character, whom I love, so I made this video with Mr. Tiessen’s “greatest hits.”
In one of these threat-laden pedo-accusation videos targeting Kilgore Trout, Mr. Tiessen received news of his uncle’s death. His telephone ringer was a police siren, and after a short eulogy, he returned to the overt threats and Kilgore Trout pedophilia-talk.
John Tiessen worshipped Barrett Brown and emulated his bathtub Tinychat wine session, substituting a glass of orange juice for Brown’s red wine. Immediately following the arrest of Barrett Brown, Tiessen threatened the CIA, FBI and DHS in a sweeping rebuke of authorities who are all afraid of the “big ol’ surprise [he] got waitin’ for ye.” Brown was arrested for threatening an FBI agent’s children on September 11.
The Anti-Leader’s handbook is a satirical work of fiction I authored parodying the type of people who like to preach to Anonymous.
I’ve received a lot of strange responses to this work, some more horrifying than others, but John Tiessen’s psychosis was definitely the most chilling. I made an agreement with John to end these kinds of activities, and months later he posted a defamatory comment to this glorious and infallible publication attacking the ethical hacking professor Sam Bowne — recently interviewed by my co-editor-in-chief Tyler Bass — with pedophilia accusations, simply because he disagreed with Bowne’s logical, cool-headed critique of Anonymous.
John Tiessen rose to fame within Anonymous by slandering the conservative “ex-military” hacker th3j35t3r, a “patriot” who temporarily shuts down violent Jihadist forums.
INTERNET — Well under 9.000 files (a paltry 4,000) representing the IP addresses, logins, and personal home addresses of small-time employees at local banks were allegedly released on Monday by “Anonymous” hackers. This information was posted on alabama.gov, along with a message claiming the data was obtained from the Federal Reserve. Some early reporting claims this information was posted on Pastebin.com. However, the only Pastebin link traded publicly by members of #OpLastResort contains only the insane rants of Aaron Bale. Anonymous also repeated the claim that they have long-term footholds in government computer systems. This release was coordinated with cooperation from advocacy journalist “Violet Blue,” perhaps to beat more skeptical coverage to the punch.
We support your narrative because it is ours. Now that is quality reporting!
“The hacktivist entity dropped enough technical details to make it clear that its tracks were covered and that Anonymous still had access to .gov websites,” said Violet Blue’s article published on ZDNET. Exemplary of what not to do when covering statements issued by hacking groups, the mere mention of “technical details” has reinforced an extraordinary narrative. Certainly these profoundly extraordinary claims from Anonymous require extraordinary evidence. However, this evidence is not mentioned or cited in any depth beyond this short sentence, dangling on its own mere absurd assertion. Even more, it is a dangerous and apparently unfounded endorsement of a terroristic threat designed to drain the government of resources.
This action has drawn strong comparisons to a past Anonymous operation manufactured by federal agents. “Anonymous,” led by FBI agent Sabu, hacked the open-source intelligence publication Stratfor, mischaracterizing it as a “Shadow CIA.” Using this information on Christmas eve, Sabu led “Anonymous” to target low-level journalists, raiding their bank accounts to make donations that would later be returned to the journalists after the charities were penalized.
Investigators at Chronicle.SU have been unable to find any proof that the information on 4,000 bank employees exists, as the alabama.gov website on which it was allegedly posted has since been taken offline. However, Violet Blue has reported on it (citing broken hyperlinks to alabama.gov), so therefore it must be true. Aaron Bale, spokesperson for the operation, refused to provide a link to the information for Chronicle.SU, accusing the glorious and infallible publication of cooperation with the US government, “[N]o one knows what [yo]ur talking about. At least sabu was lulzy and relevant. Fed money doesn’t buy what it used to.”
Chronicle.SU is wholly owned and operated by Lebal Drocer, Inc., a subsidiary of the United Soviet Socialist Democratic Republic of Cuthbert, Georgia, a sovereign entity and economic powerhouse leading the South to Rise Again in the name of its Dear Islamic Leader, the Loyal and Moral Raghubir Goyal.
Two weeks until you’re either drinking wine, snuggling (or worse) with your loved one; or cowering in fear as the NullCrew‘s latest SQL injection information is dropped for all the world to see . . . or at least a couple of hundred people.
As the “Doomsday File” craze hits the Web with fury, following in the footsteps of the great Anonymous leader Aaron Bale, NullCrew raises the bar once again with levied threats against the Pentagon, they say in a recent interview at E Hacking News. They elaborate:
Our next big release will be on Febuary 14th, yes, yes; VALENTINES DAY! It’ll be the official release of #FuckTheSystem valentines day, and one target I will tell you is the pentagon.
But our next single release will be a multipul target release, on United States government servers; retaliating against #OperationFastAndFurious. How many more need to die, from weapons the government is putting into criminal’s hands?”
With elite hacker friends like these, who needs Anonymous? These folks will hack the Pentagon and get away with it, scot- free . . . or so they think. Field reporter, ethical researcher and all-around swell guy doxbin has accrued enough information to note that the majority of the members is located within the friendly confines of Canada, a well known bastion for hackers/freedom fighters everywhere.
Or is it really?
In a previous exposé, Internet Chronicle resident Anonymous expert Kilgoar reported PLF (Peoples Liberation Front) leader and Anonymous figurehead Commander X is in fact a Homeland Security Department plant who resides in Canada after “escaping” the clutches of the “Fids.” So why Canada? We spoke with Aaron Bale about this and he believes it to be a psy-op, perpetuated by Cyber Command in conjunction with the CIA, which cannot operate on domestic soil. Essentially, NullCrew is trying to kill Mr. Bale.
It’s the only plausible answer.
Technology reporter and reigning King of the Ring™ Champion, Danny, had a chance to catch up with ShaggyTheAngel, Anonymous co-leader, voxanon ircop and owner of freeanons.info to ask him about the NullCrew’s latest threats and how Anonymous might be able to one-up them:
(5:19:17 PM) [email protected]: you want the keys?
(5:19:22 PM) Danny the King of Tommy Hillnigger: not rly
(5:19:42 PM) [email protected]: because those are real warheads man
(5:19:45 PM) Danny the King of Tommy Hillnigger: idc
(5:20:00 PM) [email protected]: you know where theay are aimed?
(5:20:04 PM) Danny the King of Tommy Hillnigger: idc
(5:20:05 PM) [email protected]: Which one is going where?
(5:20:07 PM) Danny the King of Tommy Hillnigger: idc
(5:20:15 PM) [email protected]: NYC
(5:20:17 PM) [email protected]: DC
(5:20:18 PM) Danny the King of Tommy Hillnigger: cool story
(5:20:23 PM) [email protected]: and nevada
(5:20:26 PM) Danny the King of Tommy Hillnigger: rofl
(5:20:29 PM) Danny the King of Tommy Hillnigger: nevada
(5:20:34 PM) [email protected]: navada
(5:20:47 PM) [email protected]: I can code java but spelling is off
(5:20:52 PM) [email protected]: go figure huh?
(5:21:12 PM) Danny the King of Tommy Hillnigger: im reporting you for
(5:21:25 PM) [email protected]: oh so now you are scared
(5:21:30 PM) Danny the King of Tommy Hillnigger: not rly idc”
It’s clear to this intrepid reporter that there is a civil war amongst rival hacker gangs a’brewin’, and we may all pay the price. Soon.
All that really needs to be said about this group of the worlds greatest hackers/Psy-op commandos, NullCrew, can be summed up by a quote from them at the beginning of the E Hacking News interview:
These servers are a part of the system, a system which is ran by
corrupt rich assholes. They mostly use their money for themself,
No donations to the people who need the money, and if they do; it’s just
so people look at them in a kinder way, only for publicity.
wisc.edu Became a target when they commited [sic] Animal Cruelty.
You may be asking yourself: What does the Caturday at University of Wisconsin have to do with taking down “rich assholes?” The answer lies in an obscure yet poignant quote from current Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Michael Vick, as years ago he was being dragged out of the Mississippi Bulldogs locker-room (later being charged with disorderly conduct): “I’d do it all again if it wasn’t for that meddling NullCrew!”
Much ado has been made persecuting compassionate and considerate member of the online family Andrew Auernheimer, a playful jokester who has brought delight to the faces of millions of Internet users. Monocultural chauvinists in federal law enforcement have run wild with accusations of “computer fraud,” while confused fellow “leftists” like Raw Story Editor Emeritus Ron Brynaert have smeared Andrew with vile accusations of sexism and near-genocidal racism. All of these accusations are the exact opposite of all of Andrew Auernheimer’s opinions.
I have worked throughout my life not only for the cause of LGBTQIA rights (or QLIBTGA — there need not be any order!) but for the welfare of individuals on barest public subsistence. To me, the Stonewall Riots seem like they were only yesterday, even though my parents birthed me right as the New Deal gave hope for the first time to masses of retired individuals. I can tell you with complete certainty that the loveable Mr. Auernheimer has no predilections against people of color, against sex workers, or anyone in the greater Semitic family. By citing with pseudo-pride his European heritage, Andrew is only ironically referring us to that continent’s relatively generous and effective social safety nets.
With a wink and a smile, Andrew’s latest blog post is letting us all know that he is with us in the Great Fight against Ignorance, and that by pretending to be some sort of brown-eyed, ginger Nazi he is with us on the picket lines for the long haul. He starts off with his usual tongue-in-cheek smirk:
Several people asked if I’d go see “The Hobbit” with them. I declined in a rather cruel fashion.
See? There he goes again, letting us know explicitly that his tone is cruel. While normally I’d decline to agree with the heartless, hard-nosed associates of Forbes magazine, their take on Andrew’s humor as being intentional and sarcastic in its offensiveness is right on.
Calm down, Time’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt. Old Andrew knows the score. He’ll be with us — next to our engineer sisters with signs — the next time former Harvard President Lawrence Summers tries to tell women they’re stupid, obsequious domestic playthings.
Andrew has done as much to promote multiculturalism as Auburn University’s own Alan Gribben, when the latter published the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn NewSouth Edition, effectively cleansing the book of its pro-white, pro-death code words.
Before taking us into his snarky, actually anti-Nazi diatribe against Hollywood’s latest money-grubbing snatch into theatergoers’ pockets, Andrew claims to be for some sort of unrealistically self-sufficient Nordic life ethic. Then — and this is the really brilliant part — the satirist comes out against barest government provision for working families. To this end, he cites the original end to J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Return of the King.
In Tolkien’s version, the hobbits of the fellowship return to the Shire only to see it taken over by a snide old wizard controlling a horde of half-orcs. The hobbits do the only sensible thing that one would do when finding ones hometown infested by section 8 housing full of parasitic thugs, rapists and murderers: start a pogrom.
Did you see that? By playing on pop culture stereotypes of African-Americans as mindless killing, force-copulating machines, Andrew has held the Stormfront set slime up to the disinfectant of sunshine. Usually those Christian Identity losers are just able to keep to reinforcing each other somewhere in flyover country, or via their teledildonic message board activity.
Let me give you another example: The Tortoise and the Hare. I’m sure you were read it as a child. It always seemed to me to be an idiotic story to encourage people to slave away endlessly for a statistically impossible hope that they are somehow getting ahead.
When I finally read the real story, I knew hundreds of millions of children were being robbed.
Europe rose to power with children being read the Brothers Grimm classic, “The Hare and the Hedgehog.”
If my decades-long “Mirror Has Two Faces” marriage to acclaimed fellow feminist Andrea Dworkin taught me anything, it was how to use literary analysis to determine within seconds which males of white, Protestant descent were bigots. Through his brilliant satire — daresay his innumerable contributions to the computing community, for which he has been endlessly persecuted by our government — blessed Andrew is his generation’s Bayard Rustin, Harvey Milk and Larry Kramer, all rolled into one!
The Tortoise and the Hare actually outdates the 19th century Grimm brothers tale by thousands of years. The former tale’s place in the foundation of Old Europe, which And-and calls “the most precious thing that I hold within me,” is actually far deeper. Andrew knows well that the Tortoise story’s Greek origins place it at the crossroads of democracy’s very founding. While the Grimm tale is meant to encourage young men to put women in “their place” and to marry women who look as much like them as possible, modern anthropological biologists and Andrew understand that intelligence quotients tend to be higher in the offspring of interracial couplings. This neo-Puck has extended his hand across from the hilltops of Appalachia straight to his brothers, sisters and intersex individuals at the tippitiest-top of the ivory tower.
His wink comes when he cites the story of Prometheus, who like Aesop’s tortoise is of Greek origin. Therein Andrew’s mission to open our eyes and hearts to the plights of LGBTQIA individuals and those of color blossoms into full view. “Promethian flame is being replaced with politically corrected filth,” he writes.
So it’s with a palm to my chin, and a high-cheeked grin that I call off the misguided, if well-meaning, attack dogs at the Southern Poverty Law Center, Human Rights Campaign and Anti-Defamation League who have unfairly maligned Andrew Auernheimer. My friends, you owe him an apology. Were my lifelong friend Andrea alive, I’m sure she would wholeheartedly agree. God bless.
Massachusetts District U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz (Courtesy: Wikipedia)
WASHINGTON — In a not-so-stirring defense of academic conglomerate JSTOR, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said of Aaron Swartz‘s offenses, “Stealing is stealing whether you use a computer command or a crowbar, and whether you take documents, data or dollars. It is equally harmful to the victim whether you sell what you have stolen or give it away.” While common sense and lore would tend to at least lend more sympathy to Robin Hood- or Jean Valjean-type characters, who might be at least functioning out of some concern for others, Ms. Ortiz remained steadfast in her pursuit of recent “an Hero” Mr. Swartz, trying to see him put in jail for potentially the rest of his life.
Over at WhoWhatWhy Christian Stork does a nice little breakdown of this U.S. attorney’s wading into murky waters of civil asset forfeiture, one particular case in which she agreed to help confiscate a rundown, mom-and-pop Massachusetts motel because because “from 2001 to 2008, .05 [percent of at least 125,000 visitors] were arrested for drug crimes on the property.” This was a theft just like Aaron Swartz’s. Except not it was not a theft in the high-minded name of educating the world’s downtrodden, but in that of fattening the pockets of law enforcement agencies, treating poor drug abusers as criminals, alongside those who might dare house them.
Mr. Stork paints a disturbing picture of a civil asset forfeiture system in which being in debt vis-a-vis a mortgage — meaning that a bank, and its lawyers, has some has some skin in the game — means that the owners of this motel would have been in an even better position to disavow their affiliation with three handfuls of guest drug offenses. But alas they ran out of lawyer money, and the government all at once took five decades of family property worth $1.5 million.
Mr. Stork also outlines a direct financial, not an external ethical, motive for law enforcement to take on these kinds of civil asset forfeitures. He cites the testimony of a DEA agent claiming that federal attorneys never go after anything with less than $50,000 in equity. Additionally, local law enforcement, for cooperating with the feds, can look to take home up to 80 percent of what was seized. That’s a major incentive to turn a blind eye to a violation of property rights. In fact it’s more of an incentive to turn a blind eye to property-rights violations than the Pirate Party ever had: It’s money straight to the bank!
The same prosecutor, Carmen Ortiz, who sought to lock up Aaron Swartz for his failure to respect property rights of the proprietors of academic information also sought to seize a family’s business because an extreme minority of their clientele used drugs. Mr. Stork’s article makes clear that this was ultimately the DEA’s initiative, with Ms. Ortiz simply acting as its lawyer. But that doesn’t change that this U.S. attorney lacks any consistency in her modus operandi. It’s pretty obvious that the low rates for staying at this establishment, Motel Caswell, made it an even more tempting target.
Ms. Ortiz’s office released a statement about the seizure, saying: “The government believed that this was an important case . . . because of the deterrent message it sends to others who may turn a blind eye to crime occurring at their place of business.” But Mr. Stork shows this is shmoax because local crime rates dictate that there would have been just as much of a rationale for seizing nearby Walmart, Home Depot, Applebees, Motel 6 and IHOP. But those are large businesses, and no matter how many people shoot up or each other inside, they’ll have the lawyers to keep the whomever or the DEA at bay.