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Sunday, January 13, 2013

Death of a smart kid

We didn't know who Aaron Swartz was until he killed himself the other day. But his death, like many things he did, has prompted a passionate discussion about technology, freedom of information, and criminal justice. Probably the best thing to do to honor the young man's memory is to read up.

Comments (23)

While this young man's death could have been a suicide, I wouldn't state that as a fact. Nor would I assume the reason he was being prosecuted so heavily had to do with the details of the case.

The little I've learned of his life, from reading articles last night, suggests that he was a force - a political force. In other words, he was a threat to the powers-that-be. Perhaps they decided the trial would only make him a bigger folk hero so it was better to kill him now, and set an example to everyone else. Maybe they just didn't want to give him a platform to share what he knew.

Am I being too suspicious here? I think one turning point for me was the DC Madam who repeatedly went on record to say she was not going to kill herself, so if she turned up dead before her trial, it was not a suicide. There were a lot of powerful people in Washington who had no interest in that case making to court. Follow how ABC News reported about it, before deciding to scrub the story. Strings were being pulled behind the scenes - it was obvious. Of course, after the DC Madam was found hanged, the media did report that she had decided she just couldn't go on - that she was too depressed about her upcoming trial. Does that sound familiar?

Maybe we need a new phrase. "Apparent suicide" doesn't say it strongly enough. If there are any reasons why a death was convenient and timely for some group, maybe we should start with "suspicious suicide" and work from there.

A sad loss. You may believe that Three (Six) Days of the Condor is pure fiction and that no one ever stumbled onto something... and needed to be silenced. And that every tinfoil-hat theory should be summarily dismissed. But two quotes come to my mind. But it is too early in the day to be quoting Nietzsche and Baudelaire.

The irrationality of a thing is no argument against its existence, rather a condition of it.

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

I’m pretty sure most suicides, especially involving persons of any notoriety, are always treated as suspicious. Police departments have learned over the long haul that leaving open questions will keep them working conspiracy angles costing an infinite amount of manpower and money. That’s not to say that a well orchestrated conspiracy couldn’t be so large that it includes every possible responder (think Mary Jo Kopechne). More likely however is that it happened because he felt psychological pain so severe and unbearable that he believed it could only be stopped if he died. Now we owe it ourselves to see if that pain was brought about on his own, or from the weight of an over zealous prosecutor.

Suicide is more common than people realize. Most are never reported as such.

My reading is that he was persecuted to death. My wondering is whether any of those responsible has the wee-est twinge of a misgiving about any of that.

My guess is not.

Sometimes you rock the boat and the law and order types get miffed. After that you are screwed.

Overzealous prosecutors. He downloaded free scholarly journals that he had a right to as a guest of the university and faces 35 years and millions in fines.

Meanwhile there's a four-time rapist walking free in the streets of Portland.

I think we're missing the point here. There was an attempt by the government to take control of the Internet by using any copyright violations it found on a site, to shut off that entire site. This would have been easily done. As Aaron Swartz pointed out, even Senator Hatch's site had some copyrighted code on it and could have been placed off limits by the bill. In other words, this wasn't to protect copyrights - it was too censor the Net with government oversight.

It's one thing to go after copyrighted material and get that removed, but to use it as an excuse to make a list of sites that are no longer available, goes to the heart of Internet freedom, and by extension our freedom to connect with one another as citizens.

The Internet is a threat to politicians and others in power and they want to control it, just as they control the message in the corporate media. The problem with the Internet for them is that it is based on freedom, rather than the control of tyrants. The federal government has tried and will continue to work to get the Internet out of the freedom business. Just wait.

When the bill showed up, this young man started an online petition that grew to a movement that stopped the bill and its later versions. Incidentally, Ron Wyden played a role. Then the public outcry grew so great that most politicians flipped and the bill died.

In other words, the young man was a hero. And I'm not surprised they went after him.

Another reason why the US is falling behind in education, innovation, and technology.


When someone is murdered and then arranged in such a way to make the death seem like a suicide. the victim may also be forced to take his own life so that the real culprit leaves little to no evidence of wrongdoing. authorities rule the cause of death to be a plain old suicide which often means that no investigation is preformed.


Interesting that in the first nine comments above, the words: "Obama", "Holder" and "Obama administration" are not mentioned.

Would that have been the case if this tragic event had happened ten years ago, and the comments omitted were the words: "Bush", "Ashcroft", "Gonzales" and "Bush administration"?

The hypocritical response is both national and local. Maybe it truly was Bush's fault!

I think they were just waiting for you.

Yes, that and the comments in Allan's link covered it well. Why repeat?

And they wonder why we want guns.

"And they wonder why we want guns."

To commit suicide without having to hang oneself?


Some of these comments are just agendas exploiting a tragedy. Yours -- for sure.

Useful link about real origin of RSS:

His is the only RSS I have in my google reader. Give credit where credit is due.

So. Very. Sad.

So......a prosecutor really can indite a ham sandwich.

Bill, I first thought your tin foil helmet might be askew, but after reading more about this now I am not so sure you may be right.

He knew what he was doing was felonious. He did it anyway. He got caught. He knew the job was dangerous when he took it. Why infantilize the corpse with victimhood?

As he was keen on public exposure why did he not go very loud and public with his "persecution"? The trial could have generated attention to perceived iniquitous governmental practices and ambitions.

The full light of day would have shown brighter had he not declined to take responsibility for his conduct.

Now, he is the subject of pity and the springboard for emotionally overwrought anxiety driven strife borne legal pursuits. Where'd that get us after 911?

No, he was not so bright after all.

However, it is a bright postmortem tack by family and lawyers. Good luck.

I just saw a picture of the young man and I teared up. He was young, with a gentle expression on his face. Creating Reddit as a teen? What a blessing he was- who knows what he could have done with the rest of his life.

I hope the federal prosecutors feel horrible
about what happened- I hope they are sentenced to a lifetime of remorse and maybe a career change where they use their JDs for good not evil.

Gangsters can handle jail but that gentle
MIT student- he'd have to be in protective custody within the jail. Real criminals would have abused him in jail
the minute the guard turned his back.

Federal prosecutors feel guilt? Surely you jest. On the contrary, they'll get accolades and promotions for having resolved the case without the expense of a trial. The fact that the resolution was a suicide is merely incidental to them.

This shows an aspect of 'celebrity' (powerlust-holders? charisma-mongers?) which seems commonplace but that no one notices - like: 'they' are oversexed.
Which is not to say 'perverted' or, at least, not to say it directly because it isn't quite true first of all, and secondly, that designation obscures or distracts from seeing something more fundamental going on. Which is, fundamentally: hormone levels. Now it simply is a fact, and everyone can think of examples they know firsthand, that people have different hormone levels. And, wow, when you are in the presence of charisma you can feel it, it is palpable, it is real.
And (some) people who have it, exploit it.
Now, we should agree that Power is a substantive matter, that there is a concrete 'entity' or 'phenomenon' that is Power.
Same way for Sex and Money; these are the Big Three -- money, sex, power -- and these are substantive matters, these are concrete 'entities' or 'phenomena'.

There are three primary neurotransmitters -- dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine. Too much of one 'makes' a person, (affects behavior), Sex crazed or Sex lust-urged. Too much of another one 'makes' a person Money crazed or Money lust-urged. Too much of the third one 'makes' a person Power crazed or Power lust-urged. Draw a line connecting each neurotransmitter to its appropriate related category of (natural, primal) behavior ... is an exercise left for the student.
Now, there is some discussion of the definition of "too much." Really, proper consideration is to take into account 'balance' and 'out-of-balance' (parity, or not, among the three), rather than the absolute 'amounts' of them.

But it turns out that mostly those who have 'much' of one also have 'much' of the other two, too. So we see 'famous' people (rich?) and 'leading' politicians (power-holders?) all the time getting in sexual pecadillos. Take Goldschmidt, for example, but examples are everyday, politicians 'caught' in a 'honey-pot sting' with their sexuality hanging out. Take Sarah Palin lying about pregnancy, for example. Let's not go into many examples, OK? Just next time (tomorrow?) you hear about a (political) power-broker being in a sexually compromising situation, think to yourself 'there's another one, like it's par for the course.' Think similarly when it's a (rich? glamorous?) Hollywood-type 'celebrity.'
There's a gray area between 'prowess' and 'perversion', whether you're talking about Sexual prowess, Money prowess, or Power prowess. (in behavioral ways)

So, look, maybe every LARGE 'public figure' you know (of money or power) has a sexual nature (in proportion?) which is considered notpublic ... yet totally expected, but everyone claims they didn't expect it. It's commonplace. And nobody notices it.

Anyway, what Bill said. For example, the DC Madam had the sex lowdown on everyone who's anyone in politics. She did not commit suicide. She was 'suicided.' It's a highly potent milieu, inside the Beltway. Here's news you've heard, but take another look: What was Guckert (male prostitute) staying overnightS in the Bush White House for? Obama is a card-carrying member of Man Country, Chicago's premier gay club; there's a published book by a gay prostitute who tells how he 'knows' Obama. Why do people doubt reports saying such stuff goes on, while it goes on all the time?

And once you notice the pattern, (I really think since it is so age-old and consistent that it must be based in biology), you start to look for it and read it into the blank space 'between the lines' and in the nature of the things left unsaid that the 'news' doesn't report.
And that's what I read in what Bill is saying.

So now get this: Aaron Swartz was obtaining computer files at a site with stored material(s) from and by some MIT poobahs who (partly) sponsor (funding) an orphanage in Cambodia where 'orphan' boys have been procured (and transported) and disposited for political muckymucks in WashDC and elsewhere even in international circles. Do you see what I'm saying?

Here's the credible source I read of it just today:

January 14-15, 2013 -- ON-TOPIC DAILY FORUM

Wayne Madsen (Washington)
On November 4, 2008, WMR reported: "WMR learned during our recent trip to Asia that Cambodia's top police official recently tapped on the shoulder one influential American who supports local orphanages that he is no longer welcome in Cambodia. Pressure was brought to bear on the notoriously-corrupt Cambodian police by Norodom Monineath Sihanouk, the Cambodian Mother and wife of ex-King Norodom Sihanouk. An orphanage once financially supported by the American in question was used to procure children, mostly young boys between the ages of eight and fourteen, for sex parties in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital.

The US State Department has a major conflict of interest when it comes to child trafficking, whether in Cambodia, Chad, or elsewhere, particularly in Southeast Asia. Deputy Secretary of State and former Director of National Intelligence John Negroponte has a personal conflict of interest in the matter of the abuse of children in Southeast Asia, particularly Cambodia. In addition to his own personal conflict of interest, Negroponte has turned a blind eye to the involvement of senior US diplomats in the sexual abuse of children in Southeast and South Asia."

The Phnom Penh orphanage, complete with hi-speed comm links and cameras on computers, was partly funded by Nicholas Negroponte, head of MIT Media Labs. He is the brother of former US spy agencies chief John Negroponte. What databases had Aaron Swartz hacked into? JSTOR at MIT Media Labs. JSTOR and MIT declined pressing criminal charges against Swartz but the feds kept up the prosecution. Dollars to donuts that Swartz stumbled across more than academic papers on the mating habits of kangaroos at MIT Media Labs, especially in the video files. Suicide, sure it was!

Now, we often hear and sometimes say ourselves that so-and-so in political office is 'controlled' by powerful influential dark presences unseen offstage out of the spotlight in the shadows. But we hardly hear how 'control' works. The most prevalent method for such coercion or blackmail (influence) is having possession of recordings of private sex relations involving the public officeholder. See, the personal money riches is public knowledge. The personal power prowess is public knowledge. But personal sex is secret; knowing private secrets is the leverage of 'control' of public behavior. Let's acknowledge that Obama is bisexual, then ask what he would do to stay in his 'celebrity' position and keep his secret from getting out? Answer: A lot; there is a lot that he would do to avoid disclosure. And President Jefferson 'owned' slave women who mothered some of his progeny, right? you heard of it? Like, for one more example, the Mob had photos of J.Edgar Hoover wearing his transvestite pink tutu in a hotel room with his life partner ('personal secretary') taken in the 1930s and (subsequently) the FBI never 'investigated' or brought charges against organized crime or the Mob while Hoover remained Director. Never. Doesn't it seem like someone then, 1935-1972, was avoiding saying something that's fairly obvious to everyone? such as that the mafia are national criminals? Who knew.


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