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Tue Jan 15, 2013, 03:09 PM

While Department of Justice Let Financial Criminals Go Free, They Pursued Aaron Swartz to Death

While Department of Justice Let Financial Criminals Go Free, They Pursued Aaron Swartz to Death
By Mark Karlin
BuzzFlash at Truthout

Tuesday 15 January 2013

The status quo managerial elite – consisting of the political and financial masters of the universe – cannot tolerate progressive advocacy that threatens to redistribute power or wealth. That is why police across the nation were instructed to crush the Occupy Movement, to pummel it into dust as a public occupation of space – and more importantly to remove its message of grassroots power and wealth redistribution from the headlines of the media.

Those in the driver's seat of the nation fear empowering activism such as Occupy, as if it were a virulent contagion that might rapidly spread across the population and infect the public with "dangerous" ideas of financial and political justice.

Last week, BuzzFlash at Truthout yet again chastised the Department of Justice (DOJ) for giving a get out of jail free card to the moneyed elite. But that applies to the political elite too, who generally are not prosecuted for war crimes, torture, etc. Those in power protect those in power.

But the DOJ appears to have limitless resources to pursue Internet transparency activists such as Aaron Swartz, who committed suicide the other day at the age of 26. The pursuit only stopped with death, as the DOJ, according to The Hill, formally dropped the charges that appeared to be the precipitating factor in Swartz's taking his own life (in what appears to have been a valley of personal depression)...

The rest: http://truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/17749-while-department-of-justice-lets-financial-criminals-go-free-they-pursued-aaron-swartz-to-death

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Arrow 34 replies Author Time Post
Reply While Department of Justice Let Financial Criminals Go Free, They Pursued Aaron Swartz to Death (Original post)
WilliamPitt Jan 2013 OP
GeorgeGist Jan 2013 #1
msongs Jan 2013 #2
MannyGoldstein Jan 2013 #3
EOTE Jan 2013 #5
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #11
EOTE Jan 2013 #13
rhett o rick Jan 2013 #14
EOTE Jan 2013 #18
Guy Whitey Corngood Jan 2013 #15
Autumn Jan 2013 #31
Scuba Jan 2013 #4
frazzled Jan 2013 #6
randome Jan 2013 #10
msanthrope Jan 2013 #20
randome Jan 2013 #28
msanthrope Jan 2013 #30
JDPriestly Jan 2013 #32
dotymed Jan 2013 #33
Vinnie From Indy Jan 2013 #7
Solly Mack Jan 2013 #8
RainDog Jan 2013 #9
MindMover Jan 2013 #12
MotherPetrie Jan 2013 #16
msanthrope Jan 2013 #17
Agony Jan 2013 #19
veganlush Jan 2013 #21
Rex Jan 2013 #22
coalition_unwilling Jan 2013 #23
Oilwellian Jan 2013 #24
WilliamPitt Jan 2013 #27
CanonRay Jan 2013 #25
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #26
arthritisR_US Jan 2013 #29
bigtree Jan 2013 #34

Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 03:13 PM

1. Eric Holder sets the tone.

Bank stocks are up.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 03:16 PM

2. the bush agenda marches on, under new management nt

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 03:18 PM

3. Not sympathetic. Swartz did something he should not have

unless he had the ready cash to avoid prosecution.

Regards,

Third-Way Manny

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 03:21 PM

5. What did he do, exactly?

Other than downloading large amounts of documents that he had legal access to? That's deserving of the ruthless and relentless hounding and facing of many years in jail? How is that not sick?

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Response to EOTE (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 04:12 PM

11. Exactly.It really doesnt matter if you act legally or not if that action puts the elites in peril.nm

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #11)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 04:26 PM

13. It's a crying shame. I saw Chris Hayes' tribute to Swartz, it nearly brought me to tears.

It sickens me to think of how many more things like this are going on that I have no idea of.

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Response to EOTE (Reply #13)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 04:34 PM

14. I believe that "harassment to suicide" is a specific technique to close investigations.

Remember Bruce E. Ivins who was one of the nation's top bio-defense researchers that died in Maryland from an apparent suicide, just as the Justice Department was about to file criminal charges against him in the anthrax mailing assaults of 2001 that killed five. He was harassed for years. No trial, no dirty laundry get exposed.

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Response to rhett o rick (Reply #14)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 04:50 PM

18. I never thought about that before, but it makes a lot of sense.

I also followed the trial of Dr. Ivins, was horrified at his treatment and utterly convinced of his innocence. I never thought that such treatment would be systemic, but I'm beginning to think better. The priorities of our DoJ in this country are abhorrent. Truly disgusting.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 04:36 PM

15. I agree with your very sensible position. nt

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #3)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:22 PM

31. I see what you did there. I bow to your wisdom

and wit.Well done.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 03:18 PM

4. Department of Injustice.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 03:27 PM

6. Are we equally unfairly prosecuting the prosecutor?

There may be a certain amount of hyperbole in these accounts. According to yesterday's Boston Globe:

In the most recent plea negotiations, Swartz’s lawyer said Monday, the office of US Attorney Carmen Ortiz remained insistent on prison time of four to six months, far less than the 35 years and $1 million fine allowed under federal law but more than Swartz was willing to accept.

http://bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/01/14/mit-hacking-case-lawyer-says-aaron-swartz-was-offered-plea-deal-six-months-behind-bars/l8Cq70KJXNWwdKlF1V0yoJ/story.html


Lots of things probably entered into the suicide: his openly admitted bouts of depression, MIT's intransigence, etc. I'm not sure an offer of 4-6 months (in a case the latest defense attorney said they'd win) is generally cause for suicide. I don't think charges of prosecutorial harrassment should be met with harrassment of the prosecutors. There are a lot of things about this that bother me, but I won't go into them here. (Disclosure: I am neither a prosecutor nor a lawyer.)

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Response to frazzled (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 03:57 PM

10. Thanks for bringing that to light. It's important to know the truth no matter where it leads.

This is not meant as supporting the Department of Justice nor MIT. They should not have gone to the trouble of pursuing this.

But sometimes a confluence of events leads to tragedy.

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Response to randome (Reply #10)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 04:52 PM

20. My understanding is that Justice wanted no time, but MIT would not sign off on that--they wanted

some time, as a deterrent to other students. 4-6 months on a federal plea? Jeebus...they would have put him in Devens at the worst.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #20)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:09 PM

28. You may be right that there is more to this.

Swartz could have come out of this even more of an inspiration to the world. Whatever deep-rooted demons drove him to suicide were probably not known to anyone but himself.

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Response to randome (Reply #28)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:16 PM

30. I am wondering if the plea deal was contingent on him being available to testify. nt

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Response to randome (Reply #28)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 07:04 PM

32. Being a defendant in a criminal case is extremely stressful. It would have been

especially stressful for him because he stated that he believed he was doing the right thing.

What "deep-rooted demons" have driven our Justice Department to let the owners and CEOs of mortgage companies and the big Wall Street banks who brought our economy down with their greed, lawlessness and stupidity?

Seems to me we would do well to ask that of our Justice Department.

As I have said so many times on DU, our bankers kept giving loans, never alerting our leaders to the simple fact that housing prices were rising at rates far higher than wages or savings.

Bankers are responsible for the job they do.

If a truck-driver negligently runs into a car and kills a passenger, the truck-driver is held responsible. He will probably lose his job or be put on notice that he could lose his job, and he might even face criminal charges for manslaughter depending on the facts.

How is it possible that our Justice Department allows the same Wall Street CEOs whose "deep-rooted" greed brought down our economy to continue without even explaining to us what they did wrong? Why are they allowed to proceed? Why were they bailed out? Why are they still running our banks, mortgage companies (those that survived) and Wall Street?

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Response to JDPriestly (Reply #32)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 10:58 AM

33. Many of these CEO's

also wind up with cabinet level positions in "our" govt....

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 03:29 PM

7. HSBC banking executives were in business with drug lords for years

and have the blood of tens of thousands of murdered people on their hands. The DOJ cut these bankers a deal that only partially restricted their yearly bonuses and indicted not a one of them on criminal charges.

You can bet that not one major media outlet will ask the DOJ about why HSBC executives walk free and Swartz was hounded to his death.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 03:50 PM

8. K&R

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 03:53 PM

9. It's repulsive to see. n/t

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 04:41 PM

16. Don't you just love change!

 

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 04:45 PM

17. He committed suicide over a 4-6 month federal plea? 13 felonies, and the original

sentence rec by Justice was no time, but when MIT would not sign off on it, he was offered a 4-6 month plea?

I suspect there's more to what Mr. Swartz was eventually facing.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 04:52 PM

19. Securities and Exchange Commission

Securities Act of 1933

Often referred to as the "truth in securities" law, the Securities Act of 1933 has two basic objectives:

•require that investors receive financial and other significant information concerning securities being offered for public sale; and

•prohibit deceit, misrepresentations, and other fraud in the sale of securities.

Where IS the DOJ?

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 04:53 PM

21. He did wrong, but more importantly,

It's just wrong to assign blame for a suicide on those who enforce the laws

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:00 PM

22. It seems the plutocracy is firmly entrenched in the DOJ.

The DOJ wants to become an entity answerable to itself alone.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:00 PM

23. The surprise is that we are so

 

surprised. This is, after all, a nation where the 6 Walmart heirs control as much wealth between them as the bottom 30 million Americans combined. (Consider that stat for a moment. Savor it slowly for proof of how obscene Amerikkka has become.) Meanwhile, 1 in 5 American children lives in poverty and 1 in 6 experiences at least one episode per month of food insecurity (aka 'HUNGER').

This country may have once been mankind's 'last, best hope' back when A. Lincoln uttered the words in his 1862 Address to Congress. But I don't think anyone can seriously make that claim any longer.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:03 PM

24. The Judiciary was my last hope

Silly me.

Great piece, Will.

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Response to Oilwellian (Reply #24)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:08 PM

27. Not mine.

Mark Karlin.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:04 PM

25. I'll say it again

Eric Holder is the worst Attorney General ever appointed under a Democratic President. And, IMHO, worse than most appointed by Republicans.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:05 PM

26. kr. and it was because of his political activity.

 

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Tue Jan 15, 2013, 05:13 PM

29. The first I heard of his death this is just what came

to my mind! How freaking unjust the justice system is, they have blood on their hands. The thought of the fat cats walking free makes me sick.

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Response to WilliamPitt (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 11:06 AM

34. I thought I read where MIT wanted him to serve time as an example, and that Justice wanted no time

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