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Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:20 PM

Something Might Be ROTTEN In The Aaron Shwartz Case...

Was Aaron Swartz’ Effort to FOIA Bradley Manning’s Treatment Why DOJ Treated Him So Harshly?
Posted on January 18, 2013 by emptywheel

<snip>

As I mentioned earlier, John Cornyn asked Eric Holder whether Aaron Swartz was prosecuted because of his FOIAs.

Second, was the prosecution of Mr. Swartz in any way retaliation for his exercise of his rights as a citizen under the Freedom of Information Act? If so, I recommend that you refer the matter immediately to the Inspector General.


On December 23, 2010, David House blogged about the treatment Bradley Manning was being subjected to at Quantico (which has since been deemed illegal).

On December 27, Swartz asked for the following in FOIA from the Marine Corps:

Any records related to Bradley Manning or his confinement in Quantico Brig.

In particular, please process as quickly as possible a request for the government-curated audio tapes created in Quantico brig visitation room #2 on December 18 and December 19 2010 from 1:00pm – 3:00pm. These tapes may also contain a recording of David M. House; I have permission from David House under the Privacy Act to request these records.


The timeline that ensued is below, with other significant dates included...

December 23, 2010: David House blogs about Manning’s treatment, effectively fact-checking DOD’s claims.

December 27, 2010: Swartz FOIAs the recording of House’s visit to Manning, which would have captured Manning describing in his own words how he was being treated.

December 29, 2010: Initial response on Manning brig FOIA.

January 4, 2011: MIT finds Swartz’ computer. Secret Service takes over the investigation.

January 6, 2011: Swartz arrested.

January 7, 2011: Twitter administrative subpoena to several WikiLeaks team members revealed.

January 17, 2011: Protest outside of Quantico for Manning.

January 18, 2011: Manning placed on suicide risk.

January 20, 2011: Swartz’ Manning brig FOIA transfered to Quantico CO.

February 1, 2011: Quantico tells Swartz Manning brig FOIA needs to go to Army Criminal Investigative Service.

February 9, 2011: Swartz FOIAs ACIS for Manning brig information.

February 9, 2011: Secret Service obtains warrant to search Swartz’ hardware and apartment, followed by a warrant to search his office.

February 9, 2011: WSJ reports WikiLeaks investigation cannot prove Assange induced Manning to leak documents.

February 11, 2011: Secret Service searches Swartz’ house and office, but not the hardware primarily implicated in the crime purportedly being investigated.

February 22, 2011: Warrants on Swartz’ hardware expire.

February 24, 2011: Secret Service obtains new warrant for hardware. Initial response from ACIS to Manning brig FOIA.


February 28, 2011: ACIS responds to Swartz’ Manning FOIA, stating,

… the requested documents are part of an ongoing Army court-martial litigation and are not releasable to the public at this time. This request will be closed. Please submit your request at a later time.

March 2, 2011: Swartz responds to this rejection:

On the 28th of February, the US Army’s Freedom of Information Act Officer declined to release documents I requested under FOIA/PA because they “are part of an ongoing Army court-martial litigation.”

Being part of ongoing litigation is not a valid exemption to the FOIA or the Privacy Act.

There are narrow exemptions for certain types of release that interfere with law enforcement activities, but the Army has not claimed these exemptions nor explained why they apply. Furthermore, the normal procedure is to collect the documents and then evaluate them to see whether any portions of them qualify for the exemption. It appears the Army did not collect documents in response to my request at all, so I do not see how it could have evaluated them.

I therefore appeal my request in its entirety.

March 3, 2011: ACIS admits Swartz is correct:

You are absolutely correct and I want to apologize for sending you the wrong information. This request is being sent to the Initial Denial Office (IDA) today. Please give them a couple of days to receive it.

March 4, 2011; ACIS sends another letter:

Because this request has been denied this request is being sent to the Initial Denial Office (IDA).

March 11, 2011: PJ Crowley criticizes Manning’s “ridiculous, counterproductive, and stupid” treatment at event at MIT. Jake Tapper asks Obama about Crowley’s comment at press conference.

March 13, 2011: White House forces PJ Crowley to resign for criticizing treatment of Manning.

March 18, 2011: ACIS rejects his request, citing an ongoing investigation.

April 19, 2011: DOD announces Manning will be moved to Leavenworth.


Link: http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/01/18/was-aaron-swartz-effort-to-foia-bradley-mannings-treatment-why-doj-treated-him-so-harshly/


28 replies, 2183 views

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Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply Something Might Be ROTTEN In The Aaron Shwartz Case... (Original post)
WillyT Jan 2013 OP
MannyGoldstein Jan 2013 #1
dsc Jan 2013 #5
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #6
dsc Jan 2013 #7
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #9
dsc Jan 2013 #10
HiPointDem Jan 2013 #11
WillyT Jan 2013 #12
MotherPetrie Jan 2013 #2
reorg Jan 2013 #3
WillyT Jan 2013 #4
Melinda Jan 2013 #8
proverbialwisdom Jan 2013 #13
proverbialwisdom Jan 2013 #14
WillyT Jan 2013 #16
smirkymonkey Jan 2013 #15
WillyT Jan 2013 #17
Raksha Jan 2013 #19
WillyT Jan 2013 #18
EastKYLiberal Jan 2013 #20
WillyT Jan 2013 #21
The Straight Story Jan 2013 #22
WillyT Jan 2013 #23
woo me with science Jan 2013 #24
bemildred Jan 2013 #25
dkf Jan 2013 #26
joelz Jan 2013 #27
WillyT Jan 2013 #28

Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 10:43 PM

1. Why was the Secret Service involved?

That's fucked. Simply fucked.

Was he about to be declared a terra-ist and Guantanamoed forever, with no judicial oversight?

This country has cratered.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:12 PM

5. because they investigate computer fraud

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Response to dsc (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:15 PM

6. lol.

 

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #6)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:16 PM

7. they do

I looked it up.


Investigative Mission
The Secret Service was established as a law enforcement agency in 1865. While most people associate the Secret Service with presidential protection, its original mandate was to investigate the counterfeiting of U.S. currency, a mission the Secret Service is still mandated to carry out.

Today the agency's primary investigative mission is to safeguard the payment and financial systems of the United States. This has been historically accomplished through the enforcement of counterfeiting statutes to preserve the integrity of United States currency, coin and financial obligations.

Since 1984, the Secret Service's investigative responsibilities have expanded to include crimes that involve financial institution fraud, computer and telecommunications fraud, false identification documents, access device fraud, advance fee fraud, electronic funds transfers and money laundering as it relates to the agency's core violations.

To combat these crimes, the Secret Service has adopted a proactive approach that utilizes advanced technologies.

http://www.secretservice.gov/investigations.shtml

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Response to dsc (Reply #7)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:21 PM

9. they don't investigate all computer fraud; just fraud that affects "the payment & financial systems

 

of the United States."

That's why SS was involved -- because Swartz was deemed a threat to capitalism.

Today the agency's primary investigative mission is to safeguard the payment and financial systems of the United States. This has been historically accomplished through the enforcement of counterfeiting statutes to preserve the integrity of United States currency, coin and financial obligations.

Since 1984, the Secret Service's investigative responsibilities have expanded to include crimes that involve financial institution fraud, computer and telecommunications fraud, false identification documents, access device fraud, advance fee fraud, electronic funds transfers and money laundering as it relates to the agency's core violations.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:24 PM

10. that isn't what they say

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Response to dsc (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:39 PM

11. lol. right, the secret service is in charge of investigating *all* computer fraud in the us.

 

nothing special about this case at all. just another day for the secret service.

That's *exactly* what they say:

Today the agency's primary investigative mission is to safeguard the payment and financial systems of the United States. This has been historically accomplished through the enforcement of counterfeiting statutes to preserve the integrity of United States currency, coin and financial obligations.

Since 1984, the Secret Service's investigative responsibilities have expanded to include crimes that involve financial institution fraud, computer and telecommunications fraud, false identification documents, access device fraud, advance fee fraud, electronic funds transfers and money laundering as it relates to the agency's core violations.

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Response to dsc (Reply #10)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:39 PM

12. Yeah... But dsc... What Were They Lookng For ???

February 11, 2011: Secret Service searches Swartz’ house and office, but not the hardware primarily implicated in the crime purportedly being investigated.


Sounds like a fishing expedition to me.




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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:08 PM

2. Shit like this is why I will always be critical of Obama. It's HIS administration doing this.

 

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Fri Jan 25, 2013, 11:54 PM

3. it appears if you are friends with Assange

and make FOIA requests in support of Bradley Manning, then you are dangerous and must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

... "others affiliated with WikiLeaks have been tied to Pfc. Manning, officials said."

http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/01/19/the-six-week-delay-in-the-swartz-investigation/

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:07 PM

4. Kick !!!


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 02:20 PM

8. Carmen Ortiz was responsible for the fed Indictment of Swartz in July 2011, a few months later...

that the date in your timeline. From Dan Kennedy:

An ironic postscript to the Swartz tragedy: MIT and the U.S. Secret Service conducted the video surveillance of the closet at MIT that discovered Swartz’s downloading. He was charged by the Middlesex County district attorney’s office with breaking and entering in the daytime. Lawyers familiar with the case have told me that it was anticipated that the state charge would be continued without a finding, with Swartz duly admonished and then returned to civil society to continue his pioneering electronic work in a less legally questionable manner. Tragedy intervened when Ortiz’s office took over the case to send “a message.


What's up with DOJ? More at the link above - lots more.

K&R

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 03:55 PM

13. Tangentially related.

 

http://www.theverge.com/2013/1/22/3898584/aaron-swartz-profile-memory-to-myth

Memory to myth: tracing Aaron Swartz through the 21st century
To understand his contributions, we have to look beyond the headlines
By Tim Carmody on January 22, 2013 12:30 pm


...In 2000, his work on The Info Network made him a finalist in the 2nd ArsDigita prize. Winning the contest outed him as a thirteen-year-old to unsuspecting internet friends. As a finalist, Aaron won $1000, free access to a web server for life, and a two-day trip to MIT, where he met with Berners-Lee and Hal Abelson. (In 2013, Abelson would be named to head an inquiry into MIT’s actions during the JSTOR case, and Berners-Lee would write, “Aaron dead. World wanderers, we have lost a wise elder. Hackers for right, we are one down. Parents all, we have lost a child. Let us weep.”)

<>


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/23/john-kiriakou-aaron-swartz_n_2535711.html
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014381141

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 06:58 PM

14. Cenk Uygur talks with Elliot Peters, attorney for Aaron Swartz.

 

http://current.com/shows/the-young-turks/videos/aaron-swartzs-attorney-knows-nothing-about-a-possible-wikileaks-connection-but-swartz-believed-in-free-access-to-information



Published on Jan 22, 2013

Cenk Uygur talks with Elliot Peters, attorney for Reddit co-creator Aaron Swartz before his death, about the government’s eagerness to convict Swartz. Peters also responds to rumors that Swartz had WikiLeaks connections. Reports claim that Swartz requested government information on Pvt. Bradley Manning, the solider currently in custody under suspicion of passing classified U.S. military intelligence to WikiLeaks. Peters says, “The WikiLeaks allegations are posted in a way which is kind of anonymous and kind of vague. If there’s information about that, I’d like to know what it is. I’m not sure what Aaron could have offered WikiLeaks. He wasn’t a government employee. He wasn’t someone with access to the kind of information that they typically publish, but he certainly is a person who was a devotee and a real believer in free access to information on the Internet.”

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Response to proverbialwisdom (Reply #14)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:13 PM

16. Thank You For That !!!




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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 07:02 PM

15. Poor kid. I would really like to see justice for this case.

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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #15)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 09:13 PM

17. Me Too !!!




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Response to smirkymonkey (Reply #15)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:42 PM

19. You're not the only one!

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:18 PM

18. Kick !!!


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sat Jan 26, 2013, 11:47 PM

20. One who engages in actions like this should be mentally prepared for what comes...

 

Noble cause or not.

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Response to EastKYLiberal (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:20 AM

21. Well Yeah... We Know That Now... But Most Of Us Grew Up In A Better America...

IOW...

Used to be... Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

The paradigm now is... shut up and do what we say.


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Response to EastKYLiberal (Reply #20)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:22 AM

22. So he violated the TOS of a web site and the government came down on him,be careful

that could happen here for the same reasons if you violate the terms.

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Response to The Straight Story (Reply #22)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:29 AM

23. Damn... I Never Thought Of THAT !!! (You Make A Great And Local Point !!!)

35 years in prison for violating DU's TOS !!!







Partial


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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:06 PM

24. Kick

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:44 PM

25. Ah, that explains it. nt

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 12:54 PM

26. Well no wonder anonymous is incensed if this is really an attack on whistleblower hackers.

 

If this escalates it could get scary.

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Response to WillyT (Original post)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 02:04 PM

27. here are Aaron's

own words. WHY else 35 years for a petty crime?

http://www.democracynow.org/2013/1/14/freedom_to_connect_aaron_swartz_1986

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Response to joelz (Reply #27)

Sun Jan 27, 2013, 04:26 PM

28. Thank You For That !!!


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