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Fire Ortiz, the prosecutor who hounded Aaron Swartz

2013 January 13
by Ian Welsh

Swartz, if you hadn’t heard, was being hounded by Ortiz for downloading millions of JSTOR academic articles.  They claim he was going to publish them, and were seeking decades in jail, and a million dollars in fines.

Swartz committed suicide.

Lessig has a petition to fire Ortiz.  You should sign it.  Either Obama will fire Ortiz, which is good, or he won’t, which will make clearer how broken the official systems of protest and redress are.

Fire Ortiz.

28 Responses
  1. Celsius 233 permalink
    January 13, 2013

    @ Ian;
    … which will make clearer how broken the official systems of protest and redress are.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Frankly, I thought it’s been quite clear for some time; protest at one’s peril; redress won’t happen; and one’s freedom is now a matter of the largess at the U.S. government’s pleasure.
    Further; my feeling/impression is also clear that the world has been put on notice; the U.S. is the unquestioned Imperial power and resistance is futile.
    Oh, we’re being allowed our toys (AR-15′s; 100 rnd. magazines, etc.) because at bottom they know we’re a bunch of pussy’s who fold at every opportunity.
    I particularly enjoyed the bit where the U.S. told Britain it needs to stay in the EU because it would be in the best interest of the U.S. Now that’s chutzpah!

  2. stephen permalink
    January 13, 2013

    @Celsius 233. I’m not sure resistance is futile. Take Soc 101, visit any refugee camp, witness the Arab Spring and we see that human beings will always resist, and overcome tyranny. Even US domestic and global tyranny thinly disguised as “democracy.

  3. Celsius 233 permalink
    January 13, 2013

    stephen
    January 13, 2013
    @Celsius 233.
    …witness the Arab Spring and we see that human beings will always resist, and overcome tyranny. ..
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Just exactly where has this happened? The resistance maybe; but I fail to see any meaningful change; just musical leaders (and I use the term very loosely) and continuing repression.
    The Orwellian unfolding is not encouraging…

  4. Gil Gamesh permalink
    January 13, 2013

    Obama will promote her, possibly to the AG spot. Swartz had principles, and could not be bough off. A man totally beyond the understanding of our ruling class, except to the extent that he posed a genuine threat to power.

    It’s so bad here that if you are doing well (by conventional measures), you have done ill (in real, human terms). And conversely, if you do good, you have at minimum ended your career, or resigned yourself to the margins, if not irrelevance.

    RIP.

  5. Alcuin permalink
    January 13, 2013

    Obama fire Ortiz? What have you been smoking? A petition at We the People? For what? Obama works for those who have power, not the powerless serfs who sign petitions.

    The only possible good thing that can come out of this is for people to realize that the government, as presently constituted, is exactly what it was set up to be in 1787, when the gigantic fraud of We the People was perpetrated. We the People, the signers of the Constitution, for those who have yet to open their eyes, were the rising capitalist class in the Colonies – nary a serf among them.

  6. January 14, 2013

    Unfortunately, Swartz’ suicide will only encourage more prosecutorial abuse because this is what our rulers want to do: to break any and all resistance to their power. The value of Swartz’ act … and mind you I cringe when I use the word ‘value’ in the context of someone taking their life who was such a high quality person as Swartz appeared to be (I did not personally know him) … is that it creates a potential flash point for more unified resistance.

    Z

  7. Morocco Bama permalink
    January 14, 2013

    Obama works for those who have power, not the powerless serfs who sign petitions.

    Samuel L. Jackson did a great rendition of Obama in Tarantino’s latest release, Django Unchained.

  8. Mad Hemingway permalink
    January 14, 2013

    She should also be disbarred. It’s prosecutorial misconduct and abuse of power.

  9. Celsius 233 permalink
    January 14, 2013

    For those interested; Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now, has a program about Aron Swartz;
    http://www.democracynow.org/

  10. The Dude permalink
    January 14, 2013

    I must add my voice to those who have said that the petition is a futile effort and Ortiz is more likely to get promoted than fired. That said, there IS value in getting over that 25,000 threshold and at least forcing Hopey-Changey’s White House to come up with some lame excuse, if only to prove yet again what an utterly corrupt fraud he really is.

  11. January 15, 2013

    mit deserves some heat as well. Apparently they wouldn’t sign off on a deal that would have spared Swartz jail time: http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2013/01/15/humanity-deficit/bj8oThPDwzgxBSHQt3tyKI/story.html?s_campaign=sm_tw

    Also, mit’s president at that time was a member of some group … a rather large group of u.s. university heads … to promote cooperation between the fbi and colleges: http://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/fbi-appoints-national-security-higher-education-advisory-board

    From what I’ve read, mit gets a lot of funding dollars from the federal government.

    Z

  12. Kiuygbnm permalink
    January 15, 2013

    Further; my feeling/impression is also clear that the world has been put on notice; the U.S. is the unquestioned Imperial power and resistance is futile. Oh, we’re being allowed our toys (AR-15′s; 100 rnd. magazines, etc.) because at bottom they know we’re a bunch of pussy’s who fold at every opportunity.

    Those “toys” aren’t much use against ICBMs and nuclear-armed stealth bombers. Your “pussy’s” (sic) comment is just victim-blaming. How brave would you be with a 20 megaton MIRV ICBM pointed at your face, and only a stupid little rifle to defend yourself with?

  13. Celsius 233 permalink
    January 15, 2013

    Kiuygbnm
    January 15, 2013
    How brave would you be with a 20 megaton MIRV ICBM pointed at your face, and only a stupid little rifle to defend yourself with?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Hardly my point. Your stupid reply doesn’t warrant an intelligent response.

  14. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    January 15, 2013

    The ‘toys for the lads’ are to assure that anyone using will be blown away, legitimately, by the security forces; that is what the records are for, of everything you do or say – the only safe ‘terrorist’ is a dead ‘terrorist’. “They were terrorists so they are dead” morphs into “they were going to be terrorists so they are dead”. There is no cure for dead and few signs of objection to the condition, although in some places the dead can still vote – fancy that?

  15. Celsius 233 permalink
    January 16, 2013

    @ Formerly T-Bear;
    The ‘toys for the lads’ are to assure that anyone using will be blown away, legitimately, by the security forces; that is what the records are for, of everything you do or say – the only safe ‘terrorist’ is a dead ‘terrorist’.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The “toys” are also a distraction to keep attention away from more important issues.
    While the boys play with their toys and feel powerful and strong; the powers take and take and take. Impotence comes in many forms; obsession with guns and weapons is just one form.

  16. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    January 16, 2013

    @ Celsius 233

    More in line of the intent of the post, guns are a distraction from the fundamental dystopia that took the life of a proven creative young adult, barely out of puberty. Attention needs be turned onto the dystopia and those who permit the continuance of the dystopia. I use dystopia because culture, or civilization, or society are demeaned and left meaningless when used on what the United States and its citizens have become. Pathological terms are the proper mirror to view the Empire of the Wasteland, a land so poisoned that living beings often take their own lives rather than trying to continue coping with the pervasive public insanity and the insipid permeation of falsehood where there is nothing left but some form of lie or deceit. Lies do not show themselves in mirrors, their presence is unremarked, but they leave prints in the dust and mounds in the graveyard. Only when the value is life itself, in its many forms, rather than power, prestige or wealth, will there exist an outside possibility that the Unites States will again become a livable space. Keep building the walls at the borders, they keep the inmates in as well as discourage those outside the prison that is being built.
    All the best……….

  17. Celsius 233 permalink
    January 16, 2013

    @ Formerly T-Bear
    January 16, 2013 ;

    That was an epic post. Couldn’t possibly argue any point.
    Very nice…

  18. Kiuygbnm permalink
    January 16, 2013

    I assumed “toys” referred to the sort of weapons doled out to “allied” governments, if it referred to personal arms then your lead-in makes it a non sequitur, since it’s governments and not individuals who are tasked with carrying out the Homeland’s dictates. My “stupid” point stands very well thank you very much, and if you want to continue insisting that it is “stupid”, I suggest you explain why.

  19. EverythingsJake permalink
    January 16, 2013

    Threshold was raised to 100,000 today or yesterday. Not sure if petitions pre-raise are grandfathered in at 25,000. Given the way Obama 4 America worked, the whole thing has ultimately got to be a propaganda exercise at any rate, though that does not mean it is useless. Ten million signatures or more might get some attention, and propaganda can sometimes be turned in such a fashion against its propagators.

  20. Alcuin permalink
    January 16, 2013

    @ Celsius 233:

    “Impotence comes in many forms; obsession with guns and weapons is just one form.”

    Ahhhh …. yes. But don’t tell that to the 2nd Amendment crazies. Have they never thought of the outcome when faced with a SWAT team or a combat unit of the Army? Apparently not – it is so rewarding to live in fantasy-land.

  21. Alcuin permalink
    January 16, 2013

    @ Morocco Bama:

    I shared your observation about Stephen in Django Unchained with a Black co-worker while we were watching Obomber prattle on about gun control. His eyes got wide and he said, “Oh! You’re right!!” Slowly but surely, I’m showing him how to connect the dots …

  22. Celsius 233 permalink
    January 17, 2013

    Kiuygbnm
    January 16, 2013
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    While stupid may have been a bit strong; no body else seems to have had a problem with comprehending my meaning.
    Your assumptions not withstanding; I’ll stick with what I said.

  23. Kiuygbnm permalink
    January 17, 2013

    Fine then, enlighten me, just what exactly is it that regulation of personal arms has to do with governments being subject to Washington’s dictates? All I see is a non sequitur.

  24. Celsius 233 permalink
    January 17, 2013

    Fine then, enlighten me, just what exactly is it that regulation of personal arms has to do with governments being subject to Washington’s dictates? All I see is a non sequitur.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sorry; just where did I say that? In fact I didn’t say that.

  25. Formerly T-Bear permalink
    January 17, 2013

    @ 233ºC

    Woody Allen had used this line IIRC:

    “Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” —Greg King

    but Google indicates otherwise.

  26. Celsius 233 permalink
    January 17, 2013

    Formerly T-Bear
    January 17, 2013
    @ 233ºC
    Woody Allen had used this line IIRC:
    “Don’t argue with idiots because they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.” —Greg King
    but Google indicates otherwise.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Alas, of course you’re correct…*sigh*…

  27. Alcuin permalink
    January 18, 2013

    @Celsius 233:

    Have you read this piece by Mark Ames? I thought it was spot on and agreed with your take on guns and powerlessness – your comment spurred me to find others who think the same way as you do!

  28. Celsius 233 permalink
    January 19, 2013

    @ Alcuin
    January 18, 2013
    @Celsius 233:
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    U.S. society is broken/diseased and run by the worst of the worst of the most seriously ill.
    Aron Swartz is a victim of the system.
    At the risk of going off subject; “the gun problem” is the symptom of deeper psychological pathologies rampant in today’s America.
    The inability to control firearms and the loons who choose them as a way to strike out at those perceived injustices will ultimately affect everybody in the loss of basic freedoms.
    Rather, the fix is to cure the disease; but that’s not going to happen. It would involve a very radical set of social remedies that just don’t agree with the direction the psychotic rulers have chosen.
    Feeling helpless and angry are a powerful mix; and just as some children are wont to destroy their toys in a fit of rage; so, that immaturity in a physically older person comes out as deadly.
    When governments act like that, the end can’t be far off…

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