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View Diary: MN-Sen: Al Franken (D) Presses Eric Holder On Aaron Swartz Prosecution (52 comments)

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  •  bbb, aren't you a front pager? (12+ / 0-)

    Shame on you. You should know better than most, Markos' adjuration to "not be a dick".


    Information is power. But; like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. Aaron Swartz ~1986-2013~

    by Lisa Lockwood on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 07:27:43 PM PDT

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    •  You'll find me consistently dismissive (6+ / 0-)

      when liberals get their panties in a bunch when some white kid has a rare (consistently rare) inequitable experience with the criminal justice system in this country. I am always dismissive of this, no matter if its Bradley Manning or this kid or anybody else. Just like I'm dismissive of the torture wailers who get 700 recommends contrasted by the consistent, daily, regular torture that goes on every single day in America's prisons that barely gets a peep. Except for Meteor Blades and few highly notable exceptions (commending them for their excellent work!) criminal justice transgressions only get sexy here when the victim fits some sort of liberal ideal personage.

      The reason is because the real, serious, daily miscarriages of criminal justice don't happen to people like Swartz. He's the EXCEPTION, not the rule. Very rarely do wealthy programmers from elite schools get railroaded. This sort of thing happens daily to poor people and people not nearly as lucky. The reason folks are sympathetic about him in particular is because he has the status, connections, sexy issues, and correct skin color to get sympathetic coverage. This is a fact whether you want to hear it or not.

      So yes, I am and will continue to be dismissive of these selective cases of outrage over the criminal justice system. I'm sure if you took a walk down to your local county courthouse tomorrow morning, you could probably get yourself 15 to 20 cases of worse prosecutorial abuse before lunch.

      Plenty of folks facing just as much, if not far longer, sentences than Swartz serve their terms in prison and fight 10, 20, 30 years to get their name cleared. There are people who don't have the kind of lawyer money he had to fight a railroading and are forced to take pleas simply because they don't have the money. Prosecutors offered him six months for a plea. Six months! That's nothing. I know people personally that were offered 15 to life just for having a ounce of weed on them. However, without the sexy liberal issues and cool liberal profile, he's just another poor guy with a legal problem. "Fully fund Legal Aid Society!" when it comes to that bunch, but certainly no glowing profiles and never a Senator!

      So pardon me if I'm not bowled over with grief, even though Swartz passed away less than a stone's throw from me. Most people who live in his neighborhood...didn't know him. This is Brooklyn. People die. What I do know is this: Swartz' act was extremely selfish and self serving. He deprived his family and his partner of his love. He could have shined a bright light on prison conditions, the excess power of prosecutors, and fought for a jury of his peers and may have one an acquittal. Plenty of poor people, every single day, face the choices he faced and they go into that system and survive. He made a cowardly choice no matter how ridiculous the case against him.

      That's how I think and feel. Live with it.

      •  Yeah, sure. He would have gotten out in 40 (0+ / 0-)

        to 50 years after being brutally assraped at least once a week assuming he survived until then.  Do you know how many people with untreated AIDS end up killing themselves?  Could you handle 40 years of constant brutal assraping, well?

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 08:56:50 PM PDT

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        •  LOL. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bekosiluvu

          I'm sure you are sympathetic towards the victims of prison rape. I'm certainly you fight to stop prison rape. I'm sure its an important issue for you, isn't it? Why, I bet you even written a diary or two about the horrors of prison rape.

          Because I'm certainly sure you wouldn't just be worried about one person because you like that person better than the people you don't like. Not you. Not fair minded you. You just hate rape in prison generally...and I commend you for that.

      •  "Live with it", really? (8+ / 0-)

        He deserved it, because he was white? Really?

        This is just abominable.

        "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

        by nosleep4u on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 08:58:27 PM PDT

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        •  B^3 did not say Shwartz deserved it (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          YucatanMan

          He SAID that people are treated like that ALL THE TIME and do not top themselves.  White children of privilege being treated like that are the exception, not the rule.  

          Robert Morris is now a professor at MIT, after unleashing holy hell on the nascent internet in the late 80's.  Child of privilege.  BTW they tried to blame ME when the worm first got out, and the FBI came knocking at MY DOOR before HIS.   Computing while female, I guess is the crime.  

          Sorry, I've seen how this works. B^3 is right.  

          If Shwartz had been black and underprivileged, he would have been simply arrested rather than...oh, is this another person that shot themselves in the back of the head with the wrong hand?

          Sorry, I don't even believe it was suicide.  I think they topped him when they realized he had wealthy parents (== legal war chest) and an extensive social network and there was NO WAY they were going to get their half-assed charges to stick.  

          "We must close union offices, confiscate their money and put their leaders in prison. We must reduce workers salaries and take away their right to strike.” -Adolf Hitler, May 2, 1933

          by bekosiluvu on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:54:03 PM PDT

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      •  You're completely unhinged if you think the exact (7+ / 0-)

        same people would not have the exact same reaction were Manning or Schwartz or Assange of some other ethnicity.

        You honestly sound like a red state fuck insisting people only care about Leonard Peltier or Mumia Abu-Jamal because of their ethnicity.

        income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

        by JesseCW on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:29:17 PM PDT

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      •  how do you know (5+ / 0-)

        It's selective?  Your comment is full of fail, and I am normally a big fan of yours.  Unless you personally know the person you're responding to, you're assuming racial bigotry where none is in evidence.  Schwarz doesn't enter into my disgust here, it's how you're treating kossaks.

      •  The fact that you make a choice (9+ / 0-)

        only to associate with white men of a social class that almost completely protects them from incarceration does not mean

        some white kid has a rare (consistently rare) inequitable experience with the criminal justice system in this country.
        this nasty ignorant shit stands.

        700,000 white men are currently trapped in the shit pits we call prisons in this country.  If they were the totality of all prisoners in those institutions of state sanctioned torture, we would STILL have the highest incarceration rate of any developed nation.

        If you spent your time with people in the bottom 50%, you'd know damn well there's nothing rare about broke ass white guys getting faced with huge sentences for holding a bag of medicine.  

         I work with real people, not thieves with pens.  A hell of a lot of co-workers and friends and family of mine, of a wide range of differing ethnicities, have done time in county jail or prison.

        "You know, it's sure easier being a white boy on the inside" said none of them ever.

        income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

        by JesseCW on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:41:45 PM PDT

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      •  Wow. You are being a jerk. (4+ / 0-)

        Anyway, that's how I think and feel. Live with it.

        *Are we humans or are we dancers?* Annie Lennox (thx Words In Action & OPOL)

        by glorificus on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 09:49:17 PM PDT

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      •  He is very noticable because he is the exception. (0+ / 0-)

        How could it happen to a sympathetic character like this?  

        Well, it is certainly true that thousands of "unsympathetic" characters are abused by the system every day.  Look at all the people being found completely innocent decades after being sentenced to prison for life (or to death).

        I don't necessarily agree with the "cowardly" part, but I think there is a very valid point in the massive injustices throughout the system.  And no Senators feeling the need to mention those.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 10:33:51 PM PDT

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      •  I tend to agree, bbb (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        YucatanMan

        Though I don't think he or anyone could have relished the idea of going to prison.

        I think the problem with the reaction to his death is that everyone assumes he suicided entirely because of the prosecution. There was a great profile of him in the New Yorker. He sounded like a very brilliant, yet fragile person. His suicide probably had multiple causes.

        It's a good question to ask -- what other unjustly accused men/women is Al Franken speaking up for?

        The civil rights, gay rights and women's movements, designed to allow others to reach for power previously grasped only by white men, have made a real difference, and the outlines of 21st century America have emerged. -- Paul West of LA Times

        by LiberalLady on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 11:15:41 PM PDT

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        •  Franken didn't assert that he was unjustly (8+ / 0-)

          accused.

          He pointed out that the charges were ridiculously excessive.

          Franken was an advocate for cocaine sentencing equity long before he ran for office, and when he got there one of the first things he did was Co-Sponsor an effort to end it.

          He's currently fighting to increase prisoner access to mental health care, and to redirect the mentally ill to treatment instead of prison.

          He strongly supported Specter-Webb effort (abandoned) to get a prison reform bill off the ground in the Senate.

          Here's Franken 4 years ago early on in his tenure on the committee, questioning Holder about whether unprocessed rape kits are being cleared, emphasizing that this is important as much to clear the names of the innocent as to convict the guilty, and then expressing his feelings about the jailing of non-violent offenders.

          http://videocafe.crooksandliars.com/...

          Suffice it to say, his position isn't pro.  If you cared what the guy thought and weren't just looking for a chance to smear him, it would have taken about five seconds to google this and a lot more.

          income gains to the top 1% from 2009 to 2011 were 121% of all income increases. How did that happen? Incomes to the bottom 99% fell by 0.4%

          by JesseCW on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 12:21:04 AM PDT

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          •  Why is he baselessly smearing Al Franken? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            louisprandtl, renbear

            Good point, Jesse.  You have proven that Al Franken and many other liberals have worked very hard to improve the justice system in this country for all.  His attacks on that score are completely without foundation, yet he attacks anyway, saying shockingly upsetting things about Aaron Swartz's suicide.  Why?

            His rhetoric about elite universities and liberals getting their panties in a twist are mantras of the far right.  He is angry at Bradley Manning, someone who blew the whistle on "Collateral Murder."  He is angry that people are blowing the whistle on torture, which is a war crime. His rhetoric is divisive.  He sounds like Rush Limbaugh, a pit bull for the far right.

            Aaron Swartz's skin color is irrelevant.  What is relevant is that the justice department picked on him in a way that was unjust and wrong and needs to be investigated.  

            I should thank bbb for being so over the top, because he forced me to really think about why they went after Aaron Swartz so zealously and tried to punish him with such a ridiculously long sentence for such a nebulous crime that didn't threaten decent people, but did threaten real criminals who have heck of a lot to hide.

            Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

            by CIndyCasella on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 07:55:19 AM PDT

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      •  You sound like Rush Limbaugh: (5+ / 0-)
        when liberals get their panties in a bunch

        Information is the currency of democracy. ~Thomas Jefferson

        by CIndyCasella on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 11:59:21 PM PDT

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      •  No, I won't find that at all. (0+ / 0-)

        I will be equally dismissive and not bother to read what you have to say.
        Live with it.


        Information is power. But; like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. Aaron Swartz ~1986-2013~

        by Lisa Lockwood on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 02:47:39 AM PDT

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      •  since Im late to this (4+ / 0-)

        I probably shouldn't bother with a comment here at all, but Im sorry, I can't simply move along and pretend you didn't just say this because the level of ignorance and blatant void of empathy humanity is just stunning:

        This sort of thing happens daily to poor people and people not nearly as lucky.
        yahrite, Aaron Swartz was one lucky guy!

        Ya know, it's not a contest.

        There are several issues related to Aaron's case, most of which you seem to blithely dismiss because well, because of his skin color and perceived class...

        Very rarely do wealthy programmers from elite schools get railroaded. This sort of thing happens daily to poor people and people not nearly as lucky. The reason folks are sympathetic about him in particular is because he has the status, connections, sexy issues, and correct skin color to get sympathetic coverage. This is a fact whether you want to hear it or not.
        What utter bullshit.

        Sigh.... the people who support and defend the issues of internet freedom, information access etc etc, the people who applaud Franken's actions here, and who champion this cause, do not by definition deny your "cause", the devastating godawful fvcked up prison and judicial system that impacts poor class and people of color more dramatically than it does "rich white men"... why do you assume we are unaware of, and uncaring about, this fact?

        Why do you automatically assign Aaron to the "rich white men" elite class and then summarily dismiss the whole thing because of that? Do you not have the slightest clue, as a blogger, as a DKos front page feature writer, how internet freedom as an "issue" impacts you personally more than it does me, a mere commenter? I don't demand that you champion it but for god's sake... dismiss it at your own peril.

        ...

        "wealthy programmers from elite schools".... jezuz christ, BBB, get a clue.

        If I can't dance I don't want to be part of your revolution. ~ Emma Goldman

        by Lady Libertine on Tue Mar 26, 2013 at 07:01:40 AM PDT

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