Those who read my blog are familiar with the fact that the Department of Justice will say and do anything, no matter how absurd, contradictory, or blatantly unconstitutional, to prevent the TSA from having to face justice for its actions. But, if the government ulitmately wins in its quest to do what it wants, justice be damned, then my life goes on (assuming I’m not decalred a terrorist and sent to Guantanamo, Assanged, etc). I’m the challenger, and if I lose, there’s really no penalty other than the many hundreds of hours of time, money, and sanity I’ve spent.
Others have more to lose with their fights. Aaron Sandusky, for example, operated a California medical marijuana dispensary, and despite Obama’s lip service about how no priority will be given to prosecuting dispensaries operating under the laws of the ever-increasing number of states that have realized that marijuana is a safer and more effective treatment for many conditions than the actually dangerous and addictive chemicals sold to us in a pharmacy, he was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
This is nothing compared to another man named Aaron. Reddit co-founder, free information advocate, and general Internet genius Aaron Swartz was found dead last night of an apparent suicide. Aaron had been targeted by the Department of Justice since 2008, when he made 20% of the public records of the federal court system available for free, because the federal court system feels it’s entitled to charge the public to access those records. Last year, he was charged with a similar caper: stealing “academic articles” from a university with the intent of giving them away. The government had charged him with felonies that could have had him in prison for 50 years for, as one journalist called it, “checking out too many library books at the same time.”
For the DoJ, it doesn’t matter what’s right or what’s wrong — legally, morally, or otherwise. What matters is that you obey. “Making an example out of someone” is not justice, especially when the alleged crime is dubious of legal and moral merit, as in Aaron’s case, and especially when you decline to prosecute those who actually steal millions of dollars — such as the bankers who brought you the economic crash of a just a few years past. As a result, a brilliant young man is now dead.
The government who asks school children to stop bullying should lead by example and clean out its own halls.