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View Diary: Aaron Swartz Was Going Home With a Slap On The Wrist. Then The Feds Got Involved (274 comments)

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  •  interesting article (6+ / 0-)

    for the Ortiz/Heymann apologists to read, by John Dean, here.

    When I asked the President if the demonstrator was throwing anything, he erupted, red-faced:  “The little shit broke the police line.  For all I know he was going to kill me.  You tell Petersen to find a law he’s broken, and nail him.” Then, smacking a clenched right fist into his left hand, Nixon said, “Let’s make an example out of that goddamned jerk: prosecute his ass!”

    While I did pass on the President’s request to Petersen, I also told Petersen that the Secret Service thought this to be a non-event, and that I felt the President was over-reacting, and focusing his general frustration toward the anti-war movement on this one kid, who undoubted wanted to get arrested to make his point.  In addition, I told Petersen that I would take any heat that resulted from his doing nothing.  But Petersen said that was not necessary, because he agreed with me.  To the best of my knowledge, nothing ever happened to this demonstrator.

    [emphasis added]

    •  Good link. Here's the money quote, imho (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      eXtina, mrkvica, TheMomCat, Agathena
      I have a lot of friends who have worked as both Assistant United States Attorneys and United States Attorneys, and they have told me that there are some really heartless bastards who make careers out of working in those offices.  It’s sad that Aaron Swartz, a genius who had much to offer us all, obviously was dealing with one or more of those heartless souls.  These are not people who are conscientiously and fairly upholding our federal laws. Rather, they are typically authoritarian personalities who get their jollies from shamelessly beating up on unfortunate people like Aaron Swartz.

      "Say little, do much" (Pirkei Avot 1:15)

      by hester on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 05:51:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  there's no other explanation for the over the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        top behavior

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:03:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  from the 1 comment in response to that piece (5+ / 0-)
          The US Attorneys have a tendency to overcharge and press for harsh sentences. When I was practicing I generally avoided federal felonies because, even after there were some changes to the sentencing guidelines, the US Attorneys, egged on by the FBI and the DEA ,were so disproportionately punitive. I feel for Aaron and his family. I worked for an attorney in the early 70's who represented a young man who had destroyed his draft card. The feds were seeking the maximum penalty and this kid was terrified. He committed suicide as well. I never forgot it and it broke my heart.

          "Say little, do much" (Pirkei Avot 1:15)

          by hester on Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 06:08:23 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  "D.A." can be a stepping stone to higher office, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hester, eXtina

        especially if you bill yourself as "tough on crime" because of your conviction record. Clearly many overzealous prosecutions result from this unfortunate fact.

        Beyond singling out just Ortiz and Heymann, it's important for us to take on DA's who run for office and publicize any such misuse of office; the same goes for executive appointees up for confirmation.

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