Outrage over Big College’s Role (MIT) in Hounding Aaron Swartz to Death; Predatory Coaches [Penn State], Predatory Student Loan BFF’s [University of Nebraska], Disproportionate “Punishers” [MIT] Americans are Finally Figuring Out that Big College is Accountable to No One; Neither is the U.S. [In] Justice System

January 17, 2013

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Outrage over zealous feds
Statement too little, too late
January 17, 2013
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Just days ago, speculation was rampant. Gov. Carmen Ortiz? U.S. Sen. Carmen Ortiz?

Well, that’s all over now.

U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz is done. Finished. Forever linked to bringing the full and frightening weight of the federal government down upon a 26-year-old computer genius — and a suicide risk.

Aaron Swartz hanged himself Jan. 11 awaiting trial on charges that could have kept him in jail for 35 years — longer than most pedophiles, rapists and even killers serve.

That was six days ago. Late last night, Ortiz finally issued a statement justifying her prosecution and extending her sympathy to Swartz’s grieving family. Earlier, Ortiz’s own husband tweeted callous criticisms of that same family. Tom Dolan called it truly 
“incredible that in their own son’s obit they blame others for his death and make no mention of the six month offer.”

Yes, Mr. Dolan, there was an offer of six months in jail ­— but no offer of fines or probation without jail — provided Swartz pleaded guilty to a crime.

“Oh, so you’re innocent. Do only six months in jail,” said a sarcastic Harvey Silverglate, Boston civil liberties 
attorney and author of “Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent.” He accused Ortiz’s office of being “drunk with power” and said up to now the media had “protected” Ortiz 
because “she’s a Hispanic woman.”

In her lawyerly statement, Ortiz called her office’s conduct “appropriate” and claimed she would not have sought the 
“severe punishments authorized by Congress.”

Yet Swartz faced 13 felony counts for allegedly breaking into an MIT computer and downloading millions of files from JSTOR, a notoriously overpriced, subscription-based archive of academic papers. That site, by the way, did not support the prosecution of Swartz. Three days before Swartz took his life, JSTOR 
announced it would make public nearly 5 million articles, for free.

You know, you read about Aaron Swartz and government overreach. Suddenly, the gun nuts now stocking up their arsenals, in case the feds come, don’t seem so paranoid.

Photo by:
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz is defending her office’s prosecution of Aaron Swartz.
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