During the course of the last decade we have seen a whole new breed of political prisoners. These are folks who challenged the powers that be, sometimes sitting in a chair in their home, in a whole new way. These are hacker whistleblowers. Since taking office, President Obama's administration has waged an unprecedented war on whistleblowers and hackers who actually are whistleblowers. As noted by SC magazine, his administration has invoked the Espionage Act, "...to prosecute more people under the law than all previous presidents combined."
The vigorous prosecutions of six Americans accused of providing information to the media because they in principal believed it belonged in the public domain is just one aspect of Obama's excessive pursuit to maintain secrecy and silence dissent. The U.S. Department of Justice has been just as zealous in its handling of cases involving activist hackers, or "hacktivists," accused of infiltrating corporate and government information systems to extract data – not to profit off it, but to expose reprehensible corporate behavior and systemic wrongdoing or to, simply, embarrass the powerful. Among those facing long prison sentences are Jeremy Hammond, Barrett Brown and Andrew Auernheimer. That list would have includedAaron Swartz, had he not hanged himself last month in his Brooklyn apartment, a few months before he was to be sentenced, the victim, his girlfriend and family believe, of an unwavering prosecution that sought decades of imprisonment.
Jeremy Hammond, you notice, is on that list. Jeremy has been accused by the government of the USA of participating with Anonymous and a couple of other offshoot hacker actors with bothering it.
This week federal judge Loretta Preska refused to refuse herself in the case even though as RT writes:
...the name and email address of Judge Preska’s husband, attorney Thomas Kavaler, were included in the files pilfered from Stratfor and then circulated by members of Anonymous and the media. The internal correspondence, some of which has led to significant news breaks in their own right, has also been continuously published by the WikiLeaks whistleblower site.
Uh, conflict of interest maybe?
Anyway, Jeremy Hammond who has been called the "other Bradley Manning" by the mainstream media has refused to sit quietly in prison with his mouth shut. Held without bail for almost a full year and still not likely to be tried for some time, Hammond seems undeterred.
The government doesn't like that.
Writes Dissident Voice:
Hammond now has been moved to solitary confinement and has been virtually cut off from all interaction with the outside world. On February 14, the Jeremy Hammond Support Network posted a message on social media that heavy restrictions were put on him. The Network reported Hammond now is not allowed any commissary visits to buy stamps for letters and food, as he does not get enough to eat. Now visits are limited to his lawyer and telephone contact is restricted to his brother.
His case is another example of the expanding unchecked authoritarian power in the justice system in general. Here Hammond appears to be following similar footsteps as Bradley Manning who also was placed into solitary confinement. Nahal Zamani, Advocacy Program Manager at the Center for Constitutional Rights, argued how solitary confinement is a form of torture and is “clearly cruel and unusual punishment. Indeed, the use of solitary has been condemned as torture by the international community.”
And still Jeremy Hammond finds ways to speak out.
The following is from The Sparrow Project and is presented in Scission's regular feature "Prison Friday."
The following is Jeremy Hammond in his own words, written from solitary confinement at The Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York City…
On Facebook at facebook.com/supporthammond
On Twitter @Free_Hammond
Metropolitan Correctional Center
150 Park Row,
New York, NY 10007