Plato said that a city driven by luxuries was fevered, and in a state of Eternal War the entire planet is overrun by Jungles as Carbon Dioxide and Global Warming alter the climate and lead to mass-famines in every city except on small islands. Repeated Nuclear Detonations release just enough ash to partially cancel the global warming, ironically becoming the only reason life on Earth can possibly survive.
FROM WITHIN PRISM’S PANOTPIC GAZE — The Empire Has No Clothes, and the Revolution draws ever nearer, just as me and all my friends on Twitter have always agreed. It’s so close I can taste it.
As the Panopticon’s Black Iron Prison encloses the planet Earth from a panoply of hateful Imperial powers — America, China, and every tinpot dictator in each patsy state on the planet, We, The People of the Internet have been busy plotting the perfect and most intellectual plans for the New World Order, which also happens to be the thing conspiracy theorists like me fear most. I’ve done tremendous research on this problem, and have logged untold thousands of hours on many different versions of Sid Meyer’s Civilization series.
The New World Order is a horror, of course, unless you happen to believe in Reparations for all Blacks in America, Gay Marriage, Legal Marijuana, Maximum Salaries, and Maximum Work Weeks. You want some hope? I’ll throw that in, but you’ve got to send me bitcoins.
That’s right! No one in America (Or our patsy semi-colonies!) will EVER work more than 20 hours a week. It’s a bitch when all these RedBoxes, McBoxes, and Combine Harvesters take the jobs of all our illegal immigrants and we have to start paying for their healthcare. But not anymore! No, No! We will have enough jobs even for the freeloaders and the tramps, and people will still be able to become unbelievably filthy fucking rich with a maximum yearly income of 5 million dollars. Sure, some people might say I want to unfairly tax the everliving shit out of those who bring in billions, but I don’t see it that way. They made it all on your dime! Think about it, we’ve been investing tax money into computers and robots for a hundred years in order to fight for freedom and defeat the Nazi Scum. We SHOULD be living in a Techno Utopia with Robots doing Everything! To HELL with Nazi-sympathizing billionaires who think that THEY should get ALL profit off of The Only God Damned GOOD war we’ve fought in a long time. We’re gonna invest it in robots, motherfucker! If you Vote for ME as president of the New World Order, which will surely follow the oncoming Revolution (I believe it was instigated by the Chinese! They’ve taken Snowden into their grips, and I’m afraid it’s too late for Obama. (We can’t fall into the grips of China. Trust me, I would prefer Prism to the Great FireWall ANY DAY.))
WASHINGTON – Last week the National Security Agency’s newly uncovered PRISM surveillance program, intended to manager foreign intelligence from electronic service providers, elicited anger that millions of Americans’ communications had been swept up in a comprehensive dragnet. News of the PRISM program came at the end of a breakneck week of national security reporting at The Guardian, where columnist Glenn Greenwald took a step from his legacy of punditry and opinion-oriented content to reporting.
The Guardian and The Washington Post, who both revealed the existence of the PRISM program Thursday, declined to release all 41 slides of the top-secret PowerPoint presentation they had obtained.
Barton Gellman, co-author of the Washington Post story, told The Internet Chronicle Friday, “We put up the [slides] we thought we should. Much of the document seemed to us to be classified for good reason.”
“We’re not engaged in a mindless, indiscriminate document dump, and our source didn’t want us to be,” Greenwald toldBuzzfeed Saturday. “We’re engaged in the standard journalistic assessment of whether the public value to publication outweighs any harms.”
In a statement released in response to massive public outcry, Thursday Google CEO Larry Page was adamant that the company has not granted the NSA any “back door” to his company’s servers, adding that Google had not heard of any program called PRISM until Thursday. However an additional slide in a top-secret PowerPoint presentation, fed to The Guardian and annotated by reporter James Ball, suggested that the PRISM program enabled data “collection directly from the servers of … Google,” among other computing giants, such as Microsoft and Yahoo!. In accordance with Gellman and Greenwald’s claims to the press, some of this additional slide is blacked out.
NSA PRISM PowerPoint presentation slide suggesting “direct collection” from U.S. service providers’ servers. (Cropped slide via The Guardian)
People briefed on the negotiations between the media giants – speaking anonymously, as law prohibits them from acknowledging the very “existence” of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requests – seemingly expanded on Page’s claims on Friday. It was then that The New York Times‘ Claire Cain Miller relayed her sources’ claims that, in the cases of Facebook and Google, some consensus had been reached between corporate and public partners on the construction of digital drop boxes, intermediary locations where the corporations would not offer carte blanche to the NSA but – after having in-house attorneys review government requests – they could leave requested information.
“[T]he government would request data,” wrote Miller, “companies would deposit it and the government would retrieve it.”
Earlier last week government officials and politicians finally came clean about vast collection by the NSA of millions of Americans’ telephonic metadata. The telephone metadata – or logs of involved telephone numbers and call lengths – was turned over by Verizon, the telephone provider for a plurality of citizens. That revelation, and subsequent admissions, flies in the face of several statement by public officials.
Among those statements is one by NSA Director and Army Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander at the Washington-based American Enterprise Institute in July of 2012. Replying to a question from Fox News Channel’s Catherine Herridge, Alexander said, “We don’t hold data on U.S. citizens.” [Link, offsite, to Chronicle-clipped C-SPAN program.]
During a March 12 Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked National Intelligence Director James Clapper about the scale of any NSA dragnet. Fast-forward to 6:42 in the video, following, for this exchange.
Ron Wyden: Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?
James Clapper: Clapper: No, sir.
Wyden: It does not?
Clapper: Not wittingly. There are cases where they could inadvertently perhaps collect but not wittingly.
On May 4, 2012, Sens. Wyden and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) sent a letter asking the NSA inspector general, I. Charles McCullough, “how many people inside the United States have had their communications collected or reviewed.” McCullough replied in his own letter that “an [inspector general] review of [that] sort suggested would violate the privacy of U.S. persons.”
In 2007, then Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill.) expressed outrage that the Bush administration had engaged in spying “on citizens who are not suspected of a crime.” Critics of the Obama administration have claimed that this amounts to hypocrisy on the part of the president.
During a March 2012 hearing of the Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee, Representative Hank Johnson (R-Ga.) asked Alexander if the NSA routinely intercepts American citizens’ emails, to which Director Alexander replied, “No.” Video follows.
The Washington Post however reported Friday that, from PRISM’s Web terminal at NSA Headquarters at Fort Meade, Md., NSA analysts key in “selectors” intended to determine with at least half accuracy a given target’s “foreignness.” The Post obtained analyst training materials that specifically address how analysts are to report any given “accidental” collection, but those materials add that that collection on citizens is “nothing to worry about.”
On Saturday Atlantic staff writer Conor Friedersdorf raised troubling questions about the implications of the NSA’s newly revealed and utterly vast collection of telephone metadata and “incidental” private, domestic media content. Even assuming the best of intentions and utmost integrity out of domestic law enforcement, should a foreign government make its way into NSA databases, he wrote, that “could enable blackmail on a massive scale, widespread manipulation of U.S. politics, industrial espionage against American businesses;, [sic] and other mischief I can’t even imagine.” Added Friedersdorf: “What if [China, Russia, Pakistan, Iran, Saudia Arabia or a successor to al-Qaeda] breached the database’s security without our even knowing?”
Claims of Lives Saved by the Surveillance Panopticon
A “U.S. intelligence official,” speaking on condition of anonymity to CBS News, said that the PRISM program “thwarted” a 2009 attempt to bomb the New York City subway system, an attack that could have killed hundreds of people.
CBS News claims: “Suicide Bomb Plot Was Halted After Suspect Realized He Was Being Tracked”
“U.S. government sources” made similar statements to Reuters’ Mark Hosenball Friday. Hosenball’s source addressed statements Tuesday afternoon by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), although the Guardian and Washington Post stories that broke the existence of PRISM were not released until that evening.
“The surveillance program that halted the Zazi plot was one that collected email data on foreign intelligence suspects,” a government source told Reuters.
The New York Times similarly reported on Friday that PRISM “yielded concrete information.” The Times‘ Eric Schmitt, David Sanger and Charlie Savage, relying on an anonymous “senior intelligence official” source, wrote Friday that a September 2009 email from an address “being monitored by the vast computers controlled by American intelligence analysts” allowed the analysts to locate the would-be bomber in Aurora, Colo.
The anonymous intelligence official added that Zazi was located “through an e-mail correspondence that we had access to only through” PRISM.
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia - At least 23 slave laborers were disciplined with cattle prods Monday when Cambodian police were called in to end a pay protest at a Nike sweatshop.
Police with riot gear were deployed to move about 3,000 female workers who had blocked a road leading to the factory.
Nike, along with corporations such as H&M, Walmart and Forever 21, have been criticized for moving plant locations when the cost of local exploitation became too high for shrewd and careful shareholders.
Plants might leave a country because its weak government cannot withstand the social pressures of a nationwide call for minimum wage hikes. When a worker stands to make $88 per month making thousands of pairs of $100 Nikes per day, and the government is no longer able to accept bribes from the corporations to halt social progress, the factories move out.
Look, I know you news writers wanna help, but these people aren’t like you and me. They’re used to being treated like shit.
“These dumbass slaves who think they can squeeze more than they deserve out of their corporate masters are gonna be sorry once they finally run ‘em out of here,” said Raleigh Saker, Lebal Drocer spokesperson. “Who’s gonna feed ya gruel then? Fuckin’ savages.” Saker admitted he questions why his company chose Cambodia in the first place: “Look, they don’t even wear shoes. You think they know anything about sewing them?”
Eighty-eight dollars, Saker said, is “absurdly high” for people living in corrugated sheet metal housing with dirt floors.
“It’s lavish,” he said. “They won’t know what to do with all that money. They might could even hurt themselves. It’s for their own good, really.”
In other news, a ceiling collapsed on several Cambodian workers this month, killing two of them like rats crushed by a rotting ship cabin floor. They were putting together a high-quality pair of Asics running shoes. Asics allow you to run fast, trampling human rights with ease.
Authorities declined to comment on the clash, saying they were still counting bribe money. A press release stated the stack of money was “so large” they were considering hiring sweatshop labor to help count the currency, which “just kept coming in.”
Kim Dotcom has faced illegal surveillance by the New Zealand government and now faces extradition to the United States. (Photo: Wikipedia)
Eccentric German-Finnish billionaire Kim Dotcom and his attorneys fired back at federal prosecutors Wednesday by accusing them, alongside other domestic authorities, of conspiracy to “deprive defendants of their presumption of innocence.” Dotcom is currently fighting attempts to extradite him from his haven in New Zealand, where he has faced illegal surveillance from that government, in addition to the charges of mass copyright violation that motivated the surveillance. According to his indictment by the United States last year, Dotcom’s former media-sharing website Megaupload was at some points responsible for 4 percent of all Internet traffic.
Dotcom’s lawyers wrote Wednesday, “[T]he outside motivating factor in this case stems from Motion Picture Association of America’s (erroneous) view of Megaupload as “the very top of the piracy pyramid,” coupled with the current Administration’s desire to placate an association whose members, as a group, are some of the Democratic Party’s strongest political supporters and most generous campaign contributors.”
Bitcoins may soon be worth next to nothing at all.
INTERNET — New hardware designed by Butterfly Labs promises to mine bitcoins more cheaply than ever before. If you aren’t familiar with bitcoins, they are a digital currency deriving their rarity and value through advanced cryptographic algorithms. Only so many bitcoins can be “found,” and they first wind up in the hands of those with enough computing cycles to slog through the complicated math.
In the past, the price of electricity did not make bitcoin mining a profitable endeavor, but engineers at Butterfly Labs have built a line of machines specifically designed to mine more bitcoins than ever before while using a minimal amount of electricity. Thousands of these mining machines have been pre-ordered and will soon ship to eager consumers hungry to make a quick buck.
Recently, the bitcoin market has been hit with severe hyper-deflation, and this rapid increase in bitcoin value could cause trading on the market to freeze up. In the past month, the price of a bitcoin has skyrocketed from $40 to nearly $100. Analysts concerned about new mining technology warn that this bubble may soon burst.
Chronicle.su field correspondents spotted PyCon drama queen and feminist partying down with hackers and felons alike at a loft in Newark, New Jersey Sunday night, when supposedly at PyCon.
Richards, supposedly took out her feminist ire out on a poor python programming man at PyCon last weekend, getting him fired in the process. He had 3 kids, one is now dead.
She has been the subject of extreme scrutiny since the child’s death and some speculate she may have possibly been committed via 5150 to a mental institution. However, after field reports spotted her at Newark, New Jersey doing pot and swinging from swings, little to no truth is known to be truer than the truth itself, which can only be the truth.
A wave of paranoia swept through the Anonymous consortium late Monday night when #TeamSabu was introduced by Aaron Bale who claims is a group of Sabu sympathizers and synthesizers, led by the OWS and Wikileaks activist shm00p of UGNazi and Rustle League fame, who is actually Sabu himself.
#TeamSabu is lead not only by shm00p, but has close ties to Adria Richards, who sold exploit code to Matthew Keys in an effort to gain the good graces of LulzSec so she could eventually land a job at the DailyDot. Little did she know that among a group of thugs, hackers and drunks, people would be snapping photos.
So who was at PyCon and why the drama surrounding Adria Richards? Simply to distract us from #OpBlackout and Aaron Bales efforts to thwart Jen Emick with Ron Brynaert in tow.
No one knows for certain, but after reading some threads on abovetopsecret.com, we believe this is Illuminati related, considering Luke Rudkowski was at weev’s sentencing.
Voting Rights Act Section 5′s Covered Jurisdictions, which are More Racist
WASHINGTON — When Wednesday John Roberts and the solicitor general questioned whether any southern concentration of racism was a rationale for Voting Rights Act Section 5′s constitutionality, cynics responded as though the chief justice was blind to a vicious national legacy. One American Prospect article — leaning on a 2005 analysis that concluded the U.S. South was especially racist — was redistributed through Twitter at least 300 times over a day.
The American Journal of Political Science analysis, aforementioned, “Old Times There Are Not Forgotten: Race and Partisan Realignment in the Contemporary South [PDF],” concluded “the regional gap in racial conservatism has not closed since [the end of the Civil Rights era.]”
The exchange between the justice and administration lawyer was in the context of a Supreme Court challenge to the decades-old Voting Rights Act, by Alabama’s Shelby County — a challenge on whether mostly southern states, due to Section 5′s “preclearance requirements,” should have to run voting-law changes by authorities in Washington.
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: General, is it — is it the government’s submission that the citizens in the South are more racist than citizens in the North?
GENERAL VERRILLI: It is not, and I do not
know the answer to that, Your Honor, but I do think it was reasonable for Congress –
CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Well, once you said it is not, and you don’t know the answer to it.
GENERAL VERRILLI: I — it’s not our submission. As an objective matter, I don’t know the answer to that question. But what I do know is that Congress had before it evidence that there was a continuing need based on Section 5 objections, based on the purpose-based character of those objections, based on the disparate Section 2 rate, based on the persistence of polarized voting, and based on a gigantic wealth of jurisdiction-specific and anecdotal evidence, that there was a continuing need.
Preclearance requirements mandate that nine states, and localities in seven others, get federal clearance before modifying voting laws. Under the challenged Section 5, localities and states serve in discrimination cases as plaintiffs, who in turn file grievances with the Justice Department.
At The Nation, columnist Ari Berman weighed in Wednesday evening, espousing that southern voter suppression attempts in particular were alive and well:
“[S]ix of the nine fully covered states under Section 5 passed new voting restrictions since 2010, including voter ID laws (Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia), limits on early voting (Georgia) and restrictions on voter registration (Alabama and Texas), compared to only one-third of noncovered jurisdictions during the same period.
In a possibly foreshadowing 2009 decision involving a Texas voting district, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority’s 8-1 opinion, “The evil that [Section 5] is meant to address may no longer be concentrated in the jurisdictions singled out for preclearance. The statute’s coverage formula is based on data that is now more than 35 years old, and there is considerable evidence that it fails to account for current political conditions.” As preclearance opponents argue that the South’s legacy of systematic voter fraud and intimidation is too far in the past for such stringent federal oversight to be relevant, what is clear is that state and locality requests for voting law changes have seen a steady dive, according to Civil Rights Division data.
The political science journal’s authors, Nicholas Valentino and David Sears, went so far as to suggest they were “underestimating true regional differences in racial conservatism, because of white Southerners’ greater tendency to hide true prejudices, and underestimating true regional differences in the linkage of racial attitudes to partisanship, because such correlations should contain more error in the South.”
ix of the nine fully covered states under Section 5 passed new voting restrictions since 2010, including voter ID laws (Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia), limits on early voting (Georgia) and restrictions on voter registration (Alabama and Texas), compared to only one-third of noncovered jurisdictions during the same period.
KIM JONG UN’S REPTILIAN FOREHEAD DIMPLE INDICATES THIRD EYE ILLUMINATI CONNECTION CONFIRMED
PYONGYANG–New evidence links Kim Jong-Un with a cell of Anonymous North Korean hackers, reports The Hacker News. Kim Jong-Un was reportedly “d0xed” as a part of an effort to shut this cell down by social engineers who reportedly tricked Un into revealing his penis for the webcam.
Recent pictures featuring Un showed a pronounced reptilian dimple in the third-eye portion of his forehead, as Un’s hands formed a pyramidal symbol of the Illuminati. Un wore a pin which some analysts believe could only be the Official Anonymous DPRK logo.
Kim Jong-Un has written over 10 million zero days in pure assembly, and currently has a secret backdoor in every American Government and Utility Computer System. Un, using AnonForecast as his spokesperson, has decided to make his big push, releasing the personal information of millions of mostly innocent government employees.
Kim Jong-Un is also th3j35t3r.
Kim Jong-Un is a hacker and proud member of Anonymous DPRK
Much ado has been made persecuting compassionate and considerate member of the online family Andrew Auernheimer, a playful jokester who has brought delight to the faces of millions of Internet users. Monocultural chauvinists in federal law enforcement have run wild with accusations of “computer fraud,” while confused fellow “leftists” like Raw Story Editor Emeritus Ron Brynaert have smeared Andrew with vile accusations of sexism and near-genocidal racism. All of these accusations are the exact opposite of all of Andrew Auernheimer’s opinions.
I have worked throughout my life not only for the cause of LGBTQIA rights (or QLIBTGA — there need not be any order!) but for the welfare of individuals on barest public subsistence. To me, the Stonewall Riots seem like they were only yesterday, even though my parents birthed me right as the New Deal gave hope for the first time to masses of retired individuals. I can tell you with complete certainty that the loveable Mr. Auernheimer has no predilections against people of color, against sex workers, or anyone in the greater Semitic family. By citing with pseudo-pride his European heritage, Andrew is only ironically referring us to that continent’s relatively generous and effective social safety nets.
With a wink and a smile, Andrew’s latest blog post is letting us all know that he is with us in the Great Fight against Ignorance, and that by pretending to be some sort of brown-eyed, ginger Nazi he is with us on the picket lines for the long haul. He starts off with his usual tongue-in-cheek smirk:
Several people asked if I’d go see “The Hobbit” with them. I declined in a rather cruel fashion.
See? There he goes again, letting us know explicitly that his tone is cruel. While normally I’d decline to agree with the heartless, hard-nosed associates of Forbes magazine, their take on Andrew’s humor as being intentional and sarcastic in its offensiveness is right on.
Calm down, Time’s Philip Elmer-DeWitt. Old Andrew knows the score. He’ll be with us — next to our engineer sisters with signs — the next time former Harvard President Lawrence Summers tries to tell women they’re stupid, obsequious domestic playthings.
Andrew has done as much to promote multiculturalism as Auburn University’s own Alan Gribben, when the latter published the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn NewSouth Edition, effectively cleansing the book of its pro-white, pro-death code words.
Before taking us into his snarky, actually anti-Nazi diatribe against Hollywood’s latest money-grubbing snatch into theatergoers’ pockets, Andrew claims to be for some sort of unrealistically self-sufficient Nordic life ethic. Then — and this is the really brilliant part — the satirist comes out against barest government provision for working families. To this end, he cites the original end to J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Return of the King.
In Tolkien’s version, the hobbits of the fellowship return to the Shire only to see it taken over by a snide old wizard controlling a horde of half-orcs. The hobbits do the only sensible thing that one would do when finding ones hometown infested by section 8 housing full of parasitic thugs, rapists and murderers: start a pogrom.
Did you see that? By playing on pop culture stereotypes of African-Americans as mindless killing, force-copulating machines, Andrew has held the Stormfront set slime up to the disinfectant of sunshine. Usually those Christian Identity losers are just able to keep to reinforcing each other somewhere in flyover country, or via their teledildonic message board activity.
Let me give you another example: The Tortoise and the Hare. I’m sure you were read it as a child. It always seemed to me to be an idiotic story to encourage people to slave away endlessly for a statistically impossible hope that they are somehow getting ahead.
When I finally read the real story, I knew hundreds of millions of children were being robbed.
Europe rose to power with children being read the Brothers Grimm classic, “The Hare and the Hedgehog.”
If my decades-long “Mirror Has Two Faces” marriage to acclaimed fellow feminist Andrea Dworkin taught me anything, it was how to use literary analysis to determine within seconds which males of white, Protestant descent were bigots. Through his brilliant satire — daresay his innumerable contributions to the computing community, for which he has been endlessly persecuted by our government — blessed Andrew is his generation’s Bayard Rustin, Harvey Milk and Larry Kramer, all rolled into one!
The Tortoise and the Hare actually outdates the 19th century Grimm brothers tale by thousands of years. The former tale’s place in the foundation of Old Europe, which And-and calls “the most precious thing that I hold within me,” is actually far deeper. Andrew knows well that the Tortoise story’s Greek origins place it at the crossroads of democracy’s very founding. While the Grimm tale is meant to encourage young men to put women in “their place” and to marry women who look as much like them as possible, modern anthropological biologists and Andrew understand that intelligence quotients tend to be higher in the offspring of interracial couplings. This neo-Puck has extended his hand across from the hilltops of Appalachia straight to his brothers, sisters and intersex individuals at the tippitiest-top of the ivory tower.
His wink comes when he cites the story of Prometheus, who like Aesop’s tortoise is of Greek origin. Therein Andrew’s mission to open our eyes and hearts to the plights of LGBTQIA individuals and those of color blossoms into full view. “Promethian flame is being replaced with politically corrected filth,” he writes.
So it’s with a palm to my chin, and a high-cheeked grin that I call off the misguided, if well-meaning, attack dogs at the Southern Poverty Law Center, Human Rights Campaign and Anti-Defamation League who have unfairly maligned Andrew Auernheimer. My friends, you owe him an apology. Were my lifelong friend Andrea alive, I’m sure she would wholeheartedly agree. God bless.
Massachusetts District U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz (Courtesy: Wikipedia)
WASHINGTON — In a not-so-stirring defense of academic conglomerate JSTOR, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said of Aaron Swartz‘s offenses, “Stealing is stealing whether you use a computer command or a crowbar, and whether you take documents, data or dollars. It is equally harmful to the victim whether you sell what you have stolen or give it away.” While common sense and lore would tend to at least lend more sympathy to Robin Hood- or Jean Valjean-type characters, who might be at least functioning out of some concern for others, Ms. Ortiz remained steadfast in her pursuit of recent “an Hero” Mr. Swartz, trying to see him put in jail for potentially the rest of his life.
Over at WhoWhatWhy Christian Stork does a nice little breakdown of this U.S. attorney’s wading into murky waters of civil asset forfeiture, one particular case in which she agreed to help confiscate a rundown, mom-and-pop Massachusetts motel because because “from 2001 to 2008, .05 [percent of at least 125,000 visitors] were arrested for drug crimes on the property.” This was a theft just like Aaron Swartz’s. Except not it was not a theft in the high-minded name of educating the world’s downtrodden, but in that of fattening the pockets of law enforcement agencies, treating poor drug abusers as criminals, alongside those who might dare house them.
Mr. Stork paints a disturbing picture of a civil asset forfeiture system in which being in debt vis-a-vis a mortgage — meaning that a bank, and its lawyers, has some has some skin in the game — means that the owners of this motel would have been in an even better position to disavow their affiliation with three handfuls of guest drug offenses. But alas they ran out of lawyer money, and the government all at once took five decades of family property worth $1.5 million.
Mr. Stork also outlines a direct financial, not an external ethical, motive for law enforcement to take on these kinds of civil asset forfeitures. He cites the testimony of a DEA agent claiming that federal attorneys never go after anything with less than $50,000 in equity. Additionally, local law enforcement, for cooperating with the feds, can look to take home up to 80 percent of what was seized. That’s a major incentive to turn a blind eye to a violation of property rights. In fact it’s more of an incentive to turn a blind eye to property-rights violations than the Pirate Party ever had: It’s money straight to the bank!
The same prosecutor, Carmen Ortiz, who sought to lock up Aaron Swartz for his failure to respect property rights of the proprietors of academic information also sought to seize a family’s business because an extreme minority of their clientele used drugs. Mr. Stork’s article makes clear that this was ultimately the DEA’s initiative, with Ms. Ortiz simply acting as its lawyer. But that doesn’t change that this U.S. attorney lacks any consistency in her modus operandi. It’s pretty obvious that the low rates for staying at this establishment, Motel Caswell, made it an even more tempting target.
Ms. Ortiz’s office released a statement about the seizure, saying: “The government believed that this was an important case . . . because of the deterrent message it sends to others who may turn a blind eye to crime occurring at their place of business.” But Mr. Stork shows this is shmoax because local crime rates dictate that there would have been just as much of a rationale for seizing nearby Walmart, Home Depot, Applebees, Motel 6 and IHOP. But those are large businesses, and no matter how many people shoot up or each other inside, they’ll have the lawyers to keep the whomever or the DEA at bay.