A lucid response to Barrett Brown

Barrett Brown, I think you’re a pretty decent guy. “A moral chap,” in the words of Ian Murphy. What Murphy doesn’t realize is that morality is one of the worst epithets within Anonymous.

You have long worked as a crusader for truth and justice, heroically sacrificing your journalism career for worldwide fame and recognition. I swear, if I see “A Flock of Dodos” plugged one more time, I might actually buy the $95.91 hardcover from our free-speech friends at Amazon so I can get it over with. Come on, Barrett, you don’t actually think I’m so insane as to think you’re getting kickbacks from pro bono lawyers, do you? I think everyone understands where that joke was aimed. Only someone with a complete misunderstanding of Anonymous would not recognize this joke as cultural satire of Anonymous.

You have a poor understanding of Anonymous and its culture. Until recently, I thought you were probably pretty close to the mark. Not anymore. Your comments on Sony are wholly disturbing to my sense of truth.

“This week, Sony Corporation claimed to Congress that its investigation of the breach by which millions of customers had their credit card numbers compromised had turned up a document left on the server in question entitled “Anonymous” and containing the phrase “We are Legion”, itself a fragment of our longtime slogan. Some have taken this as proof that Anonymous was responsible for the most significant online heists in memory.”

“Some” have taken this as proof? As a crusader for truth, I think it’s your duty to point out that this “some” includes some within Anonymous itself. Well, I can let that go. This is a relatively minor offense, and you’re allowed to frame things in a way that makes Anonymous look better. It’s what a spokesperson does. It’s not an outright lie, like this:

“Anonymous is accused of having committed a major crime entirely different from the campaigns of civil disobedience for which we are rightfully known. The evidence is a single document that helpfully names us as the perpetrators.”

This is your most offensive statement because it characterizes Anonymous in such a grossly false light. You slander CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE by describing Anonymous as a series of “campaigns of civil disobedience.” Yes, Anonymous is known for CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE, but let’s be intellectually honest. Anonymous is known for other things too. Anonymous is known for publishing the personal information of enemies. The theft of millions of credit card numbers, sadly, is perfectly aligned with the previous behavior of Anonymous. Considering the epic failure of OpSony, is it so absurd to imagine a vengeful Anon who took “doxing” to a genocidal scale? No! Of course not! Anonymous was never so full of pure hate as it was when the PSN data was stolen. Anyone who paid any attention would know the hate was directed at the FANS OF SONY as much as the corporation itself. You are creating an imaginary group called Anonymous that the public desperately wants to believe in. It is, no matter how believable and cuddly, purely imaginary.

Anonymous is a culture. When things like “doxing” become acceptable behavior, the actions of a single person jeopardize the whole. Like I’ve warned many times with the metaphor of violence, all it takes is one maniac with a gun and a Guy Fawkes mask, and the whole thing is set up to fail. The Guy Fawkes mask was a file that says “We are Legion.” The gun was the over-zealous product of a culture that finds “doxing” hilarious. There has never been an instance where Anonymous didn’t leave a calling card. Listen, I want to believe Anonymous was framed, but I’m not going to use a bunch of blatant lies to rationalize this belief! That is exactly what you have done, oh moral crusader for truth.

Logs or it didn’t happen? Please! Logs of all private messages between everyone on AnonOps, or STFU.

I respect you for attempting to present the best side of Anonymous. However, the way you have ignored the worst of Anonymous is a miserable failure for truth. Please, Barrett, the name of truth is more holy than the name of Anonymous. Anonymous has always been in denial of its dark side, and you are now the very worst part of this problem. Sony may be guilty of framing Anonymous. Eastern European criminals may be guilty of framing Anonymous. More likely, Anonymous is guilty of framing Anonymous. Anonymous is a magnet for people who want to see the world burn.

The way you have portrayed Anonymous as a group is perhaps the most dangerous lie yet. It’s dangerous for your own position as spokesperson and dangerous for everyone who has ever participated under the banner of Anonymous. This excerpt is from Yes, you should join Anonymous, a piece that singlehandedly leverages your celebrity to define Anonymous as AnonOps IRC. What’s happened to AnonOps IRC, since you wrote this, Barrett?

“If you’d like to support Anonymous in our work, you may easily do so via these instructions, which includes information on using IRC to connect to our main base of operations at Anonops. A list of tools that are of use to anyone conducting our style of “information warfare” against corrupt institutions or engaging in activism of any sort may be found here.”

Well Barrett, you’ve further defined Anonymous as a group and helped implicate every participant in a larger conspiracy that doesn’t exist. For all your talk about the mad legal research going on within AnonOps, you’ve outed exactly how many sockpuppets and gearheads? Congratulations on being such a great spokesperson, slinging the word faggot around like it doesn’t mean something hateful. Bradley Manning is the real hero of our age. In a country that has only recently allowed free speech for homosexuals in its military, why the fuck are you, a supposed figurehead for free speech activism, using the word ‘faggot?’ You got a problem with Bradley Manning’s homosexuality or something? We all know how much great work you’ve done, and that I do nothing but pointless bitching and moaning. HAH! You’re the one who’s always left bitching after we’re done with the jokes. Anonymous is not a group, it is a culture. We’re so sorry that we have a mean sense of humor.

With a spokesperson like you, who needs enemies?

‘Truther’ is an epithet in America. Do you want ‘Anonymous’ to be an epithet?



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