[Ppnews] Hacker and activist Jeremy Hammond in court

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Mon Feb 25 13:55:08 EST 2013

  Hacker and activist Jeremy Hammond in court

February 25, 2013


On his 355th day in custody awaiting a "speedy trial" as guaranteed by 
law, alleged LulzSec hacker and lifelong activist Jeremy Hammond had his 
second week in solitary confinement interrupted by yet another pretrial 

The 27-year-old anarchist is in custody pending trial for his alleged 
involvement in hacking the private intelligence contractor Stratfor, 
releasing more than 5 million emails to WikiLeaks, which rebranded them 
"The GI Files" and has been making news with them ever since.

LulzSec was a hacking crew that broke away from the main body of 
Anonymous, impatient with the slow, messy decision-making process of a 
hydra-headed hive mind. They were looking for action, for impact, and 
for a time, they found it. And then the Feds found them.

The Stratfor hack, it would appear, was orchestrated by the FBI through 
LulzSec leader Sabu (Hector Monsegur), who seems to have originated and 
directed the plan during the time he was working as an FBI informant.

The main issue at the hearing was not bail, which had been denied by 
Judge Loretta Preska back in November of last year. It was not a change 
in the charges or potential sentences (Hammond faces a potential 37 
years to life in prison). It was not the role of the FBI in initiating 
the Stratfor hack in the first place which, if true, would almost 
certainly constitute entrapment.

It was whether or not the judge would recuse herself for conflict of 

Judge Preska's husband Thomas Kavaler, who has not hesitated to mix it 
up with his wife's critics on Twitter, turns out to have been a Stratfor 
client whose data was revealed by the hack. The defence lawyers filed a 
motion for the judge to recuse herself, which today she denied in a 
27-page finding.

Her husband insists that he was basically spammed by Stratfor and cannot 
recall ever signing up for their email newsletter, while Stratfor 
corporate emails released in the GI files clearly indicate that Stratfor 
only sent out its newsletters to those who has requested them, and did 
not engage in random spamming. Judge Preska said that she will decide on 
whether or not to recuse herself at the next hearing, set for April 20.

Reaction from Hammond supporters was predictably outraged. Attendees of 
the hearing were outraged at Judge Preska's frequently dismissive 
language, and within a few hours a parody Twitter account was set up. No 
matter what you ask it, it shoots back a snippy response, ending each 
statement with "So what?"

Other Anonymous members are less subtle: "I'm about to fire up 
metasploit and fuck some shit up," one wrote on Facebook.

Some court-savvy supporters took a different path and pointed out 
different legal avenues to pursue. Hammond's support is both broad and 
deep, each of his well-attended hearings being accompanied by a public 
rally and press conference which has been livestreamed. WikiLeaks Truck 
artist Clark Stoekley attended yesterday's hearing, acting as courtroom 
artist and supplying his mother, Rose, with proof that he was looking 
good and growing his hair again. Hammond was also the subject of a 
sympathetic Rolling Stone profile in December.

It's not clear who coined the term "the Other Bradley Manning" to 
describe him, but the term has come into wide use over the past month, 
and WikiLeaks itself frequently tweets Hammond-related news. On the site 
ThisDayinWikiLeaks, statistics always include the days in custody of 
both Manning and Hammond, alongside the number of days Julian Assange 
has been at the Ecuadorian Embassy.

One of the cards Assange displayed as part of the Bitnik art project 
read "Free Jeremy Hammond." Awareness of his case is so widespread that 
twice I have been given a thumbs-up while wearing a Free Hammond tee, 
even though I don't even live in the U.S.

Until April 20, Hammond will remain at the Metropolitan Correctional 
Center in New York, where he has 30 days in solitary confinement yet to 
serve. This hasn't stopped him from issuing a powerful statement on 
"Aaron Swartz and the Criminalization of Digital Dissent," although it 
presumably puts a cramp in his ability to lead the art workshop in the 
prison as he was doing before. He reportedly got them to make Anonymous 

 From Jeremy Hammond, we should indeed have expected that.

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