November 15, 2013, is the day a judge will sentence Jeremy Hammond to 10 years for speaking truth.
For those who are not familiar with the name, Jeremy Hammond is one more in a growing number of whistleblowers being attacked and forced into silence for bringing the illegal and unconscionable abuse of the rights of the people to light.
Joining the likes of Barrett Brown, journalist; Chelsea Manning, United States Army soldier; Edward Snowden, computer specialist; William Binney, former NSA official-mathematician and code breaker…and a host of others who have been attacked, arrested, prosecuted, investigated, harassed, maligned and many jailed under the guise of “security and protection,” Jeremy Hammond, a political activist, web developer and musician from Chicago, is a hero to those of us who truly believe in transparency and accountability – of our government, of corporations and of each other.
Jeremy Hammond only did what his conscience demanded of him. He was involved in hacking and leaking information from Strategic Forecasting, a private security firm. The information revealed that Stratfor had been spying on human rights activists at the behest of corporations and the U.S. government – those “clients” include large banks, government contractors as well as police departments, state troopers, and other city, state and federal agencies in the US and across the globe (this includes information gathered on and for use against the Occupy movement)
In December, 2011, a group of hactivists broke through the security of Stratfor’s system and gathered information to include emails and credit card accounts for clients then left a message for Stratfor.
By Monday, February 27, 2012, Wikileaks began their release of emails dating from 2004 through 2011 – ” The Global Intelligence Files” – more than five million emails from Texas-headquartered Stratfor.
Also on that Monday, Twitter became twittering with tweets [email protected], confirming it was the source of the WikiLeaks release.
“We promised you those mails and now they’ll finally be delivered. Five million (that’s 5,000,000) emails at your pleasure,” said the Anonymous account.
“There’s a treasure trove of nasty details in those emails. We think there’s something for everyone.”
Emails published through Wikileaks, reported on in the Guardian, as well as the Anonymous’ “Christmas present” left on Stratfor’s servers left the CIA wanna-bes, Stratfor, embarrassed, to say the least.
Jeremy was arrested in March, 2012 and by August, 2012, plead guilty to a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) and is now facing a maximum sentence of ten years. That 10 years is more than his “co-conspirators”, in the UK and elsewhere, have received – many only received 16 months for their part in the act; others are already free – but Jeremy, in the US, will be looking at a decade.
Today I pleaded guilty to one count of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. This was a very difficult decision. I hope this statement will explain my reasoning. I believe in the power of the truth. In keeping with that, I do not want to hide what I did or to shy away from my actions. This non-cooperating plea agreement frees me to tell the world what I did and why, without exposing any tactics or information to the government and without jeopardizing the lives and well-being of other activists on and offline.
During the past 15 months I have been relatively quiet about the specifics of my case as I worked with my lawyers to review the discovery and figure out the best legal strategy. There were numerous problems with the government’s case, including the credibility of FBI informant Hector Monsegur. However, because prosecutors stacked the charges with inflated damages figures, I was looking at a sentencing guideline range of over 30 years if I lost at trial. I have wonderful lawyers and an amazing community of people on the outside who support me. None of that changes the fact that I was likely to lose at trial. But, even if I was found not guilty at trial, the government claimed that there were eight other outstanding indictments against me from jurisdictions scattered throughout the country. If I had won this trial I would likely have been shipped across the country to face new but similar charges in a different district. The process might have repeated indefinitely. Ultimately I decided that the most practical route was to accept this plea with a maximum of a ten year sentence and immunity from prosecution in every federal court.
Now that I have pleaded guilty it is a relief to be able to say that I did work with Anonymous to hack Stratfor, among other websites. Those others included military and police equipment suppliers, private intelligence and information security firms, and law enforcement agencies. I did this because I believe people have a right to know what governments and corporations are doing behind closed doors. I did what I believe is right.
I have already spent 15 months in prison. For several weeks of that time I have been held in solitary confinement. I have been denied visits and phone calls with my family and friends. This plea agreement spares me, my family, and my community a repeat of this grinding process.
I would like to thank all of my friends and supporters for their amazing and ongoing gestures of solidarity. Today I am glad to shoulder the responsibility for my actions and to move one step closer to daylight.
FreeAnons, as well as other organizations fighting to help Jeremy, is asking for the help of those who are Anonymous…
We may not be taking part in active hactivism on the front lines but we are Anonymous in heart and soul.
Those of us who stand for and believe in accountability of all and for all.
Who stand for and believe in transparency as the only way to force that accountability on those who hide behind a shield of corporation, wealth and law designed to subvert real freedom – in this nation, constitutionally guaranteed freedom to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that includes respect and regard for each person equally.
And those who stand with Jeremy Hammond – a brilliant, creative, young man, acting on behalf of us all.
What you can do:
We know the US government under the current “prosecute all whistleblowers” regime, will want the full 10 years but we can make a difference in what the judge will do by asking for that leniency – the sentence term is, after all, at the judges discretion.
For more information on the letter writing campaign – what is needed and how to write the letter:
Those letters must be received no later than October 15, 2013.
We are Anonymous
We never forgive
We never forget
And if in NYC, Pack The Courtroom on November 15, 2013
-Date & Time-
November 15, 2013 at 10:00 AM
United States Courthouse, Southern District of New York
500 Pearl Street
New York, NY 10007
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