by Moti Nissani
”How long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look?”—Bob Marley
“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation . . . shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”—Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address, 1863
On January 11, 2013, according to indoctrination organs of the criminal Syndicate calling itself the US government (a Syndicate comprised, for the most part, of big bankers, generals, spooks and, below them, their puppets in the White House and gubernatorial mansions, Congress and state legislatures, and almost the entire judiciary), Aaron Swartz, aged 26, killed himself.
Many on the internet have already traced Aaron’s tragic and untimely death directly to the Syndicate. I wish to add my voice to this growing chorus, placing this recent event in a somewhat larger context of historical scholarship.
In relating this story, the Syndicate’s propaganda organs conveniently forgot four crucial points:
Let me expound on these four points, one at a time.
In an online “manifesto” dated 2008, Aaron wrote: Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves.” He dedicated his life precisely to the goal of depriving the Syndicate of this power.
According to Wikipedia,
Swartz co-authored the “RSS 1.0″ specification of RSS, and built the website framework web.py and the architecture for the Open Library. Swartz also focused on sociology, civic awareness and activism.
“Swartz’s Web savvy took him from Internet entrepreneur to online activist, co-founding Demand Progress, a group that campaigns for progressive public policy — in particular fighting against Internet censorship. His crusades boosted his status as something of a folk hero.” Demand Progress had over one million members.
This figure of 1,000,000 is extremely important, for it shows, beyond all doubt, that, like John Lennon and President Kennedy, Aaron posed a real threat to the status quo. This threat is acknowledged by the Syndicate’s own indoctrination organs. For instance, National Propaganda Radio put it thus:
“Swartz had an enormous following in the technology world” and was one of the “most influential figures in talking about technology’s social, cultural and political effect.” The independent Electronic Frontier Foundation concurs: Swartz “did more than almost anyone to make the internet a thriving ecosystem for open knowledge, and to keep it that way.”
As well, Aaron spoke against US President Barack Obama’s “kill list” and cyber attacks against Iran.
Aaron was “a frequent television commentator and the author of numerous articles on a variety of topics, especially the corrupting influence of big money on institutions including nonprofits, the media, politics, and public opinion. From 2010-11, he researched these topics as a Fellow at the Harvard Ethics Center Lab on Institutional Corruption. He also served on the board of Change Congress, a good government nonprofit.”
As mentioned, government assassinations of dissidents are often preceded by a campaign of terror, intimidation, slander-mongering, litigation, physical intimidation, and incarceration. Aaron’s “suicide” fits this pattern perfectly.
The Syndicate made it clear that Aaron was in its crosshairs. Thus, Syndicate members, especially “the Motion Picture Association of America and United States Chamber of Commerce, have stated their opposition to Demand Progress on numerous occasions, mainly in respect to their stance on internet censorship.”
In 2009, the FBI put him under “investigation” (a euphemism for harassment of activists) for publicly releasing 20% of United States Federal Court documents. The “case” was closed two months later, without filing any charges but not, of course, without making Aaron pay dearly for his idealism.
The entire exercise had nothing to do with breaking laws, or justice, but a warning: “Stop harassing us,” the Federal Bureau of Intimidation was telling him, “or else!” And yet, just like a tree standing by the waters, Aaron was not moved. Despite the extreme pressure he was under, Aaron Swartz (like Bradley Manning and many other unsung heroes) remained defiant and, in late October 2009, posted his FBI file on the internet. With this single act of defiance, Aaron probably signed his own lynch warrant.
In connection with his public-spirited Open Library project, whose goal is “to create a free webpage for every book ever published” and to have as many books as possible freely available, Swartz allegedly downloaded four million restricted-access academic articles from the website of a non-profit organization called JSTOR, with the intention, according to the American government, of making these articles freely available to the world’s people (as, by the way, they would have been in any half-civilized society—can anyone imagine Archimedes or Aristarchus or Euclid or Sappho copyrighting their works?), for which “crime” he faced a potential 50(!) years behind bars. Swartz, moreover, denied the Syndicate’s allegations.
And, two days before his death, JSTOR, the organizational “victim” of Aaron’s theft, not only declined to press charges against him, but “announced that the archives of more than 1,200 of its journals would be available to the public for free.” Yet, that act of generosity and public spiritedness meant nothing to the Syndicate’s “justice” system, which continued to turn Aaron’s life into a living hell. And there is yet another curious aspect of this act. Most of us spend an entire lifetimes without ever accomplishing anything like it: cajoling a huge organization to place the public interest above its own. Are we to believe that, just two days after this momentous victory, instead of being jubilant, Aaron was depressed enough to hang himself?
The obvious answer is: sure they can. One quote, straight from the horse’s mouth, should suffice. Jim Marrs and Ralph Schuster cite a blood-curdling CIA document, a letter from an Institute consultant to a CIA officer. The letter states:
”You will recall that I mentioned that the local circumstances under which a given means might be used might suggest the technique to be used in that case. I think the gross divisions in presenting this subject might be:
- bodies left with no hope of the cause of death being determined by the most complete autopsy and chemical examinations
- bodies left in such circumstances as to simulate accidental death
- bodies left in such circumstances as to simulate suicidal death.”
I have in front of me a rough draft of a book: License to Kill: The Decisive Role of Political Murders, Scandal-Mongering, and False-Flag Operations in American Politics, a compilation of hundreds of untimely deaths of potentially troublesome dissidents. This compilation conclusively uncovers a recurring pattern of assassinations. In fact, only a handful of influential friends of the people (e.g., Upton Sinclair, Pete Seeger) have so far survived to old age. I can’t reproduce the entire book here, for obvious reasons. Moreover, at the moment it only exists as a rough draft. In a few months, hopefully, readers can freely download the book and check this claim for themselves.
In the meantime, readers can, without too much trouble, examine on their own some of the most famous assassinations of the last 100 years or so and ask themselves: What do people like Judi Bari, Fred Hampton, assorted members of the Kennedy clan, Martin Luther King, John Lennon, Louis McFadden, Phil Ochs, Karen Silkwood ,Walter Reuther, and Malcolm X have in common?
Another shortcut to grasping this diabolical aspect of our body politic is asking the converse question: How many friends of bankers, generals, and spooks have, in the same time period, been assassinated? (The answer, to my knowledge, is: ZERO).
All I’m saying has been discovered and re-discovered by hundreds of researchers, activists, and politicians. Here, let me give you the views of just two high-ranking officials.
First, a familiar quote from Woodrow Wilson (28th president of the United states)
“Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the U.S., in the field of commerce and manufacturing, are afraid of somebody, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.”
Second, Catherine Austin-Fitts (Assistant Secretary of Housing in the George H. W. Bush’s Administration:
“I think at the heart of the matter, Max, is not that the banks are out of control; I think the heart of the matter is physical violence, because a lot of what has happened, particularly as I understand in the United States is you have people who are afraid to say no because the results of saying no is physical violence directed at them or their family. I mean we have had a lot of people murdered or assassinated, etc., etc.. So . . . yes, we have to say no, but the question is, how do we say no? And that’s why it comes down to shifting our money, but the reality is we have a force operating in the world, that is completely operating outside of the law and no one yet has come up with a way to stop it. We are talking about violent mobster operations.
“I hate to use a personal example, but I was a former Assistant Secretary of Housing. I had my own business in Washington, and I was helping the Department of Housing and Urban Development, essentially run things clean, and you had to get rid of the clean team to run the housing bubble and I was targeted, I was poisoned, I had dead animals left on my doorstep, and my home had been broken into and people trying to run me off the road. You know it was very, very violent and it went on for years. So people who try to run the government clean or run Wall Street clean are targeted, and literally have to fear for their lives. I mean, people have been dying, so you know, it’s a very, very dangerous situation and the challenge is, if you have people who can kill and physically harass with impunity, how do you run a governance process?
The bankers, generals, and spooks who comprise our invisible government had plenty of reasons to kill Aaron Swartz, especially because the internet—along with a well-armed citizenry—are the last remaining obstacles on the road to their totalitarian horizon. He was creative, idealistic, and unbendable. He was young and admired by many. If not checked, he might have slowed down the Syndicate’s attacks on the biosphere, freedom, peace, justice, free flow of information, and common decencies. So the invisible government probably did kill him. They did so either indirectly through constant harassment, as his loved ones publicly state, or, most likely, directly by hanging him and alleging that he hung himself.
All this raises a dilemma for those of us possessing both conscience and a functional brain: “How long shall they kill our prophets while we stand aside and look?”
Moti Nissani is a Jack of all (academic) trades and Professor Emeritus, Department of Biology, Wayne State University. He is currently assembling a Revolutionary’s Toolkit.