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  1. #11
    Council Member
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    May 2008

    Default Anonymous (yup, that one) intervenes

    The caped warrior of the InterWebs has struck again.

    Anonymous hacks lawyers for Marine accused of Iraq massacre (by Elinor Mills, February 3, 2012):

    In a string of attacks today, members of the digital activist group Anonymous apparently hacked into the Web site of defense lawyers for a U.S. Marine accused of leading a civilian massacre in Iraq, and have reportedly acquired e-mails exchanged by attorneys in the case.
    The Web site of the law firm Puckett & Faraj, which represented Marine Sgt. Frank Wuterich in his recent court martial, was inaccessible this morning. Wuterich allegedly led a group of Marines in shooting 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in 2005. The original murder charges were reduced and ultimately dropped entirely as part of an agreement last week in which Wuterich pled guilty to one count of negligent dereliction of duty. He was demoted in rank to private and will have to forfeit some of his pay, but will serve no time.
    I give credit to Ms Mills for reporting the legal details correctly: initial charges were murder; they were reduced to manslaughter; and then dropped entirely. The one count of negligent dereliction of duty is not remotely akin to a charge of negligent homicide; negligent dereliction of duty does not carry within it an element (or admission) that the dereliction was a cause of death.

    The Anonymous folks do not have Ms Mills' more refined legal knowledge - and don't give a damme because to them it was "murder" - to them, "murder" regardless of what the charges and specifications actually said (and regardless of all the investigative reports, etc.). Those folks want a bigger piece of Frank Wuterich; and will probably get it, at least virtually (from Ms Mills' article):

    "As part of our ongoing efforts to expose the corruption of the court systems and the brutality of US imperialism, we want to bring attention to USMC SSgt Frank Wuterich who along with his squad murdered dozens of unarmed civilians during the Iraqi Occupation," Russian news site reported, quoting from a message that appeared on the law firm's defaced Web site. "Can you believe this scumbag had his charges reduced to involuntary manslaughter and got away with only a pay cut?"

    "Meanwhile, Bradley Manning who was brave enough to risk his life and freedom to expose the truth about government corruption is threatened with life imprisonment," the message said."When justice cannot be found within the confines of their crooked court systems, we must seek revenge on the streets and on the internet - and dealing out swift retaliation is something we are particularly good at. Worry not comrades, it's time to deliver some epic ownage."

    The hackers also said they had nearly three gigabytes of e-mails from the law firm that they planned to leak to the public.

    "How do you think the world will react when they find out Neal Puckett and his marine buddies have been making crude jokes about the incident where marines have been caught on video pissing on dead bodies in Afghanistan?" the message says. "We believe it is time to release all of their private information and court evidence to the world and conduct a People's trial of our own."
    A couple of lessons learned from this. One for you all is don't email things you don't want published - and emails ain't secure attorney-client communications.

    As to this case, I didn't favor it's even having been brought - for the reasons stated by Paul Ware. I didn't accept Lt.Col. Ware's recommendation to refer to a general court-martial. A firestorm would have erupted for not prosecuting, but such is life.

    If, however, such a case had to have been brought (to assuage PR and political factors, for instance), then the charges should have been murder seeking the maximum possible punishment; and the prosecution should not, under any circumstances, have agreed to any reduction of charges or plea bargain. In short, the case should have been forced to merits decisions by the judge and jury. Another firestorm would have erupted, but again such is life.

    Once upon a time, we were a bit more straight-forward - at least in making the legalisms clear-cut:

    CHARGE: Murder, in violation of the 58th Article of War.

    SPECIFICATION: In that Major Littleton W.T. Waller, United States Marine Corps, being then and there detached for service with the United States Army by authority of the President of the United States, did, in time of war, willfully and feloniously and with malice aforethought, murder and kill eleven men, names unknown, natives of the Philippine Islands, by ordering and causing his subordinate officer under his command, John Horace Arthur Day, 1st Lieutenant, U.S. Marine Corps, and a firing detail of enlisted men under his said command, to take out said eleven men and shoot them to death, which said order was then and there carried into execution and said eleven natives, and each of them, were shot with rifles, from the effects of which they then and there died.

    This at Basey, Island of Samar, Philippine Islands, on or about the 20th day of January, 1902.

    To the specification - Guilty, except to the words “willfully and feloniously and with malice aforethought, murder and” - to those words, not guilty. To the charge - Not Guilty
    Now, we'll have to wait and see what meat Anonymous will be tossing out - and who the lions will be, jumping out of the Colosseum's cellers to join in the eating with Anonymous.

    Frank Wuterich and Bradley Manning - a juxtaposition to think long and hard about.


    Last edited by jmm99; 02-04-2012 at 08:52 PM.


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