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Thread: Dealing with Haditha

  1. #161
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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.

  2. #162
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Mar 2006


    This Anonymous stuff is frankly pretty terrifying, and wholly annoying. I am also incredibly frustrated by the fact that they seem to be able to hack at will, and legitimate law enforcement can do nothing to prevent it at the moment.

    They may consider themselves technical Robin Hoods, but they strike me as no better than spineless thieves and a threat to national security.

  3. #163
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    May 2008

    Default Jon: More "V for Vendetta" ...

    than Robin Hood. See, V for Vendetta (comic book format novel) and V for Vendetta (film). The film is worth watching because it definitely has a message; and includes both strategy and TTP, fetched and far-fetched.

    V for Vendetta's Guy Fawkes Mask has become a political sign of the times (Guardian UK, Euclides Montes; 10 Sep 2011):

    Not only does wearing a Guy Fawkes mask at demonstrations give protesters anonymity, it's an instant symbol of rebellion.
    Anonymous, the hacking collective, is perhaps our best example. While the organisation supports anti-establishment and civil disobedience as its set of principles, it also welcomes a large number of people for whom such goals are perhaps not as important as Anonymous would like us to believe. However, the mask offers it at once a political symbol that provides anonymity. And therein lies the symbol's increasing popularity, imbued with a political aura while simultaneously offering the comfort (and depending on your activities, the safety) of secrecy.

    Or perhaps I'm just barking up the wrong tree; the Guy Fawkes mask phenomenon might be nothing more than a fad . But if we have learned anything from the longevity of Korda's Che image, it is that when a symbol takes hold of our imagination, it is worth considering its relevance.
    On the other hand, V's creator (David Lloyd) sees it as symbolic of a real-life Network, global in scope:

    ”As far as that mask is concerned, well, I'm happy it's being used as a multi-purpose banner of protest,” Lloyd tells Comic Riffs. “It's like [Alberto Korda’s] Che Guevara image on T-shirts and such that was used so often in the past as a symbol of revolutionary spirit — the difference being that while Che represented a specific political movement, the mask of V does not: It's neutral.

    “It just represents opposition to any perceived tyranny,” continues Lloyd, “which is why it fits easily into being Everyman's tool of protest against oppression rather than being a calling card for a particular group.”

    As for the Occupy Movement, the man behind the mask tells Comic Riffs: “I must say, the mass protests against the titanic unfairness of the way things are these days reminds me very much of [Paddy Chayevsky’s 1976 satire] ‘Network,’ that movie where the disillusioned newsman cries out: ‘I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!’ — and causes a ripple that spreads out into the whole city.

    “This time it's across the globe.”
    Slate has a couple of recent pieces on V for Vendetta and Anonymous (interestingly enough, descended from a 4Chan discussion group).

    Recognizably Anonymous - How did a hacker group that rejects definition develop such a strong visual brand? (by Rob Walker; Dec. 8, 2011):

    The loosely affiliated and ever-changing band of individuals who call themselves Anonymous have been variously described as hackers, hacktivists, free-expression zealots, Internet troublemakers, and assorted combinations thereof. By all accounts the group has no clear hierarchy or leadership, or even any internal agreement about what exactly it is. And yet, as you’ve encountered news and speculation about Anonymous—maybe from reports about coordinated denial-of-service attacks on financial institutions that stopped doing business with WikiLeaks last year, or the group’s more recent association with Occupy Wall Street—you may also have noticed its memorable logo: a suited figure with a question mark where his head should be, set against a U.N.-style globe. You’ve also likely seen the visual symbol that’s made its way onto the streets: a Guy Fawkes mask borrowed by Anonymous from the V for Vendetta graphic novel and movie for use in real-world protests. So how did this chaotic, volunteer-driven, non-organization manage to create a visual identity stronger than many commercial brands?
    Is the Guy Fawkes Mask a Metaphor for the Closet? (by Forrest Wickman; Dec. 9, 2011). While the film presents the enemy as a homophobic, Islamophobic fascist dictatorship, this piece seems to me to over-emphasize the "gay metaphor".

    Closer to the mark is this (from AP/Huffington), Occupy Wall Street: Vendetta Masks Become Symbol Of The Movement:

    By TAMARA LUSH AND VERENA DOBNIK, The Associated Press

    NEW YORK — Look at a photo or news clip from around the world of Occupy protesters and you'll likely spot a handful of people wearing masks of a cartoon-like man with a pointy beard, closed-mouth smile and mysterious eyes.

    The mask is a stylized version of Guy Fawkes, an Englishman who tried to bomb the British Parliament on Nov. 5, 1605.
    Yet whether the inspiration is the comic, the movie or the historical figure, the imagery – co-opted today by everyone from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the hacker group Anonymous – carries stronger connotations than some of the Occupy protesters seem to understand.

    While Fawkes' image has been romanticized over the past 400 years, he was a criminal who tried to blow up a government building. It would be hard to imagine Americans one day wearing Timothy McVeigh masks to protest the government or corporate greed. ... (more in article).
    Are these folks dangerous ? Some certainly are. If "V" in the film becomes their model in real life, they could be as deadly as Tim McVeigh.


    Last edited by jmm99; 02-05-2012 at 08:15 AM.

  4. #164
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Mar 2006

    Default ust Kills: How The Marine Corps Blew The Biggest War Crimes Case Since Vietnam

    I thought that the Forum had a thread on the Haditha murders in November 2005, a search says not, but this "long read" is worth reading.

    Last edited by davidbfpo; 07-02-2018 at 10:22 AM. Reason: 47,281v toady


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