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Aaron Swartz: Suicide or Murder?

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He knew Aaron as a friend and lawyer. On January 13, he headlined "Prosecutor as Bully," saying:

Whatever Aaron did wasn't for personal gain. He did what he thought right. JSTOR understood. "They declined to pursue their own action against Aaron."

They asked prosecutors to drop charges. "MIT, to its great shame, was not as clear."

Prosecutors took full advantage. They got the excuse they wanted to target Aaron. They wrongfully criminalized him.

"From the beginning, the government worked as hard as it could to characterize what Aaron did in the most extreme and absurd way."

It suggested he downloaded academic and scholarly articles for profit.

"But anyone who says that there is money to be made in a stash of ACADEMIC ARTICLES is either an idiot or a liar. It was clear what this was not, yet our government continued to push as if it had caught the 9/11 terrorists red-handed."

"Aaron had literally done nothing in his life 'to make money.' " Whatever he earned wasn't by intent.

"(W)e live in a world where the architects of the financial crisis, (notorious despots, and other scoundrels) regularly dine at the White House."

"(W)hy (was) Aaron labeled a 'felon?' " Prosecutors bled him dry. "(W)e need to get beyond the 'I'm right so I'm right to nuke you' ethics that dominates our time."

"That begins with one word: shame. One word, and endless tears."

A previous article questioned the official suicide story. It quoted Aaron extensively in his own words. It asked if he sounded like someone planning suicide.

He advocated online openness and freedom. He called information "power." He wanted it in the public domain. He wanted everyone able to share it freely and openly. Failure is "too high a price to pay," he said.

It's "outrageous and unacceptable," he added. Possessors of information are obligated to share it. They're morally bound not to "keep this privilege for (them)selves."

"(S)haring isn't immoral - it's a moral imperative. Only those blinded by greed would refuse to let a friend make a copy."

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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That's my vote.I did not know Arron Swartz and fra... by Tom James on Thursday, Jan 17, 2013 at 7:19:17 AM