It isn't clear if prosecutors went after Swartz because of the usual desire for self-promotion and career aggrandizement or something more sinister. In December 2010 Swartz made a Freedom of Information Act request for information on the treatment of Bradley Manning . After the M.I.T. incident, it is possible that the feds decided to make an example of Swartz , just as they had made of Manning when he decided to tell the world about the horrors America had visited upon Iraq.
Had Swartz taken his chances with law enforcement he would not have gotten the attention he deserved. It is quite awful that only in death was he able to reveal the depth of corruption among people sworn to uphold the law and the constitution.
Aaron Swartz's death is a terrible loss to the world and the people who caused it ought to be punished with the same zeal that they meted out to others. Of course we know that will not happen. Ortiz, Heymann and company may be temporarily inconvenienced, but the system is built to protect those criminals and allow them to do the dirty work of the powerful for as long as they like.
Margaret Kimberley's Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com .
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