The US government is in collusion with secretive major corporations that are manipulating world events for profit and going to great lengths to conceal their involvement in tracking the movements and actions of everyday people on a global scale. Those that have the motivation and skill-set to expose what would have never been known otherwise are 2013′s version of investigative journalists. They may be unjustly punished and labelled by those who wish to silence them as villainous threats, but to a rapidly growing percentage of citizens around the world, the truth of their selfless acts and sacrifice is absolutely clear and justified.
Jeremy Hammond, 28yrs old, sits in a Federal Prison right now. Since March the 5th of 2012, over ten months ago, he has been held without bail or trial. Jeremy is accused of accessing the intelligence firm Stratfor and its database then releasing 5 million internal emails. He is facing numerous charges having the potential of sentencing him up to 37yrs to life in prison. The information that was revealed has shown the world the depth of an otherwise unknown network of global governmental corruption and surveillance. Corruption and surveillance that is so all encompassing that it is difficult to even comprehend. The scope of which raises an even more difficult question of how those involved are able to participate in good conscious, much less operate within the law and behind a veil of secrecy.
We are grateful to have an opportunity to speak with Sue Crabtree of the Jeremy Hammond Support Network. Sue is a wife and mother of 5, a nurse of 32 years and an activist. We will talk about Jeremy, the information he allegedly revealed with the release of the Stratfor documents and on the importance for our collective future to have people who perform these selfless acts for the sole benefit of educating the rest of us.
RN: Sue, welcome and thank you. Lets begin with how you know Jeremy?
SC: I have known Jeremy since December 2005. He is a friend of my oldest son. I met him for the first time after he and my son Scott were arrested following a KKK protest in Toledo, Ohio. We were living outside of Chicago at the time.
RN: What can you tell us about Jeremy’s motivation for activism?
SC: Jeremy has been an activist for as long as I have known him. He has fought against anything he feels is wrong. The KKK for instance. He was arrested for throwing a red substance at a Holocaust denier, David Irving. He is an Anarchist who has never believed in the road our country is taking. He has fought against prejudices toward the gay community as well.
RN: So would you say his heart is in activism, no matter the cause, if he feels it’s unjust?
SC: Yes, I would totally say that. If Jeremy feels that something is unfair to all, he will fight for change. Jeremy is a revolutionary. He’s a fighter for equality.
Going into what was revealed with the Stratfor release. On the subject of surveillance, we learned that Stratfor is a partially government funded corporation owned and operated by ex CIA employees. In the words of Fred Burton Stratfor V.P. For Intelligence, from one of the released emails, “I knew these hacks when they were GS-12′s at the CIA. God Bless America…”. Fred Burton, Stratfor’s Vice-President for Counter-terrorism and Corporate Security, is a former Deputy Chief of the Department of State’s (DoS) counter-terrorism division for the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS).
What have these hacks been up to? Well for one, they have developed a secret global network of paid informants who deliver information back to Stratfor, giving them intimate access to information on the inner-workings of governments and social developments. Reselling this information to other governments and corporate interests for profit, enabling them to manipulate world events in their favor.
We learned about the Trapwire corporation (http://www.trapwire.com/) and its world wide public surveillance system. With the use of CCTV cameras in major cities around the world, Trapwire utilizes the most advanced facial recognition technology to track the movement and predict the behavior of citizens without their knowledge. Every few seconds, data is picked up at surveillance points, recorded digitally on the spot, then encrypted and instantaneously delivered to a fortified central database center at an undisclosed location to be aggregated with other intelligence collected about people, to risk assess their actions in real time.
Combine this knowledge with the statements of National Security Agency whistle-blower William Binney and the terrifying reality becomes all to clear. Anything any individual does through a third party connection, in any electronic medium, is all used to create an electronic model of your prior, current and future behaviour. http://www.democracynow.org/2012/4/20/exclusive_national_security_agency_whistleblower_william
We learned that a secret Grand Jury had already issued a sealed indictment for Julian Assange editor and chief of Wikileaks, early in 2011. The foundation for Mr Assange being granted his political asylum by Ecuador.
What I’ve explained here is just the tip of the iceberg on the vast wealth of information that was released in those 5 million emails.
RN: Sue, how is it even possible that the data of every average citizen is “lawfully accessible” by these corporations, yet Jeremy Hammond sits in a federal prison awaiting a potential life sentence for allegedly exposing their emails?
SC: This is really a great question, but I pose this question to you. How can the NSA and Intelligence agencies illegally collect data of private citizens in complete violation of the law and yet the Government is concerned about the alleged hacking by Jeremy Hammond for the purposes of transparency? If the Government were concerned with enforcing the CFAA laws and privacy laws, they would start with the NSA.
RN: Can you explain the charges that Jeremy is currently facing?
SC: Jeremy is charged with Conspiracy to commit computer hacking. Computer hacking and Conspiracy to commit access device fraud. Also of note in this indictment is evidence that the FBI, in conjunction with a confidential informant, now known as Hector Xavier Monseguer was aware of the threat to Stratfor as early as 12/6/2011. In fact, the data collected from the Stratfor hack was initially stored on FBI supplied servers. The hack of Stratfor continued under the direction of the FBI throughout the month of December and at no time did the FBI attempt to stop the transfer of information from Stratfor servers. This information is readily available in the Hammond indictment and is undisputed. (http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/03/07/Hammond,%20Jeremy%20Complaint.pdf)
RN: On Nov. 22nd 2012, 8 months into his confinement Jeremy had a bail hearing. Will you tell us the outcome and describe for us what that was like for his supporters in attendance?
SC: Jeremy’s bail hearing was originally scheduled for November, 19, 2012. There was a last minute change to the bail hearing date to November 20, 2012. This, as told by many legal experts, was designed to stop any rallies or gatherings for the bail hearing. If that was the goal, it was unsuccessful. We gathered at Foley Square with friends of Jeremy who had come from Chicago, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Tennessee to show support for Jeremy. We participated in a brief rally and interview with Democracy Now and then walked across the street to the courthouse. We filed into the courthouse and took our seats as we waited for Jeremy to arrive. Jeremy entered the courtroom and was thrilled to see familiar faces. I would like to state that Jeremy has had no personal contact with friends or family since his arrest in March, 2012 and so these hearings are the only means by which Jeremy is able to see a friendly face. We sat quietly as we listened to the Defence state all reasons for Jeremy to receive bail and be placed in the care of Attorney Michael Smith. It was stated by the Defence that Jeremy would be fitted with a monitoring device, denied access to the internet and only be allowed to go from his residence to this Attorney’s office. The defence also stated that at any time should Jeremy be late to their office or not be at his residence, they would notify the Marshall Service and he would be taken into custody. Judge Preska stated that it would be possible for Jeremy, on the way to the Attorney’s office, to slip in to an Internet Cafe and hack credit cards. The defence stated that Jeremy had never acted in this manner in the past and there was no evidence that he would, but Judge Preska stated that “He could”. Judge Loretta Preska also referred to Jeremy as more dangerous than an on-line sex offender because he uses TOR, a program used to hide his identity. I watched Jeremy begin to slide down in his seat in obvious defeat. In the end, Judge Preska read her ruling which was clearly made prior to the start of the bail hearing and denied Jeremy bail. Several of Jeremy’s friends began to cry as we heard the Judge refer to Jeremy in such a vile way. Jeremy walked out of court as we sat there stunned by what had just happened and the horrible portrait that was painted of Jeremy by Judge Preska.
RN: When is Jeremy’s trial scheduled?
SC: To my knowledge, there is no trial date set. It is my understanding that there is still much discovery to consider. Hopefully part of that discovery will be how the Government is able to violate our 1st Amendment rights by using Anonymity themselves to infiltrate Activist/Hactivist groups. Since Jeremy has been denied bail, it is nearly impossible for his Attorney’s to prepare a proper defence given the troves of information provided in the hack of Stratfor. Judge Preska was made aware of this at the time of the bail hearing and this problem has yet to be resolved and the likelihood of the Attorney’s being able to prepare a defence of this magnitude without Jeremy’s assistance working alongside of them, is slim to none. I would also like to state that the discovery is being reviewed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) at this time.
RN: What can we expect from the future proceedings of Jeremy’s trial?
SC: I fear we can expect much of the same as we have seen from the bail hearing. As you may know, a conflict of interest with Judge Preska has been identified and this Judge to date has refused to recuse herself and admits that she was aware of the conflict prior to accepting this case. Jeremy is being prosecuted under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the very same act that Aaron Swartz was being prosecuted under. This is a very broad law and basically allows the Government to prosecute anyone. The law prohibits someone from accessing a protected computer but does not explain what a protected computer is. The CFAA defines a “protected computer” as a computer. Given the FBI’s clear entrapment issue in this case, I am concerned with the blatant disregard for Jeremy’s rights and the severe sentence he is facing, should he be found guilty. I would expect another obscene display of our justice system when it comes to Jeremy Hammond.
RN: What is the Jeremy Hammond Support Network doing and how can others who emphasize with Jeremy’s struggle get involved to help with your efforts?
SC: The Jeremy Hammond Support Network is designed to keep the public informed of the case against Jeremy. It provides updates from his Attorneys as to the status of his case and any needs or requests that Jeremy may have. The Support Network in conjunction with his fellow Activists in Chicago and Sparrow Media Project were able to arrange a Press Conference which took place on 11/29/2012 to outline what has been exposed in the hack of Stratfor. I’m sure everyone is aware of Trapwire, but also of note is the monitoring of the group PETA and the spying on victims of the Bhopal disaster which left nearly 4000 people dead and hundreds of thousands permanently injured. The hack of Stratfor also exposed the monitoring of the Yes Men. Many of the emails are still being reviewed and I hazard a guess that more will be exposed about the suspicious if not illegal activities on the part of Stratfor. The Jeremy Hammond Support Network was put in place to help expose the crimes against the people and work to share this information with the public. Our primary focus of course is Jeremy himself. We have book drives to send Jeremy books, letter and postcard writing events and arrange rallies for all of his court dates. I am in contact with his Attorneys who have been kind enough to deliver hundreds of Birthday greetings to Jeremy on his birthday, to remind him that he is not forgotten. We do our best to keep this case in the news. Our goal is to remind Jeremy that we will fight for him as he has fought for all of us. We work closely with FreeAnons.org who works tirelessly to assist all jailed and/or prosecuted anons. There is also a website where donations to Jeremy’s defence fund are accepted. That site is FreeHammond.org and is managed by his family. They provide Jeremy with any needed financial assistance while he is incarcerated.
The case against Jeremy Hammond is just one more example of an out of control Government, bent on handing down the most severe punishments to anyone who exposes the criminal behaviours of the Government or the companies, like Stratfor, working with them. Like Aaron Swartz and Bradley Manning, Jeremy Hammond is a victim of the very Government who is prosecuting him. Judge Preska in her vicious decision to deny Jeremy bail by stating he is a threat to the community and having a known conflict in this case shows us the manner in which the Government is prosecuting these cases.
Jennifer Baker Revolution News
Jeremy Hammond Support Network web links.
Free Hammond Donation and information page http://freehammond.org/
Jeremy Hammond Support Network Facebook
JHSN twitter http://twitter.com/Free_Hammond
Free Anons http://freeanons.org/
Jeremy has made a request for books.(must be sent from seller to following address)
Jeremy Hammond – #18729_424 Metropolitan Correctional Center 150 Park Row New York, New York 10007
You can also send letters and post cards.