Thursday, June 11, 2015

First They Came for Reason ...

... as referenced here.

I work hard not to get paranoid. I also try to maintain a realistic view of my own prominence/importance both in the freedom movement and in the general scheme of things. I'm small fry, and I know it.

Nonetheless, as outlined in that link above, I do think it's reasonable to take protective measures for both my readers and myself.

And while I disagree with dL (in comments on this week's Thanks For Asking! thread) that Reason itself necessarily needs to be making use of its own "bully pulpit" with reference to this matter, I do generally agree that "bully pulpits," however limited their bulliness, should be very specifically used to work in the opposite direction of "chilling effects," for both moral and practical reasons.

The moral rationale: In attempting to identify anonymous/pseudonymous commenters at Reason, using compulsory legal process, the US Department of Justice is clearly hoping to make its critics shut up. That's wrong and evil.

The practical rationale: The only way to effectively fight the DoJ's attempt at producing said chilling effect is to just get louder.

So I just did a sort of mini-inventory of stuff I've said or done recently that might put me on the same radar screen. I came up with two public things and two private things. And it seems to me I should put those two private things on the public record alongside the already public things. That way if I get carried away with a hood over my head or whatever, you'll know why.

The two public things:

  1. I suggested that "[t]he time has come for the Revolutionary Agorist Cadre to form and to act," and made some suggestions as to what it might look like and what it might do.
  2. I published the first Dox & Shun notice, urging people to aggressively negatively socially preference US Attorney Preet Bharara. The second Dox & Shun notice, btw, should be ready soon, and it happens to be for the very government official involved in the Reason subpoena, US District Court judge Katherine Forrest. That was the plan before the Reason subpoena.

The two private things:

  1. In a nominally private email discussion on the subject of whether or not Ross Ulbricht contracted for killings and if so whether or not that could possibly have been justified, I wrote the following: "I do not call for the killing of US Attorney Preet Bharara or Judge Katherine Forrest. But since they have openly conspired to abduct, cage, and possibly kill people in the past, since they are openly engaged in conspiring to abduct, cage and possibly kill innocent people right now, and since they openly admit to planning to conspire to abduct, cage, and possibly kill people in the future, should someone happen to walk up to one of them and unload a pistol in his or her face, I will dig into my pocket as deeply as possible for contributions to legal defense or illegal escape funds."
  2. In the blog post on the RAC referenced and linked above, I mention "The Squad" as a possible model for some of its operations. Privately, I have ordered, and am awaiting the arrival of, a copy of The Squad and the Intelligence Operations of Michael Collins. Not by way of planning a similar campaign, mind you. I just had the subject on my mind and I'm a 20th century Irish history buff (I just finished Tim Pat Coogan's biography of Eamon de Valera; I've also read his bio of Michael Collins and his history of the IRA).

Thinking about those four elements, it occurs to me that if I was a no-good, rat-bastard sonofabitch like Assistant US Attorney Niketh Velamoor, whose job appears to be to identify some people with incorrect opinions to make examples of, I might, on a slow day anyway, pick my file out of a stack of files concerning such people and such opinions.

While I have a perfect legal defense -- I have been very careful to avoid making "true threats" and it is quite obvious that I neither have, nor have expressed, any intent to personally harm, or hire anyone to personally harm, the evil-doers in the Ross Ulbricht affair -- Voldemort ... er, Velamoor ... could probably make my life fairly difficult were he so inclined.

It seems to me that the best preemptive measure against such an outcome is to get everything out there in advance, so that he knows increasing my difficulties incrementally would increase his own difficulties exponentially.

Nothing against anonymity or pseudonymity, but it's my opinion that at this point being very open with and very clear about one's identity and one's opinions presents the hardest target for these bad actors.


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