Justice Department Seeks To Keep Secret The Names Of Prosecutors Of Aaron Swartz

Carmen-Ortiz-144x150The Justice Department was once all too eager to announce its prosecution of Aaron Swartz and issue press releases on how they piled on additional counts against him. However, after Swartz committed suicide in response to its unrelenting prosecution, U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz and the Justice Department now want to keep the names of prosecutors in the case a secret so that they will not be held accountable for the abusive case. The Justice Department routinely holds press conferences in which prosecutors crowd stages to take credit for indictments. However, when a prosecution is denounced globally as excessive and cruel, the Justice Department wants to prevent the public from knowing the identities of the prosecutors responsible.


Attorney General Eric Holder left no question about the Administration’s support of the abusive treatment of Aaron Swartz by US Attorney Carmen Ortiz and Deputy US Attorney Stephen Heymann. Heymann was previously linked to a suicide in another prosecution. We have discussed the abusive prosecution earlier and Swartz’s suicide after months of unrelenting threats and coercion. Holder heralded the treatment of Swartz as an example of the “good use of prosecutorial discretion.” Swartz’s girlfriend has come forward to denounce Holder and the Obama Administration for its misrepresentations in the case.

Ortiz previously tried to dampen criticism with a statement that misrepresented facts in the case. For his part, Holder repeated his solemn obligation to prosecute crimes but that fervent belief in the rule of law was missing when Obama promised CIA officials that no one would be prosecuted for torture. It was missing when Holder and his aides found no ability to prosecute anyone for the torture program. Of course, torture is not just a federal crime but a war crime, but it did not rise to the level of releasing academic papers for free from a collection that MIT later released to the public for free.

Holder and Ortiz sought 35 years for Swartz and amended the charges to add new counts before his suicide.

Of course, despite the insistence by Holder that this prosecutor was a model of prosecutorial discretion and professionalism, they want to hide the names of those model prosecutors. Since they are pledging to continue such prosecutions, they will presumably hide the identities of prosecutors in future cases in the Administration’s continued campaign against citizens.

U.S. Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Christina Sterling stated that “Our argument against it is that not only does it have an effect on the people involved in the case, but there’s also sometimes a residual effect.” This is not an effort to redact personal information like telephone numbers and addresses, which is standard. It is an effort to remove the names of the prosecutors which are historically part of the public access to trials and court records. Such moves would further insulate the Justice Department from accountability for misconduct. It would also further a trend toward greater and greater secrecy in trials from the names of witnesses or alleged victims to types of evidence. Yet, Defendants are fully exposed to public review and scrutiny.

Source: Boston Herald

33 thoughts on “Justice Department Seeks To Keep Secret The Names Of Prosecutors Of Aaron Swartz

  1. Holder is Obama’s choice. This is Obama’s policy. Just call him, Obama that is, Mr. Transparency.

  2. How about “do no wrong” first and not have to worry about covering anything up. It’s much easier even in the most sociopathic of political minds.

    Nobody will make holder go in the present administration. Crooks protect crooks because they mutually have enough dirt on the other for blackmail purposes.

  3. “How about ‘do no wrong’ first and not have to worry about covering anything up. It’s much easier even in the most sociopathic of political minds.”

    But it doesn’t feed the needs of their personality disorder if they do no wrong to gain personal advantage, Darren. ;)

  4. “It is strange that men should take up crime when there are so many legal ways to be dishonest.”

    … like getting elected.

  5. Hat bout the transparency issue Obama campaigned upon…. Oh yeah… I’m in office…. Let them eat cake….

  6. They’re public employees, therefore they have to be held publicity accountable. No running or hiding. Chickens. A few words of advice to those prosecutors: Think before you act.

  7. The wall of silence that hides wrongdoers is becoming more pervasive. I have been trying to find out the identity of the officer who nearly killed Iraq war vet and protester, Scott Olsen, by hitting him in the head with a tear gas grenade. Then when people came to assist him, the same officer thew a “flash-bang” grenade at them. The authorities have been anything but forthcoming in that incident, but sleuthing by an Oakland investigative reporter indicates it was Oakland Police Officer Robert Roche. who has already allegedly killed three people. I have been unable to find any follow up story about Roche being investigated, much less fired, suspended or prosecuted. I won’t hold my breath.

    Source: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/oakland/cop-identified-in-scott-olsen-incident/Content?oid=3131933

  8. Funny how times have changed. A fraud like Rudy Giuliani becomes an American Idol by the use of spectacular public prosecutions, like the TV arrest of a stockbroker, only to consistently lose at trial. Ms. Ortiz hounds a good young man to death and suddenly her striving for prosecutorial glory blows up in her face. Mr. Holder, the failed Attorney General, lacking the courage to take on real criminal conduct, now wants to shield his resume building publicity seekers from the consequences of their vile behavior. Payback is a bitch and we have an Attorney General who would do Ed Meese proud. The American Justice System, so proud in conception, has become a cruel hoax played upon the people.

  9. Mr. O promised a new order of business when he ran back in 2008. He has done a remarkable job. He has taken the GWB policies and made them worse with regards how we treat “suspected terrorists”, don’t hunt them down and hold them indefinitely, just kill them with a drone. Financial fraud? Is that a crime? I’ll get back to you on that after I talk to the bankers. Pot use? We’ll leave it up to the states. NOT. Transparency? Transparency means what I say it means. Yep, Mr. O is different than GWB, he’s worse.

  10. Abusive prosecution is endemic to the plea-bargin process – either plead guilty to a crime you did not willfully commit or be prosecuted, at trial, where the gov’t has a 97% conviction rate to imprison the victim for an abusive long term sentence for having the balls to fight the injustice. Almost no one chooses to fight. Thus, indictment = conviction. Prosecutors and the federal government are free from liability for compensation from wrongful and abusive prosecution. Thus, no liability = no accountability It is a corrupt system that produces injustice on a daily basis.

  11. The bully religion at work.

    They are all rogue and mavericky when prosecuting a helpless victim, but they run like hell when those they are frivolously prosecuting start killing them (see prosecutor withdraws from Aryan Brotherhood case).

  12. Dredd,

    You know what’s missing here…. The openly defenders of Obama…. Where are they…. I suppose they are good with this….

  13. What ever happened to the citizen’s constitutional right to confront her accuser?

    Maybe we should start a website that provides the transparency we need in our justice system and that promotes accountability. These abusers lives should be opened to us like a book.

  14. Where is MIT’s report. Did they find you that they (MIT) is the top university in government funding? Seems like a long long time.

  15. Max-1 1, April 4, 2013 at 3:36 am

    Secret memos
    Secret laws
    Secret evidence
    Secret DA’s

    Smell the transparency…

    =========

    Oh, yeah, I smell it all right…

    We’re a nation of secrets and lies:

    Surveillance Court’s Opinions Must Remain Secret, Feds Say

    By David Kravets
    04.03.13
    2:18 PM

    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/04/secret-surveillance-court/

    “The President Barack Obama administration is informing a federal judge that if it’s forced to disclose a secret court opinion about the government illegally spying on Americans, the likely result could be “exceptionally grave and serious damage to the national security.”

    The statement came in response to a lawsuit demanding the administration disclose a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court opinion issued as early as last year. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) was briefed on the opinion as a member of the Intelligence Committee and was authorized last year to reveal that the surveillance had “circumvented the spirit of the law” and was “unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment.”

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation of San Francisco sought the ruling as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. The government rejected the request. The digital rights group sued in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

    In response, the government said that disclosure of the secret opinion should be barred because it “implicates classified intelligence sources and methods.” (.pdf)

    Jacqueline Coleman Snead, a senior Justice Department counsel, added Monday that the EFF “cannot contend otherwise.”

    Specifically, the EFF wants the government to make public a secret court ruling that found the feds had broken a 2008 wiretapping law, known as the FISA Amendments Act, that had legalized President George W. Bush’s warrantless wiretapping program that was implemented immediately after the 2001 terror attacks.

    The public learned of the ruling only because of Wyden’s authorized statements about it last year.

    The FISA Amendments Act allows the government to conduct widespread e-mail and phone surveillance inside the United States, without probable-cause warrants, targeting people or groups “reasonably believed to be located outside the United States to acquire foreign intelligence information.” In other words, the government can collect e-mails and phone calls in the United States so long as the target is a suspected terrorist group overseas. If the government collects e-mails that are sent by people believed to be American, the person’s identity is supposed to be given a pseudonym or “minimized.”

    The government is required to get approval from a secret court known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to conduct such surveillance. It’s opinions are secret, and the government wants to keep them that way.

    That’s because the FISA Amendments Act generally requires the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to rubber-stamp terror-related electronic surveillance requests. The government does not have to identify the target or facility to be monitored. It can begin surveillance a week before making the request, and the surveillance can continue during the appeals process if, in a rare case, the secret court rejects the surveillance application.”

    (MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN SUPPORT OF THE
    DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE’S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT:
    http://www.wired.com/images_blogs/threatlevel/2013/04/fisacourt.pdf )

  16. Anonymously Yours 1, April 4, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    Well ap,

    So what…. This country was started with that deal in mind…

    ==========

    So what?

  17. If this was a conservative administration you all would be screaming to high heaven. I suppose you like those $4.00 gas prices too

  18. Anonymously Yours 1, April 4, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Dredd,

    You know what’s missing here…. The openly defenders of Obama…. Where are they…. I suppose they are good with this….
    =========================================
    Obamas and Bushies and the like come and go.

    The fascists stay and grow stronger by the day, as the nation we once knew died out.

    I linked to Daniel McGowan Jailed, Allegedly For Writing Huffington Post Blog on another thread a while ago.

  19. We are on board with this fella’s comment —> Darren Smith 1, April 4, 2013 at 12:19 am 11: “Crooks protect crooks because they mutually have enough dirt on the other for blackmail purposes.”

    It’s the “dirt” that keeps the “grease the wheels” application moving forward in ever-churning corruptive processes that bury Truth, thereby squelching accountability for those in public office.

  20. That fervent fever to uphold the law immediately disappeared when the pentagon and doj were caught knee deep in jerking off to child pornography too.

    But since no one ever likes to talk about it, carry on fluoridated unlabled gmo pink slime filled debt slaves. Have a nice chemtrails of fukushima fallout filled day.

    We’re here for your safety.

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