News not fit to print -- armed feds shut down teenager's website

Jose G. Perez jgperez at netzero.net
Wed Feb 6 22:47:05 MST 2002


>>Obviously you haven't looked at the affidavit. Our super-anarchist who ran
www.raisethefist.com had all sorts of explosive chemicals and wires in his
bedroom and directions on how to make explosive concoctions on his website.
He was a "direct action" nutcase who can be accurately described as a
left-wing version of the Trench Coat Mafia. He was asking for it.<<

OF COURSE I've  looked at the affidavit, and the previous one to support the
search warrant, too. He is accused of  speech (publishing stuff) while
having bad thoughts:

"distribution of information relating to explosives, destructive devices,
and weapons of mass destruction with the intent that such information be
used in furtherance of a federal crime of violence (namely, 18 U.S.C. 844(i)
(arson) and 26 U.S.C."

"WITH THE INTENT" -- that's the essence of the crime. Not his ACTION: you
are free to publish everything he did (as the respected prof. at Carnegie
Mellon has just done) and, if you consider yourself, like the prof., to be a
good Republican who is just trying to stick up for the First Amendment and a
conservative, literal, paleolithic, downright Borkian reading of "no law,"
they are powerless to touch you. At least, that's what the law says,
although if this keeps going on, I'm afraid even the good professor is going
to have reason to regret  his reliance on our ruling class's sense of fair
play.

But as to Sherman, here and now, how do you prove his "intent"? What are you
going to do? Ship him to Gitmo and torture it out of him (with, of course,
of course, of course, the "humanitarian" assistance of the International
Committee for the Red Cross?)

The "intent" is just a fig leaf, an invitation to the cops and courts to
victimze. Looking into "INTENT" if you shoot someone, perhaps, makes sense,
"intent" when you do something that is completely and totally and absolutely
constitutionally protected -- what does that mean? It means arbitrary and
capricious "justice" to victimize the people whose opinions the government
doesn't approve of.

... And if I understand what is going on, his "weapon" charge consisted of
hardware hacking  a toy, namely and to wit some sort of model car remote
controlled motor so it could be used to light matches. A trivial hack, I
submit. But a CRIME to fail to register it with the feds?

There's a TON of garbage thrown in there, in the affidavit, like that he had
a bag of fertilizer in his car, that he had a gasoline can that smelled like
it had been used for storing petroleum derivatives (duh....), that he had
wires, and so on. I'm surprised the "special" agent didn't list Sherman's
toenail clipper (easily modified for stripping wires, an activity essential
to building everything from an atom bomb to a $9.95 science fair project) ,
not to mention the CD ROM burner as an "incendiary" device Probably the
agent was so "special" he'd never heard of a CD ROM burner, figured it was
some sort of code to communicate some devilish plot to Osama and Saddam and
Fidel, you know, like raising your eyebrows in an interview, and "special"
didn't put it in the affidavit, afraid he might thereby help terrrorists.

When they knock at MY door, remind me to ask the comrades to leave you off
the press-release writing task force on the defence committee. (Adam, since
you're in town -- make it so).

I'd hate to think what you'd say if they ever raided my house. I've got
BOXES full of electronic components, I've been hacking hardware since 1967,
taking it apart, seeing what it could do, making various and sundry toys and
projects. [Come to think of it, I've got TONS of "precision" and "military
grade" components -- they used to dump the surplage from Long Island defense
contractors at some stores on Canal Street in the late 70s, and those $2
polybags and 10/$1 component bin items were all I could afford when I was
living on a movement full-timer's subsistence. My need had to be great
indeed before I'd plunk 29 cents  down on a Radio Shack counter for a 5%
resistor.]

Some of my projects have been, I guess it could be argued, "illegal," like
amplifiers for AM and FM band transmitters which someone once told me (I
don't know for sure) you're not allowed to learn about by experimenting and
trying to build your own without blessings from the FCC. MANY involved
remote control applications.

I've got IC timers, useful for turning on or "triggering" anything that can
be triggered electrically or electronically. Like a light. Hell, I think
there's even a bag of fertilizer out back from a time I foolishly talked
myself into imagining I was going to do something about the plants and grass
that SHOULD decoratively surround my townhouse, AND tanks of HIGHLY
explosive propane gas right nearby the fertilizer (OK, they belong to my
neighbor, I never was much of an outdoor type, even for grilling, I don't
even have a grill, but the tanks are certainly close enough for the purposes
of an FBI "special" agent affidavit), bottles with flammable petroleum
derivatives (I assume lamp oil qualifies even if I only paid $1 each at Big
Lots), lots of empty bottles and cans (okay, I'm a slob -- what of it) and
so on. Hell, I even have a suitable "molotov cocktail" incendiary device, a
hurricane lamp made of glass with a nice wick and container for the fuel.
With fuel in it (well, what WAS I supposed to do when the lights came back
on? Drink the kerosense?) And I haven't told John Ashcroft about it.

As for my thoughts about George II and his court, my "intent" ... well, I
plead the fifth. But just in case anyone missed my drift, I think they suck.
So there. I said it. "Intent" aplenty. "Doesn't like the government --
guilty as sin."

And then there's the literature. "Military manuals" (the Pentagon put out
the best basic electronics teaching guides around in the 70's, or at any
rate, the cheapest), guides to "explosives" (I may STILL have some chemistry
textbooks, not to mention that all time classic, the anarchist's
cookbook --I'm sure it's in some box here somewhere, I distinctly remember
having it in the early 80's when I packed all this stuff up, but maybe Ellen
wound up with it after we broke up.) And then there's the Marx, Engels,
Lenin, Trotsky, the op-amp cookbook (more useful, I suspect, for actual
munitions development than the anarchist one, although mostly I used it for
audio), manuals for DOS, OS/2, LINUX and (shame!) Windows , speeches by Che,
Fidel, Ho ... even Gus Hall and Jack Barnes.

Worse, the posters and flags. Anarchist flags -- bah, humbug. I've got CUBAN
flags, genuine 100% died-red-in-the-wool Cuban flags (which as any FBI
"special" agent will tell you is the WORST KIND of communist, I mean
"terrorist").

And the POSTERS! Viva Cuba -- free territory of the Americas. Che. Wounded
Knee. For Vietnam, even our own blood! Canción Protesta (without permission
from the music monopoly mafia!!!).

But back to Sherman.

Unlike you, who seems perfectly satisfied to say Sherman was "asking for it"
and leave it at that on the basis of some COP'S say so,  I've become rather
sceptical over the years.

And so I also noticed what ISN'T in the affidavit: there isn't a single
(needless to say, fabricated) allegation that he ever killed anyone, shot
anyone, threw a molotov cocktail at anyone, threw a rock at anyone, or as
much as through inadvertence gave hurt or caused discomfort to any living
thing, human, animal or vegetable.

Nor is there any allegation the he exercised his God-given and
First-Amendment protected free speech rights by specifically encouraging any
such concrete action, i.e., something which cop-minded people would consider
"incitement" like, having said at a particular date and a particular time,
to carry out a specific, concrete action.

NOT EVEN a single conspiracy count!

How LAME does a cop story have to be before you're moved to say, "bullshit"?
If I were to call your post craven licking of the ass of the ruling class,
would you even have the slightest notion what I was talking about? If the
cluetrain toots and stops, are you willing to take delivery?

At any rate, let me try:

There isn't even a single FABRICATED (again, NEEDLESS to say in the case of
government affidavits, and PLEASE try to grok that before people around here
start wondering where you're coming from) accusation that this young comrade
violated or did violence upon that holiest of holies, capitalist private
property. Hell, as far as I can tell from the "special" agent's rant, this
kid never even tore the little tag from the mattress.

What IS in the affidavit? Allegations tending to show that this young man is
extremely angry, furious, driven by rage against an unjust and murderous
social system, one that, in particular, has branded him as "NIGGER" since
the day he was born. One that has lynched thousands of people who have
committed the same crime as he --being born in a Black skin-- and that JUST
got through masssacring THOUSANDS of civilians in Afghanistan because the
GOVERNMENT and the GENERALS are such COWARDS that even with OVERWHELMING
POPULAR SUPPORT AT HOME, they dared NOT engage in military actions under
circumstances where the TARGETS might shoot BACK, because people at home
might then start to wonder how the U.S. rulers got themselves into that
situation to begin with, and why WE should have to pay with OUR blood to get
them out of it.

A social system that every single day MURDERS through malnutrition, lack of
health care, and just plain reckless neglect as many or more children under
five as there were people murdered at the world trade center by Osama & his
cronies on Sep. 11.

I'm sure I'm not the only parent on this list, not the only one to feel RAGE
when I think about mothers and fathers just like us putting a child in a
grave because CITIBANK'S EBITDA might have slipped a hundreth's of a percent
if that child, and every other child like her, had had enough to eat and
clean water instead of sewage to drink.

And if for a moment I thought I could help in the SLIGHTEST to put an end to
such crimes by blowing some building up or breaking a McDonald's plate glass
window, I would do it. I'm not about to do it, because I know it's going to
backfire more than anything, hurt more than help, but that is how I feel
about it.

And that's all Sherman's posts and website amounted to, an expression of
rage, totally legitimate, totally justifiable, totally righteous rage. Not a
CRIME, but an ANTI-CRIME. A cry of rage against a criminal system. And
that's why they've victimized him.

The idea that the FBI shut him down to stop people from sharing basic
collective self-defence techniques (for that is what is mirrored on the
professor's site) or even "bomb making" instructions is absurd. EVEN the FBI
can't be as CLUELESS to imagine that such action would not be answered by
people mirroring his site all over the place, retrieving the "banned" pages
from the Google cache, etc. The most effective way to propagate content on
the web is to ban it. THAT was discovered AGES ago.

Now, it may be true that Sherman is politically unsavvy, his tactics
ineffective, his in-your-face rhetoric unwise and many other things. God
knows I was when I was 18, and --frankly-- I'm not sure I'm entirely over it
now that I'm 50.

This doesn't mean Sherman was "asking for" anything. And it doesn't mean he
deserves anything less than our full, unstinting solidarity  and support
against government repression.

José

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mohammad J Alam" <alam.m at neu.edu>
To: <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2002 2:48 PM
Subject: Re: News not fit to print -- armed feds shut down teenager's
website




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