December 14, 2012

Anonymous Leaders are Kids, facing Life in Prison

December 14, 2012. London/Chicago. Hundreds of millions of ordinary citizens across the western world are outraged these days over what they call a global epidemic of injustice, theft, tyranny and murder, all being perpetrated by the globe’s most powerful and elite. Since they come from many nations and all walks of life, these underground freedom fighters have many causes and adversaries. Taken as a whole, it’s obvious who they’re fighting – the New World Order. Also revealed is that they’re just kids, and they’re losing their war to defend us from tyrants trying to conquer the world.

The then 20 year-old Christopher Weatherhead. Image courtesy of The Telegraph.

There’s a global war going on right now and you won’t hear about it from the corporate-owned news media. Readers and viewers are shown brief glimpses of the battles being waged, but only in so far as it takes to brand these underground fighters as enemies of the state. They’re called “terrorists” who are waging “a sophisticated and orchestrated campaign” that has “paralyzed” its victims and “for whatever reason, caused unprecedented harm”.



Christopher Weatherhead, aka Nerdo (United Kingdom)

Those quotes come from just one sentence released by the government prosecutor in the UK that convicted cyber ‘hacktivist’ Christopher Weatherhead last week of hacking into a number of corporations’ computer systems. In reality, Weatherhead was an idealistic, 20 year-old enrolled in college and self-described computer nerd. Going by the online name ‘Nerdo’, the Northampton University student fell in with a social activist crowd while studying in college. From there, he stumbled onto an underground network of amateur internet revolutionaries.

In 2010, the British college students were non-political, concentrating their cyber attacks on music industry corporations trying to maintain their monopolies on the distribution of music and other forms of artistic expression. Their early targets included the UK’s Ministry of Sound, the British Recorded Music Industry (BPI) and the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI).

When WikiLeaks, the online whistleblower site that exposes crime and tyranny secretly being carried out by the world’s governments and corporations, released millions of documents embarrassing and exposing the US and UK governments, the internet portal became public enemy number one. In an organized, global offensive against Julian Assange and his WikiLeaks, the site’s bank accounts were frozen and Assange ultimately had to seek asylum in a foreign embassy.

Upon hearing the news, Christopher Weatherhead and his college hacker friends suddenly became a squad of underground revolutionaries. Like many others, they proclaimed themselves members of the largest underground cyber-revolutionary group in the world – Anonymous. They launched what has been described as a devastating campaign of cyber warfare that ultimately ended up costing some of the world’s largest corporations as much as £3.5 million.

When PayPal froze WikiLeaks’ account, the Southampton college kids froze PayPal in retaliation. Court transcripts say that between December 8-17, 2010, the cyber-attacks caused the billion dollar corporation “considerable damage to its reputation and loss of trade”. Prosecutors claim the small Anonymous squad gave their campaign a codename that played off the name PayPal and its actions against WikiLeaks – Operation Payback.

When news first broke that PayPal had been attacked in response to its refusal to process WikiLeaks donations, the international news media made it sound as if a team of expert terrorists were responsible. In reality, as last week’s court verdict confirmed, it was the 20 year-old kids in Britain aided by a handful of compatriots in the US. Together, they attacked the same corporations that were attacking WikiLeaks, namely PayPal, Visa, Master Card and others.

Now 22, Christopher Weatherhead was the last of 4 defendants in the case. The other 3 had previously pled guilty while Weatherhead maintained his innocence. Of his 3 co-defendants, at the time of the PayPal attacks, they included a 25 year-old, a 22 year-old and a 16 year-old. Weatherhead now awaits sentencing from Judge Peter Testar. While reading the jury’s unanimous verdict, the UK’s Daily Mail quotes Testar saying, “I am not making any promises at all by allowing bail and ordering a pre-sentencing report. This is a serious offence and I hope the defendant understands that.”



For his part, Weatherhead insists he’s not a terrorist. Instead, he says he’s just an idealistic dreamer. “I like the freedom of information that is on the web,” he told reporters at one point, “I enjoy spending a lot of time on Wikipedia reading things.” He also says he’s not the leader of England’s army of Anonymous members. He describes having stumbled across the secretive rebel group by chance and simply agreed with its stance against internet censorship.

Showing that the Anonymous offensive against PayPal wasn’t the work of just one UK cell, at the same time, the FBI was arresting 16 suspected Anonymous members in 11 different states across the US for their role in their own PayPal attacks. Read the Whiteout Press 2001 article, ‘Cyber Terror Group Anonymous Busted’ for details.

Jeremy Hammond, aka the Electronic Robin Hood (United States)

Given the name Electronic Robin Hood for his world renowned exploits on behalf of the downtrodden, Chicago’s Jeremy Hammond is widely considered to be the number one Anonymous leader in the US. The now 27 year-old is currently facing life in prison for his cyber attacks against America’s most secretive and illegal domestic spy corporation – Stratfor. Recently exposed by WikiLeaks as an underground militant mercenary force made up of former CIA agents, Stratfor is a government and corporate funded cyber hacker organization in its own right.

Unfortunately for Hammond, his trial appears to be rigged against him before it even starts. His fellow Anonymous members have come to his aid, releasing a statement earlier this month exposing the personal bias and longtime connection to Stratfor of Hammond’s federal judge, Loretta Preska.

Posted to PasteBin.com earlier this month, the Anonymous announcement begins:

“Greetings. We are Anonymous. We’ve come to deliver an important message regarding the trial of accused Anonymous Hacktivist Jeremy Hammond. We believe a great injustice is occurring in Jeremy’s trial and that the public and media deserves to be aware of it.”

The rest of the short Anonymous announcement went straight to the point:

“The judge presiding over Jeremy’s case is named Loretta Preska. During Jeremy’s bail hearing Judge Preska portrayed Jeremy as a terrorist more dangerous than murderers and sexual predators, denied his bail and, before Jeremy and a gathering of his friends and family, announced the sentence he would face if found guilty: 360 months to life.

What Judge Preska did not disclose at this hearing was that she is bound by law to recuse herself of this case due to a direct conflict of interest. Please note the following: On September 11, 1983 Loretta Preska married one Thomas J. Kavaler, currently a partner at the law firm Cahill, Gordon & Reindel LLP.

If you examine the Stratfor database, which was published by Wikileaks, you will find on Stratfor’s clientele list the e-mail address: tkavaler@cahill.com. This address can also be found on Cahill.com, the website of Cahill, Gordon & Reindel LLP, on a bio of Thomas Kavaler, Judge Preska’s husband.”



The Anonymous announcement not only showed how deep the cyber rebels went into Judge Preska’s personal history, but also how deeply and personally connected she is to the victim of Hammond’s alleged crimes – the corporate mercenary army Stratfor. The statement released by Anonymous concludes:

“Judge Loretta Preska’s impartiality is compromised by her husband’s involvement with Stratfor and a clear prejudice against Hammond exists, as evident by her statements. In the interest of justice, the public, media and defense should demand Judge Preska remove herself from Hammond’s case or if she will not, demand a superior court provide a writ of prohibition forcing her to step down.

Without justice being freely, fully, and impartially administered, neither our persons, nor our rights, nor our property, can be protected. We Are Anonymous. We Are Legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us.”

In response, Judge Loretta Preska has assured all parties involved in the case that her husband’s business relationship with Stratfor would not affect her ability to be impartial. She has refused to recuse herself from the trial. Supported by groups like the National Lawyers Guild, Hammond’s attorneys are attempting to force Judge Preska to turn the trial over to another judge.

Jeremy Hammond’s colorful story

To an impartial observer, there are many terms that could be used to describe the 27 year-old alleged leader of Anonymous in America. But ‘terrorist’ isn’t one of them. Thanks to detailed accounts by Chicago Magazine and Wikipedia, we see that Jeremy Hammond was a passionate defender of peace and justice as far back as high school.

In 2003 as an 18 year-old senior at Glenbard East High School in the Chicago suburbs, Hammond showed his leadership skills and desire to make a difference in the world around him. He petitioned school administrators to allow him to lead a brief protest march in opposition to the invasion of Iraq following the attacks on September 11. His effort was successful and led to a 150-strong student march against the war.

Showing he was a street activist well before turning his efforts online, Jeremy Hammond was arrested 10 times between 2003-2007. Most charges were related to protests and demonstrations for one cause or another. In 2003, he was arrested for spray painting an anti-war slogan on a building at the Univ. of Illinois at Chicago where he attended prior to being asked to leave over the episode. In 2004, his charges included possession of marijuana and fighting with anti-gay protestors at Chicago’s Gay Pride Parade. Still a teenager, Hammond lectured other activists at a 2004 DEF CON event in Las Vegas on the topic of “electronic civil disobedience”. It was the first glimpse into Jeremy Hammond’s future as the nation’s #1 cyber rebel.

In 2005, he was arrested for attempting to march in demonstrations in both Chicago and Toledo. In the Toledo protest, he was a counter-demonstrator marching against a white separatist organization. It was at this time that Jeremy Hammond received his first conviction. Pleading to a lesser charge of misdemeanor battery to a police officer, he was sentenced to one year’s probation for the Chicago incident. In 2006, Hammond was again convicted and sentenced to 2 years in federal prison and 3 years probation for his role in the cyber attack of a right wing website called Protest Warrior.

 

Continue reading the conclusion on Page 2 of 2.


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