Husband of MA AUSA Criticizes Swartz Family Obit on Twitter

A petition to the White House to remove Mass. U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz for her office's handling of the Aaron Swartz case has gathered 37,000 signatures. 25,000 signatures are necessary for a response from the White House.

Ortiz' husband, Tom Dolan, took to Twitter and criticized the Swartz family for its obituary, claiming it left out the 6 month offer to Aaron. Then Dolan deleted his Twitter account. But you can see it here. [More...]

Eric Holder foe and Fast and Furious attacker, Republican Darryl Issa, has demanded an investigation into the case.

Issa said the Swartz case was important to reevaluate. “We certainly do want to second-guess their other misconduct, not just Fast and Furious.”

Colorado Congressman Jared Polis, who serves on the House Judiciary Committee, criticized the prosecution today.

“The charges were ridiculous and trumped-up,” Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) told The Hill. “It's absurd that he was made a scapegoat. I would hope that this doesn't happen to anyone else.”

Polis called Swartz — a co-creator of Reddit who was accused of stealing articles from a computer archive at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — a "martyr" for why Congress should limit the discretion of prosecutors.

Polis urged AG Holder to set new guidelines.

Polis said he is willing to consider changes to the law, and urged Attorney General Eric Holder to set guidelines curtailing the ability of prosecutors to seek overly harsh punishments. “Prosecutors shouldn't have the kind of discretion to seek absurd penalties for minor crimes,” Polis said.

As I opined at length yesterday, there should be an independent investigation. I don't think it should be led by a partisan foe of the Holder Justice Department like Darryl Issa. That's just the flip side of having Ortiz' office investigate itself. It should be a neutral, independent and non-politically partisan investigation.

Also read: Glenn Greenwald's call for accountability.

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  • Display: Sort:
    How absolutely perfect (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Peter G on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 03:37:50 PM EST
    to show the true nature of the prosecutorial mind!  The Onion could not have invented this.

    The U.S. Attorney is not making herself look (none / 0) (#22)
    by Peter G on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 10:39:07 PM EST
    better by speaking to the press. Disingenuously sticking up for her prosecutors' actions.

    Darryl Issa (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 03:38:08 PM EST
    LOL. The most opportunist infection posing as a human being in the entire U.S. Congress.

    Why does Tom Dolan (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Militarytracy on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 05:34:37 AM EST
    Think that anyone should just rollover and submit to six months in prison instead of going to trial when the illegality of the act is in so much question?  It is the people who push for our freedoms that end up preserving them in our often punitive over incarcerating system.

    so take it to trial (none / 0) (#21)
    by diogenes on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 09:42:23 PM EST
    The latest time line said was that Swartz was going to take it to trial rather than lie down and go to jail.  Why didn't he?

    for one thing (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 12:51:47 AM EST
    the money. Read his girlfriend's interview in the LA Times.

    He wasn't indigent, and these cases are extremely expensive to defend. The Government has virtually unlimited funds.


    no such animal. (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by cpinva on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 09:34:52 AM EST
    "It should be a neutral, independent and non-politically partisan investigation."

    unless you find qualified people, who were born in, and continue to live in, a cave. you might be able to go to the halls of academia, and find some slightly less partisan people for the task, but you aren't going to fill that group with any neutral parties.

    i have to wonder if maybe it isn't time for AG Holder to take his leave of the job? i wasn't that enthused about him to begin with, and my thuse has been ground down over the past 4 years.

    while it's certainly reasonable to assume that AG Holder is following pres. obama's policies, in terms of what is and what isn't important, and a lot of the criticism he's received has been strictly partisan in nature, he, or his staff, have managed to shoot themselves in the foot, with no one's help, many times. it reflects badly on his boss. go "spend more time with the family".

    Dream on (none / 0) (#1)
    by Reconstructionist on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 03:28:15 PM EST
    It should be a neutral, independent and non-politically partisan investigation

    Prosecutorial Bullheadedness (none / 0) (#4)
    by koshembos on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 07:53:29 PM EST
    Many hundreds of innocent people were and are on death row. Many thousands, in all likelihood, innocent people are jailed for long periods of time. Where is the investigation into that?

    Independent investigation, if ever attempted, should include and even be highlighted by the Swartz case, but should cover the whole rotten to the core justice system in this country.

    The White House has upped the (none / 0) (#6)
    by MO Blue on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 07:04:07 AM EST
    requirement for the number of signatures required to receive a response to petitions submitted on its We the People website.

    The White House has quadrupled the number of signatures required to receive an official response to petitions submitted on its We the People website, after a surge in its popularity.

    The Obama administration will now only be required to respond when a petition gathers 100,000 signatures, up from the previous 25,000. link

    Okay (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by sj on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 10:13:16 AM EST
    I just spent an enjoyable few minutes with Calvin and Hobbes and got to at least talk about Calvinball.  

    But I don't blame the WH for raising the threshhold.  I just wish they hadn't raised it that much.  

    This increase makes it look like this petitions website is just a pacifier to keep the peons happy.  Which is probably how it is intended.

    Did I say that out loud?


    For the first time (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by sj on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 10:28:21 AM EST
    I took a peek at some of the petitions that are there and I found one that I really, really support:

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/urge-congress-repeal-postal-accountability-and-enhancement -act-2006/nykngcHv

    urge Congress to repeal the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006.
    The United States Postal Service's current economic struggles were created by Congress when they passed the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006. It is unfair and unreasonable to ask the USPS to fund 7 decades of benefits when no other government agency or private company is asked to do that. The USPS employs thousands of people and serves millions each day. It is a national treasure. Please urge Congress to repeal this harmful legislation.

    Yes, that Act (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 10:42:46 AM EST
    was a blatant attempt to downsize the postal service, moving more and more mail and package delivery to private corporations, and break the back of the postal employees' union.
    Why should any entity, governmental or private, have to pre-fund benefits for employees who haven't even been born yet???

    Or we could just rename it... (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by unitron on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:20:50 PM EST
    ...to the "Let's Murder The Postal Service In Slow Motion" Act, since that's the real intent.

    Wow, (none / 0) (#12)
    by sj on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 10:59:00 AM EST
    I really screwed up that link.

    Quantifying "transparency"? (5.00 / 6) (#13)
    by Towanda on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 11:30:45 AM EST
    Thank you, President Obama.  I can apply this in my life.  I am not going to answer a student until after the fourth email, instead of the first.



    LOL! Perhaps we can (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by Zorba on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 11:53:51 AM EST
    take this to its logical extreme and also ignore bills until we receive the fourth notice.    ;-)

    Isn't That the American Way... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by ScottW714 on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 01:16:12 PM EST
    ...or have I been doing it wrong all these years.

    This is such BS, it's not like they are doing anything but responding with some sort of official... response.  Now they don't even think 25,000 citizens is worthy of a response ?

    Was the official responder getting carpal tunnel from responding once a week to a petition that hit 25,000, it is really that hard to blow off people, officially ?  (I have no idea how may things hit 25k, but it can't be that many, not even close to a full time job responding.)

    At work here, I actually have to respond to every call and every email.  There is some gray area in there, but I'll go with 95% I am expected to respond to, which means I probably respond to 90% on a good day (joke).


    How many of your calls and emails... (none / 0) (#16)
    by unitron on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 04:19:14 PM EST
    ...are from people wanting taxpayers' dollars spent on building a deathstar?

    They had to tighten up the idiot filter.


    That was a nice deflection, wasn't it (none / 0) (#19)
    by sj on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 06:04:58 PM EST
    Using the deathstar to trivialize communicating with "real people"?

    to be blunt, 25,000 is a trivial number, (none / 0) (#20)
    by cpinva on Thu Jan 17, 2013 at 08:14:26 PM EST
    by comparison to 300,000,000. it doesn't qualify as even a tiny ripple on the scope. if i had an audit, and the assets were 300,000,000 or more, 25,000 wouldn't come close to qualifying as "material", it just wouldn't even catch my eye.

    Yeah... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by ScottW714 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 at 11:21:01 AM EST
    ...it's only a small town, and it's not like they decided on the number to begin with.

    And since I work in tax, I can't help myself.  The 300M in assets is really irrelevant unless you are talking about a property tax audit and I highly doubt many companies have all their assets at one facility, so the audit would involve numerous jurisdictions.  Certainly some of those facilities would disputed 25k discrepancies.

    For income/sales tax audit, the assets number is irrelevant, would depend on what kind of income/sales those assets are generating, but certainly no where near 300M.  And sales, like property tax would probably encompass many jurisdictions.

    So maybe if you had a net income of 300M, 25k "wouldn't even catch my eye", but I doubt 100k would either.