Rep. Issa Writes Letter to DOJ on Aaron Swartz

Via Wired, Congressmen Darryl Issa and Elijah Cummings have written this letter to the Department of Justice asking for information on the Aaron Swartz prosecution.

Among other things, the letter inquires as to whether the prosecution's decisions were influenced by Aaron's opposition to SOPA or his association with other advocacy groups. It also asks if the investigation uncovered other hacking attempts by Aaron. Why not ask if it was influenced by the FBI's prior investigation into his downloading of PACER documents. In 2009, Aaron posted the FBI documents on the investigation, which he received via an FOIA request.

I'd have more confidence if someone other than Issa was leading this inquiry. But at least someone is asking.

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    Issa doesn't give a g*dd*mn about Aaron Swartz (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by shoephone on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 04:48:48 PM EST
    or SOPA, academic freedom, or internet freedom. He's being his typically opportunistic self and using Swartz's death as an excuse to go after Holder...AGAIN. It disgusts me.

    You don't think it's a worthy effort (none / 0) (#2)
    by sj on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 06:09:07 PM EST
    putting Holder's feet to the fire?  Sometimes I may not like the motivation for a thing, but if the outcome is good (and we don't know the answer to that yet in this case) then I can overlook it.

    Of course it's worthy to hold ... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:54:45 PM EST
    ... Eric Holder's feet to the fire regarding what the DOJ did to Aaron Schwartz to push him over the edge. But Darrell Issa is absolutely the wrong person to be leading the charge and asking those questions, for the mere fact that the man is both a consummate liar and an opportunistic one-man clown car.

    Mark my words, that contemptible little turdhole will inevitably manage to turn more people off than he'll ever enlighten with his prickish ways, because he just can't help himself. And because of it, the powers-that-be and the media will soon feel free to ignore him, as they most always do -- along with whatever questions about the Schwartz case you'd like to see answered.

    Sometimes, it IS all about the messenger, and not the message.



    The messenger stinks (none / 0) (#6)
    by sj on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:18:45 PM EST
    No doubt about that.  But doubtless Aaron Schwartz is not the first to be driven to desperate measures, and at the rate we're going he is unlikely to be the last.  Something has got to give somewhere.

    What Donald said. (none / 0) (#7)
    by shoephone on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:21:30 PM EST
    Issa is NOT a credible person to be leading the inquiry because he has one objective, and one objective only: to hang something on Holder, and by association, on Obama. Issa is a witch hunter.

    See: Fast and Furious. What was Issa's goal in conducting that "investigative" circus?

    You and I care a lot more about Aaron Swartz than Issa ever will, for the simple reason that he does not care about him at all. And he does not care about internet freedom. At all.


    OK, when you're right, (none / 0) (#9)
    by sj on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:58:36 PM EST
    you're right.  But I don't see any credible person stepping up to the plate either.

    Maybe Elijah Cummings can take the lead (none / 0) (#11)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 12:36:01 AM EST
    I know I'd feel better about that.

    I admit to having a serious mistrust of Issa. His business dealings before entering politics included setting his own factory on fire, a mere three weeks after increasing the fire insurance policy by 450%. While he was not charged for the arson and fraud, the insurance company and the investigators found evidence of an accelerant being used to start the fire, and the insurance company only gave him a 10% payout. Comically, Issa was the owner of two auto security equipment companies, and he had started out in life as a teenage car thief...nothing like turning your criminal expertise into business expertise! I think he has extended his questionable ethics as a congressman. And, not that this is a crime, but he is the richest member of the House.


    Addendum: (none / 0) (#12)
    by shoephone on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 12:38:07 AM EST
    As a native Californian, I still keep my eyes on the California GOP, as it seems to be filled with a lot of hucksters and other criminals.

    If the "wrong messenger" were (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Peter G on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 08:12:00 AM EST
    likely to ask the right questions -- about ever-expanding, ever-more-harsh federal laws, unrestrained prosecutorial power, overincarceration, a web of rules that generate excessive risks and penalties for exercising the right to a jury trial, etc., etc. -- I wouldn't mind so much who was asking.  But I doubt very much that Issa actually cares about any of those problems.  The Swartz case (not "Schwartz") was tragic, but to investigate it in isolation, as if it were an aberration, misses the point and squanders the opportunity for change that this moment could generate.

    I'm afraid... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by kdog on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 09:05:00 AM EST
    any opportunity to address these important issues was pre-squandered....look at who we have hired to address these problems for christ's sake?  

    It's like Mr. Swartz is a pound of flesh all over again, this time as a new means to try to bring Holder down.  

    That's something Holder and Issa have very much in common...treating people like inconsequential pawns in their little chess game.  To hell with both of 'em.


    Thank you for saying ... (none / 0) (#3)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 08:38:32 PM EST
    ... what I was about to when I read Jeralyn's post.

    no kidding. be nice to have someone, with an IQ (none / 0) (#5)
    by cpinva on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 09:15:52 PM EST
    that doesn't have a decimal point in front of it, leading an inquiry.

    "I'd have more confidence if someone other than Issa was leading this inquiry."

    however, what this boils down to is what the AG wants, and presumably, what his boss, the pres., sees as important.

    Darryl Issa and Elijah Cummings? (none / 0) (#8)
    by unitron on Tue Jan 29, 2013 at 10:45:14 PM EST
    Boy, politics does make strange bedfellows.

    Not that odd. Issa is the chair of the House (none / 0) (#10)
    by caseyOR on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 12:27:55 AM EST
    Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. Cummings is the ranking member of that committee. It would seem that both of them think that the actions of the Dept. of Justice in the Swartz case merit questioning.

    SITE VIOLATOR (none / 0) (#14)
    by Peter G on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 08:06:14 AM EST