Washington, DC (TFC) – Amid condemnation, boycott, and backlash the Daily Dot is defending its decision to bring Hector “the snitch” Monsegur on board. The outlet published a lengthy defense full of misrepresentation and appeals to journalistic integrity in an attempt to pacifiy readers. Well, allow me to retort.
The outlet defends itself by pointing out that it “led the industry” in investigating the case. This doesn’t aid its defense. After sorting through the documents, it should have realized that this government stooge enticed his friends and sold them out to the feds to save his own skin.
The outlet points out that the snitch “directed” the hack on Startfor, not Hammond. The correct terminology is that the rat “set up” Hammond. The inference behind him “directing” the hack is that we need to overlook his pimping himself out to federal authorities because he was responsible for the hack. First things first, all of that just enabled him to sell his friends out more effectively. He had already bent over to federal authorities at that point.
I’m not sure what community you grew up in, but in mine you didn’t get a pass for working with the feds because something that you did to set up your friends had some societal benefit. You were still a rat. He didn’t “direct” the Stratfor hack; the feds directed it through him. He’s not a mastermind; ask any of the people that worked with him. He’s a great social engineer and manipulator of people. He’s charismatic and establishes a cult of personality. That’s probably why the outlet couldn’t see the poor business sense of releasing an article written by this fame whoring fed on the anniversary of Hammond’s arrest; they were too enamored with the celebrity of a fat rat.
But for the sake of argument, assume Sabu the Snitch was some hacker mastermind. Any of his work for the cause became void the second he began turning in his comrades. Remember that Benedict Arnold achieved victory after victory for the colonials during the Revolutionary War prior to showing his true colors and displaying himself as a traitor to the cause.
Sabu isn’t a hero because he accidentally benefited society while setting up his friends. He’s a traitor. If he wanted to be a hero, he should have kept his mouth shut and done his time.
The outlet then goes on to reconcile itself with Jeremy Hammond, the hacktivist who won’t be released until 2021 because of The Daily Dot’s new team member:
“We understand the plight of Jeremy Hammond, the hacktivist whose guilty plea hinged on Monsegur’s actions. We were there at his sentencing and we’ve visited him in prison. We tracked his downfall and betrayal at Monsegur’s hands in painful detail. Our contracting of Monsegur is not meant to undermine Hammond’s difficult situation but to provide rare perspective about a program of national interest—not unlike when we reached out to noted hacker Gregg Housh to dispel some of the media-created myths that surround hacking culture. Simply put, no one is more qualified to discuss the realism of a show about a hacker informant than the world’s most notorious hacker informant.”
No, you don’t understand the plight of Jeremy Hammond. You’re sitting in your office or at Starbucks as you type out these irritatingly patronizing sentences. He sits in a cell or a chow hall. You’ll go home to your family and friends. He sits in a cell cut off from everyone he loves. You don’t have the first clue about what it’s like to be staring down the barrel of a decade in prison. Jeremy is a pretty bright guy; smarter than I am. I can attest to the fact that boredom and the routine of prison creates a thinking man’s hell.
You can’t wash away your outlet’s complicity in encouraging the next rat bastard to betray his comrades. Someone who is placed in a situation of looking at a lengthy stretch is already filled with doubts as to whether or not they should keep their mouths shut; they have pressure from their families to cut a deal and pressure from the feds. Well, most do. Sabu didn’t really need any encouragement to sell out the cause. He didn’t even wait to be charged before starting to help the feds fit his friends for matching bracelets.
Now the next person put in that position not only has witnessed the federal government abuse the system in order to pin absurdly lengthy sentences on people, while the rat walked free. That person has seen media outlets such as The Daily Dot and Vice treat the traitor like some kind of celebrity. This outlet’s actions helped to imprison the next Jeremy Hammond.
Your attempt to hide behind journalistic integrity when you say you were just trying to obtain a valued source might pass with some readers. It doesn’t pass with me. You and I both know that we have de facto control over who our sources are. We know Hammond gets cable and we know he’s got a lot of time on his hands thanks to your new friend. Why not ask him for his opinion on some pulp TV show that you attempt to cast as a “national interest?” You chose the source you did in order to garner “hate clicks.” Tomorrow when I begin contacting every single one of your advertisers for a comment on the boycott of their company because of its association with The Daily Dot, don’t worry. I’m just trying to get a good source. I’m not getting involved in the story. I’m not responsible for the reactions the companies have. I’m just trying to get a “rare perspective” on how it feels to suffer because of the actions of someone else.
We are at a point in world history where you have to choose a side. You are either going to consort with those that would betray the people fighting for our right to engage in a free press, or you are going to side with the resistance. You are going to collaborate with the forces that seek to destroy individual liberty, or you are going to stand and be counted as an agitator.
Those of us with access to a platform cannot simply sit on the sidelines while our freedoms are eroded. The Daily Dot’s decision to do so displays the same level of cowardice snitches display when they force somebody else to do their time for them.
I can’t speak for Anonymous. I support them with every fiber of my being, but for various reasons I don’t feel I can honestly call myself Anonymous. I can only speak for me, and from where I sit The Daily Dot has decided to side with the forces of oppression in the country and as such is worthy of all of the hate and condemnation it is receiving.
I’ll leave you with a quote from E. M. Forster:
“If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.”