Anonymous Hactivists Spokesman Barrett Brown – Letter From Prison
It is hard for me to express how much I appreciate your letter, which is the first I have received here, along with the support I’ve reportedly gotten from others so far. Before I forget, let me request that you also send a tweet of support to Jenna, @ElviraXMontana on Twitter; as my girlfriend, she had to watch as the FBI crushed my ribs (which I believe will be healed in time even if I’ve had trouble acquiring medical attention due to me under Geneva; put in formal request for X-ray last night here at Mansfield, whereas last week at Lew Sterrett I was sent to medic by an officer Tamer before being instead re-directed to what is intended as a temporary holding cell for those about to be released on bond, this change of plan being instigated by an officer Roeun (sic?) whom I have since reported to the proper authorities.
Despite my having explained her mistake politely twice over the course of the next seven hours, and despite my condition having been serious enough to have prompted other inmates to suggest I check for internal bleeding, I was screamed at and then later simply ordered to lay down, all of which was witnessed by two other inmates, one of whom promised to inform Tim Rogers of D Magazine that I was potentially dying and needed intervention ASAP as soon as he himself was released a few minutes hence (again, this was the temporary outgoing holding cell, not meant for housing inmates for anything longer than an hour or so as their bond is processed); as such, I was not fed, either, much less given my medication, suboxone.
Note that none of the treatment I received at Lou Sterrit had anything to do with who I am or what I am accused of, – it is simply the natural result of the inhumane and degenerate mentality found within the Texas “corrections” system, something I first described in a 2005 article for Towards Freedom.
It is something we will have to address more firmly over the coming years, just as we have addressed North Africa and the intelligence contracting industry since late 2010.
And I note all of this not merely to complain—although to complain is among the few vices I have been left aside from bragging to my fellow inmates – but to illustrate the fundamental problem that so many of us have sacrificed or risked to combat.
This problem, which even Richard Nixon recognized and spoke about on that famed evening at the Lincoln Memorial, is that a republic built with the blood of giants has since become a “wild animal.” – one that now feeds upon us all.
I try to avoid metaphors, which can illuminate but in practice are too often used to obscure. Like many aspects of language, the false metaphor kills and enslaves. And at any rate, there will be time to discuss these broader issues later.
For now, I must ask you to publish this on pastebin, Anonpaste, piratepad.de, and all other available venues, and that you also send it to some of the journalists that have been kind enough to follow my work as well as the consequences thereof, particularly my friend Michael Hastings, Barry Eisler, Michael Riley (Bloomberg), Ryan Gallagher (Guardian), and Josh at Daily Caller (forgot his last name) – plus the former editor of The Yemen Times who’s now at Global Times or some such and who, along with a certain Washington Times correspondent known to Gregg Housh, plus one or two others that I know of, who are now looking into Romas/COIN due in part to my release of the NYT e-mails earlier this month.
Along with others in both the mainstream and independent media, these are most likely to report accurately on this matter. Having been mischaracterized at least a hundred times by “professional” journalists since I first appeared on Fox News in January 2009 to denounce Obama’s association with the goofy fascist Rick Warren – and was introduced as being spokesman for the non-existent “American Atheist Society” rather than GAMPAC.
This would be a good time to note, particularly for the benefit of certain journalists, that I am not and never have been the spokesman for Anonymous, nor its “public face” or, worse, “self-proclaimed” “face” or “spokesperson” or “leader” (as the CIA-funded Radio Free Europe called me last year when I felt compelled to “quit” the non-group that I’d never technically joined in the first place, but rather gradually attached myself to as Wikileaks and Tunisia went down in December of 2010).
Anyone who cares to learn what happens to a person who decides to help deal with such issues at the request and with the knowledge of active Anons can search my name in conjunction with those terms, and then see the article “Barrett Brown is Anonymous” from April 2011 in which I explain clearly, as I have countless times since, that no one has the authority to designate me as such.
It is known to some of those who worked out of Anonops or were otherwise particularly active in the beginning of 2011 that I wrote or edited a number of the press releases of that time, and that the al-Jazeera article written in the first few days of January and which appeared later that month under the title “Anonymous and the Global Correction” was also my work – something I revealed privately to the brilliant cyberpunk essayist Bruce Sterling after he openly speculated as to the author’s background in Wired, noting the sentiments to be that of a true revolutionary. Among those who now agree with him are the FBI, which has since responded accordingly – and unethically.
Contrary to the countless claims to the effect that I hold some official role in Anonymous, I can think of only one occasion in which any Anon has come close to actually deeming me as such, that being the day on which HBGary was hacked in retaliation for HBGary Federal CEO Aaron Baar’s claim – shown to be entirely false – that he had identified Anon’s “lieutenants” and “co-founder” and that he had been contacted by the FBI about this.
In fact, he had conflated three different people including a professional gardener and, as shown in the notes Anon released along with the e-mails taken from HBGary Federal, had made a huge number of additional mistakes – something since confirmed by everyone concerned including Barr himself. (That the Financial Times writer who had bought Barr’s self-promotion would again essay to write about Anonymous months later, this time taking the claims of a Dutch kid at face value in the course of “reporting” various negative things about how the movement operates, is only one of numerous bizarre and depressing twists to this story; I myself would later encounter him on Canada television as a panelist during a discussion in which he accused Anon of being particularly anti-“American interest”, to which I responded that it is difficult to avoid stepping on the empire’s toes when one assists North Africans in fighting off dictatorships that the US has supported for years.) (Oh snap!)
On that day, as recorded on pastebin from the discussion on the #OPHBGary channel at Anonops, I was referred to in passing as “our public face” to a journalist. I was on the phone to HBGary President Penny Hoglund at the time, apologizing that HBGary’s e-mails had been seized by Sabu in addition to HBGary Federal’s, instructing her on how to get on IRC in order to make her case directly to the hackers, and promising to remove the link I had put up to the 70,000 e-mails acquired in the operation, a link I had placed upon a Daily Kos post put up to explain the situation to the great many who would miss the “makeover” done to HBGary.com.
Had I known that Penny was lying to me about what she and husband Greg Hoglund had known about Barr’s irresponsible attempt to save his own career at the expense of the innocent and heroic alike, I would have simply hung up. Instead, I was polite – but I recorded the call, just as I recorded the next call with Barr, the next call with HBGary exec Jim Butterworth, and finally the drunken call I received months later from Greg Hoglund himself. “Trust but verify,” as Reagan said in the context of a different set of villains.
With the exception of the ten minute convo I released between myself and Aaron Barr, all of the other recordings – and plenty of others – are in the possession of the FBI, which raided my apartment as well as my mother’s home on March 6th. For more on those events, as well as the criminal conspiracy to which I have been subjected by elements of the FBI, HBGary, and paid informant/contractor Jennifer Emick (among other parties both known and undiscovered), please see the last 3 videos I uploaded to my YouTube account, as well as documents I linked to on my Twitter account @BarrettBrownLOL in the final days before my most recent (and dramatic!) arrest.