1997-11-26 - Re: Canarypunk: Jim Bell in a coalmine

Header Data

From: Robert Hettinga <rah@shipwright.com>
To: cypherpunks@Algebra.COM
Message Hash: 602bbafa77dcfd0eb4136a37b9d49ba03565b8bc5ef09a1da98ddd9b89fd1b3b
Message ID: <v04002701b0a0c031cf0a@[]>
Reply To: <v03020926afd30f8f70cc@[]>
UTC Datetime: 1997-11-26 00:05:35 UTC
Raw Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 08:05:35 +0800

Raw message

From: Robert Hettinga <rah@shipwright.com>
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 08:05:35 +0800
To: cypherpunks@Algebra.COM
Subject: Re: Canarypunk: Jim Bell in a coalmine
In-Reply-To: <v03020926afd30f8f70cc@[]>
Message-ID: <v04002701b0a0c031cf0a@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Frankly, Tim, I expected a whole lot more intelligence, and less vehemence
(well, maybe I didn't expect less vehemence :-)) in all this, and the
following is a perfect case in point.

At 1:11 pm -0500 on 11/19/97, Tim May cites the exception which proves the
rule in a feeble attempt at historical revisionism:

> At 11:38 AM -0700 6/22/97, Robert Hettinga wrote:
> >The reason I ask is, given events of the past few days, it may be time to
> >start standing up for our friends, no matter how unsavory their ideas.
> ...
> >Tim was talking earlier here about how this kind of accountability should
> >have been held, more stringently, for the people who burned children in
> >Waco, and who shot them at Ruby Ridge. Maybe it's time to hold people who
> >commit capital crimes on the state's behalf to understand that the legal
> >sword cuts both ways. If so, I think the best way to start this is to do it
> >in manageable increments, and ratchet up the pressure from there. To have
> >zero tolerence for even the smallest offenses, starting with the jailing of
> >Mr. Bell.

Wow, Tim. You're trying to cite this as some kind of *counter*example? It's
like you didn't even *read* the above in your following comments. You did,
didn't you? Are you deliberately making this *easy* or something?

Oh, well, here's my answer, anyway. :-).

Which is: Fine. All of the above makes sense to me. Still.

The people who committed murder at Waco and Ruby Ridge *have* committed a
capital crime. It just hasn't been proven in a court of law. Yet.

I'm saying, above, and again here, that if they break the law (notice what
I said up there about the *legal* sword cutting both ways) it's time to put
them in jail. That's still completely doable, even in the cases of the
people from Waco and Ruby Ridge who have gotten off so far. It'll just take
longer because our nation-state is in the hands of freedom-hating liberals
instead of, say, libertarians or somebody like them. People still win these
kinds of legal fights decades later, because they're right, and because, in
the end, the truth usually wins. Reality is not optional. All it takes is
determination. And maybe some money.

I'm also saying, above, that it's time to start fighting back, (legally, if
you notice :-)) when the government comes to harrass and jail people just
because they're talking about using cryptography, and, it seemed to me that
Bell's case was as good a time as any to start doing it. In other words,
"Bell's in jail. Fine. People should do what they can to get Bell out of
jail. Even if we don't like Bell."

Frankly, what we've done, myself included, hasn't been good enough, if
anyone around here crying 'apostasy' has probably noticed. Bell has sat in
jail, without bail (or anyone to bail him out, for that matter) the entire
time, and, bless his loony heart, he's probably "ratted out" half the
internet by now, and whether they believe him or not remains to be seen.
That sucks. It shouldn't have happend. To the extent that anyone doesn't
help, or at least doesn't get the truth out, they're just as responsible
for Bell sitting in jail as anyone else is. Yeah, I know. Collectivist
nonsense. Sue me. :-).

More to the point, it's still stupid, as Tim insists on doing, to try to
provoke a violent confrontation, or by threatening federal judges, or, if
no one pays attention to him then, whatever else he can think up. Frankly,
that's the kind of stuff that put Bell himself in jail. I suppose learning
would have occured out there in Corrolitos, but, apparently, it hasn't.
Heck, it's also becoming apparent, from Tim's archival scholarship, that
*reading* doesn't occur in Corrolitos, either. Spend some more time on the
john, or something, Tim.

Anyway, there are lots of better ways to fill the jails, and it seems to me
that most cypherpunks I've met aren't the "fill the jails" type, anyway.

> To paraphrase Hettinga himself, "I'm _telling!"

In a word, from Hettinga himself, "Bullshit." Here's Tim again, saying that
I'm in cahoots with Billarybub hirself.

No, Tim. I'm not a tory, or a snitch, or whatever. Nor, as you paranoiacly
insinuate later on, have I gotten The Letter, The Briefing, or The
Fucking-Anything-Else, either. You have seen here on cypherpunks all I have
said to anybody on the entire issue. Frankly, it's the only place where it
matters to say it, because *here's* where you're making such a doomsaying,
sabrerattling fool of yourself.

> It appears hear that Bob is not only posting "off subject, non-coding"
> stuff,  but that he appears to be calling for taking action against the
> officials and judges in the Bell case.

Right, Tim. Officials. Not Judges. And *legal* action, not 'executive'
action, as you and Dalton Trumbo like to put it. If some dolt at the IRS or
any other member of the alphabet soup "taskforce" that hauled Bell away
that morning actually broke the law, then they should be punished. And they
probably didn't break the law, just "aggressively enforced" it, which
probably won't land them in jail. Which, also, sounds vaguely like the
scenario that would probably happen to you yourself, if you keep rattling
their cage like Bell did.

Finally, if I talked about any 'action' at all above it was to get Bell out
of jail, which, Tim, I didn't see *you* doing anything about, either.

> >Yeah, I know. It's me making work for someone else. Nonetheless: Anyone out
> >there want to do this?
> "Will no one rid me of that judge?"?

Actually, what happened after that, in no particular order, and if you
remember at all (maybe you should read the archives, too, Tim :-)), is that
John Young started getting court documents the case and publishing them. I
asked here if anyone wanted to go visit Bell in jail, in exchange for free
admission to FC98, and Blanc volunteered to put together a group to go.
Only, by that time, Bell wasn't taking any visitors, was being moved, and,
now, apparently, has refused mail. Blanc, and John, and Greg Broiles, and
I, and others, have been talking about the details of all this offline. I
volunteered last week to go try to raise money to pay for the cost of
documents, etc., and John said that the cost isn't that much, so far. And,
of course, Blanc still gets in free at FC98. :-).

Frankly, it's a shame that it wasn't possible to get Bell some legal
representation, because, clearly, he needed it, as anyone here would
probably agree by now. Doesn't matter if you disagree with Bell, or with
using lawyers for that matter. :-). If Bell had been able to stay out of
the clutches of the jailers (and social workers :-)), he probably wouldn't
be as messed up as he probably is by now, and, "Thanksgiving cypherpunk
massacre" or no, he might now be turning in anyone he can think of to get
out. Being stuck with a bunch of social workers and psychiatrists may do
that to a body...

Being prepared to contribute for lawyers for other people, is, by the way,
what people should now be thinking about, in case some other person, even
another indigent loon like Bell, gets hauled in. Think about it as legal
insurance? Yeah, I know. Collectivist nonsense. It's far better to hole up
on a hillside and pump a few more hundred rounds through your Glock
instead, right? Anything but figuring out how to get code written, anyway

> Physician, heal thyself.

Take a physic yourself, Tim. Maybe it'll improve your ability to read, if
not your disposition. :-).

One more thing, to everyone else. It sucks that we have to mess around with
lawyers at all. The solution is code, not lawyers. Right?

I mean, maybe it makes more sense to just cut people like Bell off and let
them flap in the breeze.

Triage. Evolution in action.

"They aren't *really* cypherpunks" sounds like an awfully good answer, but,
to follow on to what I said in the original posting, anyone who talks about
cypherpunk ideas here, much less goes out and (apparently) tries to use
them, is probably going to call themselves a cypherpunk, whether the rest
of us on the list claim those people or not. Certainly, when these people
find themselves in jail for one reason or another, especially if the
prosecution goes on a crypto witch hunt, those folks going to "reach out"
and claim us, whether we want them to or not, as Bell's case may still, in
the faintest possibility, turn out to show us. And no, I still don't think
the Alphabet Gang is decending on Corrolitos this Thursday, just because
Tim says so.

So, what I'm talking about here, maybe some kind of cryptography defense
fund, is not offense, it's defense, self-defense, like some people keep a
gun for self-defense. A defense of cryptography itself, if you will. Not
only to prevent cryptographic abolition laws by going to court to overturn
them, but, much more useful, to make sure that whatever cryptographic
component of someone's otherwise criminal activities, (like Bell's
Assassination Politics essay, versus his alleged physical attacks on IRS
and law offices) is not used as a pretext to prevent strong cryptography
from happening, much less to exacerbate that person's legal circumstances.

Let me know, offline, if you're interested in this. Like any of my other
crazy ideas, if enough people are interested, then it might be worth trying
to do, and we can put together something more um, restrained than yet
another broadside in this seemingly endless flamefest.

Bob Hettinga

Robert Hettinga (rah@shipwright.com), Philodox
e$, 44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'
The e$ Home Page: http://www.shipwright.com/
Ask me about FC98 in Anguilla!: <http://www.fc98.ai/>