I Might Have Some Sensitive Files
March 24, 2015 8:13 AM   Subscribe

The government says Matt DeHart is an online child predator. He says that’s a ruse created because he discovered shocking CIA secrets and claims he was tortured by federal agents. The only thing that’s clear is that he’s in deep trouble.
posted by ellieBOA (64 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
 
The big question is, where are these files? If I ever got leaked CIA secrets in my possession, I would be certain to mail them out to every person I know, forward to Wikileaks, post them on Usenet, Piratebay and send them to newspapers in five different countries.

Also, the fact that these supposed secrets contain "what appeared to be internal documents from an agrochemical company expressing culpability for more than 13,000 deaths related to genetically modified organisms" makes me pretty certain those files never existed in the first place.
posted by ymgve at 8:39 AM on March 24, 2015 [19 favorites]


Geez.

Believing this kid's story makes you feel like a nutty conspiracy theorist, but it also just seems so plausible somehow.

I wouldn't be shocked if 1. these files existed and 2. they were fakes, either uploaded by some kind of troll or by someone deliberately looking to rile up potential government whistleblowers with fake info before they could get their hands on real info.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:39 AM on March 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


I read the buzzfeed article last night. After reading it the only thing I can conclude is that Matt needs some mental help.

Off to scour the web and see if I can turn up any new articles. Very fascinating, would love to read any links anyone else comes up with.
posted by MadMadam at 8:41 AM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I saw the post on reddit the other day, to which a commenter kindly appended a list of links:
Here is some more reading on this topic, for anyone interested:

* Five-part National Post investigative series published last year:
(this series was the first to come out, and it is a bit too narrative for my liking, it messes up the timeline and gets confusing, but this reporter had unprecedented access to Matt and did most of the digging that turned up the FBI declassified report, the medical record backing up Matt's claims of torture, etc).

* Independent journalist Marcy Wheeler's coverage on Matt: Wheeler has been adding her smart take of developments in Matt's case to the public record for a while, and she's a good expert opinion to read on national security prosecutions.

* Der Spiegel article in German: English translation:

* The website the Courage Foundation put together to defend Matt has a lot of links to the legal documents: Courage is the foundation Wikileaks employee Sarah Harrison set up after she helped Snowden escape Hong Kong. Matt is the foundations third beneficiary (the first two: Snowden and Jeremy Hammond)

* Al Jazeera English: Will Matt DeHart be the next victim of the war on leaks?

For the trolls who won't believe this because it's BuzzFeed: it strikes me that, because it is BuzzFeed, you are finally paying attention to it being on Reddit. Matt's story has been covered in other media extensively before.

I can do an AMA on Matt's case tomorrow, perhaps. (Edit to add: I'm a reporter and have had many conversations with Matt, his lawyers, his parents, and have read all the court documents related to this case)
posted by rebent at 8:42 AM on March 24, 2015 [16 favorites]


The big question is, where are these files?

He says he deleted them in a panic.
Afraid of the repercussions of having seen the folder of files, Matt panicked, he claims, and deleted it from the server. But he says he kept screenshots of the dozen or so pages of the document that specifically related to the FBI investigation and the agrochemical matter, along with chat logs and passwords for the Shell, on two IronKey thumb drives, which he hid inside his gun case for safekeeping.
Personally I'm having a hard time finding Matt DeHart to be credible, mostly because his narrative about his time in the National Guard does not make sense. It's possible that he accidentally stumbled on some incredibly damning files, and only incidentally is lying about his time in the service? But it makes it hard to believe him. Albeit I am only basing this on the Buzzfeed article.
posted by muddgirl at 8:46 AM on March 24, 2015


Also, it seems entirely possible to me that he's both a (rather inept) whistleblower and a pedophile.
posted by muddgirl at 8:47 AM on March 24, 2015 [9 favorites]


Thanks rebent.
posted by ellieBOA at 8:53 AM on March 24, 2015


If I ever got leaked CIA secrets in my possession, I would be certain to mail them out to every person I know,

From the one link in the post:

Inside a hotel room in Monterrey, Mexico, Matt says he copied the Shell files onto a handful of thumb drives. He mailed one to a friend outside London, and several others to locations he refuses to disclose. He also says he sent one to himself in care of his grandmother, which he later retrieved for himself.
posted by entropone at 8:59 AM on March 24, 2015


I skimmed the article yesterday and it was a boat-load of wtf-ery.. So if he shipped those files out on drives all around, and has recovered at least one himself, isn't now the correct "show me the money" moment ?
posted by k5.user at 9:02 AM on March 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Inside a hotel room in Monterrey, Mexico, Matt says he copied the Shell files onto a handful of thumb drives. He mailed one to a friend outside London, and several others to locations he refuses to disclose. He also says he sent one to himself in care of his grandmother, which he later retrieved for himself.

Which brings back my original question. Where are the files? Shouldn't one of the handful of people that received them have leaked them, or at least verified their existence, by now?
posted by ymgve at 9:04 AM on March 24, 2015


That being said, the National Post articles reveal several oddities. It reads like the FBI was really paranoid about Anonymous and went far, possibly too far, in trying to get info from him.
posted by ymgve at 9:09 AM on March 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


rebent,

Can you comment on ymgve's question regarding the files? It just seems incredibly convenient that he completely deleted them from his computer and server, had the only thumb drives he possessed containing them confiscated, and that none of the other drives he claims to have mailed have turned up.

He could vindicate himself in a second if he could produce these alleged files. Everything else, however interesting or bizarre, is just window dressing for the files. Without the files it's just wild accusations from both sides.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:12 AM on March 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


Also, regardless of whether or not the child pornography claims are true, or the whistleblowing claims are true, or the espionage claims are true, or the torture claims are true, the conduct that the FBI openly admits to is shameful enough on its own. Why didn't Matt have a lawyer? Why was he given Thorazine based on a cursory medical examination?

It should be so, so easy to not screw the pooch in these cases - like I said, DeHart does not seem credible - so how the FBI would fuck this up is beyond me.
posted by muddgirl at 9:12 AM on March 24, 2015 [12 favorites]


maybe no one wants to say they have them because they're afraid the gov't will arrest them on pedo charges? or because they don't have the means to leavve the country and live in exile like Snowden?

just saying that i would be scared shitless if i had govt docs in my hand.
posted by sio42 at 9:13 AM on March 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


It should be so, so easy to not screw the pooch in these cases - like I said, DeHart does not seem credible - so how the FBI would fuck this up is beyond me.

Does it really? Because assuming these claims are true, it seems like they've 100% completely gotten away with it. So why on earth wouldn't they behave this way?
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:14 AM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, if I had sensitive government files I wouldn't send them to anybody I loved. Because I love them, and that's a ticket to conspiracy charges for them. (I'd sure send them to every news outlet I could think of though.)
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:15 AM on March 24, 2015


Based on the total inaction and public indifference in response to the Snowden revelations, one wonders why the government would go to the trouble of trying to cover anything up anymore.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:17 AM on March 24, 2015 [17 favorites]


As Teresa Nielsen Hayden said, "I deeply resent the way this administration era makes me feel like a nutbar conspiracy theorist."

How can something seem so implausible and so terrifyingly plausible at the same time?
posted by Myca at 9:17 AM on March 24, 2015 [5 favorites]


Because assuming these claims are true, it seems like they've 100% completely gotten away with it.

If these claims are true, then despite leaking incredible documents that prove the CIA committed treason, Deal is still serving in the National Guard in a sensitive position.

They haven't "gotten away with it" because every reporter worth their salt is looking for these docs now, whether or not they exist.
posted by muddgirl at 9:17 AM on March 24, 2015


If I were to believe the basis of this story, which I'm still not sure I do, I wouldn't be shocked if Deal was acting as a double agent ("he says he feels just like me about the government, AND he has LONG HAIR! I can trust him!"), and the documents were actually planted by Deal under orders from higher-ups, in an attempt to expose DeHart's apparent desire to leak secrets. Dangle something too tempting not to jump on, he takes the bait, and they eliminate him before he can do any actual damage.

This is of course all wild speculation.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:23 AM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


If they're fake, then they don't have to fake-charge him with child pornography. Just don't give him the security clearance that he never qualified for in the first place and discharge him, which they already did.
posted by muddgirl at 9:26 AM on March 24, 2015


(They don't have to fake-charge him because there's nothing to discredit, since they're fake and the government knows they're fake and can presumably prove they're fake.)
posted by muddgirl at 9:26 AM on March 24, 2015


If they're fake, then they don't have to fake-charge him with child pornography.

It's showy revenge. You whistle-blow on the government? This is what happens. It's a message to people more competent and stable than DeHart.

You don't just trade 'government secrets' via a WoW server and beg two foreign governments for protection and just get away with it.

Assuming, of course, that DeHart isn't lying or delusional, which, again, maybe.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:29 AM on March 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


There are enough real whistleblowers and real spies that I can't figure out why they'd need to fake one. The US government generally wants to keep intelligence leaks secret, not make showy attempts at publicizing how bad they are at doing their job. And the timeline still doesn't make sense - why would they wait nearly a year to catch him if they wanted to make an example of him?
posted by muddgirl at 9:37 AM on March 24, 2015


It could definitely be both. He could be paranoid and delusional, even a pedophile, and the FBI/law enforcement investigation could be abusive, torturous and corrupt.

Framing someone as a pedophile is the perfect smear campaign, frankly, but that doesn't mean that's what happened here.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 9:40 AM on March 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Maybe this is an operation run by the government to hurt Courage and the whistleblower infrastructure that's developing. Create a high profile case, get a bunch of key figures invested, then reveal him for a fraud, thus making them look like fools and harming their credibility and the credibility of future leak claims.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:41 AM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


This smells a lot more like William Cooper than Chelsea Manning.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:45 AM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


The trouble with all of this is that 4chan is not just the sort of place that wannabe hacktivists hang around. The chans have had a long history of facilitating the sort of stuff he's accused of--lots of young men with various inclinations, some of them problematic, often egging each other on. It's the perfect smear, but it's also a thing that has come up repeatedly among the GamerGate problems, for example, that 8chan was harboring a lot of that sort of thing. The trouble with the Anonymous/channer mentality has always been that it rejects any kind of restrictions on "liberty", and that's one of the areas it becomes a problem. Someone from any other crowd it'd seem like.a stretch. Channers--yeah, it doesn't seem that improbable. Nor does it seem implausible that he could have made up a lot of the government stuff. There was very recently a guy on 8chan claiming he was a hacker who could get personal data on anybody who turned out to just be reposting stuff that had been released by others previously. It's... Well, it's a thing.
posted by Sequence at 9:50 AM on March 24, 2015 [4 favorites]


Or the simplest explanation - DeHart is a compulsive liar who got in way over his head.

My takeaway from the Snowden and Manning leaks was NOT that the government is an powerful organization capable of complex deception. Rather they are a vast and shambling zombie that can't keep their own clean laundry secure, much less secrets they don't want anyone to know. But I suppose I can't completely discount the theory that their prior intelligence fumblings were all an elaborate ruse.
posted by muddgirl at 9:52 AM on March 24, 2015 [6 favorites]


I couldn't help but wonder throughout the article that a very real possibility as a young man in his 20s acting erratically is that DeHart has developed schizophrenia (which would explain the Thorazine he was given at the hospital and the Seroquel he takes now), and that he and his family have yet to come to terms with his diagnosis.
posted by hydropsyche at 10:08 AM on March 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


I could believe that of him, hydropsyche, but I have some trouble imagining that his family, if they knew about a diagnosis like that, would choose to believe in an actual government conspiracy rather than the existence of an illness. Antipsychotics these days are prescribed for a lot of things other than schizophrenia.
posted by Sequence at 10:24 AM on March 24, 2015


If one is able to be tortured, then one is able to be "disappeared".

Why would they torture him and let him continue? It would just be easier to just make sure nobody heard from him ever again.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:26 AM on March 24, 2015


I could believe that of him, hydropsyche, but I have some trouble imagining that his family, if they knew about a diagnosis like that, would choose to believe in an actual government conspiracy rather than the existence of an illness.

I think you'd likely be surprised on that score. I know even highly highly educated and stable families (multiple PhDs, teaching in the Ivy's, etc.) who have not only spent thousands upon thousands for good treatment for their children, but have also insisted, eg, that their child's only "illness" was smoking too much pot.
posted by OmieWise at 11:17 AM on March 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


"My takeaway from the Snowden and Manning leaks was NOT that the government is an powerful organization capable of complex deception. Rather they are a vast and shambling zombie that can't keep their own clean laundry secure, much less secrets they don't want anyone to know."

Really? That's your takeaway? So it was the image of a "vast and shambling zombie" that inspired Snowden to leak what he leaked?
posted by I-baLL at 11:29 AM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, but I come out of that article believing he's a creepy "totally not gay" pedo and definitely solicited those videos.

He maybe has some government docs, but he definitely should be in jail.
posted by GreyboxHero at 11:41 AM on March 24, 2015


That's a messed up story. From the surface, the impression I get is that the guy is not well and the fact he feels persecuted (rightly or wrongly) is feeding the more salacious claims he makes.
posted by dios at 12:04 PM on March 24, 2015


So it was the image of a "vast and shambling zombie" that inspired Snowden to leak what he leaked?

I don't speak for Snowden, I was referring to the lapses in oversight that allowed Snowden and Manning to access and leak the files, and in Snowden's particular case, the particularly ineffectual response. After leaking documents to Poitrass and Greenwald, as Snowden has repeatedly discussed, he was shocked and surprised at how ineffective US security agencies were at (a) figuring out what he had done, (b) figuring out what, exactly, he had accessed, and (c) tracking him down. Contrary to the impression discussed in this thread that the US is capable of organizing and running a targeted smear campaign against a whistleblower, they've been pretty ineffective at discrediting Snowden. Look at the timeline - he was not even fired from the security defense contractor he worked for until publicly outed himself. The worst the US has been capable of doing is revoking his passport and grounding a plane he wasn't even on.

Similarly, it appears that the US had little idea that Manning was responsible for the Iraq war-related leaks until she was turned in by Adrian Lamo, 4 months after the material was accessed and 3 months after the first leak.
posted by muddgirl at 12:08 PM on March 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


The pedo angle is a red herring, as it says in TFA that Canadian authorities found the chat logs from AOL themselves do not match the logs Kniss offered up for his indictment. That part, at least, is not some speculative head scratcher.

The rest though.. well, after all that's come to light about US government behavior towards perceived threats, none of it is outside the realm of possibility.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 12:17 PM on March 24, 2015


muddgirl: Just because it turned out to be very easy for a smart insider to pull the data does not mean that the government is not a "powerful organization capable of complex deception." In fact Snowden's leaks proved the exact opposite.
posted by I-baLL at 12:21 PM on March 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


Despite the supposed reach and power of the NSA, they've been completely incapable of pointing to any actual work done by the program. Over eight years, their massive and likely illegal data gathering system has foiled only "dozens" of plots? The few of which have been disclosed don't appear to be works of PRISM at all?

That definitely sounds like a vast, shambling zombie of a program to me.
posted by muddgirl at 12:33 PM on March 24, 2015 [2 favorites]


muddgirl: The NSA's job was never about foiling "plots" and their data gathering system has existed for much longer than 8 years.
posted by I-baLL at 12:40 PM on March 24, 2015


Which brings back my original question. Where are the files?

I have it from reliable internet sources that the files disappeared after large black triangles were spotted hovering silently over the recipients' houses. Also, there were several sightings of Obama in the area.

If you can't trust an anonymous source on the internet, who can you trust?
posted by happyroach at 12:55 PM on March 24, 2015


No idea what the deal here is, honestly.

I expect inconsistencies from suspects, and am happy to treat Matt as an unreliable narrator. The problem is the inconsistencies in the FBI/governments stories. Now both sides are difficult to trust. It's obvious why a suspected child pornographer would lie (to get out of the consequences of the alleged crimes), but why would the government?

While its difficult to believe Matt's story (and he certainly exercised poor judgement at many times), the governments behavior is the behavior I care about and find problematic.
posted by el io at 1:21 PM on March 24, 2015


It's impossible to know whether he's lying or telling the truth from what we currently know.
posted by Edgewise at 1:31 PM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


muddgirl: The NSA's job was never about foiling "plots" and their data gathering system has existed for much longer than 8 years.

Of course not, but you'd think that, since they're allegedly capable of complex deception, they'd be able to rustle up some convincing evidence that their supposed terrorist-catching program is effective at catching terrorists.
posted by muddgirl at 1:39 PM on March 24, 2015


(I realize that I'm advancing a pointless argument about whether the US government is, like, moustache-twirlingly evil or just regular stupidly evil, so I'm going to disengage now.)
posted by muddgirl at 2:42 PM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's impossible to know whether he's lying or telling the truth from what we currently know.

That's OK. The burden of proof is on the person making the claim.

There have been several stories on Metafilter about people with a vivid fantasy life who rope their relatives and acquaintances into it. The people involved seem to be mentally ill; the fantasy often has a sexual element; there are lots of inconsistencies that have to be explained away, but you're occasionally left with a hard nugget that makes you ask "Why did X happen, if their fantasy isn't true?" But you know, sometimes things just happen.

Investigators cut corners. Cops lie. A person falsely accused of a crime turns out to be guilty of a different crime. An innocent person panics and starts destroying "evidence". Two otherwise-unrelated people turn out to have grown up in the same street. Sometimes the fantasy has been shaped (or modified) to accommodate these things; sometimes it's just coincidence. It doesn't mean anything, because these are stupid, trivial facts, that would never be able to support the fantasy narrative on their own.

I think that's what we have here - there's a bunch of mysterious files, shared through WoW of all things, but they're deleted and unrecoverable, but there are screenshots (!) (?!) (!!) that may or may not be on thumb drives that may or may not have been confiscated, but there might be other copies, and the screenshots will have passwords or some crap about genetically modified CIA agents bombing Monsanto. Or whatever.

And as proof of all this, if all this isn't true, why was the crazy guy allegedly given Thorazine?! Why didn't he have a lawyer?

Well, because (a) he's crazy, and (b) stuff happens. It's not right that it happens, but the most likely explanation is just ... stuff happens.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:23 PM on March 24, 2015


muddgirl: "Also, it seems entirely possible to me that he's both a (rather inept) whistleblower and a pedophile."

That was pretty much my thought: These are not mutually exclusive scenarios.

Similar to T.S. Eliots quip about Jesus: "Lord, Liar or Lunatic"...
Well - nothing's saying it can't be all three!
posted by symbioid at 3:53 PM on March 24, 2015


here's a bunch of mysterious files, shared through WoW of all things

Allegedly. Maybe I missed it, but is there any evidence at all beyond DeHart's claims that these files were uploaded to the Shell, or that this "Shell" server existed at all?
posted by Sangermaine at 3:58 PM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


The pedo angle is a red herring, as it says in TFA that Canadian authorities found the chat logs from AOL themselves do not match the logs Kniss offered up for his indictment. That part, at least, is not some speculative head scratcher.

From those same documents: "With respect to the charges of child pornography, the judge stated that while the government has substantial proof in terms of the weight of evidence against the defendant with regards to the charges against him. it was now not as firm, especially in light of the fact that Detective Kniss could not really prove that there weren't other little girls who might have been enticing these complainants to send pictures."

There might well not be enough evidence to convict him, in the end. It's possible. I'm not going to say I know any more than a jury will in this particular circumstance. But a "red herring"? The authorities in question seem to have entirely avoided any suggestion that the logs conclusively establish that DeHart is innocent of the charges against him. Maybe, indeed, they won't prove it beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury--that still doesn't establish more than that somebody may have done wrong to try to shore up a less-than-certain case against a person they perceived to be a creep. It does not actually establish that his other claims are true. This is the sort of error I can totally believe on the part of the government--it happens to defendants, especially poor and nonwhite ones, all the time. It does not make DeHart a hero. Even slimeballs have a right to a fair trial.

It's a bit hard since courts are crap at technology issues, but seriously, a lot of this seems to hinge on "this wasn't my usual IP so you can't prove it wasn't someone else"... from a guy who knew how to use Tor and presumably other proxies. All that got determined here is that DeHart can make a case in his defense and it's not open-and-shut, not that the whole thing is definitely fabricated. They were making a finding as to his eligiblity under 1(F)(b), not a finding of the fact of his innocence or guilt.
posted by Sequence at 4:06 PM on March 24, 2015 [1 favorite]


Never buy a used hard drive. Realise adept hackers can put whatever they want on your machine. I know someone who was similarly framed, in court, he never saw the evidence. The government took everything, and left his house open to be robbed while he was incarcerated. His real crime, a lifetime of public service and political activism. I am someone he could have told if he had a kiddie porn habit, he denied that to me. They ruined him.
posted by Oyéah at 4:34 PM on March 24, 2015


ymgve: That being said, the National Post articles reveal several oddities. It reads like the FBI was really paranoid about Anonymous and went far, possibly too far, in trying to get info from him.

I agree. Imho, this is the FBI going all out to convict a mentally unstable man with something, anything, that will justify the time and money they've already put into him. Matt's stories sound very unbelievable, but he sticks to them because he's terrified of being sent to jail for who knows how long. Someone did give him scopolamine right after he was interrogated, so is it possible that they also gave it to him before interrogation? I can see the FBI doing it, if they thought he might be another Bradley Manning and he broke down and went catatonic after arrest. Then they interrogated him while he was tripping from the side effects, and he told them everything they wanted to hear.
posted by Kevin Street at 4:35 PM on March 24, 2015


I am someone he could have told if he had a kiddie porn habit, he denied that to me.

Child pornography fiends are not generally known for their honor and blunt honesty.
posted by Justinian at 4:37 PM on March 24, 2015 [3 favorites]


So, the article mentions a few times that he had depression and anxiety, but then also casually drops that he takes Seroquel for his "mood disorder." That's usually code for Bipolar. If that's his diagnosis then some of his actions and thought processes make a little more sense. If I take every bizarro decision he makes during the course of the story and label them "manic episode" then all the pieces start to fall into place. Not all Bipolar people get paranoid when manic, but it's one of my most insidious symptoms, and why I also take an antipsychotic, despite not being technically psychotic.
posted by Biblio at 8:43 PM on March 24, 2015


"Once there, they would remove the batteries from their cell phones. They assumed their..."
posted by clavdivs at 10:40 PM on March 24, 2015


I could believe that of him, hydropsyche, but I have some trouble imagining that his family, if they knew about a diagnosis like that, would choose to believe in an actual government conspiracy rather than the existence of an illness.

I'm non neurotypical, and i guess birds of a feather or something because i've ended up knowing a lot of other people who are in that zone in some way, or are mentally ill(or slide in to it after we've known eachother for a while). They were all smart, interesting people who were to their parents "just a bit quirky" or "like that" or whatever. Some of them actually lost the plot, or became violent, or did really fucked up stuff.

Their parents were always educated very intelligent people who were at worst a bit granola. General skeptics who would question anything, in any other category of life that seemed even a bit hinky.

But when it's their own kid? Oh, they're just like that! Tons and tons of bending over backwards to deny it and excuse it and work with it until something bad enough happens that the police get involved. Or non-voluntary inpatient, or something. All through primary school and middle/high school most of them held it together and were just one of the "weird" kids. It was almost always at like 16-20 some really bad shit would go down.

Like omiewise, i've seen the "just smoking too much pot!" thing rolled out by parents more than once when their kid developed gigantic delusions and smashed up their own house, and had to be sent to inpatient psychiatric care for months. They'd get out and just get sent to fancy rehab because it was "all the reefer!"

It's just another strain of "but not MY billy!" stuff, and it's very harmful. I've been cut off from friends families for being the only one to say the emperor has no clothes and there needs to be some serious help/intervention here, to later here shit got way worse and still nothing was done, or just nothing was done until something really bad happened.

There's also generally an element of familial mental illness or non neurotypical-ness involved in this, where the parents themselves are "weird" and don't want to have to do any hard scary self reflection brain muscle flexing.

So yea, i imminently believe the family would act like that. It's all too common, and i wish it got talked about more. It's some really harmful enabling shit that prevents the often young adult aged kids from getting the care they need, and just lets this kind of crap spiral out of control worse and worse and snowball in to more and more harm for everyone involved, especially the kid.


This story made me really fucking sad for that reason. It's just too easy to see one of those people i knew, or some of the people similar to that i knew of or knew online being this guy. Did he download the child porn himself? Yea, probably. Did these files exist? Probably not, they're likely just some random weird shit maybe from a companies public FTP or something that isn't some big revelation. Or fakes from 4chan. Or who knows.

Is his behavior, to me, indicative of a really sad situation and someone who needs help and not really the long dick of the law? Absolutely. And he needed it before any of this happened, and his parents are complicit in it getting this bad and to an extent fuck them.

I don't know of a single narrative of anyone i thought of when i wrote the rest of this comment that couldn't have been helped so much sooner on its path if the parents hadn't been so willfully ignorant and myopic. I get why they do it, but it's a selfish act i can't respect even if i can on some level understand it.

This whole thing is just sad.
posted by emptythought at 2:45 AM on March 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


I was talking to a friend who was telling me about her friend's sister. Apparently the sister ("Jackie") was under surveillance. Jackie listed some occasions when she'd been under surveillance, every now and then pointed someone out who was watching them, it became a whole thing.

"Ah," I said, "Jackie very likely has schizophrenia."

"What? No! She got this award, and it means she has to follow the conditions or it gets withdrawn, and maybe she isn't right about everything but it could be true."

"Well ..." I said, "Maybe, but you might ask your friend to consider the possibility."

Anyway, long story short, yeah. Jackie is mentally ill. But for the longest time her family was treating her as if it were normal to suddenly start shouting at people in a restaurant or run out of a cinema. I suppose when things develop gradually, especially when it's a loved one, it just becomes hard to stop making excuses.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:16 AM on March 25, 2015


The people harmed by the bioengineering would have to be the mysteriously ill Nicaraguan cane cutters. The company probably modified a ubiquitous bacteria to be an irritant to cane fungus, or corn smut for that matter. The men are susceptible because of overwork nd high kidney use, water consumption. The women not so much as their pattern of labor is different.

Maybe the kid is ill, and his parents co-dependant, but since they both worked for the beast, they also know its ways.
posted by Oyéah at 7:50 AM on March 25, 2015


Sex Trafficking Victim Says Police Involved In Human Slave Trade Abused and Threatened Her

We're learning, thanks in part to #OpDeathEaters, that the Catholic, and then Protestant, child sex abuse scandals were characteristic not merely of Religion, but of any power hierarchy. Abuse is endemic in politics, law enforcement, etc.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:08 PM on March 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


""Ah," I said, "Jackie very likely has schizophrenia.""

The problem with that is that sometimes the people who come off as paranoid schizophrenic turn out to be right.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/02/opinion/02hotchner.html
posted by I-baLL at 8:35 AM on March 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I know someone who was similarly framed, in court, he never saw the evidence.

Isn't this, like, totally illegal? And he would easily win an appeal?
posted by ymgve at 10:06 AM on March 31, 2015


The kid is using the system, because he got caught molesting children.

While I respect his parents for their service, I think they're incredibly gullible if they believe Matt's story. If they're playing along, then they're just as bad as he is, assuming guilt in the molestation case.

There's one thing to actually have a legitimate case of cyber-vigilance persecuted, but another to use the system, and portray it as though the main culprit is somehow a victim.

I can't say many good things about the government, but I can say with certainty that this tale Matt is playing to the media, is strictly to cause trouble.

Besides that, Anonymous is not exactly an "expert" group, after all, as they claim to be.

The other lesson is, just because you come across a document with a [probably fake] FBI seal, doesn't make it real.

Even bigger lesson is: accept responsibility for your wrong-doings. Don't hurt children!
posted by Grease at 9:44 AM on April 5, 2015






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