The Weaponising Of Social Part 1: The Crucifixion of IOError

posted in: June 2016 issue | 0

By Suzie Dawson

First they came for Assange

Thanks to a small group of supposed anonymity-protecting privacy activists thousands of people now know the name of Jacob Appelbaum’s fiancée`. Even those that didn’t want to.

We found it out by reading an extremely controversial website launched a week ago, that had a few sparse accounts of some nasty sounding happenings allegedly involving Jacob, with promises of more to come.

No one truly concerned with privacy issues should care if Jacob has a fiancée let alone who she is, out of respect for his right to a private life and because it is patently obvious that attacks on him shouldn’t extend to her.

Her name was later removed after the bulk of the damage had been done, without any editorial admission that it had ever been there in the first place.

Unfortunately, that simple yet far-reaching invasion of privacy, is only the tip of the iceberg.

[Update 12/06/16: Detractors are claiming the above is factually incorrect as they say Appelbaum is no longer engaged. The source was the smear website itself, which named Appelbaum’s ‘partner’, then removed her name and called her his ‘fiancée’, and now implies past tense. IMO, who he is or isn’t engaged to is frankly his own business. The point stands.]

Preamble

In a strange paradox, Jacob Appelbaum’s accusers both want to deny any relevance between their accusations and him being a known target of the US government as a result of the nature of his work, while having the clearly stated aim of wanting to prevent him from being able to continue it.

Even as they are being dwarfed, swept aside and forgotten in the controversy, the topics on which Jacob Appelbaum and WikiLeaks work are much larger and more important than any individual.  Those who concertedly dedicate themselves to such causes are unjustly forced to quite literally risk our safety, our families, our livelihoods, our citizenships, our liberty and everything we own, in our fight to preserve our ideals and our planet.

The high stakes in a situation like this demand more than knee-jerk reactions, hearsay, and because-all-my-friends-say, when one of us is attacked or discredited. They deserve the investment of time; of serious, weighty yet measured consideration; analysis; and investigation. All of the elements that should be prerequisite to forming any intellectual opinon, let alone one where reputations and potentially lives are at stake.

But we are yet to see any of that, at least anything more in-depth than a series of personal statements via “Twitlonger”. Just a whole lot of uproar; a whole lot more silence; and a bunch of axe-grinding. With very little actual analysis, because the topic of rape is so taboo that most people are shit scared of approaching it objectively.

As such, this post should be subtitled “We Owe IO More Than 600 Words”. Because we do. We owe him much, much more than that.

We owe it to him and to our causes, to find out the truth.

Preamble dispensed with, I’m going to give some historical context to what made me write this article and analyse the claims made on and by the anti-IO website. In Part 2 of this article, we will look into the main personalities that appear to be driving this, discuss some of the environmental factors affecting the response and get into the wider context, which is all but being ignored

Lessons Long-Since Learned 

The website now being widely sourced as justification for dismantling Appelbaum’s career and reputation does as much to discredit itself as it does to discredit Jacob.

That the name of the female closest to him was disclosed in a forum that claims to exist to protect women was not the first red flag.

Several years ago, a situation unfolded where a prominent activist (Activist A)  was privately accused of rape by another activist (Activist B). This was then broadcast far and wide through the creation of a Twitter account that purported to be Activist B talking directly and openly about her first hand experience of being raped by Activist A.

Many fell for it, and instantaneously an online frenzy was being whisked up against Activist A. For all the same – on the surface – seemingly valid reasons that we see people turning on Jacob Appelbaum for now.

However, when I read the tweets of the account calling for the persecution of Activist A, I innately knew that what I was reading was not the words of a rape survivor. It came across to me as someone trying to posture themselves as one, out of empathy and/or indignation, rather than legitimately recounting an actual firsthand memory of a personal experience.

So I did the socially unacceptable but morally right thing and spoke out. While people were aghast that I dared to question a “victim” – the facade soon crumbled and it turned out that my instincts were absolutely correct.

The account claiming to be a rape victim was not Activist B at all. It was Activist C, her boyfriend, who had (according to Activist B, without her knowledge) taken it upon himself to impersonate her and attack Activist A in public after she had raised issues in confidence. There had been some question of infidelity, she had privately claimed lack of consent, Activist C had decided that Activist A’s life should be ruined as a result, and gone public.

Whether or not Activist A ever did in fact rape Activist B got lost in the controversy of Activist C’s foolish meddling in the entire situation. Activist A claimed no. Activist B claimed yes. Activist C permanently obscured the situation by his actions.

So how was I able to immediately identify, on gut feeling, that this anonymous account claiming to be a rape victim was not a rape victim? And why did I risk my “social capital” to speak out on such a highly contentious topic?

Because people who are not survivors of rape cannot competently impersonate survivors of rape. They think the act itself is the whole story but it is just a tiny fraction of it. So when they attempt to concoct the scenario, they always limit it to the specific event rather than the holistic experience, the emotional journey.

Rape Testimony

Real rape testimony is 20% what physically happened and 80% how it affected us. It is visceral. It is memories and shapes and impressions and images. It is sights and smells and feelings, a twisted nostalgia we would desperately like to free ourselves from but cannot ever. It is asymmetrical and it evolves. It unfolds. The expression of it is a cathartic, painful release but a necessary step in the healing.

It is not a telegram. It is not a thematical construct with set form or submission rules.

They are not a fixed length. Nor fixed sentence structures. They do not have a statistical linguistic pattern. They are not uniform. They ebb and flow in proportion to the victim’s telling. They sway and move, mobile in the outpouring of emotion, of grief.

When multiple examples of rape testimonies are compared side by side, they don’t conform in any way save in their effective translation of trauma, of a raw and primal pain.

So when I realised the extent to which the accounts on the anti-Jacob website do conform and began to note other anomalies, huge alarm bells started ringing.

Speaking From Experience

As someone intimately acquainted with the plight of survivors, you can feel inside you when something is just not right with a situation like this. As a survivor, my personal obligation to other victims and to the truth has led me to speak up several times in the past – even when it is utterly humiliating, damaging to my reputation or even outright dangerous to do so. This is not an expectation I have of others – I have the benefit of the passage of time, maturity, experience and healing – water under the bridge – that many others don’t. Thus I spoke out in an article addressing statements made by the Minister of Police and the grotesquely poor conduct of NZ cops in handling sexual assault including my own historical abduction and gang rape. I likewise spoke the difficult and humiliating truth against the notorious ‘FBI’ snitch Sabu when he assumed the identity of one of my friends in order to target me sexually, in an attempt to entrap me. I spoke out about my favourite publication in the world when a new staffer there published a ridiculous pile of rape apologist bullshit. I spoke out against the self-admitted serial pack rapists known as The RoastBusters who weren’t even so much as arrested after bragging about stupefying and pack-raping dozens of 13-16 year old girls. Then I spoke out against media’s irresponsible reporting on the issue. And again, when the Minister of Justice used the plight of the many Roastbusters victims who had received no justice whatsoever, in order to falsely justify the passage of anti-trolling legislation.

Even though it triggered the hell out of me to do so, I attended protest events, supported movements, and covered live actions in support of survivors, and in defiance of the repressive tactics wielded by New Zealand’s blatantly corrupt and incompetent police forces, who so profoundly fail survivors, and the public.

As faithfully as I spoke out in all those cases, so must I speak out too when I believe that rape testimony may be being falsely manufactured, or manipulated, or misrepresented, or used to serve the ulterior motives and agenda of someone(s) who may not be rape survivors at all.

Believe victims“, some people say. The key word is not believe. The key word is victims. Not “believe any two-bit twat(s) who impersonate survivors and/or edit rape testimony because they have something to gain by smearing someone all over the net, in the name of other victims.”

Especially when in doing so, knowingly or not, those someone(s) are also serving the interests of The Empire and damaging movements that people pay dearly to create, build and sustain. (If you are in any doubt about this take note that among the first people gloating about Jacob Appelbaum’s perceived downfall was in fact, Sabu.)

For The Empire, I can assure you, does not give the slightest flying shit about rape victims, unless they can be used to its advantage. On a daily basis, it perpetuates and facilitates mass rape all over the world, while expending tax dollars to cement and maintain all of the societal and environmental conditions that create rape culture.

The double-edged sword of the taboo of rape was constantly wielded against Julian Assange and his supporters over the last five years, albeit with ever-dwindling effectiveness. Allegations of rape against information activists are a lose-lose situation for us but a ‘win’ for our enemies, and that is again apparent in Appelbaum’s case. The end result is a real-life example of why these types of accusations are such an efficient tool for those wishing to utterly devastate and incapacitate a perceived rival. It emboldens the targets enemies and silences their friends. It isolates them and eclipses all their prior undertakings.

For all these reasons I cannot merely sit silent, or put out an ambiguous 600-word opinion piece sitting on a fence.

Instead I did what I do best. I read, read, read, read and read more. Dug, investigated and analysed.

The following, is my findings.

Analysis Is What We Do Best – So Let’s Do It

In the first hours of the allegations against Jacob hitting the public sphere, they were primarily pushed through one website, a shady Twitter handle with acrid yet low output, and two personal Twitter accounts. Although in the days that followed many, many others jumped on board, some of the first out of the gates were:

rprtd

mlpj32

mlpj3

The Meredith quoted above, who, incidentally, is described as the founder of a “think-tank” called “Weaponizing Social”, went on to send more than a dozen tweets about the situation, in surplus to those quoted above.

From this post about Weaponizing Social on AspirationTech.org:

ws

What a strange question they ask – “who watches those watching the watchmen?” One would assume, the Watchmen do, because they keep a super close eye on anyone questioning or shining a light on them, and in reality they do much more than simply “watch”.

[“Weaponizing Social” both as a concept and an entity will be further discussed in the second part of this article.]

For now, looking closely at the anonymous website featuring the accusations against Jacob is key to better understanding the whole situation.

JacobAppelbaum.net

The first impression of the website (which strangely, is not HTTPS) is of a huge picture of Jacob Appelbaum with his name written across it in bold type. It initially gives the impression of being an official website. Until you read the ‘About’ page.

Hey there! We’re a collective of people who have been harassed, plagiarized, humiliated, and abused — sexually, emotionally, and physically — by Jacob Appelbaum. Jake enjoys manipulating people through his built-up social capital, influence, and power, in order to get what he wants.

Here are some of our stories.

— http://jacobappelbaum.net

Taken at face value, the About page conforms to all the rules of good marketing – short, to the point and high impact.

The high gloss effect slips though, the further you get into the content.

The ‘Victims’ Page

This page makes three central claims.

Firstly, that Jacob Appelbaum seeks out ‘new’ members in activist communities and targets them for their naiveté.

Although several stories published on the site mention looking up to Jacob as a central figure in the movement, none claim to have been fresh on “The Scene” at the point of the alleged incidents.

Secondly, under the sub-heading “Have a partner?”  the page states “If you spurn Jake or attempt to stand up to him, he’ll go after the people you care about the most next, doing whatever he can to humiliate and harm them.” Given the fact that Jacob’s alleged fiancée became the collateral damage of the publishers of the website, this passage is highly ironic.

Nor does their concern appear to be providing any protection to a woman being accused of being currently romantically involved with Jacob Appelbaum:

dell

Thirdly, the page claims that Jake is a plagiarist who falsely claims credit for other people’s work in order to “increase his level of power and influence“. The claims of plagiarism against Jake are extremely hard to track down, especially Meredith’s. While she waxes lyrical about Jacob having allegedly taken credit for “our research in 2007” it is difficult to ascertain to what she is referring. Then there is this semi-famous exchange between Appelbaum and @kaepora, which is frankly an obscene stretch of the term plagiarism to say the least, for which kaepora ultimately withdraws and apologises, stating: “I’m sorry I let [a] personal fight interfere with my judgment of Jacob on a purely professional issue. That’s something I certainly should apologize for.”

But the hollow complaint of plagiarism, and the ascribed accusation of a motive of wanting to increase his power and influence, completely ignore Jacob’s numerous, frequent and significant achievements in recent activism history. From calling for civil disobedience against the behemoth NSA data storage facility in Utah; to being extremely visible (understatement) in the #Landesverrater movement that stopped a German treason investigation into journalists in its tracks and resulted in the German Minister of Justice firing the Chief Prosecutor who had brought the charges; to being a supporter of @PengBerlin’s #IntelExit initiative advocating for the employees of intelligence agencies to quit their jobs; to supporting the victims of renditions and wrongfully accused ex-prisoners of Guantanamo Bay, to photographing noteworthy activists and journalists by old-school means and holding gallery openings…  the guy has hardly been sitting on his laurels. To claim that he makes his bones via plagiarism when he is so prolific, is a massive stretch at best. It’s like throwing one tiny brick at a wall and hoping it will fall down. No wonder they needed something more to try to cut him at his roots.

The FAQ

The FAQ, which contains more content that appeared in the wake of the initial launch, gives away much.

As to the question of “Who Made This Site?” the pseudo-answer reads: “Some of us have personal stories of being abused by Jake and some don’t.” Red flag! Another red flag in the very next sentence: “We have heard lots of complaints about his behavior over the years, and have experienced it first hand.” Given the recently debunked eye-witness accounts provided by Tan, Shephard and Patterson… the words “have experienced it first hand” just don’t quite have the ring they used to.

If this is a site about rape victims, it needs to be by and for rape victims, without the meddling of non-victims who have merely “heard lots of complaints” and talked of experiencing things that turned out to not be at all what they claimed. “What Is The Goal Of This Site?” another question asks. This is where the biggest giveaway of all can be found, after a smooth claim that it is just for awareness and protecting people. Word for word, the crux of the issue:

“Also we hope that this site will prompt groups and organizations to think twice about any involvement they have with [Jacob Appelbaum]. Maybe it is not a great idea for him to be part of their communities. Maybe they shouldn’t invite him to speak at or attend their conferences. Maybe they don’t want to be associated with a person who is accused of the behaviors detailed on this site.”

Could the NSA have written it any better themselves? By making these stipulations, the publishers are literally stating the express wishes of The Empire. They don’t ask for apologies. They don’t ask for Jacob to acknowledge his actions. They don’t ask for him to be educated. They don’t ask for him to spend his life educating others about rape culture and sexual assault. They ask for him to no longer be allowed to educate the world about privacy, information security, activism and surveillance.

Appelbaum was involved with both the Snowden disclosures and with Julian Assange – literally the two most controversial, polarising, wanted, endangered men in the entire world. Men who have massive resources set against them, up to and including for the purposes of their immediate detainment, rendition and/or extradition, and trial.

Are we really supposed to believe that an anonymous group of people expressly stating that they wish to put a permanent and wholesale end to Jacob’s inclusion in the forums in which he promotes his work, and to his professional relationships, are valid in doing so, based on prima facie complaints?

On “Why Should I Believe You” the would-be career-ending complainants state “If you’re a sexual predator, what better cover story is there than “the FBI is making shit up about me.” If the FBI has it in for you, what better story is there than for you to be anonymously labelled a sexual predator??? None.

Their response to “Why won’t you stand publicly behind what you’re saying?” gets even more ludicrous: “We are afraid we will be doxxed or harassed… We are afraid Jake will threaten us or falsely smear our reputations.”

Any activist worth their salt – let alone a legit Tor developer – has already been doxed or worse, long since. First and foremost by multiple governments and a network of private security companies (yup, they call it a file) then secondarily through social media. Such people are already harassed on a daily basis. Are usually rightly in fear for their very life.

The only people who could reasonably by “afraid” of such elementary levels of actions being taken against them, at this echelon of infotech, are either active in fields which are not seen as threats at all to any government, or who serve their purposes. Everyone else is a target.

There are gaping holes all the way through the rest of the FAQ. From the claim that Twitter requiring phone numbers for new accounts prevented them getting a Twitter (as if there aren’t free guides as to how to circumvent this, not to mention the option of just buying a throwaway SIM or using a virtual number… come on now, countless anonymous accounts are created every day…) to the claim that the site was created out of an altruistic wish to make people safe. Considering the timeline of events as revealed by Cryptome, there are indications that the existence of the complaints were used as a tool for what could easily be described as employment-related blackmail before they even went public.

If that isn’t damning enough: the proof is in the pudding:

mc1mc2

The Stories
Perhaps the most bizarre aspect is the vague and then staggered manner in which the stories appeared on the site.

The best part of a dozen images of Jacob Appelbaum appear under (fake) names of victims – each linking to an individual story of being wronged by him. Unfortunately, in its first iteration, the vast majority of these images, when clicked on, simply lead to text which read  “This is a placeholder“.

Several instances still remain to this day. Leaving it up to our imagination as to whether or not there was actually a victim behind each fake name at the time of first publishing, or whether the publishers were hoping to collect more once the site was live and post them at a future date.

Immediately sensing something wrong, I tried to put my finger on it. Then I realised the first giveaway. The word counts. I ran some basic stats on each testimony that was posted. These and my observations on the stories that did appear, both initially and in the later versions of the site, are as below.

Story 1: Sam  (369 words)

1sam

“Sam”‘s story did not initially appear on the website. It starts “Jake and I had some minor romantic interest in each other when he invited me to his apartment one evening.” It continues on to describe Jake allegedly pulling him or her into a bath and then washing their back against their wishes. “His nonconsensual washing lasted about a minute or two before I leaped out of his bathtub and started crying in the corner of his bathroom.” The alleged victim states “I eventually confronted Jake about this, plus other behaviors I’d witnessed: he started drunkenly kissing another person at the bar with no invitation, he started giving another friend a really aggressive shoulder massage with no invitation, plus a million stories that I’d heard through backchannels.”
[It is unclear whether the bar incident to which they refer is the same incident which is the subject of allegations made to Gizmodo by Meredith Patterson, Emerson Tan and Andrea Shepherd which have since been debunked by the alleged victim herself.]

2. River (703 words)

2river

This account was one of the first published and is by far the most serious accusation against Jacob. Firstly because it is the only story that involves an actual allegation of outright rape and secondly because it implicates (but does not name) other people as being witness to and/or complicit in the alleged rape.

The account begins: “I didn’t know until very recently that nonconsensual sex, by a friend, is rape.” indicating that it is a historical claim (which does not make it any more or less valid, but is contextual information) and that something that has occurred “very recently” has altered how the alleged victim viewed what happened.

There are 34 instances of the word “I” in the first section of the story before there is a break in what had very clearly been, until then, a first-person narrative. The break reads in its entirety:

This cannot continue.

He cannot be a leader in this community, the first name that many people think of, an inspiration to those new entering the field, and also someone who uses his power and influence to sexually prey on individuals who think he is trusted.

It is critical that our community is safe for women, and for any individual who is passionate about protecting privacy and anonymity.”

“The Tor Project in particular should be recognized for how they have handled this respectfully and honorably.”

Due to the sudden lack of personalisation of the sentence structure, and the concrete position, it reads as if another voice has been inserted into the text.

The break over, the testimony is concluded with a final paragraph, which includes another 6 instances of the term “I”, feeling very much as if it has returned to the original voice.

The most puzzling aspect of the account is why the person involved fails to name any of the eye-witnesses and/or participants that they allege were present.

Under the cover of anonymity, and obviously having a good idea of what was at stake for Jake, why not name the others involved? In not naming them, anyone who is one of Jacob’s “friends” or “followers” is subject to fall under the cloud of suspicion. Was this intentional or negligent?

The storyteller states firmly that they believe they were not the only one to receive this treatment from this group of people. So if the stated aim of the site, as it claims, is to forewarn other women and to protect them, why only name Jacob? If he is, as claimed, just one of a group participating in the sexual assault of intoxicated women?

3. Forest (596 words)

3forest

This is the story which initially named “Jake’s partner [REDACTED]” which was later removed without acknowledgement and replaced by the term fiancée. The writer complains that both her partner and her had been “completely humiliated” by Jacob, yet then “invited him to stay at my house” and to sleep in her bed, as friends. She says this “turned out (mostly) fine” though it is unclear what “mostly” means in this context. The author says they “proceeded to share beds in a friendly manner over the years, and nothing bad ever happened.” She then describes visiting Germany and staying at Jake’s house and sleeping in his bed, where she describes him sexually assaulting her while they were sleeping. She then describes confronting Jake, and him initially denying it, then apologising and saying that he had mistaken her for his fiancée in his sleep.

4. Daniel (463 words)

4daniel

Unlike the aforementioned accounts, “Daniel” writes in a markedly different linguistic style, as noted by the above table. The crux of the accusation is that Jacob divulged the existence of a romantic relationship between workmates that they had endeavoured to keep secret. This appears to conform to the prior instances of misconduct discussed in a recently leaked Tor Project HR email.

torhr

5. Kiwi (257 words)

5kiwi

“Kiwi”‘s complaint is that Jacob has attempted to influence and/or control the trajectory of his or her career and professional relationships. They state “sexual abuse is not the only form of abuse” and refer to not having “so much social power as Jacob.” Whether or not true, equating interpersonal social and employment issues with sexual abuse just waters down the seriousness of the other allegations.

6. West (81 words)

6west

At 81 words, it is hard to put much stock in “West”. Were they really so alarmed or harmed, it seems incredibly hard to believe that all they would have is 81 words to say about the matter.  The account reads as if it were an attempt to write in the first person by someone else – perhaps someone who had believed they had witnessed the incident and was attempting to write as the victim, in a foolish attempt to lend credibility to other claims on the website.

The core of the whopping 4 sentences posted is that Jake kissed them without first gaining prior consent. The triviality of the claim by comparison to the accusations of sexual assault, is stark.

When someone kisses you, it is generally referred to as “being hit on”, or someone “making a pass” at you. While I certainly don’t suggest that people go around kissing people who they don’t know for sure want to kiss them back, the act of being hit on is usually the point at which you either return the attention, or not, rather than a crime or an actionable offence.

7. Phoenix (408 words)

7phoenix

Phoenix appears to suggest that, a) Jake solicited a sexual encounter with them, b) that he used his access to Julian Assange to impress them and made a foolish remark about Julian being accustomed to him doing so. Despite the obvious discomfort of the storyteller, which should be taken into account, the complaints could as easily amount to being the subject of a bunch of bad jokes being taken the wrong way. In UK English, we would call it “taking the piss“. Americans might call it “joshing“.
While the writer clearly wasn’t amused, there is no way to be sure that humour was not the intention.
If not, and Jacob was being as knowingly inappropriate as the writer suggests, once again these allegations dramatically pale in comparison to those of sexual assault.

8. Nick (1,661 words)

8nick

Nick’s 1,661 words leave no doubt at all that he feels victimised sufficiently to be compelled to express it at length. Again there are references to “social capital” – in this case, his own – and then a rather disproportionate comparison to Bill Cosby, who is known to have drugged and raped dozens of women (if not more) over decades.

Nick clearly takes the other complaints at face value and proclaims “whatever you do don’t cast doubt on Jake’s vctims of sexual abuse. It’s one thing to be raped, that’s enough to destroy someone’s life. It’s quite another thing to speak up after being raped by your hero and lose your job, your friends, everything you’ve worked for and your trust in humanity to boot. Imagine what that must be like.”

To date, the only person who appears to have “lost their job” as a result of making allegations against Jake, was not in fact claiming to be a victim, but to have been made aware of the rumours/allegations of others and then spreading them in turn.

When they participated in circulating these, they were, along with Jake, subject to disciplinary action and subsequently resigned, as outlined in the leaked Tor Project internal email linked to already.

The strangest part of Nick’s story is that he admits that he attracted ire by entertaining the notion of giving people who wanted to snitch-jacket Jacob Appelbaum a platform in a forum in which he was participating. I can’t help but wonder if the situation were reversed, and it was Jake considering giving someone ‘Lightning Talk’ space at Congress in order to snitch-jacket Nick, how Nick would have felt about that. In such a situation, surely you have to ask ‘but what if the shoe was on the other foot?’

The most serious allegation made by Nick is that anonymous notes were left in his hotel room. He feels sure that these were left by someone close to Jacob or Jacob himself.

Yet this is a tactic known as “gaslighting“, and is usually perpetuated by intelligence agencies. As a ‘Person of Interest’ in New Zealand, I would routinely return to my home to find items that didn’t belong to me, left in unmissable places. On occasion a newspaper I had not purchased would be left lying open on my coffee table, turned to a specific article about a topic on which I would understand the significance.

If Nick was having a very public beef with Jacob, as it seems, it is not out of the realm of possibility that intelligence agencies were aware of this, and intervening with the express purpose of accelerating and aggravating the gravity of the situation.

From Nick’s testimony there is absolutely no way to know for sure that Jacob or his friends were somehow accessing his hotel room and planting the notes, or whether other malicious parties had a hand in the events and were capitalising on the situation.

“Alice” / null  – remains a “placeholder”

“Briar” / null – remains a “placeholder”

The Stanford Rape Testimony

For comparison, here is the stats on the testimony of the rape survivor in the case of the convicted rapist Brock Turner that recently went viral.

stanford

Lack Of Evidence

The site is particularly unusual in that it lumps in people who have personal grievances against Jake alongside allegations of rape.
Evidence of one rape is enough to destroy any reputation. But it is clear that the authors of the site were going for quantity over quality; hoping to win over readers with the sheer number of testimonies, rather than actual evidence.
This has the net effect of both trivialising and cheapening the experiences of rape victims, and of watering down the severity of the claims, in an attempt to present a united front – or in the words of the site, “a collective” – of victims.

cloudingissue

Early on, top Italian journalist and WikiLeaks affiliate Stephanie Maurizi had tweeted:

smaurizi

The lack of hard evidence is likely why the media were initially reluctant to report on the accusations, although that changed when Tor released a statement about Jacob Appelbaum leaving the Project.

Given the recent unravelling of some of the accusations, and the fervour with which the same paid government troll accounts that have been going after Assange, WikiLeaks, Snowden, Appelbaum and anyone associated with them for years, are now lapping up the opportunity to milk the Appelbaum controversy for all it is worth, it is impossible to exclude the motives of and gain to The Empire, from this analysis.

The Empire

Nothing pisses The Empire off more than those of us who engage others to fight against their corruption and oppression. Perusing and spreading information puts you on their radar. Instructing others to undertake actions takes you to a whole other level.

So when you hear Jacob Appelbaum openly calling on the employees of intelligence agencies to leak secrets to him, or encouraging people to compromise utilities at NSA facilities as acts of civil disobedience, there can be no doubt how far up the shitlist of the military-industrial complex that puts him.

By its own admission, The Empire classifies us all as either:

a) Idealist (can be disillusioned, such as by fallen heroes etc, or otherwise convinced to turn away from their ideals)
b) Realist (motivated by money or self-interest, can be bribed/coerced into capitulation)
c) Reformist (restricted to conventional avenues of political change… politics, academia, NGO’s; places where you are forced to  ultimately tacitly compromise your ethics in order to achieve/excel or progress in your environment)

OR… dum de dum dum….

d) Radical (demands system-wide change, is active & incorruptible)

The Empire has decided that the best way of dealing with “radicals” (the label THEY have constructed and imposed upon qualifying “persons of interest”) is to completely dismantle their lives at a “whole of Government” level. Which means, politely, using all the various departments and avenues of civic oppression available to them.

The Empire has deemed Jacob Appelbaum, a radical.

As it did Julian Assange.

Part Two of this article will cover the elephants in the room:

  • The (second) Tor Statement
  • The media response
  • Other accusations against Jacob on the WWW
  • The WikiLeaks Connection
  • A much deeper look into those who lay behind the curtain of JacobAppelbaum.net

To be continued…


The author

Suzie Dawson in The IndicterSuzie Dawson is Kiwi Reporter, Blogger, Activist, Exile. @Suzi3D, a.k.a. @endarken

Twitter: @Suzi3D Official Website: Suzi3d.com

Contributor at:

Contraspin (International)
Endarken (NZ)
Libel Music (NZ)
MintPress News (USA)
Occupy Savvy (NZ)
The Spin Bin (NZ)
Public Address (NZ)
TASS News Agency (Europe)

This article appeared also in Contraspin. Published in The Indicter in agreement with the author.