19 September 2010

Unabomber Manifesto 15th Anniversary, Now With Truthers!

It is sort of amazing the difference between the Unabomber buzz in the press when I was a teenager in 1995 vs. when a terrorist is found now. Well, maybe it is not so different and reporters use the same template for all their terrorist stories.

In the 1990's Ted Kaczynski was described as a loner and that his acts of terror were done by him, with no outside help from others.  What else has been described by various reporters the same way recently?
The Times Square Bomber Faisal Shahzad - First he was a Tea Partier who was mad about Obamacare. Next he was a poor soul who was behind on his mortgage because of Bush. He was also a brilliant worker and devoted father who either just snapped or was not capable of building a bomb of this sophistication.  At the same time, he couldn't be a real terrorist because the bomb didn't work. The truth: he was trained in Yemen, missed work often for bomb maker training and was a follower of the New Mexico born imam Anwar al-Awlaki.
Fort Hood, Texas shooter Major Nidal (AbduWali) M. Hasan - Was isolated, did not feel like his superiors took him seriously, his peers picked on him just for being Muslim, was scarred by the horrors of war, it all built up and he just "lost it" and started shooting people. The truth: he was a follower of the New Mexico born imam Anwar al-Awlakiproselytized to patients and staff frequently enough to be counseled for it and prepared for his act of terror for weeks or months before yelling "God is Great" in Arabic as he shot dozens of people, murdering 13 adults and a baby.

That is just two, I think you get the idea.

Back to the anniversary.  On this day 15 years ago, the New York Times published Industrial Society and Its Future, also known as the Unabomber Manifesto, at the demand of author Ted Kaczynski.  I remember after that it was showing up everywhere on the internet. At least, everywhere geeks like me and my friends used to surf. It seemed like anybody who had webspace to post it had a copy.

These days, I hardly hear a thing about the Unabomber and I do not remember any copycats, thank God. Adam and Dru used to mention him on Loveline sometimes, as a bad example of something, but otherwise I do not remember people talking about him.  The families of the victims, understandably, have been following Kaczynski since his conviction:

Unabomber's Victims Fear He Could Post Writings

The controversy surrounding the release of the documents began in August 2006, when U.S. District Court Judge Garland Burrell ordered the U.S. Marshals Service to auction off Kaczynski's personal property, including redacted writings, typewriters, jackets and several other items. Burrell ordered all proceeds of the auction to go to the victims of Kaczynski's 17-year reign of terror.

Kaczynski was unhappy with the ruling and filed suit to try to stop the sale of his possessions, but in 2009, the decision was affirmed by an appeals court. Burrell directed prosecutors to provide Kaczynski with an unredacted copy of his documents in advance of their sale, The Smoking Gun reported

Ever since that ruling, the FBI has been painstakingly scanning all of the 40,000 pages of documents for Kaczynski.

In the article, survivors and relatives are concerned that Kaczynski may publish his writings online and encourage others to follow in his violent footsteps. Personally, I am an advocate of restitution to the victims.  Every single possession, including his original writings, and Kaczynski's prison income should go to them, just as the auction proceeds did.  If the ruling was to give Kaczynski copies of his papers, fine, but he should not have the publishing rights to them. Those should belong to the victims also.

As for the fear that others may be inspired by him, former Vice-President Al Gore is covering all those bases with his massive carbon footprint. Who said it? Al Gore or the Unabomber?
"And tragically, since the onset of the scientific and technological revolution, it has become all too easy for ultrarational minds to create an elaborate edifice of clockwork efficiency capable of nightmarish cruelty on an industrial scale. The atrocities of Hitler and Stalin, and the mechanical sins of all who helped them, might have been inconceivable except for the separation of facts from values and knowledge from morality." (take the quiz and see)

If you thought the 9/11 inside-job truthies were new, you are not alone. Lots of people were unaware of the extent and history of conspiracy nuts.  Jews continue to suffer from an old one.  Until I researched this, I had no idea that there were Unabomber Truthers out there. Same script, different imagining and misrepresentation of facts.

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