Rest in peace, Aaron Swartz

By Greg Palast

But that’s impossible, isn’t it?

Like the restless Jewish prophets before you, you are an outcast in your own land. And like the prophets before you, you are trouble, Aaron, a lot of trouble.

Thank you for troubling us, Aaron. You are trouble, but very good trouble.

Socrates’ suicide, like yours, was a state-sponsored execution. And like Socrates in death, you’ve conferred an immortal obligation on the living to resist the temptation to let the rulers attach their strings, the strings that turn us from people with hearts into puppets with property.

Rest in peace, Aaron Swartz. And I promise you, I won’t.


On Tuesday, a coalition of civil liberties organizations joined under the banner, “The Day We Fight Back,” will commemorate the death of Aaron Swartz with a push to limit a national security surveillance apparatus gone berserk.

To honor Swartz, the Robin Hood of the Information Liberation Front, I am publishing again the story I wrote about him for Vice Magazine one year ago, shortly after his death, “Aaron Swartz Died for Piers Morgan’s Sins.”

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Greg Palast’s new film Vultures and Vote Rustlers was just released last month.

Greg Palast is the author of the New York Times bestsellers Billionaires amp; Ballot Bandits,The Best Democracy Money Can Buy, Armed Madhouse and the highly acclaimed Vultures’ Picnic.

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