In what was described as a “whitewash” by Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, MIT issued a report that absolved MIT of wrongdoing in the Aaron Swartz case. The “independent” review panel made up of MIT employees concluded that MIT did not target Aaron Swartz. Which is not true at all, MIT did target Swartz and set him up in order to provide evidence to promote a prosecution.
A long-awaited independent report on MIT’s role in the federal prosecution of Aaron Swartz concludes that the institution behaved neutrally throughout the affair, but “did not duly take into account the wider background of information policy against which the prosecution played out and in which MIT people have traditionally been passionate leaders.”…
Reif, in an open letter today, said MIT was vindicated by the report. “The report also sets the record straight by dispelling widely circulated myths,” wrote Reif. “For example, it makes clear that MIT did not ‘target’ Aaron Swartz, we did not seek federal prosecution, punishment or jail time, and we did not oppose a plea bargain.”
The report is a rather transparent attempt at obstructing justice in the court of public opinion. MIT has even gone further in that regard by intervening in a FOIA lawsuit so that other MIT employees will be protected from their deeds in the Aaron Swartz case being known to the public. A transparent attempt at a cover up, plain and simple.
So the report MIT issued on itself is less than convincing to many who know better.
Robert Swartz, Aaron Swartz’s father, says the finding “makes clear that MIT’s role is central in this tragedy.” And Taren Stinebrickner-Kauffman, Swartz’s partner, had strong words about the report. “MIT’s behavior throughout the case was reprehensible,” she wrote in a blog post, “and this report is quite frankly a whitewash.”…
“The report makes clear that MIT was not neutral,” says Robert Swartz, who’d met with MIT repeatedly during the prosecution to plead for his son. “But they should not have been neutral. They should have advocated of Aaron’s behalf, because the law under which he was charged was wrong.”
MIT can run all it likes, but it can’t hide. The truth will come out on its actions in the Aaron Swartz case, self-gratifying reports notwithstanding.
Photo Courtesy of Quinn Norton released under Creative Commons License