Former American soldier, rumoured WikiLeaks courier, and oldfag Anonymous member Matt DeHart is having a birthday today, his 31st. He won’t be going out to dinner with his parents, won’t be hitting the bars with his friends, and in all likelihood, thanks to restrictions relating to his housing situation, won’t be opening any presents, either.
Matt DeHart is spending his 31st birthday, as he has spent each of the last four, in custody: in this case, the Warren County Regional Jail in Bowling Green, Kentucky. His parents, who gave up all they owned, plus respected careers, to fight for their son, may be allowed to visit, but the mood will be subject to the dampening effect that indefinite pretrial incarceration has on festivities.
Anonymous has unilaterally, and probably unanimously, declared that the occasion will not pass unmarked.
We checked, and Miss Manners agrees that it’s okay to send special occasion cards and letters on the day of. She does not outline any special points of etiquette around writing to someone in prison, but is a strong believer in the power of personal, written words to elevate anyone, anywhere.
While there has been no recent Tweetstorm that we’ve seen, Anons have been keeping DeHart’s name in the forefront of social media. A Topsy search shows more than 6,200 tweets of #FreeMattDeHart in the last thirty days, with a full third of those in the last nine days. The sentiment score is a strong 61, with the small negative probably resulting from the words used to describe the government in those tweets. Donations are directed either to DeHart himself, as money orders, or to the website set up for him by the Courage Foundation, where supporters can donate via Bitcoin, Paypal, Interac e-transfer, Visa, or Mastercard.
On the legal front, work continues as DeHart’s case grinds slowly towards a hearing date on charges of child pornography; charges Anonymous believes are trumped-up to discredit DeHart and lock away a man whose very existence is inconvenient to the Powers That Be.
Whisteblower Jesselyn Radack said, “Matt DeHart’s case is not about some kiddie porn charge in Tennessee, but because of information that he became aware of when he hosted the Shell server.” That information is, Anonymous believes, why the government is holding DeHart effectively for ransom, and doing all they can with kiddie-diddling charges, to destroy his reputation: they want that information. WikiLeaks might have it, but if and when they publish, they conspicuously decline to name their sources, for reasons Chelsea Manning could explain best. So, the information would have to come from Matt, from the person who uploaded the files to his server, or from a third party (if any) who intercepted them.
And so far, after four years in prisons, jails, and house arrest, Matthew Paul DeHart isn’t talking.