We've already pointed out that the collateral damage from Anonymous' latest online raid—the release of more than 2 gigs of email and other data from Puckett and Faraj, the law firm that represented the squad leader responsible for the Haditha massacre—included some unlikely targets. Now one of the partners of the firm has announced on his Facebook page that he supports Anonymous' goals, and once even offered to defend Anony-hero Bradley Manning.
Haytham Faraj, one of the partners in Puckett and Faraj, posted this response to the hack on Facebook page:
Anonymous hacked into my business email account and stole over 3 gigs of email communications. Ironically, I am a supporter of Anonymous' declared mission of exposing corruption, injustice, hypocrisy and governments acting in secret. I also supported Wikileaks. I volunteered to defend Bradley Manning and did a 30 minute interview on BBC TV about him. Anonymous will not find a smoking gun in the Haditha emails. In fact they will discover that which I stated all along. Wuterich did not shoot or kill women and children. He was entitled to a defense like everyone else in a free society. By putting my emails in the public sphere Anonymous did not violate my privacy. There is nothing in those emails about me. It violated the privacy rights of hundreds, perhaps thousands of other people who were entitled to their privacy by publishing their personal email and telephone information, to disclosing private and personal information that clients share with lawyers believing that the information will remain private and confidential. I am upset by Anonymous' thoughtless acts.
It's a remarkably reasoned and restrained comeback, given the circumstances.
Included in the data dump are emails from Mark Zaid and Kel McClanahan, two attorneys who have extensive experience suing the CIA and other federal agencies under the Freedom of Information Act and are tireless opponents of government secrecy.
The emails also reveal that Faraj was attempting to establish a task force devoted to identifying and tracking Israeli soldiers who have engaged in war crimes. In a 2009 email message to a blogger who had been posting photographs of Israelis who participated in the invasion of Gaza, Haytham wrote:
I want to form an organization that will collect the names and specific evidence on each one of the soldiers and officers in Operation Cast Lead along with the July war in Lebanon, Jenin in 2000, Qana 1996, and every other campaign or operation where Israeli war crimes were committed. The purpose of my project will be to collect sufficient competent evidence on each individual so as to be able to have a court of competent authority issue an arrest warrant for the participants in war crimes.... I already have several people: attorneys and IT experts who have committed to working on this. I eventually want to be able to raise sufficient funds to hire full time staffs and perhaps pay rewards to international bounty hunters who can grab Israelis who have warrants issued for them.
That sounds like the sort of initiative that Anonymous leader Sabu, who has repeatedly criticized Israel on his Twitter feed and called for fellow hackers to "disrupt their infrastructure," might want to get behind.
[Image via Getty]