The hacker group “Anonymous hijacked a Twitter account belonging to Anders Breivik, the man behind the savage attacks earlier this month in Norway. Disparaging tweets appeared this week made to look like Breivik himself sent them from prison; but the hackers eventually identified themselves as being part of the loosely affiliated hacker collective.
“This Twitter account has been seized by #NORIA@AnonymousNorway,” read a tweet.
“We want Anders to be forgotten. Labels like ‘monster’ or ‘maniac’ won’t do either,” read another tweet. “Media should call him pathetic; a nothing. #Forgethim.”
The account — which was created just days before the attacks — still exists, but all sent tweets appear to have been deleted. The only tweet visible previously and presumably sent by Breivik, was a quote from philosopher John Stuart Mill: “One person with a belief is equal to the force of 100,000 who have only interests.”
A group that undertakes protests and acts of vengeance through “hacktivism,” Anonymous announced its campaign against Breivik last week. As part of their strategy, they posted a document titled “Operation Un-Manifest” exhorting people worldwide to re-write Breivik’s manifesto.
Their idea is to find the manifesto online; change it, “add stupid stuff,” remove parts, do what you like to it. Then, republish it everywhere and declare the fakes to be the original. And, they urge readers to “have a moment” for the victims of his cruel attacks.
We all are anonymous, they say. We all are Legion. We do not forgive murder. We do not forget the victims.
“Let Anders become a joke, [so] that nobody will take him seriously anymore,” their post reads.
Godspeed to you, Anonymous.
Would that it could be true with the murderer Breivik, along with the likes of Casey Anthony, Scott Peterson, Jared Loughner, Charles Manson, Osama bin Laden. Would that we could declare them each “a nothing” and forget their faces and names.
Now we can never, should never forget what they’ve done to us. That’s right, to us. It wasn’t someone else’s child who died, but our child. It wasn’t the beauty or innocence of a stranger, but our own that was assaulted. Our own buildings fell and our planes crashed. We were attacked. Wherever they were, and whenever they acted, we each suffered the manifestation of their sickness of mind and blackness of thinking. Hence our shock, anguish, and outrage.
Yet the media are duty bound to keep us mindful of their ugly faces and despicable deeds. I’ve just done my own small part with the list above.
I know we must forgive if we can, remember what we cannot let go, and forget the culprits as dust, or mites, or gnats to be waved away.
So allow me to make an August resolution: I vow not to mention the names of the infamous again. I will do my small part to keep the distasteful out of my mouth and off the pages I produce. I will spare you from thinking directly of them. I will not contribute to the notoriety or memory of a thief, a pervert, a murderer, or a terrorist.
We’ll see how it goes, but I have a feeling that, as it should be, we can all recognize the circumstances and remember the victims not the perpetrators. We won’t be subjected, in this column at least, to discussion of the kidnapping and rape trial of __________ ____________, but instead for example, of the trial of Jaycee Dugard’s abductor.
I would much rather be mindful of this remarkable young woman, her spirit, and her survival than ever to hear the names or gaze upon the foul vestiges of the man and woman on trial in her case. Let me see her face again, never theirs.
The Norwegian mentioned above quoted John Stuart Mill in a perversion to justify his crimes. In spite of this I believe Mill was right – one person with a strong belief has strength beyond the good intentions of 100,000. Otherwise, why write? Why make a resolution?
I also sometimes rely on the words of the wise, articulate ones who’ve preceded me. They sum up my feelings with a wealth of experience and knowledge I do not possess.
In the case of this man, since I can’t quote singer/songwriter Cee Lo Green in a family venue, I invoke Groucho Marx, who said, “I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception.”