Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Ethical Dilemma. And Possible Resolution

I've said in the past that I do know the real name and identity of the riverSbend faker. I've also said that I'm keeping it to myself in view of the fact that there are a lot of nuts out there and I don't want to take responsibility for what might happen if I release someone's real name to the public in a (highly) negative context. After all, I don't work at the Whitehouse.

Seriously I don't imagine anyone out of sympathy for Riverbend and antipathy towards her defiler is going to duff up a 70 year old man, for revenge but I'd imagine a deluge of unpleasant emails might result and for all I know riverSbend has a heart condition or other complaint which might be exacerbated.

I know, I know. He kind of deserves it. He's a total unremitting jerk of the highest order, a slimy lying dishonest toad of a man, and if it's unAmerican to try and smear and distort the free speech rights of someone because you don't like what they're saying (and I think it surely is) then he's disgrace to his country, arguably even the uniform he used to wear.

But somehow I just wouldn't feel right about naming him here. I doubt that's ever going to happen. But I will say this. Even in the last few days, I have very good reason to believe, that he was again impersonating another individual (who I will refer to as Mr C) who he harbours a dislike for and pretending to speak for that person, in a manner in which that person would never speak for themselves (I have contacted this person for verification that they indeed spoke the comments attributed to them but have as yet had no response).

This is unconscionable. To make a habit of impersonating people who's opinions you do not like on line is wrong. It is base dishonesty. And I will say this, while the riverSbend faker continues to use these low, unAmerican, dishonest tactics to smear his enemies I cannot guarantee that those people he impersonates will not be informed of the identity of the impersonator.

To be clear:
- unless the fake riverSbend blog ceases to be, or ideally, runs for a while with an apologetic retraction (possibly even written by Riverbend), I see no moral obligation on my part to withhold from Riverbend the identity of the person who is attempting to smear her. (On the understanding that she will act responsibly with that name, of course)

- If the riverSbend faker persists in impersonating Mr C or any other person I see no moral obligation on my part to withhold from Mr C or that other person the identity of the person who is attempting to smear them. (Again on the understanding mentioned above)

Give it up riverSbend. Truth will out, and liars only bring ignominy on the causes they attempt to further. You have embarked upon a foolish and invidious, and unlawful, course of action, making you, and perhaps even by association the US military and the Republican Party look shabby, and the time when you will have to give it up is drawing closer.