Richard Stallman, a well-known MIT computer scientist who’s previously suggested that President Donald Trump stole the 2016 presidential election, has been accused of not only defending deceased billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes but also smearing his victims.
The accusations were made by Selam Jie Gano, an MIT alum. In a post to the online publishing platform Medium uploaded last week, she shared what she claimed were screenshots of an email thread in which Stallman had defended MIT’s longtime connection to Epstein.
— SZJG (@selamjie) September 12, 2019
“The thread, on MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) listerv was started to promote a protest Friday afternoon urging MIT students to speak out against the university’s relationship with Epstein and the culture it had of covering that up,” Vice magazine reported Friday.
In the thread, Stallman wrote defensively of Marvin Minsky, a deceased cognitive scientist who co-founded MIT’s Artificial Intelligence Lab.
Last month, a federal appeals court released thousands of documents pertaining to a defamation suit filed against Epstein’s “madam,” Ghislaine Maxwell. Among the documents was a deposition from one of Epstein’s alleged “sex slaves,” Virginia Roberts Giuffre, regarding the powerful men whom she’d been forced to have sex with. One of the men listed in the deposition was Minsky.
In the email threads shared by Gano, Stallman argued that Friday’s protest “does an injustice to Marvin.” In defending this stance, he accused Giuffre of being “entirely willing.”
“We can imagine many scenarios, but the most plausible scenario is that she presented herself to him as entirely willing,” he wrote. “I’ve concluded from various examples of accusation inflation that it is absolutely wrong to use the term ‘sexual assault’ in an accusation.”
When a student responded to his thread by pointing out that Giuffre had been 17 when she was allegedly forced to have sex with Minsky in the Virgin Islands, Stallman replied by arguing that “it is morally absurd to define ‘rape’ in a way that depends on minor details such as which country it was in or whether the victim was 18 years old or 17.”
Below is a screenshot of this particular part of the thread:
In writing about these threads, Gano expressed her disgust at not only Stallman but the entire world, including the “journalists” who originally ignored her story and the administrators at MIT.
“There are so many things wrong with what Richard Stallman said I hardly know where to begin,” she wrote. “First, he didn’t even give the typical, whiney, ‘he’s accused but not convicted’ defense. No, Stallman went much further than that.”
“Instead, Stallman said ‘Let’s assume that Marvin Minsky had sex with an underage girl who was a victim of child sex trafficking’… and then he says that an enslaved child could, somehow, be ‘entirely willing.'”
“This is someone who is respected far and wide by the technology community,” her angry post continues. “This is someone who is a Visiting Scientist at MIT. MIT claims it never wanted to elevate Epstein’s reputation by allowing him to donate. But, here they are, not only elevating but funding and endorsing a person like Richard Stallman as a visiting scientist.”
Gano then turned her attention to the slew of “journalists” who’d chosen to ignore her story.
“I … started emailing reporters — local and national, news sites, newspapers, radio stations. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. During my 45-minute drive home, when I normally listen to podcasts or music, I just sat in complete silence,” she wrote.
“The only reporter who responded quickly was one from WBUR, and they didn’t seem to be in a rush to publish this information. So, I told my friends that I would just write a story myself. I’d planned to do it after work today; instead, because I can’t possibly focus, I’m working on it now.”
Before concluding her post, Gano also took a shot at James Damore, the former Google employee who was smeared as a “misogynist” two years ago for writing a factually accurate 10-page memo that included some inexorable truths about the differences between men and women.
“Jeffrey Epstein. Marvin Minsky. Richard Stallman. Travis Kalanick. James Damore. The laundry list of men in tech and academia who have continued this pattern of harassment, misogyny, and discrimination,” Gano wrote.
That she would smear Damore by drawing a false equivalence between him and a billionaire pedophile does call into question her credibility.
In fairness to her, her allegations regarding Stallman do fit a pattern.
“He has written dozens of posts on his personal website in favor of legalizing pedophilia and child pornography for more than 15 years,” The Daily Beast notes.
“This ‘child pornography’ might be a photo of yourself or your lover that the two of you shared,” he reportedly wrote in a 2011 blog post. “It might be an image of a sexually mature teenager that any normal adult would find attractive. What’s heinous about having such a photo?”
Now flashback to 2003, when he promoted the idea of dropping the age of consent to 14.
“I think that everyone age 14 or above ought to take part in sex, though not indiscriminately. (Some people are ready earlier.),” he reportedly wrote.
Stallman’s also known for suggesting that the president stole the 2016 election:
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