Vince Tocce (Right), outside court after Hammond's sentencing. Photo by the author.
On Friday, 28-year-old Stratfor leaker Jeremy Hammond was sentenced to 10 years in prison plus three years of supervised release. For the most part, Hammond’s family, his friends, and reporters (including myself) filled the front right side of the courtroom. On the left side of the room sat about 40 West Point academy cadets (present on a field trip to learn about law), their superior officers, and a gang of court marshals breathing down the necks of yet more Hammond supporters toward the back left side of the room.
In that cohort was Vince Tocce, whom you might know as Vince In the Bay from his podcast. Behind the cadets, surrounded by federal court marshals, and seated near an activist who identified himself as Banksy, Vince sat through the same tedious court procession I did, but with a different and personal stake in the proceedings.
After a couple hours of last-minute redactions, final arguments, and Hammond delivering his own statement (in which he was cutoff for blurting out some earlier-redacted names of hacked nations), Judge Preska asked if any victims were present. And immediately, the guy-who-said-he-was-Banksy threw up his hand up and shouted, "I'm a victim!" A half-dozen court marshals promptly escorted him out of the room after he’d begun his testimony: “I’m a victim… of the FBI repression!”
But Vince wasn’t about to let the performance go unfollowed, and in a brave act of spontaneity, decided he too would step forward. As he approached a podium, my corner of the courtroom looked on, perplexed. Could actual Stratfor-leak victims be here?
When Vince got to the podium that directly faced the judge, he glanced back at Jeremy who wore a look of confusion. But as Vince gave the following testimony, and continuously flailed gestures and made quarter-turns in Jeremy’s direction, he could see the defendant smirking.
The Judge struggled to keep Vince on subject of the damages caused by Hammond himself. "Damage. Okay, damage. I've had-I've had three computers rooted. Do you know what rooted is?" Vince asked.
"You ever been pizza bombed? I was pizza bombed several times. You ever been Chinese food bombed?" At points, the judge had to ask for order. "I wanted to throw myself in front of a train several times—I almost did—because of Anonymous," said Vince. "Because of fucking Anonymous."
So, here’s the court’s transcript of Vince’s testimony—the excerpt I specifically requested from the court's reporters. It does contain some slight inaccuracies, (specifically the court-interpreted “DocSpin,” which should actually read “Doxbin”, and a role-reversal on page 3, lines 19 and 20), but it captures a bizarre moment, and a fleeting glimmer of levity on what was otherwise a bleak morning in a thick-carpeted courtroom.