Even though I disagree with some of Alan Smithee's Tweets regarding a few not-so-small issues, and despite Smithee seemingly having had about one or two character flaws, I feel like I should begin by saying that referring to Smithee as a mere Twitter user feels kind of weird, since they really did do some great work on there. Then again, as corny as it may sound, it goes to show that anyone with access to the internet can effect change.
Looks like Smithee was a man:
And I did question it. So much so that some people will probably think it's a good idea to lock me in a mental hospital:
Did Smithee really die?
If so, is the establishment responsible for his death?
Is the "sister" in reality the killer?
Was Smithee even a real person?
According to plenty of evidence, he was a real person - his name was Christopher Chopin.
Over the years, Smithee's real name was even revealed a few times.
There's also this:
While we may know what Smithee's real name was, we still don't know what actually happened the night he died. To make matters worse, there are several suspicious details surrounding his death.
Obviously, none of this proves that either of them had something to do with Smithee's death. But still, it is weird.
2. When I woke up the day after I had already prepared most of this article, Smithee's Tweets were now protected, even though his sister tweeted that "he loved talking to [us] all" and that we should "remember him well."
I got blocked too.
Yeah, when I saw that I also got blocked, I was a little freaked out. But then I saw I wasn't the only one who got blocked:
Smithee's Tweets are now protected, his account is no longer following anyone, and tons of followers have been blocked - only seven are left.
Apparently, his family is not only full of highly successful lawyers but also quite conservative, which could explain why he used the pseudonym "Alan Smithee," a pseudonym that is often used by film directors who don't want their project to be associated with their name.
He may have thought that his family wouldn't approve of his views. Or maybe they knew about them and outright forbade him to use his real name (so that the family name wouldn't be associated with them). Or maybe Smithee was the one who didn't want to be associated with his family.
Since Smithee's family buried his legacy, it will be quite difficult, and often impossible, to defend him from claims like: 'He picked on [Jill Stein's] idealism, saying she "declared war" on Saudi Arabia as his reference to her quite reasonable call for an embargo on arms sales to KSA.' (According to a leaked email from Hillary Clinton, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is the largest source of funds for Sunni terrorist groups.)
Considering that Smithee's family didn't disclose his cause of death, or any details aside from the approximate time of death, I definitely am with the people who don't dismiss the possibility that his family had something to do with it. After all, when you combine the day and time of his death with his apparent temperament, it is quite easy to come up with all kinds of colorful stories. Not to mention, quite a few of his family members are lawyers, so I think if one of them was responsible for, or somehow connected to, his death, they probably wouldn't want to talk about it without a lawyer present, especially if they don't have to.
Of course, his family has no legal obligation to disclose his cause of death to his followers. But, I think if they don't want us to speculate about their possible involvement, they may want to disclose it, especially because of the "meaningful difference [we] made in his life."
Shortly after I published this article, I was informed (by someone who wants to stay anonymous) that Smithee apparently had an Instagram account, @flatticus. It has been taken down. The person also informed me that you can find Instagram posts in which it is mentioned here.
Around half a year after I published this article, I noticed that Smithee's Tweets are no longer protected (so now I don't link to their archived versions anymore). I'm still blocked though, and I can no longer search his Tweets for keywords (regardless of whether or not I am logged in). Also, his Instagram account is back up, but it's set to private.
3. When I learned of Smithee's death, my first thought, aside from "WTF," was that I should check whether there's evidence suggesting the establishment is responsible for it.
Assassinating a well-known person obviously bears risks. But, aside from the fact that Smithee used Twitter anonymously, he wasn't well known among non-progressives, especially if they weren't on Twitter. Basically, he "only" had a little more than eleven thousand Twitter followers.
It also wouldn't be the first time that someone who was exposing corruption in politics died under suspicious circumstances.
If you're not already wearing your tinfoil hat, I suggest you put it on now.
Around 30 hours before Smithee's final Tweet, he tweeted this:
The thing is, Smithee didn't just expose overtly pro-establishment politicians. He also exposed supposedly anti-establishment politicians, like Our Revolution President and former Ohio State Senator Nina Turner, whom both Smithee and I used to support.
Needless to say, Smithee's and my opinion of Turner eventually changed.
As for why someone would be disappointed in Turner for supporting Ellison:
Debbie Lusignan's video was deleted (as was her channel), so here are three quotes from it instead, with sources added:
"Anybody who goes on the TV and - since 2012 [Keith Ellison's] been doing this - and sells regime change policy and a no-fly zone that would result in full out war on lies, disqualifies themselves as a progressive."
"Even representative Keith Ellison, the most outspoken progressive in the DNC race downplayed - he downplayed - his prior commitment to reinstate the ban [of lobbyist contributions to the Democratic National Committee]." (Lusignan reading from this article, for the most part.)
Ellison didn't even speak up when he and the other participants in the 2017 DNC chair debate were asked whether they believe that "the DNC did unfairly put its thumb on the scale during the 2016 primary."
Turner's decision to back Ellison wasn't the only reason why Smithee and I changed our minds about her.
From the article "Dark Money Basics":
"501(c) Groups / Political Nonprofits
These are nonprofit, tax-exempt groups organized under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code. These groups can engage in varying amounts of political activity. And because they are not technically political organizations, they are not required to disclose their donors to the public. These groups, like super PACs, cannot coordinate with political parties or candidates and therefore are allowed to raise unlimited sums of money from individuals, organizations and corporations.
One of the biggest problems with nondisclosure is that citizens who are barraged with political messages may not be able to consider the credibility and possible motives of the wealthy corporate or individual funders behind those messages."
The dark money group Smithee tweeted about is Our Revolution. And unfortunately, he was right - the group is doing its classification, and not the people, justice:
Since Lusignan's video is no longer available, here are three more quotes from her, with sources added:
"Every single one of the 13 leadership positions within the group Our Revolution is protesting the direction of where Bernie Sanders is taking this. [...] Eight of them resigned - the majority walked out."
'"We're organizers who believed in Bernie's call for a political revolution, so we weren't interested in working for an organization that's going to raise money from billionaires to spend it all on TV."' (Lusignan reading from this article.)
"[W]e vote on private machines with proprietary software [...] the whole thing is rigged six ways from Sunday (1, 2, 3). It's ludicrous to even talk about having a strategy of getting people in for the change when you do not have the mechanisms to make sure that they get in. Now, maybe not in every last single race, but in probably the majority of them, from the local level to the national level, this rigging occurs. We have a crisis, an emergency-level crisis in our election system, which Bernie Sanders has ignored. He's abdicated his duty to inform the American people of this."
(The only instance I know of where Sanders addressed problems with electronic voting is this "Brunch with Bernie" segment from 2004, where he barely scratched the surface. As of April 9, 2020, not a single one of his Tweets contains the words "electronic voting" or "voting machines" (1, 2, 3, 4). As for his Facebook posts, only the words "voting machines" are mentioned, and only in three posts, none of which are particularly informing, considering all the things they could've addressed.)
To be fair, on its website, Our Revolution states:
"Because of our commitment to transparency, donors who have given $250 or more in a single year are disclosed voluntarily. In addition, annual contributions from a single source are limited to $5,000 unless approved by a majority vote of the Board of Directors."
But Our Revolution is still very much a dark money group:
Turner is also a founding advisor of the dark money group MPACT.
Apparently, here's how Jane Sanders reacted when Smithee tweeted her that Turner is associated with two dark money groups:
Am I sure that Smithee was killed because he was interrupting the establishment's good cop/bad cop play?
No, I actually kind of doubt it. But still, imagine Smithee would've gotten his way and people realized the playbook is riddled with plot holes...