Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Death of a gamer

One of the murdered diplomats was a respected EVE player:
On Tuesday, Sean Smith, a Foreign Service Information Management Officer assigned to the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya, typed a message to the director of his online gaming guild: ”Assuming we don’t die tonight. We saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures.” The consulate was under siege, and within hours, a mob would attack, killing Smith along with three others, including the U.S. ambassador.

In his professional and personal life, Smith was a husband and father of two, an Air Force veteran, and a 10-year veteran of the Foreign Service who had served in Baghdad, Pretoria, Montreal and The Hague. But when gaming with EVE Online guild Goonswarm, he was a popular figure known as “Vile Rat,” and alternately as “Vilerat” while volunteering as a moderator at the internet community Something Awful. Smith’s death was confirmed on Wednesday morning by the State Department and reported widely in the news media. But the first people to report Smith’s death were his friends. Their reaction was shock and mourning.

“My people, I have greivous [sic] news. Vile Rat has been confirmed to be KIA in Benghazi; his family has been informed and the news is likely to break out on the wire services soon,” wrote Goonswarm director Alex Gianturco in a message mirrored to Something Awful at 11:21 EST. “Needless to say, we are in shock, have no words, and have nothing but sympathy for his family and children. I have known Vile Rat since 2006, he was one of the oldest of old-guard goons and one of the best and most effective diplomats this game has ever seen.”

According to his friends, Smith had emerged as a key leader for the community, and was known as a senior guild diplomat who helped engineer the destruction of Goonswarm’s chief rival, the Band of Brothers. He let his guildmates design his tattoo. On Wednesday, Gianturco posted an obituary for his friend of more than six years. “He was on jabber when it happened, that’s the most fucked up thing,” Gianturco wrote. “In Baghdad the same kind of thing happened – incoming sirens, he’d vanish, we’d freak out and he’d come back ok after a bit. This time he said ‘FUCK’ and ‘GUNFIRE’ and then disconnected and never returned.”
In addition to bringing this a little closer to home for everyone who has belonged to an online guild, Vile Rat's death tends to belie the ridiulous "da masses wuz mad about da movie" narrative being pushed by the Obama administration in a feeble attempt to absolve itself of any responsibility for the deaths of the diplomats. The fact that their own guards was seen taking pictures of the compound before the attack tends to indicate that the attack was a planned and purposeful operation.



Anonymous raggededge September 19, 2012 9:21 AM  

Vox, I'm with you on the fact that Obama is lazy and not really all that concerned about reelection. This "narrative" totally proves it, not even the MSM is buying this crap.

Anonymous Josh September 19, 2012 9:42 AM  

There is no point for us to have diplomats in the middle east. Bomb the shit out of the attackers...and leave.

Anonymous Daniel September 19, 2012 9:43 AM  

MSM: Violent Gaming Results in Diplomacy Failure

Anonymous Athor Pel September 19, 2012 9:57 AM  

"...The fact that their own guards was seen taking pictures of the compound before the attack tends to indicate that the attack was a planned and purposeful operation."

From what I've read, the ambassador's security detail was contracted through a British security company.

Anonymous Athor Pel September 19, 2012 10:02 AM  

Eve alliance level politics tends to attract adults, adults with real life jobs similar to their alliance duties.

I predict some Goons are going to be doing some real world investigation into who exactly killed Vile Rat.

I wonder what a Goon Squad real life security operation would look like?

Blogger Giraffe September 19, 2012 10:05 AM  

Nobody tell Nate that it's talk like a pirate day.

Anonymous GmBH September 19, 2012 10:18 AM  

That the Benghazi attack was planned and coordinated only seems unfathomable to racists who presuppose that brown skinned people are incapable of such things...just like their fathers were about yellow people 45 years ago.

Anonymous Rollory September 19, 2012 10:32 AM  

Goons in general trend from right-liberal to strong leftist. For example, from the SA thread (last post, first page)

"EDIT: Apparently the news media likes to quote this post (even though it's not very eloquent and I didn't directly know VR, just respected him), so I will take this moment to more emphatically call Romney a sociopathic robot dickbag for waving his bloody shirt around to score political points, and also for smirking like hell about it."

I have sufficient objections to Romney that I won't be lifting a finger for him, but criticizing the appeasement of bloodthirsty savages is not one of them.

I do not expect this incident to result in any significant reaction among Goons (no more so than any such event changes American behavior or thinking in general). There would need to be an ongoing pattern of violence directly affecting everyday lives from which they can't escape or retreat for that to happen. Like Stalin said, one death ...

Blogger Wadly September 19, 2012 10:32 AM  

Hey Athor, what game(s) are you playing these days? Grim and I are thriving in a wormhole corp in Eve. If you never tried wormhole life maybe you'd want to give it a try if you ever play Eve again. Small gang pvp and lucrative "Sleeper runs" are our forte.

I am not a fan of Goonswarm by any means, but it still hits closer to home to have an Eve player murdered like this. I find the lies by the Washington regime and the MSM about what happened, and how, to be particularly disgusting.

In the old Soviet Union, most people knew the media was the propoganda arm of the State. Sadly, most Americans are unaware that the MSM has completely devolved into being a Tool of their government as well.

Anonymous TLM September 19, 2012 10:40 AM  

Whether military or foreign service, I for one, would not trust the current president or many of the previous ones of having my back if i was overseas in a precarious situation. I believe this kind of nonsense started in the late 80's when Reagen or Bush 1 allowed LTC Higgins kidnapping & murder go unpunished. We certainly don't need to be involved in pointless "nation building", wars, etc, but we should violently & viciously respond when stuff like this happens. Again,back in the 80's, some Hezbollah or other group kidnapped a Russian diplomat, the KGB found the kidnappers brother, cut his ear off, sent it through the kidnapping channels and their boy was released. That's the kind of response that sends the message don't f@ck with us.

Anonymous Salt September 19, 2012 10:41 AM  

The French are openly mocking the Islamists.

PARIS (AP) -- France stepped up security at some of its embassies on Wednesday after a satirical Parisian weekly published crude caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

"This is a disgraceful and hateful, useless and stupid provocation," Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Grand Paris Mosque, told The Associated Press. "We are not like animals of Pavlov to react at each insult."

At times you gotta love the French.

Anonymous Rollory September 19, 2012 10:52 AM  

From page 50 of the SA thread, the wife posts

"I havent let the TV be on anything but the cartoon network or nick. i have not watched a single minute of it or read a single news page.

i understand they flash Sean's photo up often. i cant imagine how the kids would react if they walked in and flashes of war, fire, and their daddy flicker by. it is hard enough when my daughter looks up at weird times and says 'i want my daddy' and there is nothing I can do to help her but cry. ok, perhaps it is time i log out of these here forums. thank you all again, i will read everything.

and the paypal direct donation went to $5600. you arent bugging me. or please bug me. i dont know which. i know this is freaking everyone out, not just me, and i admit to using stupid FB to help me work through this. msg me, i dont mind."

Touches the heart. As does the general outpouring of sympathy. Then, down the page, a State Dept employee posts emails from Hillary and Obama about the deaths, including this line

"But what I can say is that had it not been for Chris’s courage and his vision, his recognition of the stakes that existed last year when Benghazi was on the brink of being overrun, it’s not clear that those of us who were a little higher up off the ground would have made the difficult political decisions that we made in order to save Benghazi and ultimately provide Libya with the opportunity to determine their own destiny. "

And that gets a pretty positive reception in the thread. In fact they also touch the heart. The problem is that touching the heart isn't sufficient for dealing with the actual problem, and making sure that it doesn't recur.

There's a very basic disconnect here. The encouragement of the Libyan revolution was not only a direct and blatant violation of agreements with Kaddafi which Kaddafi had completely lived up to; it was the direct cause of the current violence. It was evil. But the cause and effect is not understood - not allowed to be understood. If it gets pointed out, the person doing so gets shouted down as being a horrifically insensitive boor - which they probably are; but when a child burns their hand on the stove, we don't pretend that grabbing the burner had nothing to do with it.

Also, a comment on Denninger's site notes that reports that Ambassador Stevens was homosexual, and also that the ambassador to Egypt is female, and that the ambassador to Yemen is Jewish, and wonders if this all isn't deliberate provocation or just really mind-boggling stupidity. I lean toward the second. They really don't get it, and they won't, until the foundations of this entire system get shaken down and rebuilt.

Anonymous Gx1080 September 19, 2012 10:57 AM  

Yep, Something Awful in general is strong on the leftist Kool-Aid.

"How Romney dares to blame Obama for this on an election!".

I *can* give them a break for that due to their grief, but SA, like most videogame/Internet media, is knee-deep on Obama worship.

Anonymous Dominion of the Caliphate September 19, 2012 12:00 PM  

Obama the Muslim appeaser huh?

It is all so predictable once you remove the Boo from the brain.

Anonymous Anonymous September 19, 2012 12:06 PM  

I wonder if this will give SA posters second thoughts about their "SCREW YOU DAD XTIAN BIGOTS I LOVE OBAMA RELIGION OF PEACE" spiel.

Seems unlikely.


Anonymous horsewithnonick September 19, 2012 12:13 PM  

Obama the Muslim appeaser huh?

It is all so predictable once you remove the Boo from the brain.


Are you really arguing that Obama's behavior is acceptable because G.W. Bush's behavior was similar? Have you seen how Bush is treated around here?

Anonymous kh123 September 19, 2012 12:32 PM  

"I wonder if this will give SA posters second thoughts about their "SCREW YOU DAD XTIAN BIGOTS I LOVE OBAMA RELIGION OF PEACE" spiel."

Photoshop Phriday should answer that in short order:

"Muslim Children's Heads on State Department Bodies".

"Coloring Fun With Qaddafi".

"Toyota Technicals Go Nascar".


Anonymous ENthePeasant September 19, 2012 12:34 PM  

As a bitterly amusing aside (and probably a little OT), a retired Brit Maj who worked with the Egyptian and then Libyan rebels on the logistics side, told me last year taht, "None of the groups we are working with are pro West. They'll be burning the British embassy within a year." In Obamaworld they would say, "see, he didn't know what he's talking about". I'm one of the few men in the US who could find Afghanistan on a map before 9-11. The initial invasion was well thought out... but men like Paul Wolfowitz love to "build" on success, without understanding they're creating failure. One of the few Western diplomats to understand Islam and it's people was Sir John Lawrence. On the eve of the Second Afghan War he heard that a British "Mission" would soon be sent to Afghanistan to make them come to heal (for their own good) and assert British "rights". He groaned, "They will be murdered, every one of them." And so they were. Until the west faces the fact that these peoples are Muslims first and Islam is the reason for the their cultural failure, "the lesson" will be repeated over and over. Every Muslim wants a big screen TV and 3 weeks vacation every year. And they will always look to the west (who they firmly believe stole their right to rule the world) to show up and grant them this magic... as long as they don't have to change.

Blogger Nate September 19, 2012 12:58 PM  

"Nobody tell Nate that it's talk like a pirate day."

Little do you know... once a year Pirates have International Talk Like Nate Day.

Not being a pirate... you obviously haven't heard about it.

Anonymous Dominion of the Caliphate September 19, 2012 1:16 PM  

Are you really arguing that Obama's behavior is acceptable because G.W. Bush's behavior was similar? Have you seen how Bush is treated around here?

Really? Not at all. What I am saying, is that it is all so predictable. Our foreign policy in the ME hasn't changed one bit since... Boo, 911. And it won't change after the next election. But then again, when you throw flea's on a dog, they'll scratch. Take a flea bath.

So how are those foreign policy Arab Springs working out for you? Looking at their side, I'd say they are working just fine and predictable. Creating a pretext in your mind to justify the next catalyst. After all, they must grab the mind of public opinion... so they mold it by creating a pretext. Like I said, it is all so predictable. If the NWO is the new AmeriKan way of life, and AmeriKa is its head, then the old world must be assimilated. Either by consent (which you have given your government) or by conquest (which we are doing in the ME).

This is all NWO power play. And there is nothing benevolent about the NWO.

It is all inevitable though. We will have a NWO. The bible tells us so. For a short time anyways. Why play in their game?

Anonymous Dominion of the Caliphate September 19, 2012 1:34 PM  

Question: The PATRIOT ACT., Military Commissions Act., DHS, TSA, NORTHCOM, NDAA, NSA’s Solar Wind and etc. were all created under the pretext of what... but are in reality directed at who?

You are being mind pucked. Depending on your testimony, they will also one day come for you.

Blogger James Dixon September 19, 2012 2:28 PM  

> Not being a pirate... you obviously haven't heard about it.

Well, the MPAA and RIAA say I am. Who am I to argue with them.

Anonymous aviendha September 19, 2012 3:08 PM  

yeah SA is left. So are most of the tech companies and my county here in Seattle. Goonswarm isn't political, and is more apt to replicate the recent french magazine lampooning ali. Surprised more of the ilk aren't in EVE.
o7 VR, Requiescat in [s]pace

Anonymous Wendy September 19, 2012 3:32 PM  

So how are those foreign policy Arab Springs working out for you?

"You said 'you' referring to me. That is incorrect..."

Anonymous Rollory September 19, 2012 3:56 PM  

aviendha, they don't have to be overtly political for the rank and file to have certain attitudes and the typical liberal assumption that all correct thinkers obviously agree with their basic premises. That they're irreverent about some things doesn't necessarily mean much - and doesn't at all imply that these murders will result in an attitude change, about Islam or democracy or immigration or equalitarianism or anything else.

It may seem like political leaning in games isn't a big deal, but I got tired of watching what I say around people I should be at ease with a long time ago.

I played Eve for 4-5 years, mostly with my dad. When he burned out on it I realized I wasn't having any fun without him and also quit. Most of our corp members that I liked hanging out with had drifted away earlier, so that didn't help.

Blogger Nate September 19, 2012 4:02 PM  

Dominion of the Caliphate is clearly new here...

Anonymous Jerry September 19, 2012 4:16 PM  

Glenn Beck was right.

Anonymous Anonymous September 19, 2012 4:33 PM  

There are a lot of ex-military in MMOs, especially the highly structured guilds.

Anonymous Myrmecodon September 19, 2012 5:22 PM  

Vilerat isn't the real news. The real news is that Glen Doherty, one of the former Delta guys killed, was a member of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, aka the ACLU of the military. A quick scan of their pages produces much angst about the "radical fundamentalist proselytizing" in the military but very little about, say, radical Muslims who actually kill people.

(Okay, they DID do an entry on Major Hasan. Whose actions they attributed to, you guessed it, the radical Christian fundamentalist climate.)

He rooted out Christianity in the ranks to get promoted to a high position, and for his trouble got killed by Muslims in the embassy.

Anonymous aviendha September 19, 2012 5:25 PM  

Few people want to think, or will question talking points, because then they'd have to admit that most of their presumptions are incorrect. No, there will not be much attitude changing but then I tend to see the issue as less about cave dwellers plotting world domination, and more about ignorant religious quacks stoked at the right time to assist the powers that be. We have a nation of idiots that cannot think, cannot use a search engine, cannot find f7 to spellcheck a statement...We are bankrupt and will pay the piper soon.

EVE is a totally different game in highsec vs. nullsec in a large alliance. A 400-500 man fleet attacking something similar in size where each ship loss is dozens to hundreds of millions of isk. EVE isn't sharded, you can communicate to anyone who plays EVE, in the same game universe (except China). Vox used to talk about Alterac Valley a lot, and this is a completely different experience :).

Goonswarm is good at weeding out the thin skinned. I'm happy to take extra grief for a libertarian viewpoint. I don't watch what I say and have a great time.

Blogger John Williams September 19, 2012 5:37 PM  

The Goons have recruited small corporations and when the freighters with all the corps assets land in Goon space, they are set upon and destroyed. I've been in a smallish corp that was in a smallish alliance that had moved to Goon/TEST space and we were supplying the Goon/TEST ship replacement program much to the dismay of our members. The first time our Alliance leader told the Goons "no" to their ever escalating demands, they started shooting us on sight and only stopped when Zagdul, a Goon puppet was put in command of Fatal Ascension (FA), our alliance. Thugs and gangsters, easy to hate.

They did give us time to leave Goonspace when we left FA out of disgust.

But that's in game. At FanFest, an annual EvE gathering in Iceland, people you hate in game are often found to be fun to meet in real life, after all it is a game and we all do enjoy it.

When you hear people who knew Sean in real life say he enjoyed playing a bad guy, I read into it that he wasn't a bad guy.

Anonymous aviendha September 19, 2012 6:10 PM

If you are so inclined the link is a fundraiser for VR's family.

Anonymous kh123 September 19, 2012 7:00 PM  

"He rooted out Christianity in the ranks to get promoted to a high position, and for his trouble got killed by Muslims in the embassy."

Pravda Newsflash: Chekist Handler killed by Muslim Operatives - Orthodox Churches raided; Metropolitan arrested.

Anonymous Outlaw X September 20, 2012 12:39 AM  

While unfortunate I would be banned if I said what I think just now. I am tired of living among dumb asses, that is all I will say.

Anonymous Athor Pel September 20, 2012 1:02 PM  

"aviendha September 19, 2012 3:08 PM
Surprised more of the ilk aren't in EVE."

Former Eve player here. One of many Earth and Beyond refugees that migrated to Eve when E&B shut down. It's been a long time since I've played any Eve though.

I was in a corp/alliance that had a big zero sec presence in Feythobolis/Stain but I never did much there. We were one of the victims of BoB expansion. Watching BoB get torn apart by the Goons elicited more than a little schadenfreude.

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