Yes, the campaign against Jacob Appelbaum stinks like the one against Assange. There's a long list of activists over the last 60 years who were abused this way, more or less "neutralized" with more or less bullshit. Richard Stallman, Eric Raymond, Ralph Nader, and Martin Luther King Jr. spring to mind. There are many others, less well known, that people in the free software community are familiar with. This is how the rich and powerful divide the community and eliminate perceived threats and they are incredibly petty.
Dawson's analysis is particularly interesting because the author has first hand experience with Appelbaum, rape, and cointel type targeting. She's right about any level of targeting, government or corporate, changing a person's perspective entirely. The loose fitting details of the accusations oddity make eye glossing reading, and Dawson does an excellent job of that, but the real meat and power of her analysis come from her very personal experience.
In the first place, she tells us that Appelbaum is not the jackass the accusers make him,
Listening to the stories being told about him, you would think Jacob a callous, foolhardy, exhibitionist. Every experience I’ve had of him and his inner circle (and no, I do not know them exceedingly well however, being in Berlin, they are very visible within the community) is that they were the opposite. Careful, reserved, private. Particularly wary of outsiders and newcomers. Well aware that they are all targets and of the ways in which they could be entrapped.
She also talks about her own experience being harassed for her reporting. She admits that it sounds loony, but it's more than believable in the wake of Barrett Brown, Aaron Swartz, Julian Assange, and other whistle blowers. The specifics are somewhat distracting and should have been referenced rather than rewritten.
Her experience with violent rape is perhaps the most powerful part of her analysis,
The lack of victim impact in the statements is massively disturbing. It is as if the statements were written and/or edited by women who are not victims at all. I have highlighted that in bold type because it is such a profound and obvious discrepancy. It sticks out like a sore thumb, across all of the testimonies. There is constant complaint of power imbalance and fear of reprisal but no tangible complaint of ongoing personal emotional ramifications from these alleged experiences, other than embarrassment. No claim or description of lasting harm. This contradicts everything I have seen, witnessed and personally experienced over the years, and I find it impossible to ignore. If you don’t understand what victim impact is, let me spell it out for you.
and then she does. By demonstrating her understanding of how victims of the alleged crimes behave, she convinces us that they are not behaving like what they say they are.
Basically, the campaign looks more to her like a planned attack on Wikileaks, ToR, and the infrastructure we need as a society to protect ourselves from war crimes, torture, elimination of privacy, economic neutralization, and other facets of our run away police state. The campaign stank that way from day one, and Dawson excellently documents many of the smelly details. Those details are not a substitute for actual familiarity with the subject mater. From her perspective, the whole thing is as fake as a billboard cowboy promoting lung cancer.