By Sam Biddle
Anonymous’ gutting of Puckett & Faraj, the firm that defended the Marines behind the Haditha Killing, might have been more than a major embarrassment. The hack attack might have killed the group entirely.
In an email released by Anonymous in the wake of the attack—suggesting they still had their hands inside the attorneys’ bowels after the news broke—we see the firm scrambling to understand and react to the strike. They don’t do so well. Their web host is clueless, conceding “Anonymous is a little out of my league” and suggesting a call to the FBI. It was a little too late for the FBI to help by this point—Anon was already in and out, and nobody had even noticed: “Why the fuck does [our host] not know about this before we have to tell them,” despairs partner Haytham Faraj. “Not sure how this will affect the business of the firm going forward,” says namesake attorney Neal Puckett, “but for now, we’re not able to do any business.”
“This may completely destroy the Law Firm,” laments Marcy Atwood, the Pucket & Faraj’s business manager.
And this is no pissant firm, according to its self-billing:
Puckett & Faraj, PC, is a partnership between Neal A. Puckett, Esq. and Haytham Faraj, Esq. The partners have represented military members facing serious charges in a variety of cases including several high profile war crimes trials. Mr. Puckett has experience as a Federal Public Defender in the Northern District of Florida. The Firm maintains offices in Alexandria, Virginia and San Diego, California. This bi-coastal operation for military defense attorney services provides easy access to the majority of military installations in the United States and reduces the travel expenses to clients. The firm will handle all matters under any military provision or regulations governing members of the armed forces or those facing trial in federal court. We have experience as military defense lawyers in Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard court rooms. Our clients seek our representation, the best military lawyers, because we win.
Now, the site remains blank—a desperate interim measure implemented by P&F’s web host when it realized what’d happened, and a woman answering the phones at the firm’s Virginia office wouldn’t comment as to whether business was still being conducted. With so many private emails left out to hang across the internet, I can imagine there’s many a potential client reconsidering his options. If you’re being tried for war crimes, you don’t want a lawyer with a security limp.
If Anonymous wanted to damage a business they believe let a murderer go free, it looks like their online attack has already had serious IRL consequences.