A Followup on Mr. Lucas Vazquez

By Benjamin Wittes
Saturday, July 14, 2012, 10:27 PM

I was distressed this evening to receive a note from Ms. Tangerine Bolen, executive director of RevolutionTruth and one of the plaintiffs in the Hedges case, in response to this post from the other day. In that post, I had poked fun at a gentleman named Lucas Vazquez for having confused me with a certain other blogger on national security legal issues in an invitation to participate on a panel discussion. Mr. Bolen informed me that Vazquez is, in fact, barely 18 years old:

Lucas is a[n 18] year old volunteer who has been featured regularly in the media for his work with Occupy Wall Street and numerous other volunteer endeavors. He is one of the most well-spoken, intelligent and thoughtful young people you are likely to meet---even holding his own on a panel discussion with Pulitzer prize-winning author of ten books, Chris Hedges. Lucas occasionally volunteers for us, and when I became incredibly and unexpectedly sick with a devastating illness last February and was unable to continue coordinating this lawsuit and running our small, international all-volunteer organization as needed, he enthusiastically offered to be another set of hands---doing things like inviting people like you to join us for various events.  

Needless, I hope, to say, I would never have published, let alone ridiculed, Vazquez's note had I known his age. I receive a very large number of press notices and institutional invitations---most of them from public relations professionals, some from volunteer organizations. I certainly reserve the right to publish any such correspondence and to comment on it. The authors never identify their ages, and it frankly never dawned on me in this case that I might be dealing with a young person. Given the rather public history between me and the individual with whom Mr. Vazquez confused me---a matter of which Lawfare's readership is well aware---I found his error amusing. Had I known the age of my interlocutor, I certainly would have kept my amusement to myself.