Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke expressed regret over the report.
“I’m mortified to read it now, incredibly embarrassed, but I have to take ownership of my words,” Mr. Rourke said during a podcast taping in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, attendees reported. “Whatever my intention was as a teenager doesn’t matter, I have to look long and hard at my actions, at the language I have used, and I have to constantly try to do better.”
Mr. O’Rourke, 46, was a member of the Cult of the Dead Cow in the late 1980s when he was going online with the moniker “Psychedelic Warlord,” he also contributed to electronic magazines published online decades earlier by the hacker group.
The report includes a disturbing excerpt from a submission published by O’Rourke:
“One day, as I was driving home from work, I noticed two children crossing the street. They were happy, happy to be free from their troubles…. This happiness was mine by right. I had earned it in my dreams.” he wrote.
“As I neared the young ones, I put all my weight on my right foot, keeping the accelerator pedal on the floor until I heard the crashing of the two children on the hood, and then the sharp cry of pain from one of the two,” reads an excerpt. “I was so fascinated for a moment, that when after I had stopped my vehicle, I just sat in a daze, sweet visions filling my head.”
Mr. O’Rourke described his submission as “really hateful, really bad stuff,”
“It’s not anything I’m proud of today, and I mean, that’s that’s the long and short of it,” Mr. O’Rourke said of his involvement in the group during an earlier campaign stop Friday, The Des Moines Register reported. “All I can do is my best, which is what I’m trying to do. I can’t control anything I’ve done in the past. I can only control what I do going forward and what I plan to do is give this my best.”
The Cult of the Dead Cow was formed back in 1984, it was very active in the late 1990s when its member released the popular hacking tool Back Orifice.
“There is no indication that O’Rourke ever engaged in the edgiest sorts of hacking activity, such as breaking into computers or writing code that enabled others to do so,” Reuters concluded.
“But his membership in the group could explain his approach to politics better than anything on his resume. His background in hacking circles has repeatedly informed his strategy as he explored and subverted established procedures in technology, the media and government.”