The Left and Con Men

I don't know if you been following the stories about the problem some bloggers such as Robert Stacy McCain, Patterico, Liberty Chick, Aaron Worthing, and Virginia attorney Aaron Walker have been having with harassment by a convicted felon, domestic bomber Brett Kimberlin.  Kimberlin now runs a not-for-profit called the Justice Through Music Project.  Kimberlin, a jailhouse lawyer, has also filed dozens of suits.  Stacy McCain has actually moved to an undisclosed location because of threats.  Lee Stranahan has put together a short video on Kimberlin's criminal career and asks that this Friday be Blog about Brett Kimberlin Day.

I thought the name was vaguely familiar when I heard it this week.  It turns out that Kimberlin has been spreading lies about conservatives for almost as long as he's been a criminal.  Remember the risible story that then-Vice President Dan Quayle had been a drug user?  The source was a jailbird named Brett Kimberlin. 

Upon his final release from prison, you'd think the reality-based community would figure out Kimberlin is a con man.  I mean, it's not as if no one has ever written about his lies.  The reporter who broke the story about Quayle wrote an entire book in 1996 on how Kimberlin had repeatedly lied to him.  Instead of being an outcast, Kimberlin now seems to be a progressive institution.  

Kimberlin is a known associate of Neal Rauhauser, a Democrat campaign consultant who has described himself as a computer "hacker." Kimberlin, director of the tax-exempt Justice Through Music Project, is also involved in another tax-exempt group, Velvet Revolution, which has gained national attention by demanding criminal prosecution of high-profile figures including Republican strategist Karl Rove, U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donohue, and the late Internet news entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart. Kimberlin's name also surfaced last year in connection with the so-called "Anonymous" international hacker conspiracy. Kimberlin has pursued numerous strategies to harass journalists and bloggers who have attempted to call attention to his criminal past and his notorious dishonesty - a "top-flight con man," as Publisher's Weekly called him in a review of award-winning journalist Mark Singer's 1996 book, Citizen K: The Deeply Weird American Journey of Brett Kimberlin.

Convicted of drug smuggling and forging documents as well as numerous violent felonies, Kimberlin claims to have ceased his lifelong criminal career after being released from federal prison in 2000. Yet his habitual dishonesty - Kimberlin was first convicted of perjury at age 18 - appears unchanged. As recently as 2007, Time magazine reported that Kimberlin was gaining notoriety on progressive blog sites by "repeatedly asserting as fact things that are not true." According to Walker, Kimberlin falsely accused him of assault after a courthouse encounter in which Kimberlin attempted to photograph Walker in violation of court policy. Walker says Maryland officials have refused to investigate his complaints of criminal actions by Kimberlin, and has asked his blog readers to contact those officials to demand action.

That TIME article, "The Wizard of Odd," details how Kimberlin used personal contacts and some heavy stroking of the political far left's insistence that the 2004 presidential election had been stolen to become a player in the 2007 debate over the validity of electronic voting.  Because his contacts had gathered some valid information, Kimberlin was able to leverage said information for access to credible opinion-makers in academia think-tanks and in government.  This access, in turn, helped Kimberlin further stoke the more lunatic fringes on the left.

I was a subscriber to the New Yorker when they ran Mark Singer's story about how he came to know that Kimberlin had been lying to him about Dan Quayle.  After reading that piece, I decided not to renew my subscription.  I don't think I have picked up a copy since except to kill time in a waiting room.  Not only had a magazine once renowned for its fact-checking originally run an inflammatory accusation, the sole source of which was a man sitting in prison for a bombing, but Singer had been an entirely willing dupe.  I remember being appalled.  Singer's rationale for swallowing what was an obvious fabrication boiled down to the expression of a wish.  The story should have been true.  In a better world, it would have been true.  Why?  Because it is an ironclad law for sophisticated New Yorkers that that all conservatives are hypocrites?  Midwestern conservatives doubly so?  Singer wanted that story to be true so badly that he willingly surrendered whatever common sense he possessed until the stench of Kimberlin's collective lies became too obvious to ignore. 

Fast-forward a decade.  When I look at the institutions that poured money into Kimberlin's 501(c)(3) after it offered the reward for proof that the 2004 presidential election was stolen, there seem to be even more marks like Singer out there.  The Justice Through Music Project has collected $1.8 million from the usual suspects on the political left over the last eight years, including these grants. 

2005

Farview Foundation ..................................... $9,000

2006

Tides Foundation ........................................ $60,000
Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift ......... $45,000
HKH Foundation ...................................... $20,000
Heinz Family Foundation ......................... $20,000
Olive Branch Foundation ......................... $15,000
Farview Foundation ................................. $10,000
Barbra Streisand Foundation .....................$5,000

2007

Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift ......... $19,000

2008

Threshold Foundation ............................ $20,000
Tides Foundation .................................... $10,000
Nathan Cummings Foundation ............... $10,000
Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift ......... $20,000
Fred Gellert Family Foundation ................ $5,000
Silicon Valley Community Foundation ..... $5,000
Barbra Streisand Foundation .................... $5,000

2009

Schwab Charitable Fund ............................ $10,000
Silicon Valley Community Foundation .... $10,000
Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift ......... $6,000

TOTAL (2005-2009) ..................................$304,000

One hazard of living in a world in which things have to be true simply because you want them to be true is that such a world is also highly attractive to con men and women. 

I don't know if you been following the stories about the problem some bloggers such as Robert Stacy McCain, Patterico, Liberty Chick, Aaron Worthing, and Virginia attorney Aaron Walker have been having with harassment by a convicted felon, domestic bomber Brett Kimberlin.  Kimberlin now runs a not-for-profit called the Justice Through Music Project.  Kimberlin, a jailhouse lawyer, has also filed dozens of suits.  Stacy McCain has actually moved to an undisclosed location because of threats.  Lee Stranahan has put together a short video on Kimberlin's criminal career and asks that this Friday be Blog about Brett Kimberlin Day.

I thought the name was vaguely familiar when I heard it this week.  It turns out that Kimberlin has been spreading lies about conservatives for almost as long as he's been a criminal.  Remember the risible story that then-Vice President Dan Quayle had been a drug user?  The source was a jailbird named Brett Kimberlin. 

Upon his final release from prison, you'd think the reality-based community would figure out Kimberlin is a con man.  I mean, it's not as if no one has ever written about his lies.  The reporter who broke the story about Quayle wrote an entire book in 1996 on how Kimberlin had repeatedly lied to him.  Instead of being an outcast, Kimberlin now seems to be a progressive institution.  

Kimberlin is a known associate of Neal Rauhauser, a Democrat campaign consultant who has described himself as a computer "hacker." Kimberlin, director of the tax-exempt Justice Through Music Project, is also involved in another tax-exempt group, Velvet Revolution, which has gained national attention by demanding criminal prosecution of high-profile figures including Republican strategist Karl Rove, U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donohue, and the late Internet news entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart. Kimberlin's name also surfaced last year in connection with the so-called "Anonymous" international hacker conspiracy. Kimberlin has pursued numerous strategies to harass journalists and bloggers who have attempted to call attention to his criminal past and his notorious dishonesty - a "top-flight con man," as Publisher's Weekly called him in a review of award-winning journalist Mark Singer's 1996 book, Citizen K: The Deeply Weird American Journey of Brett Kimberlin.

Convicted of drug smuggling and forging documents as well as numerous violent felonies, Kimberlin claims to have ceased his lifelong criminal career after being released from federal prison in 2000. Yet his habitual dishonesty - Kimberlin was first convicted of perjury at age 18 - appears unchanged. As recently as 2007, Time magazine reported that Kimberlin was gaining notoriety on progressive blog sites by "repeatedly asserting as fact things that are not true." According to Walker, Kimberlin falsely accused him of assault after a courthouse encounter in which Kimberlin attempted to photograph Walker in violation of court policy. Walker says Maryland officials have refused to investigate his complaints of criminal actions by Kimberlin, and has asked his blog readers to contact those officials to demand action.

That TIME article, "The Wizard of Odd," details how Kimberlin used personal contacts and some heavy stroking of the political far left's insistence that the 2004 presidential election had been stolen to become a player in the 2007 debate over the validity of electronic voting.  Because his contacts had gathered some valid information, Kimberlin was able to leverage said information for access to credible opinion-makers in academia think-tanks and in government.  This access, in turn, helped Kimberlin further stoke the more lunatic fringes on the left.

I was a subscriber to the New Yorker when they ran Mark Singer's story about how he came to know that Kimberlin had been lying to him about Dan Quayle.  After reading that piece, I decided not to renew my subscription.  I don't think I have picked up a copy since except to kill time in a waiting room.  Not only had a magazine once renowned for its fact-checking originally run an inflammatory accusation, the sole source of which was a man sitting in prison for a bombing, but Singer had been an entirely willing dupe.  I remember being appalled.  Singer's rationale for swallowing what was an obvious fabrication boiled down to the expression of a wish.  The story should have been true.  In a better world, it would have been true.  Why?  Because it is an ironclad law for sophisticated New Yorkers that that all conservatives are hypocrites?  Midwestern conservatives doubly so?  Singer wanted that story to be true so badly that he willingly surrendered whatever common sense he possessed until the stench of Kimberlin's collective lies became too obvious to ignore. 

Fast-forward a decade.  When I look at the institutions that poured money into Kimberlin's 501(c)(3) after it offered the reward for proof that the 2004 presidential election was stolen, there seem to be even more marks like Singer out there.  The Justice Through Music Project has collected $1.8 million from the usual suspects on the political left over the last eight years, including these grants. 

2005

Farview Foundation ..................................... $9,000

2006

Tides Foundation ........................................ $60,000
Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift ......... $45,000
HKH Foundation ...................................... $20,000
Heinz Family Foundation ......................... $20,000
Olive Branch Foundation ......................... $15,000
Farview Foundation ................................. $10,000
Barbra Streisand Foundation .....................$5,000

2007

Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift ......... $19,000

2008

Threshold Foundation ............................ $20,000
Tides Foundation .................................... $10,000
Nathan Cummings Foundation ............... $10,000
Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift ......... $20,000
Fred Gellert Family Foundation ................ $5,000
Silicon Valley Community Foundation ..... $5,000
Barbra Streisand Foundation .................... $5,000

2009

Schwab Charitable Fund ............................ $10,000
Silicon Valley Community Foundation .... $10,000
Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift ......... $6,000

TOTAL (2005-2009) ..................................$304,000

One hazard of living in a world in which things have to be true simply because you want them to be true is that such a world is also highly attractive to con men and women. 

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