The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Has Barrett Brown Scammed NBC News?

Posted on | March 9, 2011 | 29 Comments


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Barrett Brown is either, as Michael Isikoff reports, “an underground commander in a new kind of warfare” — a member of a criminal conspiracy who should be under arrest — or else he’s one of the most successful hoaxers in recent memory. What astonishes me is to realize that just two days ago I was exchanging e-mails with Brown after he threatened me via Twitter over a post I wrote Feb. 14:

Is the FBI Watching Barrett Brown? (And
If They’re Not Already, Shouldn’t They?)

Everything I know about Brown leads me to believe that his claim to be a leader of “Anonymous” is self-aggrandizing nonsense. But here’s the problem: Absent complete access to his computer records, how would you go about verifying or falsifying that claim?

Consider what bush-league crap Brown was up to less than three months ago: In late December, he was posting videos of himself arguing with his girlfriend’s roommate. Before that, he was getting himself banned from blogs. Before that, he had his lawyer threatening me for making jokes at his expense.

So here we have a guy who seems to have spent December trying to get himself noticed by somebody — anybody — and now in March he’s interviewed by Michael Isikoff on NBC Nightly News?

An ability to detect the aroma of bovine excrement is essential to a newsman’s trade and it is my considered judgment that NBC News has been bamboozled, hoodwinked and scammed by Barrett Brown.

There’s an old saying in this business: “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.” And unless the Justice Department announces that Barrett Brown is the focus of a federal investigation, I’m calling bullshit.

UPDATE: Let me explain further why I’m so dubious of Brown’s claim. Stars and Stripes reports:

 The Financial Times reports this week that U.S. law enforcement agencies are investigating plans by members of a hacking collective known as Anonymous to disrupt [Marine Corps Base] Quantico’s operations in protest over the alleged rough treatment of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, a suspect in the Wikileaks data dump that has sent countries around the world into a tizzy with the disclosure of state secrets big and small.

OK, so “Anonymous” is threatening the U.S. Marine Corps, and meanwhile Barrett Brown — who has been publicly claiming since mid-February to be involved with “Anonymous” — is strolling down the street doing an interview with NBC News? Doesn’t basic common sense tell you that there’s something wrong with that picture?

UPDATE II: Linked by Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugs — thanks!.


29 Responses to “Has Barrett Brown Scammed NBC News?”

  1. Guest
    March 9th, 2011 @ 9:36 am

    “shutting down major anti-terrorism operations”

    You’re begging for the cluestick.

    This is bullshit office talk and you know it.

  2. Mike
    March 9th, 2011 @ 9:47 am

    I don’t know about these “anonymous folks”, but one thing I do know for sure…they’re making a big mistake f@@king around with the United States Marine Corps. They will come down on you like the wrath of God and you won’t know what hit you.