The Other McCain

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

When Neal Rauhauser Complained About ‘Menacing’ and ‘Cyberstalking’

Posted on | June 2, 2012 | 61 Comments

FROM AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION
As September 2010 came to an end, Neal Rauhauser’s “beandogs” operation was rapidly imploding. Using his “WingNutWatch” Twitter account, Rauhauser had “organized a group of E-Thugs meant to harass, threaten, provoke, disparage, intimidate, verbally assault, berate & employ hate-speech against those not in agreement with his brand of politics,” as conservative blogger Patrick Read said at the time.

The “TwitterGate” story was a brief blip in the blogospheric consciousness: An ugly online spat between Left and Right that seemed rather silly to those who did not grasp two key facts:

  1. Rauhauser was a paid consultant with the Progressive PST firm, providing “social media” services to Democrat candidates; and
  2. Rauhauser has described himself as a “hacker.”

Fact 2 could be dismissed as mere boasting — Rauhauser may have exaggerated his hacking skills — yet it is nonetheless relevant in light of Fact 1: Why would candidates for public office hire someone who bragged of his ability to engage in deceptive and potentially criminal activity? What services did Rauhauser’s clients expect him to deliver?

Whatever Rauhauser was getting paid for, what he was evidently doing in 2010 — as Patrick Read and others have documented — was organizing and directing a mob of pseudonymous Twitter trolls who sent a steady stream of abusive comments at Tea Party activists online. Care to see a few of the messages sent by Rauhauser’s “beandogs”? (Warning: Extremely Graphic Language.)

By late September 2010, however, Rauhauser’s targets had figured out what was happening. These attacks were not random, but rather seemed to be part of an orchestrated campaign of online harassment, and Rauhauser’s fingerprints were all over it. His perverse scheme had been exposed, and Rauhauser was dealing with the nasty blowback.

Deciding that he was now a victim, Rauhauser used his posting privileges at the popular liberal blog Daily Kos to complain, “Tea Party Stalks Me and My Kids.” The “threat . . . was directed at me because I’ve been effectively organizing on Twitter and the blogosphere,” Rauhauser wrote on Sept. 28, 2010. “Last weekend this cyberstalking overflowed into kooks discovering and sharing where my children live.”

The threat from “kooks” (none of whom were convicted bombers, I’m willing to bet) caused health problems for Rauhauser, who suffers from Lyme disease and said “the stress of this conduct being aimed at me has made me as sick as I was back in 2008.”

The Bogus Threat of a Libel Suit

Rauhauser then played the “progressive solidarity” card. Without mentioning his “beandogs” Twitter-troll operation or explaining that he was a paid campaign consultant to Democrat candidates, Rauhauser wrote: “I’m not the only organizer who has been threatened. I know two people who have basically had to go into hiding and there is a lot of unsubtle menacing behavior and cyberstalking being aimed at a lot of us.”

Rauhauser invoked the shadowy villain — “Tea Party Patriot extremists” and “a Christian Reconstructionist cell” (?) — before concluding with the hint of legal action: “[A] Progressive attorney has advised me that there is definitely a libel suit here.”

No such libel suit was ever filed, to my knowledge. Rauhauser was likely advised that “discovery is a bitch,” and any attempt by him to stake a legal claim to victimhood via “cyberstalking” would have made all his online activities subject to subpoena. All his e-mails, DMs and/or online chats with the various “beandogs”? A matter of public record, as soon as the defendants’ lawyers got done with him and, if he failed to produce everything they demanded in discovery — if Rauhauser attempted to delete or otherwise conceal any relevant communications — that’s contempt of court, buddy.

Rauhauser also boasted that he had friends in law enforcement, made dark hints about “conspiracy charges” against his enemies, and declared that he had armed himself with a Glock pistol. Just as with his bluster about a libel suit, however, nothing ever came of Rauhauser’s other transparent bluster, either.

Kimberlin and the ‘Kookpocalypse’

Rauhauser’s involvement was what caught my attention in Aaron Walker’s 28,000-word blog post about Brett Kimberlin on May 17. Kimberlin had sued Seth Allen (@Prepostericity), and Walker had provided legal assistance to Allen, with the result that Walker also became a target of Kimberlin’s “lawfare” harassment.

Seth Allen is a liberal who, under the online name “Socrates,” has been calling B.S. on the Brett Kimberlin/Brad Friedman non-profit “Velvet Revolution” for more than three years. When Rauhauser came drifting into the Kimberlin/Friedman orbit in 2011, Allen began calling B.S. on Rauhauser, too.

One of the weirder episodes began in January 2012, when Rauhauser started warning that Feb. 6 would be “Kookpocalypse.” Exactly what this signified to Rauhauser, nobody knew. The warnings were sufficiently ominous, however, to cause Aaron Walker to seek a peace order against Rauhauser — who, as previously noted, had declared in September 2010 that he was now armed with a Glock pistol.

Mike Stack at his Crying Wolfe blog and Seth Allen at DFQ2 both blogged about the “Kookpocalypse” at the time, and it appears that all it involved was Rauhauser publishing a document called, “Andrew Breitbart’s ISR Cell?” This is one of the most incomprehensible paranoid ravings you’re ever likely to see, but I’ll try to make sense of it:

The unwanted attention that Stack is directing toward me and others is the latest episode in an eighteen month long running conflict between what appears to be a loose group of right wing activists, but there may be much more to it than that.

This “eighteen month long running conflict,” at least in Rauhauser’s fevered brain, evidently encompasses a great many things that aren’t actually related — except in Rauhauser’s fevered brain. He accuses Stack of harassing four people:

  • Neal Rauhauser – Montgomery County, MD
  • Brett Kimberlin – Montgomery County, MD
  • Diana Grandmason – Tampa, FL
  • “Darrah Ford” – western Boston suburbs

Who is “Darrah Ford”? And who is Diana Grandmason? I don’t know, nor can I explain why Rauhauser includes these people as his fellow victims of Stack’s alleged harassment.

On Page 2, Rauhauser names Stack’s alleged accomplices, some of whose names I recognize — Allen, Walker, and Patrick “Patterico” Frey – as well as two I never heard of, Douglas Stewart and Sean Tompkins. Rauhauser names four others as “directly contributing” to Stack’s alleged menace: Patrick Read and Michelle Lessick (both of who were involved in busting Rauhauser’s “beandog” operation), as well as Mandy Nagy, who wrote the 3,600-word expose of Kimberlin’s criminal past, and another Breitbart.com writer, Thomas Ryan.

On Page 3, Rauhauser tries to cobble together a motive for why all these people are conspiring to harass him and others. Among other things, he says: “Rauhauser has drafted, made public, but not filed a libel suit against Lessick for the 2010 Twittergate smear.” In other words, he calls Lessick a liar, but isn’t willing to take it to court.

On Page 4, Rauhauser describes 530 megabytes of “data” he has “provided” — to whom? to law enforcement? — about various elements of the conspiracy against him, including:

  • HBGary – analysis of planned corporate funded targeting of Brett Kimberlin/Velvet Revolution and other activist organizations
  • Patrick Swift Read – co-operator of right wing cyberstalking cell with 25 members at peak, details come from observation and an insider that was burned by the group.
  • Twittergate – complex smear created by Lessick that was aimed at Rauhauser during the 2010 election cycle. This included a direct threat that got FBI hate crimes squad moving to interview a man in South Carolina.

Notice that there is no apparent relationship between these individuals and entities, except that they involve Rauhauser’s enemies. He seems to believe that HBGary — a security company that was the target of a cyberattack by “Anonymous” hackers — is somehow funding or directing attacks on himself, Kimberlin and others. What does Rauhauser mean by saying that Read is part of a “right wing cyberstalking cell”? How is Lesick guilty of a “smear” and how does that alleged smear relate to the “direct threat”? Never mind — it all fits together in Rauhauser’s paranoid mind.

‘Team Themis’ and Seamus Kraft

On Page 5, Rauhauser goes into “just asking questions” mode: “Conspiracy or Coincidence?” He provides a timeline of various events, attempting to draw together three separate incidents: “The Kimberlin smear,” “The Twittergate smear” and “The Weiner smear” (yes, the Anthony Weiner sex scandal is a “smear” in Rauhauser’s warped mind). And all of this, says Rauhauser, could be part of a devious plot by Aaron Barr, former CEO of HB Gary:

This is precisely the sort of strategy that Team Themis, the information/surveillance/recon cell proposed to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce by Aaron Barr, was intended to execute.

Right. The story of Barr, HBGary and “Team Themis” has been told in some detail, the salient point being that they never got a contract with the Chamber or anyone else.

Barr, a former U.S. Navy signals intelligence officer, had his entire online life hacked by “Anonymous,” a crime that is currently the subject of multiple federal indictments. It was from Barr’s hacked e-mails that all this information about the HBGary/”Team Themis” proposals came to light. But they were merely proposals — nobody ever actually hired them to do the work that Barr proposed — and yet these proposed schemes are the basis of Rauhauser’s paranoid speculation.

Rauhauser’s paranoid speculation goes further, however, to include a congressional staffer named Seamus Kraft, with whom Mike Stack says he exchanged hundreds of e-mails between September 2010 and June 2011. Kraft works as a New Media aide on the House Oversight Committee staff — Darrell Issa’s investigatory committee — and probably exchanges e-mails with lots of bloggers. But somehow, in Rauhauser’s mind, Seamus Kraft is a sort of shadowy Moriarty figure. On Page 8, Rauhauser poses a series of questions:

  • Did Andrew Breitbart inherit the remains of Team Themis?
  • Is Thomas Ryan a cut out between Andrew Breitbart and Aaron Barr?
  • Is any of the $10M Breitbart’s BigGovernment received funding an ISR cell?
  • Was Darrell Issa’s staffer really guiding such ill conceived efforts?
  • Why are there hearings on Occupy D.C, but not on HBGary?

And then Rauhauser concludes his febrile ravings with an even more provocative question: “What corruption provides Breitbart’s people a free pass for this crime spree?”

“Crime spree”! Rauhauser is now an associate of Brett Kimberlin, a rather notorious felon, and dares accuse others of a “crime spree”!

However, this is a typical psychological projection by Rauhauser: He sicced his vicious “beandogs” on Tea Party people and then, when he was busted by Read and Lessick, Rauhauser complained that he was the victim of “cyberstalking” and accused Lessick of a libelous “smear.”

Now, Rauhauser associates with the infamous “Speedway Bomber” and accuses others of crimes. Next time Rauhauser tries to claim that he is being “menaced,” someone should point out that Rauhauser is evidently deranged – and armed with a Glock.

Robert Stacy McCain, Whereabouts Unknown

 

 

THE KIMBERLIN FILES:


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