Posted on | June 15, 2012 | 55 Comments
FROM AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION
Neal Rauhauser is crazy and not nearly as smart as he thinks he is, and his boastful arrogance has been his downfall before. So it is again.
In a message posted in the comments of a blog in October 2011, Rauhauser explained that he and someone he describes as “a very big dog from the Anonymous pen” conspired to use Brett Kimberlin’s non-profit Velvet Revolution as a vehicle to exact vengeance on (a) his personal enemies, (b) the security firm HB Gary and (c) “Breitbart associates.”
The campaign of harassment and intimidatiion we have seen carried out in recent months apparently is the product of that game plan — and Rauhauser boastfully explained how he developed that plan quite publicly more than eight months ago.
Rauhauser’s Familiar Pattern
Before I share that with you, however, let me preface it by explaining that the claim to victimhood that Rauhauser presents in this 970-word treatise is false. His exposure in the 2010 “TwitterGate” affair was the result of his open incitement of his s0-called “beandogs,” the gang of online thugs who obscenely harassed Tea Party activists on Twitter. His public Tweets to the “beandogs” were screen-capped and documented by Patrick Read, Michelle Lessick and others, and Rauhauser’s role was clearly evident.
Furthermore, exactly as with his current role in the Kimberlin case, Rauhauser had described — publicly and in advance — his plans for an online war against the Tea Party, in two posts at the forum Open Left:
- Aug. 29, 2010: Organized Intimidation? Ambush Time.
- Aug. 31, 2010: Social Media’s Neighborhood Watch
That was in August, not long after Rauhauser had been a speaker at the Netroots Nation conference. He was a consultant with the firm Progressive PST, which included several Democratic politicians (including Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva) among its clients.
Neal’s own description of his specialty? “Solving problems in the social media work space for political campaigns and causes.” But once he was busted in TwitterGate and someone called it to my attention, I did a post on Oct. 7, 2010 (“BUSTED! Video Documents Role of Democrat Consultant Neal Rauhauser in Smear Campaign Against Tea Party“) that was linked by Lonely Conservative, House of Eratosthenes, Liberty Pundits, Right Klik, Verum Serum, I Own the World, Memeorandum and The Blaze, to name a few. On Oct. 9, 2010, I did a follow-up post noting Rauhauser’s reaction to the exposure:
Rauhauser deleted [his “WingNutWatch” Twitter] account and protected [his personal Twitter account], the kind of gesture a detective might say was indicative of “consciousness of guilt.”
The obvious question: If Rauhauser has nothing to hide, why is he hiding? Let me suggest an obvious answer: Rauhauser is becoming an embarrassment to his Democratic clients, especially Arizona 7th District Rep. Raul Grijalva.
Rauhauser had boasted of his relationship with Grijalva — who sent the consultant a “thank you” note — and like so many other previously “safe” Democratic incumbents this year, Grijalva is in the toughest re-election battle of his career.
In late September 2010 — before I even noticed TwitterGate, but after Read, Lessick and others had begun exposing the “beandogs” operation — Rauhauser clearly realized his scheme was busted. Caught attempting to victimize others, Rauhauser declared himself the real victim in a Daily Kos post entitled, “Tea Party Stalks Me & My Kids.”
This tendency toward self-pity, blaming others for problems that he himself caused, appears to be a deeply engrained personality trait with Rauhauser. Incapable of accepting responsibility for his own failures, Rauhauser psychologically projects responsibility onto scapegoats, whom he demonizes and accuses of malicious motives and actions, as a means of justifying his attacks on them, attacks that he encourages others to join.
The Narcissist as Self-Imagined Hero
Soliciting assistance in his plots — recruiting a gang of followers — functions psychologically as a means for Rauhauser to validate his grandiose narcissistic conception of himself as a heroic leader.
Rauhauser is manipulative, and his boastfulness is part of his manipulations: He brags about his contacts with law enforcement, for instance, in an attempt either to intimidate his enemies or else to impress potential allies, conning them into believing he has “connections” who can help them accomplish his elaborate plans to inflict vengeance on their common enemies.
Keep all this in mind, then, as you carefully read the October 2011 comment Rauhauser posted at the Qritiq blog:
Neal Rauhauser (@NealRauhauser) Says:
October 5, 2011 at 3:08 pm
And here is the likely first cause behind all of this.
James O’Keefe and Hannah Giles clearly violated Maryland wire tap laws. You can’t record someone without their permission here — it’s just that simple.
The Baltimore city prosecutor begs off — too busy with violent crime, so the IndictBreitbart effort is launched.
This frightens and infuriates Breitbart, so his toadies come hopping along, they find poor Seth, and he’s just the right tool to get at the guys behind IndictBreitbart.org. The smear goes on for two long years, screwing up their fundraising.
Then HBGary CEO Aaron Barr mouths off about having information on Anonymous in the Financial Times. Sabu notices, and soon Mr. Barr is out of a job and his company’s email is spattered all over the net. I pick through the debris field, writing a report that is seen by House and Senate staff, and during that process I make contact with Velvet Revolution.
Now I had a problem last fall, some crazy guys making up this huge conspiracy theory about me (Google:Twittergate) and it did to me what Seth did to others — you can’t Google my name without seeing a big wad of troll droppings for results.
Greg W. Howard and Patrick Swift Read were always the public face of this attack on me, but hovering in the background was ZAPEM. I never could identify her, beyond knowing that she was female, and that she was probably in New Jersey.
But people just couldn’t shut up about Weinergate, and things started to fall out.
Howard and Read have offended a number of their supporters badly. I have a big dossier now on things they’ve done thanks to their poor relationships with others, stuff I’ve not released, stuff that doesn’t quite rise to the level of needing law enforcement attention, but I bet there will be civil suits sooner or later.
Patrick Read betrayed ZAPEM’s first name, Michele, in a ranting email to me a couple of months ago. We suspected that [redacted] was her last name from a slip she made in an obscure social media profile elsewhere.
Mandy Nagy, Liberty_Chick on Twitter, made another slip during hurricane Irene. She was having trouble traveling — a downed tree or some such, and she reached out to ZAPEM and Mike Stack, owner of the goatsred account of Weinergate fame.
I don’t have the specific tweet handy, but it basically indicated that they were near enough to rescue her and that she knew them well enough to trust them for this. Nagy, O’Keefe, Stack, and ZAPEM are all close enough to meet somewhere on short notice — if they feel the need for a long walk in an open area after reading this, Washington Valley Park is roughly the geographic center for their locations.
The name slips and the geographic slip, coupled with some other sleuthing I wasn’t directly involved in, yielded this Facebook profile. Others are quite excited, I am not yet 100% convinced that Michele [redacted] is both ZAPEM and sister or sister in law of Mandy Nagy.
I have to stress that this is NOT CONFIRMED. And all we need is another Jennifer George, dragged through the muck for something she didn’t do.
[link redacted – speculative]
Meanwhile, back on the intert00bz …
ZAPEM, determined to bring me down, unprotects her Twitter account, giving me all sorts of goodies, then she begins to harass various aspects of Anonymous. Not quite as grim as the provocation Aaron Barr offered, but eventually one of the little ones comes to me and asks about ZAPEM. I don’t share anything they couldn’t get from public searches, and I tease them with a bit of the information I provide here.
A few hours pass and then a very big dog from the Anonymous pen comes knocking, puzzled over why one crazy person with a Twitter account is so important.
People have a view that Anonymous is all crime, all the time, but that’s more properly the mysterious transnational behavior problem that is LulzSec. Most of the Anonymi are more interested in free speech and technology — “We don’t break into things, we break out of them”.
We start talking, comparing war stories clear back to the 1990s, and it turns out big dog and I didn’t know each other, but our circles did cross. Pretty soon an obscure IRC channel on an obscure network is full of people that went quiet ten years ago, all making popcorn and getting ready to watch the fun.
Fun? Absolutely — because now Anonymous understands that Velvet Revolution is the only victim of HBGary that has both standing and the will to pursue them. They understand that Velvet Revolution has faced an organized smear that is pretty transparently attributable to Breitbart associates. And now there may well be a connection between the two.
So ZAPEM went out in an ill advised effort to recruit Anonymous as her personal army, and instead she just put Breitbart & Co. square in their gunsights, with more than adequate reasons for them to take the same sort of interest in them that they did in HBGary.
Freedom of speech and association are inalienable rights. That isn’t a free pass to assemble a pack of yahoos and smear someone you disagree with, and if the purpose of that smear is covering a string of state and federal crimes calculated to interrupt the right of free assembly on election day for minorities and the poor?
No movie producer would go for this story line – it’s too far fetched. And yet here we are at the end of a long trail of bread crumbs, and while some of the particulars are up in the air, the overall pattern is pretty clear.
One final pithy quote:
“No one of us is as cruel as all of us.” -Anonymous
* * * * * *
The numerous falsehoods in this bizarre document — e.g., Rauhauser’s claim that Breitbart’s “toadies” had employed “poor Seth” [Allen] as “just the right tool to get at the guys behind IndictBreitbart.org” — are ultimately irrelevant, except as glimpses into the counterfactual conspiracy theories that seem to ricochet around constantly inside Rauhauser’s depraved mind.
What is actually important are these assertions by Rauhauser:
- After he wrote a report about the HBGary hacking that was “seen by House and Senate staff” – ! — Rauhauser made “contact with Velvet Revolution,” one of Brett Kimberlin’s tax-exempt non-profit groups.
- Rauhauser spent enough time cyberstalking various of his “enemies” — Michelle Lessick, Mandy Nagy, James O’Keefe and Mike Stack — to learn they all lived in New Jersey and that, according to his “sleuthing,” Lessick and Nagy are related by blood or marriage.
- Rauhauser is contacted by “a very big dog from the Anonymous pen” intrigued by Rauhauser’s interest in Lessick, and Rauhauser then engages in a conversation with Anonymous members on “an obscure IRC channel.”
- Evidently, during that conversation, Rauhauser convinced his Anonymous friends “that Velvet Revolution is the only victim of HBGary that has both standing and the will to pursue them” and “that Velvet Revolution has faced an organized smear that is pretty transparently attributable to Breitbart associates.”
- Rauhauser uses this argument to persuade Anonymous to assist him and Velvet Revolution in getting revenge on his enemies.
It is important to explain that the conspiracy theories Rauhauser purveys are all demonstrably false.
There were no “victims” of HBGary, because HBGary never got the contract to do the devious “Nixonesque” things that were discussed in the e-mails that the LulzSec hackers illegally obtained. Aaron Barr of HBGary mentioned Mandy Nagy’s October 2010 article about Brett Kimberlin in one November 2010 e-mail, with the note, “We could do so much with this.”
Imagined Victims, Imagined Villains
What that e-mail showed was not evidence of the conspiracy that Rauhauser claimed to have discovered. Kimberlin’s Velvet Revolution had been publicly calling for criminal prosecution of the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the potential client that Barr was eager to impress. Barr had found Nagy’s article and evidently believed it would be useful in helping them impress the client and land the contract.
This e-mail got scrambled around in Rauhauser’s mind. Conveniently forgetting that HBGary never got the Chamber contract, and thus that neither Velvet Revolution nor anyone else was ever a “victim” of HBGary, Rauhauser interpreted that one e-mail as evidence of conspiratorial collusion between HBGary, Nagy and Breitbart. But it simply wasn’t so.
Nor, contrary to Rauhauser’s assertion, was there any conspiracy between Seth Allen and “Breitbart associates.”
What actually happened was this: When Nagy published her article, based on her own research, Kimberlin jumped to the erroneous conclusion that Nagy relied upon Seth Allen as her source. In fact, Nagy is a veteran researcher and writer who once worked as an editor at Lexis-Nexis. But by the time Nagy published her article in October 2010, Kimberlin had spent more than a year trying to shut up Seth Allen, a progressive who had been calling unwelcome attention to Kimberlin’s criminal past on liberal blogs.
This is why, when Patterico did a post based on Nagy’s article, Kimberlin mentioned Allen (“Socrates”) in threatening to sue Patterico. Kimberlin (who knew nothing of Nagy’s research skills) seems to have assumed that only Allen could have been the source for the information about Kimberlin’s past. So Patterico was accused of “conspiring” with Allen.
By now the astute reader understands — and I don’t really have to point this out do I? — that Kimberlin and Rauhauser’s belief in an imaginary conspiracy of their enemies led them into creating an actual conspiracy of their own.
It’s all right there, you see: Presenting himself as an agent of Velvet Revolution, Rauhauser elicited assistance from members of Anonymous in a conspiracy that “put Breitbart & Co. square in their gunsights.” What did Rauhauser mean by that expression? What manner of activity did Anonymous agree to conduct against the target “in their gunsights”? We don’t know.
What we do know is that, once more, Rauhauser’s compulsive bragging has led to the exposure of one of his schemes.
I believe the appropriate word for such a situation is “lulz.”
– Robert Stacy McCain, Whereabouts Unknown
Update (Smitty): welcome, Instapundit readers!