BRANDON DARBY (photo by Todd Wiseman/Texas Tribune)
(If Brandon Darby isn’t No. 1 on the radical Left’s hate list, it’s only because they hate so many people they can’t keep track anymore. In 2008, Darby worked undercover with the FBI to foil a planned domestic terrorist attack on the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis. Since then, Darby has become a columnist for Breitbart.com. His courage was praised by the late Andrew Breitbart, and Darby spoke movingly of his friendship with Andrew at a March memorial service. In recent weeks, Darby has been paying close attention to the story surrounding Brett Kimberlin, Neal Rauhauser and the harassment of conservatives. He agreed to the following e-mail interview about the story. — RSM)
1. How long have you been following the Brett Kimberlin story, and how did you become interested in it?
The Kimberlin/Rauhuaser issue isn’t unique to Kimberlin and Rauhuaser. The details and specifics are, but the gist of it is prevalent in the American Left. The gist is that the people we call “far Left crazies” are actually very well organized and calculated and they operate on behalf of, with the support of, and to the benefit of more mainstream and moderate left-of-center political players.
My interest in this particular issue came up because I began to realize that they acted like bullies. They exhibited a tendency to go after people who were quite innocent of anything other than simply voicing their political concerns and addressing what seemed to be a criminal enterprise operating with mainstream Democratic Party funding and interests.
People I cared for like Mandy Nagy have been being harassed by this network for a long time. My only regret is that I didn’t start taking arrows for my friends on this sooner.
2. What is the most interesting aspect of the story to you?
The most interesting aspect is in watching the Right finally wake up and realize that ignoring “the crazies” isn’t actually ignoring crazy fringes, per se. It’s actually ignoring well funded and organized shock troops whose goal is to destroy anyone who challenges their masters.
3. How does Neal Rauhauser fit into the story?
Rauhuaser seems to be employed or brought in by Kimberlin as an operative. He also seems to be brought in by another similiar network in Florida that created the faux public outrage against Rush Limbaugh in the Stop Rush campaign.
4. A lot of people are focused on the SWATting aspect of this story: First, Mike Stack, then Patterico, then Erick Erickson, and now Aaron Walker. How much do we definitely know about who is behind these dangerous hoaxes and why they’re happening?
It seems to me that the issue is simply this: There exists a group or loosely affiliated entity that receives funding through a front group nonprofit from mainstream left-of-center interests. That group defends the mainstream interests by engaging in campaigns of deception and destruction. They utilize blackhat Anonymous hackers, fake personas, lawfare, and engage in deep intel operations and attention shifting against their funders foes. Some in the Right blogosphere began to catch on, and consequently they were SWATed. Others began to catch on, and they were SWATed. Then the story received more attention than the dirty tricks entity wanted to receive.
5. Recently, some people have actually tried to claim that you were responsible for SWATtings. What is that all about? Why you?
Let’s be clear: By some, you mean the Kimberlin/Rauhauser network and another network who is directly tied to them from Florida, the Matt Edelstein/Matt Osborne network.
The issue seems clear to me. Some parts of this network never intended to receive this much attention. Now they are realizing they are likely going to face justice and get caught. It seems they are now engaging in a preemptive defense strategy where they are making public allegations focusing on someone connected to the FBI, so that when they get busted they can claim that they were close to “uncovering the truth” and their charges are nothing more than political retribution from the FBI or an effort from the FBI to silence them for “getting too close” to the truth. Like it or not, that’s something the New York Times and their ideological Middle Eastern counterpart, Al Jazeera, would eat up. They might even nullify a jury with such a scheme, because it only takes one for them to get off.
6. You’ve worked with the FBI before. I know that some people are frustrated at the slow pace of the investigation. Members of Congress have asked the Attorney General to make the SWATting investigation a priority. Is the FBI incompetent? Do they not care if people get SWATted? Or is SWATting a difficult crime to solve?
Let’s make a distinction between the devoted men and women who bust their ass in the FBI and the organization’s politically appointed leadership and their appointed executive managers. The FBI is the most competent investigative force in the world — when they focus. The issue is in getting them to focus. The men and women can’t focus without the approval of their leadership. It’s that simple. As a citizenry, we have to understand this and focus our attention and efforts on that leadership.
Though I can’t or won’t get into specifics, I can discuss the historical issues I’ve seen that seems to be similiar to what we are seeing in this case. It seems likely that their are indeed many Special Agents who care abut this SWATing threat and how it pertains to an effort to silence free speech. It also seems likely that the leadership of the FBI and DOJ as a whole isn’t assigning resources as the Special Agents are likely requesting.
The centralization of resources and decision making has been centralized in an unprecedented manner since Eric Holder took over the Justice Department. The focus on what appears to be a point-based system of promotion within the FBI also seems to be at fault here. This simply results in executive management focusing on quick and simple cases that result in quickly resolved prosecutions. It’s the same reason we didn’t see civil rights charges against the “RNC Welcoming Committee,” the 2008 manifestation of the groups we now call Occupy that set out with the stated goal of “shutting the RNC down by any means necessary.” It would’ve been a politically charged prosecution, Holder didn’t want it. There are easier ways for his appointees to “earn points.”
7. People have told me that, for a long time, Andrew Breitbart didn’t seem to “get” the importance of the Kimberlin story, or understand why Rauhauser’s involvement was newsworthy. But I understand that, in the last week or so of his life, Breitbart became very interested in the story. Can you explain what happened there?
I think people forget to look at the issues Andrew was covering. It’s easy to say someone should’ve done this or should’ve done that. But we have to consider that there’s only so much time in the day. He was focused on other aspects and cases of this common manifestation I spoke of earlier. He was focused on other instances of the mainstream Left using shock troops. . . .
He did realize that he was a target of what I call the Kimberlin/Rauhauser network. I think he didn’t realize until that point that they were so organized and calculated.
8. Back in February, Neal Rauhauser published a paper that claimed there was this vast conspiracy involving a lot of people: Breitbart, Mike Stack, Mandy Nagy, “Zapem,” James O’Keefe and even the security firm HBGary. Do you think Rauhauser actually believes that stuff? Was there ever any kind of conspiracy like that?
There was and is no conspiracy like that. The simple facts are these: People have a right to look at and report on networks of criminals. People have an obligation to report criminals to law enforcement when there are victims involved. The fact that the mainstream Left chooses to employ convicted bombers and other criminals is their own choice.
9. Why haven’t the major media gotten involved in covering this story? I mean, Walker’s SWATting happened in the Virginia suburbs of D.C., so that’s right in the Washington Post’s backyard and – nothing. Same thing with Patterico and the L.A. Times. Same thing with Mike Stack and the New York Times – I mean, Stack lives in New Jersey and he helped bring down Anthony Weiner, so he’s kind of local news for them. Is this about bias? Or is it just that the story is so complicated?
The story seems complicated until you put it into the historical perspective it exists within. Then it is quite simple. Left media doesn’t cover the story because many of them are involved with the networks of operatives we are discussing.
10. How would you summarize this story in a nutshell? What’s the one thing that people really need to understand about all this?
Just remember, the Right calls out, marginalizes, and rejects their “crazies.” The Right’s “crazies” are an anomaly. The Left embraces, defends, and supports their “crazies.” In fact, the Left’s crazies are vital and needed components to the dehumanization and deceptive methodology leftist thought depends upon. This is why the Left historically minimizes the crimes of their “crazies” and engages in a whore-defense against the victims of the Left’s crazies.
Update (Smitty): welcome, Instapundit readers!