The Other McCain

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

The Continuing Newsworthiness of the Weird Kimberlin-Rauhauser Story

Posted on | December 2, 2012 | 19 Comments

Brett Kimberlin could have been sentenced to 230 years in federal prison

“Keep in mind that Rauhauser, by inciting Nadia Naffe’s lawsuit against Patterico, has obligated Patterico to avoid writing about this subject on advice of counsel, and Aaron Walker‘s attorneys have advised him likewise. So two of the bloggers most knowledgeable about what I call the Kimberlin-Rauhauser Axis are not in a position to tell readers what’s happening on that front. William Hoge has been keeping tabs on the court proceedings, but Rauhauser’s methodical cyberstalking required my special attention.”
Robert Stacy McCain, Oct. 21

“It’s as if the whole matter is just being treated as a blogger war, as opposed to something that could have gotten multiple people killed.”
Patrick “Patterico” Frey, Nov. 8

“I believe this to be reckless endangerment if not attempted murder. The intent there was to cause harm.”
Aaron Walker, Nov. 27

When Neal Rauhauser’s blog went dark (and Neal’s pet Twitter troll, “Occupy Rebellion” went silent) Friday, it didn’t make big headlines — even most blogs ignored it — despite the fact that it involves one of the central figures in one of the most bizarre stories of the year.

Among the minor frustrations of covering this story has been the occasional accusation that I’ve gone down a rabbit hole, chasing an inconsequential controversy that boils down to “just a bunch of crazy people arguing on the Internet.” Yet the story remains every bit as newsworthy today, in early December, as it was on May 25, when it accounted for the top seven threads on Memeorandum.

As a matter of fact, with a key court date approaching Tuesday — when Prince William County Circuit Court Judge Richard B. Potter will hear several motions in the Virginia case of Walker v. Kimberlin, et al. — the story is now more newsworthy than ever. Furthermore, the possibly related incidents of “SWATtings” (which have targeted conservative bloggers including Patrick “Patterico” Frey) recently gained notice in the mainstream press:

So here we have a story with a celebrity angle and nationwide significance, related to the Anthony Weiner scandal, and also involving Brett Kimberlin, the infamous “Speedway Bomber” who gained notoriety for claiming to have sold drugs to a youthful Dan Quayle. In addition, this story involves the late Andrew Breitbart because, as I explained Nov. 24, Aaron Walker first came to Kimberlin’s attention after Walker was CC’d on an e-mail that liberal blogger Seth Allen (who had been sued by Kimberlin) sent to Breitbart last year. And, if all of that is not enough to make the story sufficiently interesting:

The strange relationships between all these incidents and individuals could scarcely be sorted out and explained in a single blog post, but as confusing as it may be, the point is — as Patterico told L.A. Weekly‘s Simone Wilson — this isn’t just “a blogger war.”

The Internet is being used as a weapon of what Patterico has called “political terrorism.” Law enforcement seems indifferent to this threat to First Amendment freedoms, and a similiar indifference has been shown by many journalists and bloggers.

“It is very easy to decide ‘this isn’t any of my trouble’ and permit vicious behavior. . . . Who wants to get involved? Easier, and surely safer, just to duck one’s head and hide, and hope the danger visits someone else.”
Ace of Spades, May 22

Over the past six months, the danger of which Ace spoke has been visited on many innocent law-abiding American citizens, some of whom had nothing to do with the Kimberlin story. Neal Rauhauser has boasted of his skill at playing “conflict cupid” with his enemies, and has evidently incited several vile creatures to join a sort of troll army, attacking not only those who have spoken out against Rauhauser’s client Kimberlin, but also anyone who has rallied to the defense of Kimberlin’s targets. Larry Sinclair, Bill Schmalfeldt and Brooks Bayne are among those who have assisted in sowing confusion, conflict, suspicion and fear around these targets. This is part of what I’ve called the “accuse the accusers” strategy and, as I said in September:

I am not deceived. I am not distracted. And I sure as hell ain’t afraid.

There was an election campaign to cover and so, except for the occasional mention of new developments, “The Kimberlin Files” were laid aside until that ended. Now I’m back on the story.

Aaron Walker’s lawsuit against Kimberlin, Rauhauser and Ron Brynaert aims to hold people accountable for their dangerous and harmful activities. The hearing Tuesday in Manassas, Virginia, will resolve several preliminary motions in that case:

Kimberlin’s conduct in the case, acting as his own attorney, has been decidedly weird. At one point in August (see “Exhibit J” here), Kimberlin sought to delay the case to Dec. 15 and e-mailed Walker’s attorney Dan Backer:

“I am cooperating with the FBI and other law enforcement officials regarding several issues involving your client and I believe that the resolution of those matters will have a bearing on this case.”

The idea that a notorious criminal like Kimberlin would be “cooperating with the FBI” is strange enough, but what “issues involving” Aaron Walker could be of interest the FBI?

My guess is that Kimberlin was talking about Rauhauser’s effort to depict Walker (along with Patterico, HB Gary, Jen Emick and others) as part of a conspiracy that exists only in Rauhauser’s twisted imagination. Rauhauser has been pushing this craziness for months. In February, it was the “Kookpocalypse“; a few months later, Rauhauser adapted the conspiracy theory to his false claim that Brandon Darby was to blame for the SWATtings. By September, Rauhauser (aka “Carlito2000”) was pushing this insanity at Barrett Brown.

If Kimberlin thought he could save himself the trouble of defending against a lawsuit by getting the feds to prosecute Walker based on Rauhauser’s false “Kookpocalypse” theory, wouldn’t that implicate Kimberlin in an attempt to obstruct justice? What other purpose could Rauhauser’s falsehoods serve, except to distract and confuse authorities investigating the SWATtings? And, as Patterico points out, why would Kimberlin plead the Fifth Amendment when asked what he knows about SWATting?

There are people who think they know the answers to those questions, just as there are people who think they know why Rauhauser’s blog suddenly went “dark” on Friday. Rather than supply the common-sense inferences — readers may connect the dots however they please — my main goal is to encourage journalists and bloggers to bring attention to this case as Tuesday’s hearing approaches.

More than six months after I canceled a planned trip to the G-8 Summit in order to cover this story, Walker’s lawsuit against Kimberlin promises to bring some sort of clarity (and, perhaps eventually, closure) to this savage tale. Reader contributions to The Shoe Leather Fund have permitted me to stay on this story despite every effort by Kimberlin and his henchmen to intimidate me into quitting, and I know readers don’t want me to quit now. So once again I remind you of the Five Most Important Words in the English Language:










  • Freddie Sykes

    Kimberlin pleading the 5th sounds like the most sensible thing he has done. The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to protect scoundrels as well as the innocent.

  • Auntie fraud

    Kimberlins charities are also scams and that too remains newsworthy.

  • Dianna Deeley

    Keep on this. I don’t claim a nose for news, but I know I’m very interested.

  • Dianna Deeley

    That’s more than possible.

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  • Monitor2112

    I’ve been following this story for months now and I am looking forward to some well deserved punishment being doled out to Kimberlin on Tuesday.
    Thank you for your reporting on the story Mr. McCain. I have enjoyed your work on it, and look forward to more in the days to come.

  • Canuckamuk

    Pleading the 5th to block discovery in a civil matter is entirely different than a criminal matter and has been discussed on other blogs. If I read those correctly, it’s tantamount to pleading guilty in a civil matter.

  • Freddie Sykes

    I agree that a default judgement should be granted in a civil suit based on this action but it might be better than other consequences: Alger Hiss went to jail because of perjury in a civil suit, ironically one that he himself initiated.

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  • Dustin

    What he said. Thanks for being a solid journalist who won’t be scared off the news.

  • Adjoran

    Any time you mention Kimberlin’s old claim to have sold pot to Dan Quayle, you should also be sure to state unequivocally that it was 100% false, a total fabrication on Kimberlin’s part.

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  • CatherineFitzpatrick

    This is very impressive research but quite complex for those just tuning in. Simple question: what would be the motive for a Democratic operative to set up Barrett Brown? Because he was discrediting the revolutionary movement they needed to keep safe from public discreditation for other purposes? Or? What exactly was then the purported motive for “Carlito” planting the stuff with Brown? I tend to think BB hoisted himself by his own petard, but your theory here seems to indicate he had help. But why from *that* quarter?

    Of course Romney’s IT wasn’t “hacked by Anonymous,” that was silly. The fake announcement of this was about 6 days too late to make the point and more than a dollar short on credibility. Sean Gallagher’s reporting on Ars Technica lets us know all the weak points in the Romney machine that aren’t so much about one conspiratorial “hack” as they are about cultural “hacking” as a more chronic problem. A longer story I’ve covered on my blog.

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