The Other McCain

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

Barrett Brown’s Overblown Ego

Posted on | August 18, 2013 | 58 Comments

Sept. 12: Barrett Brown rants on YouTube about his plan to ‘destroy’ an FBI agent

“Uh, I’ve been on Suboxone since then, um, partly because, in fact in large part, um, in preparation for this particular day, or two days as it’s turned out, um, which I’ve also been, uh, preparing for by virtue of the last six leaks, uh, Project PM put out in the last, uh, month or so — the New York Times leaks, there’s two parts of that on Cryptome, and the LA county prosecutor leaks, there’s three parts of that on Cryptome and with more coming on both, uh, by and by.”
Barrett Brown, Sept. 12, 2012

The Left’s ongoing attempt to turn Barrett Brown into a heroic martyr for First Amendment freedom — the latest issue of Rolling Stone calls him “America’s Least Likely Political Prisoner” — requires his admirers to overlook a lot of things, especially the vast distance between his grandiose claims and his paltry accomplishments.

Also, he was crazy.

Barrett was obsessed with the idea of “leaks,” and seemed to have the idea that he would out-leak Julian Assange, thus making himself a worldwide hero of the online anarchist community who worship at the anti-American altar of Assange, Bradley Manning, et al.

Barrett’s problem was his overblown ego, his habitual bragging, his relentless inflation of the significance of whatever occupied his unbalanced mind at any given moment. Wildly undisciplined and emotionally unstable, his “work” production was never impressive, as he wasted time on subjects that were of no real interest or importance.

Sane people could see Barrett Brown was losing his grip even before he became involved with “Anonymous.” In December 2010, when he outlined his “informational schematic” in Video 153? Go watch that rambling 13-minute video. The phrase you’re looking for is red flag. Here was a young heroin addict describing his plan to create “what should be the best means of obtaining information in existence.”


Typical of Barrett Brown’s grandiosity was what he called, in his epic Sept. 12 meltdown rant, “the LA county prosecutor leaks.” This involved Los Angeles County Assistant District Attorney Patrick Frey, who is the conservative blogger known as Patterico.

For years, his various enemies have been trying to get Frey fired from his day job, on the basis of his off-hours political blogging, as though it were somehow unethical — a conflict of interest — which it is not, because there is no relationship between (a) what Frey does on his day job and (b) what he does on his blog. Frey’s day job is as a prosecutor in the anti-gang unit: The Bloods, the Crips, the Latin Kings, and so forth — he puts those guys in prison for their crimes. Maybe you could speculate some kind of psycho-babble theory between that work and what Patterico writes about politics, but he never writes about any of the crimes or criminals he prosecutes. Ergo, no conflict of interest. Q.E.D.

Frey’s enemies either don’t understand this or don’t care about the truth, and so he has repeatedly been the target of various schemes hatched by Neal Rauhauser. Why? Because in 2011 (a) Patterico’s blogging about the WeinerGate scandal made him a central figure in Rauhauser’s theory of a Breitbart-led right-wing conspiracy against Anthony Weiner, and (b) Frey’s employment in a public-sector job seemed to Rauhauser to make Frey a vulnerable target.

This background is necessary to understanding why, in August 2011, Neal Rauhauser used the pseudonym “Carlito2000” in an IRC channel to sic Barrett Brown on Patrick “Patterico” Frey:

[13:50] [Carlito2000] So [Brandon] Darby is under suspicion as being the SWAT caller that triggered #Swatgate
[13:50] [BarrettBrown] And what’s Darby’s deal in particular?
[13:50] [Carlito2000]
[13:51] [BarrettBrown] he’s under suspicion of doing swat call on Patterico?
[13:51] [Carlito2000] calls on Mike Stack aka @CryingWolfeBlog
6/23/2011 @Patterico 6/30/2011 @EWErickson on 5/26/2012(?)
[13:52] [Carlito2000] and alleged event for @AaronWorthing [a.k.a., Aaron Walker] on 5/29/2012, but no audio has been released
[13:52] [Carlito2000] SWAT of Stack was done to cover their tracks – they took out Weiner because he triggered the extortion investigation into former FBI agent turned Congressman Mike Grimm
[13:52] [Carlito2000] Ofir Biton, Mike Grimm fundraiser, arrested.
[13:53] [Carlito2000] 2012 calls are due to some stuff with James O’Keefe – Rauhauser appear at some hearing in NJ about him
[13:53] [Carlito2000] @Patterico dox @NadiaNaffe, Rauhauser hooked her up with @LeidermanDevine, epic lawsuit ensued
[13:57] [Carlito2000] So New Hampshire state grand jury on O’Keefe, NY
federal grand jury on Grimm, D.C. federal grand jury on O’Keefe, and Chicago cybercrime task force wants swatters, they get info on Darby
[14:09] [BarrettBrown] okay, so I’ll take a look at these links here

You don’t have to understand Rauhauser’s bizarre conspiracy theories (variously involving Brandon Darby, Mike Stack, New York Rep. Michael Grimm, James O’Keefe III and the FBI’s “cybercrime task force”) to understand what Rauhauser/”Carlito” was trying to do, namely to get Barrett Brown to write something — anything — that Rauhauser could then use as “evidence” against his enemies.

The immediate result of that provocation was a series of online chats between Barrett Brown and Frey, who was profoundly suspicious of Brown’s motives, correctly suspecting that Brown had contacted him in pursuit of a Rauhauser-inspired scheme. And my name kept coming up in these Brown-Frey chats, e.g.:

Only reason I ask [if Frey knows anything about Jennifer Emick] is that she left a comment on Robert Stacy McCain’s blog last year when he did a post about me, during such time as she was both serving as an FBI “informant” and working secretly for HBGary pursuant to their covert campaign to get me “picked up” and discredited despite the fact that I committed no crimes against them, etc.
Right now, I think the only real question I have for you is, do you know if Robert Stacy McCain might have had any discussions at all with either Emick or anyone at HBGary at any time, and do you have any correspondence in which he discusses me?

Now, if you’ll go read the transcript of Barrett’s Sept. 12 meltdown video, you’ll see how this theme of Emick as being an FBI “informant” while also working for HBGary is central to Barrett’s paranoid belief that he was the target of some kind of conspiratorial set-up:

I know what’s legal, because I know what’s been done to me and if it’s legal when it’s done to me it’s going to be legal when it’s done to fuckin’ FBI Agent Robert Smith, who is a criminal, who is involved in a criminal conspiracy that has thank god been revealed, part of which was evident, uh, months and months ago because I told the fucking FBI Agent Daniel Borsuk, who gave me a fake name when his fucking little Jennifer Emick fuckin’ informant, HBGary employees, was bragging about this shit and gave me the number, I guess he wanted to talk to me and see what I’d say. Well, his real name’s Daniel Borsuk, I know that now because of more hacked e-mails that she got that she has not refuted although she is, [laughs] the informant is now claiming she doesn’t work for HBGary even though we, again, we have the invoices, the e-mails, her ex-partner’s been in touch, it was already obvious and we have other proof of it, even besides these things that she doesn’t know about yet. Um, we don’t play all our hands, like they do. Uh, anyway, so that’s why Robert Smith’s life is over.

Four words: Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

What do I know about Jennifer Emick? Almost nothing. Never talked to her until October of last year, after Barrett Brown had been arrested for threatening an FBI agent, and Emick sent me an account of her interactions with Neal Rauhauser. Yet you see that this idea — that I was somehow part of Emick and HBGary’s “covert campaign” against Barrett Brown — was part of the conpiracy theory Brown was trying to get Frey to confirm, and was also part of the madness that led to that Sept. 12 meltdown. (See: “Neal Rauhauser as Carlito2000: How Barrett Brown Went Down,” Oct. 26.)

On Sept. 6, less than a week before his final meltdown, Barrett Brown published his “LA county prosecutor leak” — i.e., the transcript of an online chat Brown had with Frey — at Daily Kos with a prologue that included this disjointed 89-word sentence:

As noted, this leak is being conducted in retaliation for Frey’s failure to readily answer questions about a possible connection between Confederate/white nationalist Washington Times editor Robert StacyMcCain and the HBGary criminal organization as well as Frey’s decision to publicly attack an RNC protester who was arrested in possession of a weapon, with the final straw being R.S. McCain’s latest attack on Brown, whom the author and conservative stalwart denounced in public as deserving of FBI attention in 2011 — before later claiming instead that Brown is in fact an FBI informant based on his own misunderstanding of facts known even to many reporters who have covered Anonymous in the last few years.

Again, four words: Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

Whatever my “misunderstanding of facts,” I always understood that Barrett Brown was a raging narcissist, and what Brown called “the final straw” — my “latest attack on Brown” — was my Sept. 4 response to Brown’s threat to sue me for libel, which ended thus:

You don’t need a lawyer, Barrett. You need a psychiatrist, or perhaps a priest to exorcise your demons. You are traveling a road to destruction, as harmful to yourself as to any of your chosen enemies. Get help.

Can I call ’em, or what? Eight days later, Barrett melted down on YouTube and was arrested by the FBI. But before he got himself arrested, Brown published his “leak” of his chat with Patrick Frey, and announced that with a Sept. 4 YouTube video:

To which America responded with a collective yawn. Who cares anything about Frey, one of dozens of lawyers employed by the L.A. County District Attorney’s office? Why would my “possible connection” to “the HBGary criminal organization” be of interest to anyone, even if there were any such connection (which there is not)? Barrett was obsessed with HBGary, as were Neal Rauhauser and various people associated with Anonymous, but in the grand scheme of things — as far as your average consumer of news is concerned — the typical response is, “HB who?”

In light of his well-deserved obscurity, what shall we say of Brown’s success in convincing his fellow anarchists that he was somebody important who was doing “journalism” that was such a threat to the status quo that he is a “political prisoner”? He has merely proven that there is a sucker born every minute, and that a lot of those gullible suckers are nowadays employed as liberal journalists.

Go read “The Kook Who Knew Too Much.” Is Barrett Brown a political prisoner? Only if insanity is a political ideology.



58 Responses to “Barrett Brown’s Overblown Ego”

  1. AaronWorthing
    August 19th, 2013 @ 2:45 am

    RT @rsmccain: Barrett Brown’s career summarized in 4 words: “Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.”

  2. Steve Skubinna
    August 19th, 2013 @ 3:16 am

    “Level with me, ‘Doctor’ – who’s really paying you?”

  3. robertstacymccain
    August 19th, 2013 @ 8:46 am

    I was totally on Goldstein’s side in his battle against Patterico. The fact that Brown was using his conversations with Patterico in an effort to get Patterico to make incriminating statements is a good example of why I never engage in correspondence with people like that. And ignoring personal attacks has become a habit with me. Nine times out of 10, when people come to me and say, “Did you see what [some Kimberlin-associated person] wrote about you?” the answer is no, I haven’t seen it, and no, I don’t want to see it. Ditto when the same people attack others. If you pay attention to that kind of stuff, it will drive you nuts.

  4. RobertMStahl
    August 19th, 2013 @ 1:24 pm

    Insane is the difference between SLIME and moss. Can I count the ways you slime Brown and his real goals while ignoring the crimes he exposes, as in the very video he is being ‘made by’ via a criminal Stasi, an unconstitutional mob outfit labeled bureau, and where, in putting some chin in it, that is something you do not have an inkling of or show here. For, balance is the real question, an ecology of mind, or a sense of history using perspective. Brown exposes the insidious, or heinous activity, not to mention the REALITY of part of the human race you, so expertly, deny altogether. There is only one evil, denial. It would be a better world with more Browns and less otherMcCains, not that there is any otherness in you, at all! You two are the same, and incest is your motivation, at all cost. All you do is make it personal while ignoring evidence is what gets my goat. When will the first court proceeding happen in this arena of digital digitalia that is based on evidence instead of useless insanity pleas based on pet peeves?

  5. RobertMStahl
    August 19th, 2013 @ 2:32 pm

    Indira Singh, where is she, and what is her story? What was her congressional hearing with Cynthia McKinney about, and why is the documentary she made never shown? Hear about Hurricane Erin on 911? Ever see Ryan Thurston’s and Ty Rauber’s, Who Killed John O’Neill? When did this step up in world crime advance? Why was Saul Bellow murdered after writing More Die of Heartbreak about this step up in totalitarian control, or, as promised by Gus Alex in 1976 after he wrote Humbolt’s Gift citing Alex’s participation? What is the simple meaning of artificial intelligence, particularly w/r parallel processing, that Tommy Tamm exposed the data input for, or William Binney’s testimony about what works and what is ‘off’ the map? What about the invasion of Aceh Province on 12/26/04 in the Bay of Bengal, a land mass strategically located closest to the ever changing positioning of the totally impossible geologic event producing a tsunami, told by the late, murdered, Joe Vialls? What are the connections of history, and of learning, changing over the course of evolution? Why is the late Francisco J. Varela’s book published in 1980 called Principles of Biological Autonomy lost in the propaganda of sacred [sic] publishing (i.e. as book sellers are more ‘important’ than the readers) and so damn expensive? Ever read Gregory Bateson’s Steps to an Ecology of Mind, and what he said about human genius, formed that is? What is the epistemology humanity is missing now, that cannot be filled in for the surveillance state filling in instead, one owned by the criminals that SWAT should is designed to go after, naturally, but corrupted hence, that only you seem to know how to be open about? Should I go on? “All civilizations end in stereotype,” said Bateson. “There are those who eat to live, those who live to eat, and those who just eat, then live.” Can I be more obvious?

  6. RobertMStahl
    August 19th, 2013 @ 2:38 pm

    Can you spell M O N S T E R ??? Maybe, Arthur Silber can help.

  7. RobertMStahl
    August 19th, 2013 @ 3:39 pm

    As for an interpretation, Brown is accusing you of libel, quite accurately it appears, since that is the subject you have avoided. Particularly, it is with regard to his basically commonwealth notion, his ideology for defending hackers who are, by definition, only commonwealth, as is he. Maybe, life pushed him into such ideological truth, but what of it? Whereby, is the point, one could not get to the context of covert actions so wildly outgunning the rest of the world, the motivations by the contractors involved in selling secrecy to the highest bidders, and are just patterns of behavior, unintelligent, as in this instance. Have you a clue about what asymmetric crime is, or how, throughout history symmetric behavior has been co-opted in a managerial [sic] attempt to redistribute wealth from those who should share in that distribution according to performance, and not tricked by the time value of money [sic]? It is turned into such blankness we have yet to see the full shrinking from it, still, out on the horizon. Buy silver, is all I can say. History is much more important than you think. Do you really think slavery was abolished in 1863, and which side are you on? Brown tried to communicate with you till the very end. Pure Darwinism shows that life goes after the living. It is what he was trying to communicate with you at the end of the very first video you put out in this article, and to the very end of his life motivated by justice. Leonard Cohen, “They won’t exchange the gifts we were meant to keep.”

  8. FMJRA 2.0: Sunday Edition : The Other McCain
    August 25th, 2013 @ 5:04 pm

    […] Barrett Brown’s Overblown Ego […]