The Other McCain

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

‘A National Political Celebrity’

Posted on | February 5, 2014 | 4 Comments

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

May 19, 2012, was a Saturday, two days after I first saw Aaron Walker’s 28,000-word account of how he says Brett Kimberlin tried to “frame” him for an assault charge. I’d dug into the story and, by Saturday, was ready to write a linear account of the story.

“File it and forget it” — it’s a habit.

You hit the deadline and move on to the next story. And I’d forgotten all about that post from May 2012 until, while doing a bit of online research this evening, I happened onto a post by Professor Donald Douglas at American Power that quoted it at length:

Kimberlin’s infamous criminal past could scarcely have been a secret to those who funded his organization. Kimberlin became a national political celebrity during the 1988 presidential campaign because of his claim, made while he was still serving time in federal prison, that he had once sold marijuana to Dan Quayle, who was then the Republican candidate for vice president.
Kimberlin offered no proof for that unsubstantiated allegation, but it drew the attention of award-winning journalist Mark Singer. A reporter for the New Yorker, Singer was initially sympathetic to Kimberlin, and the two men split an advance for a book deal to tell Kimberlin’s story. Singer ended the co-authorship deal after he became disillusioned by Kimberlin’s habitual dishonesty. In 1996, Singer published Citizen K: The Deeply Weird American Journey of Brett Kimberlin, which exposed Kimberlin as a “world-class liar” and “first-class con man.”
In fact, according to both Singer and Indianapolis Star reporter Joseph Gelarden, prosecutors suspected a particularly sinister motive for the Speedway Bomber’s terroristic rampage: To distract law enforcement officials who were investigating the July 29, 1978, murder of Julia Scyphers, the grandmother of a pre-teen girl toward whom, Gelarden wrote in 1981, Kimberlin had “strange affection … questionable relationship.”

You can read the whole thing. The point of quoting it now is that Brett Kimberlin’s notoriety — his status as a public figure with a nasty reputation — is not something created by myself or by any of the other co-defendants in Kimberlin’s lawsuits. The original sources were cited, and anyone could look it up for themselves. And then there was this attention-grabbing headline:

For Brett Kimberlin, It All
Started With A Little Girl

I didn’t write that headline, but like I said, you could look it up.






4 Responses to “‘A National Political Celebrity’”

  1. Adjoran
    February 6th, 2014 @ 1:05 am

    You would think Kimberlin would be satisfied to be out of prison and to have avoided paying the lawful judgment against him for his crimes. But he just can’t let go. Such is the fate of the sociopath.

    It may be all fun and games abusing the legal system to intimidate and harass those who expose his past but sooner or later he is going to get funny with the wrong person.

  2. SPQR9
    February 6th, 2014 @ 11:07 am

    Defamation proof as a matter of law.

  3. K-Bob
    February 6th, 2014 @ 1:58 pm

    In over the transom:

    I didn’t write that headline, but like I said, you could look it up.

    What does that phrase, “look it up” mean?


    People who mash words together for the dying newspaper industry

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    February 6th, 2014 @ 10:17 pm

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