The Other McCain

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

Barrett Brown Cops a Plea

Posted on | April 3, 2014 | 20 Comments

September 2012: Barrett Brown vows to ‘destroy’ an FBI agent

More than a year and a half since the paranoid YouTube meltdown that got him arrested on charges of threatening an FBI agent, former Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown has signed a plea bargain agreement with federal prosecutors on hacking charges:

Barrett Brown, whose case became a cause célèbre after he was charged with crimes related to the Stratfor hack, has agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors, according to court filings.
Prosecutors filed a motion this week in a Texas court to seal the plea agreement, which the court granted.
Brown’s attorney, Ahmed Ghappour, won’t discuss the details, due to a court-ordered gag, but another document filed by the government this week (.pdf) hints at the nature of the deal. . . .
Brown is scheduled to be re-arraigned, on the charges on the superceding document, on April 29 in Texas.
Brown is also facing charges related to threats he allegedly made against an FBI agent. It’s unclear if the plea agreement will cover that indictment as well. If it does, and the two cases are combined, Brown’s maximum statutory sentence would likely be five years.

The “threats he allegedly made”? Are you freaking kidding me? Go watch that video again. There is no “allegedly” about it.

Of course, as I said at the time, that video was also “13 minutes of absolute 100% bugfucking nuts.” The problem for a narcissist like Barrett is that his pose as an “investigative reporter” and a First Amendment martyr prevents him from admitting the fundamental truth: He was an amateur chasing a hero fantasy, as if it were all a video game or an action-adventure spy thriller movie.

He got in over his head, couldn’t cope with the stress, flipped out and became “The Kook Who Knew Too Much.”
Striking a heroic pose for his (equally deranged) anarchist admirers, however, Barrett can never admit this. All you have to do is read the Twitter reactions to the news of the plea deal to see this: The Radical Hero of the People’s Glorious Revolution cannot be seen as cooperating with the government. He must always Fight the Power, and some members of the anarchist kook mob simply can’t understand why a guy who was potentially facing 50 years in federal prison would cop a plea to reduced charges.

Barrett Brown did the smart thing by taking the plea deal, and so now maybe he’ll be out  on the street before he’s 40.



20 Responses to “Barrett Brown Cops a Plea”

  1. ariyadesai01
    April 3rd, 2014 @ 5:47 pm

    RT @smitty_one_each: TOM Barrett Brown Cops a Plea #TCOT

  2. Richard McEnroe
    April 3rd, 2014 @ 5:54 pm

    If he follows the Internet Mastermind Rule Book, that will leave him plenty of time to start planting bombs.

  3. Political Rift » Barrett Brown Cops a Plea
    April 3rd, 2014 @ 5:55 pm

    […] Robert Stacy McCain September 2012: Barrett Brown vows to ‘destroy’ an FBI agent More than a year and a half […]

  4. Mm
    April 3rd, 2014 @ 6:35 pm

    Too bad they can’t spell “supersedes” or “superseding” at Wired, or spell check. Spelling: another victim of our cultural decay.

  5. Mm
    April 3rd, 2014 @ 6:37 pm

    “He got in over his head, couldn’t cope with the stress, flipped out and became “The Kook Who Knew Too Much.” This sentence could also be used to describe a guy in Elkridge.

  6. daleyrocks
    April 3rd, 2014 @ 6:54 pm


  7. Kirby McCain
    April 3rd, 2014 @ 7:41 pm

    Yeah, they don’t release the details of the deal when you’re rolling your buds.

  8. K-Bob
    April 3rd, 2014 @ 8:28 pm

    Detroit used to be a great, two-newspaper town. Mainstream media with bureaus and beat reporters and everything; not small-market stuff.

    But both papers had a style manual that mandated the spelling of “employee” with only one ‘e’ at the end.

    Ostensibly the idea was to limit ink.

    It was awful to see. Eventually, when the great, downward spiral took hold, thanks to Web 2.0 and blinking fonts (or something), papers started doing things to retain readership. They finally relented and changed the spelling to the double-e version.

    Yeah, that was gonna help.

  9. M. Thompson
    April 3rd, 2014 @ 8:33 pm

    It’s all alleged until it’s proven in court.

  10. BSC #BarrettBrown cops a Plea Deal | Batshit Crazy News
    April 3rd, 2014 @ 9:08 pm

    […] Outlaws don’t accept plea deals, but the guilty or pussies do… […]

  11. DaveO
    April 3rd, 2014 @ 9:18 pm

    Unless you’re George Zimmerman and it’s an election year.

  12. Finrod Felagund
    April 3rd, 2014 @ 10:00 pm

    Heh. I have a story vaguely along those lines.

    A research project in the physics department at Purdue had an unusual problem: they were getting different results at night than they did during the day.

    After investigating every possible reason they could think of for this, they finally tested the wall power, and discovered that the voltage was about 10 percent lower at night.

    Tracking it back, they discovered that the guy at the campus power plant that had to change the lightbulbs on the spotlights on the power plant’s smokestack was turning down the master voltage for the entire campus at night so he wouldn’t have to change the bulbs as often.

  13. K-Bob
    April 4th, 2014 @ 1:43 am

    Hah! Imagine the time spent looking for an explanation involving the sun.

  14. Adjoran
    April 4th, 2014 @ 2:05 am

    Wired’s use of “allegedly” is straight from the lawyers’ guidebook for news stories. It doesn’t matter how clearly he threatens the FBI agent on the video, if those charges are not prosecuted, he could sue. He might not win, but it would be like lawfare, and cheaper to settle. OTOH, there is no downside to using “allegedly.”

    But I doubt the deal includes the threat case. DOJ tends to take those seriously. My guess is it is separate and what sort of deal he can strike on it, including serving concurrent sentences, depends on his level of cooperation – and that means helping prosecutors make new cases.

  15. ThomasD
    April 4th, 2014 @ 10:24 am

    Almost feel sorry for the guy.


    Nope, gone now.


  16. ThomasD
    April 4th, 2014 @ 10:29 am

    You’d think the geniuses in a physics lab, when designing the study, might have recognized the need for a stable power supply and so incorporated power conditioners as part of their study equipment/instrumentation.

    Hell, even studio musicians are smart enough to know this.

  17. ThomasD
    April 4th, 2014 @ 10:29 am

    Lunar gravity.

  18. richard mcenroe
    April 4th, 2014 @ 11:56 am

    A WHITE BOY threatening an FBI agent? Better believe Eric Holder takes that seriously…

  19. K-Bob
    April 4th, 2014 @ 4:35 pm

    I don’t think you can condition power that’s consistently below 5% to be at full power. I don’t know why, but I think I read that somewhere (while researching power conditioners for our band). Maybe you can if it’s a big, honkin’ expensive one. I don’t know.

    But they should at least have something with an alert on it.

  20. Kimberlin Unmasked
    April 4th, 2014 @ 11:16 pm

    Wonder if he got his admitted substance abuse problem under control.