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Friday, June 8, 2012

Liberal Activist Brett Kimberlin Engages Right Wingers In a Battle of High-Stakes Hard Ball

Brett Kimberlin

One of my ongoing concerns with Democrats is that too many of them are timid, distracted, disorganized, and generally wussy.

Liberal activist Brett Kimberlin is none of those things, and that apparently is why the radical right has launched an extraordinary online jihad against him. In a delicious example of "turnabout is fair play," Kimberlin has used right wingers' tactics against them--causing the recent arrest of one thug, the outing of another as a criminal, and the transmission of a notice to others that they face possible legal action.

According to press reports, Kimberlin has some troubling incidents in his past. But by all accounts that I can find, he has served his punishment for any misdeed. And as a target of right-wing thugs myself, I can't help but admire Kimberlin's spunk--and his effectiveness.

Kimberlin actually has right wingers whining that he is using the court process against them. As a resident of Alabama who has held a front-row seat for the Bush-era political prosecution of former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman, I can only marvel at the hypocrisy of conservatives claiming that the justice system is not working in their favor.

Right-wing bloggers have become so exorcised about Kimberlin that about 150 of them recently launched an "Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day." They even got Fox News and ABC News to cover the story and enlisted the help of such conservative luminaries as U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), author Michelle Malkin, and attorney Jay Sekulow in battling Kimberlin.

Anybody who can cause that many conservative panties to get into a bunch must be doing something right. So we decided to take a closer look at Brett Kimberlin and how he managed to rile the far right into a state of mass hysteria.

Who is Brett Kimberlin? He is the driving force behind the nonprofit Justice Through Music Project (JTMP) and the political activist organization Velvet Revolution (VR). Conservatives claim Kimberlin is funded by billionaire financier George Soros and singer/actress Barbra Streisand. (See video at the end of this post.) JTMP and VR have helped shine light on election fraud  and possible misconduct involving such conservative heavyweights as Karl Rove and the Koch Brothers.

Those efforts apparently struck nerves because right-wing forces have launched a frenzied assault against Kimberlin, focusing mostly on his checkered past. Published reports indicate Kimberlin was convicted on charges related to drug trafficking and a series of bombings in the Midwest, dating to the 1970s.

Did Kimberlin actually commit the crimes? It's hard to say, but the appellate-court record shows that the testimony of hypnotized witnesses was allowed at one trial, so the convictions did not rest on the sturdiest ground. Records show that Kimberlin served 17 years in federal prison, so he appears to have paid any debt he owed to society.

Conservative bloggers, writing mostly in a network founded by Andrew Breitbart, have every right to report on Kimberlin's criminal history. But court documents indicate they have gone beyond that, to stalking, harassing, and even inciting death threats against him.

Key bloggers have written anonymously, but Kimberlin was able to determine their identities and bring legal action against them. That led to the eventual arrest of a blogger/lawyer who posts as Aaron Worthing (real name: Aaron Walker). And that sparked the right-wing blogapalooza against Kimberlin.

What's at the heart of the controversy? A FireDogLake blogger called DonkeyTale has been writing about it for some time and says the complex saga is "as densely peopled and subplotted as a 19th century Russian novel." That description is on target, but DonkeyTale still has managed to provide the best summary I've seen so far, at a post titled "Troll Wars 6.66."

The cast of characters on the right includes bloggers Socrates (Seth Allen), Goatsred (Mike Stack), and Patterico (Patrick Frey). Joining Kimberlin on the left are Brad Friedman (of BradBlog); Ron Brynaert (former editor of Raw Story); and, in a roundabout way, former U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner, who was the target of a Breitbart-led attack. From DonkeyTale:

The story has its origins in Socrates’s blogging from 2008-2009, investigating connections between Kimberlin, Brad Friedman, election integrity, the death of alleged election rigger Michael Connell and the seemingly very intensive focus on gathering donations at the websites sponsored by Friedman and Kimberlin. Socrates’s court case, which occurred during and after the Weinergate saga was picked up and publicised and politicised by the Andrew Breitbart Empire as a way to fight back against their adversaries. Indeed, Kimberlin announced the lawsuit against Socrates on Patterico’s blog. 
In reaction to Weinergate, the hoaxing of ACORN and Shirley Sherrod by dirty tricksters affiliated with Breitbart, Kimberlin and/or his associates began a site called indictbreitbart.org which linked a donation button to Velvet Revolution, another site affiliated with Kimberlin and Brad Friedman. This move, along with the co-optation of the Socrates v Kimberlin court case by both sides, formed the battle lines of the Troll Wars, with the combatants colloquially named by Socrates “Team Numbnuts” and “Team Breitbart." 
As an interesting and tragic side note, Breitbart dropped dead of an apparent heart attack a few months ago just after his burgeoning rightwing media empire had received a reported $10 million private equity investment, from a pair of unidentified investors. This money no doubt invested to grow the media maven’s profit-making activities, which included funding ever more creative hoaxings and media manipulations targeting progressives. 
In the latest chapter, conservative blogger/lawyer Aaron Worthing (Aaron Walker), representing himself, was arrested in court last week for “incitement,” while arguing against a second degree assault charge pressed by Kimberlin from an earlier court incident when Walker was brought into the Socrates case by Kimberlin.

What's the very latest? Well, that's complicated.

First, we have charges from the right that Kimberlin and his associates are behind a couple of alleged "SWATting" incidents. Kimberlin has denied involvement, but Saxby Chambliss is calling for a Justice Department investigation.

Second, a left-leaning Web site called breitbartunmasked.com (BU) is unearthing unflattering information about the National Bloggers Club (NBC), an umbrella organization that is headed by a fellow named Ali A. Akbar. While conservatives have tried to portray Kimberlin as a mad man with a criminal history, they apparently neglected to check into the past of their own Mr. Akbar. BU revealed that Akbar has a criminal record of his own, with felony convictions for credit-card fraud and theft.

BU also revealed that Akbar runs his operation from a nondescript house in Fort Worth, Texas, and receives funding from a Wyoming billionaire named Foster Friess. Velvet Revolution has posted a document that notifies Akbar and Friess that they are to preserve boatloads of data for an upcoming lawsuit.

The Liberal Grouch, one of the few left-leaning Web sites that is covering the story, hints that Akbar's network might face trouble with the IRS.

Finally, we have today's National Day of Blogger Silence, which conservatives say is an effort to draw attention to Kimberlin's attacks on their freedom of expression.

Where is all of this headed? I have no idea, but Brett Kimberlin, whatever his past failings might be, knows how to fight--and how to throw conservatives into a tizzy. That's apparent from the video below.

Perhaps Kimberlin has Republicans so unnerved because they are used to Democrats who won't fight back, at least not effectively. The general maxim in politics long has been: "You can push around a Democrat; if you punch him, he won't punch back." That clearly is not how Brett Kimberlin operates. If you connect with one or two jabs, he will respond by landing three or four haymakers.

Maybe it's time Democrats took a few lessons from Mr. Kimberlin.


28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Guess what LS, the first time I tried to POST the "comment" I WAS SAID NO, NOT ALLOWED, AND IT TOOK THREE (3) TIME TO POST WHAT WAS POSTED! EH, WHAT DOES THIS TELL YOU!!

BalmerLiberal said...

More news revealed today at the Liberal Grouch. Is Akbar a closeted gay, using cell phone aps to cruise for "masculine chill buds." How will this sit with Right Wing backers? STay tuned!

http://theliberalgrouch.com

jeffrey spruill said...

I would like the "above the law" attorney Jay Sekulow to answer this question:

"What made Dec.19,2007 so special that not only did Uncle Dick Cheney's quarters catch fire:

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/19/fire-in-office-building-next-to-white-house/

but caused Rudy Giuliani to check into the hospital:

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2007/12/giuliani-hosp-1/

Could it be the former US Attorney General limited contact between Karl Rove's DOJ & the White House Dec.19,2007:

Communications with respect to pending criminal or civil-enforcement matters, however, must be limited.

http://www.justice.gov/ag/readingroom/ag-121907.pdf

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 11:12--

Are you referring to an attempt to post a comment on my blog? If so, I moderate comments, and they do not appear until I've had a chance to review them. That might explain the message.

As far as I can tell, comment moderation is a common practice on blogs and Web sites, in order to eliminate spam and comments that include inappropriate content.

legalschnauzer said...

Jeff:

That's an interesting letter from the AG, and the timing of the other events is curious. I guess Mukasey was the AG at the time?

jeffrey spruill said...

That's right Mukasey-Giuliani's friend. Both members of the same tribe.

Anonymous said...

This post has some good points, but it's worth noting that Kimberlin also had his parole revoked for avoiding paying the widow of the guy he bombed. And you don't really address the merits of Kimberlin's case, which, there are none. Have what opinions of the right you want, Kimberlin is not a great candidate for emulation. He's done some pretty bad things in the past, and theses days is implicated some more pretty bad things. And what he's doing of late to the bloggers...even if he's receiving threats, he's pursuing the clearly wrong people. AW neither threatened nor incited as far as I've been able to determine, yet Kimberlin's dragging him into court again and again. That's not being ballsy, that's being a jerk.

legalschnauzer said...

No one is suggesting that we emulate Brett Kimberlin in everything that he's done. But he does know how to fight when many liberals don't, and he's willing to battle in courts that tend to favor conservative and corporate interests.

I know that from firsthand experience. My wife and I have been abused by right-leaning judges and lawyers in ways that go way beyond being a jerk.

As I state in the post, Walker and anyone else should be free to write accurately about Kimberlin's past. The MD judge apparently agrees with Kimberlin that Walker's actions have gone beyond the bounds of free-speech protection. Is the judge right about that? I don't know enough about the relevant facts and law to say. But I'm not shy about calling out judges who rule contrary to law, and I will follow the case from a distance.

If conservatives feel Walker is being treated unfairly in court, I hope they will examine other cases where citizens have been horrendously abused in court--including the case of our former Dem governor of AL, who could be facing what amounts to a life sentence in prison for standard political behavior, something that is not a crime.

If conservatives are going to stand up for Aaron Walker, that's fine. But I would suggest you also look into political prisoners like Don Siegelman, Richard Scrushy, Paul Minor, Sue Schmitz, Wes Teel . . . and those are just from two states, AL and MS.

While you're at it, feel free to examine what has been done to my wife and me by conservative thugs over a 12-year period. Aaron Walker and his wife will have to go a long way to reach the level of suffering we've endured.

Perhaps it's time the scales fell from GOP eyes regarding the dysfunctional state of our justice system. The problem didn't just start with Aaron Walker.

Anonymous said...

Have you questioned your intelligence? Meaning, where do the liberals and conservatives get their "marching orders?"

Ah, yes, the media and the news.

Gosh I guess we all need tin foil hats to be more respectful of the whole truth, maybe?

PLEASE LS, get dialed in a little bit in the 21st century, no disrespect for your genius, as you know I do think highly of your gift to be an investigative journalist at a very top level indeed. Problem is, you are stuck in the agenda which is apartheid.

We cannot go forward until the tap root rot is uncovered, exposed and brought thoroughly into the LIGHT.

That is not going to happen until we realize we're being completely herded as though a tribal dumb backwards community, exactly as the ARABS were for centuries, too.

NO DIFFERENCE: Dems and / or Repubs. How do I know? Because when I DID NOT VOTE OBAMA, the entire LEGAL COMMUNITY IN THE STATE OF OREGON ALMOST ALL DID NOT SPEAK TO ME. I have worked with these people for more than FORTY (40) YEARS for pity's sake!

Today these groups of thousands are speaking to me, again, slowly but surely, just as you do not censor in totalitarian anymore.

The LEGAL COMMUNITY IN OREGON IS 70% "BLUE DEMOCRATS." What does that say about the "State?" We are in dire death spirals in every regard, the same Goldman Sachs runs retirement for the "government" everywhere.

AND NO, THE BLOCK FOR MY POST WAS NOT YOUR TYPICAL MODERATION STATEMENT!

DEMS controlling OR are NeoNazis, too, just as the entire country has become, unfortunately the brand is what it is for the US, and "neo-liberal" is NEO-NAZI.

Anonymous said...

Frey told ABC News he received email threats prior to the SWAT-ting incident ...

http://www.crystalcox.com/

Anonymous said...

Chief Justice Ann L. Aiken is a LIBERAL DEMOCRAT, and she put a man away for over 15 years simply because his son sent from across the country to a friend, pictures of marijuana on his I-Phone.

ILLEGAL SEARCH, SEIZURE, ET CETERA.

Ann L. Aiken also was the "Justice" for the Brandon Mayfield case, you may recollect the lawyer who was one of the first targets in the "global war on terror" in hits against Egyptians, and he was married to an Egyptian woman who had children too, do you recall this incredible story about "Oregon?"

Well Mr. Mayfield could not counter sue in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and it was the 70% BLUE STATE DEMOCRATIC OREGON that began the true destruction of our Bill of Rights.

Intentional to set a standard operating procedure: "NOT A DIMES WORTH OF DIFFERENCE!"

Why isn't Bush in jail by way of the CRIMINAL JUSTICE now in control, namely Holder, Obama, ET AL. Hmmmmmm, kinda makes one scratch head and pat ass?

"Anon"

Anonymous said...

Keep in mind that Alabama is hardly a consumer friendly jurisdiction; it’s former status as one of the preferred states for launching class action suits, thanks to favorable state statutes and easily riled juries, has led to a concerted effort to elect and place business friendly judges on the bench (Alabama has far and away the most costly Supreme Court elections in the entire nation). The fact that a higher court has finally decided to place the question of the legitimacy of suddenly-appearing allonges at the heart of a ruling is a welcome development.

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/06/alabama-appeals-court-reverses-decision-on-chain-of-title-case-ruling-hinges-on-question-of-bogus-allonges.html

Anonymous said...

I just feel that free speech issues should be non-partisan.

There's a lot of people who have been abused by conservatives; that doesn't justify abusing conservatives, neh? The judge in the case said that AW "Googled 30,000 people". He clearly doesn't know anything about what a blog is, and he never made Kimberlin prove his charge (if you read the transcript).

AW is being mistreated both by Kimberlin and the courts, and even though he's on the conservative side, that's wrong. Playing the game of "but liberals have been treated worse" is not the way to fix the problem. Your post is very kind to Kimberlin; would you be upset at a post that was equally kind and gave an unwarranted benefit of the doubt to the folks who have abused you? Read the transcripts and info on the case, and then post taking that into account, because from the perspective of someone who has, this reads like a defense of someone who is doing some pretty bad and underhanded things.

jeffrey spruill said...

The "above the law"-- attorney Jay Sekulow knows why his daddy-Pat Robertson endorsed Rudy Giuliani for Prez Nov.7,2007:

They could compete for strangest bedfellows of 2008.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/08/us/politics/08repubs.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all

legalschnauzer said...

Anon at 11:41--

I believe you and I are on somewhat common ground. I agree that free speech should not be a partisan issue. And I agree that abuse of liberals does not justify abuse of conservatives. I'm just not convinced that Walker is being abused. One problem in my coverage, and one reason I held off on writing about this story for a while, is that I'm in Alabama, and the Walker case is taking place in Maryland. That's why I haven't addressed the merits of the particular case--any transcripts and documents have not been available to me.

Perhaps the Walker story will have some benefits for us all if it causes conservatives to become aware of abuses that have been going on in courts for a while. In my personal case, it started in 2001-02, and I'm still feeling the repercussions. This is not a new story.

Where you and I differ, it seems, is this: You are convinced that Kimberlin is using the courts in an abusive fashion, and the judge ruled incorrectly based on the facts and the law; I'm not convinced of that, but my knowledge of this particular case is limited. My personal experience in the justice system tells me that conservative/corporate interests usually are favored over liberal/consumer interests and lawyers usually are favored over non-lawyers. Under that scenario, Kimberlin would be the underdog here, and that the judge has found in his favor, makes me think his case has merit.

From a distance, it appears this is the kind of matter where the judge has a lot of discretion--or at least he seems to be treating it as such. My impression is that the judge genuinely is concerned with the possibility of someone coming to physical harm from all of this. One thing that might hurt Walker, in the judge's mind, is that he was posting about Kimberlin under a false name. To a relatively objective observer, that could make Walker appear as a bully and somewhat of a coward. I don't know what the full record shows, but I could see where perhaps Walker went overboard because he thought he was protected by the cloak of anonymity--and that's why the judge is telling him to cool it.

Anyone certainly is welcome to write about my case--it's all out there in the public record. The unlawful actions of numerous lawyers and judges is very clear to anyone who knows the relevant law. It's not something that can be "spun" in one direction or another--it's fact that the case has been handled unlawfully time and again, for roughly 12 years. An objective person who is willing to do the homework will see that.

I haven't been in a position to do a lot of homework on Walker/Kimberlin, and that's why I addressed the broader issues, along with the extraordinary online battle. I don't think I've ever seen anything quite like it.

Anonymous said...

Is posting or writing anything under a pseudonym evidence of cowardice or fraud? This is a case that goes to the heart of the First Amendment. Reasonable minds can disagree, and the constitution does not protect a right against being offended. Backgrounds of the parties aside, the charge of "excessive" writing or blogging about a person is not, and should not be criminal. In fact, celebrities depend on this exposure for ratings. Tort liability for Libel can be available if all elements of the tort can be met and damages proven. Speech with lesser or no protection is very limited by the courts to incitement speech, obscenity, fighting words, and some commercial speech.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to the "other" anon for (1) being a male which the LS blogger(s) choose to be quite the open mic with, the "women" unfortunately in the "South?" do continue in being a third-party or ? in the conversations, mostly.

FREEDOM OF SPEECH? The First Amendment actually honored as though a reality? Good question.

George Soros is the funding, but actually this is not Soros it is the state that is first before the U.S., and that makes this argument between the left and right quite what has been in the world since 1948, or thereabouts: partisan in the most apartheid fashion.

Israel runs the U.S. and George Soros is a BIG BIG BIG footprint stomped on our wind pipe and we are dying because we can no longer catch our breath, not since the other George, that would be our dictated by the Supreme Court (now what happened here, Americans!?) George W. Bush Jr. took the American Dream and totaled it, as what any poly-addicted druggie would and could, and George Soros is one of the Bush Families' "tribe."

"... There's not a Dime's Worth Of Difference ...."

Soros is an Israel firster and this means more of the same for America AND WAY WORSE, because the digital monies (computer keystrokes) are not being discussed as of 2012, and there is no end therefore to the global war on terror.

Time to stop the apartheid.

The CRIMINALS that the DEMS choose (Bilderberger Soros, ET AL) are intentional because these poor wretches have prison facing their future or apartheid to our U.S. out of jail. The SMART METER "reader" was one that had also been "chosen" to do what only criminals can with the other being "jail" again.

Other anon, wow, how do we get together and talk further common sense?!

/rk

Anonymous said...

"... Alabama became the first state to adopt a tough law protecting private property and due process by prohibiting any government involvement with or participation in a controversial United Nations scheme known as Agenda 21.

Activists from across the political spectrum celebrated the measure’s approval as a significant victory against the UN “sustainability” plot, expressing hope that similar sovereignty-preserving measures would be adopted in other states as the nationwide battle heats up.

The Alabama Senate Bill (SB) 477 legislation, known unofficially among some supporters as the “Due Process for Property Rights” Act, was approved unanimously by both the state House and Senate. After hesitating for a few days, late last month Republican Governor Robert Bentley finally signed into law the wildly popular measure — but only after heavy pressure from activists forced his hand . . . .

http://thenewamerican.com/tech/environment/item/11592-alabama-adopts-first-official-state-ban-on-un-agenda-21

Legal Schnauzer ET AL, all who read here, in the BLUE STATE OF OREGON, 70% "Dem Liberals" the Agenda 21, can take the SMART METERS and turn off every "natural resource" at the switch owned by the "globalists' Agenda 21." Further, the "readers" of the "meters" come to the homes and with SWAT BACK-UP, dictate to "Americans" -- WE ARE SOL!

CRIMINALS are hired, they say so and are proud that they cannot go to jail for committing the crimes of human rights' and then some.

Civil rights violations in the DEM BLUE 70% LIBERAL STATE OF OREGON? No such protection under Agenda 21.

The State of Washington, however, has the U.S. Constitution as the SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND and therefore, has not been the totalitarian support to the Agenda 21, check the SALMON RECOVERY "Act" in the State of WA, Martin v. Cowlitz County.

20 year land grab by the "Club of Rome," was finally stopped.

Apartheid is Palestine - Israel, and our country's design is Palestine West. Study the behavior of the "haves" in the State of Israel and the "nots," in Palestine. There's the rub.

Alabama is looking more attractive with this Agenda 21, conservative state seeing through the apartheid, whatever choice of "belief system," common sense is reality in the Agenda 21 realization of totalitarianism.

jeffrey spruill said...

The law firm of Bracwell & Giuliani did legal work for Rupert Murdoch.

http://www.bracewellgiuliani.com/

Robertson, along with his son, Tim, struck a megadeal with media baron Rupert Murdoch for the sale of International Family Entertainment (IFE), parent company of the Family Channel, for $1.9 billion. In addition, CBN agreed to sell its more than 3.8 million shares of stock in IFE to Murdoch for $136.1 million.

http://www.inplainsite.org/html/pat_robertson.html#10

Stogie said...

The fight against your bomb-setting, drug-dealing, perjuring criminal hero is just beginning.

Funny how you on the left so quickly embrace evil...is it because you share so many core values?

Stogie said...

Yeah, asshole, I want to mess with you.

James Greek said...

You ought write this guy a letter and tell him about your dealins with GOP thus in bama.

jeffrey spruill said...

Why does that guy have a brown phallic symbol in his mouth?

Anonymous said...

According to press reports, Kimberlin has some troubling incidents in his past.... LOL! Way to diminish bombing a town, which led a man to commit suicide after losing his leg in the explosion. Way to diminish his history with drug dealing to the extent that he had a front organization. Way to diminish is overt exploiting of our legal system, Anyone who would stand by this man shows their own character.

e.a.f. said...

So the man served time in jail. Given the rate americans are incarcerated at, that isn't anything unusual.

One of the things you learn in jail is how to fight back. Obviously this man has. Regardless of what he has done, other players in this game may be guilty of offensives which are just as serious. They just haven't been dealt with by the "law".


I always am amazed by how many people go to jail in the U.S.A. for which they don't go to jail in other countries. It hasn't made American society any safer or less corrupt.

The American legal/prison system is big business & they want to keep it that way.

Treatment of women & children in divorce cases sometimes smack of taliban type decisons. the American legal system needs a complete overhaul so that it is more accountable to the people its serves & can be dealt with when there are mistakes & corruption. The appointment of judges ought to be by a unbiased group. The election of judges is simply outdated. The practice lends itself to unqualified people on the bench & simply is another example of he who can pay can play.

jeffrey spruill said...

Is this guys smile a distaction or what?

http://www.bracewellgiuliani.com/people/rudolph-w-giuliani

jeffrey spruill said...

Pat Robertson & the "above the law" attorney Jay Sekulow covering their buttocks real good.

*

One month after leaving office, former U.S. attorney general John Ashcroft has a new job: He'll be a part-time professor at a Christian university run by television evangelist Pat Robertson.

Jay Sekulow, a Regent University trustee, said the former attorney general will teach a two-week version of the same course during the college's summer, fall and spring semesters beginning this year.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-03-16-ashcroft-teach_x.htm

Anonymous said...

Kimberlin wins big in court! j/k

"If only one could litigate by drug dealing, perjuring, and blowing the leg off innocent bystanders, [Kimberlin] would have been an elite courtroom attorney."