Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day

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66 Responses

  1. Kate A says:

    Thank you for wading through the legal morass to highlight the sheer insanity of this man. I spent the evening poring through old newspaper articles, mostly concerning the marijuana "bombs" he dropped over Texas before his indictment in the Speedway Bombing. It would be funny if it wasn't so appalling.

  2. Ted Francis says:

    Actually, no.

    Whatever Kimberlin did or didn't do in Speedway was decades ago, and he's been punished. That's over.

    Whatever happens to Robert Stacy McCain is no concern of any reasonable person: He's an extremist right-wing racist. He chose that, and if he can't live with the consequences, well, there are only so many hours in the day. I can work for justice for real victims, or I can abandon them and work for justice for extremist right-wing racists instead. Who's more deserving of my attention? Where does my help do more good for the human race in general? If I help out an extremist right-wing racist, he'll go right on spewing hate and violence. More people will get hurt. His hate and violence make the world a measurably worse place. He spews hate and fear and violence at the rednecks and their fear motivates them not just to commit more hate crimes in their every day lives, but it also motivates them politically. If that doesn't scare you, it should, because it's real, and has real effects. These people are dangerous. They are a genuine, clear, and immediate threat to democracy. Government is under threat. The federal government has never been more helpless and vulnerable. If we don't defend it, nobody will.

    Kimberlin and McCain are like two peas in a pod, except that Kimberlin's targets deserve it, while McCain's are innocent. Of the two, Kimberlin is undeniably the better man. That's in addition to the fact that Kimberlin is being used by the radical right to smear worthwhile social justice organizations like the Tides Foundation. And I'm sorry, but you don't get to smear the Tides Foundation. You just don't get to do that. That's far beyond the limits of acceptable partisanism.

    So I choose simply not to get involved in this sordid little episode, and I advise you to choose the same. All decisions are partisan in their effects. Somebody benefits, somebody loses. If you care about justice, you choose wisely.

  3. C. S. P. Schofield says:

    May biting insects the world over develop an irresistible fondness for his flesh.

  4. EBL says:

    I linked you. Great stuff you have there.

  5. Ken says:

    Ted, there's nothing I could say about your entirely comment that would be as effective as simply pointing at it and allowing people to perceive it for what it is: an open call for the ends justifying the means, and a sub rosa attack on the very concept of the rule of law.

    I was going to get into a discussion of the reason I argue for freedom of expression, and why I defend it even for people I disagree with like McCain, but I sense that would be pointless.

    But I do have a question:

    So I choose simply not to get involved in this sordid little episode, and I advise you to choose the same.

    I'm picking up a wiff of ". . . or else" from this. Was an implied threat your intent?

  6. Mercury says:

    Getting riled up about Kimberlin is like putting together a 400 slide Powerpoint presentation on why cockroaches are evil…instead of cleaning up your kitchen.

    Looks to me like this guy is just responding to incentives and gaming a system we set up for him. Where else in the history of civilization could you hope to get away with this kind of shit? Our entire, soon to collapse political economy is predicated on this very same, it-a’int-over-until-the taxpayer-pays culture.

    I’m afraid publicizing this guy’s adventures is going to have the perverse effect of encouraging more of it. If you’re over 60 and wiped out by the financial crisis (or just a destitute immigrant), you just might look at this and think: “Gee, with a little careful planning I could land myself in the right minimum security prison (tax fraud?) and set myself up with a better retirement than I might otherwise enjoy on your own!”

  7. ElamBend says:

    I just read Patterico's account of his harassment. Whoa.

  8. perlhaqr says:

    Looks like you already hooked a nutter, Ken. Fast work! I wonder how many more will end up in the net before the day is done.

  9. TJIC says:

    @ Ted Francis :
    > Whatever Kimberlin did or didn't do in Speedway was decades ago, and he's been punished. That's over.

    This is why I tell people to stop saying bad things about Hitler and Mao. Sure, they murdered millions of people. But that was DECADES ago. Get over it.

    Am I right?

  10. TJIC says:


    > Whatever happens to Robert Stacy McCain is no concern of any reasonable person: He's an extremist right-wing racist. He chose that, and if he can't live with the consequences, well, there are only so many hours in the day.

    So, wait.

    Robert Stacy McCain should live with publicity because he chose his actions.

    …but Kimberlin should NOT live with publicity because…he chose his actions.

    This is you argument, right?

    There's no some subtlety I'm missing?

  11. Harry Lime says:

    Thank you for posting this. This guy is crazy and should be called out for his heinous behavior. Although I'm still confused as to why he doesn't have a Wikipedia page (and I think I asked this on your first post on this guy a while back). I know he got Wikipedia to take it down or something (by saying KKK members wrote the article), but how hasn't a new article not gone up?

  12. RosalindJ says:

    @Ted Francis, you chose to become involved in 'this sordid little episode' when you elected to type out a four paragraph screed, so you're in.

    Thanks for the laugh.

  13. Ken says:

    And, in the category of "no cause is so righteous that someone won't use it as an opportunity to act like a douche," Dan Riehl uses the story as a vehicle for a prison rape joke. Because prison rape is hilarious.

  14. Randall says:

    Shorter Ted Francis: Politics I don't like is worse than terrorism and attempted murder.

  15. Arclight says:

    Personally, I'm still working through "… except that Kimberlin's targets deserve it …" Widow of random bomb victim deserves his continued bad behavior that's going on today, not decades ago.

    I have to assume Ted is a very skilled Internet Troll as no one can truly be that willfully stupid.

  16. Ken says:

    Arclight, I think that Ted was talking – clumsily — about Kimberlin's recent victims.

    In other words, he's suggesting that Aaron deserved to be falsely accused of a crime, deserved to be fired, and deserved to be outed and threatened because he wrote about Kimberlin and tried to come to the aid of another blogger who wrote about Kimberlin — a blogger who was Aaron's political opposite in most relevant ways.

    That tells you quite a bit about Ted's character and the sort of world we'd live in under the Teds of the world.

  17. Kris says:

    I've been following this since you first brought it up, but I've somehow missed an explanation of how kimberlin got out of jail early. Could someone please inform me?

  18. Ken says:

    Kris: prior to "truth in sentencing" measures, federal sentences imposed (like most state sentences) bore little resemblance to sentences served. A fifty-year sentence meant — well, it could mean nearly anything. (For a similar example, consider Phillip Garrido, kidnapper and imprisoner of Jacee Lee Dugard, who served only 12 years on a 50-year kidnap and rape sentence.) So: Kimberlin was released "early" in a literal sense, but was not released "early" as compared to many inmates during the period sentenced to lengthy terms.

    This is not offered as a defense of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines or other truth-in-sentencing schemes, which have their own problems not relevant here.

  19. Dan Z says:

    @ Ted Francis

    "He's an extremist right-wing racist. He chose that, and if he can't live with the consequences, well, there are only so many hours in the day."

    Really? I know others have covered it, but how is one choice and the consequences different than another? One chooses to speak like an idiot, another chose to plant bombs that resulted in actual physical harm. Yet the one who planted bombs shouldnt have to live with the consequences, as if he didnt choose the actions? Inconsistencies cannot exist, your premise is mightily flawed.

  20. Ted Francis says:


    No slightest whiff of threat was intended. Threats are not OK, I don't condone them, and I certainly don't issue them. I'm not saying Kimberlin's right and I for damn sure won't lend him a hand. I merely observe that McCain doesn't deserve anybody's sympathy or help. If Dick Cheney got hit by a truck, would you care? Like that.

    @TJIC: If you ask most Chinese today, they'll tell you it was worth it. Go argue with them, not me.

  21. Ken says:

    The thing is, Ted, I don't believe I mentioned McCain until you did. I've been talking about Aaron Worthing. Does he not deserve anyone's sympathy or help? Did he "deserve it?"

    Is it your position that (1) McCain is bad, (2) therefore people should not criticize folks like Kimberlin who attack him, whatever we'd normally think about Kimberlin or his behavior, and (3) we shouldn't even criticize Kimberlin when he attacks folks other than McCain?

    I hold no brief for McCain. I doubt he and I agree on much of anything. That doesn't mean I'll refrain from calling out someone like Kimberlin, who is part of a group of activists attempting to silence criticism.

  22. Patrick says:

    If that's not Ted's position, I don't see what he was trying to communicate with the Stanley Fish link.

    Let me tell y'all a story about Stanley Fish. Many years ago, when Fish was at Duke, Fish attended a benefit concert at which a band I was part of played. At the opening of our set (we were a country band but fans of the Stooges), I inserted a large wooden spoon into a jar of Peter Pan peanut butter, and flung the gooey mass at Fish. It hit his suit. He fled the room, crying a piercing "AAAAaawwwwwwww" as he did so.

    Recognizing that it would be hypocritical to blog about Walker and Kimberlin, I've kept silent on the topic. But even I understand that hinting at bomb threats against opponents, as in my opinion Kimberlin has to Aaron Worthing and McCain, steps over a line that should never be crossed.

  23. Luke says:

    I don't think Ted would be a fan of your defending speech because it's speech article. That is one thing I enjoy about this blog: people acting like assclowns are called out for being assclowns regardless of political affiliation.

  24. Dan Irving says:


    /agree …. I love this site.

  25. Joe says:

    "That tells you quite a bit about Ted's character . . . . ."

    It also tells me he has the intellectual capacity of a peanut and has totally missed the point of your prior posts.

  26. Kate A says:

    "extremist," "hatred," "violence," "racist," these words are bandied about so frequently, and yet more often than not there are precious few facts to back them up. Granted, I only read McCain sporadically, but I've not seen him post anything that would justify using those words to describe him, and I notice that you didn't support your assertions, either.

    But let's say, for the sake of argument, that he is all of those things and we now live in an alternative reality where the lowest forms of vigilantism are excused if the person at the receiving end "deserves it": his wife is being targeted too. Does she deserve this? If you were to say and/or do hateful things to others, would you just sit back and accept it as your just desserts if your family was punished for it? That's what happens in North Korea. That's what happened in the Soviet Union. That is not what should be happening here; it is the very antithesis of what being an American is about.

    One more thing, I noticed that you closed your initial comment with this: "So I choose simply not to get involved in this sordid little episode, and I advise you to choose the same." Stop pretending that you can have it both ways: You chose to comment here, thereby choosing to get involved in this discussion. You chose to link to that New York Times article, by the use of which you have implied that the conservative outcry against the violent, sociopathic behavior of Kimberlin and his supporters is morally equivalent to conservatives remaining relatively silent when Limbaugh called Fluke a slut or mocked liberals in the public arena when caught in their frequent lies. Did Limbaugh fake a 911 call that sent the SWAT team to Fluke's house? No, he did not. Does he demand the enforced silence of anyone and everyone who mentions his past drug use? No, he didn't. So please, stop claiming "double standard"–it sounds far too much like projection.

  27. Christoph says:

    Brett Kimberlin and his compadres make pieces of shit look good.

  28. SPQR says:

    Ted Francis thinks that a man actually responsible for the deaths of people is better than someone whose political opinions he disagrees with.

    That's pretty clear evidence that Francis is a cheerleader for domestic terrorists. Its pretty clear that Francis does condone Kimberlin and his fellow thugs' behavior since it is clearly not as bad as someone saying something that Francis does not like. Because Francis' version of ethics is: Go and terrorize people before you say something I don't agree with.

  29. Dan Weber says:

    I don't have a clue who McCain is. (At first I thought it was Meghan McCain.) I suspect I would like nothing it has to say on any topic whatsoever.

    But the instant someone decides that it "deserves" to receive death threats, I know that that someone is a fool. If any bloggers writing about Kimberlin have said that Kimberlin "deserves" to get death threats, they too are fools and also opponents of free speech. Even those I would call the "dumb right" who are blogging about Kimberlin haven't sunk to that level.

  30. Scott Jacobs says:

    I wonder if Ted's IP address mirrors any known to be used by Neal, Brett, or Ron…

  31. Steve White says:

    @Ted Francis: why is criticism of the Tides Foundation out of bounds? If an organization claims to work for 'social justice' but gives money to people who set off bombs, is that acceptable?

    I'm curious as to your thoughts on this.

  32. Dan Weber says:

    That caught me, too. I don't care what you do, there's no such thing as a group that is off-limits to criticize.

  33. Kris says:

    Ken! Thank you for the response. This seemed the best forum to ask and get a reply.

    In other news, disappointing but I guess not surprising that one assclown derails an entire comment thread with his inanity. Had I a blog of any discernible readership, I would be participating in today's commotion. I freely admit that I'd never heard of AW, nor read patterico, and that after looking around their sites quickly decided we have very different viewpoints. But that in no way changes my mind about this whole Kimberlin situation. Dude needs to be shut down. *Victims* of censorious harassment have nothing to do with whether or not the harasser is wrong.

  34. C. S. P. Schofield says:

    Criticism of any foundation that gives money to one-time violent pseudo-revolutionaries or simple murderers is not out of bounds, though a lot of people (many on the Left, but I suppose if we look hard enough we could find examples elsewhere) wish it were.

    There is a segment of the Intellectual Left that wants to have their 1960's and forget them too. They want pat themselves on the back for all they think they achieved, while demanding that anyone who got hurt by their antics shut up about it.

    John Kerry was (and I suppose still is) a prime example; he wanted credit for being a warrior, and for being an anti-warrior, and he wanted nobody to bring up anything about either position that might be the least bit embarrassing.

    There are a lot of one-time pseudo-revolutionaries in medium to high positions in the intellectual left, and the left just HATES anybody brining it up. Because, frankly, a close examination of their 1960's (and 1970's) antics reveals them to be a bunch of idiot children playing with live ammo and demo.

  35. mmmwright says:

    Oh, Ken. I adore your writing. I love Popehat. Thank you.

  36. Dustin says:

    Shorter Ted Francis:

    I am going to troll the shit out of this thread so people don't talk about Brett Kimberlin and his buddy Ron Brynaert and what they have done to people.

  37. SPQR says:

    Dustin, certainly that was his intention. But what I find so amusing is that instead of distracting, his comment only illuminates exactly what kind of moral depravity it takes to believe that a political disagreement makes one worse that someone who is actually a violent criminal.

    A wonderful bit of illumination.

  38. piperTom says:

    There is some risk of "piling on" against Ted. Yet I cannot let this statement go unremarked: "The federal government has never been more helpless and vulnerable." This is beyond ludicrous. The federal government and its tens of thousands of armed agents and more tens of thousands of officious pricks with authority is "helpless"? Balderdash.

    Also this: "[Extremists] are a genuine, clear, and immediate threat to democracy." Extremists may be a threat, but democracy is their tool. Democracy recently gave North Carolina the unequal right to marriage amendment and, only a bit less recently, eugenics and Jim Crow laws. The holy Majority supported the Iraq invasion when there was a chance to stop it and only deplored it later when it went to shit. Democracy IS the threat.

  39. Patrick says:

    Pile on as you wish.

  40. AlphaCentauri says:

    "I merely observe that McCain doesn't deserve anybody's sympathy or help. If Dick Cheney got hit by a truck, would you care? Like that. "

    I abhor many of the things Cheney has done. But if I saw him lying in the street, bleeding and in pain, would I refuse to call 911? Would I fail to try to make sure he can breathe comfortably? Would I refuse his request to call a family member or clergy to come to his side? Would I refuse to do those things if Brett Kimberlin were lying in the street? No, because I don't believe in fighting evil by becoming evil.

  41. Scott Jacobs says:

    Well, Alpha, I would refuse aid to Kimberlin if I saw him on the street needing help…

    But I'm dating one of this fucker's victims, so I might be a bit more cold-hearted than most.

  42. Scott Jacobs says:

    I would also point out that while many on. The left might enjoy talking about how I and those like me might deserve to die, and they may cheer and hope for bad things to men like Cheney or Bush, President Obama could not find a safer place for him than a TeaParty rally. Hell, the Secret Service could go take a coffee break, as the people there might think he's the shittiest president ever, they would still never think of attacking the PotUS.

  43. Laura K says:

    Hey Scott, very sorry your girlfriend went through anything at the hands of this shriveled simalcrum of fried feces. I know if it had been my husband targeted and I saw the perp lying on the street in distress I would have been tempted to pretend my phone was dead. Or kicked him after dialing 911. or put a hyper ferret in his pants.

    Having said that, because I'm truly not a nice person I believe sometimes the best revenge we can ever get on people who trample ethics to the extent that Kimberlin–or Cheney– have is to show them all the just and ethical treatment they denied others. Not because I'm more of a humanitarian but in the hope it would just make them look like even bigger douchebags. (although in the case of both Kinberlin and Cheney I realize I am offering tremendous insult to the big and small douchebag communites).

  44. AlphaCentauri says:

    Just think how it would feel to be one of those evil dudes and have your life hanging in the balance based on the actions of a political enemy. Would you believe they really called 911, or did they pretend to do so to discourage anyone else from calling? Are they really trying to make you more comfortable, or are they trying to give you a severed spinal cord? The more people treat them humanely, the more these guys would fear there was something evil going on that they just couldn't figure out. Kindness is the one type of revenge they would never be able to defend against, because it is beyond their understanding.

    That being said, modern psychiatry has no cure for sociopaths. It's not really reasonable to expect one to change, not at his age. You can only expect him to follow the law to avoid punishment. It's more reasonable to expect all the non-sociopaths to stop enabling his manipulative behavior, and for judges, lawyers, and law enforcement agents to make the consequences of harassment and lawsuit abuse to be negative enough to make an impression on his sociopathic mind. Popehat is doing its part…

  45. boycat says:

    Only one question: Is Ted Francis actually Brett Kimberlin in drag? Stranger things have turned out to be true when it comes to him and his evil-doings in his little parallel universe.

  46. Jess says:

    Well how nice, the Velvet Revolution site has a posting om May 25 by CR. The key sentence being as follows:

    "Please note that we are working closely with both state and federal law enforcement officials and have given them lists of all those who make inappropriate statements or contacts."

  47. Jess says:

    Hit the submit button too quickly – RE prior post – if that doesn't say everything about their intents to chill free speech I don't know what else does. Seriously "inappropriate statements". How about Fuck you Kimberlin.

  48. Terry in GA says:

    Popehat, your original post with citations of this idiot's history was great. I was linked by twitter from one of the blogger victims and this was my first visit to your blog. I do enjoy reading my favorite law blogs from Volokh, SCOTUSblog, LegalInsurrection, Patterico, Aaron [Worthington], and AceofSpades, but I frequently follow links and find new places to gain more information. Your blog and the comments (the majority of comments) were very thoughtful and acknowledge that sometimes different opinions can represent people of different backgrounds but that free speech is not the enemy of opposing opinions.

    As for facts to backup opinions, your blog and many of the ones who joined in Friday's blog event provide proof beyond any doubt I could imagine that Kimberlin is a "bad guy" and anyone who supports his psychotic activities is lacking in the common sense of the majority of civilized Americans. Thank you for your contributions and for your support to fellow human beings.

  49. Laura K says:

    AlphaC–Yep, that's why I'm vindictive enough to aim for kindness…

  50. Adjoran says:

    It must be noted that none of Kimberlin's bombings or intimidation had any political motives, they were all only meant to stop unwanted attention to Kimberlin himself. The other guys in his little cabal may be politically motivated, but he seems only motivated by his own narrow self-interest, as he sees it.

    Stacy "The Other" McCain is certainly very conservative, he was a diehard Santorum supporter, but as one who's frequented his blog for about three years or so now, I can say I've never seen anything racist from him at all. He ran afoul of Charles "Little Green Footballs" Johnson by calling him out on lying, and got the same treatment others have from CJ, who seems to have suffered a psychotic break or something.

  51. Scott Jacobs says:

    I just want to again thank everyone who has shown their support. It means a lot to Mandy (she was overwhelmed to the point of tears she was so happy to see the support), and it means a lot to me personally. I was on the road Friday, and have been away from wifi since I am currently helping to go through stuff for an estate sale. I wasn't able to post anything, and have largely been disconnected from the web.

    There is precious littlee I can do to help Mandy with this besides listen to here, which only further enrages the lizard part of my brains that tends to control all my actions. What you folks have done by talking about this, and by getting it out in the public spaces so others are aware of it, means more than I can say.

    And because I am now too far in the black when it comes to showing positive human emotions, let me just say:

    Fuck you, Brett. Fuck you and all your cohorts. Bitch, you better believe we got the goods on you, and I promise to be there to laugh at you when it all comes around. Karma is going to make you her bitch, God will it be sweet when it happens.

    Say hi to the feds for me, bitch. They will be coming to see you far sooner than you think.

  52. Terry in GA says:

    Adjoran, I agree with your assessment of Stacy McCain. I have enjoyed his blog for 3-4 years now and find him refreshingly "normal" as in without pretense or phony. He is verrrrrry southern, but as it so happens, so am I. Stacy once lived in the same small-town area I lived in northern parts of Georgia, and well…. that's just kinda how we talk down here — like a bunch of Jeff Foxworthys.

    Anyway, I don't often remain in the company of people who are either racist or sexist, use vocabulary I wouldn't want my daughter or grandmother to overhear, or bullying or threatening conversations, and I can't imagine that type of behavior from Stacy. Now he does have a thing, and not in a good way, about "Chuckles" "LGF" who is NEVER in the presence of Stacy or any other blogger I know and whom we only hear "about" from the regular bloggers. He often debates vociforously with some of the other bloggers within the family-like group of bloggers who all seem to mostly get along well most of the time, with occasional sibling-like spats that are neither serious nor lasting. At the end of the day, they are a great bunch of friends.

    I would welcome any of you who would like to visit to join in soon. We've had another SWATting victim and that has kept the group closely monitoring as they continue their research.

  53. I too, am being sued for shining a spotlight on a notorious non-citizen. He's not yet been arrested or convicted of any crimes, but he did try to set up 2 women to appear as though they had violated a mutual no contact order. If any attorney with 1st Amendment experience who is licensed in the state of Florida needs an interesting pro bono case, I need you. Euguene Volokh has kindly agreed to consult.

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