Brett Kimberlin and the Hall of Fame of Leftist Terrorists
By Matthew Vadum
The Left has a long history of embracing unrepentant, manipulative sociopaths, felons, terrorists, and mass murderers – anything goes, provided that they share the same political ideology.
In fairness, most liberals do not feel affection for the worst of the worst among leftists such as Mao Zedong, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, Che Guevara, or Peoples Temple founder Jim Jones.
But there are a few domestic radicals who have attained a kind of folk hero status in left-wing circles. Convicted cop killer and Black Panthers member Mumia abu Jamal, would-be GOP convention bombers David Guy McKay and Bradley Neil Crowder, ACORN founder and cyber-terrorism advocate Wade Rathke, Obamacare architect and convicted swindler Robert Creamer, Earth Day booster and murderer Ira Einhorn, imprisoned terrorist lawyer Lynne Stewart, Weather Underground leaders Jeff Jones, Bill Ayers, and Bernardine Dohrn, just to name a few.
“Speedway Bomber” Brett Kimberlin isn’t famous enough yet to have a cult following on the Left but give the determined, energetic activist time. A few short years after his release from federal prison the radical leftist has been embraced by all the right people, winning grants from the George Soros-funded Tides Foundation and wealthy celebrities.
He’s earned the confidence of leftist luminaries such as Teresa Heinz Kerry and Barbra Streisand who have sent money to his activist group, the Justice Through Music Project. The seven-year-old Bethesda, Maryland-based 501c3 nonprofit entity buys into the radical environmentalist agenda, supports the goals of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and claims to have registered 100,000 people to vote. (See its latest IRS Form 990 [tax return] here.)
This Maryland resident is a political trailblazer of sorts. Kimberlin is a tactical innovator whose tried and true methods would have impressed the father of modern community organizing, Saul Alinsky. The late conservative Internet entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart recognized Kimberlin’s unique talents last fall, tweeting that the convicted terrorist and his confederates needed “exposure.”
Kimberlin, as blogger “Liberty Chick” previously reported, spent almost 17 years in prison after being convicted of detonating bombs in a week-long terror spree in Speedway, Indiana. “One of the blasts horribly maimed a man so badly that it directly led to that man’s suicide a few years later, which was proven when the widow of that bombing victim successfully sued and won a civil judgment against Kimberlin for $1.6 million,” she wrote.
Of course Kimberlin not only failed to pay the woman, but denied doing anything wrong. His refusal to cough up what he owed his victim’s wife led to a revocation of his parole. He also claimed he was secretly exonerated by the powers that be. A record of this surreptitious pardon is bound to surface any day now, delivered by a leprechaun in a unicorn-pulled stage coach.
Until proof of the covert clemency arrives, Kimberlin is focusing on bullying conservatives into silence, which is the same thing that so much of progressivedom is concentrating on nowadays. But unlike Van Jones and the various Marxist agitators who have inflicted damage on conservative talk radio and innocuous groups like the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) through innuendo and smears, Kimberlin gets in his enemies’ faces.
A man named Aaron Walker (blogging name Aaron Worthing) is now claiming that Kimberlin tried to frame him for a crime he did not commit. Kimberlin alleges that Walker battered him in a court house even though it’s pretty clear from videos and other evidence that nothing of the sort happened. Walker explains what happened in a heavily annotated, nearly 28,000 word essay at his website Allergic to Bull.
In a nutshell, it appears Walker briefly snatched Kimberlin’s iPad away because he feared the violent ex-con was going to hit him with it. Walker says he never made physical contact with Kimberlin and the video evidence embedded in the lengthy blog post appears to confirm his story. The minor scuffle created more legal headaches for Walker.
Why was Walker in court with Kimberlin? Because Kimberlin sued him for daring to write about his criminal record.
A caveat to conservative bloggers: This is Kimberlin’s modus operandi and it is well suited to this land where unscrupulous plaintiffs can litigate total strangers into paupery based upon nothing more than a whim. Kimberlin slaps conservative bloggers with “peace orders” if they dare to bring up his ugly past. The former inmate falsely accuses his targets of “tortious interference” and defamation, claiming that the mere mention of his law breaking undermines his ability to go about his business.
One of Kimberlin’s current targets is my friend, conservative blogger Robert Stacy McCain. After Kimberlin appeared to issue a veiled threat against McCain’s family, McCain was forced to relocate. Who knows how many otherwise enterprising reporters have shied away from covering Kimberlin’s exploits because of his lawyerly taunts.
Like many criminals, Kimberlin honed his skills behind bars. While in prison, he taught himself the law. This amateur advocate boasts of filing more than 100 lawsuits. In one of those actions he contended his rights were being violated because corrections officials refused to allow him to play the electric guitar while a guest of taxpayers. As usual, he lost, though he must have had a lot of fun jerking authorities around.
This now-released felon who was sentenced to a half century behind bars for his bombing spree in Indiana 30 years ago, Kimberlin has found growing acceptance among liberal philanthropists and garden-variety do-gooders. Given enough media adulation his social justice street cred will balloon and the Soros/Sundance Documentary Fund will underwrite a sympathetic documentary about his struggle against an unjust system that targeted him for persecution. Maybe Hollywood heavyweights Morgan Freeman or Kevin Spacey will narrate.
The complete story of Kimberlin is too difficult to tell in a single article. There are too many moving parts. But some have attempted to chronicle the man’s manipulations. New Yorker contributor Mark Singer told part of Kimberlin’s story in a meaty 1996 book, Citizen K: The Deeply Weird American Journey of Brett Kimberlin. In the tome Singer recounts his amazement and disillusionment as he discovered that this fascinating man had played him like a fiddle. Kimberlin gained national attention when he claimed while still in prison to have been Vice President Dan Quayle’s marijuana dealer.
Despite aggressive promotion by cartoonist Garry Trudeau during the 1992 presidential campaign the ganja story turned out to be false and Quayle and President George H.W. Bush were beaten by a real-life pot smoker and his apocalyptic sidekick.
Nowadays Kimberlin is the business partner of leftist blogger Brad Friedman who frequently plays fast and loose with the facts. The Democrat duo co-founded a litigious group called Velvet Revolution which also receives funding from the far-left Tides Foundation.
It should be noted that Tides, in turn, receives funding from various donors including George Soros. Soros’s Open Society Institute has given at least $25,776,623 to Tides and its affiliated Tides Center since 1999. Another Soros philanthropy, the Foundation to Promote Open Society, has given at least $9,844,312 to the Tides network since 2009. Velvet Revolution’s mission is to vex conservatives.
Anticipating a legal challenge to ObamaCare, Velvet Revolution tried to tip the scales by causing trouble for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Listing a litany of frivolous grounds the group asked the Missouri Supreme Court to disbar Thomas.
One of VR’s many projects, IndictBreitbart.org, experienced spasms of schadenfreude when its namesake died suddenly in March. Breitbart “carried hate in his heart” and “foment[ed] violence.” He needed “professional help” and in the end got what he deserved, according to the site. Breitbart died “during a pitched Twitter war defending [ACORN slayer and investigative journalist] James O’Keefe. We have long advocated for accountability in the courts for Mr. Breitbart and Mr. O’Keefe because of their lawlessness, intolerance and smear campaigns. Sometimes, however, accountability comes in other ways from a greater power than the courts.”
In other words, this Kimberlin-founded group believes Breitbart was smote by the Almighty.
The mission of the other Kimberlin-created group, the Justice Through Music Project, is to somehow pound political enlightenment into the skulls of young people through music. The group has received at least $70,000 in grants from the Tides Foundation since 2006. Barbra Streisand has given JTMP at least $10,000 through her foundation since 2006. Teresa Heinz Kerry, wife of Sen. John Kerry (D-Massachusetts), is CEO of the Heinz Family Foundation. That charity has given JTMP at least $20,000 since 2006.
Do the people at the Tides Foundation, Barbra Streisand Foundation, and Heinz Family Foundation know that they have given money to an organization run by a dishonest, litigious, violent, radical felon who appears to delight in intimidating people whose views he disagrees with?
Oh wait. There’s no point in answering that question in the Obama era, is there?