It’s Friday, May 25th 2012.
You know what that means.
It’s Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day.
“Who is Brett Kimberlin?”, you ask.
That’s a very good question.
Here’s part of the answer.
“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.)
Read the rest.
So does that mean he’s just another socialist troublemaker supported by big money radicals?
1978: Brett Kimberlin owns a health food store/vegetarian restaurant in Broad Ripple. Police believe the store may be a front for drug trafficking and have Kimberlin in their sights.
July 29, 1978: Julia Scyphers is murdered. She answered a knock at her front door; a man inquired about some items she had available at a recent yard sale. Julia led him out to the garage. She was shot once in the back of the head. Her husband caught a glimpse of the man at the door and saw the getaway car speed away from their home. At first, investigators are stymied as to why Scyphers was murdered, as she seemed to have no enemies, save one: Brett Kimberlin, her daughter Sandra’s employer and boyfriend. Kimberlin seemed to have a less than wholesome interest in one of Julia’s granddaughters.
Sept 1- 6, 1978: Eight bomb blasts ring through Speedway, Indiana The final blast injures Carl DeLong and his wife. The police suspect that the bombings were intended to distract the police from the Scyphers’ murder case; however, between 50 and 100 ATF agents descend on Indianapolis to assist local police with the investigation.
Sept 20, 1978: Kimberlin is picked up by Army investigators when a print shop owner alerts them about a suspicious customer. Kimberlin is wearing a security guard’s uniform with DoD insignia and asking for copies of military drivers’ licenses and other materials to be made. When officers arrive, he attempts to hide the incriminating evidence by eating it. As a result of this, investigators decide to hold him overnight.
Sept 21, 1978: With search warrants in hand, investigators search Kimberlin’s 1970 Impala, which he drove to the print shop the day before; they find bomb-making materials, including timers which match those found at the scene of the Speedway bombings. At the same time, another team of investigators searches a Jackson County property owned by the Kimberlin family. There they find a buried steel tank containing 1000 lbs of marijuana, along with Tovex used to blast the rock to install the underground tank. This Tovex will later link Kimberlin to other incidents.
Feb 8, 1979: Local authorities receive a tip from Texas border agents about a group of suspects they’ve rounded up. Among them are Brett Kimberlin and his pilot, Robert Scott Bixler. The group is released but placed under surveillance.
Feb 16, 1979: Kimberlin and his associates are at a secret airstrip they’ve carved out in the Texas desert, awaiting a shipment of Columbian marijuana. They are being watched by local and federal agents. The plane is unable to land, due to heavy fog, and dumps its million dollar cargo over a 125 mile area. Texas agents recover the bales of pot, while Kimberlin and his gang are arrested. Kimberlin will later claim he was simply riding around out in the desert when cops picked him up for no reason.
Armed with photos of the drug crew, investigators show the images to Fred Scyphers, who recognizes William “Bill” Bowman as the man who came to his front door on July 29, 1978, luring his wife to her death. Kimberlin and Bowman are still free, after being charged for the Texas “pot bombing” incident.
Feb 27, 1979: Based on Fred Scyphers’ identification of him, Bowman is arrested for the murder of Julia Scyphers. Investigators hope that Bowman will admit that Kimberlin was behind the hit on Scyphers.
Feb 28, 1979: A federal grand jury indicts Kimberlin in the Speedway bombing case.
Mar 11, 1979: Sandra Barton’s sister, Patricia — who lives in Texas — contacts authorities to report she found a sack hidden in her backyard. The contents of the bag — blasting caps, blue-and-white Mark Time timers, an AR-15 rifle and 14 plastic-covered sausages of Tovex 200 with factory markings — further connect Kimberlin to the Speedway bombings and the Tovex used to blast away rock for the buried steel tank at the Jackson county property. Informants state they saw Kimberlin plant the bag, in an attempt to frame Patricia and her husband for the Speedway bombings. (Sandra Barton’s daughters were now living with Patricia.)
Mar 14, 1979: Fred Scyphers dies of cancer. With his death, the case against Bowman in the Scyphers murder collapses.
Nov, 1979: Kimberlin enters a guilty plea for charges related to the Texas marijuana smuggling case and is sentenced to 4 years.
Sept, 1980: Kimberlin is tried for the Speedway bombing incident. A federal jury is unable to reach a decision on the bombing, but does convict him for impersonating a federal officer. He receives a 12-year sentence.
October 15, 1981: Kimberlin is found guilty of the Speedway bombings and receives a 50-year sentence.
February 23, 1983: Carl DeLong, victim of the final Speedway blast, commits suicide. He was in constant pain as a result of his injuries. Later that year, DeLong’s wife, Sandra, won a $1.6 million settlement from Kimberlin, which she never collected.
First of all, there are many more details in the piece I linked. I have to say a big thank you to kielpatriot over at Wisconsin Citizens Blog for doing a lot of leg work. Read the rest, everyone. I’ll be here when you come back.
Clearly, Brett Kimberlin is a man with a long criminal past. He has been tried and convicted of violent terroristic crimes. And this is the man who large well-funded elements of the political Left have embraced.
Want proof? The Liberty Chick gives shows us just how deep the progressive/Kimberlin connection really is.
But today, Kimberlin is embraced by the left, having proclaimed himself a political prisoner and martyr to the Republican cause, a portrayal that’s been proven false in research and court documents. Kimberlin went on to co-found Velvet Revolution. The organization describes itself as a progressive coalition that was formed “to go toe to toe with the right” because “the tactics and the power of the Democrats and progressives in this country have not been sufficient to check the actions of a corrupt Republican agenda.” Last October, Velvet Revolution launched an ad campaign which offered a “$200,000 bounty on the head” of Chamber of Commerce CEO Tom Donohue. Today, the organization is still behind some of these smear campaigns that are frequent topics of President Obama’s recent speeches.
Where does some of Velvet Revolution’s funding come from? The same place Media Matters gets much of its money:
The Tides Foundation.
Again, read the rest. Liberty Chick’s work here is crucial to understanding the intertwined relationship between The Velvet Revolution and Tides.
So The Tides Foundation has given money to Kimberlin’s political activist group. What does Tides do? Discover The Networks is on the case.
Established in 1976 by California-based activist Drummond Pike, the Tides Foundation was set up as a public charity that receives money from donors and then funnels it to the recipients of their choice. Because many of these recipient groups are quite radical, the donors often prefer not to have their names publicly linked with the donees. By letting the Tides Foundation, in effect, “launder” the money for them and pass it along to the intended beneficiaries, donors can avoid leaving a “paper trail.” Such contributions are called “donor-advised,” or donor-directed, funds.
Through this legal loophole, nonprofit entities can also create for-profit organizations and then funnel money to them through Tides — thereby circumventing the laws that bar nonprofits from directly funding their own for-profit enterprises. Pew Charitable Trusts, for instance, set up three for-profit media companies and then proceeded to fund them via donor-advised contributions to Tides, which (for an 8 percent management fee) in turn sent the money to the media companies.
Just to give you an idea what kind of left-wing activists we’re dealing with here, check out how they responded to the 9/11 attacks.
Immediately after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, Tides formed a “9/11 Fund” to advocate a “peaceful national response.” Tides later replaced the 9/11 Fund with the “Democratic Justice Fund,” which was financed in large measure by the Open Society Institute of George Soros, who has donated more than $7 million to Tides over the years. Reciprocally, the Tides Foundation is a major funder of the Shadow Party, a George Soros-conceived nationwide network of several dozen unions, non-profit activist groups, and think tanks whose agendas are ideologically to the left, and which are engaged in campaigning for the Democrats.
Tides is an unrepentant loud-n-proud left-wing organization. Besides Brett Kimberlin’s Velvet Revolution, who else does Tides give money to? Here’s a partial list.
Recent recipients of Tides Foundation grants include: the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute; the AdBusters Media Foundation; the American Civil Liberties Union; the ACORN Institute; the Agape Foundation; Alliance For Justice; American Family Voices; the American Friends Service Committee; the American Immigration Law Foundation; the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee; Amnesty International; the Border Action Network; the Brennan Center for Justice; Campaign for America’s Future; the Center for American Progress; the Center for Community Change; the Center for Constitutional Rights; the Center for Reproductive Rights; Changemakers; the Children’s Defense Fund; Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington; the Council on American-Islamic Relations (as revealed in FrontpageMagazine); Democracy Now!; Earth Day Network; Earth Island Institute; Earthjustice; Environmental Defense; Environmental Media Services; the Environmental Working Group; Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting; the Feminist Majority Foundation; Free Press; Funding Exchange; Global Exchange; Grantmakers Without Borders; Grassroots International; Greenpeace; Human Rights First; Human Rights Watch; the Immigrant Legal Resource Center; Institute for America’s Future; Institute for Policy Studies; Institute for Public Accuracy; the Israel Policy Forum; the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law; the Lawyers’ Committee on Nuclear Policy; the Jane Addams Peace Association; the League of Conservation Voters; the League of United Latin American Citizens; the League of Women Voters; the Liberty Hill Foundation; MADRE; Medecins Sans Frontieres; Media Matters for America; Mercy Corps; the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund; the Mexico Solidarity Network; the Middle East Children’s Alliance; Mothers & Others for a Livable Planet; the Ms. Foundation for Women; the NARAL Pro-Choice America Foundation; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers; the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty; the National Council of Churches; the National Lawyers Guild; the National Network of Grantmakers; the National Organization for Women Foundation; the National Wildlife Federation; the Natural Resources Defense Council; the Nature Conservancy (of California and of New York); the New Israel Fund; the New World Foundation; Nonviolent Peaceforce; the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation; Oxfam America; the Pacifica Foundation; Peace Action; the Peace Development Fund; People for the American Way; People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals; Physicians for Social Responsibility; Planned Parenthood; the Ploughshares Fund; Population Connection; the Progress Unity Fund; Project Vote; the Proteus Fund; the Public Citizen Foundation; the Rainforest Action Network; the Rainforest Alliance; the Rockefeller Family Fund; the Ruckus Society; the Sentencing Project; September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows; the Sierra Club; the Shefa Fund; Sojourners; the Threshold Foundation; TrueMajority Action; Trust for Public Land; the Union of Concerned Scientists; USAction; Veterans For Peace; Waterkeeper Alliance; the Wilderness Society; Witness For Peace; Women’s Action for New Directions; and the World Wildlife Fund.
If you are curious as to what else this operation does–as well as how they get American taxpayer money–you should read the rest.
So Brett Kimberlin is a convicted bomber who is now firmly esconsced in the left-wing political establishment.
What does that have to do with any of us?
Well, Robert Stacy McCain is in hiding due to the threats he and his wife have received at the hands of Brett Kimberlin. McCain isn’t an activist. He’s a blogger and a reporter. However, he’s not the only victim here. Aaron Walker, a blogger who writes under the names Aaron Worthing, has documented his various legal run-ins with Brett Kimberlin as well.
Here’s my opinion: Given all we know about Brett Kimberlin–his violent criminal past, his harassment of reporters and his use of lawfare to silence critics–what are we to make of all this?
Read Dan Collins, over at the Conservatory, for an idea of what’s at stake here.
Kimberlin has made a practice of attempting, with some success, to deprive people of their livelihood and their rights. It’s time, for starters, that he was deprived of his, since he lives on the ‘charitable’ contributions of the left, given to him through his tax-exempt sinecures, the Justice Through Music Project and Velvet Revolution. He has attempted, too, to bring charges under RICO against Patterico (whose name probably suggested the scam to him), Nagy, and others. But whose behavior here reeks of coordinated criminal activity, anyway? Not his victims’.
Dan hits a lot of great points. Go ahead and read his post. It’s harrowing.
In Brett Kimberlin, the conservative movement is faced with the honed brutal tip of the Left’s spear. It doesn’t care about particular targets. It is indifferent to the suffering it causes. In the end, all it cares about is silencing the American Right. That silence can be bought with threats, smears legal action or–in the case of Patterico–the threat of death.
We all talk a very big game about the First Amendment. There are very few times when civilians are called upon to defend it. This is one of those times.
If Brett Kimberlin and his ilk are allowed to use the threat of bodily harm, intimidation of family members, loss of livelihood or death to silence critics, then the freedom of speech is effectively finished in the United States. I hate to sound apocalyptic about it, but that’s what we’re dealing with here. What else could it mean?
There is no freedom of speech if a person knows that he will be sued for speaking his mind.
There is no First Amendment if a person can be threatened with physical violence.
It’s that simple.
One last thing: If there are any left-wingers of conscience out there who are reading this, look at what is being done with your movement. While I have many issues with the progressive ideology, I know that not all of you–or even the majority of you–support the tactics of Brett Kimberlin.
Ultimately, the Left will be what you in the liberal sphere want it to be. If you believe that political terrorism is justified, your movement will kill much of what is great about this nation of ours. The Ku Klux Klan used murder and intimidation in order to get their way in the political sphere. It destroyed the possibility of healthy race relations in the United States for decades.
Now there is yet another organized concerted effort to kill political speech in America.
Liberals–Is this what you want for your country? Is this the road you want your nation to go down?
For all of our sakes, I hope there are honorable people in the progressive movement who will stand against this assault on our First Amendment.
An important note: For a good honor roll of bloggers who have taken up this story, check out Paul Lemmen’s post. Nice work, Paul. Thank you.
The Camp Of The Saints,
Trevor Louden’s New Zeal Blog,
Blazing Cat Fur,
Dr. Melissa Clouthier,
The Other McCain,
Absolute Moral Authority,
The Daley Gator,
Goldfish and Clowns,
The Lonely Conservative,
The Wellington Street Post,
Dodo Can Spell,
Lady Liberty 1885,
Save us Chuck Woolery,
The Right Planet,
Patrick Frey of Patterico,
Darleen Click at Protein Wisdom,
That Mr. G Guy,
William Jacobsen at Legal Insurrection,
Carl of Israel Matzav,
Kathy Shaidle of Five Feet of Fury,
Kate of Small Dead Animals,
Yid with Lid,
Jimmie Bise of The Sundries Shack,
The Tamminator at HillBuzz,
Byron Preston at The PJ Tatler,
Bingley at The Coalition of the Swilling,
Susan Duclos at Wake Up America,
Evil Blogger Lady,
Richard Fernandez at Belmont Club,
Ken at Popehat,
Zilla of the Resistance,
Chris Muir of Day by Day,
The Radio Patriot,
The Jawa Report,
Rosslyn Smith at American Thinker,
Paul Zummo at The American Catholic,
Allergic to Bull,
Smitty at The Other McCain.
HUGE UPDATE: Now a massive Memeorandum thread. This has gotten enormous folks. Stay tuned.