Tip of the hat to Michelle Malkin, whose May 23 column does one of the best jobs I’ve seen of laying out the convoluted tale of a low-level Democratic activist named Brett Kimberlin and his attempts to shut down those who criticize him. She applies the “disinfectant of sunshine” to a seamy story that deserves mainstream play.Brett Kimberlin, subject of the book Citizen K, is the Speedway Bomber. If that is not familiar to you, you might remember him as the man who claimed he sold Vice President Dan Quayle drugs. Kimberlin is also, now, decades later, a left of center activist, former Independent Music Awards Industry Judge, involved in organizations getting Tides Foundation and Heinz Family Foundation grants, and is back in the media for harassing and bullying anyone who mentions his past.According to the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, Brett Kimberlin was convicted of a series of bombings in Speedway, Indiana, and other drug related matters. From the Court of Appeals:
Kimberlin was convicted as the so-called “Speedway Bomber,” who terrorized the city of Speedway, Indiana, by detonating a series of explosives in early September 1978. In the worst incident, Kimberlin placed one of his bombs in a gym bag, and left it in a parking lot outside Speedway High School. Carl Delong was leaving the high school football game with his wife when he attempted to pick up the bag and it exploded. The blast tore off his lower right leg and two fingers, and embedded bomb fragments in his wife’s leg. He was hospitalized for six weeks, during which he was forced to undergo nine operations to complete the amputation of his leg, reattach two fingers, repair damage to his inner ear, and remove bomb fragments from his stomach, chest, and arm. In February 1983, he committed suicide.After being convicted of the bombings and related offenses, Kimberlin was sentenced to a fifty-year term of imprisonment for manufacturing and possessing a destructive device, and malicious damage by explosives with personal injury in violation of 26 U.S.C. §§ 5861(d) and (f), and 18 U.S.C. §§ 844(f) and (i). He received a concurrent twelve-year sentence for impersonating a federal officer, illegal use of a Department of Defense insignia, and illegal use of the Presidential Seal in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 912, 701, and 713, respectively, and a five-year term for receipt of explosives by a convicted felon in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 842(i)(1). Finally, he was given a four-year sentence by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas on an earlier, unrelated conviction for conspiracy to distribute marijuana.1Kimberlin’s sentences were aggregated by the Bureau of Prisons and, pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 2.5, were treated by the Commission as a single aggregate sentence of fifty-one years, six months, and nineteen days. He received an initial parole hearing by a two-person panel of the Commission on July 28, 1988.
Of late, Kimberlin’s name has surfaced because one blogger claims to have been driven from his home due to Kimberlin’s harassment. Why the harassment? Various bloggers and others have pointed out that Kimberlin runs a variety of left-wing organizations getting money from the deep pockets of the left. As the web of connections has increased, so has the harassment. Yet again, the left tries to silence dissent.
Kimberlin is involved in and founded Justice Through Music, an activist site billing itself as “Music. Politics. Activism.” He has also been involved in a group called the Velvet Revolution. Back in 2010, the Velvet Revolution spearheaded an effort to have Andrew Breitbart, Hannah Giles, and James O’Keefe prosecuted for their investigative work around ACORN.Justice Through Music, which claims to do “voter education and registration” is a Tides Foundation grant recipient. According to Breitbart’s Big Journalism site, Justice Through Music “has received a total of over $1.3 million in public gifts and grants since 2005 for these efforts.” (See also the Justice Through Music Project 2008 Form 990-EZ)Likewise, Velvet Revolution, started with Brad Friedman of BradBlog, received $51,000.00 in 2009 from the Tides Foundation, which also gave Media Matters for America $75,000.00 the same year.As individual bloggers and sites like Breitbart.com have begun shedding light on Brett Kimberlin, Kimberlin has resorted to suing them. In an email to noted conservative blogger (and prosecutor) Patterico, Kimberlin threatened to sue Patterico writing,
I have filed over a hundred lawsuits and another one will be no sweat for me. On the other hand, it will cost you a lot of time and money and for what. I run a small non profit that works to inspire youth to get involved. I have only met Brad Friedman one time in my life. Your piece is a smear job against both me and Brad.
Robert Stacey McCain has posted his intentions to go into hiding after his wife’s employer was harassed relating to McCain’s blogging about Kimberlin.Others, including Aaron Walker, and Breitbart blogger Liberty Chick have likewise been notified of lawsuits and other harassment for pointing out Brett Kimberlin’s background and sources of funding from prominent organizations like the Tides Foundation.As Patterico notes, back on January 24, 1995, the Washington Times posted a editorial made a point about Democratic activists rallying to Kimberlin that rings true today.
those who have befriended and promoted Kimberlin should be ashamed. Kimberlin committed a truly monstrous crime. He planted a bomb in a high school parking lot on game day -an act that was random, brutal and targeted at children. It is a testament to the viciousness of Washington politics that such a man has been embraced by some in the firmament of the Democratic establishment.
That was in 1995. In the past decade, the Tides Foundation and others have been subsidizing organizations Kimberlin helped set up for political activism, much the way Barack Obama once used foundation money to subsidize Bill Ayers. And now, when Kimberlin’s past is brought up, he has sought to silence his critics.As Michelle Malkin points out today, “The mainstream press, not just the conservative blogosphere, needs to hear and report their stories.”