Politically, I have very little in this fight. To the extent I follow politics, they are mostly local. As a self identified Libertarian, I am liberal on some issues, and conservative on others. Leave me alone.
This post isn’t about right wing bloggers or left wing bloggers. This is about the First Amendment, and a man named Brett Kimberlin who is a litigious, convicted terrorist who uses frivolous lawsuits to try and silence his critics. And I think you ought to know about it.
Who exactly is Brett Kimberlin? This video will tell you:
I became interested in Brett Kimberlin when I learned he tried to frame blogger Aaron Walker for a crime using frivolous litigation. I’ve never met Aaron personally, though I read his story after reading about it on Popehat.
Another one of Kimberlin’s critics, Patterico, who runs the blog Patterico’s Pontifications, had the swat team called on him, when someone falsely reported a shooting in his house:
Brett Kimberlin is a convicted terrorist (bomber, specifically), known as the Speedway Bomber. Kimberlin v. White, 7 F.3d 527 (6th Cir. 1993). He earned that title by settling off eight bombs in six days in the community of Speedway, Indiana. According to the court:
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, [Brett] 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).
Kimberlin’s actions were found to have caused Carl DeLong to commit suicide. A jury entered an award of $1,250,000.00. The court found this award was reasonable:
Carl DeLong, 44 years of age at the time of his death, had been married to Sandra, then 43, for 23 years. The couple had one son, then age 18, who lived in the DeLong home, and a married daughter, approximately 22 and the mother of the DeLongs’ grandchild. A Vietnam War veteran, DeLong had been employed for 17 years at Detroit Diesel Allison Division of General Motors Corporation, most recently as a parts inspector, and was a captain in the United States Army Reserves. Proof of damages offered at trial included medical expenses of $35,656.57 and funeral and burial expenses of $4,132.85. His annual income in 1982, the year preceding his death, totalled approximately $31,500.00 in addition to non-wage benefits valued at $4.75 per working hour. Evidence also indicated that his projected annual retirement income at age 65 would have been $21,480.00.
Considering these circumstances, the jury finding of damages in the amount of $1,250,000.00 does not appear outrageous at first blush. The verdict does not indicate passion, prejudice, or partiality rather than reasoned assessment. We decline to find the wrongful death judgment to be excessive.
First, this isn’t about dredging up a crime that happened 34 years ago. Kimberlin has done plenty since then. He made claims about selling pot to Dan Quayle — claims that the lefty author of a book about Kimberlin believes are false. He deceptively avoided paying a wrongful death judgment to the widow of the man he blew up. He sued a small-time blogger in 2011 for telling the truth about him, and made several false statements about his history under oath in an effort to win a large cash judgment. He made several provably false statements regarding his encounter with Aaron Walker, in an effort to get the State of Maryland to prosecute Walker. He has regularly defamed, harassed, and stalked people who criticized him.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, folks.
This, however, was probably the biggest kick in the gut for me, a letter written by Carl DeLong to his wife before committing suicide. This is how Brett Kimberlin’s actions affected Carl DeLong’s family:
Sandy,I am going to write several things that may not make sense. But I’m trying to do my best, whatever you think of me or don’t think of me. I want you to know that I do love you. I love DeDe Steve Eddy & Melissa very much. This sounds like an easy way out but it’s not.I have done you so many misjudgement’ and I don’t know how else to set it straight. Don’t think of me too bad, because I am not all that tough or bad. Sometimes people that live together take each other for granted. I guess that’s the way I have been doing to you. I don’t have any real explanation for my actions and I don’t expect you to understand them. Please try to love me a little.Love you DavidYou have been a wonderful wife and Mother and I know I don’t deserve you and you sure didn’t deserve me.
I STILL LOVE YOU
Steve,Just want you to understand son. I don’t know what to really say except, Steve I am very proud of you and I hope you never make the mistakes that your Dad has. Forgive me please Steve, take care of your Mother she need’s you very much.Love Ya,DadP.S. Keep on with your band one of these days you will make it.
So that’s Brett Kimberlin, folks. A convicted bomber, a man who tried to frame Aaron Walker for a crime, and someone who took a father from his wife and children.
You ought to know that.