This is an expanded version of a post I made on Everyone Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day.
I’m sure much of this has been gone over before, but it bears repeating.
Here’s an interesting bit of information on convicted felon, Brett Kimberlin who has recently been taking up a lot of bandwidth on New Media outlets and blogs all over the internet.Evidently, right before the election of George H.W. Bush, Brett Kimberlin trotted out a story to Nina Tottenberg of NPR News that he had sold maurijuana to Vice-Presidential candidate, Dan Quayle back in the 70’s.
Upper echelon members of the Bush campaign staff supposedly started running scared and used every means at their disposal to keep Kimberlin silent until after the election.This story raised enough of a stink that Senator Carl Levin from Michagan started an investigation into the affair. Here’s a short excerpt from that report;
>>STATEMENT AND REPORT OF SENATOR CARL LEVIN (D-MICH)
ON ACTIONS BY BUREAU OF PRISONS IN RESPONSE TO
MEDIA CONTACTS WITH PRISONER BRETT KIMBERLIN
October 2, 1992
>>In the belly of the voting-reform movement is a man who personifies this paradoxical lack of credibility in the service of a credible cause. Brett Kimberlin was convicted in 1981 of a series of bombings in Indiana. By his own account, he dealt “many, many tons” of marijuana in the 1970s. Most famously, he is the man who from his prison cell alleged that as a law student Dan Quayle bought marijuana from him. Quayle repeatedly denied the charge, and it was never substantiated. In e-mails and Web postings from Kimberlin’s two organizations, Justice Through Music and Velvet Revolution, he intersperses occasionally useful pieces of information about the problems of e-voting with a hefty portion of bunk, repeatedly asserting as fact things that are not true. Kimberlin, in short, is an unlikely candidate to affect an important issue of public policy.
Read more here.
I’ll give Kimberlin this…he’s right about paperless balloting, especially in leiu of the purchase of SOE by a foreign company, SCYTL from the Catalonia area of Spain;
>When you view your local or state election results on the Internet, on portals which often appear to be owned by the county elections division, in over 525 US jurisdictions you are actually redirected to a private corporate site controlled by SOE software, which operates under the name ClarityElections.com.
The good news is that this firm promptly reports precinct-level detail in downloadable spreadsheet format. As reported by BlackBoxVoting.org in 2008, the bad news is that this centralizes one middleman access point for over 525 jurisdictions in AL, AZ, CA, CO, DC, FL, KY, MI, KS, IL, IN, NC, NM, MN, NY, SC, TX, UT, WA. And growing.
As local election results funnel through SOE’s servers (typically before they reach the public elsewhere), those who run the computer servers for SOE essentially get “first look” at results and the ability to immediately and privately examine vote details throughout the USA.
In 2004, many Americans were justifiably concerned when, days before the presidential election, Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell redirected Ohio election night results through the Tennessee-based server for several national Republican Party operations.
This is worse: This redirects results reporting to a centralized privately held server which is not just for Ohio, but national; not just USA-based, but global.
A mitigation against fraud by SOE insiders has been the separation of voting machine systems from the SOE results reports. Because most US jurisdictions require posting evidence of results from each voting machine at the precinct, public citizens can organize to examine these results to compare with SOE results. Black Box Voting spearheaded a national citizen action to videotape / photograph these poll tapes in 2008.
With the merger of SOE and SCYTL, that won’t work (if SCYTL’s voting system is used). When there are two truly independent sources of information, the public can perform its own “audit” by matching one number against the other.
These two independent sources, however, will now be merged into one single source: an Internet voting system controlled by SCYTL, with a results reporting system also controlled by SCYTL.
With SCYTL internet voting, there will be no ballots. No physical evidence. No chain of custody. No way for the public to authenticate who actually cast the votes, chain of custody, or the count.
SCYTL is moving into or already running elections in: the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Norway, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, India and Australia.
SCYTL is based in Barcelona; its funding comes from international venture capital funds including Nauta Capital, Balderton Capital and Spinnaker.
In 2007…the top 250 companies in the world had sales in excess of $14.7 trillion…an amount exceeding the GDP [Gross Domestic Product] of the United States or the European Union, $13.2 trillion and $13.7 trillion, respectively…combined sales of the top five (Wal-Mart, Exxon-Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell, BP and General Motors) was nearly $1.5 trillion — larger than the GDP of all but seven countries.” — Superclass: The Global Power Elite and the World They Are Making, by David Rothkopf
In no way am I writing an upbeat story about this convicted domestic terrorist, but in doing research, it comes to my attention that Brett Kimberlin has a lot of friends in high places. Here’s a blurb from X Contra who has been writing about this;
And I am going to tell you about how Brett Kimberlin attempted to frame me for a crime. He attempted to make authorities in Maryland believe that on January 9, 2012, as we were both exiting a courtroom, I essentially beat him up. You will see him claim that I “decked” him, that the sheriff’s deputies had to separate me from him, that I kept coming at him and the deputies had to restrain me.
And then you will see video of the incident and realize that all of this is a lie. I will even show you a second video that contrasts Kimberlin’s words with the video footage. That is right, you are not going to have to believe my word. You will only have to believe your eyes.
And apparently, he has money behind him and political protection. It is a bad business.
And Kimberlin is apparently just the extreme case of the typical whispering campaigns and blacklisting that occur from the left. Remember: Richard Nixon and Joe McCarthy did not run the Hollywood Blacklist. It was Hollywood itself that blacklisted directors, actors and writers.
The prevailing story is that the Kimberlin allegation that he sold Marijuana or Cocaine to Vice-Presidential candidate Dan Quayle was purposely squashed by the major media. One blogger has taken umbrage with that statement.Lyf Lines has written The Brett Kimberlin Story and documented the falsity of this statement with these Gary Trudeau cartoons of the time;
My reaction when I first heard it, though, was, “I’ve heard that name before.” And I have. Brett Kimberlin, convicted domestic terrorist, claimed in 1991 that he was essentially a political prisoner, because he had sold cocaine to then-Senator Dan Quayle, and that Quayle, currently the Vice President of the United States, was using the Federal Bureau of prisons to keep him from getting the story out. And I know this not because it was a big story in the mainstream press, but because one of those, like Joe Biden and John Kerry, who has been wrong on every issue that the country has dealt with over the last forty years, is Garry Trudeau. And Trudeau ran with Kimberlin’s story. For three weeks, that was the sole focus of the Doonesbury strip.
Here’s the document from Kimberlin’s suit against J. Michael Quinlan, Director of the Bureau of Prisons (Bureau), Loye W. Miller, Jr., Director of Public Affairs at the Department of Justice (Department), and the United States;
Since “substantial costs attend the litigation of the subjective good faith of government officials,” Harlow, 457 U.S. at 816, 102 S.Ct. at 2737, and since the Court stressed the need to terminate insubstantial Bivens11 claims before trial, see id., at 815-16, 102 S.Ct. at 2736-37, we have supplanted the liberal pleading requirements of the Federal Rules with a heightened pleading standard whenever a plaintiff in a Bivens claim alleges an unconstitutional motive.
890 F.2d at 1171 (citing Malhoyt, Smith and Hobson ). More recently, in Siegert, we clearly explained how the standard applies to a summary judgment motion based on qualified immunity:
Where the defendant’s subjective intent is an essential component of plaintiff’s claim, once defendant has moved for pretrial judgment based on a showing of the objective reasonableness of his actions, then plaintiff, to avert dismissal short of trial, must come forward with something more than inferential or circumstantial support for his allegation of unconstitutional motive. That is, some direct evidence that the officials’ actions were improperly motivated must be produced if the case is to proceed to trial.
895 F.2d at 801-02 (citing Martin, 812 F.2d at 1435); see also Whitacre, 890 F.2d at 1171 (“[W]e have imposed, in cases where the defendant’s subjective intent is an essential part of the claim, a demanding requirement on the plaintiff in order to proceed to trial or obtain discovery. See Martin v. District of Columbia Metro. Police Dep’t, 812 F.2d 1425, 1435 (D.C.Cir.1987). ‘[T]o avert dismissal short of trial, [the plaintiff] must come forward with something more than inferential or circumstantial support for his allegation of unconstitutional motive. That is, some direct evidence that the officials’ actions were improperly motivated must be produced if the case is to proceed to trial.’ Id. (emphasis added).”). Thus, in response to Miller’s and Quinlan’s motions below, Kimberlin was required to proffer direct evidence of unconstitutional motive on the part of the two defendants and was precluded from relying on mere circumstantial evidence. We conclude Kimberlin failed to sustain this burden.12
[303 U.S.App.D.C. 337] To establish unconstitutional motive for his first detention, Kimberlin relied primarily on alleged discrepancies among the various participants’ accounts of the circumstances preceding the detention. On November 4, the date of Kimberlin’s first detention, Miller spoke over the telephone at least twice with the radio reporter who, according to Miller, related that Kimberlin had told her the cancellation of the press conference “led him to believe his safety was threatened by the hostile attitude of the prison authorities.” Miller Memorandum 2-3. Quinlan, consistently, maintained he placed Kimberlin in detention after, and because, he learned that the reporter had “advised Loye Miller … that she believed Kimberlin might be in some ‘danger.’ ” Keating Memorandum at 3. The reporter, on the other hand, while admitting that an hour before his detention Kimberlin told her he “was concerned about what the Justice Department might do to him,” denied having “quoted Kimberlin as saying his life was in danger.” November 9, 1990 Declaration of Radio Reporter at 2. Kimberlin himself denied ever having “perceived” or “expressed” “fears that other inmates would harm [him].” Kimberlin Declaration at 3.13 Assuming, as we must on this motion, that the reporter’s recollection of her conversations is correct and that she did not relay Kimberlin’s fear of the Department to Miller, her account merely disputes Miller’s description of their conversations, without contradicting the affirmative evidence that Quinlan ordered the detention because of information regarding Kimberlin’s safety, whether or not accurately conveyed, that he received from Miller.14 More importantly, none of the evidence Kimberlin cites does more than cast doubt on the appellants’ stated reasons for their actions–it does not constitute direct evidence that they acted out of any impermissible motive, as our circuit’s heightened standard requires. Cf. St. Mary’s Honor Ctr. v. Hicks, — U.S. —-, 113 S.Ct. 2742, 125 L.Ed.2d 407 (1993) (title vii plaintiff does not carry burden of persuasion merely by disproving proffered explanation for firing but must affirmatively establish race as actual motivating factor).
In fact, the motive Kimberlin alleges–denying him access to the press–seems particularly unlikely since Kimberlin had already aired his allegations to NBC News and was permitted telephone contact with members of the media and others, even during his detention. See Deposition of Richard D. Acuff, Exh. 4 (handwritten notes by prison staff documenting seven calls made by Kimberlin on November 5 during his detention); November 7, 1988 Memorandum of T.C. Martin to J. Michael Quinlan (referring to “[s]even cassette tapes” containing “copies of the telephone conversation by Brett Kimberlin with numerous news media personnel, family and friends”); Sabol Letter at 3 (“Kimberlin spoke to the radio reporter “again on Saturday, November 4, 1988, while he was still in detention”). Further, the timing and tenor of Miller’s conversations with the Bush/Quayle campaign belie any influence from that source. Because there is no direct evidence that Miller attempted to secure Kimberlin’s detention or that Quinlan did so for any reason other than Kimberlin’s safety, we conclude the district court erred in [303 U.S.App.D.C. 338] denying summary judgment as it related to Kimberlin’s first detention.
Kimberlin’s second allegation, that the November 7 detention was also ordered to deny him access to the press, fares no better. First, Kimberlin has cited no direct evidence that either Quinlan or Miller was even involved in this detention which appears to have been ordered by local prison officials. See Sabol Letter at 4 (“[T]his placement in administrative detention and the one in December, 1988, were both done at the local level and did not involve any direction or consultation with staff members of the Bureau of Prisons or the Department of Justice in Washington.”); Keating Memorandum at 4 (“[T]he local officials decided to place Kimberlin in detention on Monday morning. The Central Office was not involved in that decision.”).15 In addition, as already noted, it is beyond dispute that Kimberlin violated the published third-party call regulation–the reason the Bureau proffered for his second detention both contemporaneously, see November 7, 1988 Incident Report; November 14, 1988 Disciplinary Hearing Officer Report, and subsequently, see Keating Memorandum 96; Sabol Letter at 68-69. Kimberlin has come forth with no direct evidence of any other motive for this detention.16
Finally, the appellants are entitled to qualified immunity on Kimberlin’s claim that the December 22 detention was retaliatory because the record is also devoid of any direct evidence that either appellant was involved in that detention which, according to El Reno records, was imposed by local officials for a second alleged violation of the third-party call regulation.
In sum, Kimberlin relies only on inference and weak circumstantial evidence, notably the timing of events, to support his claim of unconstitutional detention by Quinlan and Miller; he has produced no direct evidence of unconstitutional motive for any of his detentions as required under our heightened standard. Such unsubstantiated claims as Kimberlin raises are precisely the sort that both [303 U.S.App.D.C. 339] qualified immunity and our circuit’s heightened standard are intended to cut short. Accordingly, the district court’s denial of the individual defendants’ motion to dismiss or for summary judgment on the first amendment claims is
Reversed and remanded.
This is the first time Brett Kimberlin was slapped down. His case against the US government and officials in government service was unsubstantiated and based on hearsay evidence and didn’t meet the court’s standard for relief.
I’ve been trying to find out how a man who was sentenced to fifty years in prison got out on parole after only serving fourteen years. Don’t state and federal government have minimum sentencing guide lines? That document is here.
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.1
Kimberlin’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.
Under the paroling policy guidelines, see 18 U.S.C. § 4203(a)(1); 28 C.F.R. § 2.20 (1992),2 each parole determination is based upon two factors: an Offense Category and a Salient Factor Score. The Offense Category rates the severity of the inmate’s offenses according to an index of federal crimes, although the Commission may use a different category in cases of “especially mitigating or aggravating circumstances.” 28 C.F.R. § 2.20(d) (1992). The Salient Factor Score purports to predict whether a prisoner will violate parole based upon facts such as the number of prior convictions, and age and probation status at the time of the offense. See 28 C.F.R. § 2.20(e) (1992). An inmate may receive a Salient Factor Score of “Very Good,” “Good,” “Fair,” or “Poor.”
Once the Commission selects the appropriate Offense Category and Salient Factor Score, it must then cross-reference these scores on a grid to determine a recommended range of parole release dates. See Guidelines for Decisionmaking, 28 C.F.R. § 2.20 (1992).
On June 20, 1988, the Commission gave Kimberlin a prehearing assessment, which noted a Salient Factor Score of 7, and placed him in Offense Category 8, the highest possible Offense Category, because his offense behavior “involved, among other things, the explosion of a bomb resulting in various serious injuries and eventually the death of an individual.”
The hearing panel agreed with the prehearing assessment, rating Kimberlin’s Offense Category as 8, and giving him a Salient Factor Score of 7. The panel found that they ordinarily would have set his presumptive parole date at 180 months. However, in view of certain mitigating circumstances the panel recommended that his parole date be set at 168 months, i.e., on February 15, 1993. The panel also recommended that a Regional Commissioner consider the case for original jurisdiction, because Kimberlin was serving a sentence of more than forty-five years and because of “the publicity involved in this offense.”3
On August 12, 1988, Regional Commissioner Victor M.F. Reyes designated Kimberlin’s case as an original jurisdiction case and referred it to the National Commission for decision. In addition, Commissioner Reyes disagreed with the panel’s parole release recommendation of 168 months, and recommended that Kimberlin serve 240 months.
About two months after Reyes’ recommendations, a friend of Kimberlin, acting with his approval, informed reporter Nina Totenberg of National Public Radio that Kimberlin claimed to have sold small quantities of marijuana to then-candidate for Vice President Dan Quayle for Quayle’s personal use in the early 1970’s, when he was attending law school. According to Kimberlin,
[t]he story then leaked from NPR to other media in Washington. NBC sent a crew to interview me on November 4th. The local newspaper found out about the story and broke it later that day. This caused the press to inundate the prison with requests for interviews. The staff here asked me to give a press conference at 7 pm on the 4th. I agreed and signed the consent forms. However, the Justice Department in Washington cancelled the press conference leaving 40 reporters standing out in front of the prison.
So what we find out here is that federal sentencing guidelines are, ( or were at the time), very lenient. You hear about it all the time where a person convicted of a violent crime is released early and ends up committing another violent crime, when if the person had been made to serve the full sentence, an innocent victim or victims would still be alive today.
I found all this in about two hours on Google, sifting through about a half a million hits on Brett Kimberlin. This dude makes Al Capone look like a grade school bully by comparison.