Ask yourself if the following scenario seems likely:
A convicted perjurer and bomber, obsessed with people he perceives to be his “enemies,” sees evidence of a threat by one of those long-time “enemies.” The threat is made in a comment to a blog post about the bomber, 9 days after the post was originally published. The bomber sees that threat 1-8 minutes after the threat is made. This occurs around midnight.
The threat is by an impostor commenter, falsely using the name of the bomber’s “enemy.” Within minutes, the host of the blog notices the fakery, deletes the comment and related comments, and posts explanatory comments that he has done so. But the bomber/perjurer already has the threat on his Internet browser.
Despite the evident importance of the threat, however, he waits at least 32 minutes to capture the screenshot.
Then the perjurer and bomber never refreshes the thread again in the next 19 days.
The perjurer and bomber says he’s not the guy who left the threat. And he doesn’t know who did. He just happened to see it, coincidentally, during that 8-minute window, 9 days after the post was published. And that was the last time he ever hit “refresh” on the post about himself.
Does this scenario make any sense at all?
If you say “no,” then you just might be thinking that Brett Kimberlin is astroturfing threats against him and his political allies.
Yesterday morning, Aaron Walker sent me Brett Kimberlin’s response to Aaron’s motion for an emergency stay. This passage from Kimberlin’s brief got my attention:
Petitioner provided those officials evidence of credible threats to Judge Vaughey and to others who have been threatened, including the New Hampshire Attorney General who is investigating associates of Mr. Walker for widespread criminal activity. See Exhibit F, where someone stated that they should take pitchforks to the Maryland Courthouse to target Judge Vaughey, and that they should go to New Hampshire to target the Attorney General and his staff from a “grassy knoll.”
Kimberlin then provides this screenshot as Exhibit F:
That’s a little blurry, but the final allegedly threatening comment purports to be from me. Which it really isn’t. It was left by an imposter.
Here’s the interesting part about that comment, left by an imposter pretending to be me:
Brett Kimberlin pulled up that comment within 8 minutes of when the comment was made. This was around midnight his time. Then, despite having this supposed evidence of a threat by me, he waited at least 32 minutes longer before actually taking the screenshot.
That way, he made it look as though he didn’t stumble across the comment until 40 minutes after it was made. But in truth, he pulled up the comment within 8 minutes, not 40 minutes.
Let me walk you through exactly what happened.
I still remember that comment, because it’s rare for people to impersonate you on your own blog. Here are the two comments that appear in Kimberlin’s screenshot:
Does anyone get the impression with all these subpoenas flying around, that the New Hampshire AG Michael Delaney and his Associate AG “Dick Head” (exactly what I’m planning to name my kid someday) are going after O’keefe for totally bogus reasons?
We need to be out protesting, not just in front of the courthouse in Maryland, where that moronic judge had Aaron Walker arrested for supposed “death threats” on his blog. Pitch forks in hand, Burrough Road in New Hampshire should be our next target, so that we can teach Dick Head’s boss a lesson about the first amendment on his grassy knolls.
Comment by PaschalM — 6/3/2012 @ 8:47 pm
Why don’t we kill two birds with one stone. Delaney’s grassy knoll on Burrough Road in Canterbury, NH isn’t that far from Dick Head’s house on Sansome Lane in Warner, NH.
Comment by Patterico — 6/3/2012 @ 8:53 pm
That second comment was not made by me. It was made by “PaschalM” — 6 minutes after he made his own comment. He was just pretending to be “Patterico.”
I checked my blog within 15 minutes of the phony “Patterico” comment. I saw the phony comment and pulled it down, along with the PaschalM comment that bore the same IP address. I still have those comments in my moderation filter. Here they are, with the identical IP addresses:
I then left the following comments:
A commenter named PaschalM left a comment, then left another comment pretending to be me, responding to his own comment. The commenter has been banned and the comments removed.
Comment by Patterico — 6/3/2012 @ 9:08 pm
Keep in mind that there are sock puppets around planting stuff. If you see a comment that purports to be from me, but doesn’t sound like me, it may not be me.
Comment by Patterico — 6/3/2012 @ 9:09 pm
But in the meantime, JD had already commented, responding to the phony comment made by fake Patterico. I trashed JD’s comment, which I found today in my trash filter. I’m not taking a screenshot of the whole thing, which would show his IP address and email, but this screenshot shows that it was left at 9:01 p.m.
So here is the entire chronology of the pertinent comments on that Brett Kimberlin thread:
8:47 p.m. (11:47 p.m. Eastern): PaschalM leaves comment.
8:53 p.m. (11:53 p.m. Eastern): PaschalM posing as Patterico leaves comment.
9:01 p.m. (12:01 a.m. Eastern): JD leaves comment on same thread.
9:08 p.m. (12:08 Eastern): I announce that I have deleted all three of the above comments.
Now here is where it gets interesting.
Look again at the Kimberlin screenshot. The very last comment on the thread in that screenshot is the one by “Patterico” which is really a fake comment by a poser. This means that the 12:01 a.m. Eastern comment by JD had not been left yet.
So Kimberlin pulled up the page after fake Patterico left a comment at 11:53 p.m. Eastern, but before JD left his comment at 12:01 a.m. Eastern.
That is an eight minute window that Kimberlin had to access the comment the way it appears in his screenshot.
Now look at the time at the top of the screenshot. That is when the screenshot was taken: 12:33 a.m. This means that Kimberlin waited until 12:33 a.m. to take the screenshot. Since he had not refreshed the page, it still looked the way it looked when he pulled it up — but the clock kept running at the top of the display.
He had that seemingly damning evidence sitting on his computer, but somehow he didn’t take the screenshot for at least another 32 minutes after he originally pulled up the page.
With this knowledge in mind, let’s do a revised chronology, using only Eastern time, which is Kimberlin’s time in Maryland:
11:47 p.m. Eastern: PaschalM leaves comment.
11:53 p.m. Eastern: PaschalM posing as Patterico leaves comment.
Between 11:53 p.m. Eastern and 12:01 a.m. Eastern: Kimberlin accesses the post.
12:01 a.m. Eastern: JD leaves comment on same thread. (This comment does not appear on Kimberlin’s screenshot.)
12:08 Eastern: I announce that I have deleted all three of the above comments. (This is not reflected on Kimberlin’s screenshot.)
12:33 a.m.: Kimberlin takes the screenshot.
Now, why would someone be obsessive enough to be refreshing a post so often that they pulled up a comment only available (as the screenshot appeared) in an eight-minute window — but wait at least 32 more minutes to take the screenshot?
One possible explanation: the person didn’t want it to look like they took the screenshot just minutes after the comment was made. So they wait a suitable time after the comment is made — say, 40 minutes — so it all looks casual. Like they just stumbled on it.
Here’s another thing.
The blog post in question was posted on May 25, 2012. The comments in question were made nine days later, on June 3, 2012. Kimberlin filed this response on June 22, 2012 — 19 days after these comments were made.
Kimberlin is on record as despising me. He has threatened me with a defamation lawsuit. He has filed a State Bar Complaint against me. He has complained about me to my office. (That’s a matter of public record, so I am giving nothing away.) He has complained about me to the stalking unit of my office, and reported me to Kamala Harris. He has insinuated in court documents that I may be responsible for a plot to murder him, and he has spoken of filing a RICO action against me and others.
So now, he just so happens to catch a comment, allegedly by me, allegedly threatening his political allies — in a narrow eight-minute window after it was made, nine days after the post was originally published — and he never refreshed the page again in the next 19 days?
Either that, or he forgot to tell the court that I had said the comment wasn’t mine.
Game, set, and match.