Robert Stacy McCain loves to blog about Barrett Brown. In fact, you could call him obsessed. Every post or article about Brown spurs him to write another post in response, shitting all over his First Amendment hero status. Now McCain has been reading #faildoxes about Brown supplied by Jennifer Emick, about whom more in a moment. McCain:
The Pastebin of the March 2011 IRC chat between Barrett and the hacker whose attack temporarily shut down Little Green Footballs has been deleted (because, I suspect, the person who posted it is friends with the hacker) but what I read there stunned me. This hacker had never heard of Charles Johnson or LGF, and had no knowledge of how or why the yearlong collaboration between Charles and Barrrett had ended badly. All this hacker knew was that Barrett said Charles was a bad person and, within a matter of minutes, the hacker had LGF offline.
Think about that. No matter how much you hate Charles Johnson — and I hate him like God hates sin — this vindictive hacker attack incited by Barrett Brown was entirely unscrupulous. Besides being an all-purpose douchebag, what had Charles Johnson done to deserve that, except to have once befriended Barrett Brown?
Yet who but a douchebag would ever be Barrett’s friend?
That document is widely considered a forgery, and Pastebin.com is absolutely chock-full of forgeries. Furthermore, anything that comes from Emick should be presumed a #faildox, if not an outright fabrication, even if it is not on Pastebin, because Emick is a self-inflating nobody. She claims to be responsible for doxing Hector Xavier Monsegur, aka Sabu, but she is one of several people who have claimed that feat, and she was still tweeting at him long after he had gone to work for the FBI because her law enforcement contacts do not actually return her emails anymore. In fact, among Anons she is something of a laughingstock. As far as we can tell, her only real accomplishments are outing some teenage idiots and earning the wrath of genuine hackers. Emick is such a crazy attention whore that she has her own Encyclopedia Dramatica page:
Jennifer Emick is a self-styled ‘alternative religion guru’, writer and internet troll. She suffers from delusions of grandeur, believing that everything she says is infallible, whether or not she has dox to back it up. After being fired from her job, she began spending all her time attempting to convince everyone else that the moderators of WWP had been infiltrated by OSA, the CIA and Reptilians. She accomplished this by changing her story whenever someone asked her a question she couldn’t answer. Thus, her reputation as a lulzcow was established. Eventually it led to rebellion by her personal army of assburgers and emotionally fragile women, resulting in even more butthurt. Jennifer is currently going from forum to forum, trying to get someone to listen to her fantasies.
Indeed, Emick has found a forum for her fantasies at TheOtherMcCain.com, where she is a strange fit. While both of Emick and McCain have been fighting a war against the Anonymous movement for a long time, we are fairly certain McCain despises pagan goddess worshippers like Emick as much as he hates atheists like Brown. But Emick has been “informing” McCain for a while now: she is his resident source on Neal Rauhauser, about whom she is of course the absolute expert, as she is always the infallible expert on everything. So McCain must be okay with her skyclad ceremonies, but we wonder what he makes of her views on Reptilians?
In fact, McCain’s post is a perfect example of his mastery of meta-propaganda, which is an essential element of fringe political speech. McCain establishes a complete loathing for Barrett Brown’s putative victim, Charles Johnson, who has been subject to relentless trolling and organized harassment for years in consequence of his “betrayal” of the right wing war party in 2009. Johnson could no longer stand the Islamophobia, the conspiracy theories masquerading as evidence, and the relentless social agenda — in short, he no longer wanted to hate, and even cited McCain as an example of what he was leaving behind. Brown made the mistake of writing about McCain’s long history of hate speech. In return, McCain hates Johnson and Brown so much that he leaps at the chance to name-check both of them by credulously citing one of the internet’s biggest bullshit artists as a reliable source.
Jennifer Emick’s only expertise is in the contents of her own imagination. Her history of trolling, making false reports to and then exposing law enforcement contacts, and participating in crazy cat lady schemes to frame Neal Rauhauser should tell you everything you really need to know about her role at McCain’s blog. Who but a douchebag famewhore would ever want to be McCain’s friend? But let us return to his post about Brown:
The digital vigilante ethos of Anonymous, which enabled Brown basically to put out a “hit” contract on his enemy, is what was wrong with the Anonymous project from Day One. The radical slogan, “By Any Means Necessary” — which recognizes no ethical limits in political combat, but justifies dishonesty and criminality as long as these serve to advance the Glorious Cause — encourages and incites wrongful tactics against anyone identified as an Enemy of the Glorious Cause.
And anyone can become such an Enemy, simply by becoming a nuisance to one of the leaders of the radical mob.
This brings us to the Hayekian insight: Why the Worst Get on Top.
Barrett Brown coveted leadership status with Anonymous for selfish reasons, and one of those reasons was that, if anyone disagreed with or criticized Barrett Brown, he could sic his hacker buddies on them, to shut down their Web sites, to dox them or otherwise harass them, to intimidate them, to smear them.
We find that passage interesting, because McCain recognizes no ethical limits in political combat. He never condemned Aaron Walker or William Hoge for inserting themselves in the Kimberlin family’s turmoil. No, he justifies that sort of dishonesty and criminality to advance the Glorious Cause of taking down his enemies, including Brett Kimberlin, by whatever means necessary. He encourages and incites wrongful tactics against anyone identified as the Enemy of that Glorious Cause, and all one need do in order to earn such enmity is to become a nuisance to the leaders of the anti-Kimberlin mob. Just ask Bill Schmalfeldt.
Anonymous is a leaderless movement. Insofar as Barrett Brown ever had a leadership role, it was at the consent of the Anons who respected him. He found legal representation for arrested hacktivists and touted their techno-libertarian agenda, but he was never in charge of Anonymous because techno-libertarians do not have those kinds of leaders. In fact, it is not clear what McCain means by “political combat” in this context, because the politics of Anonymous don’t quite fit within the usual left-right paradigms of McCain’s world. Perhaps he is simply admitting by projection that he considers his blog a form of political combat, and that Jennifer Emick is his weapon against his enemies — especially Anonymous.