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Matchstick Man Endorses McCain’s Conspiracy Theory

paullemmenAccording to his WikiPedia entry, Paul H. Lemmen (pictured) “is a military impostor and convicted criminal, specializing in fraud.” Lemmen was arrested at a military funeral in 2006 wearing general’s stars and an Air Force uniform. In fact, he was just a civilian with a penchant for self-inflation, fraud, bad checks, and embezzlement. Now blogging openly as a supposedly-repentant con artist, last year Lemmen became a source of drama in the Brett Kimberlin wars, alleging victimization by all sides in turn, always with exactly the same credibility level one expects in a pathological liar and drama queen. Yesterday, the inveterate matchstick man endorsed a new permutation of the Kimberlin Konspiracy by alleging that I participated in seducing and then betraying him:

Their compliment laden missives and chats, the manipulation and bad faith are clearly seen in hindsight but were blinding bright then. These people are evil with evil intent and evil motives. I reject them and apologize for any posts, articles and/or comments I have made on their blogs, web sites or other media. These people, through false and misleading information supplied to me (some, I have learned were outright lies), manipulated and guided my writing to produce their desired output. I in effect became their virtual sock-puppet, producing harmful posts that they used to attack and smear people whom I respect.

Just to be sure, I have searched my email records and confirmed that I have never corresponded with Mr. Lemmen. Since I only IM chat with a select group of very close friends, I am quite sure I have never corresponded with him that way, either. I think he may have sent me a tweet once, but it was long ago. Surely Mr. Lemmen the convicted fraud and con artist has some, y’know, proof of my “evil” communications with him? Like an email address, maybe? Nope:

I have searched my computer for those articles, emails and chat transcripts to no avail. I had deleted then earlier this year in disgust at what I had done.

This transparent lie is ambitious. For example, Lemmen claims that the Crooks and Liars website was involved in this “social engineering” — a direct reference to this post about the National Bloggers Club (NBC) published at Crooks and Liars on September 12th, 2012 that indirectly cited his claims among dozens of sources. At the time, Lemmen was calling foul on the opaque fundraising habits and membership standards of the NBC after its President, Ali Akbar, was revealed to be a convicted debit card fraud. At the time, Lemmen claimed that blogger Lee Stranahan had acted as the NBC’s “enforcer,” leaning on him to retract his statements. Now he repudiates all that by claiming that “Crooks and Liars” has communicated with him in bad faith.

But as the executive author of the post, I know better. No one at Crooks and Liars communicated with anyone but me while the story was being compiled. My two co-authors on the article, Alex Brant-Zawadzki and Bill Schmalfeldt, were never in contact with website staff, as I am the only one of us with front page privileges at Crooks and Liars. Moreover, how did an entire website email and IM chat with him? If Lemmen had been in communication with a person at the site — an editor, for example — wouldn’t he post their name instead of the site name?

Maybe when he says “communications with Crooks and Liars,” Lemmen is actually thinking of this comment he left under the NBC post:


For reporting on this. I have forwarded this to Jeff Rossen and Sandra Thomas of NBC’s“The Today Show”. Hopefully they will sit up and take notice. Good work, fellows, you deserve kudos for the work. I also appreciate your kind and understanding treatment of myself and my struggle to get this story noticed and overcome the “Right Wing Thug Squad”. Thank you all …

If you are wondering why Lemmen would suddenly reverse himself more than a year later, the answer probably has to do with Brett Kimberlin’s defamation lawsuit against Ali Akbar and four other people, including Robert Stacy McCain. McCain, who is also an employee of Akbar’s Viral Read website, linked to Lemmen’s accusation before the electronic ink was dry. It just happens to fit within the framework of a conspiracy theory that McCain seems to think will exonerate him in court. Lemmen has been subject to a lot of pressure from his own side to fall in line and take part in the echo chamber again, while Kimberlin’s suit has made McCain and Akbar desperate. This is a recipe for fabrication.

Also tied up in his bizarre narrative: Melissa Brewer, who was credited as a research assistant on the NBC post at Crooks and Liars. McCain has spent the last week or so insisting that Brewer is somehow involved in a criminal conspiracy against him through the Breitbart Unmasked website. For example, he cites these tweets:


Friends celebrating a new blog launch, or sinister cabal of paid Kimberlin stooges plotting to smear R.S. McCain and his employer Ali Akbar? McCain will not only report, he will decide for you: we’re a bunch of evil, lying liberals who labor ceaselessly to defame and harass them. It’s all we do, day in and day out. If convicted con artist Paul Lemmen says so, it must be true! But you will just have to trust him on this one, because he was so outraged by our actions that he deleted all of his proof. See how that works?

If you wondered why McCain is being sued, it is because he treats people like Lemmen as reliable, primary sources.

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