1997-05-24 - Re: Jim Bell Complaint

Header Data

From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
To: cypherpunks@algebra.com
Message Hash: 65d2161b5914ef8c8d2c242cd79599acf76c2b997a2e1534d4b245c35090a336
Message ID: <v03102800afabf7d95a81@[]>
Reply To: <>
UTC Datetime: 1997-05-24 02:14:30 UTC
Raw Date: Sat, 24 May 1997 10:14:30 +0800

Raw message

From: Tim May <tcmay@got.net>
Date: Sat, 24 May 1997 10:14:30 +0800
To: cypherpunks@algebra.com
Subject: Re: Jim Bell Complaint
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <v03102800afabf7d95a81@[]>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

At 7:28 PM -0500 5/23/97, William H. Geiger III wrote:
>In <>, on 05/23/97
>   at 05:37 PM, John Young <jya@pipeline.com> said:
>>We offer the May 16 complaint against Jim Bell:
>>   http://jya.com/jimbell3.htm
>After reading the complainant I have to say that with friends like that
>who needs enemies?

Not clear whom you mean...do you mean with friends like Bell, who needs
enemies? Or do you mean, with friends like East and Daly, for Bell, who
needs enemies?

I was spellbound by the complaint John Young made available. It was, at the
least, very clearly written and extremely interesting to read.

We have focussed our comments on the charges related to Bell's essays, esp.
his "Assassination Politics" stuff. I remain convinced that no charges per
se will be successfully prosecuted on these writings.

Whether he planted stink bombs, and what that means, is another matter. (I
have to be honest and admit that it sure does look convincing to me that he
planned the stink bomb attacks, executed them, and then bragged to friends
that he'd gotten revenge. And I expect a jury to be similarly convinced.)

However, I think they're going to have a real hard time proving that an
interest in castor beans and ricin means that a *fatal* attack was planned.
Having read Bell's stuff, off and on, for more than a year and a half, I
just don't see the guy spreading botulism or ricin or Sarin. And proving
future plans, as opposed to actual past events, is tough.

The Social Security Numbers thing seems like a slam dunk to prove. Two of
the numbers differ by only digit (501 and 510). While this is a standard
ploy, based on my c. 1974 involvement in some libertarian tax avoidance
seminars, to "throw off" computers, it is also arguably a natural mistake,
a simple transposition of two digits. However, several of the numbers are
wildly different...the Hamming distance is such that the only explanation
is deliberate intent.

So, I think Bell is in serious trouble on several charges: the tax evasion
charges, the SS number charges (which may be subsumed in the tax charges),
and the "stink bomb" charges.

The other various claims and charges in the complaint, things like the
anti-government essays and the "assault" rifles found, don't seem likely to
go anywhere.

The "plotting to poison the water supply and drop carbon fibers down air
shafts" charges sound sensational. Indeed, Bell went further in terms of
buying stuff than I would have (or ever have), but this may have been
technical curiousity.

In any case, I expect it will be hard to prove a "might have," as opposed
to a "did."

Whether disappointingly or with relief, I noticed no mention of
"Cypherpunks," a name which surely would have been scattered amongst the
various documents on his computer. We'll see what comes up during the trial.

--Tim May

There's something wrong when I'm a felon under an increasing number of laws.
Only one response to the key grabbers is warranted: "Death to Tyrants!"
Timothy C. May              | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
tcmay@got.net  408-728-0152 | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
W.A.S.T.E.: Corralitos, CA  | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Higher Power: 2^1398269     | black markets, collapse of governments.
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