Investigative Analysis: The Presstorm Debacle

Drag racing is dangerous. Running from the cops is even more dangerous.

In 2003, Jamie Jo Lambertz-Brinkman wrecked her white Honda into a police cruiser in a drag race gone wrong [1]. She served time for check fraud and hit-and-run before escaping from prison in August of 2004 [2]. One month later, Brinkman and her butch partner were caught in Illinois. This offense carried a mandatory sentence of seven years [3].

Ever the freedom fighter, Ms. Brinkman later sued the South Dakota Department of Corrections for denying her Haldol, a prescription she had taken for “bipolar disorder, mood disorder, anti-social disorder and personality disorder” [4].

Ms. Brinkman explained on Red List Radio, “When I was 13, I was being abused and I started running away from home.” At the age of 14, she was sent to a boot camp where she claims she was also abused. She claims to have purposefully stayed at the boot camp for nearly five years in order to avoid abuse at home [5].

At the age of 30, Ms. Brinkman has spent over one third of her life institutionalized in correctional facilities. She has committed fraud, escaped prison and recklessly endangered the lives of innocent people who just wanted to go for a drive.

The cat that caught the canary?

In 2011, Ms. Brinkman founded Presstorm.com, a blog devoted to what she called “investigative journalism.” She became a fixture within Anonymous, associating with hackers and attempting to influence their behavior through opinion pieces disguised as journalism. Inevitably, her schemes were laid bare by her own mistakes.

Presstorm came under repeated DDoS attacks after Ms. Brinkman posted a story which was critical of Occupy Wall Street. Former Presstorm supporters and writers did not offer her any support, instead laughing at her folly[6].

Ms. Brinkman has responded to the attacks by threatening to reveal the identities of those who donated to Presstorm and other contacts she made within Anonymous. She has also stated that the intentions of Presstorm were disingenuous and part of a psychological experiment which went exactly as she expected. Perhaps she has not been taking her Haldol.

Despite her illustrious past, Ms. Brinkman has attempted to chastise Anonymous for breaking the law. ” It wasn’t hard to know that what these children (or so it seemed were children!) were doing more harm to society than they were good. Like any juvenile delinquent, we felt that a little exposure would certainly shut them down.” She adds, taking the moral high ground, “We sincerely hope that we accomplished multiple levels of soul seeking, critical thought, and moral objection to one’s own behavior in the process” [7].

The Presstorm Debacle has served as an important lesson for Anonymous. Intentionally manipulative criminals are drawn to power and influence. Jamie Jo Lambertz-Brinkman created a cult of influence by playing on the high emotions in the wake of the WikiLeaks scandal and pathologically exercised what little power she gained. Like her Honda, Ms. Brinkman took Presstorm for a joyride that could only end in one way.

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