John Patrick Bedell left an extensive digital archive as JPatrickBedell

The Pentagon City Metro Station

The Pentagon City Metro Station, where John Patrick Bedell arrived at the Pentagon. Image from Flickr.

Yesterday evening, a man officials believe to be John Patrick Bedell in a business suit and armed with two semi-automatic weapons opened fire on the Pentagon. He was killed in the ensuing gunfight, but John Patrick Bedell leaves behind a digital archive laden with conspiracy theories, anti-government manifestos, and new economy theories based on “information currency” – kind of online loans, mostly posted as the user JPatrickBedell.

The Pentagon shooting

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, the shooting at the Pentagon appeared to be well-planned. John Patrick Bedell wore a business suit and walked calmly to the Pentagon from the subway station. When he reached a checkpoint and was asked for identification, he pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and began shooting. The officers at the checkpoint immediately returned fire, and Bedell was fatally wounded. The Washington Post reports that “Officers Jeffrey Amos and Marvin Carraway were superficially wounded, one in the shoulder and one in the thigh.” The entire incident was over in just a few minutes, though the Pentagon itself was locked down for a few hours and the subway platform continues to be locked down while John Patrick Bedell’s shooting is investigated.

The digital trail of JPatrickBedell

It appears thus far that John Patrick Bedell was a well-educated and savvy 36 year old from California. His digital archive runs deep, and includes accounts on multiple popular websites. It also includes blog posts and arguments with Wikipedia editors. Taken together, this digital trail builds a picture of JPatrickBedell the user and John Patrick Bedell the person. It appears that he had strong libertarian leanings and was a conspiracy theorist who had strong suspicions that the government was behind 9/11 and other terrorist plots.

JPatrickBedell on YouTube

There is a channel on Youtube with the username jpbedell2006, which the New York Times Blog and others have connected to John Patrick Bedell. The only video available on that channel was uploaded in 2006, and outlines his theory of “Information Currency”. The theory seems to outline a system where users create content and then upload it in return for digial currency they can use however they like – giving them money to lend or to spend as they see fit.

JPatrickBedell on Wikipedia

John Patrick Bedell was also an active Wikipedia user. Though Wikipedia itself has since deleted John Patrick Bedell’s user profile, it is still available on the mirror site Bazpedia. Some of the highlights of this profile include statements such as:

My hope is to use the creativity of markets and advanced technology to transcend the destructive regimes that have fastened themselves upon the world. I have dreamed for an number of years of creating v:production econosystems, which I hope to apply to the creation of v:security service econosystems using new and economic mechanisms and information technology.

I am determined to see that justice is served in the death of Colonel James Sabow, as a step toward establishing the truth of events such as the September 11 demolitions

One desired result of my effort is (will be) billions and billions of carefully cultivated, highly valuable cannabis plants growing throughout the United States with complete security of property. I have posted the image to the right in order to illustrate the use of cannabis as a monetary system using digital financial instruments.

There is also an extensive record of the disagreements user JPatrickBedell had with the editors of Wikipedia on his user discussion page.

The Impact of John Patrick Bedell

While it is still far too early to know entirely what impact John Patrick Bedell will have, there are a few things known for certain. The user JPatrickBedell created an extensive record of himself on the internet, and with this shooting he appears to be gaining a larger audience for his message. The Pentagon and D.C. police have also teamed up with the F.B.I. to investigate this shooting as extensively as possible. It will be worth keeping a very close eye on the developments in the case of John Patrick Bedell.

Other recent posts by bryanh