Let's be clear: If you threaten to kill someone, you're a schmuck. But what if you threaten to kill someone for persecuting a guy who turns out to be totally guilty? Does that make you a double schmuck? A triple schmuck? A schmuck to the power of schmuckiness?
We'll let you do the math in the cases of Gerrit Keats and Robert Hutchins, both of whom face possible jail time and fines for cyber-attacking the Colorado-based official who banned now-admitted doper Lance Armstrong from competitive cycling.
In 2012, as noted in plea agreements for Keats and Hutchins included below, investigators with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), located in Colorado Springs, began looking into accusations that Armstrong had used performance-enhancing drugs or other forbidden tactics en route to becoming the most famous cyclist on the planet -- and they found plenty of evidence he had.
Finally, in August, the USADA announced that Armstrong would be prohibited from taking part in competitive cycling for the rest of his life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles -- a decision that made Travis Tygart, the agency's executive director, a target of even more ire than had come his way during the inquiry.
A day before the USADA made this edict official, Armstrong revealed that he wouldn't fight the ban everyone knew was coming. In response, Hutchins, a resident of Sandy, Utah, who'd already sent a couple of nasty e-mails to the agency the previous month, let fly with this:
Travis Tygert [sic], Hope you have body guards and bullet proof vest, your [sic] a dead man mother fucker. You just don't know what you've done!!!
Your ass is fucked
Awful stuff, right? But it's actually pretty modest compared to the salvo fired at Tygart by Keats, a doctor (!) living in Florida. Here's what Keats sent in October under the subject line "Nazi tragic Tygart:"
What part of a positive test are you and your Nazi filth of an organization to [sic] corrupt and stupid to understand? You filthy witch hunters hounded a man for 30 years and tested him hundreds of times. Guilty until proven innocent. Travis Tygart is a fucking pig who should be nailed to a tree and skinned while he watches his toady staff and filthy children being castrated. I hope one day to meet Turdface Tygart. The greatest service I could do to mankind is kill that fucking pig. Mr. Armstrong is an outstanding, superior American unlike the filty that has contaminated this once great country. No doubt the USADA are faithful Obama supporters.
Guilty until proven innocent Your [sic] are to good so you must have doped. Mr [sic] Tygart is a disgusting twice digested sac of shit and his filthy staff, the USADA should be shot on site [sic].
A positive drug test is admonition [sic] of guilt, not a negative one you assholes.
Hundreds of negative tests excpet [sic] for one for salve for his ass. I only wish Armstrong were black then the DOJ and all the rest of the racists would be on your asses like white on rice.
I hope all you filthy pigs scream for a week before you die, just before you have watched your degenerate children do the same thing.
I hope the Nazi traitor bitch reading this email rots in hell.
Whew! What a barrage of hate, and all in defense of a man who, his plea agreement points out, "publicly admitted to doping during his entire competitive cycling career" the following January.
Lance's confession doesn't mean Hutchins and Keats are out of trouble, of course. Both have now pleaded guilty to sending threatening communications over the Internet, a crime that carries a maximum of five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine. Keats is scheduled for sentencing in January, Hutchins in February.
And Armstrong? He turned out to be a huge schmuck, too.
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Here are the plea agreements of Keats and Hutchins.