Philip J. Berg is a legendary activist attorney and conspiracy theorist, with several famous attempted lawsuits to his name. In 2001 he demanded the disbarment of U.S. Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas due to their participation in the case Bush v. Gore. In 2004, Berg filed a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) lawsuit on behalf of a World Trade Center maintenance worker against President George W. Bush and others for Bush’s planning and conspiring to bring about 9/11, including hundreds of allegation; and when that one was unsuccessful he challenged Bush on his right to conduct a war against terror – and to for fairness sake, another lawsuit against Saddam Hussein without a congressional authorization.
More precisely, the RICO lawsuit alleged (among other things) that the Twin Towers were destroyed by means of “controlled demolitions;” that the FDNY conspired with Larry Silverstein to deliberately destroy 7WTC; that projectiles were fired at the Twin Towers from “pods” affixed to the underside of the planes that struck them; that FEMA is working with the US government to create “American Gulag” concentration camps that FEMA will run once the federal government’s plan to impose martial law is in place; that phone calls made by some of the victims, as reported by their family members, were not actually made but were “faked” by the government using “voice morphing” technology; that a missile, not American Airlines Flight 77, struck the Pentagon; that United Airlines Flight 93 was shot down by the U.S. military; that the defendants had foreknowledge of the attacks and actively conspired to bring them about; that the defendants engaged in kidnapping, arson, murder, treason, conspiracy, trafficking in narcotics, embezzlement, securities fraud, insider trading, identity and credit card theft, blackmail, trafficking in humans, and the abduction and sale of women and children for sex. Pretty much every single troofer talking point, in other words. The courts gave the plaintiff a week to show cause why his lawsuit should not be dismissed, which Berg promptly failed to do.
The next step for Berg (a Clinton supporter) was obvious: birtherism. He has filed several lawsuits against Obama, which have usually been rejected because the plaintiff (usually himself) has no standing, though at least one case was thrown out for being self-contradictory (claiming that Obama was not born in Hawaii but also that Obama lost his citizenship when he went to school in Indonesia); another one, filed with (at least) Lawrence J. Joyce (and John D. Hemenway, who at least got his fingers burned) is here. As an offshoot (as opposed to the kicking it up a notch, which he did here), Berg has also sued birther Orly Taitz and her supporters and for harassing his (Berg’s) supporters, plagiarizing his work, as well as various allegations about software tracking kits on her website. Berg also runs a blog called Obama Crimes, and you can see a video from his birther rally here.
Attorney Philip Berg is, by the way, not the same as kabbalah proponent and astrologist Philip Berg (a.k.a. Feival Gruberger). The latter may deserve at least honorable mention as well.
Diagnosis: I suppose a case could be made that the world would be a lot less fun without people like Berg; he lays claims some money and resources that could have benefited more deserving people (but so do circus clowns for hire), but is probably overall relatively harmless. The fact that people actually genuinely support his claims should be absolutely astonishing, but it isn’t.