Let’s start this with most of the links you’ll need. I’d say your primary link is here:
That should do for starters. Like any issue, it’s only when you’re prepared to get down to the fine detail that the true import becomes apparent. It’s not just what Kimberlin and/or associates are alleged to have done – it’s the whole powerful use of State against dissent which gives it its meaning for all of us – it’s beyond the injustice done to someone who spoke out.
Let’s go to the primary link again. The blogger could be any one of us. He’s a lawyer who appears to be quite talented. He blogs against the massive Statist assault on freedom, just as you do, just as I do. In other words, he could be any one of us.
What’s more, though we can diverge on many issues, there’s a real “blogging community” in the vaguely defined centre-right/libertarian area or if you don’t like those terms – the freedom area. This lets bloggers from all over the globe jump onto stories like this and publicize them in a flash, either via Twitter or via the slower method of blogging. The PTB detest this power – our very last power we have left against them.
And so to Patterico. Remembering the man’s “crime” is to blog, he’s in bed at home with his wife and the kids are tucked up in their beds as well, when he’s attacked by a SWAT team. Please – read it for yourself.
At 12:35 a.m. on July 1, 2011, sheriff’s deputies pounded on my front door and rang my doorbell. They shouted for me to open the door and come out with my hands up.
When I opened the door, deputies pointed guns at me and ordered me to put my hands in the air. I had a cell phone in my hand. Fortunately, they did not mistake it for a gun.
They ordered me to turn around and put my hands behind my back. They handcuffed me. They shouted questions at me: IS THERE ANYONE ELSE IN THE HOUSE? and WHERE ARE THEY? and ARE THEY ALIVE?
I told them: Yes, my wife and my children are in the house. They’re upstairs in their bedrooms, sleeping. Of course they’re alive.
Deputies led me down the street to a patrol car parked about 2-3 houses away. At least one neighbor was watching out of her window as I was placed, handcuffed, in the back of the patrol car. I saw numerous patrol cars on my quiet street. There was a police helicopter flying overhead, shining a spotlight down on us as I walked towards the patrol car. Several neighbors later told us the helicopter woke them up. I saw a fire engine and an ambulance. A neighbor later told me they had a HazMat vehicle out on the street as well.
Meanwhile, police rushed into my home. They woke up my wife, led her downstairs and to the front porch, frisked her, and asked her where the children were. Then police ordered her to stand on the front porch with her hands against the wall while they entered my children’s bedrooms to make sure they were alive.
The call that sent deputies to my home was a hoax. Someone had pretended to be me. They called the police to say I had shot my wife. The sheriff’s deputies who arrived at my front door believed they were about to confront an armed man who had just shot his wife. I don’t blame the police for any of their actions. But I blame the person who made the call.
Because I could have been killed.
The weirdest part of the whole thing was that I halfway expected this might happen. Because I was not the first one it had happened to.
Now I’m going to digress. In 2008, my old blog, on Blogger, which everyone knew I worked reasonably hard to keep going, was taken down by Blogger on a whim. Why? Because someone who didn’t like the things I’d said red-flagged me. In that case, it was some weeks before things were back to normal. In Patterico’s case, his family were frightened half to death because “someone” had swatted him.
Prime suspect was the criminal Kimberlin who’d been put away for 51 years but had been released and was now at large. You’ll have to decide yourself whether this Kimberlin or someone similar did this.
Although I am an L.A. County Deputy D.A., it is certain that I was “swatted” because of my blog and not because of my job. As Andrew Breitbart noted, this happened to two people within the course of a single week: a man in New Jersey and myself. Both of us had had contact with Andrew Breitbart. Both of us were writing about the same story. And both of us received email threats days before we were swatted. The threat to me said, in part: “Please think about your family. This story is not worth it. I can assure you that.”
Think of what you were doing last night, how you went to bed. Now imagine a SWAT team bursting on you. If you or your partner is a political blogger, it might be worth considering this tale of Patterico.
I’d like to make it clear – it’s one thing us blogging and disagreeing with one another but if one of the OoL readers were to be similarly attacked, e.g. Voice of Reason or Woman on a Raft, Greg Tingey or any of the myriad others who often disagree with me, then I’d get behind any major campaign to expose whoever had done it to him/her.
There’s a principle here beyond Politics and it’s the right to live peaceably in our own homes and to have our issues dealt with in a civilized way.
Brynaert explicitly connected his desire to do violence to me to his defense of Brett Kimberlin. The night he threatened me and my wife, Brynaert defended Kimberlin in a long series of tweets pointing out alleged holes in the case against Kimberlin.
I’ll digress again. There is a person – he’s of the left, a self-confirmed Marxist who would like State resources redirected his way, with whom I had a disagreement. I have a copy of his email in which he tells another blogger who supported me to take down what he wrote or he would contact that blogger’s employer – he then lists the name and address of that employer – and the language used is of the bully.
The left doesn’t have a monopoly on this type of thing but it sure does characterize their pattern – one of them puts up an ideological statement, it’s attacked, he resorts to ad hominem because he has no facts to back him up then, when someone takes up the case against him, that person is threatened with hardball tactics.
Patterico puts up screenshots of just such hardball [i.e. cowardly] Twittering and what follows. He lists some of these tactics:
# Harassment of wives and family members
# Publication of home addresses
# Workplace complaints
Same pattern. Gutless, immature, bullying, attempting to intimidate into silence. Then comes the slush fund for cases against dissenters – where do these people find the money? There are people of substance who see these sorts of issues and kick in on the side of the crim – we have only our keyboards.
And I think it’s going to get worse, people. Have we the cojones to continue?
Last night, Erick Erickson joined the ranks of conservative writers that have become the target of a particularly dangerous hoax: SWATting. Someone spoofed his phone number and called the police, claiming that Erick’s wife had been shot in order to provoke an armed confrontation. Fortunately, Erick had already taken some precautions:
Tonight, my family was sitting around the kitchen table eating dinner when sheriffs deputies pulled up in the driveway.
Someone called 911 from my address claiming there had been an accidental shooting.
It wasn’t nearly the trauma that Patterico suffered, but I guess the Erickson household is on somebody’s radar.
Luckily it was two sheriffs deputies who knew me and I had already, last week, advised the Sheriff’s Department to be on the look out for something like this.