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May 25, 2012

Must Read Post of the Day. Possibly, the Year

Yesterday I alluded to a pathetic, thuggish harassment campaign waged against several conservative bloggers.

Today, one of those bloggers - Patrick Frey (Patterico) - has written a long, thoroughly documented, and utterly chilling account of the intimidation and smear campaign carried out over the last year.

Please go over and read his post if you have not done so already. Send the link to your local newspaper and ask them to cover this story. Send the link to everyone you know. If you are a blogger, please write about this and encourage your readers to spread the word.

If you have been reading me for any length of time, you'll know that my approach to such stories is typically cautious: not because I'm afraid of the consequences (though Patrick's story presents ample cause for such fear) but because I am naturally wary of online disputes and any story that seems sensationalistic.

I found Patrick's account to be well documented, credible, and convincing. Normally I would not link to such a story so soon. My natural inclination is to wait for all the facts to come out. But having had a series of offline conversations with him in the past, I believe him to be a man of good character. He is someone I like and respect, and there aren't many bloggers out there I will say that about. I have no real personal connection with him - we're not close friends. But I know enough about him to have gotten a good read.

We are living in a time where some desperate people are throwing verbal Molotov cocktails at conservatives. They regularly accuse us of the most vile things on little or no evidence. Criticism of progressives is racist or sexist, regardless of whether the substance of that criticism has anything to do with skin color or gender. Opposition to or dissent from public policy decisions is likened to terrorism, rape, hijacking. Conservatism is equivalent to mental illness, pathology, or stupidity. Decades old stories about conservatives are presented as signs of latent sociopathy, while similar incidents involving liberals are dismissed as character assassination.

Speech or conduct that hints - no matter how faintly - at violence or bullying, we are told, threaten the very foundations of our Republic. But real violence, real bullying, real crimes are trivialized or ignored.

This kind of story should not and must not be ignored. There are good people of all political persuasions in this country. Our nation was founded on the clash of ideas, values, and ways of life. It was also founded upon the rule of law. What happened yesterday on the View is evidence that people who disagree with each other still recognize evil when they see it.

We must not lose sight of the fundamental decency of most Americans, regardless of how they vote. The asshats of the world - and they exist on both sides - do not set the standards for how we conduct our lives or run our country. We do.

*************

Welcome, Michelle Malkin readers! And if you're looking for more information on this story, Memeorandum has an extensive roundup of posts.

Posted by Cassandra at May 25, 2012 08:24 AM

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Comments

Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I'm... speechless.
Un-fricken-believable.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 25, 2012 11:26 AM

I stumbled across this story a couple of days ago, I think... on Michelle Malkin's site.

More and more I find my inner Neanderthal needing a few days during which I must bite my lip before I will trust myself to say anything beyond ridiculing the slugs of the world.

I'm still in bite-lip mode on this one. Saying ditto to Mr. Rdr's initial comment will have to suffice, for a while.

Posted by: bthun at May 25, 2012 11:44 AM

The left's intimidation tactic of "Swatting" is truly dangerous. What happens when one of these teams shoots someone during an incident where they think it is a life & death situation? What happens when the SWAT team enters, like in Tucson, and is met with an armed response because they either didn't say who they were or weren't heard because they woke someone from a sound sleep?

These people are terrorists and should be removed from the genepool.

Posted by: Sluggo at May 25, 2012 01:13 PM

In proofing my own post on the matter, I discovered that both your link to the Patterico article, and the one through Memeorandum, are highly intermittent.

Either there's a potful of interest in that particular post, or it's the target of a cyber attack,

Ve-e-r-y Interesting....

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at May 25, 2012 04:47 PM

Good for you, Cassandra.

Posted by: retlaw at May 25, 2012 05:10 PM

It is always fascinating to me when I see the ends justify the means crowd in action. Do they really think that the shoe will always be on the same foot? And, once that starts happening anything can, and does, happen to everyone. The rule of law is not there because it's some high minded ideal, it's a practical decision won by horrific experiences in humanity's past.

Another thing that has bothered me about this is McCain's actions in all this. If these people go after others as has been stated then McCain knowingly put his family at risk.

Posted by: Allen at May 25, 2012 06:05 PM

You know, expect knuckle-dragging caveman tactics from Flynt and Hefner. But that was...unbelievable. I mean in a credulous way, as in 'I am still shocked at my age.'

Posted by: Carolyn at May 25, 2012 07:22 PM

I'm a bit more skeptical about the whole story than you--I don't have any real history with Patterico, and some aspects of the story do seem literally un-frickin-believable to me (a swat team shows up at an LA county deputy DA's house, and yet there's nary a blip of local media coverage, AND neither he, nor Worthing, nor any of the other bloggers targeted by this guy can get those in law enforcement or the court system to take them seriously?) Let's just say I'd like to read a story about it that isn't from the partisan right media or blogosphere.--but if the allegations are true (any or all of them) the guy is a menace, and should be arrested, tried, and put away...

As for tying him to the left, (as though the whole of the left, or any significant part, even, is somehow responsible or complicit in Kimberlin's actions, either 40 years ago, or anytime since) I saw a comment somewhere that pretty much said it; Kimberlin represents liberals about the same way Manson represents kids in the 60's.

I get the whole "Kimberlin blogburst" thing... ...but as a guy who once was a target of a micro-mini version of one of these rightwing "let's all gang up on ___" storms, by a few of the same players, no less, it feels a little too much like a reputational (if not actual) lynch mob for my tastes... Even if the guy deserves it, I'd prefer to see it handled legally, rather than in the blogosphere...

Make of it what you will, I guess... Them's my two bits...

Posted by: Repsac3 at May 26, 2012 01:08 AM

repsac:

I don't have a problem with skepticism. That's why I normally don't link to stories like this right away.

But I don't have any trouble whatsoever believing people might have trouble getting law enforcement to take them seriously (and my son's a cop). Nor do I have any trouble believing the media wouldn't cover a SWAT raid that didn't result in an arrest.

I once attended a rally in DC with thousands of people. Not a mention in any of the local papers, even though there the police had to escort anti-rally protesters off the premises for harassing and trying to shout down the speakers (who were there legitimately with permits and everything.

Let's say that you are right and the whole thing is a hoax. Don't you think that should come out? That's not what I believe, but as I said, I found his account to be well documented and believable. If the purpose of the blogburst is achieved, the story will be investigated by the media and law enforcement and the truth will come out.

In my book, that's a win-win and is what everyone should want.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 26, 2012 09:01 AM

yeah, because Patrick Frey (patterico) is a Deputy DA in Los Angeles, he would make this stuff up and wreck his own career, and that of his wife, who is also a deputy DA.

And yeah, Kimberlin and his friends are just some guys, depsite the fact the Rauhaus has been a Democrat Party operative, and he is getting money from the Tides Foundation (Teresa Heinz - Kerry), Barbra Streisand and a front organization from George Soros.

And if you look up "Speedway Bomber" on Wikipedia (the terrorist incident that Kimberlin perpetrated + 30 years ago), you will find NOTHING because it has been scrubbed.

Is Kimberlin REPRESENTATIVE of the Democrat Party? No. But there are people within that Party that approve and are giving aid and cover to a true sociopath. FBI and DoJ? Not interested in this.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at May 26, 2012 09:23 AM

"Let's say that you are right and the whole thing is a hoax."

I don't think it's a hoax... I just believe there's more to the story (or "less to the story," depending on how you look at it.)

"If the purpose of the blogburst is achieved,..."

For those who posted with getting the Kimberlin story into the media as their purpose, I'm ok with that... ...but there was a strong current of "tie this bad guy to the left" undercurrent, and a generous helping of "ATTACK!!!" as well... (Like I said, I had a few of the big pushers of this thing invent stuff out of whole cloth about me, and rally the troops in a kind of a similar way...)

That said, I hope the truth about the situations involving Kimberlin and his accusers all come out... If he's still a threat, he should absolutely be removed from society... ...but that doesn't mean that the lynch mob feel of the "blogburst" doesn't bother me...
---

"he would make this stuff up"

Never suggested he made it up... Only questioned why folks in law enforcement (some of whom I'd assume he's have a working relationship with) and the media (ditto) weren't more helpful when it happened... (He and the guy in Jersey are basically running their own investigations, and the police in both cases are not on board, as it were... It just seems odd... and Wothing isn't getting much traction with the law, either... Kimberlin doesn't strike me as a Teflon Don type...)

"...and he is getting money from the Tides Foundation (Teresa Heinz - Kerry), Barbra Streisand and a front organization from George Soros."

There is very little indication that any of them had more of an idea who Kimberlin was than a whole lot of the blogbursters. (How many of the posts started with some variation of "I had no idea who this guy Brett Kimberlin was until a few days ago, but...") I can't find it now (of course) but I could've sworn I read somewhere that Kimberlin's name doesn't even appear on the paperwork for one of the organizations. Neither org says anything in their mission statements about blowing folks up, harassing people with lawsuits, or issuing threats. While I understand that most conservatives aren't happy with what their mission statements actually do say Velvet Revolution and Justice Through Music were set up to do, that doesn't make their stated missions criminal. Even assuming the allegations of current behavior are all just as described, it's pretty likely these donors didn't know about much of any of it...

"But there are people within that Party that approve..."

There may be a few (like this Rauhaus guy)... But most Democrats and liberals never heard of the guy, just like most Republicans and conservatives... ...at least, pre-blogburst... (So maybe it did do some good... ...but like I said, it still seemed kinda "torches and pitchforks ugly mob," to me...)

Posted by: repsac3 at May 26, 2012 10:26 AM

Repsac: What Cassandra said.

Your concern about a "reputational lynch mob" is both a valid one and a serious charge. Patterico has posted (the link is in the OP in two different locations) a highly detailed account of his "claims;" nearly all of it easily refutable or sustainable.

I look forward to your reasoned, point by point, fact-based analysis of his post, soonest.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at May 26, 2012 10:41 AM

Don:

Must have been a bad hit on the search:

Speedway Bomber. It even contains a reference to the present kerfuffle.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at May 26, 2012 10:49 AM

Meant to add to the earlier: whatever the problem was with Patterico's post, it seems to have died down. I'm not having any more trouble accessing it.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at May 26, 2012 10:51 AM

"...nearly all of it easily refutable or sustainable.

I look forward to your reasoned, point by point, fact-based analysis of his post, soonest."

I've read Frey's post several times, which is why I'm asking the questions I am...

But it's not for me to analyze, prove or refute his allegations... All I'm doing is asking the questions I have...

I am hoping that folks less biased than either me from the left, or the blogbursters from the right, do prove or refute the story, in a big way, though... (and the same with Aaron's and Stacey's allegations, too.) If the man is guilty, law enforcement and the legal system ought to be at least as capable of making the case as Mr Frey himself... ...and if that's the situation, I sincerely hope they do.

Posted by: Repsac3 at May 26, 2012 02:50 PM

We are facing Evil Incarnate. And that's not stretching for a rhetorical device.

Posted by: Boquisucio at May 27, 2012 09:35 AM

If it were merely evil incarnate, Boq, it would be a small problem. A simple, single incarnation would be easy to deal with: destroy or wall off the incarnation, and the problem is solved.

The problem is much bigger than that.

If a thing is malum in se, it is evil regardless of the law. So what do we say about a law that protects such a thing?

The problem is that we are facing a system that has learned how to capture the law, and turn the law to its own purposes. The law is their main tool, whether in pro se lawsuits or -- for whoever is doing it -- by "SWATting." Walling off the problem doesn't solve it: he filed such lawsuits from prison. Destroying the incarnation doesn't solve it: now that the toolset is known, anyone can do this.

That is to say, you are dealing with something that is properly described as a cancer. It is a system that has learned to take our civilization's life-sustaining mechanism -- the law -- and turn it to its own purposes. If we do not find a way to stop that process, and restore stability to the mechanism, the death of our whole system follows.

Posted by: Grim at May 27, 2012 04:51 PM

...dealing with something that is properly described as a cancer. It is a system that has learned to take our civilization's life-sustaining mechanism -- the law -- and turn it to its own purposes.

This is why there is no salvation in the law--it is only a tool, and as such can be used or misused. And it is why none of us can rely on government for our salvation or successfully cede our responsibilities and duties to that government.

Nor is there a need for a law for every thing: we must each of us act as a moral man, as well as a legal one.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at May 27, 2012 07:44 PM

Well, I for one agree with 3Casper that I would like too read about the issue of "swatting" somewhere other than on "right-wing" media. The problem is, this felonious phenomena doesn't appear to be generating much - scratch that - it doesn't appear to be generating any coverage anywhere else. Call me cynical for not bothering to question how this could happen.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 29, 2012 10:33 AM

Because politcal violence is only relevant when Sarah Palin plagiarizes a DNC map?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at May 29, 2012 02:54 PM

"The problem is, this felonious phenomena doesn't appear to be generating much - scratch that - it doesn't appear to be generating any coverage anywhere else. Call me cynical for not bothering to question how this could happen."

Because politcal violence is only relevant when Sarah Palin plagiarizes a DNC map?"

Bullseye...

Posted by: Buckshot Metatarsal at May 29, 2012 05:36 PM

Well, I for one agree with 3Casper that I would like too read about the issue of "swatting" somewhere other than on "right-wing" media.

Spd, interestingly, I had seen this in the tech news long before I heard of this guy or Patterco's troubles.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2009/06/blind_hacker/

Posted by: MikeD at May 30, 2012 08:52 AM

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