While I was at the day job, there were quite a few developments in the Brett Kimberlin story. The Other McCain has a great starting point for today’s coverage…
FROM AN UNDISCLOSED LOCATION
Very busy today, awaiting developments on The Kimberlin Files. However, Da Tech Guy cleverly points out that CNN allowed Arlette Saenz of ABC to beat them on reporting this story, even though the reported SWATting of CNN on-air personality Erick Erickson was a central element of the story.
For that matter, CNN contributorDana Loesch is well-informed about the Kimberlin story, and could put CNN’s reporters in direct contact with many others who are involved. But maybe the executives at CNN would rather continue being No. 3 in cable news ratings, and let their competitors scoop them on such an important story, because they are more interested in playing politics than reporting the actual news.
And they wonder why no one is watching?
A number of conservative bloggers allege they have been targeted through the use of harassment tactics such as SWAT-ting (fooling 911 operators into sending emergency teams to their homes), in retaliation for posts they have written, and now Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., has stepped into the matter. He has sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder urging him to investigate the SWAT-ting cases to see if federal laws have been violated.
“I am writing with concern regarding recent reports that several members of the community of online political commentators have been targeted with harassing and frightening actions. Any potentially criminal action that incites fear, seeks to silence a dissenting opinion, and collaterally wastes the resources of law enforcement should be given close scrutiny at all levels,” Chambliss wrote in the letter. “
Regardless of any potential political differences that may exist, threats and intimidation have no place in our national political discourse. Those who choose to enter into that political discourse should not have to worry about potential threats to their or their family’s safety,” Chambliss continued. “While I am certain that local law enforcement is reviewing each of these instances, I am asking you to please look into each of these cases as well to determine if any federal laws may have been violated. Future targets of SWAT-ting, whether engaged in political speech or not, may not be so fortunate as to escape physical harm.”
Adrienne also points out that the story hit the from page of Yahoo News, as they are in a cooperative venture with ABC.
-How about some good news…
= Senator Saxby Chambliss has sent a letter to Eric Holder…
…regarding recent reports that several conservative political commentators have been targeted with harassing and frightening actions. Chambliss demanded that Holder examine these cases to determine if federal laws have been violated.
These dangerous hoaxes, also known as “SWAT-ting,” occur when a perpetrator contacts local police to report a violent incident at a target’s home. These callers are believed to utilize voice-over IP (VOIP) and other less-traditional telecommunications methods to make the call appear to come from the target residence and to hide the caller’s true identity.
In response, a dispatcher sends a SWAT team or other police unit in a heightened state of readiness to the unsuspecting target’s residence. Targets only learn of these false reports when a large police presence descends upon their homes.
In the letter, Chambliss states that “Any potentially criminal action that incites fear, seeks to silence a dissenting opinion, and collaterally wastes the resources of law enforcement should be given close scrutiny at all levels… Regardless of any potential political differences that may exist, threats and intimidation have no place in our national political discourse. Those who choose to enter into that political discourse should not have to worry about potential threats to their or their family’s safety.”
-Representative Kenny Marchant of Texas-24 has sent a letter to Eric Holder.
The press release:
Marchant Stands for Free Speech and with Conservative Bloggers Under Attack
Washington, Jun 7 – Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) today issued a statement in strong support of free speech and conservative bloggers who are being targeted in dangerous “SWAT-tings” and asked Attorney General Holder to investigate these matters to see if federal laws have been violated by the perpetrators.
Recent reports of SWAT-tings have gripped the attention of the conservative blogosphere and are making their way to more mainstream media outlets. SWAT-tings are elaborate schemes whereby the perpetrator calls a local police department to report a violent occurrence inside the target’s residence. Unbeknownst to the target, authorities have been summoned and police units swarm the residence. These hoaxes are dangerous and are being used by suspicious characters to harass and suppress free speech, particularly that of conservative bloggers.
“I have written a letter demanding Attorney General Holder and the Justice Department fully investigate these SWAT-tings. These hoaxes are clearly intended to silence speech and rational political discourse and incite fear amongst those associated with a targeted blogger. These incidents also spread local law enforcement resources thinly. Any attempt to suppress free speech is one that ought to be taken seriously, and I will lend my voice and support to this cause to ensure that no one’s constitutional rights are violated, no matter what their political beliefs are. No one should be subjected to this treatment and I will not allow SWAT-tings to go unaddressed by the Justice Department.”
A letter has been sent to the Attorney General demanding an investigation into SWAT-tings. The full text of the letter to Attorney General Holder is printed below and a copy of the letter is attached.
In all honesty, the important thing is that there are Congressmen paying attention to this situation. I am only partially sarcastic in saying that if Holder did investigate it, and he won’t, that he would investigate the Bloggers, and treat Kimberlin as he did the Black Panthers.
I’ve been telling you about First Amendment lawyers working behind the scenes to help the targets of Brett Kimberlin and his online cabal.
Kudos to the ACLJ for stepping up to the plate in the face of ongoing threats and smears. Just released:
IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 7, 2012
ACLJ DEFENDS FREE SPEECH IN BLOGOSPHERE – REPRESENTING TOP CONSERVATIVE BLOGGERS TARGETED FOR HARASSMENT
(Washington, DC) – The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which focuses on constitutional law, announced today it is providing legal representation to a top conservative blogger and his organization that represents hundreds of bloggers who are facing threats and intimidation tactics by those opposed to their viewpoint.
“Free speech is under attack,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “Conservative writers are now facing threats against themselves, their families, and their livelihoods merely because they’ve aggressively investigated the history and funding of radical liberals. The ACLJ has a long history of successfully defending free speech, and we look forward to defeating this latest attempt to threaten and intimidate conservatives into silence.”
The issue involves targeting a number of conservative bloggers with a dangerous and illegal tactic that’s become known as SWAT-ing (making false 911 calls sending police to the homes of bloggers, claiming a crime has occurred.) The tactic is used in retaliation for posts the conservative bloggers have written.
The ACLJ is representing Ali Akbar, a top blogger and president of the National Bloggers Club, a coalition of 300 conservative bloggers who reach millions of readers. Akbar has seen his mother’s home photographed and placed on the internet. He has also received formal notification that he may soon be sued for publishing truthful information about radical liberals and their wealthy donors.
“I’m grateful for the support of the ACLJ, and I’m confident we’ll defeat any and all legal challenges to our fundamental right to free speech,” said Akbar. “We will not be deterred in our quest for the truth.”
The ACLJ will aggressively defend the constitutionally-protected free speech rights of Akbar and his organizations.
The ACLJ’s representation of Akbar comes as Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) is calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate the SWAT-ting cases to see if federal laws have been violated. In a letter to the Attorney General, Sen. Chambliss wrote: “Any potentially criminal action that incites fear, seeks to silence a dissenting opinion, and collaterally wastes the resources of law enforcement should be given close scrutiny at all levels. . . Regardless of any potential political differences that may exist, threats and intimidation have no place in our national political discourse.”
Led by Chief Counsel Jay Sekulow, the American Center for Law and Justice is based in Washington, D.C. and online at www.aclj.org.
Jay’s blog post is here.
ACLJ’s David French weighs in at National Review. Ditto this:
The radicals have picked a fight with the wrong people. Ali and the bloggers at the National Bloggers Club will not be silenced.Don’t forget: Donate here to support Kimberlin targets.
So, it seems that there is more and more light being shed on the situation. However, from previous actions, we can safely assume that the attempts to silence bloggers will continue. Since these are leftists with whom we are dealing, we should not assume that violence is not out of the questions. Leftists, by their own nature, are rather violent (see Unions, OWS, and the like), so I see that as still being on the table for them. That does not mean that we should be violent ourselves. We have the truth, and the First Amendment, on our side. While it might be a slog for a while, the truth always wins in the end. Leftist tactics are used in the assumption that the target will give up after a war of attrition. Remember Alinsky’s Rule 13…
Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.
As well as rule 8.
Keep the pressure on.
Here’s the trick; if the target hangs on, the tactics fail, because they are based on fear, and lies. Armed with the truth, and refusing to break down or back down causes the attacker increased exposure, both for his tactics, as well as his motives. In other words, the longer we make them act unscrupulously, the more and more people see that they are unscrupulous.
Just think of the unions in Wisconsin. The longer they exposed themselves as thugs, the more and more people saw that they were thugs. And, even with millions spent, and a path of intimidation, violence and destruction, they still lost. This is just another reflection of that reality.
So, let’s keep on going, they more they act out, the more people that see what they really are.