Free speech blogburst: Show solidarity for targeted conservative bloggers
Over the past eight years that I’ve been blogging and operating Internet media companies, I’ve witnessed or experienced firsthand some of the most unhinged behavior against conservatives — from individual harassment and intimidation, to e-mail bombs and e-mail hackings, to troll infestations, distributed denial of service attacks, coordinated spam block attacks, and death threats.
Over the past twenty years that I’ve worked in daily opinion journalism, written books, and traveled across the country speaking in every type of venue, I’ve always believed that the most effective response to attempted censorship of conservatives is more speech, not less.
More. Louder. Bolder.
For conservatives online, it is also a time-tested truism that there is great strength in numbers. When bloggers, activists, video content creators, and Twitter users on the Right unite behind common principles — fighting jihadi propaganda, exposing corruption, calling out media bias, following the progressive money trail, holding the Republican Party’s feet to the fire, etc. — we can accomplish uncommon things.
Over the past year, Aaron Walker (who blogged as “Aaron Worthing”), Patterico, Liberty Chick, and now Stacy McCain have been targeted by convicted Speedway bomber Brett Kimberlin because they dared to mention his criminal past or assisted others who did. The late Andrew Breitbart warned about Kimberlin and company.
I have spoken directly with both Patterico and Aaron about their ongoing battles.
The mainstream press, not just the conservative blogosphere, needs to hear and report their stories.
This is a convoluted, ongoing nightmare that combines abuse of the court system, workplace intimidation, serial invasions of privacy, perjury, and harassment of family members. McCain was forced to move with his family out of his house this week, and has just gotten a small taste of what Aaron and Patterico have been enduring over the past year. Aaron and his wife were fired from their jobs after their employer feared the office would be targeted next. Convicted bomber Kimberlin has filed bogus “peace orders” against Aaron, when it is the Walkers who are the victims, not the perpetrators.
And Patterico’s plight will send chills up your spine when he is ready to tell it.
Institutional inertia, incompetence, and apathy among law enforcement officials on both coasts have exacerbated the victims’ suffering. It has moved far beyond a partisan or political story to a bottomless, Kafka-esque morass. And, via investigative journalist Matthew Vadum, it certainly doesn’t help that “progressive,” left-wing foundations that have funded Kimberlin continue to look the other way.
Ted Frank at Point of Law summed it up: “A scary tale of what can go wrong if one makes the wrong enemy of someone willing to persistently abuse the civil and criminal legal system, and how poorly the legal system protects those victims.”
Law blog Popehat wrote:
Aaron’s story is quite long. (We had a tiny, tiny piece of it here.) But he supports it with primary documents and video recordings, and ultimately it’s a wrenching depiction of how the system doesn’t prevent crazy and/or evil people from victimizing innocents — a depiction of how the system can be the instrument of such victimization. It’s not a pretty story, but it’s worth reading.Dan Collins has a very useful summary of Aaron’s plight and the obliviousness of Maryland prosectors:
That Kimberlin lied repeatedly in his sworn charges isn’t a surprise, but it is a deep disappointment that the Maryland prosecutor seems to think there’s no substantial public benefit to be procured by making wannabe mass murderer Kimberlin pay for his false testimony in trying to frame blogger Aaron Worthing. My opinion is that people who attempt to use the law and the legal system as a means of tortious aggression towards other citizens should be summarily sentenced on conviction to penalties at least twice as high as those they’ve contemplated for their targets.Lee Stranahan provides some basic background on Kimberlin here:
But it’s Kimberlin’s most recent actions that warrant attention and a strong wall to deter future abuse. Patterico writes:
First, this isn’t about dredging up a crime that happened 34 years ago. Kimberlin has done plenty since then. He made claims about selling pot to Dan Quayle — claims that the lefty author of a book about Kimberlin believes are false. He deceptively avoided paying a wrongful death judgment to the widow of the man he blew up. He sued a small-time blogger in 2011 for telling the truth about him, and made several false statements about his history under oath in an effort to win a large cash judgment. He made several provably false statements regarding his encounter with Aaron Walker, in an effort to get the State of Maryland to prosecute Walker. He has regularly defamed, harassed, and stalked people who criticized him.Several blogs have already stepped up to the plate (links to all at the end of this post), but as Ace of Spades writes:
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg, folks.
Cowards die a thousand deaths.No. That won’t do.
I already died 40 cowards’ deaths this past week. That’s enough for me. I will die no more of them.
Am I to understand only the smallest, least-well-financed bloggers are going to be covering this? While large media franchises with lawyers on retainer all decide “we’d rather let tiny one-man blogs take the lead on this?”
Does that make sense?
For those of you who are old fogies in the blogosphere, you’ll remember the “blogburst” concept — hundreds of bloggers of all sizes getting together to push an idea or action item. In this case, a blogburst would raise the cost of the online terrorists’ speech-squelching business immensely. It’s a collective show of support and force.
Along those same lines, Stranahan has proposed that Friday be “Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day.”
Even a simple link, e-mail, or tweet will do.
I will join and I hope you will find a way to spread word about this horrifying saga, too (it gets worse, believe me). The targeted victims — past, present, and future — will need not only media support, but sustained financial support. A few good and brave philanthropists could come in handy right about now. Send me an email if you can help.
Telling the truth on the Internet shouldn’t mean risking your job or your life, or the well-being and safety of your loved ones. Make your voices heard if you agree.
Aaron Walker: Summary/Preview of my Post “How Brett Kimberlin Tried to Frame Me for a Crime (And How You Can Help!)”
Immediate action items to help Aaron are here.
Stacy McCain: Brett Kimberlin Saga Takes a Bizarre Turn, Forcing Me to Leave Maryland
Patterico: Brett Kimberlin’s Latest “Peace Order” Against Aaron Walker Is Retaliation for Truthful Speech
One of the things that Kimberlin complains about is that Aaron has called Kimberlin a terrorist…***
“Terrorism” is a fair way to describe what Brett Kimberlin did to the town of Speedway, Indiana in 1978, when he set off eight bombs over the course of several days. Kimberlin has been convicted of those bombings, one of which blew off the limbs of a Vietnam veteran named Carl DeLong, who committed suicide as a result of his injuries. Brett Kimberlin earned the right to be called a convicted domestic terrorist, and he should not be marching off to court complaining about it when someone calls him just that.
It is beyond the scope of this post to detail every way in which Kimberlin’s peace order is misleading and deceptive. Kimberlin complains that Aaron spoke of purchasing a gun, implying that Aaron’s statement was aggressive — when Aaron actually said he had bought a gun to defend himself. Kimberlin claims that Aaron is responsible for “alerts” coming to his email inbox, suggesting Aaron is emailing him, when in fact the “alerts” Kimberlin is talking about are Google alerts. If you write about this guy on the Internet, he may run to a judge and say you are causing abusive alerts to come to his email.
You might say: what’s the harm in getting a peace order? I have watched this play out in other venues and I know just what Kimberlin is up to. As soon as he gets a “peace order,” he will run back to court the very next time Aaron mentions his name in public. That means that Kimberlin asserts the right to abuse the court process to harass Aaron — and if Aaron tells the world how Kimberlin is abusing the court process, Kimberlin will claim that as a violation of the peace order and try to have Aaron held in contempt of court.
Kimberlin and his crew have relentlessly harassed Aaron, me, and others over the course of the last several months. It is not harassment for us to tell the world what happened to us. It could happen to any of you. His supporters have outed or threatened to out commenters to this very site. They talk about wives, children, and fathers of bloggers and commenters. They ceaselessly abuse everyone they can who speaks the truth about Kimberlin’s past.
Ultimately, this is a free speech issue. Kimberlin and his group of thugs have done their level best to attack everyone in the blogosphere who wrote anything negative about him. Now the blogosphere is starting to wake up, and there are so many critics he can’t possibly intimidate them all.
Many bloggers have already spoken up for Kimberlin’s victims and/or linked to related stories (let me know if I’ve missed you):
Instapundit Glenn Reynolds
The American Thinker
Walter Olson at Overlawyered
Blazing Cat Fur
Donald Douglas at American Power
The American Catholic
The Lonely Conservative
Kathy Shaidle at Five Feet of Fury
The Coalition of the Swilling
The Camp of the Saints
Wake Up America
Zilla of the Resistance
Lady Liberty 1885
Goldfish and Clowns
Small Dead Animals
Yid with Lid
Evil Blogger Lady
Every voice counts.