Patterico has a stunning post about the extreme lengths to which a group of nutjobs will go to harass and intimidate their opponents. Of course, Brett Kimberlin was convicted of planting bombs back in the 1980s, so maybe one man's extreme is another man's normal:
You’re about to listen to one of the most bone-chilling pieces of audio you will ever hear. At least, it was to me when I first heard it.
It’s a phone call that could have gotten me killed.
In this post you will hear that audio clip. You will also read about a months-long campaign of harassment carried out by at least three individuals: Ron Brynaert, Neal Rauhauser, and Brett Kimberlin — much of it directed at critics of Brett Kimberlin. This harassment includes repeated references to critics’ family members, workplace complaints, publication of personal information such as home addresses and pictures of residences, bogus allegations of criminal activity, whisper campaigns, frivolous legal actions, and frivolous State Bar complaints.
A deadly phone call? What is this, Ring II? Hardly:
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.
OK, that is crazy stuff.
Reason highlights the free speech issue. Ken at Popehat deplores the reality that this will break down as yet another left-right thing, even though a few lefties have been caught up in Kimberlin's madness as well.
Breitbart attempts to follow the money by contacting donors to the 501(c)3s run by Kimberlin. They get off to a limping start by failing to understand that Fidelity and Schwab run donor-directed funds.
Actually, those donor directed funds could be an excellent money laundering gambit. If, for example, I were Mr. Kimberlin myself, I could donate to a Fidelity directed fund, have that fund donate to my charity, and then report the cash as having come from the Fidelity Investments Charitable Gift. Since Mr. Kimberin was a drug dealer back in the day, he might have problematic cash to clean up. Just ruminating, obviously.
Rosslyn Smith of the American Thinker provided the donor list and this TIME piece from 2007 examining how Kimberlin became a hero to the left. Apparently he got on the vote fraud bandwagon and has helped make the case that Diebold and various Republican operatives have stolen various seats. That said, one of the evil-doers has been booted off of DKos, so there is hope.
My thought - since it is mostly righties being harassed, this story lacks a legacy media news hook. Obviously, if (heaven forbid) this were happening to a Times reporter or columnist we would read about nothing else. Similarly, it would be front-paged and leading the evening news if Kimberlin could be connected to the Tea Party.
That said, there is some glimmer of an Anthony Weiner connection. This is not to allege that Anthony Weiner is in any way supportive of this group, but they seem to be supportive of him.
Per Patterico, we have a snppet from Andrew Breitbart's last interview:
[O]ne of the things they’ve done to people who have worked with me in the past, including an L.A. prosecutor, is to “SWAT.” That means that they’re spoofing phones, pretending to be somebody else’s phone, calling 911, and saying “I killed somebody” and then the person’s home is met with the guns drawn, the SWAT and the helicopters, in a horrifying act. It’s happened twice: once in New Jersey, once in Los Angeles, with an L.A. County . . . prosecutor who [is] associated with me.”
Still with Patterico:
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 man in New Jersey was Mike Stack, who came to fame with WeinerGate. And, by what I assume is a non-coincidence, Patterico was on the phone at the time of the 'swatting' opign to discuss the Weiner case. Let's also note that outing the Ace of Spades seems to be a priority for the Kimberlin crew, and the Ace played a role in the Weiner story.
Well. Following the donor money seems like a good course. Surely some of these donors (Heinz Family Foundation, $20,000) ought to show a bit more awareness.
Just to pick one - here is the HKH Foundation (my emphasis):
For over 30 years, the HKH Foundation has been guided by a fundamental philanthropic imperative: to create new possibilities in pursuit of meaningful and lasting change. We have sought to convene, challenge and enable visionaries, advocates and activists across our areas of grantmaking towards the goal of re-conceiving "the possible." Historically the Foundation has made grants in the arenas of Environmental Protection, Safeguarding Civil Liberties and Peace and Security. We have also fostered non-partisan Civic Engagement as important to securing change across issues. Recently, we have developed a cross-cutting initiative on Protecting the Commons. We have long had a regional focus on the Adirondacks.
One of Kimberlin's groups, Justice Through Music, is a grantee in the Civic Engagement category. HKH ought to review their rules of engagement.