Home / General / Concerning Brett Kimberlin, Patrick Frey, Aaron Worthing, etc.

Concerning Brett Kimberlin, Patrick Frey, Aaron Worthing, etc.

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As you can tell from the fact that I wrote one post in May (albeit quite a good one), wrapping up the school year took the majority of my time and energy, so some stories slipped through the cracks. Let me rephrase that: some stories were too complicated for me to understand in the time I had available to think about them, so I put them in the “To Read” pile, and there they sat until summer.

One of those stories involves a convicted felon named Brett Kimberlin, who would prefer, among other things, that people not refer to him as a convicted felon. There seems to be an entire conspiracy of people committed to withholding that information from the public record, including, but not limited to, Neal Rauhauser and Ron Brynaert. What happens if you mention the fact of Kimberlin’s incarceration in public? If you’re Aaron Worthing, Kimberlin drags you into court for violating a “peace order” of dubious legal standing, then has you arrested for daring to question its dubiousness. If you’re Patrick Frey, Kimberlin’s companions spoof your home telephone number, dial the police and, while impersonating you, claim that you’ve shot your wife. That’s correct: they anonymously send SWAT teams to your door because of things you said on the Internet.

In fact, the aforementioned Aaron Worthing got a taste of the Frey treatment shortly after a judge modified the “peace order” in a way that annoyed Kimberlin and his cohorts, being that it allows him to post about Kimberlin and his cohorts on the Internet. Are there another hundred twists and turns to this case that I don’t fully comprehend? Without a doubt. But the fundamentals are simple: people who write about Kimberlin and his extended family tend to find themselves at the wrong end of frivilous lawsuits or SWAT teams.

Why are Kimberlin and his conspirators so interested in moving conversations from the (relatively) friendly confines of the Internet to the messier realms of legal proceedings and illegal impersonations? Why risk being dismissed as a serial litigant or arrested for abusing the stretched resources of local police departments? I can only come up with two reasons:

The first is that they are children increasingly impressed with their ability to do things to people they dislike. They are bullies. They have no politics, only petty vendettas against perceived authorities, and the fact that they have largely targeted conservatives indicates who they believe their mother and father proxies to be. It says something that being the generation of re-directed aggression is the most charitable reading I could muster. The only problem with the charitable reading is that it simply isn’t plausible.

The second, much more likely, reason is that Kimberlin et al see in the world a mirror of their own conspiratorial thought. They coordinate their criminal enterprise because they still see a representative of the Man behind every suit. They assume their ideological opponents must belong to similarly organized social construct, such that an attack against one Man constitutes an attack against the Man himself. The transcipts of their secret communications—by which I mean, “the images of their Twitter accounts,” many of which can be found here—leave the impression that Kimberlin and company consider themselves to be the last guardians of a failed Left. Who they decide to harass and SWAT seems less a function of coherent plan than the actions of a paranoid ideology. They believe that harassing a lawyer who helped a friend fight a case (Worthing) and having SWAT teams sent to the houses of innocent men (Worthing and Frey) constitute victories against the Man and the System, two entities that only exist as a function of their own paranoiad thought.

But whether Kimberlin and Rauhauser and Brynaert belong to an amorphous group of aggreived childen lashing out at their parental proxies, or whether they represent a paranoid organization devoted to using any means necessary to silence critics—both real and imagined—it is thunderously obvious that they ought not be allowed to set the terms of the debate. Because this is not about politics. They shouldn’t be plauded by those who share their specific aims nor meet with the silent approval of those who support their general goals. They should be shamed, because that’s what this should be about: shaming people who have proven themselves willing to escalate when escalation suits their needs. As the number of avenues available to them dwindle in number and efficacy, it should surprise no one that their tantrums are increasingly taking the form of sending SWAT teams to the houses of their critics.

What can we do about Kimberlin and company? Weeks of attention at the hands of conservative bloggers indicates that sunlight isn’t an effective disinfectant here, as Kimberlin et al seem to adore the attention of the court, if only for the money they can bleed from those they baselessly attack. Shame only works so long as they remain in the sun, but criticism drives them back to their impenetrable Twitter dens, where they’re free to continue conspiring 140 characters at a time. Coordinated action could vindicate their paranoia and lead to further escalation of the sort already witnessed or of a tactical variety. (I’ll leave imagining the unimaginable to the kind of experts who respond to legal difficulties with SWAT teams.) So what can we do about Kimberlin and his ilk?

Continue to argue, in principle, against the principles they hypocritically claim to uphold. Continue to note that criticism that results in frivilous legal actions acquires greater rhetorical power by the fact that the response is disproportionate to the perceived offense. If I say “orange,” for example, and you respond by filing a court order against me, everyone knows that you’re trying to hide something about “orange.” You have made yourself look very suspicious when it comes to “orange.” If the court rejects your claim and allows me to say “orange” and you respond by sending a SWAT team to my house, everyone knows not only that you’re hiding something about “orange,” but that whatever “orange” is, it must be incredibly important to you. At this point, I’m not sure what Kimberlin’s “orange” is, or why he’s created a network of like-minded “orange” paranoiacs to defend it, but given that that defense threatens to impinge upon the rights of everyone to practice free speech, I think it’s in all our interest to figure out what “orange” is.

And now I’m talking about “orange” when I should be talking about outrages. I’m still not sure what we can do to put a stop to Kimberlin and those who anonymously abet him, but it’s a conversation we ought to be having. As someone who’s been harassed in the past—and is facing a new wave of harassment at the present moment—I think it’s incumbent on the left to listen to and contribute to the conversation going on across the blogs on the right. Because dumb luck trumps ideology in the sweepstakes to determine who Kimberlin or the like targets next, and tomorrow may be your “lucky” day.

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  • Not that I’m necessarily on either or any side here, but what proof/evidence is there that these “SWATtings” were actually performed by Kimberlin or his associates?

    • SEK

      The fact that Worthing was SWAT-ed the same day Kimberlin’s case against him was dropped is strongly suggestive. Correlation doesn’t equal causation, I know, but there’s a lot of material connecting specific threats against specific people that led to specific actions. The only source that struck me as spurious was R.S. McCain, who seemed to enjoy whatever attention he could muster in his direction.

      • SEK

        (One thing I think everyone can agree on: the word “SWAT-ed” or “SWAT-ted” or however it’s spelled is second only to “blog” in its offense against the English language.)

        • Malaclypse

          What, no hate for “impactful”?

          • James E. Powell

            incentivize

            • DrDick

              That is a crime against humanity!

              • dsn

                incent

        • a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q)

          I think it surpasses blog in offense against contemporary English. Impactful may be the winner though.

          • montag

            Don’t mind me. I’m still hammering the desk with my head over “proactive.”

            • rea

              Hammering the desk with your head IS proactive!

              • chris y

                Oh is that what it means? I’d been wondering about that.

      • The only source that struck me as spurious was R.S. McCain, who seemed to enjoy whatever attention he could muster in his direction.

        Yeah, I have to believe there’s more to his story than he’s willing (or perhaps able) to tell. I mean, yes, Brett Kimberlin did set off a series of bombs in the late 70’s, but while he’s been really awful mad/crazy toward lots of folks in the last 3-4 years, he hasn’t tried to blow anyone up. Uprooting his family and leaving his home because Kimberlin allegedly called the place where Mrs. Other McCain worked seems to outsiders, anyway, a little over-cautious. I don’t think he’d do it unless he really felt had to, however so, while he is a SHAMELESS hooer for attention–a characterization i doubt he’d disagree with–I have to believe there’s more to the story than he’s posted for general consumption…

        • timb

          He was living on a church compound and they asked him to leave once they discovered he is a hate-filled bastard who collects guns at a church.

          Seventh Day Adventists are a little gun-shy about right wing nuts with guns since David Koresh

        • SPQR

          Ah, well, he’s not committed any violent crimes … lately.

          That’s a ringing endorsement.

          • Still… McCain’s the only one to uproot, so…

            There’s more to his story, or

            He’s a coward compared to Mandy, Aaron, Seth, Stack, and Frey, or

            They’re all idiots compared to McCain.

            I’m gonna go with choice one, until I see evidence suggesting otherwise.

            • Tybalt

              Protecting your family from a perceived threat is not cowardice. For Chrissake.

              They may quite reasonably disagree on the threat that the convicted felon and terrorist Brett Kimberlin represents.

              • Read my comment over again… I’m saying that I’m pretty sure he has–or at least believes he has, which is good enough for me–very good reason for doing what he did, but that we don’t know what it is… (I mean, yeah, maybe it is just that 30-something years ago Kimberlin was a guy who set off bombs to get what he wanted, and yeah, that is reason enough, I guess, but uprooting one’s whole family and leaving one’s home behind is a pretty extreme step to take… I suspect there’s more to it than that. And I think there was a post where even he intimated as much (…which naturally, I can’t find, now… T’was something about where his wife worked, as I recall.)

                In other words, Ty, I don’t think RSM is a coward, or that he’s just smarter than the rest of ’em, either. I think he has good reason to be where he is–and to not be where he used to be–but that it’s something more than “this nut blew shit up 30+ years ago, and now I’m on his enemies list.”

                That’s what I said, and whether it turns out I’m right or I’m wrong, that’s what I meant. I hope that clears things up for ya…

    • It’s almost all circumstantial, but it does seem to be happening to this particular group of bloggers, all of whom wrote stories critical of Brett Kimberlin and his cohorts. While some of the bloggers in question seem a whole lot more sure than I am about whodunnit–in some cases exactly whodunnit–the fact is, these swattings did happen to these bloggers not long after exposing or embarrassing Kimberlin and co., and someone dunnit.

      Besides, even if one is skeptical–even to the point of thinking it might be an inside, false-flag mission (and while i’m not linking to ’em, there are folks who believe that)–putting more sunlight on the thing and speaking out for federal investigations or task forces or whatever is still a good thing, in that a successful investigation will expose the guilty parties, whoever they are.

      • SEK

        Given my own (recent and on-going) interactions with irrational stalkers, I’m tempted to give them the benefit of the doubt when it comes to why they were targeted. Having someone call a SWAT team on you in the middle of the night is beyond the bounds of typical ideological warfare: it’s escalation designed to intimidate, and the fact of the matter is, we don’t know how many people Kimberlin and the like have successfully intimidated into silence.

        • timb

          there’s no proof any of this happened, outside of a police report and 9-1-1 call from Frey, whose police department, despite the fact he is a DA, did NOT consider important. It happened in like July of 2011 and he didn’t report it until May of 2012 for a reason.

          • Dustin

            “whose police department, despite the fact he is a DA, did NOT consider important.”

            A lie. They referred the matter to the FBI.

            The local county let the feds handle a crime that crossed state lines.

            “he didn’t report it until May of 2012 for a reason.”

            It was something he discussed with the FBI repeatedly for many months, but did not discuss publicly because he wanted to do everything possible to cooperate with law enforcement.

            Great post, SEK. These swattings have happened to several victims. There are details about several, including the most recent, which are not public knowledge for good reason, but these crimes are getting more serious and more disturbing.

            It’s an attack on free speech. It’s not an attack on conservatism and defending the principle of free speech is obviously no attack on liberalism.

            SEK, I am not familiar with your stalking story, but I will try to learn more and help you spread the word if you need that. Whatever the circumstance, I’m sorry that you too have had to deal with creeps.

            • timb

              Thanks, Scott…

              Oh, and Dustin, before clutching your pearls and fainting, try to use words for what they mean. One does not claim a material mistake of fact is a “lie,” since a lie requires commission or omission. Now, I don’t have your obsession with these incidents (do you have any other hobbies), so I may be mistaken on which police agency decided to do nothing.

              Thanks for the correction

        • Voice of Reason

          We’ll meet again,
          Don’t know where,don’t know when.
          But I know we’ll meet again, some sunny day.

          • Malaclypse

            Shorter VoR: liberals being threatened is good, while conservatives being threatened is bad. That’s a kind of a principle, isn’t it?

      • timb

        Kimberlin claims he was Swat-ted.

        • SPQR

          Actually that’s false, timb, which isn’t a surprise. Kimberlin claims that someone called a city 311 services number and that some city worker, not police, showed up at his house.

          See the response he filed to Worthing’s motion to modify the order.

          • timb

            go back to denying smoking causes cancer, spqwisdjs.

  • Anonymous

    Yikes, looks like this fellow [a.k.a. “Anonymous,” who shares an IP address with Donald Douglas] thinks he’s about to get swatted too: “Obsessed Progressive Who Shall Not Be Named Is Ideological Kith and Kin to Brett Kimberlin, And I Suspect He’d Like to Put Me Under Just As Fast.”

    • Furious Jorge

      I don’t understand this comment at all. Which fellow? Is it the same anonymous who posted this comment? Where was that last sentence posted? Is there a link missing? Who wrote that italicized bit inside the brackets? Who am I? Where are my false teeth?

      • timb

        Nice to see here, Justice Scalia

      • Can’t decide whether my “song-in-lue-of-reply” should be Can’t Shouldn’t or Won’t Touch This or (Don’t, under penalty of law) Say my Name

        (If it helps, the later is the far better song, imh…this version of it, anyway…)

      • SEK

        I don’t understand this comment at all.

        Donald Douglas isn’t allowed to post here, not even when he comments anonymously, and especially not when he links back to his cesspool, so I edited his comment and killed his link, as I’ve done many times before.

        • Anonymous

          SEK, the Donalde has not been commenting here, like, forever. I thought you or Scott banned him? He was the favorite troll around here for a long time. What happened? You were never liked here that much anyway, or at least among some of the other regulars I’ve talked to behind the boards. So perhaps you should take your legal battles elsewhere. Googling the Donalde looks like he’s got stuff you can’t rebut. Just saying…

          • Malaclypse, UNDISCLOSED LOCATION WHICH DOES NOT NEED A FUCKING BIG ARBYS TO GENERATE A SENSE OF PLACE

            Shorter Anonymous: the lurkers support me in e-mail.

          • Y’know… I read somewhere that folks who post anonymously are cowards…and yet this Donalde guy did it once—or should I say, at least once–right here in this very thread…

            Odd that, don’t you think?

            Besides…when it comes right down to it, his ranting is self-refuting…

  • felipe

    SEK, you said you would write this post — and you did. You are a man of your word. I will be reading the comments with interest.

  • melior

    I dunno, SEK, the only links I see in your post are to a well-known wingnut site — it’s hard to learn much of anything factual without some smidgen of credibility from your sources. There’s certainly no edification to be found digging somewhere you’d have to wade through piles of “when is torture patriotic?” and “global warming hoax proven again!” crap looking for an honest take.
    (Anyway, isn’t that guy also some kind of junior assistant District Attorney? What’s up with that, a global conspiracy of local law enforcement to not take him seriously? Things that make you go hmmmm…)

    Unless or until some non-wingnut sources emerge, my expectation is that this whole foofaraw of twisted panties and accusations from the usual crowd of Bleitblart wannabes will turn out to be internecine warfare. But that’s sheer speculation, based entirely on nothing but their long collective history of hateful, pathetic FAIL.

    See also, Steve M.’s take.

    • sc

      Patterico has his opinions politically. I have no doubt he was swatted. I have no doubt the intent is too chill free speech by a selfish group of people. A logical analysis is needed. What is the appropiate behavior for someone acting anonymously? Should it be all anarchy with no respect for the self interest of another person? Or if enough swatting happens will speech on the internet start to be limited like in South Korea. Will you have a register your mac address and email to comment publicly so you can be held accountable.

      Not taking Kimberlin seriously, is in a way a manner of saying you would rather no one be anonymous on the internet. And everyone should be held accountable for every word they say.

      • melior

        In my case it’s actually a manner of saying I can’t take Patterico seriously. I am a fan of anonymity.

        • timb

          Dude is a serial liar and a bit of a bully. And, the only reason he’s after Kimberlin is because Kimberlin’s group of liars is attacking Patterico BFF James O’Keefe

      • Scott Lemieux

        Patterico is a conservative but he isn’t Pam Geller or something; I have no reason to think he’s lying about this.

        • timb

          lying about what? There’s a police report and an 911 call regarding the swat thing.

          On the other hand, what’s he hiding and why he’s doing it are matters of pure speculation.

          • Warren Terra

            Um, wha? Look: I’m perfectly willing to contemplate Patterico hiding something and generally being a bad actor. Or maybe he’s a saint: I don’t much care. The whole “SWATting someone and their family” thing is inexplicable, inexcusable. Even if Patterico’s “secret” that you’re insinuating about were something of a similar or greater magnitude of evil, similarly containing physical hazard or even physical harm, the “SWATting” can not be justified or overlooked.

            Conceivably I suppose we can ask whether it really happened, or whether Kimberlin’s clique of nutzoids are responsible for it. But you seem to be verging on suggesting it was in some way Patterico’s fault, and that sort of thing can never be the victim’s fault.

            Heck, even if you were to disdain all concerns for Patterico’s safety, because he’s secretly a very well preserved Jack The Ripper, and his family’s safety, because they chose to marry him or to be born to him, what about the cops’ safety, breaking into a house in the middle of the night heavily armed? What about the safety of the rest of the city while the cops are tied up in this adventure?

            • timb

              But you seem to be verging on suggesting it was in some way Patterico’s fault, and that sort of thing can never be the victim’s fault

              No, I am not and that is a bizarre reading of my comment. I’m saying his story, the part he has revealed, appears true, but the reason he waited a year to tell it, the reason he became obsessed with Brett Kimberlin, the reason he timed his SWAT-ting story for May of this year, etc are all mysteries.

              In no way does that excuse what happened to him. I remain unconvinced this has anything to do with the nutball Kimberlin, who ALSO claims cops arrived at his home.

              Sorting out the lies between serial liars is hard enough

    • Repsac3

      I was alot more skeptical back in late May, myself (obviously, judging by my comment at that Steve M post.)

      What drew me in was the blatantly obvious railroading that Aaron Walker (Worthing) got in a MD courtroom, where a judge granted Kimberlin a peace order that said that Aaron was forbidden to address Brett Kimberlin in any way, shape or form for the next six months. (It didn’t just say Aaron could not contact or otherwise speak to Kimberlin; this said Aaron was forbidden from saying anything about Kimberlin, essentially forbidding Aaron from typing the name on a keyboard and hitting post.)

      But the more I read about that part of story, the more aspects of the rest of it started to seem more plausible. As for the question I was asking in the Steve M comment, the answer in part, anyway, is that each swatting or other threat was it’s own unique crime taking place in jurisdictions throughout the country, and it’s taken some time for the various local law enforcement folks to compare notes and share resources, which has made the process really s-l-o-w, a fact which even the alleged victims have complained about, and which caused me to question why it seemed like local law enforcement was not taking the crimes or the theories of the victims as seriously as they (or I, if it was a serious situation) thought they should have. I still don’t know that that’s the answer, but it is a plausible explanation.

      I definitely get the whole bias thing, which is why I want bloggers and media I trust more than I do some of these bloggers, to investigate and report on the story. It’s because I am very skeptical of anything published by a Breitbart blogger, or by RS McCain that i want legit folks to check over their work. (Though i have to say, Maggie Nagy –liberty_chick– has been quite pleasant to me personally, at least as far as I know — she did respond to a blogger who shall not be named warning her not to trust me rather cryptically, suggesting perhaps that she was more playing me than being sincere, but I prefer to assume the best…at least until the time comes when I can’t, anymore.)

      • timb

        TRO’s are pretty common when one guy incites violent threats from a gang of his friends

        • SPQR

          Which Aaron never did, so your comment remains irrelevant.

          • timb

            The judge found he did. Was he part of the conspiracy too?

            • He found I “incited” merely by saying bad things about Kimberlin. I have never asked or suggested that anyone do anything illegal and/or violent and indeed have taken steps to keep Kimberlin’s private info–home address, phone number, email address–a secret, a courtesy he did not extend to me.

              So if you say, “Bush tortured prisoners at Gitmo” are you inciting violence against Bush?

              That is not the law, of course, and indeed the judge disregarded controlling precedent by name to reach the conclusion that I had incited violence. Go read Brandenburg v. Ohio, read what the law says counts as incitement and see if I did that.

              Seriously, if you can be prohibited from accusing people of reprehensible conduct, then that is the death of journalism as we know it. at least 50% of the news accuses someone of doing something wrong.

              • rea

                What the transcript shows is that the judge told you not to harrass him, and declined to tell you in advance whether particular actions would amount to harrassment (out of concern that he would be giving you a roadmap to circumvent his order). The judge never made any particular findings about incitement, as far as I can see. It’s a very common judicial reaction in this kind of case–A wants an order prohibiting B from stalking him, and the judge, reasoning that there will be no problem with such an order if B isn’t really a stalker, simply enters the order rather than spending a lot of time figuring out who really had done what to who.

      • Erb… “Mandy” Nagy… (obviously, we tight, Maggie and I… Best o friends… 8>)

  • Incontinentia Buttocks

    I somehow missed this entire controversy and reading this post and following links in it and in the thread, I’m feeling very glad that I did.

    Anyone want to give me a quick explanation as to why I should care about this?

    • Furious Jorge

      Well, to start with SEK’s comment above:

      Having someone call a SWAT team on you in the middle of the night is beyond the bounds of typical ideological warfare: it’s escalation designed to intimidate, and the fact of the matter is, we don’t know how many people Kimberlin and the like have successfully intimidated into silence.

      For myself, I care about this because I fear the eventual normalization of this kind of behavior. I have no doubt that at least some wingnuts will decide that Kimberlin speaks for all liberals, and that therefore all liberals deserve to feel the blowback, as it were.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks

        Great! As a member of Teh Left (online edition), I hereby denounce calling SWAT teams on wingnuts who criticize Teh Left online.

        Am I done?

        • I think so, but the story itself is interesting. To what extent can you use the law – the courts above-board and the police below – to ditch your past? If the Patterico-angled story is entirely true it’s all about Kimberlin’s fear. What makes him have it while other notorious-ex-terrorists-who-haunt-right-wing-dreams do not?

        • actually there is more you can do to help with this situation. I discuss ways you can help, here.

      • mds

        I have no doubt that at least some wingnuts will have decided that Kimberlin speaks for all liberals, and that therefore all liberals deserve to feel the blowback, as it were.

        In a desire to be helpful, I’ve made some edits for you, FJ.

        • Pastafarian

          I’m one wingnut who had already decided that Kimberlin speaks for all liberals, since I hadn’t seen any criticism of him on the left (but I might have missed it, I don’t read many leftist blogs).

          The existence of this post has forced me to re-evaluate that opinion.

          I also retract my comment from an earlier thread, in which I called SEK the biggest asshole, dick, and pussy on the internet.

          You’re putting your neck out there a little bit by writing this, SEK. It’s a bold and principled thing to do.

          • rea

            I’m one wingnut who had already decided that Kimberlin speaks for all liberals, since I hadn’t seen any criticism of him on the left (but I might have missed it, I don’t read many leftist blogs).

            YOu might consider whether the reason that there had been so few comments about this on the left might be that no one has ever heard of this guy.

            • Pastafarian

              He’s been a major topic of conversation on the right. Blogs with major traffic like Ace of Spades went dark for a day in protest of Kimberlin’s attack on freedom of speech.

              You might want to poke your head up out of the cocoon every once in a while.

              • DocAmazing

                Oh, yeah, Ace going dark. That was earth-shaking.

                You still haven’t shown anything in the way of evidence linking Kimberlin to the SWATtings, but hey, what’s evidence?

    • SEK

      Anyone want to give me a quick explanation as to why I should care about this?

      Outside of its general import, from my perspective it’s simple: I’ve been the victim of similar attacks that never escalated to quite this level, but given that the norm now seems to be increasingly escalation, I, personally, worry about what will happen the next time I criticize someone online.

      It’s like the lunatics have been given a game-plan, one that’s cheap and easy to operate, and just because the only people who are suffering for it at the moment are conservatives doesn’t mean that will always be the case. Hence, my concern.

  • Sad to see this here
    • SEK

      No. Next question?

  • So is their theory that if a right wing blogger gets tragically gunned down during a SWAT raid fueled by an erroneous anonymous tip that conservatives are suddenly going to see the error of their ways in regards to unfettered police power? Hmmmm. I suspect comic book super villains exhibit a better grasp of logical inference.

  • A_Nonny_Mouse

    Isn’t part of the equation that Kimberlin runs a couple of non-profits which have big-name, high-dollar donors? I recall that Barbra Streisand was mentioned as donating $10 grand. Money has been known to bring out the worst in people.

    Another part of understanding Kimberlin is that the Speedway bombings were supposedly to divert police from investigating the murder of Kimberlin’s under-aged girlfriend’s grandmother… leading to the assumption that if Mr. K went WAY CRAZY because Granny disapproved of dating Little Darling, he may indeed have more WAY CRAZY in store for other folks who want to interfere in his plans.

    I don’t suppose I’d want this dude for a neighbor. And if he was my neighbor, I sure wouldn’t want to complain about his dog barking at night. Might wake up to find a horse’s head in bed with me.

    • Tybalt

      No, that first one’s a complicated untruth – it may have been accidental, more likely sloppy, possibly a lie. What happened was that one of Kimberlin’s non-profits got a grant from a donor-advised fund that had also (and in an entirely unrelated donation) received funds from Streisand. But donor-advised funds distribute to all sorts of charities or non-profits or what have you… it’s the donor to the fund that advises where it’s to go on to. I looked at this back in May and there was no evidence that Streisand’s money went to Kimberlin, and a lot of evidence that it didn’t.

  • Warren Terra

    Threats of violence and acts of violence – and causing a squad of heavily armed cops to break into your target’s house in the dead of night is an act of violence – are unacceptable.

    That said, I resent the insinuations on the Right that the Left has been somehow complicit, when none of us have ever heard of Kimberlin before this, and when none of us have supported his alleged actions. And I resent the double-standard: we’re meant to be somehow affiliated with this nutball’s actions, which if true are inexcusible and risked serious injuries and even deaths, while the last few years have been liberally sprinkled with the actual blood of people gunned down by madmen with much more plausible signs of being influenced by the political propaganda of the Right, from Topeka to Tucson.

    • SPQR

      The Left isn’t complicit … until they start talking about how “wingnuts” deserve this because of Breitbart, O’Keefe, etc. Much like you see timb doing in this thread.

      • until they

        “They” does a lot of work for both sides.

      • timb

        Jesus you’re stupid.

        Not once did I say anything you just accused me of.

      • Warren Terra

        You might want to look again. I read timb as verging along the lines you propose, but timb now has a comment saying that (1) the SWATting of anyone is inexcusable, but that (2) timb is not convinced Patterico is accurately describing the incident and that (3) timb is not convinced Kimberlin is repsonsible. I don’t really have any opinion about (2) or (3) – I don’t know much about this whole saga – but you’re accusing timb of taking a position against (1), which would be terrible, but timb explicitly is not doing so.

        • timb

          sprqwe and I go back to when I commented at Patterico’s. He’s a relentless person. At Patterico’s, asking questions about these sorts of things (why he blames Kimberlin, why he became fixated on Kimberlin) is considered to mean you side with Kimberlin and against the American way. So, naturally, he brings his baggage here.

          I do not support Kimberlin (for Christ’s sake, I grew up in an Indianapolis suburb and I remember what he did) if he or his friends did these things, but I had no idea one had to denounce evil ideas prior to commenting on this thread.

  • Satan Mayo

    What does this have to do with politics at all? It seems to be a personal vendetta.

    • timb

      obsessions on all sides

    • SPQR

      Its about politics because Kimberlin and Rauhauser have colored their actions with claims of some nonexistent “right wing” conspiracy regarding Weiner and other fantasies.

      Fantasies that they use for justifying funneling donations to their non profits.

      • The non-profits, like partisanship itself, has very little to do with the story. No one donated to either group so that Kimberlin could fund his insane missions against the people who dared blog about him (the first of which was a liberal, don’t forget.) it’s questionable whether they even knew Kimberlin was involved, or if they knew that much, who he was and what he’d done back in the late 70’s.

        Should these non-profits either oust Kimberlin or die a not so slow death because folks stop donating now that they do know? Sure, I’m cool with that. While I support the mission statements of both groups, Kimberlin’s involvement stains the whole thing for me, as long as he’s in any way involved.

        But the fact that Kimberlin is a liberal (or at least claims to be… I have yet to see him act like one) in no way means that his beliefs or behaviors reflect on all liberals everywhere, and there’s a faction among the folks talking about this–which you personally may or may not be a part of–who insists that it is liberalism, not bad breeding or a criminal mind, that made Kimberlin who he is, and that ALL liberals need to answer for his actions. And SPQR, that’s just nonsensical bullshit, and only serves to harm the folks who have been affected by these assholes, as well as those who may be in future…which is all of us.

  • Chels

    Totally idiotic. You posit a conspiracy and present only hearsay and coincidence as evidence.

    BTW, if you read the original accounts from these folks no swat team showed up for most (any?) of them, just relatively passive sheriff’s deputies. When Fox started reporting the story and the claims many of these bloggers, like Erickson, escalated their to claiming their house was surrounded by SWAT.

    • rea

      This is perhaps not the best context in which to parse the diiference between a SWAT team and an ordinarilly groups of armed deputies responding to an alleged murder . . .

    • Pastafarian

      You might want to check the ip addresses on some of the comments in support of Kimberlin; see how many are the same, and are run through some anonymizing process that routes it through a server in The Netherlands. Particularly these late-night comments.

      Then you might want to watch the comments threads, even aging threads, for the sudden late-night addition of a threat against Kimberlin by a sockpuppet with this same ip address.

  • JadeGold

    Follow the money.

    This is what happens when grifters collide. On one side, you have a convicted felon who delights in running his own little scams and uses the legal system as his personal twitter. On the other side, you have a bunch of wingnuts trying to connect the convicted felon to George Soros (Soros apparently funded some Kimberlin music project). One of these wingnuts, an ADA, claims a crime without any evidence. My guess is that *any* Asst. DA probably has an entire catlog of people who aren’t too happy with him or her.

    It’s all about the Benjamins–victimhood provides ample opportunities to grift.

    • Tybalt

      See my statement above re Soros and Kimberlin’s music project. The funds to Kimberlin were from a donor-advised fund and there’s no evidence the funds were from Soros (or Streisand’s) donations.

      That is what irritates so much about this story. No one did their homework about stuff.

  • superking

    Who the fuck is Brett Kimberlin, Patrick Frey, and Aaron Worthing, and why should I care?

    It certainly sounds like there is some bad shit going on here, but I have literally never heard of any of these people, and I don’t see a reason to think this is important in any way. People are assholes. That’s all you need to know. It doesn’t have to be about politics.

    • Informant

      +1 I’d never heard of Kimberlin or any of these other people until some poster at Volokh.com mentioned it a few weeks ago. As far as I can tell, this is a digerati catfight that no one who isn’t personally a political blogger gives two craps about.

  • The Washington Generals

    I get the same feeling with this as I do when national news makes some local story the top headline.

    • Informant

      Excellent analogy.

  • rea

    Well,
    (1) This is just horrible, and whoever is responsible ought to go to prison.
    (2) Breitbart and his crew have a well-deserved reputation (not just with the left, but with the whole world) for lying and unscrupulous tactics. Their claims, like those of the little boy who cried wolf, are naturally going to be met with skepticism.
    (3) Kimberlin and his ilk–if they did this–may think they are on the left. So did Charles Manson, and they are all wrong–they don’t seem to undertand the whole point of this “leftism” business.
    (4) But if Kimberlin is somehow a mote in our eyes, who we have a responsbility to repudiate and denounce, Breitbart, O’Keefe, etc. are beams in theirs.

    • timb

      And Breitbart and O’Keefe are heroes to the people claiming this stuff.

      I think an earlier poster is correct about grifters. Malkin hooked people up to a defense fund run by a fellow convicted of theft and credit card/debit card fraud within the last 5 years.

      Here you have a bunch of middle-aged men threatening each other and suing each other and writing dense, indecipherable posts about conspiracy and then following it with this

      I put the chances of my being murdered today far higher than I would have ever thought a year ago.
      Comment by Patterico — 6/26/2012 @ 11:58 pm

      All he needs is Sally Struthers pitching his appeal.

  • rea

    Oh, I remember who Kimberlin is now! He’s the guy who claimed to be Dan Quayle’s drug dealer in college. Very much the equivalent of O’Keefe . . .

  • A few thoughts.

    First off the main post is excellent. Yes, there are a lot of details to soak in and you can get lost in the weeds, but you have the right thumbnail picture.

    Second, no we don’t have proof that Kimberlin was involved in the SWATtings.

    But we know he tried to frame me for a crime, and tried to get me and my wife killed my islamofascist terrorists, by his own words. I would suggest all of you dig into my blockbuster post on the subject. I don’t just say Kimberlin did these things to me. Instead I show you documentary and video evidence showing you that he did.

    Whoever SWATted me, by occam’s razor, wanted to suppress those kinds of truths. So maybe you should find out what he is trying to suppress.

    And I will say this, too. We don’t know if Kimberlin had anything to do with these swattings. But let’s try this? Lets take him off the streets for the crimes we know he committed, and then see what happens.

    • rea

      I would say, having read the post and transcripts and watched the videos, that you did step over the line and technically commit a battery by grabbing an object out of the man’s hands. Turn and walk away in these situations (and yeah, I did that in a similar situation, and got knocked down from behind for my pains–but the incident ended with my adversary under arrest and me getting comforted by concerned members of the judge’s staff–always a good thing).

      • G Cassini

        This is probably not the place to parse the difference between someone being arrested and an actual conviction, no matter how little it seems to matter to you.

        • rea

          As a lawyer who does criminal defense work, I am somewhat familier with these concepts, not that I can see the relevance.

          • Timb

            Because of the victimhood, rea. One side is completely innocent and other irretrievably bad…apparently, although I’ve never known anything to be like that in real life

            • rea

              The only thing I said about an arrest was in connection with the story of the litigant who attacked me in the hall of the courthouse, after I won a motion in their case. And if it’s any comfort to G Cassini, that person pled guilty.

      • Your opinion would be correct, if you first ignore the report Kimberlin filed which is very obviously not supported by the video available.

    • DocAmazing

      Islamofascist?

      You’re not adding to your own credibility…

      • SEK

        Also, your link to the “blockbuster” post contains a link to a post about me, in which I’m claimed to be kith and kin with Kimberlin.

        • rea

          Agree with them about anything, and they’ll assume that you must agree with them about everything, even about yourself, you self-hating liberal, you. :)

          • SEK

            I know, I’m a monster who’s not writing three posts per week about a person I haven’t mentioned (outside of noting our comment policy) in over a year. I think I can rightly be criticized for absolutely sucking at stalking.

        • Malaclypse

          kith and kin

          I never would have imagined that The Donalde that unnamed professor would be able to use those concepts more correctly than he uses, say, nihilism.

  • I’ll add one other thing. There is a name for this idea of drawing attention to a subject by attempting to brutally suppress discussion of that subject.

    The Streisand Effect.

    • Congratulations, I guess, for being aware of all internet traditions.

  • DocAmazing

    Not one of your more sterling moments, SEK.

    • Timb

      I love him, but agreed

      • SEK

        If I didn’t occasionally disappoint you, you’d never appreciate my true value.

        • timb

          I imagine this is true.

  • mark f

    They assume their ideological opponents must belong to similarly organized social construct, such that an attack against one Man Kimberlin constitutes an attack against the Man “Left” himitself.

    As I understand it a bunch of wingnut semi-pros hoping to make the big show started playing their usual guilt-by-association game and it backfired because for they found someone actually crazy. I mean, I know they’re used to smearing low-level public servants like Shirley Sherrod and trying to ruin their lives, so I can see why they thought this would be just another day at the office. I’m sure it sucks to have found out otherwise but I don’t see why we can’t just the courts deal with this, as seems to happening.

    • IM

      +1

      They found out that Kimberlin was a convict, wanted to play six-degrees of George Soros and didn’t found out until it was too late that Kimberlin is also a jailhouse lawyer with all the skill and bad habits.

      • mark f

        I’m just glad that my point could be discerned even without all those words I left out.

  • rea

    And you know, I’d be a bit more sympathetic to Mr. Walker if he had’t linked to Donald Douglas complaining about this very blog as an example of people who had undergone similar experiences (see his link to the “blockbuster post” above).

    • Timb

      The donalde is a huge participant in this kerfluffle. It’s ironic that he stalks Scott, and the bitches about Kimberlin doing the same

    • And you know, I’d be a bit more sympathetic to Mr. Walker if he had’t linked to Donald Douglas complaining about this very blog as an example of people who had undergone similar experiences…

      Yeah, that is unfortunate… but even that hasn’t been without it’s schadenfreudian perks at the hands of several of his fellow rightwing bloggers, once Donalde started likening his trials and tribulations to those of Kimberlin’s victims…and came up looking to some of ’em more like Kimberlin than like Aaron.

      And on that score, I couldn’t help but notice how something Aaron recently quoted Kimberlin as saying:

      “His false narrative that I framed him is defamatory and inciting extremists to threaten me. He is responsible for their conduct.”

      sounded all too familiar:

      “I banned YOU. But you publicly admitted my wishes were to be disrespected and that you would taunt, harass, and intimidate “whenever and wherever I choose.”

      And one of those places was my college. YOU had henchmen do it for you so you could claim plausible denial. But the cat’s out now. YOU are liable.

      (I had my henchmen contact Aaron’s extremists, and I’m given to understand our minions are all going on a picnic next weekend to trade “does your eeeeevil genius boss suck as much as my eeeeevil genius boss?” war stories.)

      Sometimes it’s better to just let their own petar do the hoistin’…

  • TKK

    Jeez SEK, you really swallowed the whole wingnut spin on this. Did any SWAT team ever appear in these incidents? No. Is there any evidence that it was Bret Kimberlin calling the cops? No. Did this whole thing start with Brett Kimberlin? No, the first of these so-called swattings occurred months earlier.

    Who is Seth Allen? How does convicted felon Ali Akbar fit into this story? How does pornographer Lee Stranahan fit into this story? You might want to look at a site called Breitbart Unmasked to get the other side of the story.

    • SEK

      There’s no “whole” spin on this, at least not yet. It’s a morass, but the one clear aspect of it — the one that concerned me enough to write this post — is that it’s being ignored because it’s happening to conservatives. I can easily imagine a case in which the situation would be reversed, in which the legal system and local police departments were used against liberals, and it’d be nice to have a consensus about the use of such tactics before they happen, as I’m increasingly convinced they will.

      • TKK

        It’s being ignored because without any evidence, it’s just a couple of prank calls to the police. Not that prank calls to the police shouldn’t be taken seriously – it should clearly be investigated. But I have been following this story for a while, and so far nothing ties Brett Kimberlin into these phone calls.

        Also I want to point out that while you seem to have a natural sympathy to someone being internet-stalked, you might want to do a better job figuring out who is the stalkee and who is the stalker. As far as I can tell, Kimberlin (who is, yes, a convicted felon) was minding his own business when he was blogswarmed by the Breitbart crew. Pornographer Lee Stranahan invented “Let’s all blog about Brett Kimberlin Day.” All these rightwing bloggers that are playing the victim in this story never had a “Let’s all blog about Patterico Day” or a “Let’s all blog about R.S. McCain Day.” And Mr. Innocent Aaron Worthing is the inventor of the “Let’s all post pictures of Muhammed” blog, and now he is shocked, shocked, that someone has taken offense. He is a world-class troll.

        • How many suits has Brett Kimberlin filed?

          • TKK

            At least one, against Aaron Worthing. How many has Aaron Worthing filed?

            • I dunno. But Kimberlin apparently says he’s filed hundreds. Isn’t that a little weird?

              • TKK

                Yes. He is a weird guy. And a convicted felon, as they never tire of reminding you. But if you read the whole thing, and click the link to the previous post, you can see that Patterico is doing a guilt-by-association thing to attack Brad Friedman of Brad Blog and his work on voter suppression, among other things.

                The “Socrates” he mentions in that post is Seth Allen, who spammed Daily Kos and others for years with info on Kimberlin’s past.

                • I don’t know what to think about the story as a whole: the victims are the Boys Who Cried Wolf and the alleged mastermind appears to be an awful guy…who is working for the right things. So my knee is jerking in various directions and I fall on my ass if I go too far.

                  And I do think about the scale of the issue: if cops go into a place with guns drawn there’s a risk people could be killed. But the people so victimized want to take away my father’s pension and end Social Security and Medicare, not to mention endorsing less subtle kinds of killing.

                  Still, it doesn’t seem like a bad thing to identify Kimberlin as kind of a crazy dick you might want to stay away from if you want to proceed with your causes in a fashion that most reasonable folks think of as ethical.

                  We’ll see where the story goes.

      • DocAmazing

        I can easily imagine a case in which the situation would be reversed, in which the legal system and local police departments were used against liberals

        Occupy on Line 2; ghost of Mark Hampton called yesterday.

        • SEK

          I should’ve added “…in this manner” to my statement, but you see what I mean: once a successful means of silencing a person is discovered, it’s used again and again against other people whose politics you might share. Put differently: I wonder what happens the next time some online lunatic gets it in his head that I’m the root of all evil, and I’d rather not have to wonder about that. (Though current circumstances militate toward the “having.”)

  • SEK

    Also, I should note that though quite a bit of it is on bits of the Internet that no longer exist, you can find traces of my last experience with this by searching about for “Troll of Constant Sorrow” in conjunction with my name/site. That cost me money and time alike, both of which were already in very short supply given that I was in graduate school at the time.

    • IM

      That was the Gilliard/Knoxville/The general thing, right?

      • SEK

        Actually, no, I was referring to a different thing, but there’s also the Gilliard/Knoxville/The Ghost of Adolf Rupp affair as well. You can see why such matters might concern me.

        • SEK

          (The most amusing thing about that episode is that months later, my anonymous critic was outed by Facebook after he signed up for an account under the same email address he used to harass me. Of course, Facebook understood this connection as possibly being friendly, but that’s because Facebook’s dumb.)

          • I think the most amusing thing about that episode is that there was a very brief period where you and your minions that is, friends thought I might be connected to that guy…or might actually be that guy.

            • rea

              As I recall, he turned out to be a retired astronaut? Well, maybe not.

              • SEK

                Before Facebook, I narrowed it down to one of two “John Caspers” living in a particular section of Wisconsin, but never could determine which was which with any legal certainty, so in the end I just let him continue sending letters to my department about me. All they did was annoy my chair, which in retrospect, probably wasn’t the best course of action. (Of course, I did try to befriend him on Facebook, but for some reason, he never replied to my request. Go figure!)

            • SEK

              You’re on the left and your name’s “Casper,” so you see why we had to detain you in a Syrian prison do what we had to do.

              • “…and your name’s “Casper,” so…”

                J Casper,” like in “John“… (More like in “James,” of course, but a little like in “John,” sorta…)

                Yeah, I got the picture… And I’d never been to Syria Sasquatch, Israel Secaucus, NJ before, so it was a win-win.

            • IM

              That was exactly what I was thinking about just now.
              Years too late…

              But at least I know learned of the conclusion of that story.

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