The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler


Posted on | June 8, 2012 | 78 Comments

On the morning of Thursday, May 17, I was planning to go to Camp David, 15 miles from my Maryland home, to cover the G8 Summit.

I had never even heard of Brett Kimberlin.

Then Aaron Walker published his 28,000-word post, “How Brett Kimberlin Tried to Frame Me for a Crime” and, after skimming over it, I made an executive decision: “Screw the G8.”

This story was more important. A convicted terrorist using lawsuits and other forms of harassment to intimidate bloggers into silence about his criminal history? Not on my watch, Mister.

When my reporting on the Kimberlin story resulted in harassment aimed at me and my family, I had no choice:

Many other people who have rallied to this cause, including my friend Ali Akbar, have suffered similar harassment, but we must remember that others have suffered far worse in the cause of liberty. My father was wounded within an inch of his life fighting the Nazis in World War II, and it would be a disgrace to his memory for me to back down from a vicious punk like Brett Kimberlin.

People who will not stand up for their rights will eventually discover that they have no rights. It was not the publication of the Declaration of Independence that made America free. Rather, it was the courage of the soldiers who were willing to fight.

Ace of Spades has called for a Day of Silence. Coincidentally, today is the day when this blog will record its 10 millionth hit. We will celebrate tomorrow. Today, we stand in silent solidarity, as Michelle Malkin asks: “Who will protect the freedom to blog?”

UPDATE: When Ace announced the Day of Silence, many bloggers were mystified: “Silence? Isn’t that what Brett Kimberlin wants?” Exactly, which is why every blogger participating in this protest — Andrew J. Patrick just joined our ranks — will write one post about the Day of Silence and nothing else all day.

The point is to call for congressional action, as Ace said: “They are our representatives; we would like some representation.”

My congressman is Republican Roscoe Bartlett. Perhaps some of my friends would care to call his D.C. office at 202-225-2721 and ask Congressman Bartlett’s staff when my representative will take notice of what has happened to his Maryland constituent.

UPDATE II: Well, look what we have here: A Memeorandum thread about the Day of Silence! This post will continue to be updated with links to other bloggers participating in the Day of Silence as we wait to hear from more members of Congress who, we hope, will join Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) in speaking up on behalf of our First Amendment rights.

UPDATE III: Ken at Popehat continues to urge that bloggers focus on the free-speech aspect of the Kimberlin case, rather than the tedious Left-vs.-Right partisan angle. It is important in this context to remind readers that all this began with a progressive blogger, Seth Allen, whose site is DFQ2 and whose Twitter handle is @Prepostericity.

To put it as mildly as possible, Seth is perhaps not a likely candidate for Sean Hannity’s “Great American” panel. Seth is emotionally volatile and his politics are way out there on the freaky far-left fringe.

Yet he seems to have a fully functional bulls–t detector, and when Seth whiffed the scent of bovine excrement coming from the direction of Brett Kimberlin’s tax-exempt hustle, he exercised his First Amendment right to start raising hell. Seth’s tale is told briefly in my American Spectator column today:

During his 17 years in federal custody, Kimberlin became a skillful “jailhouse lawyer,” filing more than 100 legal proceedings on his own behalf and, over the past two years, he has deployed those methods in a series of lawsuits and criminal accusations against his chosen targets. Another non-profit Kimberlin co-founded, Velvet Revolution, made headlines by offering rewards for evidence of wrongdoing by public figures including GOP strategist Karl Rove and U.S. Chamber of Commerce president Tom Donohue. And then a left-winger who used the alias “Socrates” began to speak out on a number of Internet forums, expressing his suspicion that Kimberlin and his Velvet Revolution partner, prominent liberal blogger Brad Friedman, were running a dishonest scam.
“Socrates,” it turned out, was an eccentric young Massachusetts resident named Seth Allen. Believing that Velvet Revolution’s frequent accusations of Republican election fraud and other right-wing crimes were a bogus fundraising gimmick, Allen started doing online research, discovered Kimberlin’s infamous history and persistently wrote about it, getting himself banned from several progressive websites in the process. In October 2010, Kimberlin sued Allen for more than $2 million, charging him with “defamation, libel, cyberstalking, and tortuous interference with business.” That lawsuit tipped the first in a series of dominoes that have been sequentially toppling with increasing rapidity ever since. . . . .

Please read the whole thing, which is a 1,500-word attempt to explain the craziest story I’ve covered in my entire career.

UPDATE IV: Jimmie Bise Jr. at the Sundries Shack:

The goal of Kimberlin and those who act like him is simple. They want you to be afraid, so afraid that you will not speak out freely and boldly in the public arena. Their message, so plain any reasonable person can see it is this: if you disagree with us in any way in public, we will make a spectacle of you. Kimberlin and his ilk have assaulted the First Amendment in a way we have not seen in this country in a very long time. They want our silence and, today, that is what they will get.

There are some disagreements as to the appropriate means of observing the Day of Silence, and Instapundit is the most prominent of the bloggers not participating, but is linking those who do. Professor Reynolds remarks, “Also, not to be too critical, but can we please stop scheduling PR stunts on Fridays? That’s not a good day for those, for obvious reasons.:”

Don’t get me started, or I’ll preach from the Gospel of Butt-Hurt.

Nobody ever asks for my advice, and when I volunteer advice, it’s always ignored, so I’ve stopped trying to tell other people what they should do — unless I decide to tell them go to Hell.

If people actually valued my ability, knowledge and experience, they would be offering to pay me for it.

Instead, I’m Not Good Enough for BlogCon, persona non grata, viewed by the Official New Media Elite as an unwelcome liability to the cause. God knows I don’t know anything about “media strategy” or how to succeed with this here “blogging” stuff . . . 

No “discretion,” either. But I won’t preach the whole sermon now.

UPDATE V: Having gotten that off my chest — Butt-Hurt is the New Black for bloggers — let’s keep linking back to some of the bloggers who, defying the authority of the Official Elite, have linked here today, beginning with Evil Blogger Lady, wo explains that “Freedom Isn’t Free.”

EBL got into a squabble with Wombat this past week over the whole FMJRA thing and I, up to my eyeballs in the Kimberlin story, didn’t have the time to referee the squabble.

In all such disputes, Rule One is, “The Wombat is always right.” Rule Two is, “If you think the Wombat is wrong, see Rule One.”

It’s weird how often arguments among bloggers turn into private resentments that fuel silent fueds that are waged secretly until, one day, it all blows up into a huge public drama with cataclysmic consquences. When did Charles Johnson first become resentful of Pamela Geller’s success? We don’t know, but we saw what happened when everybody tried to ignore it and hoped it was “just a blogwar” that would subside quietly.

Sunshine is the best disinfectant. People who piss me off (bad enough that I notice it) seldom have to wonder if they have pissed me off.

UPDATE VI: Fox News online reports on the story and includes the obligatory denial from the convicted perjurer:

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed the incident and said the case had been referred to the FBI.
Frey said talks with nationwide experts suggested this was a case of SWAT-ing and says he and all previous victims had all written about activist and convicted felon Brett Kimberlin — about whom Erickson has also written.
Kimberlin said he has no connection to any of the attacks.
“I had never even heard of Erick Erickson until a couple of days ago,” he told “I have nothing to do with the SWAT-ing of anybody.”

Let me clarify a few things that should be obvious, but evidently are being overlooked by some people:

  1. This isn’t just about “SWATting,” but about a broad pattern of harassment by Kimberlin and his associates.
  2. We don’t know who was responsible for the alleged SWATtings of Patterico, Erick Erickson or Mike Stack.
  3. Nearly all the harassment being carried out online — we won’t name the website or Twitter accounts involved, nor describe the types of harassment involved — is being done under pseudonyms and we will not know who did what unless and until there is criminal prosecution of the persons responsible.
  4. Neal Rauhauser has previously described Kimberlin as his “client.” It is therefore entirely reasonable to suspect that Rauhauser is being paid (and may be paying others) to conduct an aggressive online assault against Kimberlin’s critics.

This is why Rauhauser’s role in the 2010 “TwitterGate” scandal is so important to keep in mind. If Rauhauser is running such an operation on Kimberlin’s behalf, and if that kind of intimidation campaign were being funded with proceeds from Kimberlin’s 501(c) non-profits, this would almost certainly be in violation of IRS regulations and other federal laws regarding the activities of tax-exempt organizations.

UPDATE VII: Chris Muir explains why Day by Day Cartoon went blank today.

Dan Collins writes a must-read: “My Letter to My Congressmen Regarding Convicted Domestic Terrorist and Perjurer Brett Kimberlin.”

Bob Belvedere of The Camp of the Saints manages to get himself quoted by Andrea Shea King at Radio Patriot and, though tempted to make a Rule 5 wisecrack, I’ll resist the urge.

UPDATE VIII: “Kimberlin’s Cronies Go After The Lid,” which is a pattern that we can expect to see repeated. It will almost certainly be alleged, for example, that Dan Collins is a “chubby chaser” and that I have been apprehended while driving at high speed in Livonia, Louisiana. However, in our defense, it must be pointed out:

  1. The enforcement of so-called “speed limits” is arguably a form of political discrimination against Appalachian-Americans, whose penchant for, um, rapid transportation is a widely recognized ethno-cultural trait; and
  2. Hey, chubby girls need love, too!

We will continue to ignore all vicious smears and half-truths purveyed by Kimberlin’s defenders: Satan is a liar.

Robert Stacy McCain, Whereabouts Unknown