Friday, June 8, 2012

Bloggers Mobilize to Protect Freedom of Speech

On Monday, Ace of Spades HQ announced that his blog would be going dark today to mobilize conservatives in a National Day of Blogger Silence. We're still waiting for his entry over there today, but a number of others have already posted. See Michelle Malkin especially, "Going dark to urge congressional action: Who will protect the freedom to blog?" An excerpt:

Sen. Chambliss and Rep. Marchant called specific attention to one terrifying tactic against these bloggers: SWAT-ting. These hoaxes occur “when a perpetrator contacts local police to report a violent incident at a target’s home.” Callers disguise their true identities and locations in order to provoke a potentially deadly SWAT/police response descending upon the targets’ homes.

As online conservatives and now ABC News have reported, recent SWAT-ting victims include New Jersey-based Mike Stack, a blogger and Twitter user targeted last summer after helping to expose disgraced former N.Y. Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner’s shady social media activities; California blogger Patrick Frey, a deputy district attorney at Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office who recently posted a bone-chilling account and audio of his summer 2011 SWATting at his blog,; and CNN Contributor and managing editor Erick Erickson, whose Georgia home was targeted by a faker claiming an “accidental shooting” there late last month.

A common thread among these and other online targets: They have published web links, commentary, or investigative pieces related to Brett Kimberlin, the infamous “Speedway Bomber.” In 1978, Kimberlin was sentenced to more than 50 years in federal prison for drug dealing, impersonating a federal officer, and a week-long bombing spree in Speedway, Indiana. The violent crimes left one victim so severely injured he committed suicide. A civil court awarded the widow of the victim, Carl Long, $1.6 million. Kimberlin was released from jail in 2001, but has yet to pay up.
Check the post from Michelle's list of contact information.

There's a Memeorandum thread here, and check Robert Stacy McCain: "NATIONAL DAY OF BLOGGER SILENCE."

I visited the office of U.S. Representative John Campbell last Friday and will be following up today. See: "Is Convicted Terrorist Brett Kimberlin Abusing Tax-Exempt Status? Calling for Congressional Hearings on Continuation of Section 501(c)(3) Benefits." Readers from the 48th congressional district can call Cambell's office at this number: (949) 756-2244.

At the video above, Senator Saxby Chambliss speaks with Fox News anchor Brett Baier, and Chambliss' letter to Attorney General Holder is here: "Chambliss Demands Inquiry Into Attacks Against Conservative Commentators."

And Representative Kenny Marchant of Texas also spoke out: "Marchant Stands for Free Speech and with Conservative Bloggers Under Attack."

See John Hawkins for more information: "A Rundown of Alleged Blogger Harassment By Brett Kimberlin, Neal Rauhauser, Ron Brynaert, & Nadia Naffe." And at Bearing Drift, "National Day of Bloggers Silence."

And note something here: People keep saying that this isn't partisan, that everyone's free speech rights are involved. Sure, to a point. But I'll believe it's not partisan when the big left wing blogs step up to the plate. We've had at most a couple of progressives call out their brethren, but that's it. This is a progressive attack on conservatives. So for now I'll call it out for what it is. Frankly, progressives are more likely to mock conservatives than stand up in solidarity with them. As I noted yesterday, the left's whole program is to silence speech. Giving progressives the benefit of the doubt on this only works to silence conservatives.

I'll be updating, so check back.