Well, yesterday was a hell of a day. Yesterday’s post about my swatting and the campaign of harassment by Brett Kimberlin and others against his critics was at the top of Memorandum for much of the day. Every major conservative blog linked it, and dozens of smaller and medium-sized sites did as well. Some libertarians and lefties also linked the post, and some of them were supportive as well. Having fought this battle largely alone for so long, with the help of only a small handful of close friends, I felt like George Bailey once I realized how many friends I have out there.
Glenn Beck’s The Blaze ran an article about Brett Kimberlin’s harassment of Aaron Walker and myself. The piece was on the front page of the Blaze, and Aaron and I both appeared on Glenn Beck’s radio show this morning.
As I was talking to Glenn, I was also getting ready for work. As you listen to this segment, you have to imagine me simultaneously buttoning up my shirt as I held the phone to my ear with my shoulder; collecting items to take to the car; and so forth. If I sound less than fully on my game, you now have my excuse! Here is my segment:
And here is Aaron’s:
I’d like to correct one thing that I wish I had corrected in that interview. It was not technically a SWAT team at my front door, but rather several uniformed sheriff’s deputies. Nobody was in body armor; they had no battering ram; they had no rifles that I saw — none of the accoutrements of the typical SWAT raid. My memory is seeing several patrol deputies with handguns. They knocked on my door within 18-19 minutes of the call, and my house is in a remote area, so they evidently just sent whoever was on patrol when the call came out.
Mark your calendars: it looks like I will be on Laura Ingraham’s radio show discussing Brett Kimberlin on Tuesday morning. The producers are talking about having me on around 6:30 a.m. Pacific. I want to see if I can get Laura interested in Kimberlin’s numerous false statements under oath before Maryland tribunals.
There is no way I have the energy to link or thank everyone who has supported me and Aaron and Stacy and Mandy and Seth on this story. I will say that a very common reaction was for people I have scrapped with in the past to say, in essence: “I have scrapped with Patterico in the past, but he and Aaron did not deserve this, and I’m with him.” I had this reaction even from people with whom I have had very ugly battles, like TBogg and Jeff Goldstein. Frankly, I went to TBogg’s post fully expecting he might try to draw a snarky equivalence between our current situation and our past battles. But, much to his credit, he didn’t.
I think there is something about having blogging turn into a potentially deadly situation that puts personal arguments into perspective, for all sides, and I thank everyone who put aside past differences to support me and the other victims of Kimberlin on this issue.
I was especially heartened to see this from Radley Balko:
A few readers have sent me this post from Patterico.
Dear God. I hadn’t been following all of this. Patterico and I have had some heated, downright ugly exchanges in the past, but let’s be clear on this: What’s happening to him right now is terrifying. It’s an attempt to terrorize political opponents into silence.
A couple commenters here have suggested there’s some sort of lesson in all of this about SWAT teams or police or something or other.
No. There are no lessons here. The sociopaths who are harassing Patterico and the other bloggers involved need to be arrested and charged with about a dozen different crimes.
That’s my emphasis there, and I agree. There are lessons here, but not having to do with police behavior. As police stations become more familiar with the phenomenon of swatting, I recommend that they react to anonymous weird calls like this by calling the homeowner before knocking on doors and pointing guns. But my cops probably never heard of swatting before, and I don’t blame the police for what they did.
I always expected the libertarians’ thoughts to go straight to the wrong-door SWAT raids when they heard this story. And some have, as the comments to my post show. But Balko was able to look past that to the heart of the issue.
Second look at Balko? And some of the other folks who have risen above past disagreements and ugliness? I’m thinking maybe so.
Our own Dustin wrote an amazing tribute to Brett Kimberlin’s victim Carl DeLong, here.
Finally, so many people wrote supportive emails, gave offers of help and financial assistance, and the like, I don’t know when I’ll be able to personally thank them all. I am determined to try, but I have a trial coming up, so it may take a while. For now, please understand that I have read every single email that you all sent, and I appreciate them all beyond words.