Last night Joe Weber at FoxNews.com published a story about the SWATtings of Mike Stack, myself, and Erick Erickson. The media attention is much appreciated and these basics of the story are correct:
Conservative bloggers say they are being terrorized by a potentially deadly prank in which phony 911 calls bring armed cops to their doors in search of criminals, all in retaliation for their blog posts.
At least two conservative Internet pundits have reported being victims of “SWAT-ing.” In at least one incident, the caller claimed to be the resident of the home and confessed to shooting his wife, according to a recording of the call posted online.
“It’s a phone call that could have gotten me killed,” Patrick Frey, a deputy district attorney at Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, wrote of the July, 2011 incident on his blog, Patterico’s Pontifications.
Given that Brett Kimberlin supporters spent a while claiming that I was never actually SWATted, it’s nice that Fox confirmed the incident. They’ll have to find a new line of attack now (don’t worry, they’re working on it):
Here’s what Frey claims happened:
Frey was awoken shortly after midnight by sheriff deputies after they received a call about a shooting inside his home. In a purported recording of the 911 call, the caller can be heard saying: “I’d like to report a shooting … I shot her, my wife.” Police ordered him at gunpoint to get outside, then handcuffed him until completing a search and finding his wife and children safe.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department confirmed to FoxNews.com that deputies responded to his Frey’s house on the date in question. The department later filed a report on the incident with the FBI.
Weber (to whom I never spoke) misstated a couple of the details. I was not awakened by the police at my door; rather, I was on the phone with Ron Brynaert at the time. This part is incorrect:
Frey said talks with nationwide experts suggested this was a case of SWAT-ing and says he and all other victims have written about activist and convicted felon Brett Kimberlin.
An earlier version of the story, since corrected, appended this false phrase to the end of that last sentence: “who Frey believes is behind the attacks.” I requested a correction through contacts, and this has been corrected. I have never told anyone in the media that I believe Kimberlin was behind the attacks. As in my posts, I simply provide the facts, and allow people to draw the conclusions they find appropriate from those facts.
Also, I did not tell Joe Weber that all of the SWATting victims wrote about Kimberlin. While that claim is technically true it needs some context. Erickson and I have both written extensively about Kimberlin. Mike Stack, writing as goatsred, left a comment on one of my first posts about Brett Kimberlin. My post reprinted an email from Kimberlin threatening to sue me, and demanding my full name and address. Stack left comment #4 at the post, mocking Kimberlin for demanding my full name and address:
Please give me your real name and address.
That was Stack’s first comment on my blog, and he did not comment again until Weinergate was in full swing.
However, when I have said that Stack and I were writing about the “same story” at the time of the SWATtings, I have always been referring to Weinergate. I was threatened by email before my SWATting, and the email specifically told me to stop writing about Gennette Cordova and Anthony Weiner. Meanwhile, Mike Stack was famous primarily for being a member of the “Born Free Crew,” a collection of Twitter accounts that were explicitly anti-Weiner. The clear connection between me and Stack was the Weiner story, and that’s what I told police when they came to my door.
Since Weinergate, we have learned that key Kimberlin associates and supporters Neal Rauhauser and OccupyRebellion have been absolutely obsessed with Weinergate since it happened — as has Ron Brynaert.
Shortly after Weiner sent out the Weinertweet, Rauhauser wrote an email to the FBI blaming Stack for having “hacked” Weiner. Three days after my swatting, in a post titled “Patterico’s Penalization,” Rauhauser tried to implicate me and a man named Seth Allen in the alleged plot to bring down Weiner. (Rauhauser also asked for pictures of my wife and suggested that private detectives should stake out Seth Allen’s residence.)
The inclusion of Seth Allen in the post was a red flag to people who had written about Kimberlin, since Seth Allen was a very low-traffic blogger whose principal claim to fame was that he had fought a one-man war to draw attention to Kimberlin’s past, as well as Kimberlin’s partnership with blogger and radio personality Brad Friedman.
Ever since then, Rauhauser and anonymous Kimberlin supporter OccupyRebellion, along with other anonymous Kimberlin supporters, have pushed a version of “Weiner Trutherism” that argued Weiner didn’t actually send out the Weinertweet. The people they have blamed have included Mike Stack and various enemies of Kimberlin, including myself.
The bottom line is this: Rauhauser and OccupyRebellion were early and vigorous advocates of Weiner Trutherism, and blamed two of the SWATting victims, me and Mike Stack, for being behind a plot against Anthony Weiner. Since then, Rauhauser’s close association with Brett Kimberlin has become quite clear — and a long-running campaign of cyberstalking and harassment of Kimberlin critics by Rauhauser, Kimberlin, Brynaert, and OccupyRebellion has been quite evident.
The story is quite complex, and I believe has been deliberately convoluted by the Kimberlin supporters driving much of the story. However, the facts are the facts, and it’s important to be accurate about them.
That is what I have tried to do: provide the facts, and allow readers to draw their own conclusions.
UPDATE: There is also this column in the Washington Times which states: “Mr. Frey was handcuffed, and his frightened wife and children were led outside by police.” Actually, police woke up my children to make sure they were still alive, but as soon as my children stirred, I’m told, police left the room. My daughter reported remembering someone entering her room and shining a flashlight on her. She thinks she assumed it was us, and she barely woke up at all. Meanwhile, my son didn’t remember waking up at all, and seemed a little annoyed that he had missed the excitement, saying: “DADDY WAS PUT IN HANDCUFFS AND PUT IN A POLICE CAR AND I MISSED IT?!?!?!?”
UPDATE x2: Thanks to Instapundit for the link. If new readers want to learn how they can help the effort right now, please go here. No money required — just a quick transcription crowdsourcing request to further the cause of free speech.