The IRS’s targeting of conservative groups has at least one unabashed fan: Michael Hiltzik of the Los Angeles Times. As evidence mounts that the IRS fast-tracked applications by left-leaning organizations while erecting burdensome obstacles for conservatives, Hiltzik cheers from the sidelines, praising the IRS and placing the word “scandal” in scare quotes:
It’s strange how “scandal” gets defined these days in Washington. At the moment, everyone is screaming about the “scandal” of the Internal Revenue Service scrutinizing conservative nonprofits before granting them tax-exempt status.
Here are the genuine scandals in this affair: Political organizations are being allowed to masquerade as charities to avoid taxes and keep their donors secret, and the IRS has allowed them to do this for years.
. . .
It’s about time the IRS subjected all of these outfits to scrutiny. The agency’s inaction has served the purposes of donors and political organizations on both sides of the aisle, and contributed to the explosive infection of the electoral process by big money from individuals and corporations.
The problem, as Hiltzik well knows (but almost entirely ignores), is that the IRS did not treat “both sides of the aisle” equally. A USA Today story describes how, just before the new anti-Tea Party policy went into effect, an Illinois Tea Party organization had its application speedily approved. But, the story goes on to explain:
That was the month before the Internal Revenue Service started singling out Tea Party groups for special treatment. There wouldn’t be another Tea Party application approved for 27 months.
In that time, the IRS approved perhaps dozens of applications from similar liberal and progressive groups, a USA TODAY review of IRS data shows.
As applications from conservative groups sat in limbo, groups with liberal-sounding names had their applications approved in as little as nine months.
. . . .
Like the Tea Party groups, the liberal groups sought recognition as social welfare groups under Section 501(c)(4) of the tax code, based on activities like “citizen participation” or “voter education and registration.”
The Inspector General’s report is now available, and it confirms USA Today‘s conclusion that the IRS’s criteria do not appear to have been impartial:
[T]he criteria developed by the Determinations Unit gives the appearance that the IRS is not impartial in conducting its mission. The criteria focused narrowly on the names and policy positions of organizations instead of tax-exempt laws and Treasury Regulations.
The report has a chart that shows criteria in June 2011 for increased scrutiny:
The harshest criticism Hiltzik can muster for these one-sided criteria is that they provide “too coarse a screen.” He does not seem at all troubled by the fact that the only names singled out for extra scrutiny were names associated with conservative principles such as limited government and lower taxes. In fact, he implies — without a scrap of evidence and in contradiction to the IG report and virtually every extant news article to have examined the subject — that the criteria were even-handed and that we are hearing only about the extra burdens placed on one side.
The bottom line is that we live in an America where 501(c)’s run by, say, convicted bomber and leftist serial partisan harasser Brett Kimberlin are put on the fast track, whereas 501(c)’s that are concerned with the expansion of government are delayed to the point of absurdity. And Michael Hiltzik thinks that is just peachy.
Hiltzik is not a stupid man, just a dishonest one. He knows full well that the problem with the IRS’s actions is the disparate treatment given conservatives and leftists. If you want absolute proof that Hiltzik’s views are partisan hackery as opposed to a genuine concern over dirty money in politics, you need only read this passage:
[O]nce again, now that the agency has tried to regulate, the regulated parties have blown its efforts up into a “scandal.” It’s amusing to reflect that some politicians making hay over this are the same people who contend that we don’t need more regulations, we just need to enforce the ones we have. (Examples: gun control and banking regulation.) Here’s a case where the IRS is trying to enforce regulations that Congress enacted, and it’s still somehow doing the wrong thing.
Keep that in mind when you hear politicians — and they’re not exclusively Republicans — grandstanding about how the IRS actions are “chilling” or “un-American.” It turns out that none of the “targeted” groups actually was denied C4 status.
Oh! Well, if they weren’t denied C4 status, then all is well!
Except that, as the IG report details:
[T]he applications for those organizations that were identified for processing by the team of specialists experienced significant delays and requests for unnecessary information.
And again, these delays and burdensome and unnecessary requests fell primarily (if not exclusively) on one side of the aisle, and caused many conservatives to give up on obtaining tax-exempt status for their group.
Apparently Michael Hiltzik thinks that it would be OK to have a four-hour line for Republicans at the DMV, while “progressives” speed through an express line. Hey, no Republicans were denied licenses, were they?
We probably should apply greater scrutiny to tax-exempt organizations generally. I’d be fine with abolishing such organizations entirely. Indeed, the fact that taxpayers subsidize political activity is what gives government the power to favor one side over another.
But any extra scrutiny needs to be even-handed, and that is the problem that Hiltzik deliberately overlooks.
Memo to Hiltzik: the IRS itself has apologized and said that their targeting of conservatives was inappropriate. How much of a hack do you have to be to defend them after they admitted what they did was wrong?
Boy, it sure would be awful if the Koch brothers bought the L.A. Times and folks like Michael Hiltzik quit in a huff. How could we survive without utter partisan nonsense like this in the pages of our hometown newspaper?
Is disgraced former L.A. Times reporter Chuck Philips trying to use specious legal claims and toothless workplace threats to wipe evidence of his biased reporting off of the Internet?
You be the judge.
I received this over a week ago:
Please be aware that your reproduction of the handwritten or typed letters of Chuck Philips to individuals violates his copyright and trademark. Violation of Mr. Philips’ copyright and trademark can head to fines in excess of 100,00 per instance.
As a courtesy, we will give you 72 hours to remove this material from your website. I have advised Mr. Philips to take legal action against you and your website should you not cease and desist within this time frame.
“In excess of 100,00″ — wow, that sounds like a lot! It would sound like even more if there were three zeroes after the comma, the way one normally writes numbers.
So what is this about? The “cordial” Mr. Carlson doesn’t say, but I believe the posts he is referring to are here and here.
In brief, Mr. Philips was reporting about criminal cases against (now convicted criminal) Anthony Pellicano for the Los Angeles Times. Philips has always seemed unnaturally friendly to Mr. Pellicano, and the letters — written to prison inmates who were potential witnesses — seemed to suggest story lines that would benefit Mr. Pellicano. In other words, Philips did not write the inmates to ask: “What happened?” Instead, he wrote letters that set out various scenarios that would be helpful to Pellicano’s defense, and asked the inmates, “Is that what happened?”
In one letter, Philips presented an inmate with a scenario of misconduct by FBI agents who had conducted a search of Pellicano’s office, and reminded the inmate that the agents were “the same officials who charged and prosecuted your case.” He told the inmate that “[i]t is obvious to me that the government is not being candid” and opined that Pellicano’s rights had been violated. Philips told the inmate that he believed the inmate’s recollection could “sink this case” against Pellicano.
Just another day at your always objective Big Media corporation!
You can read the letters at the links. (Yes, more than 72 hours later, they are still there.)
In short, Philips acted as a partisan advocate for Pellicano, rather than as an objective reporter.
And at the same time, he was reporting on Pellicano’s case for the Los Angeles Times.
I broke the story of Philips’s astoundingly biased reporting in the posts linked above. If Philips had not already been fired, one wonders if these posts would have resulted in the same action.
Are we truly to believe that Philips wants to retain the right to publish these letters on his own? Or is he using copyright to try to hide letters that are professionally embarrassing to him, because they reveal how he operates as a journalist? The answer to that rather rhetorical question comes in a follow-up that Carlson sent to my lawyer Ron Coleman:
Please be advised that, moreover, as a matter of ethics, your publication of these letters by the author may interfere with the prosecution of ongoing criminal cases in New York, adversely impacting these prosecutions. We certainly hope that an individual who associates himself with the DA’s office in law enforcement would be aware of the untoward consequences of his actions and show appropriate judgment. It appears, at the very least, unseemly for an individual associated with law enforcement to be involved in the dissemination of this sort of prejudicial information. In this connection, it may be of some assistance for your client to review the ongoing cases of the US v. James Rosemond of which Mr. Frey should be aware, given his stated expertise. Certainly your client would not want to interfere with this prosecution. We will assume that now that we have made you aware of these ethical issues, your client will remove these materials as a matter of prudent judgment and so further investigation and complaint will not be necessary.
Ah, the old workplace threat! Are Neal Rauhauser and Brett Kimberlin behind this?
For the record, I have received absolutely no contact from any prosecutor asking me to take down the posts with Philips’s letters, nor can I imagine why they would. Also, for the record, everything I say on this site is said as a private citizen. The disclaimer is over there on the right sidebar, right under that Amazon widget.
There is no ethical issue. What there is, is a thuggish attempt to use baseless legal threats and threats to complain to my workplace — all to force me to remove posts that show Philips was trying to push a pro-Pellicano story line while he was writing for the Los Angeles Times.
How big a story is this going to become? I guess we’ll see, won’t we?
In the meantime, my thanks to my lawyer Ron Coleman, who always has my back. You can read his entire exchange with Mr. Carlson here.
You’re about to listen to one of the most bone-chilling pieces of audio you will ever hear. At least, it was to me when I first heard it.
It’s a phone call that could have gotten me killed.
In this post you will hear that audio clip. You will also read about a months-long campaign of harassment carried out by at least three individuals: Ron Brynaert, Neal Rauhauser, and Brett Kimberlin — much of it directed at critics of Brett Kimberlin. This harassment includes repeated references to critics’ family members, workplace complaints, publication of personal information such as home addresses and pictures of residences, bogus allegations of criminal activity, whisper campaigns, frivolous legal actions, and frivolous State Bar complaints.
And finally, you will hear a comparison of one of those men’s voices to that of the man who made the call that sent police to my home. And you’ll read a declaration from a forensic audio expert comparing those two voices.
BREITBART TOLD THE STORY JUST BEFORE HE DIED
In the last radio interview Andrew Breitbart ever gave, on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show, Breitbart talked about a new ruthless tactic used by thugs against political opponents:
[O]ne of the things they’ve done to people who have worked with me in the past, including an L.A. prosecutor, is to “SWAT.” That means that they’re spoofing phones, pretending to be somebody else’s phone, calling 911, and saying “I killed somebody” and then the person’s home is met with the guns drawn, the SWAT and the helicopters, in a horrifying act. It’s happened twice: once in New Jersey, once in Los Angeles, with an L.A. County . . . prosecutor who [is] associated with me.”
I am that L.A. County prosecutor. And in this post, you’ll hear the hoax call that sent police to my house, pointing loaded guns at me.
THE NIGHT I COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED BECAUSE OF MY BLOGGING
At 12:35 a.m. on July 1, 2011, sheriff’s deputies pounded on my front door and rang my doorbell. They shouted for me to open the door and come out with my hands up.
When I opened the door, deputies pointed guns at me and ordered me to put my hands in the air. I had a cell phone in my hand. Fortunately, they did not mistake it for a gun.
They ordered me to turn around and put my hands behind my back. They handcuffed me. They shouted questions at me: IS THERE ANYONE ELSE IN THE HOUSE? and WHERE ARE THEY? and ARE THEY ALIVE?
I told them: Yes, my wife and my children are in the house. They’re upstairs in their bedrooms, sleeping. Of course they’re alive.
Deputies led me down the street to a patrol car parked about 2-3 houses away. At least one neighbor was watching out of her window as I was placed, handcuffed, in the back of the patrol car. I saw numerous patrol cars on my quiet street. There was a police helicopter flying overhead, shining a spotlight down on us as I walked towards the patrol car. Several neighbors later told us the helicopter woke them up. I saw a fire engine and an ambulance. A neighbor later told me they had a HazMat vehicle out on the street as well.
Meanwhile, police rushed into my home. They woke up my wife, led her downstairs and to the front porch, frisked her, and asked her where the children were. Then police ordered her to stand on the front porch with her hands against the wall while they entered my children’s bedrooms to make sure they were alive.
The call that sent deputies to my home was a hoax. Someone had pretended to be me. They called the police to say I had shot my wife. The sheriff’s deputies who arrived at my front door believed they were about to confront an armed man who had just shot his wife. I don’t blame the police for any of their actions. But I blame the person who made the call.
Because I could have been killed.
The weirdest part of the whole thing was that I halfway expected this might happen. Because I was not the first one it had happened to.
I think it’s about time you heard the call that sent police to my home.
“SWATTING” CAN KILL PEOPLE
What you just heard and read is no joke. It actually happened. The phenomenon is called “SWATting,” because it can bring a SWAT team to your front door. SWATting is a particularly dangerous hoax in which a caller, generally a computer hacker, calls a police department to report a shooting at the home of his enemy. The caller will place this call to the police department’s business line, using Skype or a similar service, and hiding behind Internet proxies to make the call impossible to trace. Anxious police, believing they are responding to the home of an armed and dangerous man, show up at the front door pointing guns and screaming orders.
That is exactly what happened to me. It is a very dangerous hoax that could get the target killed.
Above: an anonymous Kimberlin supporter mocks my swatting in August 2011, before it was publicly known. The reference is to an article about a 2008 swatting case in Dallas.
Although I am an L.A. County Deputy D.A., it is certain that I was “swatted” because of my blog and not because of my job. As Andrew Breitbart noted, this happened to two people within the course of a single week: a man in New Jersey and myself. Both of us had had contact with Andrew Breitbart. Both of us were writing about the same story. And both of us received email threats days before we were swatted. The threat to me said, in part: “Please think about your family. This story is not worth it. I can assure you that.”
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE?
So who perpetrated this crime on me and my family?
I reported the crime to the FBI on July 1, 2011. (Obviously, the Sheriff’s Department was already aware of it, since they had come to my house.) Unfortunately, law enforcement has not solved the case. Worse, they have failed to follow up on a number of leads I have given them.
But there is circumstantial evidence suggesting who may be responsible. I met personally with the nationwide experts on swatting in December 2011: the FBI office in Dallas, Texas. They told me that swatting is an extreme form of harassment — and that swatters typically combine swatting with other forms of harassment, including: complaining to the victim’s workplace, defaming the victim online, “Googlebombing” the victim, publishing the victim’s address online, filing phony reports of criminal activity by the victim, and so forth.
All of these things have happened to me and other critics of Brett Kimberlin since July 2011. The harassment has been relentless and has occurred almost every day. It would literally take a book to catalogue it all. What you read in this post, incredibly, is only part of it.
Why target me? Well, I first wrote about Brett Kimberlin in October 2010, after getting a call from Andrew Breitbart. Andrew told me that his site was going to publish a post about a domestic terrorist named Brett Kimberlin. The story sounded interesting, and I published a post about Kimberlin shortly after the Breitbart post (penned by Mandy Nagy aka Liberty Chick) was published.
It’s fair to say I have been one of Brett Kimberlin’s least favorite people in the world for a good long time now.
THE RELENTLESS AND VICIOUS HARASSMENT OF CRITICS OF BRETT KIMBERLIN, BY KIMBERLIN AND HIS SUPPORTERS
Beginning about the time I was swatted in July 2011, the harassment I had already experienced from Kimberlin was stepped up several notches — and other Kimberlin critics were also targeted. Several anonymous accounts identifying themselves as supporters of Kimberlin’s have participated in the harassment. These anonymous harassers go by names like @OccupyRebellion, @BreitbartUnmask, Gaped Crusader, and “Just Call Me Lefty.”
But much of the harassment Kimberlin critics have experienced has occurred at the hands of three named individuals: Ron Brynaert, Neal Rauhauser, and Brett Kimberlin.
Meet Ron Brynaert
Ron Brynaert is a so-called “journalist” who last August threatened me and my wife in the most despicable manner possible:
References to my wife come completely out of left field. She is a Democrat and cancels out my vote in every election. The only reason anyone would bring her up online is to intimidate and harass my family.
Brynaert explicitly connected his desire to do violence to me to his defense of Brett Kimberlin. The night he threatened me and my wife, Brynaert defended Kimberlin in a long series of tweets pointing out alleged holes in the case against Kimberlin. Brynaert said I was slandering Kimberlin:
One of Brynaert’s arguments was that certain of the witnesses against Kimberlin had been hypnotized. Apparently, it greatly upset Brynaert that I wasn’t responding to this argument, and he threatened violence as a result:
Ron Brynaert has been a guest blogger at The Brad Blog, run by Brad Friedman, a business partner of Brett Kimberlin’s. Brynaert has described himself as a friend of Friedman’s. Brynaert was for years the editor of a Raw Story, a publication that has teamed up with the Brad Blog to put out Brad Friedman’s radio show:
Neal Rauhauser is a creepy far-left activist. There is evidence that, using the handle “Iowa Boy,” Rauhauser has engaged in violent rhetoric, including calling for the public hanging of Republicans and the shooting of Dick Cheney. Rauhauser speaks regularly of the hacking group Anonymous and frequently suggests that his enemies are opening themselves up to Internet harassment.
Three days after I was swatted, Rauhauser wrote a post titled “Patterico’s Penalization” that made bizarre accusations about me, and accused me of working with a “cyberstalker” named Seth Allen — a blogger who had criticized Brett Kimberlin so tenaciously that Kimberlin (frivolously) sued Allen for defamation. In that post, Rauhauser publicized a State Bar complaint that Kimberlin had filed against me, and asked readers to get a picture of my wife. Rauhauser also suggested that a private detective stake out Seth Allen’s apartment:
Here is Rauhauser further publicizing Brett Kimberlin’s State Bar complaint against me, and stating his belief that if enough such complaints accumulate, I will be fired:
And here is Rauhauser talking about how he wants to see me fired, prosecuted, and bankrupted — all for purely political reasons:
Kimberlin has described Rauhauser as an “associate” of his. Rauhauser has written of working with Kimberlin and meeting with him personally. They have appeared in court together. Rauhauser has spoken of working with Kimberlin’s Velvet Revolution organization on Occupy events. In 2011, Rauhauser talked of a new job that he had, and of moving to Maryland — the state that is home to Brett Kimberlin and Velvet Revolution.
Above: as “WeOccupyAmerica, Rauhauser says he is closely connected with Brynaert, to his “chagrin.”
HOW BRYNAERT, RAUHAUSER, KIMBERLIN AND ANONYMOUS INTERNET ENTITIES HAVE TARGETED KIMBERLIN CRITICS FOR RELENTLESS HARASSMENT
On many occasions, Ron Brynaert, Neal Rauhauser, Brett Kimberlin, and anonymous Kimberlin supporters have harassed me and other Kimberlin critics in a similar manner — using tactics that the FBI told me are characteristic of swatters:
Harassment of wives and family members — As noted above, Rauhauser asked readers for pictures of my wife. He and Brynaert have spoken of investigating my wife’s work as a Deputy District Attorney. Rauhauser and @OccupyRebellion have insinuated that my wife played a role in impersonating fake teens in the Anthony Weiner scandal. Kimberlin supporters @OccupyRebellion and @BreitbartUnmask have spoken of obtaining a picture of my wife. The Gaped Crusader constantly brought up my wife.
The Gaped Crusader wrote like Neal Rauhauser, talked about the same topics as Neal Rauhauser, and once left a comment on my site with the same IP address that Neal Rauhauser used to leave a comment on another site.
Brynaert has said my wife and I should be fired, and (as noted) has talked about taking a “shit” on my wife.
The obsession with family members recently extended to Stacy McCain, with Kimberlin apparently having contacting Stacy’s wife’s employer, causing McCain to flee his house. Kimberlin supporter @BreitbartUnmask has mentioned the names of Stacy’s children online. @BreitbartUnmask has publicly outed a commenter of mine, discussed that commenter’s divorce records, and named his father.
Publication of home addresses — OccupyforAccountability.org, a site related to Kimberlin, published my home address, as well as a Google street view and Google aerial view of my home. The “Gaped Crusader” republished that address.
Donations at OccupyforAccountability.org go to Kimberlin’s Velvet Revolution. The same post published what the author stated was Andrew Breitbart’s home address. Andrew later told me it was actually a home owned by Andrew’s parents and rented out to others. Kimberlin later sent interrogatories to me at the address listed on OccupyforAccountability.org — and sent interrogatories to Andrew at the address the site had listed for Andrew. Andrew’s interrogatories eventually made their way to him, and he told me about it and gave me a copy of them.
Kimberlin unnecessarily put Aaron Walker’s home address in court documents. Kimberlin had a habit of putting information into court documents — information that is later disseminated by Rauhauser and Brynaert.
Workplace complaints — Brynaert and Kimberlin have both filed complaints against me with my office. (Rauhauser and Brynaert have spoken of these complaints publicly.)
When Brynaert contacted my office, he initially called the very same person Kimberlin had complained to — even though that person was no longer my boss. If Brynaert had simply called asking for my boss, the office would probably not have routed Brynaert to the same person Kimberlin had complained to. But if Brynaert asked for that same person by name, they would route the call to that person.
Kimberlin also spoke to at least two secretaries in my office, calling me a stalker, a racist, a homophobe, and saying he was going to have to get a restraining order against me. I had to explain to the secretaries that the man who called them had been convicted of setting off several bombs and had been sentenced to 50 years in federal prison — but was now free and harassing me.
Rauhauser has encouraged people to file complaints against me, as has anonymous Kimberlin supporter @BreitbartUnmask. The “Gaped Crusader” spoke of sending packets of defamatory material about me to candidates running in the election for District Attorney, as well as to defense attorneys on my cases. As noted, Brynaert has stated that my wife and I should be fired. Anonymous Kimberlin supporter @OccupyRebellion constantly talks about how I will be fired and disbarred.
Brynaert wrote to Andrew Breitbart defaming his employee Mandy Nagy (aka Liberty Chick), who wrote that comprehensive piece about Kimberlin in October 2010 I mentioned earlier.
Kimberlin put Aaron Walker’s home and work address into court documents. The inclusion of the work address contributed to Aaron’s being fired, due to the employer’s fear that a convicted bomber might appear at their workplace.
Brynaert contacted a man named Ken Ashford in an attempt to learn Aaron Walker’s real name, and threatened to email every member of Ashford’s firm claiming Ashford had harassed him. Brynaert later contacted the Human Resources Department at Ashford’s firm to complain about him.
Abuse of court process — Kimberlin has filed numerous frivolous court actions against Aaron Walker and Seth Allen. The details of the court appearances are frequently reported — with a pro-Kimberlin spin — by Rauhauser and Brynaert. In a blatant abuse of the court’s process, Kimberlin served invalid interrogatories in the Seth Allen lawsuit on me, Aaron Walker, Mandy Nagy, and Andrew Breitbart. Rauhauser and @OccupyRebellion publicly referred to those interrogatories and asked when we were going to answer them.
When police gave Kimberlin a picture of Allen from his driver’s license, that picture made its way into the hands of Rauhauser and Brynaert, who published it online.
Kimberlin threatened to sue me right after I first published my first blog post about him. He told Walker’s pro bono attorney that he is planning a RICO lawsuit against me, Nagy, Walker, and Seth Allen.
Nadia Naffe’s civil claim against me — Nadia Naffe has now filed a civil claim against me and my boss Steve Cooley — and the lawyer is Jay Leiderman, an online buddy of Neal Rauhauser’s who put out a request on a defense attorney mailing list to investigate whether any defense attorneys don’t like me. Although I have not seen the legal claim myself, excerpts of Naffe’s legal claim have appeared at the web site of self-described Kimberlin supporter and Rauhauser friend BreitbartUnmasked.com. Before the claim was filed, Rauhauser and @BreitbartUnmasked encouraged Naffe to file the sorts of claims that appear in the civil claim.
Naffe has publicly said that she plans to use her lawsuit against me to ask questions in discovery about the value of my house — a topic in which Rauhauser and @OccupyRebellion have expressed interest in the past. According to a friend of mine, Naffe has also said that she plans to ask me and my wife under oath the true identity of conservative blogger Ace of Spades. Which is not something she ought to care about, since Ace had never said a word about her (although he has now).
You know who cares about Ace’s identity? Brett Kimberlin supporter @BreitbartUnmask. He has written entire posts about Ace’s identity. And before I was swatted, someone threatened me by email. That person threatened one other person the same night: Ace of Spades.
Additionally, Brett Kimberlin has used a subpoena in the Seth Allen lawsuit to subpoena James O’Keefe’s stolen emails from Naffe — despite the fact that there has been a final judgment in that lawsuit.
Outing — Ace has good reason to be concerned, as this group has a history of outing anonymous critics. Aaron Walker’s identity was outed by Brett Kimberlin after he received an “anonymous tip.” Seth Allen’s identity was also outed by Kimberlin.
In addition to furiously harassing Ken Ashford for Aaron Walker’s true name, Ron Brynaert also wrote Yale alumni affairs officials asking for information about Aaron. Within a single day of Brynaert’s failed campaign to learn Aaron’s true name and location, Brett Kimberlin wrote Aaron demanding that Aaron disclose his true name and location.
Whisper campaigns — Brynaert and Kimberlin have both contacted people that they identified as online “enemies” of mine to complain of alleged harassment at my hands. Brynaert has recently taken to contacting other major bloggers to defame me, Aaron Walker, and Mandy Nagy. I have been forwarded emails by Brynaert from several notable bloggers.
Frivolous claims of criminal wrongdoing — I am told Kimberlin filed frivolous claims of stalking against me with an anti-stalking unit in my office. Rauhauser has encouraged people to report me to that same unit. Interestingly enough, the anonymous person who threatened me by email before I was swatted mentioned the very same unit.
Brynaert has also constantly claimed that critics of Kimberlin have stalked him and Kimberlin. @OccupyRebellion has made the same claim.
I am told Kimberlin filed frivolous criminal charges against me with the California Attorney General. Rauhauser encouraged Daily Kos readers to file complaints against me with the California Attorney General.
Rauhauser compiled a large packet of defamatory material accusing me, Walker, Nagy, and others of participating in criminal activity, and said he had sent it to state police in New Jersey and the FBI in Baltimore. He made the entire packet available as a torrent.
Writing as Stranded Wind at Daily Kos (where he has since been banned), Rauhauser insinuated that I had obtained forged documentation during the course of my employment to support claims by shadowy Internet entity John Reid. @OccupyRebellion has made the same insinuations.
Rauhauser and anonymous Kimberlin supporters claimed that I criminally intimidated a witness by criticizing Nadia Naffe on my blog — an allegation that apparently has surfaced in her civil claim against me and my boss Steve Cooley.
Kimberlin claimed Walker assaulted him in a courthouse and made several claims regarding the incident that have been disproven by a video. Kimberlin’s claims were repeated by Brynaert, @OccupyRebellion, and @BreitbartUnmask. Rauhauser and @OccupyRebellion falsely alleged that Walker had been arrested for this crime, and repeatedly asserted that he had beaten Kimberlin.
Brynaert has recently accused Aaron Walker of “extortion” for sending Brynaert a settlement demand letter in Walker’s lawsuit against Brynaert. Brynaert accused me and Mandy Nagy of being part of the “conspiracy” to “extort” Brynaert. In fact, just yesterday, Brynaert used the threat of going to the NYPD as a way to deter me from publishing this post, saying that he was going to the police as soon as I published:
I’m waiting until a certain Deputy District Attorney – who has been enabling my blackmailer – to publish his lies, then I’m going to NYPD.
Brynaert has accused me of criminal harassment. @OccupyRebellion has consistently accused me, Walker, and Nagy of being criminals.
Brynaert, Rauhauser, and @OccupyRebellion have insinuated or stated that I was not swatted, that I filed a false police report concerning that swatting, and that in fact I am the person who committed the swatting of the man in New Jersey.
Frivolous State Bar complaints or threats to file State Bar complaints — Kimberlin filed a frivolous State Bar complaint against me, and has now filed a State Bar complaint against Aaron Walker. Kimberlin insinuated he might file a State Bar complaint against Walker’s pro bono lawyer. Brynaert threatened to file a State Bar complaint against Aaron Walker and Ken Ashford (the man who refused to tell Brynaert the true name of Aaron Walker).
General harassment — The “Gaped Crusader,” published a picture of a naked man with his penis exposed, and claimed that it was Deputy District Attorney John Patrick Frey. Here are some Gaped Crusader screenshots:
The image above was not fuzzed out on the Gaped Crusader blog.
Kimberlin supporter @BreitbartUnmasked harassed Aaron on Twitter, and gave accurate details about Aaron’s driving record that do not appear to be publicly available.
After a court appearance in which Aaron tried to get a peace order against Rauhauser, Rauhauser wrote an email to me and other friends of his which said, among other things: “Given Walker’s state of mind I would say his wife might find him hanging in the garage tonight when she gets home from work.”
Rauhauser called me at my office and left a message on my work voice mail, claiming that Aaron appeared to be suffering a psychological breakdown and needed help.
Rauhauser and anonymous Kimberlin supporters have consistently accused Aaron of being bigoted against Muslims. Rauhauser wrote Aaron mocking emails talking about how Muslims were likely to try to kill him because of his “Everyone Draw Mohammed” site. Kimberlin wrote Aaron’s local police purporting to be concerned that, because Kimberlin had been “forced” (he claimed) to file a court document containing all Aaron’s personal information, that Muslims would get hold of that document and put Aaron in danger. Even after Aaron lost his job, someone either arranged for, or pretended to be, a Muslim group that threatened to take protest and diplomatic actions against Aaron’s workplace until they heard Aaron had been fired.
Kimberlin defenders took court audio of Allen and put it on YouTube, showing a graphic of Allen’s face from his driver’s license picture.
Mandy Nagy endured months of harassment from Rauhauser, @Occupy Rebellion, and others. @OccupyRebellion mocked Nagy’s illnesses and personal tragedies. She told Nagy that she hoped Nagy died of cancer. She claimed that Nagy (a rape victim) had never been raped. She repeatedly called Nagy a “cunt.” And she told Nagy that Nagy had put her own family’s life in danger.
Nagy says she has been told by friends that people have been calling them asking questions about her, and that she has seen people seemingly staking out her residence in various vehicles.
Meanwhile, @OccupyRebellion and Rauhauser have incessantly accused Nagy of “baiting” Anonymous. This claim itself functions to stir up Anonymous accounts, in an apparent effort to get Anonymous to hack Nagy.
Heard enough about this harassment? Then let’s move on to the voice on my swatting call.
When I obtained the recording of my swatting, in July 2011, I thought I recognized the voice.
To me, it sounded like Brynaert. Specifically, it sounded like someone trying to disguise his voice at the beginning of the call, by talking in a monotone. Then, at the end of the call, when the dispatcher challenged the caller, the voice seemed to lose its disguised quality . . . and it sounded like Brynaert to me.
Here’s the thing: Brynaert was talking to me on the phone when the police came to my house. That is something that the FBI in Dallas also told me fits the M.O. of a swatter.
Before that phone call, Ron Brynaert had told me that he had important information for me about the Anthony Weiner case. And that is how I ended up talking to him on the phone on the night of June 30, 2011, leading into the early morning hours of July 1.
And that is how it happened that he was on the phone with me when the police showed up to my door.
Let’s listen to Brynaert’s voice compared to that of the caller:
I pushed and pushed for law enforcement to do a forensic comparison of Brynaert’s voice to that of the swatter. I found an interview of Brynaert online, so there was a ready sample for comparison. But they wouldn’t do it. (I was constantly frustrated by the failure of law enforcement to follow up on what seemed like obvious leads. More about that at a future date.)
I first approached Kent in August 2011, but at the time I was still trying to convince law enforcement to do the comparison themselves. By January 2012 I had given up on law enforcement. I sent Kent my swatting call; the swatting call from New Jersey; a call to BlogTalkRadio that sounded like the swatter; and the Ron Brynaert interview.
In this case the following files were presented for evaluation: Tag names for these four recordings are shown in BOLD. The[y] represent calls from two Swat Hoax cases, one involving Patrick Frey and one involving Mike Stack [the man from New Jersey — ed.].
G-8025959 FREY SWAT – Call made to 911 claiming a shooting at Mr. Frey’s residence on 7/1/2011 at 12:16 AM. Caller impersonates Patrick Frey.
Stack Call – STACK SWAT – Call made to police dispatch in Readington, New Jersey. 6/23/2011 Caller impersonates Mike Stack.
Ron Brynaert Interview.mp3 – BRYNAERT KNOWN – an internet radio interview. This caller is suspected of being the Swat caller re: Frey.
Lee Call-in Radio Show – LEE KNOWN (Lee is interviewer’s name, not caller.) This caller is suspected of being the Swat caller re: Stack.
. . . .
CONCLUSION: Considering all of the evidence presented, it is my expert forensic examiner opinion that it is probable that all voice samples come from the same person.
In other words, it is the opinion of an expert forensic examiner that Ron Brynaert’s voice is probably the voice of the man on my swatting call. A call that could have gotten me killed.
What you have just read is a summary. I have lived this daily — literally daily — for almost a year. There are pieces of evidence I didn’t have room to include. There is so much evidence of harassment it would take you weeks to read about it all.
What’s more, I know that this post is going to result in more harassment. I will almost certainly be sued, despite my careful efforts to stick to the facts. There will likely be more complaints to my workplace.
And I have a feeling they’ll find creative new ways to try to rip my life apart.
As an aside, I have listened to Brett Kimberlin in court audio, saying he meets with Congressmen on a regular basis. I want to make sure these Congressmen know what he’s doing.
I have appreciated the support I have felt in recent days, with people like Michelle Malkin, Instapundit, Stacy McCain, Ace, and many others stepping up and being willing to take on this topic.
It is my hope that the support of the blogosphere will not melt away after today. Because the harassment will almost certainly live on.
It’s an important battle to take on. And I want to stress that this should not be a partisan issue. I believe Brett Kimberlin uses lefty politics as a tool — but he doesn’t believe any of it in his heart. He is looking for a buck. I have been heartened to see left-leaning people of all stripes stand up to this guy in the past, from Mark Singer, the author of Citizen K; to Ken Ashford, who refused to give up Aaron Walker’s identity; to the left-leaning lawyer who represented Aaron pro bono.
It is my hope that left-leaning blogs will recognize that this is not a partisan issue. It is a free speech issue.
Remember how I said one of my commenters was outed? And this crew started talking about his parents? And his divorce records? For being a commenter of mine?
What happened to me could literally happen to anyone. It could happen to you.
If you take nothing else from this post, remember that. It could happen to you.
As always, opinions on this site are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer. I speak in my personal capacity and not my official capacity, and do not intend to speak on behalf of my office in any way.
UPDATE: I received this today from Roxanne Cooper:
Raw Story was founded by John Byrne in 2004, and has only ever been owned by John Byrne (and minority-stake owner Mike Rogers, who joined in 2009). Roxanne Cooper became the publisher in October 2010, shortly before Ron Brynaert ended his tenure at the publication. Since March 2011, the editorial direction has been under the management of Megan Carpentier, who has complete editorial discretion separate from management.
Brett Kimberlin and Velvet Revolution are not and never have been involved in the ownership, management or editorial direction of Raw Story. Neither Carpentier nor Cooper had ever heard of Kimberlin or Velvet Revolution prior to the start of the events described by Aaron Worthing, Mandy Nagy and Patrick Frey.
In an article about Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s complaints that his tribunal is unjust, I saw a nugget I found interesting. Namely, one of the defendants’ lawyers is complaining that the women on the prosecution team aren’t dressing according to his standards:
[Army Brig. Gen. Mark] Martins [the chief prosecutor] also defended women on his prosecution team who he said were dressed appropriately at the arraignment Saturday. He was responding to complaints from Cheryl Bormann, a Chicago defense attorney for Walid bin Attash who wore a long black abaya to court.
On Sunday, she said her client was offended by women who did not dress in conservative Islamic attire, feeling that it caused him to sin. “It is distracting to him to see a woman who has anything bare other than her face,” she said.
She added that she had met with her client a dozen times and always dressed respectfully. “He is that conservative,” she said.
Well, sure. I’m quite sure he’s also “conservative” enough that he disapproves of the women being lawyers to begin with. Better that they cover themselves from head to toe and remain uneducated.
And as for this business of the government trying to give him the death penalty? An outrage! Why, the death penalty should be reserved for women who are raped! It is culturally insensitive to suggest otherwise!
Walid bin Attash and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed can go to hell.
[The following post is by Morgen, formerly of Verum Serum. Morgen is a uniquely talented researcher and writer who has broken several major stories. (When I say “major” I am not exaggerating. For example, Morgen is the guy who found the video of Sonia Sotomayor talking about how courts make policy — and the infamous “wise Latina” speech. Major, OK?)
The video embedded in this post is classic Morgen. It’s worth watching all the way to the end.
I am thrilled to have even one blog post from Morgen, and I hope he will consider submitting many more. Please give him a warm welcome. — Patterico]
So Van Jones was on ABC’s This Week today. I didn’t watch it but he was there to pitch his new book, Rebuild the Dream, so it’s a safe bet that he spoke about how corporations and the 1% have been benefiting at the expense of the middle class. Fair enough. He won’t get an argument from many Tea Partiers that the political influence exerted by big corporations has corrupted our society, and government. But what sort of alternative does Van Jones ‘dream’ about?
Van Jones does not deny his radical roots but the way he speaks about this would lead most people to believe that he is referring to his youth. That it’s ancient history. I don’t know about you, but the years immediately following 9/11 are not ancient history to me. Like a lot of Gen X’ers, 9/11 was a wake-up call for me to get serious about life, and the challenges facing our nation. Van Jones is only slightly older than I am, and I suspect this was no different for him.
So is Van Jones ever going to answer for the fact that in 2002 he conceived and created a music label, Freedom Fighter Music, which published at least two highly incendiary albums, advancing views far, far outside the mainstream? In 2009 I exposed Freedom Fighter’s WarTimes, leading CBS to speculate whether this was the final straw leading to Jones’ resignation from his role in the White House. But no comment from Jones. WarTimes is just god-awful, narrated by Mumia Abu-Jamal, with an interview appearance by Van Jones himself, and featuring lyrics calling for the defeat of the U.S. in Iraq, proclaiming Uncle Sam the ‘real terrorist’. And even worse, if you can believe. (You can view a YouTube video I created with excerpts from WarTimes here.)
But with so much media focus now on racial violence, and the liberal media – and the White House – seemingly doing nothing to try to calm things down, I think it’s a good time to expose another track produced by Van Jones and his organization. In another era, with a Republican in the White House, this is how Van Jones saw fit to contribute his time, money, and promotional clout to the cause of ‘racial justice':
[UPDATE BY PATTERICO: So it’s clear, the visuals starting at 3:10 are Morgen’s editorial comments.]
Simply despicable…and it’s outrageous that the person behind this is parading around the country lecturing America about ‘fairness’, when in a rational world, one where the mainstream media still did real reporting, he would have absolutely zero credibility and moral authority.
Which brings me to my closing question: does the New York Times consider Van Jones a ‘lefty dream boat‘ in spite of…or because of…his past advocacy of violent, anti-American views?
Addendum [Morgen]: Thanks for the warm welcome, and for not knocking me around for asking you to sit through a 4+ minute video like this. To follow up on Patterico’s note above, I actually produced the entire video. Working with the original audio of course. I’m sort of hoping one of Jones’ defenders tries to deny he had anything to do with this. April’s Fools joke? Yeah, they wish. So let me save Media Matters a little time. The name of the album this track appears on is Shame the Devil: Hip-Hop Tells The Truth About The Prison Industrial Complex. You can see a reference to it on the old Freedom Fighter web site here. The actual audio came from here – the track is called ‘John Law’. Who knows, there is probably worse than this on the album, have yourself a listening party if you want. But I keyed in on this track because the members of the band who wrote and performed this (the Red Guard) were former employees of Van Jones and remain closely connected to him (or at least organizations he founded). I see no point in dragging them into this, but there is really no way Van Jones can deny culpability for putting out this garbage. And the media can easily confirm all of this…if they had any desire to. But I guess it’s no fun to embarrass one of your heroes.
If a woman decides to end her pregnancy, no matter how developed the fetus is, and no matter how frivolous the reasoning, that is her choice, dammit. If she decides to kill an 8-month-old fetus because the birth of the child might personally embarrass her, then how dare you criticize her, mister!
And at the same time:
If a family wants a child, and the baby is born but dies 2 hours into his young life — and the family chooses to bring the boy home to introduce the child to the rest of the family, then bwahahahahahaha. Pro-life freak. Let’s all point and laugh!
Read the title out loud and you’ll get a sense of how I really feel.
The other day I noted how Joe Biden had run his mouth about who killed bin Laden, putting SEAL Team 6 at risk. I said: “there is no way to know whether this was an orchestrated ambush targeting Team 6. But it is an important reminder why it’s not just comedy relief to have cynical glory-seekers and complete buffoons at the highest levels of government.”
Well, the possibility of an orchestrated ambush looks much more likely — as an Afghan official tells the press that’s exactly what happened:
The Taliban lured US forces into an elaborate trap to shoot down their helicopter, killing 30 American troops in the deadliest such incident of the war, an Afghan official said Monday.
. . . .
A senior Afghan government official told AFP on condition of anonymity that Taliban commander Qari Tahir lured US forces to the scene by tipping them off that a Taliban meeting was taking place.
He also said four Pakistanis helped Tahir carry out the strike.
“Now it’s confirmed that the helicopter was shot down and it was a trap that was set by a Taliban commander,” said the official, citing intelligence gathered from the area.
“The Taliban knew which route the helicopter would take,” he continued.
In other words, a Taliban no doubt incensed at bin Laden’s death set up an ambush designed to target exactly the sort of forces that would respond to a report of high value targets.
Did the families fear this? You betcha. Watch at 2:58 as the dad of one of the fallen SEALs goes off Matt Lauer’s feel-good script to lash out at the “sheep” like Biden who put his son at risk:
You know, it’s really strange, Matt, that 90 some-odd days ago SEAL Team 6 had a big victory, and possibly sheep in high places said things that made many of us very uncomfortable. And now some 90 some-odd days later, SEAL Team 6 has suffered a terrible tragedy. And I just pray that during these last days, these next days, they ‘ll allow SEAL Team 6 — the wives, the children, the families — to grieve, to bury their dead, and not make it political.
Next October when Hollywood is spending tens of millions to release a big “Obama killed bin Laden” movie blockbuster to influence the election, let’s keep in mind what the buffoons — the sheep — like Biden did. Is that me making it political? No, sir. It’s me noting when others do. When morons like Biden run their mouths, they put good men at risk. When the Obama administration decided to release all the information about who killed bin Laden, they put good men at risk.
You really have to admire Paul Krugman for having the courage to engage in his latest bit of hackery. He didn’t want to do it, you see. He was duty-bound:
Column meta: I hated, hated, hated writing tomorrow’s column. . . . But nobody would read a piece about health-care accounting or eurozone adjustment problems if I put it out tomorrow, and there are some things I fear won’t be said if I don’t do it (just as there were during the runup to the Iraq War); so Arizona it is.
And who else, truly (besides Frank Rich, Markos Moulitsas, or every other tired lefty hack out there) would have the courage to write timeless prose like this?
Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. It’s hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be “armed and dangerous” without being ostracized; but Representative Michele Bachmann, who did just that, is a rising star in the G.O.P.
You think you are big enough to make me, you little wimp? Come on. Come over here and make me, I dare you. You little fruitcake.
Back to our courageous friend Krugman:
And there’s a huge contrast in the media. Listen to Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, and you’ll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery aimed at Republicans. But you won’t hear jokes about shooting government officials or beheading a journalist at The Washington Post. Listen to Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, and you will.
[I]f we were in other countries, we would all right now, all of us together, all of us together would go down to Washington and we would stone Henry Hyde to death! We would stone him to death! [crowd cheers] Wait! Shut up! Shut up! No shut up! I’m not finished. We would stone Henry Hyde to death and we would go to their homes and we’d kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families.
If President Clinton would pardon me I would whip Starr’s ass right now. I will get a crew from Brooklyn and we will stomp him like, like, we’re Savion Glover. We’ll stomp him like it’s bringing da noise.
To be clear, if you’re using this event to criticize the “rhetoric” of Mrs. Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you’re either: (a) asserting a connection between the “rhetoric” and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) you’re not, in which case you’re just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?
It’s the individuals who pulled the trigger, and not any cultural influences, who were responsible for these violent acts. Even if Loughner had a shrine to Palin, complete with a poster of Palin’s infamous “crosshairs” map, he’s the one with blood on his hands.
. . . .
What are we to glean from all this? That heated rhetoric from the right led to the shootings? Huh?
How about this: He’s a nutjob. A twisted, sick mind that exploded. All the back and forth about heated political rhetoric, all the attempts to capitalize on this tragedy, won’t change that.
Why is this so hard for Krugman & Co. to understand?
The answer is simple: they do understand. But they are hacks. And a hack’s gotta do what a hack’s gotta do.
UPDATE: Nice post from Dana Loesch on this insane weekend here.
Last March, Jack Dunphy noted an L.A. Times article that consulted legal experts on the all-important question of whether Justice Thomas would be allowed to have a wife who is a political activist. (The experts said yes.) Dunphy noted that the editors seemed to have no similar concern over the liberal Stephen Reinhardt, whose wife heads up the local ACLU.
Now Reinhardt has refused to recuse himself in a case where his wife’s ACLU signed on to an amicus brief in the very same case — arguing that it is hunky dory because the brief was filed in the trial court, while he is sitting on the appellate court, which is totally different. Because, after all, what relationship does an appellate court have to the trial court? All he’s doing is deciding whether the trial court got it right . . . by ruling the way his wife urged them to do in a brief. See? No connection at all!
So I ran to the L.A. Times to see what the experts had to say about this.