Today is “Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day” and I’m doing my part. To be perfectly honest, I’d rather not write another post about lying felon Brett Kimberlin beyond the two I’ve already written, but it’s important that I do.
I know what you may be saying to yourself right now. “Jimmie, lying felon Brett Kimberlin has done some reprehensible things, sure, but why on Earth should I care what one guy I’ve never heard of is doing to a bunch of other people I’ve never heard of?”. That’s a great question. Here’s your answer.
Because it can happen to you, too.
Let’s say you find a political issue that really fires you up. It doesn’t have to be a national issue. Maybe your state wants to pass a voter ID law that ensures people can’t just walk into a polling place, give the name of a dead person or the Attorney General of the United States, and get a ballot without even a cursory attempt by the state to confirm they are who they say they are. This becomes a big deal to you and so you start a little blog to put your opinion into the public arena. You want to exercise your First Amendment rights just like everyone else.
After a couple weeks, and a few posts, the phone rings in the office of your boss at work. On the other end is someone who professes awful and untrue things about you. You have to go in and explain yourself. Your boss believes you, this time, but why should this have happened in the first place? You put that on your blog, too, because it seems awfully germane to what you’ve been doing.
It happens again. And again. It’s getting more difficult for you to do your job because you and your boss have to spend time dealing with the nuisance accusations. All that goes on your blog, including the name given by the person making the accusations.
Then you get a knock at the door. There stands a police officer who serves you with court papers. It seems the person you named in your blog post has accused you of harassment and demands you take down blog entries and stop using his name. Now what? You have to go to court and fight this, but that’s going to take a day of leave from work (assuming you get paid leave, of course) and a lawyer. Ever priced a good lawyer? They’re not cheap.
You spring for the lawyer after a long, and not entirely pleasant, conversation with your spouse during which you rearrange some of the family finances (Goodbye summer vacation. Goodbye new clothes for the kids for a few months!). You go to court and win. Problem solved, right?
Not so fast. There’s another knock at the door a couple of days later. Another police officer stands there and this time he has a criminal summons for harassment and some other stuff. Your accuser claims you assaulted him outside the courtroom, menaced him, put him in fear for his life. You didn’t, but now you have to prove it. Another spousal conversation ensues during which there are some heated words. More shuffling of the family finances (Goodbye repairs to your family car. Goodbye dinners not made out of a box!). Another call to your lawyer.
Before that court case can land, though, there’s a knock at the door in the middle of the night. You get up to answer it to find yourself shoved into your house by a masked man with a gun. He’s yelling at you — WHERE IS YOUR WIFE! WHERE ARE YOUR KIDS! ARE THEY ALIVE?? — and you croak out “yes” about the same time you finally figure out he’s a police officer. There are other officers, too, filling your house, tromping up the stairs, dragging you out into a waiting squad car. They wake your wife and kids, who have to see their Daddy taken away in handcuffs. Crying. Screaming. Questions you can’t answer because you’re under arrest.
By the time you get to the police station, you learn that someone called 911, pretended to be you, and said you killed your wife. The cops thought they had a hot murder scene and sent in the SWAT team. Now you know, because you pay attention to the news, that sometimes things get a bit crazy when SWAT teams go into a house. People get killed — sometimes cops, sometimes innocent homeowners. You’re fortunate. Yes, you still have a court case or two and the bill for that lawyer has pushed well past your ability to easily pay for it, but you’re alive and your kids are alive.
A few more days pass, uneventfully. You’re starting to feel more safe. Your lawyer is handling things in court. To be sure, your defense isn’t quite a slam-dunk, but you’ll come out of it okay, albeit lighter in your pocketbook by many thousand dollars. Then your wife calls from her work place and her voice trembles in a way that raises the hairs on the back of your neck. Her boss got a telephone call from the same guy who called you, a guy whose background you know because he’s reportedly done it to other people as well. This time he dropped a few more nuggets and one of them was a reference to where you live.
Think about that for a second. This guy who apparently knows where you live? He was convicted of setting bombs all over the town of Speedway, Indiana. One of those bombs was in a high school parking lot while an football game was going on. It crippled the man who picked it up. This same guy, police say, plotted to get rid of at least one witness and others who prosecuted his case and planned to have someone plant another bomb in the hopes it would help overturn his conviction. Obviously, it is time to pack up and go. That’s going to cost more money, though. It’ll also uproot your kids from their schools and friends. Your life will change in one of the biggest ways possible, and you’ll still have to come back for the court proceedings.
In the meantime, though, that one issue that brought you to the public arena in the first place, what happened to that? You haven’t been able to write much about it. You haven’t been able to get to any of the public meetings or report on the legislative hearings. You haven’t been able to talk to your friends and neighbors about it — all they want to know about are the court cases and the job thing and what the heck happened last night with that SWAT team? The issue is nearly forgotten because you’re in a fight for your freedom and ability to live peaceable as a responsible citizen of your community.
That, folks, is why this story is important. The story of lying felon Brett Kimberlin’s lawfare efforts, his various criminal convictions and schemes to deal with those convictions through yet more violent crimes, the massive amount of money left-wing groups have poured into his political non-profit organization, and the work he’s done win the U.S. State Department through that group, are all about the First Amendment and what I see as his attempts to use our civil and criminal legal systems to stop people from freely engaging in the political process. My hypothetical story (and it is entirely hypothetical though I’ve provided a few illustrative links) may never happen to you or anyone you know. But you can’t be entirely sure of that. I thought I was until I learned that my friend Stacy was leaving his home, uprooting his family, and heading off to Parts Unknown.
What lying felon Brett Kimberlin and his political allies have done to Mandy Nagy, Aaron Worthing, Patterico, Stacy McCain, and others (including Senator Orrin Hatch) is unconscionable. It ought to make you just a little bit angry. None of us ought to stand for it, and that includes out elected officials who have it within their power to make life very difficult for lying felon Brett Kimberlin and anyone else who abuses our legal systems to squelch the First Amendment rights of ordinary law-abiding citizens. Ace has it exactly right here. It’s going to take Congressional action to look into the possible abuse of the 501(c)3 charity and to make sure such abuse is far more difficult in the future. It’s going to take Congressional action to punish harassment and intimidation that squelch free speech. It’s going to take Congressional action to ensure that vexatious litigant laws get passed and have real teeth in them when they do.
Your free speech is at stake here. What happened to Stacy, et. al. can happen to you. But there are a few things you can do to make that less likely.
- Practice good security.
- Read up on lying felon Brett Kimberlin and his associates. Make yourself familiar with at least the basics so that you can tell other people about what has happened. Then spread the word.
- Contact your members of Congress and ask them to put Ace’s ideas in play. If they don’t know what’s happening, let them know there are people using the legal systems as weapons against law-abiding citizens. The abuse needs to stop and they can help, a lot. Some Democrats may resist, but you need to let them know that lying felon Brett Kimberlin is a serious liability for them.
- Contact Senator Orrin Hatch’s office and ask him, very politely, to lead the charge for these changes in the Senate. He knows of lying felon Brett Kimberlin and can get his associates up to speed pretty quickly by reading Kimberlin’s history into the Congressional Record.
- Visit this site and donate a few bucks. It’s a site run by the National Bloggers Club that will provide relief for those harassed out of their jobs and homes by lying felon Brett Kimberlin and his associates. I understand that the National Bloggers Club, which is by no means a fly-by-night organization, is also building a legal fund to help harassed bloggers with legal matters.
Get involved. Help out, even if it’s just with a ten dollar donation. There’s a reason political speech is protected as carefully as it is in the Constitution and we all must make sure it stays that way.