Patterico: "THE NIGHT I COULD HAVE BEEN KILLED BECAUSE OF MY BLOGGING"
There's been a campaign of intimidation against people critical of convicted bomber Brett Kimberlin.
And let's dispense with all the left versus right squabbling, because this is about free speech and not allowing the bullying or even the death of people who speak freely, and this should not be a partisan issue but an issue for anyone of any political stripe who values civil liberties.
My friend, Orange County Prosecutor Patrick Frey, who blogs under the name Patterico, last year, in confidence, told me this chilling story of a SWAT raid on his house -- in which he could have been killed. Now he's blogged about it, and you should read it -- and read about the disgusting campaign of intimidation against those who've dared to post blog items critical of the vile Brett Kimberlin, a man who blew off the legs of an innocent father with a bomb he planted, later leading to the father's death.
Here's an excerpt from Patterico's original blog item on Kimberlin:
Brett Kimberlin set off eight bombs in Speedway, Indiana in 1978 over the course of several days. One blew up a police car. Another blew the right leg off of a Vietnam veteran named Carl DeLong. DeLong's left leg was also severely injured, and two of his fingers were blown off and then reattached. DeLong carried shrapnel in his body, causing him constant pain . . . which apparently became too much for him. DeLong committed suicide in 1983 by sitting in his van in his garage with the engine running.
Kimberlin was identified by store clerks who sold him bombmaking materials. A search of his car revealed timers similar to those used in the bombing, as well as traces of the explosive used. He was convicted of the bombings. He has never been exonerated by any court.
Authorities suspected Kimberlin did the bombings as a distraction from a murder investigation. Kimberlin was enamored of a pre-teen girl named Jessica [a pseudonym given her by Mark Singer] who went on several unsupervised out-of-state trips with him. Jessica's grandmother expressed her disapproval of the relationship, and insisted that the granddaughters move into her house to get away from Kimberlin. Kimberlin became suicidal. Then the grandmother was shot in the head at her house. Nobody else in the world had a motive to kill her except Kimberlin. After police arrested Kimberlin and several confederates in Texas in a massive drug smuggling operation, the sole eyewitness to the murder identified one of Kimberlin's confederates as the man who killed Jessica's grandmother. But the witness soon died of cancer, and no charges were ever brought against Kimberlin for the murder.
While awaiting trial on the bombing, Kimberlin plotted with an inmate to murder a prosecutor on his case. He promised another inmate bail money to go set off another bomb with similar components while Kimberlin was incarcerated, creating an alibi for Kimberlin.
In addition to his convictions for the bombings, Kimberlin was convicted at trial of impersonating a military official. (He sometimes posed as a military official as part of his smuggling operations). He also pled to the drug smuggling charge in Texas. For all these crimes, Kimberlin was sentenced to 50 years in federal prison for these and other crimes, but was somehow paroled in the early 1990s.
This is a copy of the phone call that could have ended Patterico's life, thanks to the bogus SWAT raid that resulted from it -- and a voice comparison:
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.
Patrick notes the importance of this battle for free speech and against intimidation:
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.
If you care about free speech, please blog, tweet and Facebook this entry and/or Patterico's originals, diffusing the ability to attack those who exercise their free speech and who support that for all.