The harassment of conservative bloggers has been in the news quite a bit lately, and for good reason. The story has been covered at FreedomWorks previously, and in the month since, the situation has gotten worse.
The term SWATting refers to a practice favored by gang members and other criminals whereby a phone call is placed to 911 claiming that the caller is a homeowner and he’s just shot a family member, or committed some other violent act. When the police arrive in full SWAT gear, the hope of the criminal is that the homeowner is a) taken by surprise, and b) engaged in a firefight that leads to an assassination that is not the responsibility of the criminal.
On May 25, Jim Hoft told us about the awful experience of Patrick Frey (a.k.a. Patterico). Since that time, the incidents have piled up. The National Bloggers Club, along with Michelle Malkin and Erick Erickson, began publicizing these events and calling for federal investigations. Also, two days after the National Day of Action on May 25, Erick Erickson was SWATted. Ali Akbar had the addresses of family members published on several websites. And, of course, Stacy McCain is still in hiding and unable to return to his home.
But the most incredible series of events involves attorney and conservative blogger Aaron Worthing, a.k.a. Aaron Walker. Warner Todd Huston of Publius’ Forum has a great summary of what this man has endured over the past several months at the hands of convicted domestic terrorist Brett Kimberlin. In response to the National Day of Action, Kimberlin was inexplicably successful in getting a restraining order against Worthing, due to the presiding judge’s lack of understanding of new media. This week, Worthing was able to have the order lifted, but as Huston summarizes,
Earlier today, *Aaron Worthing’s illicitly imposed muzzle was lifted from him by a successful stay of foolish Judge Vaughey’s “flagrantly unconstitutional prior restraint upon” upon Worthing’s rights to free speech. And then? Well, then some criminal leftist SWATed him … [E]ssentially, a convicted left-wing, domestic terrorist named Brett Kimberlin began a campaign to use nuisance lawsuits and vicious, false accusations to get Mr. Worthing sent to jail because Worthing had the temerity to expose him for the criminal he is.
And the beat goes on.
This is America. No matter your political ideology, you are protected as a citizen to speak (and publish) your mind. The First Amendment guarantees this right, which was encoded in the Constitution and follows in the tradition of Founding Fathers like Thomas Payne and Benjamin Franklin. These attacks on political speech are nothing short of an attack on our entire Constitutional Republic. Information is power, and new media is the new printing press. New technologies allow for the further democratization of information, but in the end this is all the same as the Common Sense puplications that educated the colonists on such concepts as the rights endowed in each individual by Nature’s God.