Robert Knight

Have you heard of SWATing?

Someone calls 911 falsely claiming that a person has killed someone or is about to do so. It can bring down a world of hurt, complete with sirens and a SWAT team with drawn guns.

In a radio interview on the Hugh Hewitt Show, conservative Web entrepreneur Andrew Breitbart began warning people about the tactic shortly before he collapsed and died on March 1. No, I’m not suggesting his death had anything to do with this, however convenient it was for the political Left.

Over the past year, strong-arm tactics have been used against prominent conservative bloggers who have written about a leftwing activist named Brett Kimberlin.

Mr. Kimberlin was convicted in a series of 1978 bombings in Speedway, Indiana, the last of which critically injured a Vietnam veteran who later committed suicide. An accomplished jailhouse lawyer, Kimberlin was released on parole in 1993, re-jailed and finally released in 2001. He went on to found the Velvet Revolution website and the Justice Through Music Project, which receives money from heavy leftist hitters like the George Soros-controlled Tides Foundation.

In October 2010, Los Angeles Assistant District Attorney Patrick Frey, who blogs as Patterico, began writing about “the Speedway Bomber’s” leftwing activities. On July 1, 2011, Mr. Frey was awakened at 12:35 a.m. by a SWAT team at his Los Angeles home.

“The call that sent deputies to my home was a hoax,” Mr. Frey writes. “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.” Mr. Frey was handcuffed and his frightened wife and children led outside by police.

On May 28, Red State blogger Eric Erickson reported similar treatment: “Last week we spent a lot of time writing about Brett Kimberlin and the incident involving blogger Patterico. …Tonight, my family was sitting around the kitchen table eating dinner when sheriffs deputies pulled up in the driveway. Someone called 911 from my address claiming there had been an accidental shooting.”

On March 29, another blogger, Aaron Walker, was arrested in Maryland for blogging about Mr. Kimberlin, a violation of a “peace order.” Meanwhile, blogger/journalist Robert Stacy McCain, who began blogging about Mr. Kimberlin in mid-May, took his wife and fled their Maryland home. Mr. McCain, as of this writing, is in hiding, and the reason is unclear but appears to be related to his posts about Mr. Kimberlin.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.