Freedom of speech is not under attack, it's on life support, if that. Last week I blogged about terrorist Brett Kimberlin threatening bloggers here. This violent convicted terrorist Bomber is now a leftist darling and has been given millions by progressives.
Read more here: Convicted Bomber Brett Kimberlin, Neal Rauhauser, Ron Brynaert, and Their Campaign of Political Terrorism. utilizing the new leftist weapon - SWATting.
“SWAT” 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..”The Arrest of Aaron Walker for Free Speech (thanks to Paul H)
Here it is boys and girls, another salvo in the battle to retain our right to free speech as guaranteed by the first amendment.
As I wrote earlier today, there is a mighty movement to strip or otherwise remove the right to free speech from any who would gainsay or otherwise question the activities of this government and the paid lackeys who are it’s enforcers.
Today, in Maryland, following a court hearing on a falsely acquired “Peace Order”, attorney Aaron Walker was taken into custody because Brett Kimberlin asserts that he has received “uncounted” death threats following the exposure of his criminal past by blogger Aaron Walker and others (myself included). This appears to be a violation of the finding of the Supreme Court that finds bloggers are extended the same rights as other media and have the same protections.
This is a rapidly evolving story and you should watch for updates as I can get them. I hope to get a reply from Aaron himself soon.
UPDATE: Judge in Kimberlin Hearing Woefully ignorant of Internet, Twitter
From @OlympiaPress, who attended the Brett Kimberlin hearing [I added emphases]:This morning, I attended the hearing over a protective order sought by Brett Kimberlin against Aaron Walker in Rockville, MD. There were only a few people there.Walker, the defendant, if you will–and I apologize for getting any terminology wrong, I don’t have a lot of experience with peace orders, as my thorough pre-adoption criminal background check shows–had to represent himself. Kimberlin had an attorney present, who issued a few objections, nearly inaudible to me.The Judge, and I haven’t confirmed this, but I believe he was former Montgomery County Chief Justice James Vaughan–a guy who retired in ’04, and still takes the odd shift when stuff gets busy or there are vacations. In an earlier matter, Judge Vaughan mentioned he lived in the Caribbean, so pretty sure that’s the guy.
It went bad for Walker pretty quickly. If you’ve followed the matter, and I know not a lot of people have, Walker, who is an attorney, acted in an advisory capacity for another blogger who had dealings with Kimberlin. Kimberlin later accused Walker of assault; those charges were null-processed; Walker wrote about things like you’ll read on Kimberlin’s wikipedia page, as well as his own dealings with Kimberlin.
Judge Vaughan had read up on the matter, knew Kimberlin’s history of felony convictions, but clearly was technically ignorant of even basic facts about what Twitter is, in one instance point saying “He Googled you 500,000 times” through the Tubes or whatever. The Judge had identified himself, earlier, as being “of the Royal Typewriter Generation,” and at another point, when confronted with the voluminous material from both sides, asked “don’t people have jobs, who reads this stuff?”
That said, Judge Vaughan did know a lot about the kind of respect a Judge is owed. He also, again, knew all about Kimberlin, saying “even a prostitute is entitled to protection.”
And Walker pissed him off. So did Kimberlin, but Walker identified himself as a Yale-trained lawyer, albeit one who was representing himself. Kimberlin made any number of allegations–essentially, everything that was said about his side–issuing death threats, harming business interests, summoning SWAT teams to the home–was said by Kimberlin to have been done by Walker’s side.
The pair went back and forth, back and forth, with Walker getting increasingly flustered, and the Judge finally asking, “what did they tell you in Yale Law School about interrupting a judge?” And later advising Walker to sit down, grip a pencil, and whenever he was tempted to speak over the Judge (or Kimberlin, but mostly over the Judge), to instead grip the pencil.
At one point, when Walker again interrupted Kimberlin, an attorney who was “advising” Walker–i.e.,. sitting in the coutroom, but not actually at Walker’s table, signaled to the plaintiff that he ought to “zip it.” This process amused Kimberlin, obviously.
For the Judge’s faults, he really did try to let Walker make his case. When Walker was able to question Kimberlin–not about everything, but merely the facts that had occurred in the last 30 days (which is all that’s relevant in a Peace Order Hearing), it became clear that Kimberlin would unravel under any kind of competent examination. The guy’s story changed 3 times in 5 minutes. First it was that Walker had issued 14k tweets against him–which the Judge assumed were to Kimberlin’s account, and by Walker. Then it was 54 pages of 10 tweets each actually by Walker. Then it was 15k tweets about Muslims or something.
Walker was also able to introduce for the record–again, Peace Order, it’s only about the last 30 days–Kimberlin’s convictions for bombings from I guess 1980, his revocation of parole in 1998, and even something where Kimberlin was convicted of perjury in 1973… ish. Then, when it came to actual convictions, there was one moment when Kimberlin came up with a defense about the judge being convicted of bribery, so he didn’t feel that those particular verdicts should be discussed, but that turned out to be an unrelated civil matter, and Judge Vaughan then insisted that the convictions remained in the record.
But, Walker didn’t press the credibility of Kimberlin enough. He was too easily sidetracked by the latter’s machinations, and every time Walker veered off, the Judge got madder.
Last portion of the trial, once the Judge decided he’d heard enough, came when Walker was asked, repeatedly, when does this all end? Judge cited his own upbringing in Brooklyn, where when guys had disagreements like these two did, somebody’d get picked up in a truck and they’d go have it out near the East River or words to that effect.
Walker at this point stated what he wanted was for Kimberlin to be tried by the State’s Attorney for perjury related to that earlier assault thing. Judge kept pressing Walker on this, stating that it’s entirely the Government’s business to decide who to punish (Libertarians might disagree), asking if the uproar could end, bringing up the concept of “Too Much Justice,” asking if Walker was aware of this–the latter indicated he was. Then the Judge and Walker swapped precedents for a little while, with the Judge… unimpressed.
UPDATE: Legal Eagle Eugene Volokh here: Aaron Walker, Brett Kimberlin, and the Fog of Litigation
I’ve been hearing a lot about the latest phase of this controversy, but it’s still hard for me to figure out what is going on. A Maryland court has issued a “peace order” — basically, what most states call a restraining order — against blogger Aaron Walker, ordering him not to “harass” or contact Brett Kimberlin, a convicted bomber who is now a political activist. The order begins with a “finding”
That there is clear and convincing evidence that within 30 days before the filing of the Petition, [Walker] committed the following act(s):
Placed [Kimberlin] in fear of imminent serious bodily harm: COUNTLESS NUMBER OF BLOGS EITHER THREATENING DEATH [sic]
This seem like a finding that is both hard to understand and — from what I’ve heard about the story — hard to support, if it means that Walker had threatened Kimberlin with death. [UPDATE: Hans Bader (Open Market), who criticizes the injunction, suggests that it means that Walker's posts didn't themselves contain unprotected threats, but prompted some readers to threaten Kimberlin; but that can't be a basis for the court's enjoining or otherwise acting against Walker, at least unless there is evidence that Walker intentionally solicited such threats, or intentionally incited likely imminent threats, and I haven't heard of such evidence.] Based on this finding, the order bars Walker from injuring or threatening Kimberlin (which would be illegal in any event), contacting or trying to contact Kimberlin, “harass[ing]” Kimberlin, and entering and perhaps approaching very near to Kimberlin’s residence and place of employment. The order may well be factually unfounded, but if it were factually well-founded, and if “harass” were limited to telephone calls, e-mails, and the like to Kimberlin personally, then it would likely be constitutionally permissible. (See generally Rowan v. United States Post Office Department (1970) and lower courts cases that have mostly upheld stop-talking-to-me orders.)
On the other hand, if the order were interpreted as banning Walker’s further speech about Kimberlin — other than constitutionally unprotected “true threats” of violence — then it would be unconstitutional. And The Blaze and others have reported that Walker was arrested following the hearing at which the order was issued, which led to speculation that he was arrested for what he blogged. [UPDATE: Indeed, The Other McCain reports that "One person who attended the hearing in Montgomery County District Court said that Kimberlin asserted that Walker’s continued blogging represented a violation of a 'peace order.'"] Nonetheless, an UPDATE at the Blaze post states,
The Blaze spoke to a clerk at the District Court of Maryland for Montgomery County who confirmed that Aaron Walker was in fact arrested following his hearing with Brett Kimberlin. He was arrested on second degree assault charges that were filed by Kimberlin when Walker, following a separate court hearing, took and held at bay Kimberlin’s iPad.
So it may be that the arrest was for grabbing Kimberlin’s property out of his hands (see the transcript of an earlier hearing for more on this [UPDATE: and also this statement by Kimberlin]) and not for blogging after all. That’s what little I know about the situation, but I thought I’d pass it along for whatever it’s worth. If readers can point to credible and detailed accounts that shed more light on the matter, and especially indicate what facts the judge specifically found that justified (1) the restraining order and (2) the arrest, I’d love to see them.