Welcome to political warfare 2012. The newest tactic deployed by the online left against their political opponents is called “SWATting.” Someone calls 911 with a blocked number, or a spoofed number (one that registers as someone else’s number), claiming to be a political opponent and claiming that the political opponent has killed someone.
The hope is that the SWAT Team will scramble and possibly, in a tense situation, kill the political opponent. At a minimum, the opponent gets a lot of harassment.
In 2011, Los Angeles Assistant District Attorney Patrick Frey began writing on his website, Patterico’s Pontifications, about the Speedway Bomber, Brett Kimberlin. Kimberlin served time in prison for a series of bombings in Speedway, Ind. Let out of prison a few decades later, he set up several organizations that started receiving significant funding from left-wing foundations, the State Department and others.
That July, Frey woke up to a midnight knock at his door. The LA County SWAT Team had surrounded his home responding to a 911 phone call that he had murdered his wife. He was led outside at gunpoint and put in a police car while his home was searched and his wife and children were led outside. Frey has blogged on several occasions his suspicion that friends or associates of Kimberlin were involved.
Another conservative blogger in New Jersey had a similar situation occur to him. Last week, blogger Stacey McCain began writing about Brett Kimberlin. McCain’s wife’s employer received a harassing phone call from, apparently, Kimberlin, and based on information not yet public, McCain and his wife have gone into hiding.
A week ago, conservatives on talk radio, reporters and bloggers decided to write about Kimberlin en masse to raise awareness. Two organizations he has founded for political activism have received money from the Heinz Family Foundation, the Tides Foundation, the State Department and other organizations.
I wrote about Kimberlin last week.
On Sunday evening, Bibb County Sheriff’s deputies drove up my driveway responding to a 911 call that I had shot my wife. It was a hoax. No one knows who is responsible.
Needless to say, we do not live in a banana republic. We live in the United States of America. It is not typical that you think of political opponents in the United States willing to waste first responders’ time so their political opponents can be held at gunpoint by police thinking a crime has occurred.
After the Obama campaign set up a website highlighting large donors to Mitt Romney’s campaign, several of the donors found themselves, their families, and their employees the victims of harassment by left-wing activists, detectives and lawyers.
The personal has become political and the political has become personal. Political opponents would love for those who dissent from their views to shut up and stay silent. These incidents are valuable lessons in why we cannot.
Hats off to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Department. The officers were professional, calm and good natured. One of the officers spoke to me as I explained what I suspected happened. He confirmed that the address and information was correct. The other officer stood at the rear of the car with his hand on his gun holster. My 3- year-old thought it was very cool.
Once the hoax was realized, both officers visited with the 3-year-old who kept dancing around the car yelling “cool” then left. A friend texted after finding out what happened with the note, “Aren’t u glad u didn’t move to ATL!” Yes, I am.
Erick Erickson is a CNN contributor and radio talk show host in Atlanta.