Patterico and Aaron Worthing recount sinister legal and personal harassment as a consequence of their blogging. Worthing and his wife reportedly lost their jobs, but Patterico could have been killed. He woke up to an armed SWAT team at his door as someone spoofed his phone and called the police to his house. Even those who’ve disagreed with Patterico on various issues recognize how unconscionable these tactics are.
These incidents appear to be only the latest and most extreme examples of efforts to silence political and ideological opponents by any means necessary. Comments Jim Geraghty:
Notions like “SWATing” feel like a dangerous escalation of already excessive expressions of ideological rage; once the genie is out of the bottle, then every extremist who feels the ends justify the means will use the tactic against those they hope to harass (or worse). The options for police are truly grim; must they become skeptical or wary about 911 calls describing violent situations?
The only real solution is to catch the perpetrators and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. If I were a prosecutor, and some malcontent was manipulating my city’s police force to be their own tool for harassment, I’d be hell-bent on finding the persons responsible.
One thing I do not comprehend about either story is the apparent reticence of local authorities. I would think local law enforcement would move heaven and earth to uncover who sicced SWAT on Patterico’s home and it is unconscionable the local authorities in Montgomery County, Maryland would sit by and allow the continued abuse of legal process that has victimized Worthing.
UPDATE: RAdley Balko comments:
Dear God. I hadn’t been following all of this. Patterico and I have had some heated, downright ugly exchanges in the past, but let’s be clear on this: What’s happening to him right now is terrifying. It’s an attempt to terrorize political opponents into silence.
A couple commenters here have suggested there’s some sort of lesson in all of this about SWAT teams or police or something or other.
No. There are no lessons here. The sociopaths who are harassing Patterico and the other bloggers involved need to be arrested and charged with about a dozen different crimes.