Not this again

Says Jeff Goldstein of Patterico:

In addition to what I believe was a behind the scenes whisper campaign against me, this honorable man made, later on, an unsubstantiated claim, publicly, that I’d been sent some sort of legal document for the email harassment of some unnamed party. I immediately called on him to release the letter, release copies of the emails, or any proof that any such incident ever happened, such a letter was ever drafted or sent, or that I’d ever received it. He didn’t. The truth is, I never received any such letter because none was ever sent. There were no harrassing emails. And there was no real complainant. But, as an honorable man, the prosecutor couldn’t release the name of the supposed aggrieved, who told the prosecutor, the prosecutor then told us, s/he didn’t wish to be named.

So I contacted the prosecutor’s office and demanded they look into it. The fact of that call was then used, I’d bet, to further build the narrative that I was so crazed and vindictive — and so bent on destroying an honorable man who just wanted to be left alone to prosecute gangbangers and cop killers — that I’d tried to cost him his job!

SEK comes forward:

He’s wrong. I did, and do exist. I’d been receiving daily, occasionally hourly, harassing emails from someone claiming to be Jeff. After getting fed up with having to deal with them, I did have a lawyer send a cease-and-desist warning to the address Jeff had provided me during this book event at the Valve. I mentioned this to Frey at some point, but I never gave him copies of the original emails or the warning, on the advice of my lawyer. Given that the emails stopped after I sent the letter, I was reluctant to identify myself for fear they’d start up again, but at this point, years removed, I doubt they will. So, there you have … something. I’m not sure what, but if it means I’m going to be receiving angry emails from Jeff again, I’ll likely regret having written this.

Patterico honored his promise not to expose SEK's name publicly (just to avoid the possible misunderstanding, Pat certainly never told me, either).

It's unfortunate that Jeff took his feud with Patterico into the real world by calling Pat'semployer and demanding an investigation based on something Patterico told the truth about.  Jeff insists he was not going after Pat's job and that to say so is to be part of a conspiracy to ostracize Jeff.  Jeff is a 'stay at home dad', so he may not be able to understand this, but pretend your boss got a call today while you're hard at work and it's Jeff demanding an investigation of why you lied (when you told the truth).  Would you think Jeff was trying to help you get a promotion?

Anyway, it actually gets worse.  Patterico is the target of smears from people who claim the mantle of "anonymous" as though it's their personal army and not simply a way to mask ID for deeds either good or evil.  They have gone after people at work, contacting the employers of Liberty Chick, Aaron Worthing, and Patterico, and making false accusations while demanding investigations or termination.  The escalation included attacks on his family, such as a hoax known as "SWATting" and also harassing comments expressing a desire to physically harm Patterico and his wife.  Most people reading this know that.  I won't elaborate.

The bad guys also spread disinformation, often with some element of truth twisted in to make the lie a little more difficult to suss out.  They've successfully smeared a lot of people.  They've successfully created a great deal of discord and mistrust.  It's no surprise that Jeff, who already had a great deal of animosity towards Patterico, would be susceptible too.

For some time, it's been clear they are trying to provoke Jeff G and Patterico into feuding again.  And it worked:

Now, to make this as pointed as possible:  a state prosecutor, in an online chat with a rather dubious character, broached the idea of using the hacker group Anonymous to harm me, my site, and so my livelihood — and left it up to Barrett and those he said he’d contact in Anonymous to decide on the actual mischief to be done, because, as the prosecutor notes in the chat, he doesn’t want to hear in advance about anything illegal.
Legal training. Bases covered. Plausible deniability.

This post isn’t meant as a long whine, or a complaint, or even really an explanation.  As I wrote earlier, it is more of an unburdening, and the making public of things that I’ve come to learn over the last few years.  It is not meant to open up old wounds. Finding out that I a public official was open to having Anonymous come after me was all that was needed for that to happen, but I held my tongue, because I knew the release of that tidbit was timed to problematize  [the prosecutor's] work combating the lawfare campaign against Aaron Walker and others.

If Jeff was holding his tongue to help Aaron, what caused him to stop doing so?  Patterico isn't mentioning this.  Jeff's citing as responsible something that was written 587 days ago.

I wanted to share my observations of the chat logs:

1) Patterico is frustrated with Jeff's google bomb smear.  

I considered the matter settled when Jeff deleted the post.  Here's the old link.  It no longer works.  You can get the impression of the google bomb here:

There's two sides to this: Jeff and his commenters seem earnestly convinced that this is defensible satire.  They claim accusations of antisemitism based on nothing... completely malicious and untrue, combined with a prosecutor's full name and job title and employer, is legit satire of Patterico criticizing a comment.  They say this is because it isn't possible to describe a comment as racist without describing the author as a racist.  They say that when Patterico goes on and on saying he is not describing the author as a racist that this is worse because despite Pat's claims, they are sure he was, and thus he is even lying about what he's doing!  It's very strange.

But they have to do that.  They have to make this false accusation in order to use that false accusation to justify doing what they are decrying.  As justice.  That they just said it was wrong never enters into the equation.  Apparently their twisted and bizarre version of what Patterico did is OK if they are doing it.

I asked Jeff many times why he needed to condemn Patterico by name instead of by his blog handle.  Patterico doesn't make his online comments by any other name than Patterico.  They are satirizing Pat's blogging, not his day job, right?  I asked Jeff many times why he needed to link this accusation endlessly.  How does this improve the satire?  It seems only to help 'teach him a lesson' by increasing the IRL damage done by the 'satire'.  As it worked out, people googling "Patterico" and familiar with the blog wouldn't even see the smear.  Just people who googled him by name and/or job.  In short, it's bullying.

Anyway, summary of this point is that there was a massive google bomb and Patterico was angry.  Colleagues were actually asking him about it.

2) Barrett Brown broaches the idea of helping Patterico with these search results. 

12:42 AM Patrick: No, it's a link to another post that would take
hours to debunk even though it's utter bullshit
me: oic
That can be changed
by one of several methods
12:43 AM Patrick: Oh?
me: yep

Jeff is mistaken to say Pat broached it, but that's the spin Barrett and Neal et al are providing and I understand the uncharitable are ready believe what they are told to believe.  the log starts with Pat complaining about these posts, and when Barrett says "that can be changed", that's where it's broached.  Pat's response "oh?" doesn't sound like he was talking about it anywhere earlier.

3) Patterico makes clear he's not signing on to anything unlawful.  

Jeff says this is 'covering his bases'.  Well, it's also what Pat actually said.  If Jeff's just going to insist that Patterico was lying in the chat log, we are no longer relying on the chat log as a source.  We're relying on Jeff's good faith ability to divine Patterico's mental state.  I think the literal interpretation of what Pat said makes more sense.

But Barrett says:
"what if it's legal... but"
That's the payoff intended from the clips being where they were.  It's telling that the worst parts aren't Patterico.  If there was something actually showing what they would insinuate, they would have posted it.  "Legal... but" could mean having a Google employee manually reduce the rank of the smears (or anything creative but not illegal).  I guess it could mean another google bomb of Patterico's name, associating him with something more innocuous.   Legal doesn't mean hacking or harassing people. Let's look again at Jeff's summary.

a state prosecutor, in an online chat with a rather dubious character, broached the idea of using the hacker group Anonymous to harm me, my site, and so my livelihood — and left it up to Barrett and those he said he’d contact in Anonymous to decide on the actual mischief to be done, because, as the prosecutor notes in the chat, he doesn’t want to hear in advance about anything illegal.

Nearly every aspect of this summary is incorrect.   Pat did not broach, did not mention any harm to Jeff's website, self, or career, and repeatedly disclaimed anything illegal.  Pat did not say he merely didn't want to hear about crimes in advance.  He disclaimed anything illegal from happening at all, and his comments plainly related to reducing the impact of Jeff's google bomb. 

Barrett on the other hand... he seemed to want to steer the conversation elsewhere, but oddly doesn't 'go there' on his own.  It sounds to me like he was trying to goad Patterico into asking for some kind of illicit favor.  He wasn't able to, but I guess he can pretend he did and at least one guy will buy it.

Yeah, I'll grant Jeff's right that Patterico was likely telling many people he had a problem with Jeff's behavior.  Contacting employers and google bombs aren't cool.  I think the entire conservative blogosphere hates that feud.  Jeff's behavior doesn't hold a candle to the evil that Patterico has faced more recently, and it doesn't hold a candle to what Jeff's family had to deal with either.  Let's go back to ignoring eachother.


In Honor of Carl Delong

It's blog about Brett Kimberlin day.  Thanks, Lee Stranahan, for a great idea.

Brett took a great man from his family in the most grueling and tragic fashion.  It's easiest to understand Brett Kimberlin if one takes a good look at what he is capable of.  Carl Delong, a Vietnam veteran promoted to Major, was just thirty nine when Brett Kimberlin ripped his body apart with a bomb hidden in a gym bag.  His wife suffered an extremely painful severed artery. 

Pictured: Carl Delong as paramedics respond to the scene.

Photo Credit: Indystar.com.

Brett’s motivation seems to have been to distract from another crime.  Many, myself included, are convinced he murdered Julia Scyphers and set bombs to get away with that crime.  Brett's selfish reasons don’t change what the Delong family went through.

Even though Brett’s attacks on my friends have been recent, I can’t help but focus on Carl Delong today.  He deserves to be remembered and respected.  Carl Delong loved his family, but the physical and emotional pain he suffered led him to alcohol, outbursts, and regrets.  You can tell he tried as hard as he could, but the suffering he endured won the fight.  He wasn’t asking for much out of life.  He wanted to raise his kids and love his wife.  Brett stole so much from his family.

After learning he was going to lose his remaining leg, and after many surgeries and complications, Carl committed suicide by carbon monoxide, ending the misery.  In the ensuing wrongful death suit, Brett petitioned to have pain and suffering kept out of the discussion.  He doesn't get to do the same here.  Many are discussing his lawfare.  I want to focus on Carl.

Carl David Delong's last thoughts were in letters to his family.  He went by the name David to his closest.   Read his love for his wife and children and learn about how fatherhood remained when everything else was gone:

I am going to write several things that may not make sense. But I'm trying to do my best, whatever you think of me or don't think of me. I want you to know that I do love you. I love DeDe Steve Eddy & Melissa very much. This sounds like an easy way out but it's not.
I have done you so many misjudgement' and I don't know how else to set it straight. Don't think of me too bad, because I am not all that tough or bad. Sometimes people that live together take each other for granted. I guess that's the way I have been doing to you. I don't have any real explanation for my actions and I don't expect you to understand them. Please try to love me a little.

Love you  David
You have been a wonderful wife and Mother and I know I don't deserve you and you sure didn't deserve me. 


Carl wanted his wife, Sandra Delong, to know he was sorry if he made her feel taken for granted.  I can only imagine how difficult it was for the physically-fit Carl to lose so much function and then rely on his wife to care for him.  At the same time, he was battling resentment and anger over his injuries and Brett's ability to elude responsibility.  Carl wanted to make sure she knew he appreciated her taking the burden.  He wanted her to love him in spite of his failings, which I am sure were quite human.  When we fail, it’s often those closest that we take it out on.    
Brett stole so much from Sandra, but he also stole from Carl assurance that he was loved.  Carl was a man who consistently took responsibility, even when it would have been reasonable to pass responsibility entirely to Brett (which I encourage everyone to do).

One day your Mom and Grand Ma will tell you about me. I hope that when you grow older your Mom and Dad will read this to you. Melissa I love you like I do some little blonde headed girl that your Grand Mother and I knew when she was little, your Mother.
 Your Grand Pa
Carl’s granddaughter who he never got to see grow up.  All he wanted to send her was love.
Take care of DeDe and Melissa, just use your common sense and you will be allright. Take care Ed.
Eddy was Carl’s son in law.  His last thoughts were encouragement and a request that his beloved daughter and granddaughter be looked after.  Carl’s last thoughts were selfless.  Fatherhood is defined, to me, as lifting others into a position of responsibility.  I think Carl would have agreed, but he may add how he emphasized love.

I know what you think of me, and I am sorry for that. Don't ever cut your self short. Take care of Melissa and every now and then give Eddy a prod not too hard, but gently. DeDe I'm sorry everything turned out this way. I really and truly did not want it to. In one way or another just try to love me a little.
I will always be your

Again Carl’s need to be loved is tragic and moving.  Brett stole so much from this man.  Carl was sorry to his daughter for his inability to cope with suffering few of us could cope with any better than he did.

Just want you to understand son. I don't know what to really say except, Steve I am very proud of you and I hope you never make the mistakes that your Dad has. Forgive me please Steve, take care of your Mother she needs you very much.
Love Ya,
P.S. Keep on with your band one of these days you will make it.

Carl shows that essential skill of fatherhood in encouraging his son while giving his son responsibility.  Carl’s last thought was that his wife, Sandra, be looked after.  I can only imagine how Carl felt.  He was unable to take care of his family anymore.  There were so many expenses and so much difficulty caring for him, and he had news that he was going to lose his remaining leg.  Constant painful and expensive surgery to remove shrapnel from Brett Kimberlin’s bomb plagued Carl until his death.

Carl Delong, I honor you for your selfless service to our country, and much more I honor you for your love of your family who I am sure loves you still today.