The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which focuses on constitutional law, announced today it is providing legal representation to a top conservative blogger and his organization that represents many other bloggers who are facing threats and intimidation tactics by those opposed to their viewpoint.
“Free speech is under attack,” said Jay Sekulow, ACLJ Chief Counsel. “Conservative writers are now facing threats against themselves, their families, and their livelihoods merely because they’ve aggressively investigated the history and funding of radical liberals. The ACLJ has a long history of successfully defending free speech, and we look forward to defeating this latest attempt to threaten and intimidate conservatives into silence.”
The issue involves targeting a number of conservative bloggers with a dangerous and illegal tactic that’s become known as SWAT-ing – (making false 911 calls sending police to the homes of bloggers, claiming a crime has occurred.) The tactic is used in retaliation for posts the conservative bloggers have written.
The ACLJ is representing Ali Akbar, a top blogger and president of the National Bloggers Club, a coalition of conservative bloggers which reaches millions of readers. Akbar has seen his mother’s home photographed and placed on the internet. He has also received formal notification that he may soon be sued for publishing truthful information about radical liberals and their wealthy donors.
“I’m grateful for the support of the ACLJ, and I’m confident we’ll defeat any and all legal challenges to our fundamental right to free speech,” said Akbar. “We will not be deterred in our quest for the truth.”
Congressman Marchant writes this on his website:
Congressman Kenny Marchant (TX-24) today issued a statement in strong support of free speech and conservative bloggers who are being targeted in dangerous “SWAT-tings” and asked Attorney General Holder to investigate these matters to see if federal laws have been violated by the perpetrators.
Recent reports of SWAT-tings have gripped the attention of the conservative blogosphere and are making their way to more mainstream media outlets. SWAT-tings are elaborate schemes whereby the perpetrator calls a local police department to report a violent occurrence inside the target’s residence. Unbeknownst to the target, authorities have been summoned and police units swarm the residence. These hoaxes are dangerous and are being used by suspicious characters to harass and suppress free speech, particularly that of conservative bloggers.
“I have written a letter demanding Attorney General Holder and the Justice Department fully investigate these SWAT-tings. These hoaxes are clearly intended to silence speech and rational political discourse and incite fear amongst those associated with a targeted blogger. These incidents also spread local law enforcement resources thinly. Any attempt to suppress free speech is one that ought to be taken seriously, and I will lend my voice and support to this cause to ensure that no one’s constitutional rights are violated, no matter what their political beliefs are. No one should be subjected to this treatment and I will not allow SWAT-tings to go unaddressed by the Justice Department.”
A letter has been sent to the Attorney General demanding an investigation into SWAT-tings. The full text of the letter to Attorney General Holder is printed below and a copy of the letter is attached.
Thank you ACLJ and Rep Marchant for protecting free speech!