Filed Under: OurConvictedFelonIsBetterThanYours
That's it, I'm done.
Today, it came to my attention that Paul Lemmen had been attacked by Ali Akbar, President of the National Blogger's Club, for questioning Ali's role in the entire Kimberlin affair. It then came to my attention that Lemmen received some phone calls asking him to keep quiet about the questionable background of Ali Akbar, and to ignore whatever attacks Ali threw his way, for the good of the cause of bringing Kimberlin to justice.
Now I am informed that Lemmen has shut down his blog entirely in protest of the behind-the-scenes pressure to silence his concern over Ali Akbar's role in the Kimberlin fight.
I was particularly incensed by Akbar's public and unretracted accusation that Lemmen was aiding & abetting Kimberlin et. al. by raising such concerns - which seems to me like an arrogant effort to deflect questions about himself. No apologies for keeping his criminal record secret for so many years. No effort to hand over the NBC's legal defense fund to someone without a criminal record. No. Just attack. Deflect. Call names. Apply pressure.
Yeah. Count me out on the NBC portion of the Kimberlin fight.
Full disclosure: Akbar and I have had a Hatfield-McCoy kind of thing going on for two years. I don't like him. Don't trust him. And I'm damned sure he's got nothing but negative to say about me.
Despite that, I bit my tongue. I really didn't like finding out from the bad guys about his criminal record, not after he'd jumped into the middle of this fight, a fight in which I have friends who are legitimately terrorized. People who didn't expect to be hunted by Kimberlin etc. and have been living with that terror for years. I especially didn't appreciate it when I'd been quiet on what seemed to me like an opportunistic "jump" into the fray.
So there I was, lobbying hard to get adults to step in and bring this issue to the Congress and the Senate - like a lot of other people - when I get a panicked phone call from an "important person:" "Did you know Ali Akbar is a convicted felon? How the hell can I do anything with this now?!"
Completely pulled the rug out from under me. What? I had no idea. What? I mean. Huh?
I felt burned.
Yes, I tried to caution people privately when he first stepped in that it was not a good thing for the "cause," but for that cause, I also held my peace publicly. Hell, even after the surprise revelation that Akbar was a convicted felon, I bit my public tongue.
I regret that decision.
Look, you may think it was a rotten thing for the enemy to "out" Akbar's rap sheet and other personal information. But would anyone object if David Axelrod had such a rap sheet and Sean Hannity "outed" it? What if it was the political advisor to some run-of-the-mill Congressional Democrat? How about Neal Rauha-ha-ha-hauser? Please. The bad guys have done a lot of things much worse than publishing a person's real rap sheet. Even the devil uses the truth once in a while, if it serves his purposes, and Akbar's rap sheet is a perfect example of that.
Some claim that questioning Akbar's stewardship of the NBC is to give in to the "social engineering" that Team Kimberlin is so good at. I say it's not. I say that the opposite is true. Look, ma! Conservatives are fine with convicted felons, as long as they're our convicted felons!
Let me give you my view. I submit that it was a rotten thing to withhold this information from the conservative "team" for so many years. It was a rotten thing to jump into this fight knowing full well that Kimberlin etc. live to "out" skeletons, and that they'd jump on that info to cause damage and discord in the ranks. It was a rotten thing to expect conservatives to have to defend, spin, and excuse away that hidden rap sheet. And an even more rotten thing to attack those conservatives who questioned it or voiced concern over what was happening with the money of a legal defense fund set up and controlled by a convicted felon.
Look, I'm not a collectivist. I don't care about celebrities. I don't care if someone is "important" or not. Screw Ali's political connections. You love him? Want to blacklist me? Be my guest. Won't be the first time that's happened. Been happening for two years now anyway. It's the sort of thing I think Ali likes to do to people who get crosswise with him - trash them, prevent them from getting work, and so on. I could regale you with first-hand stories I've heard, but this post is already too goddamn long.
It all adds up to a kind of Kimberlin-ey behavior sans bombs, if you ask me. He was trying to rally people to attack Lemmen on Twitter after Lemmen's withdrawal of NBC support. A few days prior, when he heard that I was privately voicing my concerns about his criminal convictions, he revved up his little Twitter flame-machine against me ("FilmIdiot," I believe he called me).
Just the sort of maturity and repentance we need in charge of a legal defense fund when dealing with the Speedway Bomber.
Y'know, I don't believe in "taking one" for a team that's devolving into little more than Mr. Ackbar's personal fiefdom, a fiefdom that didn't seem to do much for Lemmen when Kimberlin and company turned their Eye of Sauron his way. Did Lemmen get a call from the legal defense fund? If not, why not? Because he's a convicted felon? Isn't Ali Akbar, the leader and founder of the NBC, also a convicted felon? At least Lemmen wasn't hiding his convictions.
Makes me wonder - would I get any help from the NBC if I got the Eye? I mean, I'm not a convicted felon and all that.
Now ask yourself this: would you get any help from the NBC if Kimberlin and company decided to go after you? I suspect the answer is tied in to how much of a buddy you consider Akbar to be (just like his invites to be a member of NBC, and his CPAC parties). Your history as a blogger, and Kimberlin's interest in harming you, probably hasn't got much to do with it. From what I can tell it's more about kissing Akbar's ring than whatever you do as a blogger.
You know what? We're conservatives. Our hands must be clean and beyond reproach in such fights. Unlike progressives, we don't defend the indefensible. We don't say "it was just about sex," we don't say "it was a youthful indiscretion" just because someone is on "our" team. If you have a "youthful indiscretion" and you're reformed, you're up front about it. You do a Joey Pants or a Charles Dutton. You tell people what you did and you preach against such behavior. You know what you don't do?
You don't arrogantly attack people and try to silence them for being concerned about your character because of your crimes. You take your lumps and try to prove that you're a decent person - like Lemmen has been doing for some time, now. And if you've been hiding crimes, and are suddenly outed, you at the very least step down for the good of the cause. Get out of the way and let people without hidden criminal convictions take up the fight.
That is, if you really care about that cause.
Whether or not Team Kimberlin sees my refusal to join in such enabling behavior as a "victory" is the least of my concerns. Refusing to enable an unrepentant is the right thing to do, enemy propaganda be damned. They'll say and do whatever they want anyway, regardless. One might even argue that enabling makes the fight that much harder.
This is a confusing story to begin with. It can not and must not devolve into a "felon vs. felon" fight.
So I'm sorry everyone. What's right is right, and this is just wrong. I refuse to defend someone who had this picture taken only some five-to-six-odd years ago, and has hidden it:
You are all welcome to spend your time defending this without me. I'll help out deserving individuals in my own way and manner, but count me out of the herd of circled NBC "Love Ali or else" wagons, for I do believe they will go up in flames if they linger too long upon that indefensible ground. I will send people to individual tip jars, and will certainly counsel against donating to NBC until such time as someone without a hidden criminal record is in charge of its bank accounts.
Until then, good luck NBC, and see ya later!
contact ladd @ filmladd dot com