I was flying to Alderaan when I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of web URLs suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced…

Actually, I was enjoying a Friday evening at home when suddenly Ken White, the blogging lawyer known as Popehat, started drunk-tweeting me about a story that he apparently wanted me to cover, but which he refused to specify. Spurred thusly to lean on my contacts for a clue to White’s…odd behavior, this week I encountered an unusual reticence to speak candidly, but I did receive one small hint in the form of a link that doesn’t work anymore.

In fact, as I realized yesterday, a bunch of my old, annotated, bookmarked links suddenly aren’t working anymore.

There’s this one, and this one, and this one, all of which were part of the right wing smear campaign against Brett Kimberlin. Remember how a large portion of the conservative blogosphere went nuts over an evidence-free conspiracy theory for ‘Everybody Blog About Brett Kimberlin Day’ in May of 2012? A rather large chunk of that peculiar online hysteria has winked out of existence during just the last few days at RedState.com and Ace.mu.nu, two sites that Kimberlin had sued as part of his omnibus litigation strategy.

A few weeks ago, Kimberlin’s legal efforts against the architects of the smear were pressing inexorably towards on-the-record disclosure of the real name of ‘Ace of Spades,’ potentially solving some long-running mysteries while dispelling Ace’s ‘air of mystery.’ It seemed to me then that the matter was all but finished, yet the now-missing URLs strongly suggest that the pseudonymous blogger has reached a settlement with Kimberlin, after all.

Contacted for this story, Kimberlin also declined to comment on either Ace, Erickson, or RedState, which is a good indication that nondisclosure arrangements now exist with those parties.

One source, who spoke off the record, also hinted at a substantial monetary settlement, but no details are forthcoming.

Erickson’s Red State website has also deleted at least five posts that mention Kimberlin or promote the blogwar waged against him. The post bandwagoning a congressional investigation of the hoax is gone; so is the triumphant post about GOP congressmen asking Attorney General Eric Holder to ‘investigate’ it.

Sources told BU some time ago that Erickson was eager to settle matters with Kimberlin in hopes of entering the 2016 election year without the baggage of ‘old business’ left over from the 2012 race. If true, it now appears that Erickson, who appeared on CNN to tout the ‘SWATing’ story which stood at the heart of the smear campaign against Kimberlin, has achieved the closure he reportedly wanted.

Ace of Spades has deleted his accusations that Kimberlin harasses conservative bloggers; removed his call to revoke the nonprofit status of Kimberlin’s Justice Through Music Project; snuffed his appeal for an unconstitutional bill of attainder; erased his endorsements of, and plugs for donations to, lunatic lawyer Aaron Walker; and axed all the articles where he uncritically deferred to the authority of Los Angeles Assistant District Attorney John Patrick Frey, better known as Patterico.

Frey still faces trial in Kimberlin’s federal ‘color of law’ suit for having used his office to lend public credence to the conspiracy theory — as well as lobbying the FBI to investigate it.

The last time a similar internet scrubbing occurred, the American Spectator deleted articles about Kimberlin by Robert Stacy McCain, whereupon Frey led the Kimberlin ‘scene’ in a collective spasm of outrage. This time, however, two men that Frey calls close personal friends are ending their electronic solidarity, but there is only resigned, quiet acceptance.

This time, the only noise is coming from Ken White, who has been a huge booster of Kimberlin hysteria and personally spent hundreds of thousands of dollars defending Frey from people who sue him. Yet even he can’t seem to say exactly what it is that has him so upset, which just goes to show you how hush-hush this all is.

Was White gloating that the identity of Ace will remain unknown, after all? Was he under the impression that I kneel and take holoprojector calls from Kimberlin at his whim, and wondering why I had lagged in reporting the news? Although it’s not at all clear that details of any settlement will ever emerge, or that Ken White is entirely in his right mind, BU will most definitely stay on top of this story.

  • RogerS

    It is not uncommon for people to settle rather than face discovery. In this case, apparently Ace of Spades HQ decided that he would rather pay off Mr. Kimberlin than have his identity disclosed. This should in no way be construed to mean that Ace admittedly liability. I think that Mr. Kimberlin has used the courts to identify other people in the past like Aaron Walker so AOSHQ probably saw the writing on the wall. It is pretty obvious that he and Mr. Erickson deleted their posts as part of the deal but your speculation about money is on thinner ice. Of course, it’s possible that they paid out five to seven figures. But is also possible that they only removed content. The good thing is that Mr. Kimberlin is winning this case, little by little. How many defendants have now settled? Seems like a bunch. Only a matter of time before they all do.

  • HSVcoalition 4Democracy

    This is why you must still keep ‘hard’ copies.

  • Is that the sound of undies being wadded up into a bundle while still being worn? Seems to be coming from Westminster and Manassas.

  • As I tried to express in the article, there’s nothing BUT speculation to work with here.

  • For Shame Frey For Shame

    Wait, where is the shaming from Frey. Where is the Frey bully? What happened to him? Did he punk out on claiming FOR SHAME FOR SHAME those that settle their legal cases. Did he not say he wouldn’t support American Spectator and Franklin Center after they settled? Didn’t he advise that people withdraw their support of those organizations because they settled? Well, where is the shaming for Ace and Erickson and the calls for abandoning support of Red State, Erickson and Ace? Nowhere to be found, showing what a punk bitch lying sack of natural shit Frey and his minions are. They shame only those they feel like shaming, friends, of course, don’t count nor do they get shamed.

    • Iknowrite? Where are the dire threats to turn conservative institutions upside-down?

    • Boxer Rebellion

      There is the possibility that Frey and the other co-defendants were kept in the dark with regard to these two defendants settlement agreements. However, from today forward they know and frey’s bravado is notably absent.

      No matter whose side someone picked in this for their home team, settling is probably the most practical thing to do. That other defendants haven’t done it already speaks more about the motivations of the individual parties in the suit. Ace, Erickson, and Red State are successful people with something to lose should the verdict be in favor of kimberlin. McCain, Akbar, Hoge and Aaron Walker have made the lawsuit a cottage industry and see no interest in this clusterfuck coming to an end. They are rolling in donation money and their web traffic is probably 95 percent driven by the turmoil created through this lawsuit.

      Frey is on the fringe and motivated solely by hubris at this point. It’s apparent that he doesn’t think anyone is allowed to tell him no, and he can’t accept that he’s in the wrong treating civilians like human garbage as he probably does everyday in his capacity as a prosecutor.

      • Proverbial Nailhead

        You hit the nail on the proverbial head.