Christian soldiers among us

52990383I’ve got other things I need to be working on tonight, like the script for Friday’s Dreamland Tonight, but I’m obsessed with this local domestic terrorism story that I mentioned yesterday. If you aren’t familiar with the case, it revolves around a Christian militia group known as Hutaree. Early reports speculated that yesterday’s FBI raids agains the self-proclaimed “Christian warrior” group were instigated over threats made to Muslim organizations, but, according to the Grand Jury indictment (PDF), which was made public this morning, their real crime was the planning of attacks against local and state law enforcement officers (whom they supposedly refer to within their organization as “foot soldiers” of the federal government). Their plan, according to authorities, was to kill one or more police officers, and then, using bombs, wipe out several of their fellow officers when the came together for the funeral. It’s infinitely interesting stuff, from the made-up military ranks they organized under (being a Radock, it seems, is better than being a Zulif), to the fact that all seven of the indicted individuals – who have openly expressed hatred toward our government – have requested federal public defenders. And, of course, it’s all that more interesting because it’s unfolding right up the street… On that note, I’d like to share a comment that was left on Metafilter today by a fellow calling himself Huron Bob.


More information on Mark Koernke, whom the Southern Poverty Law Center lists as a leading anti-government broadcaster, can be found here.

So, now I’m just sitting back, watching all the militia folks and tea partiers try to distance themselves at breakneck speeds from this reality that they’ve all helped to create. It’s amazing to me how fast everyone is trying to paint this as some kind of bizarre aberration that couldn’t possibly have been foreseen, as though FOX News, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and all the rest of them don’t exist. This, I would argue, was inevitable.

And, completely unrelated to this Hutaree episode, I was just reading a BBC opinion piece on how civil war in America is an almost certainty. Here’s how the piece begins:

There has been an outbreak of vandalism – bricks through politicians’ windows; there have been threats of violence and a lot of violent language. Democrats, in response have begun to accuse mainstream Republican commentators of stoking up the violence, and in turn they have accused the Democrats of trying to provoke a violent reaction.

All this has made me consider in a new light something said by an oil-man who consults for one of the biggest companies in the world. Last summer he told me:

“We run a mainframe computer simulation of the global political and economic situation, modelling various outcomes of the resource crunch that begins in the back half of the 2010s. And no matter which way we tweak it, it always comes out with the same result: civil war in America in 25 years’s time”…

Also, if you get a chance, check out U-M professor Juan Cole’s most recent blog post, in which he suggests that Hutaree isn’t all that dissimilar from the Mahdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr in Iraq.

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  1. Posted March 29, 2010 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    The Christian Science Monitor has a good piece on David Brian Stone, or “Captain Hutaree,” as his men call him.

  2. Aardvark
    Posted March 29, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    In the meantime, Washtenaw County’s Bridgewater Township Supervisor Jolea Mull just seems to love the Michigan Militia, asking for their help in finding missing people.

    Could there next search be for additional Militia Babes? (

  3. Posted March 29, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    And, as long as I’m handing out links, this AlJazerra report isn’t bad.

  4. Posted March 29, 2010 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

    ahhhh there you go again giving me such warm fuzzy feelings. I think I went to high school with most of those people.

  5. Peter Larson
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    So, according to this “computer simulation” (which is likely bunk), wealthy states will withhold taxes to the fed. Then I’m to assume that states like South Carolina and Mississippi will rise up and kill people because they aren’t getting enough money from the federal government to sustain them, basically, because they didn’t get their welfare check. So much for right wing calls against big government.

  6. Posted March 30, 2010 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Yeah, I can’t defend the methodology upon which the assertion is based, Pete. I just happened across the article and thought that that it would make an interesting addition to our conversation about anti-government activity on the right. I think it’s certainly worth considering as one of many potential scenarios, however unlikely that it might be.

  7. Posted March 30, 2010 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Well, at least it’s better thought out than Panarin’s prediction for dissolution this year, with states like Utah, Idaho, and Arizona “part of China or under Chinese influence”; Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia “part of Mexico or under Mexican influence”; Alaska joining Russia; Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia joining the European Union; and a huge swath of states from Ohio to Missouri to Colorado to Montana “part of Canada or under Canadian influence”.

  8. What?!?
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Is that actor Bruce Campbell in the bottom right corner? Was he studying for a new role or something?

  9. Stella 2
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Does anyone know this Mark Koernke? I’d like to know more. I wasn’t aware that one of the most prominent broadcasters on the extreme right was living here, among us.

  10. Peter Larson
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    I’ve heard relatively well educated persons spout these Balkanization scnarios. While doomsday predictions are always sexier and easier to accept than complicated scenarios full of uninteresting and plausible unknowns in which problems are gradually modified and adjusted to compensate for societal and economic changes. The bottom line is that very few people stand to gain anything from a breakup of the US. States that secede would immediately empty their coffers trying to replace services provided by the fed (military? border security? medicare? highway funds? monitoring boards such as the EPA, FDA? educational funding?) besides the fact that the business community would go berserk given the levell of interstate commerce that occurs in this country. Would Vermont institute protectionist schemes that taxed imports of corn from Kansas to protect their corn farmers? Seriously, how would Mississippi survive without the feds? They can barely get by even with the fed’s help.

    The US, outside of the travesty known as the Civil War is far too well off and interlinked to survive a quick break up, regardless of our political squabbles. Mostly, I don’t think any sensible party would be willing to cede power to these ridiculous militia groups.

  11. Frep
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi is proposing a two-state solution as well.

  12. Kim
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I don’t know that it explains all of the anger on the right, but I just happened across this.

  13. Alan
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Well, if the Southern Poverty Law Center (the worst reactionary-left
    bilge bag in existence) lists Koernke as a “leading anti-government
    broadcaster”, then you can bet he is doing SOMETHING right, and that
    we need more like him.

    When on earth did “anti-government” start qualifying as a basis for
    suspicion of wrongdoing? Something close to the opposite of that is,
    of course, the case; witness the current shameless brazen looting of
    the country — with the full cooperation and assistance of our “public
    servants”. (Reference: Matt Taibbi’s Rolling Stone articles, and much

  14. Alan
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    From a previous post: “anecdotal evidence would, I think, tend to support
    the conclusion that there are a lot of fucking crazy right-wingers out there in
    the world today who really, honestly feel as though our government has
    been overtaken by some kind of sinister entity. ”

    Oh for God(dess)’s sake, Mark! You cannot possibly be so naive.

    Obviously, our government HAS been overtaken by “some kind of
    sinister entity”, and it happened decades ago. The U.S. has been
    hollowed-out, strip-mined and looted for many years, reaching
    a crescendo during the (catastrophic) Bush II years, and now
    reaching an incredible fortissimo under the “liberal” Obama.
    It is basically OVER, now. America is finished — an obese,
    bankrupt, and now dying empire, enjoying its last few years
    in the shade. Anyway, right-wingers may be a witless bunch, but
    they (sometimes) have good instincts, and this is an example of
    it. Yes, OF COURSE the government has been overtaken by
    sinister forces, whether or not brain-dead tea-bagger types are
    capable of recognizing and articulating the details.

  15. cultureshock
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Whooo boy, I’m sad to say that I live 30 miles from where this’s been quite a culture shock (one of the worst is how the old timers and some of the young timers throw around the word Jew, not in a positive manner either and NO, I’m not kidding) still after growing up in Ypsi and then moving into Lenawee County that’s for sure. I have been wasting my time at work today looking up crap about this fear that I’ve passed them sometime at the mall and hoping that because I don’t look the least bit aryan, I’m not targeted for something.
    As an aside, I’m sure some of you have seen the wedding pictures that have been floating around with this group (think Camoflauge suits, cult like armbands ,black wedding dress, camo-printed ceiling tile and rifles, oh all taking place in a basement) If you haven’t here they are:

    All I can say is nothing says wedding then a 3 year old with an assualt rifle. Enjoy!

  16. Posted March 30, 2010 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    ‘U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade clarified that the arrests were not “an attack on militia groups in general. These groups have a right to organize.

    “This group (The Hutaree) is really an extreme group that is focused on killing police officers. That, to me, is a very big distinction.”‘

    I think Mark Koernke used to be bigger than he is now. The militia people I know use his name as a byword for a chicken-little type bullshitter that no one should take seriously. They laugh at him. I’ve seen other militia people on discussion forums considering him the same way, for what it’s worth. There are people like that in the militia movement, who seem to just enjoy making shit up. And there are people that laugh at them. It’s not very monolithic at all.

  17. Woody Lefurge
    Posted March 30, 2010 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Here’s hoping that in the future, the militias who are serious about protecting citizens, have the wisdom to do more than laugh off lunatics and instead take their threat seriously and report it?

    The chicken little shits are the ones that wipe out Amish schoolchildren and DC commuters. A little self-policing by the militias, before the fact, rather than scrambling to distance themselves after, will go a long way in building their credibility.

    Personally, when I imagine the potential loss of lives, the widows and orphans, that could have come from this, I don’t see the humor. The Hutarees seemed to have the idea that they were or would be supported by other militias. Perhaps if someone had had the balls to laugh in their face?

  18. Posted March 30, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    I really couldn’t tell you, Woody. I was talking about laughing at Koernke (who’s not a Hutaree member, to my knowledge) to answer Stella 2’s question. I have no idea what who did or didn’t do or know regarding the Hutaree, or whether they’re even guilty or not. I’m reading that people were shunning them before all this went down because the Hutaree said they were the enemy too if they didn’t support their religious thing, but I wasn’t there. Sorry I can’t give you more info, but I just don’t have it.

    I’m not sure I’m picking up what you’re putting down about the Amish schoolchildren and DC commuters.

  19. EOS
    Posted March 31, 2010 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    The bullshit is getting pretty deep on this site. Mark Koernke lives in Dexter and used to work at U of M. His claim to fame was broadcasting a nightly program on shortwave that was similar to Art Bell in many aspects, with a large amount of discussion about conspiracy theories. He spent some time in jail in recent years because he took off in his car in an attempt to elude police when he was surrounded by undercover agents. The police claimed that they thought he was a suspect in a bank robbery and just wanted to question him. Seems the multi-jurisdictional forces didn’t realize who he was, but the large number of police surrounding him freaked Mark out. Mark was a victim of his own paranoia, but never advocated violence or governmental overthrow that I know of. This “violent extremist” probably peed his pants during the chase, hence the laughter of real militia groups.

  20. Dirtgrain
    Posted March 31, 2010 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Perhaps there was some “self-policing.” How did the FBI find out about the plotting? Maybe some informed on them.

    I’m not sure how we can expect self-policing from militias. They are not necessarily united (or monolithic as Black Jake points out) or connected. That some groups practice with other groups does not necessarily give one group insights on the ideology and plots of the other.

  21. Tim
    Posted March 31, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know about Hutaree, but I do know one thing. LL Cool J hates America.

  22. Posted March 31, 2010 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    If Cool J hates America, I guess Toby Keith does too.

  23. Posted April 2, 2010 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Yeah, but this guy REALLY hates America:

  24. Posted May 5, 2010 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Looks like the Hutaree are all out on bond. Makes me wonder if there really isn’t all that much evidence they were going to kill people after all. Or maybe they’re just really charming.

  25. Edward
    Posted May 5, 2010 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    As least they waited until Obama was out of the state. And I’ve heard that they all have to wear electronic tethers.

  26. Meta
    Posted May 11, 2010 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    It looks like they’re keeping them locked up for the time being in spite of the earlier ruling.

  27. Posted May 11, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Looking at the photos above, which member of Hutaree do you think would be the most likely to sit down with a puppet to be interviewed?

  28. Posted November 13, 2011 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I was thinking about the Hutaree recently, which brought me to this page.

    It’s interesting that a year and half ago people were seriously entertaining the idea of another Civil War.

    Now, instead, we’re subjected to daily updates on Herman Cain.

  29. Posted November 13, 2011 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    It’s far from over, Pete. I just posted something here a week or so ago about a militia group planning to kill ATF agents and gas urban areas with ricin.

    What happen to Hutaree? Were they all released pending the court case? Are you still living next door, Pete?

  30. anonymous
    Posted March 27, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    The Hutaree members were acquitted today. I guess, if you’re white and Christian, you can plan to kill cops, as long as you don’t actually do it.

    So, who has a great plan for killing cops that they’d like to share?

One Trackback

  1. By Alleged domestic terrorists thwarted in Georgia on November 2, 2011 at 9:29 pm

    […] Christian militia folks from here in Michigan that were locked up not too long ago for allegedly plotting to kill state and local law enforcement officers? Well, it looks as though something similar is unfolding right now in Georgia, where four […]

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