Sedition in the USA

Reading a thread on Metafilter just now on the release from jail of three Hutaree militia members, I followed a link to an article on Ornicus that I’d previously overlooked. Here, in hopes that you might find it as interesting as I did, is a clip:

…These escalating armed demonstrations, accompanied by belligerent sloganeering, are a clear signal that these folks are done talking — and, worse, have already decided that democracy is futile, and taking up arms is the only appropriate response to the threats we now face. They’re carrying weapons to scare us weak-kneed girly libs into submission, and to show us they mean business. Growing up in gun country, I was taught at my daddy’s knee that when someone says they’re going to shoot you, it’s always smart to take them at their word and handle yourself accordingly. Right now, I think that’s good advice for anybody in America who considers themselves a member of the reality-based community.

But it’s not just armed individuals. They’re also busily forming armed groups, which are gearing up for a fight. For the past five years, armed Minutemen have been usurping the job of the US Border Patrol. And within the past year, according to the SPLC, the number of right-wing militias has more than doubled to over 500, many of which present themselves as alternative law-enforcement posses that are adjunct to the ones staffed by the county sheriffs.

What these groups are telling us is that they no longer recognize the government’s sole franchise on the use of force; and they’re actively organizing to seize and exercise at least some of that power for themselves.

Most alarming of all: some of these right-wing warriors have advanced to the point of actual target acquisition. This should worry us, because law enforcement and terrorism experts know that when groups like this get to where they’re settling on specific targets, they’ve reached the final stages of gearing up for violent confrontation.

When Bernard Goldberg wrote a book listing the “100 people who are destroying America” — which included some government officials — he was writing a target list with seditious intent. (And at least one guy took him up on it, in his own deranged way.)

When the “spiritual warriors” of the Transformations movement proudly announce that they’ve mapped every town in America — literally creating target maps of “demonic activity” that pinpoint government offices, non-Evangelical houses of worship, clinics, theaters, Indian mounds and sites; or even just households with Muslims, neo-pagans, Goth-baby teenagers, or Obama stickers on their cars — they’re putting us on notice that they’ve identified the specific people and places that need to be “cleansed” in order to purify their communities. According to researchers Rachel Tabachnik and Bruce Wilson, these “transformation” attempts have already become government-level issues in New Jersey, Arizona, Texas, and Hawaii.

At present, they claim that they’re only mapping their neighborhoods so they can pray over us all; and their attempts to take over local government are being done by purely democratic means. But, as has often happened before (yes, the Nazis started out just this way), the day may come when they’ll decide that mere prayer and organizing is not enough. Like any street gang, they’ve taken proprietary responsibility for a piece of turf; and they believe God is holding them accountable for everything that happens there. The resulting performance pressure is a perfect setup to justify more aggressive cleansing tactics if they can’t convert the town by peaceful means.

And some of these groups have already effectively crossed the line, in spirit if not in prosecutable fact. When the Christian dominionists train up “Joel’s Army” by sending their sons to the US armed services so they can get the combat experience they’ll need to set up a worldwide theocracy, that’s evidence of an active plan to effect an armed government takeover. When senior US military officers put their commitment to Jesus ahead of their commitment to uphold the Constitution and regard the military as God’s force in the world, we should be very afraid.

For years now, we’ve dismissed all of this as crazy talk, the rantings of a loony fringe that will never get enough traction to become a material threat to our democracy. But we’re well past the point where it’s no longer quaint and funny, or an embarrassing breach of democratic etiquette that polite people should just ignore.

It’s time to confront the sobering fact that the entire right wing — including the GOP establishment, which encourages, endorses, and echoes these sentiments almost every time its officials appear in public — is now issuing nearly constant invitations to criminal sedition. They’re creating a climate and using language that lowers their base’s inhibitions around violence — and irresponsibly eggs on the handful of sociopaths in their midst who are already primed to kill. They’ve given their newly-expanded corps of flying monkeys permission to brandish their guns in public, empowered their militias, promised them glory, and are now telling them explicitly which targets to hit…

And it may or may not be related, but a pipe bomb went off at a north Florida mosque recently.

[This post was brought to you by the Fort Hood Spiritual Fitness Center.]

This entry was posted in Civil Liberties, Other, Politics, Religious Extremism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Kim
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    We are fucked. I’m serious. We are fucked. That video of the Spiritual Fitness Center blew my mind. I’d like to follow the Joel’s Army link too, but I’m afraid of what I’ll find on the other side.

  2. Edward
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    I support building a massive wall, but not at the US/Mexico border.

  3. elviscostello
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Today on the Thayrone X show on WAAM, one of his callers advocated that the military follow their oath to protect and defend the constitution and remove Obama as President. I called and asked if Thayrone understood that the caller was advocating a military coup d’etat of the elected government. He made excuse, said that he advocated that the Dems get beat in 2010 and 2012, but said that he never heard the caller say that.

  4. Posted May 20, 2010 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for calling, Mr. Costello. I listen to Thayrone’s show on the way home from work sometimes, and it makes me furious, but I never follow through and actually call. Maybe next time I will.

    And it doesn’t surprise me at all to hear that some in his audience feel as though Obama should be removed from office by force. If you listen to his show for even one day, you’ll see that this is exactly the kind of thing he’s filling them full of. He may not say himself that Obama should be marched out of the White House a gunpoint, but he sure as hell says that he’s an enemy of the American people. And that’s just one baby step away from advocating coup d’etat.

  5. elviscostello
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Yesterday, as I passed the Saline post office, I saw three African-Americans with protest signs. When I got closer I could see that one of the signs had “Impeach Obama” and a picture of the President with a Hitler mustache. I stopped and asked the guy holding the sign if he was serious, did he actually compare Obama to the mastermind of the genocide of 6 million Jews? He said, obviously you don’t want to have a serious discussion. I looked at his table and saw that they were LaRouchites. I laughed and walked away. I stopped to see my sister last night (we disagree on pretty much everything) and told her that I had seen these guys. She said she did too, and had given them a “thumbs up”. I swear, I seriously don’t know where the hell this country is headed, but if these folks get power again, I am worried.

  6. Peter Larson
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Those guys were in Ann Arbor a few weeks ago. They are worse than the fleabaggers.

  7. Edward
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Yeah, they were set up in front of a bank on South University. I wanted to videotape them talking about their nonsense, but then I figured it might do more harm than good.

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