Return of the Militias: Southern Poverty Law Center

12 08 2009

In Pensacola, Fla., retired FBI agent Ted Gunderson tells a gathering of antigovernment “Patriots” that the federal government has set up 1,000 internment camps across the country and is storing 30,000 guillotines and a half-million caskets in Atlanta.

They’re there for the day the government finally declares martial law and moves in to round up or kill American dissenters, he says. “They’re going to keep track of all of us, folks,” Gunderson warns.

That’s just my state, are you paying attention in yours?

THEY’RE BACK. . .

One law enforcement agency has found 50 new militia training groups — one of them made up of present and former police officers and soldiers. Authorities around the country are reporting a worrying uptick in Patriot activities and propaganda.

“This is the most significant growth we’ve seen in 10 to 12 years,” says one. “All it’s lacking is a spark. I think it’s only a matter of time before you see threats and violence.”

A key difference this time is that the federal government — the entity that almost the entire radical right views as its primary enemy — is headed by a black man. That, coupled with high levels of non-white immigration and a decline in the percentage of whites overall in America, has helped to racialize the Patriot movement, which in the past was not primarily motivated by race hate. One result has been a remarkable rash of domestic terror incidents since the presidential campaign, most of them related to anger over the election of Barack Obama.

At the same time, ostensibly mainstream politicians and media pundits have helped to spread Patriot and related propaganda, from conspiracy theories about a secret network of U.S. concentration camps to wholly unsubstantiated claims about the president’s country of birth. . .

To that last point, have you seen yet why the brother of Democratic party leader and medical doctor Howard Dean, is now petitioning mainstream news channel CNN to get Lou Dobb’s terrorist fringe hate speech expelled from our mainstream media? Hint: it’s not his tiresome anti-immigrant agitating or even his birth certificate conspiracy stoking. No, considering that loaded guns are showing up at health care town meetings after another doctor was murdered in cold blood by a domestic terrorist inflamed by just such mainstream media demonizing and targeting, any reasonable person would tend to agree, it’s getting worse.

That’s not just un-American, it’s irresponsible and dangerous.
. . .This isn’t just about my brother Howard; this is about the America we all want to live in. . .

Jim Dean, Chair
Democracy for America

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24 responses

12 08 2009
JJ

You would think they’d be more careful with their language though, wouldn’t you, than Dobbs or the rest have been and more than what I just saw on a wacko militia-homeschool blog self-righteously draping itself in bunting and calling itself patriotic (and “Rational” too, a la Objectivism? — bwa-hahahah!)

On a whole list of Dick Armey et al corporate lobby orchestrated-for-hire astroturf events:
“Jim Himes and Chris Dodd are targeted in Connecticut. “

12 08 2009
Crimson Wife

Aren’t militias specifically protected by the 2nd Amendment?

I’m far less concerned about the hypothetical threat of violence stemming from a bunch of ex-soldiers and policemen than with the spillover of Mexican narco-terrorism that’s actually occurring…

12 08 2009
Crimson Wife

Drat, that link did not work. Trying again: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/23/us/23border.html

12 08 2009
JJ

ACTUALLY OCCURRING is exactly the fringe violence we’re talking about, you know, like shootings and killings for political hysteria — like doctors in clinics, Holocaust museum security guards, liberals in church!

12 08 2009
JJ

Maybe the word “militia” is like so many other political concepts, as Ben Franklin explains in the musical 1776? 😉

Dr. Benjamin Franklin:
A rebellion is always legal in the first person, such as “our rebellion.” It is only in the third person – “their rebellion” – that it becomes illegal.

So “my militia” is made of patriots defending America but in the third person, “their militia” is the Taliban terrorizing us all.

12 08 2009
JJ

Hmmm, and ACTUALLY, what’s specified in the second amendment is a “well-regulated militia” which doesn’t apply to anyone’s domestic political protest against constitutionally operating government. In fact, ACTUALLY it was meant to keep the common peace (formerly the King’s peace) and to avoid having a standing army or “national guard” or in some places even a paid police force! Now of course we have plenty of both on a professional, well-regulated and tax-payer supported basis.

And if I remember my history minor well enough, the first real use of America’s post constitutional militia was *against* tax rebels, to put down their insurrection. For the people, against the violent, lawbreaking fringe.

(Pardon the caps for a word that Sarah Palin has ruined for me. . .)

12 08 2009
Crimson Wife

Explain to me please why one incident of an extremist murdering someone in cold blood over political differences gets a huge amount of media attention and bloggers getting all up in arms, and another incident that occurred on the SAME DAY did not. The first, of course, was the murder of abortionist Dr. Tiller. The second was the murder of Pvt. William Long outside a military recruiting station in Little Rock, AR by Abdulhakim Muhammad.

“Mr. Muhammad … advised that his intent was to kill as many people in the Army as he could,” according to Little Rock police Detective Robert A. Martin.

During the court proceeding Tuesday, Deputy Prosecutor Scott Duncan said Muhammad told investigators that “he would have killed more soldiers had they been in the parking lot.”

Sounds like a “hate crime” to me!

12 08 2009
JJ

I don’t have to choose between terrorists to condemn. I can condemn them all at the same time, and the political forces that breed them and exploit them, and I urge all Americans to do the same!

12 08 2009
Nance Confer

They were both hate crimes. But weren’t they of the “lone wolf” variety? The well or just-slightly organized militia seems to me to be a different thing. A thing that can exist but can’t act outside the rule of law. So we have these groups of wound up gun owners egging each other on with wild talk — guillotines? wtf? — until one or a few of them actually does something hateful and murderous. Great plan.

Nance

12 08 2009
JJ

Btw I keep hearing this “equivalency defense” so let me just opt out of it right now. Howard Kurtz quoted it this way in his last WaPo column:

There seems to be the impression in my profession that comparisons of Bush with Hitler were to be expected, but not of Obama with Hitler. That’s below the belt.”

For me it started with the blatantly unconstitutional political violence done to Terri Schiavo as an independent American private citizen. Nance and I didn’t have this blog yet then, but at least two-and-a-half years ago I can prove I already was disturbed by political excess I understand can lead to demented violence, because I said so here — and illustrated my point with a protest sign of Bush as Hitler from an otherwise unrelated event.

We all together, all of us as “we the people” need to hang together on this if we don’t want to devolve into third-world country civil war and as America’s founders assured us, hang separately hoist on our own petard (something like that.)

12 08 2009
Nance Confer

Surely we could at least rally around something better than extreme wacko spoutings about guillotines and death panels.

Nance

12 08 2009
JJ

Well, I was kinda thinking we’d all rally against them, not around them! 😉

12 08 2009
JJ

Just saw this columnist say the same thing, much better than I did:

Exhortations to the right wing base to take armed political action against the Obama administration are far from idle talk–but instead reflect a deeply developed ideology that has been actively promoted by the National Rifle Association and other gun lobby groups for the past 30 years. It holds that the Second Amendment provides individuals with the right to commit acts of violence against our government should it lapse into “tyranny,” effectively making firearms “the tools of political dissent.”

Or as NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre put it at this year’s Conservative Political Action Conference, “The guys with the guns make the rules.”

The problem is that there are already a substantial number of well-armed Americans who believe our democratically-elected government has become oppressive.

A commitment to political equality is our most sacred American value, and one that should be protected against all attempts at intimidation or violence. This was well understood by our nation’s early leaders . . .

GEO WASHINGTON: “. . .the Constitution which at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly obligatory upon all. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish Government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established Government.”

Put simply, once the Constitution was ratified, our Founding Fathers did not take kindly to insurrectionists.

This year has already been marred by a series of horrific shootings involving individuals who hated our government and believed they had a constitutional right to strike against it: Richard Poplawski in Pittsburgh, James von Brunn in the District of Columbia, Scott Roeder in Wichita, Gilbert Ortez, Jr. in Texas, etc.

With tensions escalating at town halls across the country, the overwhelming majority of Americans who wish to peacefully exercise their First Amendment rights must speak out against the violent, insurrectionist philosophy that has corrupted the Second Amendment.

12 08 2009
JJ

You won’t even need your dog whistles for this welcome letter at “Our Country Deserves Better” PAC. It’s all perfectly plain-talk.

worse for America
we’re under assault
against our consent taxes are being raised
government take-over
join our fight

When Barack Obama won the presidential campaign of 2008 along with sizable Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, we knew things were going to get worse for America.
We just didn’t know how bad it would be – but it’s becoming clearer and clearer with each day.

We’re under assault from liberals in Congress who have gone on a spending spree to the tune of over $10 trillion. Taxpayer-funded bailouts have been passed against our consent. Taxes are being raised. Our government is trying to run the affairs of private businesses. And now Obama-Pelosi-Reid want to have the government take over our health care choices.

Our Country Deserves Better and we ask you to join our fight for conservative beliefs as we strive to make this a better and brighter America.

12 08 2009
JJ

That site links to this, from a country tea party anthem singer last month, casting the new governing philosophy as deadly virus, elected politicians generally as traitors (betrayers) and President Obama as hijacker of American freedom AND CULTURE! — all of them therefore outright “trash” to be thrown out America’s back door by the rightful homeowners apparently (echoing Michelle Obama called trash in the white house, by radio shock jock Tammy Bruce?):

Spread by casual contact, political correctness has been allowed to infect many areas of our lives. Politicians on both sides of the aisle have betrayed our values and principles.

The Obama administration epitomizes EVERYTHING wrong with big government and politics. Obama’s overreaching into the private sector, outrageous spending, hijacking of our freedom, liberty and culture is the “straw that broke the camel’s back”. Finally, the once silent majority has said, “ENOUGH”! Time to take out the trash and TAKE BACK AMERICA!

13 08 2009
NanceConfer

For a silent majority, they sure are loud.

Nance

13 08 2009
Kristina

“For a silent majority, they sure are loud.”

That’s the point.

13 08 2009
JJ

I’m pretty sure Nance’s point (not the disaffected mob’s) was that “silent” is obviously not true and even absurd, and in the same way, the “majority” part is absurdly untrue too. Indeed the majority of what’s so absurdly not silent right now is absurdly untrue.

So I think I agree with your point too Kristina, the way you meant it. Very French Revolution. (Hmm, we could be onto something, guillotine rumors and we’ve had Jim DeMint’s Waterloo deathwish against the president‘s agenda of economic reforms we the people still desperately need, if not quite daring to openly wish his exile or literal head on the block. . .)

A small, loud, self-righteous mob hates government and especially government taxes, so it wants the public executions to ensue, anyone will do, let the blood run in the streets! But then what? — since they obviously cannot govern themselves much less the greatest nation on earth after they kill off our duly elected constitutional government, what then?

I need a little academic sleuth to think more about this, goody! We probably should look up what happened in France (after their inevitable military dictator stepped into their vacuum of governance, that is — wasn’t Napolean more Gingrich than Obama, ooh and NG just became Catholic so like France 200 years ago he could be both Church and State in ruling and plundering, this is making sense as a plot! — and spent the national treasure on foreign wars and then fell at Waterloo.) Is where modern France wound up really better than how the USA has progressed? Is that what the mob wants us to hear and heed, their desire for us to be more French?

17 08 2009
JJ

Predictably it escalates until we (usually too late) have the will to stop it:

Man carrying semi-automatic assault rifle and pistol outside Obama AZ event

Why? Good question.

A man, who decided not to give his name, was walking around the pro-health care reform rally at 3rd and Washington streets, with a pistol on his hip, and an AR-15 (a semi-automatic assault rifle) on a strap over his shoulder.

“Because I can do it,” he said when asked why he was armed. “In Arizona, I still have some freedoms.”

Two police officers were staying very close to the man.

“What he is doing is perfectly legal,” Det. J. Oliver, of the Phoenix Police Department said. “We are here to keep the peace. If we need to intervene, we will intervene at that time.”

29 04 2010
mike w.

OH NO! A black man exercises both his 1st AND 2nd Amendment rights in tandem and does so peacefully while at no time threatening the President or anyone else present at the protest.

So, you think we have to stop people from peacefully and lawfully exercising their rights?

Why?

29 04 2010
NanceConfer

Why you don’t see carrying weapons like this as a threat is really the question.

Nance

29 04 2010
JJ

“Mike W.” has mere moments here before I will ban him administratively. He and I are tangling in a Tea Party debate at Southern Female Lawyer in which he has been dismissive and derisive toward yours truly, both personally and as a citizen who disagrees with his crap generally, in a discussion he and a meat puppet buddy have intentionally turned into a gun rights fight, apparently because that is all they know.

Check Snook’s comment policy:

Comment Policy
Commenting here is a privilege, not a right. We do not suffer trolls, fools, and spam gladly. You are always responsible for your own comments but we don’t promise to publish anything and everything that comes in. For anyone we’d welcome to the conversation here, that should be nuff said.

29 04 2010
Nance Confer

Ban him or not. Makes no difference to me. But here’s a link for your thinking pleasure.

Nance

************************

What If the Tea Party Were Black?
Imagine that hundreds of black protesters descended on DC armed with AK-47s. Would they be defended as patriotic Americans?

http://www.alternet.org/story/146616/what_if_the_tea_party_were_black

*******************

29 04 2010
JJ

Excellent! Thanks partner.

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