Monday, April 20, 2015

Last Call For 20 Years Later

Some 20 years after Timothy McVeigh attacked the Alfred P, Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, America has clearly forgotten that our domestic terrorism problem remains, and has forgotten at our peril.

Officers Brandon Paudert and Bill Evans never saw it coming. 
The white minivan pulled over on Interstate 40 near West Memphis, Ark., in 2010 came back registered to a church in Ohio. Inside the vehicle were a Bible and some documents quoting Scripture. 
Minutes later, Evans lay dying in the ditch and Paudert was sprawled on the roadway, their bodies tattered by two dozen bullets from an AK-47. 
The killers: members of the sovereign citizen movement, which the officers had never heard of. 
“They didn’t realize that there are people at war with this country who are not international terrorists,” said Bob Paudert, then West Memphis police chief and father of one of the slain officers. 
“These people are willing to kill and be killed for their beliefs. And they are more dangerous to us in law enforcement than international terrorists.”

But today, Republicans will attack you for even mentioning right-wing terrorist groups. All domestic terrorists are somehow radical 60's liberals. Cliven Bundy?  Who's that?  Sovereign citizen movement? White supremacist groups?  All liberals, you see.  Or they don't exist at all.  We certainly don't need to spend taxpayer money harassing these kind people.

Domestic terrorism used to be a major focus for police and federal agents, especially after the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people 20 years ago Sunday. 
But the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, led to a dramatic change: Law enforcement shifted its focus from domestic to foreign terrorism. 
And today, while the number of violent incidents committed by domestic extremists is actually increasing, the holes in the net to catch them are growing larger, The Kansas City Star found in a one-year investigation. 
A network of centers set up to detect and deter terrorism has done little of either, while at the same time federal funding to train law enforcement officers has been slashed. 
Authorities and others are beginning to raise the alarm — the same one raised after Oklahoma City. 
“Domestic terrorism was the focus after the Oklahoma City bombing,” said Daryl Johnson, a former senior analyst with the Department of Homeland Security. “Then when 9/11 happened, it became way too focused on al-Qaida and its affiliates.” 
Now, in a period of increasing extremism, the domestic danger is greater than ever, Johnson said. 
Our leaders don’t seem too concerned about the threat from within,” he said. “My fear is that there will be some kind of mass-casualty attack, with more people dying needlessly at the hands of domestic extremists. That’s what keeps me awake at night.”

Nope, these guys are all patriots who hate Obama and the federal government, just like the God-fearing, rock-ribbed salt of the earth Republican voters in the heartland.  The ties these movements have to hate groups, both old and new?  Slander, lies, fantasy.  Obama's your only real enemy.

And 20 years later, very little has changed other than these groups have gotten worse, and we've done nothing to stop them.

1 comment:

Horace Boothroyd III said...

You are really on to something here. Back in 1992 I read disturbing little book, "Armed and Dangerous," that detailed the thirty year spree of right wing terrorists all across the West - shooting deputies in the name of sovereignty and robbing banks to fund it all. Oddly enough the book doesn't seem to be available on the internet and I no longer have access to that library from so long ago. Twenty five years later the pace of right wing terror has only picked up - Oklahoma City was no surprise to me, after some years living in Utah, just as Cliven Bundy was merely the latest in a long line of heavily armed ideologues. People ask about Waco and Ruby Ridge "why were the police so heavily armed when the went in?" and the answer quite obviously is policemen have been gunned down time and time again by these guys. The general population has no idea, passing off each incident as just some random dude, while the professionals have a very good idea of just how murderous these guys are.

And the worst of it is how their ideology has spilled over into the mainstream of the Republican Party. Their boys get elected Senate Majority Leader, while we leftists are forced to caucus in the Senate Broom Closet. So it is double frustrating that this very day the irrelevant hand jobs of the Daily Kos are holding one of their periodic screams, in which they discuss the myriad ways in which the Democrats are worse than the Republicans. I fear for the health of my old friend Words in Action, or Unicorn Boy as I call him, for I swear if he says the word Neoliberal one more time he is going to stroke out and fall right over. So for 2016 I have largely written those guys off already, for they will spend the next eighteen months on some bizarre purity driven troll hunt.

Which leaves the question, where exactly are we going to find the votes to defeat the hated Republicans? That is a mystery, one that I fear has no resolution. As horrible as Republican control of all branches to the Federal government will be, that may actually turn out to be our doom.

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