Domestic Terrorism Threat

I would have expected the Time magazine feature, “The Secret World of Extreme Militias,” to be getting a lot more attention in the blogosphere than it has been getting. Earlier this week some elements of the Right had the vapors over an appearance by Kos on Countdown (which I missed), in which Kos discussed threats of right-wing violence. Anyway, Time‘s Barton Gellman writes,

As militias go, the Ohio Defense Force is on the moderate side. Scores of armed antigovernment groups, some of them far more radical, have formed or been revived during the Obama years, according to law-enforcement agencies and outside watchdogs. A six-month TIME investigation reveals that recruiting, planning, training and explicit calls for a shooting war are on the rise, as are criminal investigations by the FBI and state authorities. Readier for bloodshed than at any time since at least the confrontations in the 1990s in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, and Waco, Texas, the radical right has raised the threat level against the President and other government targets.

Maybe the righties are keeping quiet about the story because they don’t want to draw attention to it.

One story that I hadn’t heard before is of James Cummings, who had planned to bring a real dirty bomb to the Obama inauguration. And let me emphasize that, unlike the hapless Jose Padilla, Cummings had the goods. With the help of a large inheritance he had accumulated a remarkable amount of thorium, cesium and uranium, the means to disperse them, and enough smarts to pull it off. He intended to load his bomb into a motor home and drive it to Washington for the inauguration.

And he might have achieved his plan had his wife not shot and killed him in December 2008. Cummings had a long history as a domestic abuser, and I don’t believe Mrs. Cummings is being charged with anything. Indeed, she should get a medal.

See also Joe Conason.

19 thoughts on “Domestic Terrorism Threat

  1. Maha, I know this development isn’t funny but reading it reminded me of Slim Pickens ‘riding’ the A bomb down that would wipe out Russia. And then, same movie (Strangelove) with Jack D. Ripper convinced that water fluoridation was a “Communist conspiracy” reminds me of the too many candidates presently running for government offices. (If I don’t laugh, I’ll cry.)

  2. We can all feel the temperature rising over the last two or three years. Some of the stuff that elected officials and those running for office are saying, not to mention the right wing media, has made it ok to say truly CRAZY stuff and not pay any price for it. The Republicans can say things like “second amendment solutions” and the like and still be considered credible. Why wouldn’t the militias think they can arm themselves and get ready for bloodshed.

  3. I had a conversation with a neighbor today on this topic.
    He is concerned with the rise of the radical right, and all the “anti government” retoric buzzing today, which would have branded a person as a traitor two short years ago.
    The incidents at Ruby Ridge and at the Branch Dividian Compound in Waco are proof positive that the “Government”; be it ATF, FBI, or whatever, will use deadly force in great big units if necessary.
    With the help of the “internets”, many of the bozos are outing themselves.
    If “the Government” is wise, they will monitor the bozos until it is necessary to smash them. If they think the IRS is a bitch, they ain’t seen’nothin’ yet.

  4. These people think that they’re “Real Patriot’s.” Not the ‘sunshine’ variety.
    But what they really are is “Moonshine Patriot’s.”
    That’s who they resemble, that’s who they revere. Not the “Founding Fathers.” But the people who protested government taxes on whiskey back in the late 18th Century, when the Federal Government intervened and ‘forced’ a tax on people.
    It’s pretty much a straight line from them, from many of the same geographic areas as the original rebellion (but expanded to the new territories and states – uhm, not surpisingly, usually from the South, and very conservative areas in the West). And these people are the fruits of those efforts, and their forbear’s loins.
    From the “Whiskey Rebellion.”
    To supporters of slavery.
    To the Confederacy.
    To the “Midnight Riders.”
    To the KKK.
    To the anti-Reveneurs.
    To the corn ‘likker & lightnin'” distillers and runners.
    To the anti-Civil Rights.
    To the anti-Equal Rights.
    To the pro-War.
    To the anti-Gay.
    It’s the same mentality.
    It’s the same modus operandi. Small cells of of what we would call “Nihilist’s,” but they call patriots.
    From whiskey to tea, it’s a direct and straight line from the 18th Century “Whiskey Rebellion” to the 21st Century Teabaggers.
    In the ’70’s and early ’80’s, after the Civil Rights legislation, they were told to ‘keep a lid on it.’ The nation was changing, and their brand of lunacy was, to be honest, a little too close to the left’s “Weather Underground,” and “The Symbionese Liberation Army,” and they decided to let the ‘left’ (not that many on the left actually agreed with any of their aims) run riot and discredit itself.
    They came out of the closet in the 90’s, when a Democrat was in office, and the militant’s on the left were either in prison, enmeshed in the system making money, or too long in the tooth to do any harm.
    But now that there’s a “N****r” in office, well they feel free to show their oats, brandish their weapons, wave them around in patriotic fury, and threaten the nation.
    It’s the same mentality. Except where the original “Don’t Tread on Me” flag meant leave me alone, the new one carries the implied threat that they ‘Will Tread on You!’ if you don’t agree with them.
    Are they a real threat? Not necesarilly. Not yet. It’s a bunch of little-dicked ‘Good Ol’ Boys’ getting some excersize running through the woods with arms, in an anti-Government trust-building excersize.
    When they decide to target real people, rather than playing in the woods shooting at targets, is when we have to worry. And I get the feeling that day is coming soon.
    My biggest concern isn’t these groups, per se, it’s their infiltarion into our military and Secret Service that scares the sh*t out of me. A flare-up from their cohorts there could lead to outright violence.
    They’re waiting for their day. Practicing for it. And there’s a lot of experience they can draw on from their forbears. There’s a lot of ancient hatred focused on a young, black President and his family. Metaphorically speaking, the noose is tightening. It would be tightening literally if they had the chance to make it real, you can bet on that.
    These people are much more dangerous than any foreign agents, or Muslim terrorists. I wrote on this site, even before Obama was elected, that these are the people that we have to worry about. I was certainly not alone in that prognostication. It was an easy one to make. What will be harder, is to keep these people from creating a real ‘Rebellion,’ whether they’re drinking whiskey, high on meth, or straight as an arrow and sipping on tea.

  5. “I would have expected the Time magazine feature, “The Secret World of Extreme Militias,” to be getting a lot more attention in the blogosphere than it has been getting”

    I read the article and found it hard to get through, it was long on generalities and short on new specifics. I don’t think it’s really news that the militia movement is full of racists that are freshly energized over that colored fella getting to the White House. Though I had never heard that the Holocaust Museum shooter had plans to take out Axelrod, nor had I heard of this Cummings character and his dirty bomb. I suspect the stories aren’t generating more press for two reasons: first both men are dead so the story sort of dies with them, second the stories don’t fit the “Tea Party Change ” narrative the for-profit media is pedaling these days. If anything this story provides linkage between the militia crazies and the “don’t tread on me” dimwitted teabaggers.

    As a gun nut myself I really hate to see these stories, I don’t understand why these folks feel a need to actually show off their weapons all the time, just collecting and maintaining mine is enough for me.

  6. “just collecting and maintaining mine is enough for me”
    I suspect that’s because you are sane and well adjusted.
    I have a , 32oz. framing hammer that is as much a weapon as a tool, but I don’t carry it around when I’m not working; ‘same with my machete.

  7. I’d heard the James Cummings story some time ago, possibly on HuffPo. It didn’t last in the ether but a day or two. I suppose people may have thought, “Hey, the guy’s dead, problem solved.” Because he’s the only one, of course. None of the other evil Obama-haters have vast financial resources….

    (*Koch Koch* Excuse me, I have to go find a lozenge.)

    Nor do they enable dangerous sociopaths….

    (*Breitbart* Sorry; now it seems I urgently need the Pepto.)

  8. I don’t understand why these folks feel a need to actually show off their weapons all the time

    Well, the two major reasons are that a public display of weapons can serve as the best antidote for feeling of social inadequacy and sexual insecurity, and they are the perfect augmentation to the uber patriot fantasy. The don’t tread on me watchword kinda sums it all up…I’ve got a gun!

  9. I don’t understand why these folks feel a need to actually show off their weapons all the time

    The way I’ve heard it esxpressed is, ‘the bigger the weapon, the smaller the penis.’ So if they have a bazooka or a tank. . .

  10. Swami and gene – years ago when the ‘women’s movement’ was front and center, the shape of guns, cars, high-rises and church steeples…became emblems, if you will, of male dominance, indicative of a society dominated by men.

    If I remember correctly, men, or so some women thought, retaliated by coining the words “penis envy” to describe the more militant women among us.

    There may just be a connection between weapon size and penis size but until someone does a ‘study’ on the supposed phenomenon, it’ll remain guess work.

  11. “I suspect that’s because you are sane and well adjusted”

    Well I’m not sure I’d go that far. Its just a hobby for me, though it does give me a small sense of security as well (though its like my guitar collection, you can only play one at a time, so one pistol or rifle or shotgun is really all that’s needed). The problem with these militia folks is that they form their groups mostly based on the fear that the government is going to take away their guns. I would argue that the biggest reason the government would have for confiscating weapons would be to disarm dangerous groups (militias) that pose a threat to civil well being. So as usual it all comes down to them being really stupid people manipulated by fear also known as the republican base!

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  13. @erinyes :

    It is odd that no one seemed to be advocating a violent overthrow of the government when a man named George W. Bush led it, isn’t it? I suppose he must have had some great record on civil liberties and restricting government power.

    @tom b :

    LOL. That is both funny and true. To this day, it amazes me that anyone took Sigmund Freud so seriously. His ideas on the human psyche were completely unfalsifiable; any person’s life history could be made to fit if you contorted it the right way.

  14. @kagerato,I think there were MANY who thought about overthrowing the Bush Regime, but we lefties are more bluster than action; which is a good thing.
    I STILL don’t know why Bush and Cheney aren’t in the slammer, and really wonder why Tony Blair is running around plugging his book when he should be up on war crimes charges..

    Felicity, I kind of agree with you. When you look at the Cadillacs and the Plymouths of the early 60’s, the Corvettes of the 70’s and the Scarab go-fast boats, there is a definite penis thing going on. I was raised by an Italian mother who had a mother that was very domineering; big time matriarchal society.My wife is very lucky.

  15. “So as usual it all comes down to them being really stupid people manipulated by fear”

    “Fear is the mind killer”. Frank Herbert, Dune Trilogy.

    “it amazes me that anyone took Sigmund Freud so seriously.”

    He was a product of his time. Though the same era also gave us the more grounded Karl Jung. I wonder what the future will say about us, treating every case of potential, even mild depression with mood altering drugs.

  16. These militias are a bunch of nutjobs running around playing army. They should just grow up and put away their childish fantasies. Maybe if real Army would start issuing more moral waivers and lower their standards for enlistment to allow these misfits get a taste of what being a real soldier is all about they wouldn’t be so eager to play their silly games. Give ’em a tour in Afghanistan were they’d face a very real possibility of getting a limb blown off, or get their already atrophied brains rattled to the point where they’ll go through life with a permanent drool.

  17. tom b – acknowledged – should have said ‘reused.’ Also, speaking of mood-altering drugs, I have a cartoon on my fridge showing a picture of a guy on a couch, therapist behind him in a chair, of course. The couch guy says, “Doc, you have to up my medication. I’m starting to feel things.

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