Saturday, March 12, 2011

'Molon Labe!' Religious-right Warriors Led By Gen. Boykin Eye Their Modern-day Spartan Army

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

One of the more potentially nasty political coalitions on the Right is the on-again-off-again flirtation that goes on between the Patriot/militia movement -- which likes to cast itself itself as secular, but is riddled with deep (and often extremist) veins of fundamentalist Christianity -- and the Religious Right, which likes to cast itself as mainstream but is riddled throughout with veins of extremist right-wing paranoia.

It also gives creatures like Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin -- the modern-day General Ripper whose exploits range from the Waco disaster to Abu Ghraib, and who makes his living nowadays promoting the theory that Islamic radicals are secretly promoting Marxism, complete with appearances on the Glenn Beck show in support of his 'Islamic caliphate' theory -- plenty of opportunity to pitch their wares.

It also makes for some moments of high comedy, such as this exchange (via >Digby) that Kyle at Right Wing Watch happened to catch, with Focus on the Family's Tony Perkins egging Boykin on:
BOYKIN: We reflected on that, we also reflected on the fact that there was a famous battle at a place called Thermopylae where the Greek King Leonidas fought against the massive armies of Xerxes with 300 men. But as Tony pointed out in our discussions, they not only saved their homes, their villages, they saved democracy. They preserved democracy for all eternity, if we leverage that and take advantage of it.

And one of the great things that I like about that whole story is the fact that when Xerxes said to Leonidas, with his 300 men there, and Xerxes with his massive army said to him, 'Lay down your weapons,' Leonidas sent the message back, and said, 'Molon labe!' 'Come and take them!'

Well, I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm at the point now where I am sayingady to say 'Molon labe!' to those in Washington, to those in the special interest groups that want to take my liberties, that want to rob my grandchildren of the ability to have the kind of America that I grew up in. I'm at the point where I'm saying, 'Molon labe!'

Because I will not be silent. I will not sit on the pews, confident in my salvation -- I know that I'm going to heaven, I know that I'm redeemed of my sins. But that's not enough.
Nevermind, of course, that these guys are promoting the movie version of Thermopylae, which has only a passing resemblance to the actual history -- namely, the reality that it was Sparta that was the great slaveholding society then (there is no evidence the Persians under Xerxes owned slaves) and the version of "democracy" they were preserving was not exactly one that preserved people's freedoms.

Of greater significance, though, is that "molon labe" has become the battle cry/slogan of the new militias, cropping up in all kinds of places -- including that incident in which that Glenn Beck fan was arrested while scoping out a supposed federal detention facility.

As I explained awhile back:
A common organizational theme popping up among the new militiamen -- you'll find it scattered throughout the above site -- is "Μολών Λaβέ" -- or "Molon labe," which is Greek for "Come and get them." As Wikipedia notes, it's the sentimental equivalent of "Over my dead body."
I have voted in Safety Joe's poll for the next friend's list he should make and I have suggested a state by state Μολών Λaβέ so that those who are near each other can prepare a response plan.

We grossly outnumber them - if we organize. How can 5, 10, 20, or even 30 cops stand down every Μολών Λaβέ patriot who bands together in defense of each other?

Talk is nice but now is the time for action. Organize with your geographically close Μολών Λaβέ friend and prepare a response plan.
Another glimpse into this mindset can be found at the MySpace website for Come and Take It Radio:
Join hosts Matt Conner and Erin Cassity as they proudly lead the way into the dark bleak abyss that will be the Obama Presidency as the drum beating leftys that have joined with us for the past eight years run off into the shadows to back pedal and support Obama's wars for the Elite. We will speak the truth that the true "Conservative" will be so desperately seeking in this new age of world governance. Everything from preserving our gun rights to how to prepare for the fun of the looming depression, these Texas Nationalists will cover in this Sunday evening show.
If you scroll around the site (recommended only for those with a shower handy), you'll find posts from likeminded souls, such as the white supremacist who posted this:

[Full-size version here.]
One website even offers all kinds of "Molon Labe" clothing items you can get -- such as these fine ladies' panties:


I wonder if this is what Jerry Boykin has in mind too. Purity of essence and all that.

Fox Talkers Seem To Be Hoping That The Wisconsin Protests Become Violent

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

One of the significant achievements of the Wisconsin protests is that this gathering of teachers and firefighters and public workers has been simultaneously forceful but peaceful.

This really is a surprise only for people who believe right-wing propaganda about the unions being populated by violent thugs. So that means it especially throws off the talkers at Fox News, who have been leading the right-wing media parade attempting to smear the protesters as violent thugs.

Notice how, in her interview on Thursday, the morning after the Republicans in the Senate rammed their union-bashing legislation through, Megyn Kelly tries to get Jesse Jackson to somehow hint at violence in the Wisconsin protests?

And Jackson simply wouldn't bite.

Let's hope it stays this way. Fuses are getting short in Madison, but it isn't the protesters who are losing their cools.

O'Reilly Thinks It's 'Insane' To See The Radical Right As A Serious Domestic-Terrorism Problem

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

Bill O'Reilly has been sneering all week at the notion that the threat of terrorism from the American radical right is, in terms of domestic terrorism, of greater significance than that from homegrown Islamic radicals -- even after the most recent case of domestic terrorism to hit the news this week involved the arrest of a neo-Nazi for the attempted Martin Luther King Day parade bombing in Spokane.

Of course, O'Reilly is in deep denial about this reality, as is Rep. Peter King, whose "Muslim radicalization" hearings have been the talk of Fox all week. Indeed, when Geraldo Rivera pointed it out to O'Reilly on his Fox show Friday, O'Reilly acted as though it was the first he'd heard of the matter. That's some knowledgeable insight on domestic terrorism, eh?
RIVERA: He's got a point. You know, I understand his point. His larger point, which I totally endorse, is that it is unfair, as you mention in your lead-in, to single out this one group.

O'REILLY: OK. Now, I didn't say it was unfair. I said some people, like you, crazy left wingers, think it is.


RIVERA: Can I tell -- it's not 126. That's Eric Holder's number of the people prosecuted for terrorism. But your audience has to know that of the 126, we're talking about 50 American citizens. The vast majority of the 50 American citizens are like the knuckleheads from Newberg, entrapped into doing terror with co-conspirators who are really FBI agents leading them down the primrose path.

O'REILLY: If you look -- if you look at the totality of the problem, in the world, not the United States, it is Muslim-jihad generated. Congressman Green has the nerve to foist upon the American public that the KKK should be equally looked at when the KKK hasn't had any -- any kind of impact on this country for decades. So you're saying to yourself...

RIVERA: I don't think so that's true. I think the KKK --

O'REILLY: Do you think the KKK has any influence in this country right now?

RIVERA: Let me -- let me tell you and your audience that January 17, the last act of attempted terror in the United States, that was a neo-Nazi, that guy in Spokane, Washington, who planted a weapon of mass destruction on the route of the Martin Luther King Day parade march. And that was terrorism. This was a neo-Nazi. And why wouldn't a hearing on domestic terror include a heinous act like that?

O'REILLY: Was he associated with a group?

RIVERA: Yes. He was a neo-Nazi, I forget -- which -- which of the...

O'REILLY: According to the Spokane police, he was a lone crazy nut.

RIVERA: That's not true. He is definitely a neo-Nazi. The National Alliance. I have a note. The National Alliance.

O'REILLY: The National Alliance.

Look, I'm not opposed to having hearings about these people, but to raise...

RIVERA: Peter King is a great guy.

O'REILLY: ... them to the equivalency of the jihad is insane.
Wanna know what's insane? The fact that we have 23 identifiable instances of serious right-wing domestic terrorism of the past two and a half years, and guys like O'Reilly can just whitewash it away:


Know what else is insane? That guys like O'Reilly can keep citing utterly discredited misinformation such as Frank Gaffney's utterly nonsensical claim that "85 percent of mosques" in America are radicalized -- and can simply get away with it -- because they're too big to care.

Yep, there's plenty of "insane" to go around on Fox.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Another 'Isolated Incident': Alaska Militiamen Arrested In Conspiracy To Kill State Troopers, Judges

Schaeffer Cox, center, with some of his fellow Alaska militiamen

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

Gee, I wonder if Bill O'Reilly is still so certain that the radical right isn't the country's most significant domestic-terrorism threat:
Five people in the Fairbanks area were arrested Thursday by state and federal law enforcement on charges connected with an alleged plot to kidnap or kill state troopers and a Fairbanks judge, according to the Alaska State Troopers.

Francis "Schaeffer" Cox, Lonnie Vernon, Karen Vernon, Coleman Barney and Michael Anderson are accused of conspiring to commit murder, kidnapping, and arson, as well as weapons misconduct, hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence, according to trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters in a written statement late Thursday.

An investigation "revealed extensive plans to kidnap or kill Alaska state troopers and a Fairbanks judge," the statement said. The plans included "extensive surveillance" on the homes of two Fairbanks troopers, the statement said.

"Investigation also revealed that extensive surveillance on troopers in the Fairbanks area had occurred, specifically on the locations of the homes for two Alaska state troopers," the statement said. "Furthermore, Cox et. al. had acquired a large cache of weapons in order to carry out attacks against their targeted victims. Some of the weapons known to be in the cache are prohibited by state or federal law."

U.S. Attorney Karen Loeffler said Lonnie Vernon, 55, was arrested for threatening to kill a federal judge. She said more information about federal charges would be released today Fairbanks Police Chief Loren Zager said the operation involved multiple police actions related to Fairbanks-area members of the "sovereign citizen" movement.
Of course, we were pointing out earlier this week how law enforcement officers are the first in line to be targeted by these extremists -- which is why conservative hysterics over disseminating intelligence about these extremists can be so harmful.

Clearly, the troopers in Alaska were well aware of the nature of the problem they had on their hands. Because it's been around awhile. Notably, in the more recent past, Cox and his pals were part of the militia faction that supported Joe Miller in his Palin-sponsored run for the Senate.

David Holthouse at Media Matters
has more.

It appears Cox's issues with law enforcement first cropped up in a court hearing in December:
Schaeffer Cox appeared at the Fairbanks courthouse Wednesday morning as scheduled despite saying last week he would treat another court date "like an invitation to a Tupperware party."

However, Cox, the 26-year-old head of the Alaska Peacemakers Militia, did not address the issue of a trial date on a weapons charge as the hearing was intended to do. He instead attempted to serve criminal papers and a restraining order from a "de jure court" on District Court Judge Patrick Hammers.

He also told an Alaska State Trooper after the hearing the militia has the troopers "outmanmed, outgunned and we could probably have you all dead in one night." But Cox added he could not see himself shooting someone who lives in the same town as him.

About a half-dozen supporters and members of the militia accompanied Cox at the hearing. Initially, militia member Ken Thesing spoke for Cox, calling himself Cox's representative and "counsel before God."

Hammers identified himself as a judge at Cox' request, which was not enough to dissuade Cox in his belief that the Alaska court system is a for-profit corporation. Cox, who also refused to take off his trademark hat in the courtroom, insists the positions of the state judiciary were never actually filled and the court system is a "pre-processing company" with no jurisdiction over Alaskans.

"You're now being treated as a criminal engaged in criminal activity and you're being served in that manner," Cox said.
As with so many other cases where law enforcement is being targeted, "sovereign citizenship" ideology appears to be a significant component of Cox's belief system:
Cox, who is facing a misdemeanor weapons misconduct charge for not immediately letting a Fairbanks police officer know he was carrying a concealed weapon last March, has in recent weeks been advocating for the concept of "sovereign citizenship."

Cox claims he and all Americans are sovereigns, or kings and queens, and no one is required to obey laws unless not doing so would directly harm other sovereigns. Much of his claims center around the belief President Lincoln subverted the original Constitution and replaced it with a copy that incorporated the United States.
Much more on "sovereign citizens" here.

UPDATE: Reader ricky directs us to the following cartoon commentary:


Who'da Thunk? Evangelicals Denounce Glenn Beck As A "New Age" Mormon Because Of New Feel-good Book

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

Back when he was blaming President Obama for the fact that so many malinformed right-wingers believe that he is Muslim, Glenn Beck was fond of remarking that Obama's brand of Christianity is "a Christianity that many Americans just don't recognize," and "I don't know what that is, other than it's not Muslim, it's not Christian. It's a perversion of the gospel of Jesus Christ as most Christians know it."

As Jon adroitly observed at the time, he was playing with fire: "Sadly for the Fox News host, as many of his Tea Bagging allies view his Mormon faith in precisely the same terms."

Of course, you'll recall that much of the thrust of Beck's work in the past year, particularly his big shindig on the Capitol Mall, was about marrying the Tea Partiers with the Religious Right. But we had to wonder how long it would be before his new "friends" on the evangelical set couldn't stomach his Mormonism any longer.

Well, now we know. From WorldNutDaily:
Christian author: Glenn Beck actually New Age 'anti-Christ'

A Christian author and national speaker has just released a video in which he flays radio and TV commentator Glenn Beck as a pagan, New Age "anti-Christ" who is deluding many believers away from the Bible's teachings and leading them toward Eastern mysticism.

Brannon Howse of Worldview Weekend in Collierville, Tenn., who was once a defender of Beck, is now blasting the popular Fox News host based on content of Beck's new book, "Seven Wonders That Will Change Your Life," co-authored by psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow.

"Back in August of 2010, I tried warning folks that Glenn Beck was a pagan, New Age, universalistic Mormon, and indeed, he now has revealed his hand," Howse says in the video, which is based on a column he wrote earlier this year. "Beck's book is nothing less than a promotion of universalism, postmodernism and pagan spirituality, also known as the New Age movement."
I doubt that this will even slightly deter the intrepid Beck, who mostly tries to tamp down these kinds of controversies and pretend they didn't happen. At some point, he may have to actually confront these kinds of voices, but most likely he will try to spin it as vindication somehow that he was right all along. Or something.

But it's also a reminder of the pitfalls that await the presidential candidacy of Beck's fellow Mormon, Mitt Romney. This should be an interesting year ahead.

Tsunami Warnings: If Republican Budget Cutters Have Their Way, We Won't Get Them

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

[H/t Karoli]

Digby has a great point about tsunami warnings:
I'm sitting here now, six blocks from the beach in California, waiting for the wave to hit the west coast. Luckily it doesn't appear to be dangerous to us at this point.

The good news is that if the Republicans have their way, when one of these things does hit us in this earthquake zone, we won't have warning:
Thursday night's massive earthquake in Japan and the resulting tsunami warnings that have alarmed U.S. coasts, seem likely to ignite a debate over a previously little-discussed subsection of the spending bills currently being debated in Congress.

Tucked into the House Republican continuing resolution are provisions cutting the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, including the National Weather Service, as well as humanitarian and foreign aid.

Presented as part of a larger deficit reduction package, each cut could be pitched as tough-choice, belt-tightening on behalf of the GOP. But advocates for protecting those funds pointed to the crisis in Japan as evidence that without the money, disaster preparedness and relief would suffer.

"These are very closely related," National Weather Service Employees Organization President Dan Sobien told The Huffington Post with respect to the budget cuts and the tsunami. "The National Weather Service has the responsibility of warning about tsunami's also. It is true that there is no plan to not fund the tsunami buoys. Everyone knows you just can't do that. Still if those [House] cuts go through there will be furloughs at both of the tsunami warning centers that protect the whole country and, in fact, the whole world."

The House full-year continuing resolution, which has not passed the Senate, would indeed make steep cuts to several programs and functions that would serve in a response to natural disasters (not just tsunamis) home and abroad. According to Sobien, the bill cuts $126 million from the budget of the NWS. Since, however, the cuts are being enacted over a six-month period (the length of the continuing resolution) as opposed to over the course of a full year, the effect would be roughly double.
Just remember: When it comes to disaster preparedness and relief, Republicans are the folks who brought you the Hurricane Katrina fiasco.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Domestic Terrorism Of The Right-Wing Kind: Spokane Arrest Manifests Once Again Where The Threat Lies

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

Not that it'll ever happen, but boy, does Bill O'Reilly owe Mark Potok an apology.

One day after castigating Potok publicly on his Fox News show for contending that "our biggest domestic terror threat ... pretty clearly comes from the radical right in this country", Potok's point was pretty clearly substantiated by the arrest of 36-year-old Kevin Harpham for planting a backpack bomb along the parade route on Martin Luther King Day in Spokane.

Bill Morlin has more details at Hatewatch
The emerging picture suggests 36-year-old Kevin William Harpham is a “lone wolf’’ with a military ordinance background and apparently increasingly extreme radical-right views that may have prompted the attempt to carry out a mass murder on the late civil rights leader’s birthday. He is also a man who has joined a neo-Nazi group, apparently posted to racial extremist websites and worried that the 9/11 attacks were actually a government conspiracy.

The domestic terrorism suspect faces the possibility of life in prison if convicted of the initial two charges he faces: attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and possession of an improvised explosive device. Other federal charges could come when a federal grand jury in Spokane reviews the case on March 22.

“This one is very serious,” federal defender Roger Peven said outside the courtroom, moments after he was appointed to represent Harpham.

The backpack bomb, reportedly containing shrapnel dipped in rat poison to enhance bleeding, was spotted moments before hundreds of people were to march by it. Authorities rerouted the parade immediately.

At some risk, a bomb squad defused the device and kept it intact — likely leading the FBI to capture a windfall of forensic evidence, possibly including fingerprints and DNA that could have identified Harpham as the suspect.
Of special note is the fact that Harpham appears to have been an admirer of Alex Jones' conspiracy theories:
On another Web site, Harpham posted that he watched the video “Loose Change” — popularized by the antigovernment “Patriot” group We Are Change — that the U.S. government was behind the attacks of Sept. 11.

Leading anti-Semites, including Christopher Bollyn, have suggested that Jews were responsible for 9/11.

On the “Loose Change” Facebook page, there are references to a “Zionist connection” and links to the Protocols of the Elders of Zion — a famous forgery that is a touchstone for the neo-Nazi right, including the late founder of the Aryan Nations, Richard Butler, who accuse Jews of plotting to control the world.

“I typically don’t buy into these conspiracies, then my friends told me to watch this video called ‘Loose Change,’” Harpham posted on another website forum devoted to steam automobiles.

“Some of the stuff was speculation but overall it changed my opinion greatly,’’ the Harpham posting said.
It's not coincidental that, as Alexander Zaitchik recently reported for Rolling Stone, Gabrielle Giffords' would-be assassin, Jared Loughner, was also an admirer of Loose Change.

Also worth remembering: Harpham happens to fit precisely the warning of the dangers inherent in rising right-wing extremism made two years ago by the Department of Homeland Security in its much-maligned bulletin for law enforcement -- specifically the key language in the report that upset all those conservatives:
DHS/I&A assesses that lone wolves and small terrorist cells embracing violent rightwing extremist ideology are the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States. Information from law enforcement and nongovernmental organizations indicates lone wolves and small terrorist cells have shown intent—and, in some cases, the capability—to commit violent acts.

[..] DHS/I&A has concluded that white supremacist lone wolves pose the most significant domestic terrorist threat because of their low profile and autonomy—separate from any formalized group—which hampers warning efforts.

[..] Similarly, recent state and municipal law enforcement reporting has warned of the dangers of rightwing extremists embracing the tactics of “leaderless resistance” and of lone wolves carrying out acts of violence.

... U//FOUO) Returning veterans possess combat skills and experience that are attractive to rightwing extremists. DHS/I&A is concerned that rightwing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities.
Of course, conservatives have been trying to whitewash away the existence of these radicals.

Unfortunately for them -- and the rest of us too -- the radicals won't let them do it for long.
In their eagerness to promote Peter King's dubious and nakedly Islamophobic hearings on homegrown Islamic-radical terrorism, O'Reilly and his Fox colleagues have openly sneered at suggestions that we ought to do the same for right-wing extremists and their mounting acts of violence. This case definitively underscores that need, embodied in the 22 cases we've documented over the past two and a half years:


Simultaneously, it's also not very clear that the Islamic radicals pose a serious threat in terms of domestic terrorist activity. Certainly, there's plenty of reasons to believe that the threat of homegrown Islamic terrorism is wildly overstated -- not least of which is the fact that, as Zaid Jilani at ThinkProgress reported, terrorism incidents in the USA have been coming from non-Muslim sources at nearly twice the rate as that of Muslims.

Indeed, it's probably overstated to the same degree that the danger of right-wing extremists is understated. Perhaps there needs to be some reassessment of our terrorism priorities here -- particularly in the media.

David Holthouse at Media Matters
has more on the suspect. See the Spokesman Review's coverage of Hapham's court appearance, too. You can read the federal complaint here (application/pdf - 55.64 KB).

No, Rep. King, We Indeed Cannot Be In Denial

[Cross-posed at Crooks and Liars.]

Rep. Peter King, in his opening remarks this morning to kick off his congressional hearings on the "problem" of "Muslim radicalization":
This Committee cannot live in denial which is what some would have us do when they suggest that this hearing dilute its focus by investigating threats unrelated to Al Qaeda. The Department of Homeland Security and this committee were formed in response to the al Qaeda attacks of 9/11. There is no equivalency of threat between al Qaeda and neo-Nazis, environmental extremists or other isolated madmen. Only al Qaeda and its Islamist affiliates in this country are part of an international threat to our nation. Indeed by the Justice Department’s own record not one terror related case in the last two years involved neo-Nazis, environmental extremists, militias or anti-war groups.
How unfortunate for Rep. King that, just the day before -- and apparently before he could edit his opening remarks -- the FBI arrested a white supremacist for planting a backpack bomb along the parade route for Spokane's Martin Luther King Day celebration in January ... an act labeled by the FBI as an act of domestic terrorism.

He was reminded in short order by Democrat Bennie Thompson:

[H/t Karoli for the videos]
I want to reiterate, however, my belief that a hearing on the linkage between extreme ideology and violent action be a broad-based examination. Yesterday, the FBI made an arrest in a recent Martin Luther King Day bombing attempt. News reports identify the suspect as a member of the same white supremacist group that influenced Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. I urge you, Mr. Chairman, to hold a hearing examining the Homeland Security threat posed by anti-government and white supremacist groups.

As a committee on Homeland Security, our mission is to examine threats to this nation's security. A narrow focus that excludes known threats lacks clarity and may be myopic.
Indeed, as Zaid Jilani at ThinkProgress explains, not only was King embarrassingly wrong about right-wing domestic terrorist of recent vintage, he was wrong about the past year as well -- in which there were four terrorism incidents involving neo-Nazis. And that doesn't begin to count the militia cases, beginning with the Hutaree folks.

For what it's worth, American neo-Nazis are indeed frequently linked up with likeminded fascists in Europe and Australia, and yes, they are all outspoken in their desire to topple the United States government. Peter King may be living in denial, but the rest of us should know that neo-Nazism is indeed an international terrorist conspiracy to destroy America. In case you were wondering.

And as long as Rep. King is trotting out graphics, here's one for him to consider:


Wednesday, March 09, 2011

If We Need To Hold Hearings On Muslim Domestic Terrorists, Why Not The Same On Right-Wing Domestic Terrorists?

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

If you want to see conservatives get all twisted into knots, try asking them why, if it makes sense for Peter King to hold his Islamophobic hearings on the supposed threat of domestic terrorism from Muslim Americans, we shouldn't hold similar hearings examining why we're seeing a real surge in domestic terrorism by right-wing extremists.

Take, for example, Bill O'Reilly last night. He got all bent out of shape over Mark Potok's exchange with CNN's Suzanne Malveaux earlier this week:
MALVEAUX: If you can from your study of tracking radical groups, potentially hate groups, what do you think of this hearing? Is al Qaeda radicalizing Muslims? Is that our biggest homegrown terrorism threat right now?

POTOK: Well, I think it's not our biggest domestic terror threat. I think that pretty clearly comes from the radical right in this country. Although I would certainly not minimize the threat of jihadist terrorism in this country. Obviously, we have seen a fair amount of it.
Of course, O'Reilly deceptively edited out the last two sentences, and then replied:
O'REILLY: Are you kidding me? The radical right? The last terror act assigned to them was the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. I mean, think about what the guy just said.

Muslim terrorists have killed tens of thousands of people all over the world, correct?
How many people have the radical right killed?
Well, Bill, just to get you up to speed: There have been many, many more right-wing terrorist acts on American soil since 1995 -- including the bombing of the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, just for starters.

All told, there were over 60 major cases of right-wing domestic terrorism in the ten years after Oklahoma City.

Even more important, let's talk about just the past two and a half years:


We've documented, to date, 22 cases of domestic terrorism since July 2008
involving right-wing extremists of various stripes, all inflicting (or attempting to inflict) violence on a variety of "liberal" and government targets. Compare this to the Bipartisan Policy Center's report on homegrown Islamic-radical terrorism, which documented only seven incidents, all of which occurred in 2009.

Which not only raises the question, "Why not hold hearings to explore the growing radicalization of far-right extremists?", but a similarly pertinent: "Where are the media?"

This is especially the case, given that the SPLC recently released a fresh report finding that the number of hate groups in America, for the first time ever, now exceeds a thousand. This was a key point Potok discussed in his appearance on Cenk Uygur's MSNBC show.

Potok also had the audacity to point out that if a Muslim lawmaker were to hold hearings on right-wing fundamentalist Christians' roles in the radicalization of far-right extremists, the pitchforks would be out en masse.

Of course, Dana Perino disagrees, claiming (in the source of this week's biggest belly laugh): "If there was a hearing on radicalization amongst Christianity, there would have been no protesters". Yeah, those of us who remember the endless right-wing shrieking over the Department of Homeland Security's bulletin for law enforcement about the threat of increasing right-wing extremism -- they were insulting mainstream conservatives and veterans and calling them terrorists! -- got a good long laugh over that one.

Exhibit A that Potok was on the money was O'Reilly's outrage -- which bubbled up beyond his opening Talking Points Memo segment, attacking both Potok and Ezra Klein for bringing up Christian extremists (though frankly, Klein's remarks about "Christian kids" supposedly involved in school shootings as part of the domestic-terrorism picture was in fact off-base). But O'Reilly thought it was outrageous, just outrageous, that anyone would think the radical right still posed a significant terrorist threat to Americans, and had on both Alan Colmes and Monica Crowley to talk it over some more.

[H/t Karoli]

It is not to conservatives' credit that they so eagerly and adamantly try to whitewash away the existence of right-wing extremism -- even though such hysterics have demonstrably made law-enforcement officers less safe in the field, because it short-circuits the flow of needed intelligence.

And it's really shameful on O'Reilly's case, because one of the more vivid terrorist acts of the past couple of years committed by a right-wing extremist was the assassination of Dr. George Tiller by in Kansas -- a murder for which O'Reilly bore no small chunk of culpability.

But then, it has since become an article of faith among right-wingers that domestic terrorists who assassinate abortion providers are not terrorists at all. Sarah Palin, we recall, refused to acknowledge that abortion-clinic attacks were domestic terrorism.

Along similar lines, there was Palin this weekend, claiming that Gerald Loughner's lethal attack on Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona in January was in any way related to terrorism:

[H/t Digby]
PALIN: Why is the administration so naive in assuming the American public is going to accept a comment like P.J.'s that essentially equates a crazed maniac in Arizona, shooting Gabbie Giffords to this terrorist who tried to and was successful in gunning down our servicemen overseas as he did yell out Allahu Akbar?
O'Reilly and Crowley similarly dismissed such notions. But the reality is that Loughner's act was clearly terrorist in intent, and it's similarly clear that his twisted worldview came straight out of the radical right, including most notably the paranoid alternative universe of Alex Jones.

It seems that conservatives' mania for whitewashing away the existence of far-right domestic terrorism is reaching a fever pitch just at the same time that it's actually becoming resurgent -- and it never seems to occur to them that in doing so, they are creating cover and giving them implicit permission to proceed apace. Funny how that works.

BREAKING NEWS: Arrest Made In Spokane MLK Day Backpack-Bomb Case UPDATED

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

You all remember that "isolated event" on MLK Day in Spokane, where someone left a bomb in a backpack along the day's parade route, a bomb that would have been extremely lethal if it had not been discovered.

Well, there's been a break in the case:
A significant break in Martin Luther King Day backpack bomb investigation in Spokane occurred this morning when an FBI SWAT team executed a search warrant and reportedly made one arrest Wednesday morning in the small northeastern Washington town of Addy.

FBI officials weren’t immediately available for comment, but indicated the name of the suspect would be forthcoming in a news release.

The case has been investigated as a case of domestic terrorism.

Addy is a community in Stevens County, in the northeastern corner of Washington state, bordering Canada. The county has long been a hotbed of extremist and Christian Identity activity.
Of course, in Spokane, no one was calling this an "isolated event.

More details as they arrive.

UPDATE: The Spokesman-Review reports that the suspect is a 36-year-old Kevin Harpham from Stevens County:
An ex soldier with ties to the white supremacist movement has been taken into custody in connection with the planting of a backpack bomb along the planned route of the Martin Luther King Jr. March in downtown Spokane, authorities have confirmed.

Kevin William Harpham, 36, of Colville, could face life imprisonment on charges of attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction and possession of an unregistered explosive device, according to documents on file in U.S. District Court. An initial court appearance is scheduled for this afternoon.

Harpham was arrested this morning during a raid at his home near Addy, Wash. by dozens of federal agents who had been assembling in Spokane during the past few days.
The Southern Poverty Law Center confirmed that Harpham in 2004 was a member of the National Alliance, which is one of the most visible white supremacist organizations in the nation.

It was founded by the late William Pierce, who authored The Turner Diaries, a novel about a future race war. That book was believed to be the blue print behind the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City by Timothy McVeigh.

“What to me this arrest suggests is that the Martin Luther King Day attack is what it always looked like: A terror-mass murder attempt directed at black people and their sympathizers,” said Mark Potok, who is the director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project that tracks and investigates hate groups.
Methinks Bill O'Reilly owes Potok an apology.

NPR's Own Weak Knees Let Lying Bullies Like James O'Keefe Score Another Easy Victory

[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]

So James O'Keefe, the lying criminal scam artist whose deceptively edited videos -- along with a complicit media who swallowed them whole -- brought down ACORN has scored another scalp with his latest hit job targeting NPR: Not only has Ron Schiller, the fool caught on video being way too frank with strangers, stepped down in advance of his planned departure, but NPR CEO Vivian Schiller (no relation) is out, too.

Not a bad day's work for a lying criminal scam artist.

Naturally, Fox News was all over the story, with every one of its evening-show hosts -- O'Reilly, Hannity, and Van Susteren -- featuring segments on the video. Of course, there was only scant mention of the fact that O'Keefe was a lying criminal scam artist whose track record of deceptive editing was well-established. As Ellen at Newshounds puts it: "Who Cares If James O'Keefe Is A Lying Creep With A Criminal History? He Hates ACORN And NPR, So What's Not To Like If You're Fox News?"

But really, what can you expect from a news organization with such a sterling record of running like scared sheep whenever conservatives get out their Full Umbrage schtick and run at them and their federal funding with it? Sure enough, the first people to toss Schiller under the bus were his colleagues at NPR.

No doubt at Fox this will be spun as a defeat of a "liberal" media organ, except that NPR is anything but a liberal entity. They specialize in classic spineless-Beltway-liberal behavior -- hippie-bashing, conventional-wisdom genuflection, he-said-she-said 'balance' in its reporting and the-left-does-it-too false equivocation. It's why Juan Williams managed to hang on as long as he did, and why Mara Liasson is still there.

And in this case, it's pretty funny. As the WaPo's Stephen Stromberg noted, it's hard to see exactly what it is we're supposed to be outraged about.

After all, what has the Fox folks outraged were his comments about the Tea Party -- which actually were perfectly defensible renditions of cold fact. Are Greta and Byron really trying to pretend that there weren't Tea Partiers bringing loaded weapons out to public rallies? Really?

All in all, it's a classic one-day non-story. Hope the Fox reporters enjoy their bit of breathlessness.

Who knows what piece of recycled propaganda from lying criminal artists they'll treat as legitimate news next.