Thursday, May 13, 2010

"Frame" is the name of the game



















A FEDERAL JUDGE last week ordered nine members of the Hutaree militia released on bond until their trial, on the grounds that they were neither a danger to the community nor a flight risk.

This, despite the highly publicized April arrest and indictment in which the government claimed the Hutaree were fomenting a dire plot to assassinate cops and judges and bring down the government with weapons of mass destruction.

Evidently U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts did not share the fears of the FBI and federal prosecutors who brought the case. Is the judge crazy? Suicidal? (Remember, these Hutarees allegedly were going to kill judges.) Or is it simply that the prosecution had no actual evidence for their lurid charges?

Of course, the feds are very "poor losers," so they filed an emergency petition to stop the militia members' release. So they remain in jail.

 

THE HUTAREE ARREST was portrayed throughout the media as a fearsome harbinger of doom -- proof of the "rising risk of far-right violence," of "home-grown terror." This is largely a replay of the hate industry's  script from the early-to-mid '90s, when these collectivist organizations circled the wagons to protect the Clinton administration against a firestorm of opposition. What the militia movement, in particular, was opposing was an array of illegal policies Washington was imposing upon the rights of States, localities and individuals; increasing corporate and political globalization and the accompanying diminution of America's national sovereignty; and Washington-perpetrated atrocities such as Ruby Ridge and Waco.

Nowadays the ADL and SPLC  are joined by other well-funded outfits as well in their drumbeat of "right-wing hate"; This time it's Obama whose critics they seek to demonize and neutralize.

This is why you've heard again and again that the Tea Party movement is full of racists, without evidence. You've heard allegations of spitting and racial slurring with no substantiation. You've been told the reason people vehemently disagree with Obama's federal health takeover bill was because they hate black people. You've been told the poor, defenseless federal government is besieged by conspiracies, conspiracies everywhere.

The tale that a bunch of Michigan hicks were plotting to blow up the government is about as real as the alleged Osama bin Laden Facebook page. Listen to Jack Blood, the punk rock patriot, interview two close associates of the Hutaree crew. (It comes in the second hour. Here is Blood's podcast archive.) As they describe militia leader Michael David Meeks -- an oddball to be sure, an overgrown Boy Scout into fantasy games, whose Biblical eschatology I do not necessarily agree with , and a Gulf War I vet -- decide for yourself whether there was any dastardly plot to overthrow Washington or whether this might rather be yet another case of FBI provocateuring and entrapment. Alex Jones and his site Prisonplanet.com have been busy exposing this latest round of anti-militia propaganda as well. (You might want to listen to Alex from hour 3 of his March 31 program; full program archive here if you need it.)

 WHY THE PARANOIA against the American people? Why the need to keep dissidents down? Why the continued two-minutes hate pitting one group of disaffected Americans against another? You know the answer. You've heard of "Divide and Rule." That goes back to Rome, and beyond. You've heard something about COINTELPRO, the FBI/police prrogram charged with "infiltrating, disrupting, marginalizing, and/or subverting groups suspected of being subversive." You may not know that much about Sun-Tzu or Machiavelli, but you really should learn about them too.

As for COINTELPRO, it'd be naive to assume this was only used in the '60s, or only against the so-called "left," or only (as the subtitle of this otherwise informative documentary suggests) against "black America." J. Edgar Hoover and his FBI saw the New Left, Civil Rights and Black Power movements as threats insofar as they opposed the power and policies of Washington. Nowadays, the people standing in the way of federal imperialist policies appear to be largely on the so-called "far right." Yet as the pendulum of resistance swings this way and that, an interesting convergence has been happening. Thanks to the information superhighway, "far left" and "far right" are finally able to compare notes and realize that -- at least when they're keeping their priorities in order -- they actually agree on a lot of stuff. They don't like the global centralization of banking, corporate and government power. They don't like undeclared wars of aggression. They don't like that American citizens  and noncitizens alike  are now subject to illegal arrest, detention, rendition to foreign prisons, torture, warrantless eavesdropping, and ubiquitous surveillance. They don't like an ever-growing, ever-militarizing, ever more paranoid police state entrenching and arming itself against its own citizens. Many on the "right" are waking up to the fact that the "war on drugs" was just a bad excuse to confiscate people's property and liberty. Many on the "left" are realizing the right to carry arms enshrined in the Second Amendment is every bit as important as the right protected by the First, the Fourth or the Fifth. Similarly, they are figuring out that the ninth and tenth amendments were put there to protect them from just the sort of thuggery engendered by the "war on drugs." The Bill of Rights really isn't that bad after all!

But the powers that be can't deal with a uniting opposition. So they must demonize and divide. They must keep us fearful and suspicious of each other, rather than of them. We must be rendered unable to expose and oppose illegitimate and criminal official behavior.
If you don't want the federal government mandating how you care for your health, and forcing you to subsidize the insurance industry, the president or his surrogates call you a bigot and a violent terrorist. The media will largely repeat it uncritically.

The same type of thing was done to a black "extremist" movement known as the Black Panther Party -- as folks who know history (or have lived it) will know. The black brothers and sisters of the religious commune MOVE suffered a similar violent fate, at the hands of Philadelphia police, to that suffered just a few years later by the racially mixed dwellers at the religious commune at Waco. Of all people, Black people should know that "dangerous radicals" is codespeak for all marginalized, oppressed people who stand up against the oppression, whether black, white, or other.  And that racists historically have been identifiable as the ones yelling "No Guns For Negroes."

 CLIFF KELLY KNOWS THIS. The other day I was shuffling through a box of old talk-radio tapes I recorded during the '90s. On one tape I rediscovered a cordial interview that Kelly, a former Chicago alderman turned radio host, did with a white militia member named Helen Johnson. This woman was married to a man named J.J. Johnson, who was the leader of the Ohio Unorganized Militia, and who also happened to be black. (Regrettably I didn't mark down the date of that program, but It must have been sometime in 1995.)

In the Jack Blood interview regarding Hutaree, you will hear how the motley crew that grew up around the Hutaree included a black lesbian dwarf. Of course, that doesn't fit the sensationalistic narrative of sinister white people out in the countryside plotting to .... do something to people who are not like them, so you've not heard about this. I'm unsure myself how a lesbian would find her way into an alleged fundamentalist Christian group. In any case, it kind of puts a wrinkle in the standard story line that the militia movement is a dark conspiracy of racists who'd like to kill blacks, and lesbians, and maybe dwarves too.

Back in the '90s when I heard that Cliff Kelly program, it was Bill Clinton trying to blame the bombing of the Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City on everyone he didn't like: on the growing patriot and militia movement, on talk radio, even on Rush Limbaugh. Clinton and company took swipes at my favorite, center-populist radio host of the '90s: a large, beard-stroking, professorial guy named Chuck Harder, who was known for featuring guests as politically diverse as Patrick Buchanan, Ross Perot, and Ralph Nader, and although I don't recall him interviewing any militia leaders, he may have had them on his show as well.

Now in 2010, the Obama team -- no doubt with the help of Hillary and Bill -- have taken this "racists and terrorists and hate radio" script down off the shelf, blown the dust off and promptly rerun it, with only a few minor updates.

It's as bullshit now as it was back then.

By the way, who really blew up OKC? I don't know for sure, but it wasn't the militias, who rejected the executed "bomber" Timothy McVeigh -- probably suspecting him of being a military intelligence agent trying to infiltrate them. According to McVeigh's Death Row cellmate David Hammer, McVeigh said as much to Hammer and other inmates prior to his execution. You also may want to read this Gore Vidal essay about McVeigh, which remarkably, was published in the September 2001 issue of Vanity Fair, before -- well, you know what.

What is definitely known about OKC is there were an awful lot of federally protected informants and agents -- some of them having rather exotic backgrounds -- swirling around that whole scene. When you read the above link, make sure to catch the part about the curious connection (actually not so curious to conspiracy realists) between the Ku Klux Klan and the Communist Party.

When the Clinton administration and its surrogates seized upon OKC to demonize the militia movement and ram the original "homeland security" legislation through Congress, some Alabama militiamen decided to retaliate by exposing some real racists -- many of them federal law enforcement officers. Down through history, criminals in power have always delighted in accusing other people of the very crimes they themselves are committing.

And how did our protectors at the SPLC respond to videotaped evidence exposing gross racism among law enforcement officials? Accordin to the militiamen, the "anti-racism watchdog" SPLC totally denied the evidence, and covered for the racists.

The history and purpose of the militia concept is a bit much to get into here, and there are better sources. The short answer is that "when the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty." Think of it as a beefed-up Neighborhood Watch, looking out not only for the criminals on the street but those in the government.


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Am I myself one of these militia members? I am indeed. The Illinois State Constitution says I am.


Now go and brain-wash yourself with some actual truth for a change.

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