hutaree means “christian warrior”…

Posted on Tuesday 30 March 2010

Militia Charged With Plotting to Murder Officers
New York Times

March 29, 2010

CLAYTON, Mich. — David B. Stone Sr. and his wife, Tina, made no secret about the fact that they were part of a militia, neighbors say. The couple frequently let visitors in military fatigues erect tents in front of their trailer home at the intersection of rural dirt roads, and the sound of gunfire was routine. “In Michigan, I don’t think it’s that big of a deal to be in a militia,” said Tom McDormett, a neighbor. He added: “They would practice shooting, but that’s not a big deal. People do that all the time out here”…

In an indictment against the nine unsealed on Monday, the Justice Department said they were part of a group of apocalyptic Christian militants who were plotting to kill law enforcement officers in hopes of inciting an anti-government uprising, the latest in a recent surge in right-wing militia activity.The court filing said the group, which called itself the Hutaree, planned to kill an unidentified law enforcement officer and then bomb the funeral caravan using improvised explosive devices based on designs used against American troops by insurgents in Iraq…
 The Southern Poverty Law Center lists 26 Hate Groups in Michigan. None of the numerous Michigan Militia groups made the list, including this one, the Hutaree. The Michigan Militia has posted something of a condemnation on its web site about this recent arrest of the members of the Hutaree group:
    Both The Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia and the staff of condemn attacks or threats of any sort directed against our elected representatives or law enforcement officers.  We also condemn those who would use these attacks to further their agenda.  We are pleased that the arrests were made without incident or injury; the difference can now be settled in a court of law, not a bloody shootout.

    A well-armed citizenry is the best form of Homeland Security and can better deter crime, invasion, terrorism, and tyranny.  The intention of this website is to inform, promote and facilitate the development and training of the militia. Everyone is welcome, regardless of race, creed, color, religion or political affiliation, provided you do not wish to bring harm to our country or people.  If you are a United States citizen (or have declared your intent to become such), who is capable of bearing arms, or supports the right to do so, then YOU ARE the militia…

In fact, I’ll bet this arrest will be quite the topic at the Open Carry Family Picnic & Tea Party weekend after next. Notice, by the way, that they add "We also condemn those who would use these attacks to further their agenda". I think they might be referring to people like me who think that a "Tax Blast" Tea Party picnic where people are all armed with hand guns might be an incitement to violence like the kind the Hutaree were planning. Eugene Robinson seems to be ignoring their condemnation too:
The Hutaree militia and the rising risk of far-right violence
Washington Post

By Eugene Robinson
March 30, 2010

The arrests of members of a Michigan-based "Christian" militia group should convince doubters that there is good reason to worry about right-wing, anti-government extremism – and potential violence – in the Age of Obama. I put the word Christian in quotes because anyone who plots to assassinate law enforcement officers, as a federal indictment alleges members of the Hutaree militia did, is no follower of Christ. According to federal prosecutors, the Hutaree – the word’s not in my dictionary, but its Web site claims it means "Christian warrior" – are convinced that their enemies include "state and local law enforcement, who are deemed ‘foot soldiers’ of the federal government, federal law enforcement agencies and employees, participants in the ‘New World Order,’ and anyone who does not share in the Hutaree’s beliefs"…

The episode highlights the obvious: For decades now, the most serious threat of domestic terrorism has come from the growing ranks of paranoid, anti-government hate groups that draw their inspiration, vocabulary and anger from the far right. It is disingenuous for mainstream purveyors of incendiary far-right rhetoric to dismiss groups such as the Hutaree by saying that there are "crazies on both sides." This simply is not true…
While Robinson is about to tell us that the Left Wing violent groups are in our past, I take his bringing them up in a different way. It’s good for us to be reminded that the violent knife cuts both ways.
There was a time when the far left was a spawning ground for political violence. The first big story I covered was the San Francisco trial of heiress Patricia Hearst, who had been kidnapped and eventually co-opted by the Symbionese Liberation Army – a far-left group whose philosophy was as apocalyptic and incoherent as that of the Hutaree. There are aging radicals in Cuba today who got to Havana by hijacking airplanes in the 1970s. Left-wing radicals caused mayhem and took innocent lives. But for the most part, far-left violence in this country has gone the way of the leisure suit and the AMC Gremlin…

By contrast, there has been explosive growth among far-right, militia-type groups that identify themselves as white supremacists, "constitutionalists," tax protesters and religious soldiers determined to kill people to uphold "Christian" values. Most of the groups that posed a real danger, as the Hutaree allegedly did, have been infiltrated and dismantled by authorities before they could do any damage. But we should never forget that the worst act of domestic terrorism ever committed in this country was authored by a member of the government-hating right wing: Timothy McVeigh’s bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.

It is dishonest for right-wing commentators to insist on an equivalence that does not exist. The danger of political violence in this country comes overwhelmingly from one direction – the right, not the left. The vitriolic, anti-government hate speech that is spewed on talk radio every day – and, quite regularly, at Tea Party rallies – is calibrated not to inform but to incite. Demagogues scream at people that their government is illegitimate, that their country has been "taken away," that their elected officials are "traitors" and that their freedom is at risk. They have a right to free speech, which I will always defend. But they shouldn’t be surprised if some listeners take them literally.

Our history began with an armed revolution – a violent revolution. It began with the anti-taxation Boston Tea Party where colonists threw the heavily taxed tea into the ocean. Later, local militias were formed that ultimately coalesced into the Continental Army. It was a period in history when our founders were influenced by the thinkers of their time – people like Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Rousseau proposed that government was a contract with the people. When the government broke the contract, it was the right of the people to overthrow the government and reestablish their social contract with a new government. The founders built a peaceful form of the Social Contract into our Constitution using democracy as a tool to establish a new contract every four years.

That contemporary history made it into our Constitution as the Second Amendment: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." While some of us take that to mean something like the National Guard, others have a more literal interpretation – like the Michigan Militia for example. And it does say, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. Throughout our history, there have been groups, Left and Right, that go for a more violent form of revolution. That’s just what happens here in America, and the Second Amendment "rights" and our history are usually quoted as a part of the rationalization for the violence – the images from the Boston Tea Party, the Citizen Militias of the Revolution, the Southern Confederacy, and the Ku Klux Klan are often in the mix.

But those forces are always around. What Eugene Robinson is talking about is the Right Wing Media and many Republican Officials inciting these forces to violence. What I personally think is that they are just doing what they do, trying to fire up people against the Obama Administration. They did it with the Religious Right. Now they’re going after the right-wing fringe groups. They’re inciting them to disrupt. They’re inciting them to vote Republican. And if the groups you’re inciting happen to have "open carry family picnics," then you’re inviting them to violence as well. Robinson says, "The vitriolic, anti-government hate speech that is spewed on talk radio every day – and, quite regularly, at Tea Party rallies – is calibrated not to inform but to incite." He couldn’t be more correct. He goes on, "It is disingenuous for mainstream purveyors of incendiary far-right rhetoric to dismiss groups such as the Hutaree by saying that there are ‘crazies on both sides’." It’s more than disingenuous, it’s a lie.

But I think it’s even more than just that. The whole underlying meme is FEAR. Fear of the black President. Fear of the liberal President. Fear of taxation. Fear of bankruptcy. Fear of the militias. Fear in the militias. Fear of the gun owners. Fear of the guns. Fear of 911. Fear of Terrorists. etc. It’s all about trying to keep Americans living in fear, and it’s being done on with purpose. Frightened people vote for Republicans is the formula…
    March 30, 2010 | 9:22 AM

    Robinson is spot on when he denounces the typical responses from so-called leaders on the right that try to say it happens from both left and right. And the main stream media plays into this by constantly adhering to the false premise of “balanced” reporting by always looking for something on the other side–when this violence is coming only from the right, the only balanced reporting should be to focus on that precise point.

    March 30, 2010 | 3:58 PM

    Good point !! What we need from journalists is not a balancing act but Truth-Seeking.

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