Archive for March, 2010

F.B.I., The Joint Terrorism Task Force, And Homeland Security Raids Occuring In Michigan And Other Areas.

Reports are coming from several local sources of large operations by the FBI and Homeland Security in process yesterday, March 27th and today, March 28th. Given the locations, there is speculation these operations could be militia related. If not, maybe some sort of terrorist situation though that as an explanation has been denied. Locations in Indiana and Ohio have been cited as well. First there is this from clickonDetroit,

ADRIAN, Mich. — The FBI confirmed to Local 4 that there were several law enforcement activities in the Lenawee/Washtenaw County area late Saturday night.

“The federal warrants are sealed and we can not comment at this time,” said Sandra Berchtold, media/applicant coordinator for the FBI in Detroit.

Local 4 crews could see FBI helicopters flying over the area.

and there is this from

Action News has learned Homeland Security and the Joint Anti-terrorism Task Force is also involved in a major operation.

Federal officials would not say who they were targeting or where, but the FBI has set up a command center at the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Department in Ann Arbor, where they have brought in two satellite trucks and a radio tower.

There is also this from Chicago Breaking News,

Hammond police assisted with an FBI raid Saturday evening in the Indiana city, but federal officials would not release any details.

Hammond officials did not know the circumstances surrounding the raid, which began about 7 p.m. and lasted two hours, said a police dispatcher.

The raid occurred on the 1900 block of Calumet Avenue, the dispatcher said. There were no injuries reported.

As news on this develops, it will be posted when definitive answers are provided.

Various news sources are saying a Michigan Militia group are targeted in the raid. There is this report from for readers here to read. The following is from the article,

The FBI conducted raids Saturday night in Washtenaw County and Lenawee County in an investigation involving members of Hutaree, a Christian-oriented militia group based in Lenawee County, has learned. ….

“I can confirm that there is ongoing law enforcement activity in the Ann Arbor general area,” Pack said in a written statement. “Since the federal warrants are under court ordered seal, legally we cannot provide further comment at this time.”

Local Michigan militia member Jimmy Schiel said he was told five people were arrested – including one known member of Hutaree. Schiel said the five were reportedly arrested during a raid at a service in the Ann Arbor area for a Hutaree member who died recently. Schiel was told about eight Hutaree members were present. Schiel, who said he was invited but did not attend, spoke to a Hutaree member who was at the service, he said.

Fox News is reporting

Seven people have been arrested for allegedly selling pipe bombs in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana, Fox News has learned.

The Times Leader Online published on Friday, March 26th this following report titled, “Possible Monroe terrorist plot foiled” which mentions an improvised booby trap and explosive compunds,

AN IMPROVISED booby trap was outside a Monroe County residence where explosive compounds, numerous blasting caps and a large amount of ammunition were among the articles seized, leading to charges against a 50-year-old man, according to Sheriff Charles R. Black Jr.

Two search warrants were executed this week, based on information that a government facility was a potential target for an explosion, Black noted.

Charlie Leroy Russell, 50, a Wayne Township resident, was arrested and faces four counts of unlawful possession of dangerous ordnance, which are fifth degree felonies, and five counts of illegal manufacture or process of explosives, which are felony 2 offenses. Black reported that additional charges are pending a review by the grand jury.


Members of Hutaree Militia Group Charged With Conspiracy To Kill Police

In a report from the Associated Press titled, “Militia members charged with police-killing plot“, it says that nine members of the Hutaree Militia are charged with conspiring to kill police officers and plotting to kill more at a funeral for a slain officer by detonating bombs. It indicates eight are in custody and one is still at large. This follows the raids by the FBI, Homeland Security and the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Once other officers gathered for the slain officer’s funeral, the group planned to detonate homemade bombs at the funeral, killing more, according to newly unsealed court papers. ….

According to investigators, the Hutaree view local, state, and federal law enforcement personnel as a “brotherhood” and an enemy, and planned to attack them as part of an armed struggle against the U.S. government.

Andrew Arena, head of the FBI’s field office in Detroit, said the case “is an example of radical and extremist fringe groups which can be found throughout our society. The FBI takes such extremist groups seriously, especially those who would target innocent citizens and the law enforcement officers who protect the citizens of the United States.”

The five count indictment can be read here (pdf file).


Bricks, Bullets, Condoms, Threats, And Spit.

March 27, 2010 1 comment

Republican Response Weak Concerning America’s Unhinged Right Wing.  Cantor Even Plays Victim. Former Bush Speechwriter And The Neoconservative American Enterprise Institute Part Ways After His Candor.

The vandalism and threats over the Health Insurance Bill by stirred up extremists are starting to add up.  Let’s take a cursory look.  Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) must have thought he had passed through a time warp back to the days when he marched along side of Dr. King through the racist neoconfederate South of the 60’s for Civil Rights as he walked to Capitol Hill on Saturday, March 20th enduring the “N” word being shouted at him and members of the Congressional Black Caucus.  Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo) was spat upon.  In an account at The Hill Rep. Lewis was quoted

Asked if racial epithets were yelled at him, Lewis responded, “Yes, but it’s OK. I’ve heard this before in the ’60s. A lot of this is just downright hate.”

Cleaver’s office issued the following quoted at The Hill,

“This is not the first time the Congressman has been called the ‘n’ word and certainly not the worst assault he has endured in his years fighting for equal rights for all Americans,” the statement said. “That being said, he is disappointed that in the 21st century our national discourse has devolved to the point of name calling and spitting.”

Homophobic slurs were hurled at Rep. Barney Frank by the Tea Party protestors. Bart Stupak the anti-abortion congressman from Michigan received death threats on his answering machine such as these reported by the National Post ,

The anti-abortion congressman who voted for the health-care bill, was called a “bastard and a baby-killer,” a “baby-murdering scumbag” and warned he would die “either by the hand of man or by the hand of God.”

. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn) was sent a condum with a typed letter saying

“Betty McCollum you’ve been dry f***** by the liberal party.”

and her office also received part of an American flag doused in gasoline and a letter addressed to her and fellow Minnesota Democrats Rep. Keith Ellison, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Sen. Al Franken which said,

“Each of you receives part of a shredded American flag,” the letter read. “It represents Obama and your liberal filth. Open the bag, it’s covered in the stench you’ve brought to our government … Because of you, we are now a country of dirt, shame, corruption and slime.”

as reported by CNN political ticker. CNN Politics also reports

Early Monday morning, a glass panel at the Tucson office of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona, was shattered, spokesman C.J. Karamargin said. It wasn’t clear how the window was shattered, but visitors have to go through a gated courtyard to enter the office, and staffers suspect someone may have shot a pellet gun at the glass, he said.


In upstate New York, two similar incidents were reported before Sunday night’s vote, according to CNN affiliate WHEC. A brick was thrown through the window of the Monroe County Democratic Committee headquarters in Rochester, and another was tossed through a window of Democratic Rep. Louise Slaughter’s office in Niagara Falls early Friday.

There is the case of Rep. Tom Perriello’s (D-Va) brother as reported by The Cavalier Daily ,

The FBI and local authorities are investigating a severed propane gas line at the home of Bo Perriello, the older brother of Rep. Tom Perriello, D-Charlottesville. Officials have deemed the incident as a “deliberate act of vandalism,” which may have resulted as possible retribution for the representative’s vote in favor of health care reform, mistakenly targeted at his brother. ….

The attacks are believed to have originated with an Internet post by a member of the conservative Tea Party group, a nationwide political organization. Tea Party member Nigel Coleman posted Bo Perriello’s address on his Facebook page after the passage of the health care initiative, stating that he was not “holding back anymore!!”

There is also the case of road rage as reported by over an Obama bumper sticker, and cases of twittering threats and calls to violence as reported by and .

Congressional Democrats have condemned the acts of vandalism and violent inciteful rhetoric and called on Republicans requesting an appeal to their voters to tone it down. Republicans have only tepidly responded. First they have pretended that there is some sort equivalence of the Tea Party from liberals or “the left”. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn) was at the Tea Party protest in DC. Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va) went as far as to blame the victims of America’s far right thugs by saying that Democrats were (in a quote reported by the Washington Post),

“dangerously fanning the flames”

and then claiming he was a victim of malicous vandalism by saying his window at his campaign offices in Richmond was shot out. It turns out the window in question was not his, but the window of a political consultancy firm called Marcus & Allen. The report from the Sheriff’s office included the following:

that a bullet was fired into the air and struck the window in a downward direction, landing on the floor about a foot from the window. The round struck with enough force to break the windowpane but did not penetrate the window blinds.

But one Republican decided to come clean and it isn’t any Republican in Congress. That Republican was none other than former G.W. Bush speechwriter David Frum, from the administration that gave America illegal preventive war, torture (against US and international law), wire tapping, secret government, an end to Constitutional guaranteed civil liberties, and an unpaid trillion dollar war which of course, makes the Republican and Tea Party movement rhetoric hypocrisy of the greatest order. In a written piece he did for CNN, he gave a view that the Health Care Bill was the Republican Party’s Waterloo, not Obama’s. In it, he said

I’ve been on a soapbox for months now about the harm that our overheated talk is doing to us. Yes, it mobilizes supporters — but by mobilizing them with hysterical accusations and pseudo-information, overheated talk has made it impossible for representatives to represent and elected leaders to lead.

Now the overheated talk is about to get worse. Over the past 48 hours, I’ve heard conservatives compare the House bill to the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 — a decisive step on the path to the Civil War. Conservatives have whipped themselves into spasms of outrage and despair that block all strategic thinking.

Or almost all. The vitriolic talking heads on conservative talk radio and shock TV have very different imperatives from people in government. Talk radio thrives on confrontation and recrimination.

When Rush Limbaugh said that he wanted Obama to fail, he was intelligently explaining his own interests. What he omitted to say — but what is equally true — is that he also wants Republicans to fail.

He also, has rightly pointed that the current Health Care Reform has had a Heritage Foundation connection. Also, in an interview with Terry Moran from Nightline , he said

Moran: “It sounds like you’re saying that the Glenn Becks, the Rush Limbaughs, hijacked the Republican party and drove it to a defeat?”

Frum: “Republicans originally thought that Fox worked for us and now we’re discovering we work for Fox. And this balance here has been completely reversed. The thing that sustains a strong Fox network is the thing that undermines a strong Republican party.”

The neoconservative American Enterprise Institute of which Frum was a fellow decided it had enough of Frum’s candor and received a resignation letter from him after a meeting.

A former religious right leader turned Democratic voter, Frank Schaeffer, writing at firedoglake in a piece titled, “Republicans: Violent Losers” has summmed up the current situation with comparing today’s Tea Party movement and hate inspired media with that of the “patriotic” fascist movements of the 30’s and 40’s. In it he says and warns,

That day’s xenophobic and utterly ignorant Firster “patriots” lapped up the Lindbergh moonshine alternative reality. They also (like the Tea Party today) accused their President (Roosevelt) of “communism” because he opposed far right Germany. They too had their hate fed by the likes of Rush Limbaugh; in their day radio personality and fascist sympathizer Father Charles Coughlin…

The Republican leadership have literally gotten into bed with hate. And like all such bargains with the devil it was easier to begin their relationship with rube America than to end it.

Like Lindberg who lived out the rest of his life in ignominy — once we went to war with Japan and Germany — the Republicans will find little room to maneuver as the reality of the good that the health care reform bill will do sinks in with ordinary Americans. And if one of the Tea Party-type loons flies another plane into some federal building again – as recently happened in Texas to the IRS – and there is a huge tragedy, the Republican/Tea Party game will be over.

Either way: be it the next right wing act of domestic terror or the realization by the American public that the Republicans are just plain wrong on the facts; the Republicans are on their way down.

Ole Ole Olson at News Junkie has rightly called all this an “American Kristallnaght“. Another post by Cyrano at Democratic Underground sums up the thoughts and comment about this of a 90 year old holocaust survivor Cyrano visited while delivering supplies to elderly shut ins who said,

“The monsters never go away.”

To that, I say “Aye, ma’am. There be monsters out there. History recycles them and we have to live through their eras of darkness until we realize what is going on and decide they will not win.”