Skip to comments.Joe Stack: who will take right-wing terrorism seriously?
Posted on 02/28/2010 5:36:12 PM PST by presidio9
When most Americans think of terrorism, certain images come to mind: airplanes flying into the World Trade Center. Muslim men with long beards in Afghanistan. Dark-skinned people trying to set off bombs on airplanes.
But is Islamic-based terrorism a primary threat? Maybe the face of terrorism is more diverse than that. Perhaps it is also a middle-aged white man. Perhaps it looks like Joe Stack. On February 18, Stack, an Austin, Texas man with tax problems, flew his personal airplane into the Internal Revenue Office Building in Austin. He killed one IRS employee and himself. His manifesto explained that the IRS forced him to violence after a tax code switch in the 1980s ruined his life. Stacks violent attack on a federal institution is only the latest example of right-wing terrorism to afflict the United States in recent years.
Some have questioned Stacks right-wing credentials. They point out a reference to communism in his manifesto. This is possible. Parsing the political leanings of an unhinged and suicidal man can be tricky and counterproductive. However, his anti-government leanings and attack on the Internal Revenue Service comes straight from the right-wing playbook.
Regardless, conservatives have taken up Stacks mantle. Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, a likely candidate for the 2012 Republican nomination, told the Conservative Political Action Conference last weekend that conservatives needed to smash the windows out of big government.
Iowa Republican Congressman Steve King went a step further, expressing sympathy for Stacks actions. He told a CPAC crowd that they also needed to implode IRS offices. Stacks own daughter has portrayed him as hero. Samantha Bell told Good Morning America that her fathers noble death should serve as a wake-up call to people to stand up against government agents she considers pompous political thugs and their mindless minions.
The man Stack killed, Vernon Hunter, served two tours of duty in the Vietnam War. Yet the hero is apparently his murderer.
Stack is the latest in a long string of violent right-wing attacks in recent years. On May 31, 2009, Dr. George Tiller, one of the nations few late-term abortion providers, was shot and killed in his church by the anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder. On June 27, 2008, an unemployed truck driver named Jim Adkisson walked into the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee and opened fire, killing two. He attacked the Unitarian church for its acceptance of gays and support of abortion rights, and claimed he wanted to kill every Democrat in the House and Senate.
The right-wing Tea Party movement has employed violent rhetoric as well, including a speaker at a Washington state rally claiming she wanted to hang Washington Democratic Senator Patty Murray. Some have called Stack the first Tea Party terrorist. While Stack doesnt seem to have had explicit connections to organized right-wing activism, his actions come from the same conservative anger at the federal government and liberalism.
The most famous example of right-wing terrorism occurred in April 1995, when Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, two men with long-connections to right-wing militias, blew up the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. 168 people died that day.
These rural-based militias preach anti-government extremism, often mixed with white supremacy, and constitute a real threat, as McVeigh and Nichols proved. Yet the United States has yet to have a serious public dialogue about increasingly frequent right-wing terrorism.
We have three major public spaces to remember victims of terrorism and to think about terrorisms impact upon national identity. The first is the former World Trade Center site in New York. The second is where Flight 93 crashed in rural Pennsylvania. And the third is the Oklahoma City Memorial.
At the first two, visitors can visualize the bad guys, but the Oklahoma City Memorial does a remarkably poor job at contextualizing the attacks. The site is tremendously heartbreaking, but you get no sense that McVeigh and Nichols had right-wing connections. They read like isolated crazy people who just wanted to kill innocent women and children. You see the McVeigh and Nichols as two evil men, not as representatives of a larger terrorist movement.
Politics do enter the Oklahoma City Memorial. The exhibits have several references to so-called eco-terrorism. The museum paints eco-terrorism as a serious threat to American national security. Examples of this horror include groups like the Earth Liberation Front setting fire to SUVs in car lots and the 2008 arson of a luxury home development in a Seattle suburb.
While Im not excusing such actions, they arent terrorism. They arent attacks upon government institutions, they are not designed to inspire terror in the American population. They are stupid acts of outrage over the destruction of the environment.
When environmentalists start killing CEOs of chemical companies or blowing up Exxon-Mobil office buildings, then we can make legitimate comparisons between radical environmentalists and right-wing terrorists. Discussing this dubious threat at the Oklahoma City Memorial obscures McVeigh and Nichols political leanings.
Of course, conservatives dont want you to make these connections. They worked hard to ensure an apolitical Oklahoma City Memorial. Say what they will, but events like Oklahoma City, Knoxville, and Austin serve conservative purposes.
Talk-radio and the internet spew an endless expectoration of hate. Republicans might publicly distance themselves from this, but Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, et al have created a powerful conservative movement with the potential for violence. Jim Adkisson explicitly cited right-wing radio as having influenced his actions.
The threat of right-wing domestic terrorism provides at least as great a threat to the nation as Islamic terrorism. And its far past time we started talking about this. How many Americans have to die before we take right-wing terrorism seriously?
Erik Loomis is a visiting assistant professor of history at Southwestern University.
someone didnt take their medicine today..
I don’t know who’s the bigger loon, Stack or this alleged professor.
The communist creed:
From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
The capitalist creed:
From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.
-Joe Stack (1956-2010)
['See text of the note' (CNN PDF file)
The ahole forgot about the leftist attacks on recruiting station over the years as well.
"A family source said Bishop, a mother of four children - the youngest a third-grade boy - was a far-left political extremist who was "obsessed" with President Obama to the point of being off-putting."--Boston Herald, February 15, 2010
'Oddball' portrait of Amy Bishop emerges:
He looks like he’s in a lineup.
From HumanEvents.com, April 29, 2008:
"By all accounts, he [Obama friend and associate, Bill Ayers] was a ferocious, violent, revolutionary Marxist in his halcyon days as a Weatherman leader. He and his Weatherman bombers were enamored of Ho Chi Minh, Che Guevara, Fidel Castro, Mao Tse-tung -- indeed, all the murderous heroes on the Left. Referring to the Weatherman members in August 1969, he said (according to the FBI): 'Were revolutionary Communists.'
He got off on the groups multiple explosions, too, and discusses them rather lovingly in his memoir.
Ideal Bombing Weather:
'Everything was absolutely ideal on the day I bombed the Pentagon,' he writes (although he concedes it was really a group effort). 'The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them.' (p. 256 in the 2003 edition.)
Article: Obama and His Weatherman Friends
"It was at the Chicago home of [Bill] Ayers and [Bernardine] Dohrn that Obama, then an up-and-coming 'community organizer,' had his political coming out party in 1995. Not content with this rite of passage in Lefty World where unrepentant terrorists are regarded as progressive luminaries, still working 'only to educate' both Obamas tended to the relationship with the Ayers."
Article: The Company He Keeps:
Meet Obamas circle: The same old America-hating Left
"This is a guy who lives in my neighborhood, who's a professor of English..."
The O'Reilly Factor confronts Bill Ayers:
October 24, 2008:
(note the red communist star on his shirt)
Best response - point and laugh.
From David Horowitz's FrontPageMag.com/DiscoverTheNetworks.org:
March 6, 1970: "three members of the Weather Underground accidentally killed themselves in a Manhattan townhouse while attempting to build a powerful bomb they had intended to plant at a social dance in Fort Dix, New Jersey -- an event that was to be attended by U.S. Army soldiers. Hundreds of lives could have been lost had the plot been successfully executed."
"The bomb was intended to be planted at a non-commissioned officer's dance at Fort Dix, New Jersey.
The bomb was packed with nails to inflict maximum casualties upon detonation."
2007 Fort Dix attack plot
A group of six radical Islamist men, allegedly plotting to stage an attack on the Fort Dix military base in New Jersey, United States, were arrested by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on May 7, 2007. They were subsequently charged with planning an attack against U.S. soldiers. The alleged aim of the six men was said to be to "kill as many soldiers as possible". Their trial began on October 20, 2008. 
Opening arguments were presented on October 20, 2008.
Assistant U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick said the defendants were inspired by jihad saying "Their motive was to defend Islam. Their inspiration was Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.
That pictures says it all! Bet he got a lot of wedgies in grade school!
That picture looks like he’s on a police pedophile lineup.
I think Frank Rich’s NYTs column today is similar to this one. What a coincidence! /snort
That’s what I thought too. Very schizophrenic.
HEY, ya’ll been hiding thet thar rhat wing playbook from me for the lass 10 yeers?
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
Amazing a left-wing supporter of BO is now relabeled a right-winger. The old media is about as corrupt as a chicago politician.