Monday, February 21, 2005

The voice of extremism

No sooner do we mention Glenn Spencer than he pops up, unsurprisingly, in an ABC News report on the formation of a 500-person volunteer army of "Minutemen" who are pledged to patrolling the border with Mexico:
Civilian patrols are nothing new along the southern border, where crossing the international line is sometimes as easy as stepping over a few rusty strands of barbed wire. But they usually are limited to small, informal groups, leaving organizers to believe the Minuteman Project is the largest of its kind on the southern border.

It may also prove to be a magnet for what Glenn Spencer, president of the private American Border Patrol, described as camouflage-wearing, weapons-toting hard-liners who might get a little carried away with their assignments.

"How are they going to keep the nutcases out of there? They can't control that," said Spencer, whose 40-volunteer group, based in Hereford, Ariz., has used unmanned aerial vehicles and other high-tech equipment to track and report the number of border crossings for more than two years.

"There's a storm gathering here on the border, and there are conditions ripe for some difficulty," he said.

What's strange about this account is that it almost paints Spencer as the voice of reason in all this. In fact, he's been responsible for stirring this particular pot for some time now. Sounds like he must not be getting a piece of the action.

Though you certainly could say that his concern about attracting kooks is based in experience.

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