The same is true of the Minutemen, whose rising acceptance in the mainstream is a real cause for concern, as I've been saying. This fact was underscored by Brock Meeks' appallingly thin coverage for MSNBC, which seemed to view this increased influence rather approvingly.
But, as Meeks' report suggests, the Minutemen are looking like they may come apart because of internal squabbling. A recent Associated Press report provides more detail on this:
- The groups' leaders accused each other during interviews Friday of being aggressive and extreme in their desire to stop illegal immigration.
Clifford Alford, leader of a group called the New Mexico Minutemen, claims that members of the Minuteman Project -- a group that drew international attention in April when volunteers showed up in Arizona to patrol the border -- like to run around in paramilitary uniforms and carry assault weapons.
"They really don't give a rip about anyone's civil rights," he said. "We want our effort to be more humanitarian."
Mike Gaddy, who is leading the Minuteman Project in New Mexico, said Alford wasn't part of the group's monitoring project in Arizona.
"Alford hasn't been a Minuteman for a minute," Gaddy said. "He is part of a renegade organization that has absolutely nothing to do with the Minutemen whatsoever."
Alford was appointed to his new post last week by James Chase, a California man and a member of the Minuteman Project who was ousted from the group because leaders accused him of behaving like Rambo.
Chase, on the other hand, said he's a Minuteman in good standing who helped the group plan patrol tactics in Arizona. He said the schism started because he and a leader in Arizona disagreed on the firing of certain volunteers and the group's use of fundraising to pay salaries.
Ah, but that's really just the start. Right-wing extremists also have a track record of gallivanting off into conspiracy-land, thereby revealing themselves as the addled crackpots that they really are.
See, for instance, the latest campaign a-brewing at Chris Simcox's Minuteman Project site, something titled "Operation Spotlight":
- THE MINUTEMAN PROJECT "OPERATION SPOTLIGHT" IS ASSEMBLING A NETWORK OF FORMER AND RETIRED SPECIALISTS FROM THE AMERICAN JUDICIARY SYSTEM FOR THE PURPOSE OF LEGALLY PROVIDING TO LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE RELATIVE TO DELIBERATE VIOLATIONS OF STATE OR FEDERAL IMMIGRATION, TAX OR EMPLOYMENT LAWS.
Wow! That sounds really interesting, you think. So what exactly are they talking about. Well, scroll down, dear reader:
- OPERATION SPOTLIGHT
THE MINUTEMAN PROJECT IS LOOKING FOR A FEW GOOD VOLUNTEERS FROM THE FOLLOWING VOCATIONS:
PROSECUTING ATTORNEYS (OR JUDGES)
RETIRED OR FORMER MEMBERS OF THE JUDICIARY FROM ANY LEGAL DISCIPLINE, ESPECIALLY THOSE WITH SUBSTANTIAL PROSECUTORIAL EXPERIENCE IN:
-- IMMIGRATION LAW
-- TAX EVASION
-- CIVIL RIGHTS*
RETIRED OR FORMER INVESTIGATORS WITH SUBSTANTIAL EXPERIENCE IN THE CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISIONS OF ANY OF THE FOLLOWING, OR SIMILAR, AGENCIES:
-- BUREAU OF IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT (ICE)
-- UNITED STATES TREASURY - INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE (IRS)
-- ATTORNEY GENERAL
INFORMANTS ARE WANTED WHO HAVE LEGALLY OBTAINED PRECISE INFORMATION LEADING TO THE INDICTMENT, ARREST AND CONVICTION OF ANY PERSON OR BUSINESS ENGAGED IN THE ILLEGAL ALIEN SLAVE LABOR TRADE, INCLUDING THE SMUGGLING, HARBORING, OR HIRING OF ILLEGAL ALIENS, OR THE EVASION OF EMPLOYMENT TAXES OR REQUIRED WORKER'S COMP INSURANCE ON SUCH EMPLOYEES.
ALSO, THE PROJECT IS INTERESTED IN INFORMATION CONCERNING FRAUD COMMITTED BY ELECTED OR APPOINTED PUBLIC OFFICIALS, OR THEIR EMPLOYEES.
-- VOTER FRAUD
-- FRAUDULENT QUALIFICATION FOR ANY TYPE OF PUBLIC ASSISTANCE
-- IDENTIFICATION FRAUD (DRIVER'S LICENSE, SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER, ETC.)
SEEK CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS AND CIVIL PENALTIES UNDER EXISTING FEDERAL AND STATE LAWS AGAINST:
--- EMPLOYERS (OR THEIR AGENTS) WHO HAVE WILLFULLY EXPLOITED THE ILLEGAL ALIEN SLAVE LABOR MARKET IN VIOLATION OF LONG-STANDING IMMIGRATION, TAX AND LABOR LAWS.
--- OPERATORS OF SO-CALLED "SAFE HOUSES" WHO HARBOR ILLEGAL ALIENS SMUGGLED INTO THE UNITED STATES.
--- PERSONS CONDUCTING ILLEGAL HUMAN SMUGGLING OPERATIONS, ESPECIALLY THE SMUGGLING OF CHILDREN FOR SEXUAL EXPLOITATION.
--- PERSONS ENGAGED IN DOCUMENT FRAUD RELATIVE TO ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION.
THE WEB OF VOLUNTEER ATTORNEYS AND INVESTIGATORS WILL COMPILE AND REVIEW EVIDENCE LEGALLY PROVIDED BY RELIABLE INFORMANTS AND DETERMINE THE LIKLIHOOD OF SUCH EVIDENCE RESULTING IN CONVICTIONS OF VIOLATORS UNDER EXISTING STATUTES. THAT INFORMATION WILL BE PRESENTED TO THE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY CHARGED WITH THE INDICTMENT, ARREST AND/OR PROSECUTION FOR SUCH CRIMES.
TARGET VIOLATORS AND GEOGRAPHICAL AREAS
ANY VIOLATOR IN ANY OF THE 50 UNITED STATES.
THE MMProject "OPERATION SPOTLIGHT" IS AN EXPERIMENT IN VOLUNTEERISM AND, LIKE THE ORIGINAL MINUTEMAN PROJECT OF APRIL 2005, CURRENTLY OFFERS NO SUBSIDIES OR COMPENSATION FOR PARTICIPANTS.
THE TASKS AT HAND ARE NOT FOR THE MEEK, THE WEAK, OR THE SELFISH OPPORTUNIST. IT WILL TAKE PATIENCE, STOIC DETERMINATION, INTEGRITY, AN UNDYING SPIRIT FOR TRUTH AND JUSTICE…AND A FIRM BELIEF THAT THE CORNERSTONE OF THIS GREAT NATION, THE FIRST AMENDMENT OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION, IS THE LODESTAR TO A POSITIVE AND RESPECTABLE RESOLUTION TO THE ILLS OF A NATION VEERING TOWARD LAWLESSNESS, SOCIAL MAYHEM, AND A SHRINKING MIDDLE ECONOMIC CLASS.
Note how this campaign folds a couple of mainstream conservative memes -- attacking the judiciary and "voter fraud" concerns -- into a quasi-conspiratorial "investigation". Just who might those elected officials be who are falling under the sway of these slave-labor smugglers?
Anyway, this strikes me as yet another iteration of the classic Weekly Militia Crusade. During the heyday of Militia of Montana, founder John Trochmann ceaselessly would find a fresh new route for uncovering the New World Order -- each week, it seemed -- and announce it to his easily led flock. It was a good way to keep the interest up and the money flowing. Which I assume is what Simcox is doing here as well.
Just try not to notice the way those eyeballs rattle around in his skull.