[Cross-posted at Crooks and Liars.]
Ho hum. It's becoming routine now:
Police say at least two of the seven suspects arrested for the fatal shooting of two Louisiana sheriffs deputies last Thursday are connected to the anti-government “sovereign citizen” movement.We've been writing about -- and warning about -- the sovereign citizens movement for a long time now, but now it seems it's just part of the American woodwork. ABC News picked up on this story, but so far, that's been the reach.
According to WBRZ-TV, 28-year-old Kyle Joekel and 44-year-old Terry Smith had identified themselves as part of the movement, which was classified as a domestic terror group last year by the FBI.
Joekel and Smith, along with several members of Smith’s family and other associates, were arrested following an ambush on authorities in LaPlace, Louisiana, about 25 miles west of New Orleans. Deputies Brandon Nielsen and Jeremy Triche were killed in the ensuing shootout. Two more deputies were wounded.
And Fox News? Fuggaboutit. They're too busy denouncing the lack of coverage in last week's FRC shooting -- in which no one was killed -- to pay attention to yet another case of right-wing domestic terrorism.
See Juan Williams on The O'Reilly Factor last week, hosting Rich Noyes from Brent Bozell's right-wing Media Research Center, complaining loudly about the lack of coverage:
WILLIAMS: Well, why don't they see something to follow up with. Rich, I don't care if you are a liberal or conservative. The idea of people walking in with guns to attack people that they have political differences with is outrageous.Yes, that obviously must be the answer, Juan, considering that we can point to more than fifty incidents in the past four years involving domestic terrorism committed by right-wing extremists (we're actually up to about 72 cases, but we'll have more on that later), and in only about a third of those cases was there any media coverage at all.
And I just can't believe that the networks won't pay attention to the story. But it's got to be that they don't like the conservative direction of the Family Research Council and the fact that they condemn gay marriage. I mean, is that the obvious answer or am I wrong.
NOYES: I think that is absolutely obvious answer.
In contrast, every single case of the 30 or so so-called "Islamist" domestic terrorism has produced national media coverage, as have most cases of animal-rights, eco-terror or anarchist violence (which are significantly smaller in number).
So maybe when Fox News can actually cover incidents of right-wing terrorism AS what they are -- namely, right-wing terrorism -- instead of assiduously and loudly pronouncing that they are no such thing -- and when cases of left-wing terrorism begin to pile up the way right-wing terrorism has in recent years, well, then it might be possible to consider their complaint legitimate.
Amusingly, Bozell himself opined this weekend:
These networks are aiding and abetting liberal violence by refusing to identify it as liberal violence.Right-wing violence? According to these great thinkers, it just doesn't exist. Even when it does.
This has profound consequences, Readers are well aware, of course, how right-wing screaming over the Department of Homeland Security's bulletin to law-enforcement about right-wing extremist terrorism resulted in the evisceration of the DHS's capabilities in that regard.
Now, Daryl Johnson -- the author of that report -- has penned a contemplative piece about this in the wake of the recent Sikh temple massacre by a white supremacist with military training:
I learned that politicians, political parties and those that support them (including the media) will go to great lengths to undermine the opposition. For this reason, everyone should take a moment to better understand how politicizing domestic intelligence impacts national security as well as the safety of our communities. Politicizing intelligence has its consequences.Spencer Ackerman at Wired has an in-depth interview with Johnson that is well worth reading.
Since the DHS warning concerning the resurgence of right-wing extremism, 27 law enforcement officers have been shot (16 killed) by right-wing extremists. Over a dozen mosques have been burned with firebombs – likely attributed to individuals embracing Islamaphobic beliefs. In May 2009, an abortion doctor was murdered while attending church, two other assassination plots against abortion providers were thwarted during 2011 and a half-dozen women’s health clinics were attacked with explosive and incendiary devices over the past two years.
In January 2010, a tax resister deliberately crashed his small plane filled with a 50-gallon drum of gasoline into an IRS processing center in Austin, Texas; in January 2011, three incendiary bombs were mailed to government officials in Annapolis, Md., and Washington, D.C.; also, in January 2011, a backpack bomb was placed along a Martin Luther King Day parade route in Spokane, Wash.; and, during 2010-2012, there have been multiple plots to kill ethnic minorities, police and other government officials by militia extremists and white supremacists.
The Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek, Wis., and the shooting of four sheriff’s deputies in St. Johns Parish, La., in August are only the latest manifestations of right-wing extremist violence in the U.S. Yet, there have been no hearings on Capitol Hill about this issue. DHS still has only one analyst monitoring domestic terrorism. The federal government’s failure to recognize the domestic terrorism threat tells me there will assuredly be more attacks to come.