March 30, 2010

Taking on the Government All the Rage these Days

Militia Bust.jpg

So his neighbor said he didn’t think it was a big deal David Stone (top row, far left) was in a militia and that people were regularly coming-and-going next door in military fatigues?

With all the venom coming out of the health care protests and with all the attention being showered on the angry and threatening Teabaggers, it was a relief to see these photos of a three state bust on Monday, the F.B.I. breaking up a Christian militia group planning a series of attacks in an attempt to spark “an antigovernment uprising.”

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I’m not drawing a connection between this group and the Tea Party, per se, but looking at this photo of Thomas Piatek’s van (Mr. Piatek, bottom row, far right) with the otherwise innocuous, if raggedy flag, I am questioning: the tolerance for public displays of threat, exactly where and when our elected leaders start drawing the line, what overlaps exist between militia groups and the Tea Party, and whether and how much media’s patronization of the latter serves to encourage the former?

(photo set: AP: This combo of eight photos provided by the U.S. Marshals Service on Monday March 29, 2010 shows from top left, David Brian Stone Sr. , 44, of Clayton, Mich,; David Brian Stone Jr. of Adrian, Mich,; Jacob Ward, 33, of Huron, Ohio; Tina Mae Stone and bottom row from left, Michael David Meeks, 40, of Manchester, Mich,; Kristopher T. Sickles, 27, of Sandusky, Ohio; Joshua John Clough, 28, of Blissfield, Mich. ; and Thomas William Piatek, 46, of Whiting, Ind. ,. Nine suspects tied to Hutaree, a Christian militia that was preparing for the Antichrist were charged with conspiring to kill police officers, then kill scores more by attacking a funeral using homemade bombs, federal prosecutors said Monday. Federal authorities say Stone’s other son, Joshua Matthew Stone is a fugitive. Piatek, 46, of Whiting, Ind. , was arrested Sunday in Illinois after an FBI raid Saturday in Hammond, Ind. In court Monday, he initially said he was the person named in the federal indictment, but when read the allegations, he said “I’m not that guy.” U.S. District Judge Paul Cherry ordered Piatek to return Wednesday for an identity and bond hearing. photo 2: M. Spencer Green/A.P.)

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Michael Shaw
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