Military may take part in DC Sniper Hunt
October 15, 2002 3:51 PM   Subscribe

Military may take part in DC Sniper Hunt The Pentagon is making some noise about possibly using military personnel and equipment in the hunt for the DC area sniper. I am normally not a paranoid conspiracy type but... Would it be unthinkable that the government could be behind the whole thing. First they put out trained snipers to kill random victims and scare the hell out of the public. Then the military come in and save the day. At the same time they set a precedent for using the military to "fight crime" in the country. While I don't think this is the case, would you put it past the current administration?
posted by Blubble (76 comments total)
 
Strangely, enough, the article changed while I was posting. Now it appears that Rumsfeld has approved the use of military personnel and equipment in a limited role.
posted by Blubble at 3:54 PM on October 15, 2002


*pops open a can of worms*

Mmmm. Conspiracies.

But honestly, a dark corner of my mind entertained the same thought shortly after it all happened. But, living as close as I do to the latest attack, I don't care who they bring in right now as long as they stop whoever it is.

I work with a big conspiracy nut and he's been spouting things left and right about this current administration. Not to endanger the track of this topic, but does anyone have any good "Illuminati" links?
posted by dopamine at 3:55 PM on October 15, 2002


I've been wondering why they hadn't set up some sort of monitoring thingy. Don't they have a system whereby they place a network of microphones and can pinpoint gun shots.
posted by zeoslap at 3:56 PM on October 15, 2002


Felt bad about letting someone else do my Google dirty work so here is the thing I was referring to
posted by zeoslap at 3:59 PM on October 15, 2002


It's not as if Military personnel haven't been used in the states prior to this. While the article is mighty presumptuous, I'm not surprised that Military units haven been used and will continue to assist.
posted by CoolHandPuke at 4:06 PM on October 15, 2002


It would be more relevant to note that an actual witness observed that the sniper was "mideastern" looking. The government if anything down played this by saying he looked hispanic.

If you think that government snipers are killing Americans as official business you need serious counseling help.
posted by paleocon at 4:10 PM on October 15, 2002


As much as I hate Bush and his pack of mad dogs, I can't take your suggestion seriously.
posted by gordian knot at 4:14 PM on October 15, 2002


A good "Illuminati" link is Steve Jackson Games, and a really fun one that appeared here a couple of months ago was Warehouse 23. Some good conspiracy links are Mind Pollen, Anomalies Unlimited, Area X, and, most coherently, Disinfo.
posted by kate_fairfax at 4:16 PM on October 15, 2002


While I don't think this is the case, would you put it past the current administration?
posted by Blubble at 4:16 PM on October 15, 2002


set up some sort of monitoring thingy
Of course that is where governments will go. The surveillance by video and aural means will be part of our public lives. Add to that the implantation of gps chips into our children, the police will be playing the ultimate Atari game.
posted by JohnR at 4:18 PM on October 15, 2002


Well, knowing how much the govt. knew about 9/11 before it happened...

But my money's on Al-Quiada: religious references, random attacks calculated to terrorise, symbolic geographical location, huge 'chutzpah' in the face of the co-ordinated forces of FBI, Sherriffs, D.C. Police. A sleeper cell has woken up, we all need to take great care.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:20 PM on October 15, 2002


Paleocon - Do you think that such a thing is beyond elements of the US Gov.? A funny fact comes to mind - during recent Senate Intel Comittee testimony, a spokesperson for the CIA noted that the agency committed at least 100,000 serious crimes abroad each year. They keep statistics on this! (and, I assume murder would occaisonally be in those numbers). To assume that it would be possible to erect a firewall to prevent such a culture of US governent sanctioned, covert crime from spilling over into the territorial US is, I would say, more than a little credulous. I hope you aren't in the market for a used car.
posted by troutfishing at 4:21 PM on October 15, 2002


For the record, whether you like it or not, it is against the law to use military personnel to enforce civilian law. It's called the Posse Comitatus Act, and be really, really sure you know what you're doing before you argue for its further erosion. The above-linked document (Washington Uni. Law Journal, not radical wierdos...) claims "Major and minor exceptions to the PCA, which allow the use of the military in law enforcement roles, blur the line between military and civilian roles, undermine civilian control of the military, damage military readiness, and inefficiently solve the problems that they supposedly address.". Don't get me wrong, the shooter is a Bad Person Who Must Be Stopped, but the cost/benefit of bringing in the military may be non-optimal.

As to the conspiracy side of things, I don't know. It's certainly true that a lot of people would like to effectively do away with Posse Comitatus entirely, but I'm not sure they'd need to do something so baroque, given the political climate over the last year.

Gotta go, I hear a Black Helicopter hovering outside.
posted by freebird at 4:21 PM on October 15, 2002


A history of the Posse Comitatus Act, for reference. An attendant issue is the authority of the new Northern Command in protecting "the homeland"; libertarians don't like it. Since 1981, the military has been able to be deployed in technical and logistical roles supporting law enforcement; for the most part this has been military radar helping find drug planes.

For the record, I think both the "foreign terrorist" and "gummint conspiracy" lines are faintly ridiculous. My guess is this is a sad-sack counter jockey with a grudge against customers.

It's actually oddly unfortunate that the sniper's attacks seem to be right outside the city that has the most audio monitors. Unfortunately the area involved is too large and the installation logistics too complicated and lengthy to deploy it to DC's neighboring suburbs in time to deal with this sniper.
posted by dhartung at 4:23 PM on October 15, 2002


Maybe the sniper is Al Qaeda. Maybe he's working for elements of the US gov. Maybe he's working for the Israelis. Maybe he draws a paycheck from all three who have, in some areas, convergent interests.

Then again, maybe the latest killing was a copycat action funded by Loews to attract business away from Home Depot.
posted by troutfishing at 4:25 PM on October 15, 2002


Doesn't it seem a little strange that talk of the sniper(s) possibly being islamist hasn't really happened (that is until today maybe)? The selection of victims is to me much more random than one would expect from your average Hillside Stranger/Son of Sam/Jeffrey Dahmer kind of killer. No apparent pattern in gender, race, age, or anything else other than geographical location. It's going on around the capitol as well. And the timing is right. I'm sure we'll find out anyways.
posted by shoos at 4:36 PM on October 15, 2002


I had just come upon a site that claimed the Mossad (Israel) behind it and also behind Bali bombing.

I don't believe the Military ought to get involved, thougha sense of great despeation out there--because there is the use of FBI and to begin using the military is to move toward a national police force, a military control over domestic affairs.

Clearly, when Bush wanted consent of congress he was saying he did not need their approval. And others before him have equally abused the office by deciding they could have a war. They don't any longer bother to declare war because only congress has this authority but now that too is being (and has been) circumvented.

Thus the issue becomes, how much more will take place before we have virtually done away with those things that gave this country the democracy it had obtained in 1776.
posted by Postroad at 4:38 PM on October 15, 2002


Any experts on serial killers here?
posted by shoos at 4:40 PM on October 15, 2002


Ya know, it's probably just because I recently finished a novel set in the early days of the Vietnam War, but all I can think of is the phrase "military advisors assisting with a police action."

*sigh*

On a more serious note, why couldn't comprable personal/equipment from the National Guard be used? This would avoid conflict with the Posse Commitatus Act and still get the job done.

Unless of course, the sniper attacks are being used as a smokescreen to decrease the influence of the Posse Commitatus Act. Hmm Hmmm hmmm, if the War on Terror is legally established as a war being fought domestically, wouldn't that render Posse Commitatus irrelevant?
posted by stet at 4:43 PM on October 15, 2002


Dunno - it seems to me that the military would be getting involved because one of Their Own is running amok killing people, after getting a taste of the thrill of killing from being in Afghanistan.

Well, it could be.
posted by laz-e-boy at 4:43 PM on October 15, 2002


{shakes head}
most likely, rummy will retask satellites for constant observation of the D.C. area. perhaps the use of LRAS3 (surveillance/recon system) The latest victim, Linda franklin, had a sensitive position in the FBI. (seems the link has been taken done regarding her life) which opens a whole new aspect to this whole terrible crime. I would venture that because of the uncertainty of who these villains are, foreign involvement cannot be ruled out which i believe would make Posse Comitatus inapplicable at this time.

My guess is this is a with a grudge against customers. hmmm. given Ms. Franklins position in the FBI, it is either a coincidence or a calculated murder and if a calculated murder, how did the 'sad-sack counter jockey'...well...he would not know this. My bet it is either a sleeper cell with psy-op training or some rouge with intel training.

some sick fucks are gonna pay for this and they WILL be caught.

this talk of Mossad or gdubs "hit squads' is foolish. The history of COINTELPRO, Watergate, etc. have proven that these methods can or will be found out.
let us humor the MOSSAD angle, that they did this and Bali. If anyone found out, the american people would more then pissed. If it was a coordinated U.S. 'OP' and the people found out, these traitors would be slayed in their beds.

"On a more serious note, why couldn't comparable personal/equipment from the National Guard be used? This would avoid conflict with the Posse Comitatus Act and still get the job done"
The NG can be placed under the direction of the president if he so wishes, hence the word National. National Guard were deployed in Detroit during the 67' riots. Johnson then sent in the 82nd (i think) because michigan solders were policing michigan citizens and this created a whole lot of problems.
posted by clavdivs at 5:02 PM on October 15, 2002


we all need to take great care.

Thanks, dash_slot.
posted by thomcatspike at 5:03 PM on October 15, 2002


Not a question of our we paraniod, but "as the saying goes" are we paraniod enough?. heh heh heh.....
posted by Elim at 5:07 PM on October 15, 2002


My guess is this guy is just a new kind of serial killer. He may in fact be choosing his victims at random. He brings a shuffled Tarot deck with him. A person passes, he draws a Tarot card. If Death comes up, he shoots them.

Him being government, or terrorist-organization, sponsored seems to me to be very unlikely. Firstly, because there's only one of him, in only one place, and he's not popping off congressmen and senators (especially not Democrats). Secondly, the white van screams 'amateur'. A pro, I think, would change transport and weapon after every kill.

The 'religious' angle is plainly wrong for an Islamist. I dare say an Islamist would sooner shoot himself than write "Dear Policeman, I am God". "I am the instrument of God" is their style. Imagining oneself to be God is a reactive delusion, reacting to an oppressive Christian upbringing. The Tarot is a Western thing, and my guess (it's too early to say for sure) is that the guy is using it for 'flavor', to invoke a supernatural image. He probably doesn't know or care much about Tarot reading and the history of the deck.

My profile for the killer: Male, 30-40, physically unimpressive with a poor romantic history (duh!), brought up in an abusive-Christian household (ie, an interpretation of Christianity forms the style and substance of the child abuse), has an interest in randomness or statistics (plays cards, quite well, for recreation), has a small gun collection and probably isn't a 'gun nut' as such, bought his rifle less than 12 months ago and practiced with it out in the country until he judged himself accurate, practiced on cats, dogs, squirrels (do you have them in Washington?), and then started shooting people.

But we'll see. Unless he stops, he'll be caught.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:08 PM on October 15, 2002


Waaaiiit a second buddy:

because of the uncertainty of who these villains are, foreign involvement cannot be ruled out which i believe would make Posse Comitatus inapplicable at this time.

OK, so from here on out, until we know it's not the case, we can't rule out foreign baddies, and thus can send Special Forces in on any crime we like? Granted, I've extended the argument past what you probably intended, but that's what it means.

If we have to prove a crime isn't foreign terrorism before the usual legal protections apply, they simply don't apply. See the usual arguments about proof by inductive reasoning.
posted by freebird at 5:10 PM on October 15, 2002


I'm not normally a conspiracy theorist either, but the convergence of the whole sniper killer thing and black ops mentality reminds me of this episode of the X-Files.

So, maybe it's The Machines that are orchestrating all of this, or maybe The Current Administration are all machines. Machines sent by Little Green Men. Little Green Men who were created by The Government to provide a cover for their Evil Experimentations, etc. etc.

Seriously though, that's a damn good question Stet. Kinda brings the semantics of Bush's matra into light. Then again, were the War on Drugs and the War of Poverty fought using military power? Should they have been?
posted by armoured-ant at 5:16 PM on October 15, 2002


I would like to know what the average range of the shootings are. I have heard that the authorities are suspecting a person with sniper training. I wonder what the basis for this suspicion is?

Having shot a military rifle or two in my time, I can attest to how accurate even a novice shooter like myself can be with modern firearms and sights to a certain range.
posted by moonbiter at 5:27 PM on October 15, 2002


I would like to know what the average range of the shootings are. I have heard that the authorities are suspecting a person with sniper training.

That would be very interesting to learn. The latest shooting was apparently from the parking garage "50 yards" away from the victim. So that's not too far. I have heard estimates of 200-300 yard range for untrained shooters with the gun type they think is being used.

Little Green Men

Nader Nader Nader!
posted by daveadams at 5:32 PM on October 15, 2002


Blubble's conspiracy hypothesis has been known in other circumstances as the 'strategy of tension.' In Europe, it refers to alliances between far right ideologues, their allies in police, secret services, army, etc., and sympathisers in governments. Essen tially, rogue secret service personnel and others carry out terrorist acts in an attempt to precipitate a reactionary backlash from the state, and thus increase their power. This strategy was an acknowledged part of Italian political life in the 1970s, wh ere much of the violence blamed on the left was really the work of the right. Someone at Berkeley has written a thesis on this.

Similar black ops/strategy of tension ta ctics were also used by the British army and secret services in Northern Ireland - e.g. MI5 and MI6 setting up fake terrorist gangs to sabotage each other's operations. And I am sure that they have been used in many other contexts. Some of the UK stuff ha s been leaked but I guess with the secrecy laws there we'll never really know.

BTW, what gets me about this particular case is (a) that 'he' (we all assume it's a he) seems to be a very good shot - suggesting military training? - and (b) that 'he' by all accounts is not a 'typical' serial killer, i.e. apparently random victims.B
posted by carter at 5:38 PM on October 15, 2002


Having shot a military rifle or two in my time, I can attest to how accurate even a novice shooter like myself can be with modern firearms and sights to a certain range.

I'm glad to hear someone else saying this. I have heard the ranges on the last shooting to be 70-80 feet (not meters). Nearly anyone with a decent rifle, let alone a military one, could hit a target at that range with a little practice

I think calling this person a sniper is crap, and only serves to fuel the shooter and hype the story- whats gonna sell more copy, gunman or sniper? Anyone can be a gunman, but sniper, ooohhhh that has a ring...
posted by CoolHandPuke at 5:40 PM on October 15, 2002


This has to be the dumbest conspiracy theory I've heard in some time.

But just for the record, can Bill and Hillary account for their whereabouts during the last week?
posted by Daze at 5:57 PM on October 15, 2002


killer any kin of the anthrax killer?
possible deal to take heat off hatfill?
more investigation required.
must go, ...black helicopter etc.
posted by asok at 6:05 PM on October 15, 2002


But my money's on Al-Quiada

Really? They seem more nihilistic than a hit-and-run-and-hit again style would allow for. From the start it sounded to me like some survivalist nutjob.

While I don't think this is the case, would you put it past the current administration?

Ugh. Ugly thought. There's not much I would put past that merry band of unelected thugs and thieves, but this is not one of them.
posted by holycola at 6:08 PM on October 15, 2002


'Waaaiiit a second buddy: '

1. I am not your "buddy".

2. please refer to dharts link on the Posse Comitatius history.

3. under said link, refer to US code title 10, Sec. 375.

4. and further: Title 18, part 1, Chap. 6, Section 1385.
posted by clavdivs at 6:17 PM on October 15, 2002


I really think the randomness is just based on convenience. With most serial killers, there is the whole process of stalking a person out to catch them off guard. With this guy, it's all about picking a really good spot and then waiting for someone, if anyone to show up in his sights.

I have a strong feeling that this guy wants to get caught however, which is a typical trait. "Here's a clue Mr. officer, now try to figure out where I'll be next before someone else is shot" However deranged he may be, it appears he won't stop until it is over. I'd seriously invest time looking at the local militias to see if another McVey is on the loose. Did it ever occur that the shooter might be a conspiracy theorist himself?

Having the military involved in tracking him down is interesting. While I can't say that I fully support the conspiracy argument, the interest does imply that the killer won't live to see his trial.
posted by samsara at 6:33 PM on October 15, 2002


So the government wants to exceed its mandate once again. Big surprise.

Anyone think there'll be a presidential election in 2004, or will it be "postponed" because of some emergency?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:38 PM on October 15, 2002


I don't really believe that our present government would do this kind of thing. The thought simply crossed my mind as a distant possibility and seemed like an interesting topic of conversation.

The thought was probably seeded by something I read a while back about a planned government operation during the 60's that involved acts of domestic terror that would be blamed on the Cuban government. Thankfully, it was never carried out. The name of this operation escapes me, but I'm sure it is well documented on the web.
posted by Blubble at 6:44 PM on October 15, 2002


To answer the conspiracy theory:

The help will be provided in a way meant to comply with the Posse Comitatus Act — a 19th century law that bans the military from domestic law enforcement. That means the military will relay data to law enforcement and not decide on its own what targets to watch, the official said.

source
posted by stbalbach at 7:00 PM on October 15, 2002


Anybody remember the short story "The Most Dangerous Game"?

Maybe this shooter is a self-styled manhunter who is too stupid and lazy to hunt his "prey" properly.
posted by konolia at 7:01 PM on October 15, 2002


President Bush, Rumsfeld, Tenet, etc, would never - NEVER - be party to any deliberate murder of innocent Americans. Period. Anyone who believes that it IS possible is - well, so far beyond reason as to be unconvincable. There's a wacked-out "evil-doer" roaming the streets of the D.C. area -- that simple, that horrible. Of course the conspiro-theorists are chattering, as they did after the anthrax attacks last October, but they chatter ALL the time, drawing ominous conclusions from seemingly disparate events and facts. That is, after all, what conspiro-theorists DO.
posted by davidmsc at 7:22 PM on October 15, 2002


davidmsc: Tuskegee?
posted by stet at 7:39 PM on October 15, 2002


davidmsc: Tuskegee?

You meant to say that Bush, Rumsfeld, Tenet, etc might be behind this, right? I sometimes have trouble with sentence fragments that short.
posted by shoos at 7:49 PM on October 15, 2002


President Bush, Rumsfeld, Tenet, etc, would never - NEVER - be party to any deliberate murder of innocent Americans.

Why? Because they're too busy planning the murders of innocent Afghanis and Iraquis. Or don't they count?
posted by Optamystic at 7:50 PM on October 15, 2002


According to an interview on Charlie Rose this evening, the ranges we've seen do not necessarily equal "true" sniping ranges. They've measured around 200-300 yards for most of the attacks. I don't remember the man's name on the interview but he was saying military snipers often function at 600-800 yards away from the target.

This link gives the specifications for a sniping rifle that is used at 100 yards.

And while we're at it, can we acknowledge how f**ked up it is that people advertise a "Snipers" rifle like this? A SNIPING rifle, they also offer SNIPING classes. Ah yes, America the Beautiful.
posted by jeremias at 7:54 PM on October 15, 2002


shoos: Nope. I meant to point out the US government has been involved in the murder of innocent Americans in the past. My intent was to establish that, while there is no evidence that the current administration is involved in such behavior, it is not entirely out of the question, or entirely unreasonable.

The possibility should, I reckon, be considered and (hopefully) quickly disposed of.

I shall post more loquaciously next time.
posted by stet at 7:55 PM on October 15, 2002


What difference does it make? The aliens have been running the government since '57.
posted by Zombie at 7:56 PM on October 15, 2002


. I meant to point out the US government has been involved in the murder of innocent Americans in the past.

5 examples mr. locution lackey. give me 5.
posted by clavdivs at 8:03 PM on October 15, 2002


President Bush, Rumsfeld, Tenet, etc, would never - NEVER - be party to any deliberate murder of innocent Americans.

I guess I don't understand why you would think that if this is some sort of government operation; they would necessarily know about it. I get the feeling that the CIA or the ONI could do about anything they wanted and very few people would be privy to the information. I really don't think that is the case tho. But most people would have no trouble thinking that a foreign government would do this but can't imagine their own doing it.

My guess is that it is some pissed off law enforcement person on either the local or federal level who is trying to show what a joke "Homeland Security" is. We are trying to "smoke out" Osama and "put a bullet in the brain of" Saddam, but we can't track down 1 or 2 crazy shooters right here.
posted by bas67 at 8:05 PM on October 15, 2002


Back in the Clinton days I used to shake my head at all the right-wing loonies and their crazy theories about such things as Vince Foster's suicide murder, or the "wag the dog" scenario.

I'm sorry to say that the post-9/11 "theories" that some on the far left espouse make those '90s right-wing theories look positively scientific by comparison.

Those of you who believe the U.S. government is deliberately assassinating its own citizens (including, in the latest case, an FBI agent) need to have your heads examined. Quickly.
posted by pardonyou? at 8:16 PM on October 15, 2002


But the real question is not *if* the government set up a big huge conspiracy just to get rid of the Posse Comitatus Act (a preposterous notion, especially when lobbying Congress could be just as effective -- with the fringe benefit of being *legal*) but whether the government will *take this opportunity* to cut a nice loophole in the PCA.

I wouldn't put *that* past them.
posted by strike3 at 8:17 PM on October 15, 2002


Why? Because they're too busy planning the murders of innocent Afghanis and Iraquis. Or don't they count?

What the hell are you talking about? If we go to war, it is (under law) to fight Iraqi soldiers, not civilians. How on earth is that comparable to hiring a sniper to randomly kill your own citizens? Optamystic, get a grip, man. I'm not even *for* the war, and I think what you said is way over the top.
posted by Karl at 8:18 PM on October 15, 2002


And on preview, what pardonyou? said.
posted by Karl at 8:19 PM on October 15, 2002


[...] a spokesperson for the CIA noted that the agency committed at least 100,000 serious crimes abroad each year.

troutfishing, this seems unlikely to me. Not impossible, but unlikely. If it was in an official transcript, can you provide a link to a .gov site? I'm very curious to read what was actually said.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 8:53 PM on October 15, 2002


Here's http://www.homelandsecurity.org/journal/articles/Trebilcock.htm an interesting perspective on what is at the very least a yummy phrase. I wonder what Major Trebilcock's agenda is?
posted by divrsional at 8:56 PM on October 15, 2002


The Oakland Tribune is reporting that professional police and military snipers are miffed at the comparison. Evidently all of the shots were close range at stationary targets. The article mentions that the .223 is not typical sniper ammo.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:06 PM on October 15, 2002


Interview with the administrator of snipercountry.com.
posted by homunculus at 9:08 PM on October 15, 2002


What the hell are you talking about? If we go to war, it is (under law) to fight Iraqi soldiers, not civilians.

Name a war that didn't result in the deaths of civilians. I don't buy Rumsfeld's wincing "collateral damage" dismissals. There is no moral authority for conducting this war, therefore the blood of any civilians killed will be on the hands of those who brought it to pass. In other words, Rumsfeld and the whole bloodthirsty bunch.

And I didn't say that they had anything to do with the DC thing. I think that's preposterous. But they are killers. They just do it more efficiently than this guy.
posted by Optamystic at 9:12 PM on October 15, 2002


Does anybody know if D[ick] C[heney] owns a white van?
posted by blackholebrain at 9:30 PM on October 15, 2002


All you worried about the bluring of military/civilian authority, how would you feel if a 4 or 5 copycat killers surfaced across the country over the next year or two? There are, of course, few ways to prevent these types of crimes in our society.
posted by gsteff at 10:22 PM on October 15, 2002


Is the military behind the recent spate of inane front page posts at MeFi? I am normally not a paranoid conspiracy type but... Would it be unthinkable that the government could be behind the whole thing? First they scare the long-time community members with a deluge of bad taste and paranoid fantasies. Then the military post-troopers come in and save the day. At the same time, they set a precedent for using the military to take over weblogs. While I don't think this is the case, would you put it past the current administration??????
posted by spotmeter at 10:29 PM on October 15, 2002


metafilter.mil You're all in this together.
posted by blackholebrain at 10:42 PM on October 15, 2002


I meant to point out the US government has been involved in the murder of innocent Americans in the past.

5 examples mr. locution lackey. give me 5.


Frankly, I generally think conspiracy theories silly albeit entertaining.

But then we read the usual mellow pleasantries about the historical benevolence of our own government. As you know, I do so much love the chance to chat about American history with people (like some in this thread) who are obviously experts, but I'll regretfully let someone else do the talking this once:

All my life, I've had to listen to rhetoric about the United States being a model of freedom and democracy, the most uniquely enlightened and humanitarian country in history, a "nation of laws" which, unlike others, has never pursued policies of conquest and aggression. I'm sure you've heard it before. It's official "truth" in the United States. It's what is taught to school children, and it's the line peddled to the general public. Well, I've got a hot of news flash for everybody here. It's a lie. The whole thing's a lie, and it always as been. Leaving aside the obvious points which could be raised to disprove it by Blacks and Chicanos and Asian immigrants right here in North America -- not to mention the Mexicans, the Nicaraguans, the Guatemalans, the Puerto Ricans, the Hawaiians, the Filipinos, the Samoans, the Tamarros of Guam, the Marshall Islanders....and a few dozen other peoples out there who've suffered American invasions and occupations first hand -- there's a little matter of genocide that's got to be taken into acount right here at home. I'm talking about the genocide which has been perpetrated against American Indians, a genocide that began the instant the first of Europe's boat people washed up on the beach of Turtle Island, a genocide that's continuing right now, at this moment. Against Indians, there's not a law the United States hasn't broken, not a Crime Against Humanity it hasn't commmitted, and it's still going on.

-- Russel Means, American Indian Movement (quoted in "A Little Matter of Genocide" by Ward Churchill [Professor of American Indian Studies, University of Colorado; 1997, City Lights Books, San Francisco], in which Churchill documents the murders of considerably more than "5...give me 5" [million] Americans at the hands of the American government....and shucks, he didn't even have to use more than one ethnic group.)

~sigh~
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 11:12 PM on October 15, 2002


If it were the act of a terrorist sleeper cell, wouldn't it make more sense to have gunman in several cities start sniping people at roughly the same time?
posted by drezdn at 11:23 PM on October 15, 2002


fold_and_mutilate: were the American Indians American at the time? I mean besides in the begging-the-question-way American.
posted by shoos at 11:57 PM on October 15, 2002


Though I think it's highly unlikely that the US Government has killed all these innocent US citizens, that's not to say the US Government isn't capable of terrible things and hasn't in the past carried out wicked acts against its own people. For example, MKUltra was a particularly shocking and underhand project. And what about alleged connections between the CIA and drug trafficking?
posted by skylar at 12:34 AM on October 16, 2002


Posse Comitatus

Sounds like a good name for a rap group.
posted by bwg at 12:38 AM on October 16, 2002


What then is America shoos? And what was it before Europeans got here? Not exactly America. But yet, it was America, as it was being redefined that the Native Americans and their way got/get the dirt nap.

Besides the "begging the question way", what other definition would you give the natives of this continent before we got here? To answer that, in my begging of the question kind of way, is that it sheds light on the endemic, systematic tyranny which has been installed and maintained in the governance of this nation by their propaganda that worked best down through the generations to keep themselves installed. Were the Indians American in the sense that the whites named their America such? Not exactly. Were the European-Americans American in the sense that the Indians were here in "America" before they were? Not exactly. Who's American then? Who defines it? When does a designation cease being a simple designation and live on as a myth? How are we to tell the myths from the names and definitions we give ourselves?

f_and_m's retort to clavdivs stands in my eyes.

About the conspiracy laden thought experiment that the US govt is actually behind this insane escapade is interesting. As a writer, I find it interesting. As a writer runs through any and every scenario he can and makes the scenario so. There is fine line in taking such suggestions seriously enough to be creatively aroused and to take them as concrete systems of belief. I don't know. But then again I don't know anything. I know how I feel and I know to react. But the unknowable are the very facts we need in order to know. To know is to simultaneously wonder whether you're being given the truth. There really is no way of knowing anything unless it's open to scientific scrutiny, the rest of the information is all slanted trash prime to be fiddled with.

The vacuum of knowledge and "insider-intelligence" in the community of the common drudge is enough to cause this sentiment of distrust. So therefore, at the same time, it would be in the interest of the sources of disinformation (if such disinfo exists) to allow it to go on, insofar as it helps to maintain the civilian populous as one that is malleable, democratically quiescent and full of fear. Which I guess again, is also a conspiracy theory. So there you go.
posted by crasspastor at 12:44 AM on October 16, 2002


I was in truth merely poking fun at our dour friend. After all, if genocide can be referred to as a 'little matter' here I can do that, can't I?
posted by shoos at 1:00 AM on October 16, 2002


Does the army have greater experience in tracking down snipers, locating his positions etc etc? I can't recall there being any kind of killing spree like this before so I doubt whether local law enforcement or even the FBI have experience tracking snipers. The military however has probably been doing it for years.

Also there's a need to differentiate between Army officers using their knowledge to help investigators out and actual Army troops being used as some kind of police force as the prelude to a police state.

And the military behind the shootings? Is there even one shred of evidence to back this up?
posted by PenDevil at 2:31 AM on October 16, 2002


As for instances of "genocidal policies," Royal asks: "Genocide? Where? I don't know of any instances of Indian genocide. Mistreatment, yes. Warfare, yes. Deaths related to diseases caught from Europeans, yes. But systematic genocide, policies of genocide, no. Where are these policies? Where is the proof? The fact is, activists who spout off such claims of genocide have no proof. It's amazing what they can get away with" [by interview].

-- Robert Royal, "Hello Columbus: America Was No Paradise in 1492," Policy Review, Fall 1992, p. 44.
posted by hama7 at 4:39 AM on October 16, 2002


stop hitting snooze on your alarm clocks america! It's time to wake up. these guys at the top mean business, not love and peace and tranquility, we are nothing, but a hampster in a wheel. like these words will do any good, ha! why do i even care?
posted by proof_nc at 6:38 AM on October 16, 2002


There are a number of different weapons that use the .223 round...most of these belong to a category known as varmint rifles. While not the preferred military sniping weapon (some flavor of 7.62mm, 300 Win Mag, or 50 caliber), the .223 round is very accurate at intermediate(150 yds) to long ranges(400 yds). These guns are typically used for sport target shooting or hunting animals like prairie dogs, coyotes, and woodchucks that are classified as pests by farmers or ranchers. Anyone with some minumum amount of firearms training and the right equipment should be able to hit a target the size of a paper plate at 150 yards every time with one of these guns. The military uses heavier calibers because their ballistic trajectory is more stable and the round retains more hitting/penetrating power over very long distances. As the last 2 weeks have shown, the .223 round is plenty destructive at its typical operating range. This killer doesn't have to a trained sniper...he could be any kook with some hunting or military experience and access to the right gun.

The terrorist angle seems a little far fetched but not impossible I guess...the rest of you conspiracy idiots need to get a little air...
posted by cyclopz at 6:44 AM on October 16, 2002


holycola: There's not much I would put past that merry band of unelected thugs and thieves, but this is not one of them.
You meant "this is one of them," right? (Multiple negatives can get so confusing.) If so, I agree with you.
posted by languagehat at 7:31 AM on October 16, 2002


Is the military behind the recent spate of inane front page posts at MeFi?

Apparently you are part of the conspiracy SpotMeter.

David Hasselhoff notifies media that he's hit rock bottom.

We're so sorry for putting up inane front page posts... and paranoid fantasies when you have such important topics for us to discuss.
posted by Blubble at 7:54 AM on October 16, 2002


Busted. You're right, Blubble. How can we rip away the veil of lies and revolt against the new world order if idiots like me are posting links like that. If not now, when? If not Metafilter, where?

Did I ever mention that the government is responsible for mindless television like Baywatch? No, really! Distracts us from paying attention to the problems that really matter. You can't put it past them. They'll stop at nothing. The military forced X-Files off the air 'cause they were getting too close to the truth. Will you be my friend? We could watch The Matrix together... do you hear a helicopter?

posted by spotmeter at 8:31 AM on October 16, 2002


yes. But systematic genocide, policies of genocide, no. Where are these policies? Where is the proof?
Hama7- i have read some good counter-points you have posited in other threads, which is good, MeFi needs all the rational it can. If your quote relates to just Columbus, i would tend to agree. But it is a fact that America is guilty of genocide against the native american people. Killing buffalo from trains, having it be some sort of weekend sport is a factor in genocide. Of course the term genocide was coined after these horrible events. none the less they are true. The systematic destruction, through relocation, forced religious conversion, massacre and warfare is genocide. The american people sought to either place Native-americans on reservations or kill them or their way of life. I cannot really address the shame.

Foldy, you like punishment?. Are you calling me historically illiterate? I ignore you, but you addressed my question. What happened to the demon in all of us routine you where spouting a few days ago? We are all guilty foldy, we all kill, we all rape. yatta-yatta-yatta.

I've had to listen to rhetoric about the United States being a model of freedom and democracy, the most uniquely enlightened and humanitarian country in history, a "nation of laws"
In 1567, near the straits of Mackinaw 3 major tribes, "The three fires" where Ottawa, Chippewa, and Potawatomi. A dispute then murder took place over fishing rights.(a Chippewa murdered an Ottawa) The elders never dealt with this before as "The waters of the Great Spirit belong to all men". The elders and chiefs held many councils. The Chippewa threatened bloodshed and war as revenge for the murder. An Ottawa elder replied; "We are here to confess to the crime committed by one of our young men upon the brave. Our nation does not approve of the murder." they would not allow another to be killed. The Ottawa gave land concessions and unlimited hunting rights to the Chippewa in exchange for a life.

what about the Ottawa and Chippewa annihilation of the Mush-Quah-Tas? I have a few more examples?
(these facts I stole from Gary Barfknecht)


I want names of people, just five. (we are talking contemporary, say the 80's through present)

...And innocents killed i believe is the criteria.
posted by clavdivs at 8:35 AM on October 16, 2002


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