Skip

Weapons of mass destruction found!
December 5, 2003 4:59 AM   Subscribe

Weapons of Mass Destruction Found! Only they weren't in Iraq, they were in Texas and the terrorists involved weren't Al-Queda or Islamic fundamentalists but white supremacists. I haven't seen this on Google News, CNN or ABC News. I only read about it because I happened across Sensible Erection which I think I found browsing through MetaFilter user profiles.
posted by substrate (49 comments total)

 
damn hippies
posted by tiamat at 5:11 AM on December 5, 2003


Investigators have seized at least 100 other bombs, bomb components, machine guns, 500,000 rounds of ammunition and chemical agents.

Boys will be boys.
posted by spazzm at 5:12 AM on December 5, 2003


...counter-terrorism agencies have been consumed by national efforts to ferret out U.S.-based foreign terrorist cells whose members hail from the Middle East. Federal investigators were not looking for white supremacist groups when they stumbled across Krar by accident.
We should have been looking for and at them at least since Oklahoma City, and even before--I think that we're going to pay for ignoring these people, and we've provided perfect cover for them to do whatever they want.
posted by amberglow at 5:21 AM on December 5, 2003


I guess the obligatory Don't Mess with Texas should be given.
posted by thanotopsis at 5:22 AM on December 5, 2003


Class assignment: Reconcile the 2nd amendment with the definition of a domestic terrorist as someone who stockpiles weapons (something apparently necessary to the security of a free state).

/Funny how the US is NOT selling the 2nd amendment to the "soon to be like us" Iraqi people.
posted by magullo at 5:27 AM on December 5, 2003


I only read about it because I happened across Sensible Erection which I think I found browsing through MetaFilter user profiles.

Heh. I only read it for the articles, honest. SE rocks, but you should probably have slapped a NSFW on there (although the URL should be a dead giveaway.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:32 AM on December 5, 2003


Sorry, I didn't even think of that stravosthewonderchicken, and I am at work no less :P
posted by substrate at 5:40 AM on December 5, 2003


Some US counter terrorism agencies seem far more concerned with 1) spying on anti-war protestors and in 2) implementing new technologies and strategies to thwart peaceful protests. See the Miaimi Model (recent Metafilter post) for the latter, and for the former :

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation's practice of spying on political demonstrators hasn't been limited to Colorado.

Two recently surfaced documents show that the agency has been gathering information on protesters on a much broader scale and that it has even developed a program to teach local law-enforcement officers how to counter "criminal protest tactics." "

Many individual FBI investigators have shown - and still do - heroic levels of dedication in working for the public safety. Colleen Rowley comes to mind. She is but one of hundreds or thousands like her. But overall, this agency had it's head up it's ass before September 11th 2001 and seems to still.

How much in the agency has really changed since the days of J. Edgar Hoover - who used the agency to create his own personal power base by assembling an enormous collection of dossiers of incriminating material on politicians and public figures - when the FBI seemed to function largely as an instrument of political and social repression? - with it's surveillance of antiwar protestors during the Vietnam War, and it's campaigns bring discredit and ruin to Martin Luther King and others considered "undesirables" or "subversives" by the FBI.......plus ca change......
posted by troutfishing at 5:51 AM on December 5, 2003


Magullo - the 2nd amendment is this one, right?

"A fortified compound of violent, paranoid racists, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
posted by crunchburger at 5:58 AM on December 5, 2003


Poison gas is NOT a weapon of mass destruction.
posted by srboisvert at 6:00 AM on December 5, 2003


Poison gas IS however, a weapon of massively-greater-than-I'm-willing-to-trust-white-power-type-fucks-with destruction.
posted by kickingtheground at 6:11 AM on December 5, 2003


Speaking as a white person in Texas: there's nothing supreme about us. In fact we're pretty ordinary.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:11 AM on December 5, 2003


...some of us are ordinary. ...Okay. THAT guy over there is ordinary. The rest of us are somewhere between supreme and ordinary. We're more ordinary than supreme, that I can... Oh forget it.
posted by ZachsMind at 6:13 AM on December 5, 2003


magullo - That would be a really vicious (or challenging) law school assignment. I don't have the foggiest about it - no doubt a very, ummm......interesting evolving field of jurisprudence.

Crunchburger, I would bet that magullo had something like this in mind : imagine the case of someone who legally sells guns and - as a matter of course, almost - has a large "hobby" collection, some of which are automatic weapons, assault rifles, etc. (still legal to buy, but no longer produced or imported into the US). Of course that person is active at sport shooting, competes regularly, and goes to the local shooting range several times a week to practice - and so has a big stockpile of ammo for personal use. Now, imagine that person also lives on a small family farm - hence stockpiles of fertilizer, and so on ( such as used in the Oklahoma City bombing ) . Going further - this person is additionally very vocal about his libertarian viewpoints, and talks often about the dangers of a powerful centralized federal government.......

So here - in the minds of some - you might have all the potential elements of a would-be terrorist ; weapons, bomb-making materials, an ideological motive.

Now there's a wide gulf between my hypothetical case above and the subjects of substrate's post, but I'm just sayin'..........

substrate - I read this story last night at cursor.org
posted by troutfishing at 6:16 AM on December 5, 2003


Would someone please tell tiamat to shut the hell up with the damn hippies gag, already?
posted by ook at 6:41 AM on December 5, 2003


There's a more subtle point to this story overall -

September 11th notwithstanding, it's as a rule very difficult for terrorists to operate in a foreign land. The ones to watch most closely are the natives who might be ideologically aligned with, or have interests convergent with, foreign terrorist groups.

So I don't think the Bush Administration was exactly crazy in targeting Islamic-Americans as potential terrorists immediately post-Sept. 11th . I just think that approach was idiotic for the simple fact that recent immigrants to the US tend to be the most fiercely nationalistic. Furthermore, the benefits of the "good life" in America - jobs, economic opportunity, family, children.....will tend to crush terrorist inclinations in all but the most ideologically extreme : after one of it's earlier provisional agreements with Israel - to de-escalate it's campaign of terrorism - had left the PLO with the political liability of an "oversupply" of young PLO members trained and indoctrinated to carry out violent terrorist acts, the PLO decided to deal with the problem by telling those young men that it was their duty to lay low, as "sleepers", and so they should settle down, get jobs, marry, and raise families, and blend into the background population wherever they choose to settle. These young men were told, however, that one day they might be called upon to carry out terrorist activities for the PLO. This was not done in seriousness ( as I heard the story recounted ) but to defuse a group of young, hotheaded males who might otherwise decide to become renegades and fight for the Palestinian cause on their own. So one or two decades later, the PLO experimentally tried - as a sort of research project - to call these men back to duty. Surprise, surprise : none of them were willing to leave the lives they had built for themselves, their wives and family, jobs, friends - all of it. Their civilian lives far outweighed whatever remained their extremist ideologies.

The ones to watch, in terms of domestic terrorism, are those long-time natives of the US who make alliances - for reasons of convergent interest - with foreign terrorist groups which might offer logistical support, training, tactics, even material. Terry Nichols travelled to the Philippines and may have met with terrorist group there - perhaps, as some in the Bush Administration would like to think, he met with Iraqi agents. But it is equally likely that he learned bomb making skills from Islamic extremist groups such as the emerging Al Qaeda movement. Whatever the truth, these are the sorts of connections the FBI needs to be watching - but it is instead pissing away it's resources in a ridiculous Cold-War era rehash of a campaign to repress legal and nonviolent domestic political dissent.

The Unabomber aside, it is laughably unlikely that new terrorist attacks on US soil will come from the ranks of environmentalists, puppet-making antiwar or global trade agreement protestors, Union members, or the members of AARP.

No : future acts of terrorism will likely be carried out by those most disaffected, those who perceive themselves to have the least stake in American society. White supremacists are one such group.
posted by troutfishing at 6:59 AM on December 5, 2003


I have spoken.

awwwkkkk !.....*falls on head as 12 foot high soapbox built from piled up junk collapses*
posted by troutfishing at 7:08 AM on December 5, 2003


There's really only one solution: invade Texas.
posted by neuroshred at 7:20 AM on December 5, 2003


The coverage of this reminds me of the case of Robert Goldstein, a Florida doctor caught in August 2002 with enough explosives to blow up his townhouse complex, and a list of 50 mosques and Islamic centres in Florida where he planned to use them. A terrorist? According to a local police officer, "He was just a smart guy ... He knew his stuff. It was just like a James Bond thing." BBC News report here.
posted by carter at 7:21 AM on December 5, 2003


Thanks for the links to CNN and Google News, substrate. I forgot those addresses.

No, really.
posted by emelenjr at 7:31 AM on December 5, 2003


Poison gas is NOT a weapon of mass destruction.

Because it doesn't destroy infrastructure? Then neither is a neutron bomb. There are some folks who testified at Nuremberg who would strongly disagree.

(To anyone who wants to call "Godwin": Don't bother. I was deliberately vague to mollify you.)
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:02 AM on December 5, 2003


neuroshred: "There's really only one solution: invade Texas."

Only after we exhaust all peaceful options, such as trying to give it back to Mexico.
posted by Reverend Mykeru at 8:09 AM on December 5, 2003


The Unabomber aside, it is laughably unlikely that new terrorist attacks on US soil will come from the ranks of environmentalists...

Don't tell that to California:

"This legislation takes more than 'a bite out of crime,' it jails and penalizes animal and eco-terrorists and their sympathetic financial agents for what they are - domestic terrorists"
posted by soyjoy at 8:44 AM on December 5, 2003


The ones to watch, in terms of domestic terrorism, are those long-time natives of the US who make alliances - for reasons of convergent interest - with foreign terrorist groups which might offer logistical support, training, tactics, even materialit is laughably unlikely that new terrorist attacks on US soil will come from the ranks of environmentalists, puppet-making antiwar or global trade agreement protestors, Union members, or the members of AARP.

as you say, it is unlikely? well you do not know your history well. The act of infiltration can have nothing to do with ideology, everything to do cover and maneuverability. And that is the crux of Intelligence": INTENT

It is a one thing to know that Mr. Wacko has half a million rounds, but what he intends to do with them is the real question. (and it cant be good with that many bullets)

No : future acts of terrorism will likely be carried out by those most disaffected, those who perceive themselves to have the least stake in American society. White supremacists are one such group.

perhaps but I say No, to attack a major target is going to take dedication and commitment to the operation. Usually disaffected people seek affection and that will not be given if one blows up a city. Disaffection could be a primary mover to the person to consider the act.

Terry Nichols travelled to the Philippines and may have met with terrorist group there - perhaps, as some in the Bush Administration would like to think, he met with Iraqi agents.

Uh-huh, well, ya never know. But i guess his going to the Philippines was a personal matter

But...
There is at least source who definitively claims what one might guess from all this — that Nichols and Yousef had a meeting during this period. He's a weird triple-crossing double-agent named Edwin Angeles. Angeles worked (sort of) for the Philippines police as an informant. In addition to his account of the Nichols-Yousef meeting, Angeles also said that terrorists were running mail-order bride operations out of the region, such as the one Nichols used to meet his lovely wife. Angeles was a somewhat dubious figure; there are several accounts of this meeting which conflict in various details. Nevertheless, Angeles had been known to provide useful and correct information before his mysterious assassination a few years later.

I'm curious as to whom in the shrub hub-bub thinks this is a real possibility?
posted by clavdivs at 8:47 AM on December 5, 2003


Article from Ashbury Park (NJ) Press, from May, on the arrest of Feltus (mentions Krar as well).
WorldNetDaily piece that cites the local TV report (via Google News).
posted by tingley at 8:59 AM on December 5, 2003


There's really only one solution: invade Texas.

Please do. There are some of us here who require liberating.
posted by Orb at 9:58 AM on December 5, 2003


They really should have listened to the granite stater. We don't use the word 'wicked' lightly around here!

According to a more recent FBI affidavit, on the day of the 9-11 terrorist attacks, Krar raised suspicion at a New Hampshire storage unit he was renting. An employee called the FBI that day and reported that Krar was “wicked anti-American.”

posted by fizgig at 10:00 AM on December 5, 2003


Ornicus has a good entry about this. He also links to Robert Wright's great series, A Real War on Terrorism, which was discussed on MeFi.
posted by homunculus at 10:17 AM on December 5, 2003


White supremacists are their own best counterargument.

If I were queen of the world, I would order Tom Metzger to play "Jeopardy" against, say, Stephen Carter and Condoleeza Rice, or cage-wrestle with Michael Jordan...

Pay-per-view, of course, with Dave Chappelle and Wanda Sykes as play-by-play commentators.
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:27 AM on December 5, 2003


soyjoy - Yeah, that comment of mine was overstated. But I doubt that the Earth First!-ers will take to blowing up humans any time soon, though they've been busy lately against SUV's.

clavdivs - I mentioned the purported Oklahoma City / Iraqi or Al Qaeda connection because it has a pretty big conspiracy crowd following, and has even been cited by a few in the Bush Adm. (scratching for ways to connect Iraq to international terrorism)

But - assuming you are right (and you probably are) that the OKC bombing was a purely domestic affair, then you are refuting your very own point in criticizing my statement that "future acts of terrorism will likely be carried out by those most disaffected" by stating that "to attack a major target is going to take dedication and commitment to the operation. Usually disaffected people seek affection and that will not be given if one blows up a city. "

Mcveigh and Nichols certainly sounded disaffected to me, and they were dedicated enough to blow up a rather large building and kill hundreds.

Your point here is well taken - " The act of infiltration can have nothing to do with ideology, everything to do cover and maneuverability" - yes, I completely agree. But, given the resources the FBI is devoting to surveillance of nonviolent domestic political protestors, terrorists who sought to infiltrate domestic groups for cover would be very stupid to infiltrate the ones already under scrutiny
posted by troutfishing at 10:55 AM on December 5, 2003


Wow, and to really lock down your unbiased point of view, they're not doing a thing about it! Just letting them go on about their business. Sure proves your pont then.
posted by HTuttle at 11:29 AM on December 5, 2003


HTuttle - Actually that's not the case. The FBI is doing a bit more than mere surveillance (as was true during the Vietnam War) - check out the "Miami Model" link, or the other one I posted up the thread on the news that "Two recently surfaced documents show that the agency has been gathering information on protesters on a much broader scale and that it has even developed a program to teach local law-enforcement officers how to counter "criminal protest tactics." "

As for bias - Well I don't think I ever claimed to be perfectly objective. Any perspective at all amount to a bias and I have my own perspective - as do you.
posted by troutfishing at 11:40 AM on December 5, 2003


Krar... made his living as a traveling arms salesman who pedaled illicit bomb components and other weapons to violent underground anti-government groups across the country.

must have great legs...
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:42 AM on December 5, 2003


So his bicycle really was a pipe bomb?
posted by trondant at 12:28 PM on December 5, 2003


Poison gas is NOT a weapon of mass destruction.

Because it doesn't destroy infrastructure? Then neither is a neutron bomb. There are some folks who testified at Nuremberg who would strongly disagree.


No. It is not a weapon of mass destruction because it doesn't kill on the scale required for a weapon to be considered massively destructive.

It is creepy, scary, unpleasant, and all those other bogeyman qualities but it is also quiet ineffective outside of very very specific domains.

If you consider poison gas a WMD then so are hand grenades, artillery, and probably even machine guns.

I say this as someone who was once evacuated because of train crash spilling chlorine gas (along with 350K other people - Mississauga 1979). Despite an large toxic cloud there was plenty of time for people to evacuate and the only injuries were to people who were dealing with it directly (firemen).

For example the tokyo sarin gas attack killed only 12 people despite being 3 actual attacks and being in an optimal environment - rush hour crowds in a closed air environment.

So I will say it again. Gas is NOT a WMD.
posted by srboisvert at 1:43 PM on December 5, 2003


srboisvert - I agree. It's probably better termed a WMT (weapon of mass terror).
posted by troutfishing at 1:55 PM on December 5, 2003




Speaking as a white person in Texas: there's nothing supreme about



Right. Not supreme. I believe the correct term is "Grande". Or is it "Tall"? I forget.
posted by kayjay at 2:44 PM on December 5, 2003


Poison gas is NOT a weapon of mass destruction.

Actually, in the leadup to the Iraq war, I believe we were classifying WMD's as chemical, biological, or "nukular" weapons, of pretty much any stripe, in order to make it easier for the administration to back up their claims. It's pretty well known that chemical weapons aren't great for doing a lot of damage. We've used them openly in warfare, and gave up on them as being too chancey after WWI. (remember mustard gas?) Biological weapons have similar problems involving deployment and 'friendly fire.' I think the only reason we classified them as WMD's was because they sound scary as hell, and were sure to get people's fear factor up in the lead-up to the Iraq war.

But I doubt that the Earth First!-ers will take to blowing up humans any time soon, though they've been busy lately against SUV's.

This brings upanother interesting point... As it stands, our legal definition of terrorist is someone who destroys life or property to further a political agenda. Loosely interpreted, this means that graffitti artists fall under the Patriot Act. I'm pretty sure that the law was framed this way to make 'eco-terrorists' targets under anti-terrorism legislation. This includes forest defenders who willfully damage chainsaws to keep lumber industries out of wrongfully acquired forests. Somehow, people out to defend the America they love with non-violent methods are now legally grouped with the 9/11 attackers. This is fucked.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:45 PM on December 5, 2003


kaibutsu - A fine addition to the thread. I agree.
posted by troutfishing at 3:14 PM on December 5, 2003


Usually disaffected people seek affection and that will not be given if one blows up a city. "

on your premise, sure.
i guess it is more in the mindset or psychology. Disaffection seems a needy and wasteful emotion. Sure, an oswald or Typical modern suicide bomber could do this almost on disaffection alone. But to preform complicated tasks, mostly simple......hold on dinner
posted by clavdivs at 2:33 PM on December 7, 2003


...require discipline not necessarily associated with someone whom is severely disaffected.
posted by clavdivs at 3:06 PM on December 7, 2003


clavdivs - just my opinion, but I think you underestimate the ranks of the disciplined disaffected.
posted by troutfishing at 9:16 PM on December 7, 2003


good to have opinions. But i do not underestimate much and the disciplined disaffected seems an oxymoron to me. i do not know how better to convey the mindset I mean. You feel disaffection alone will motivate these terrorists...well the same criteria can be said for someone whom is unhappy about their taxes. We are all disaffected at one point it is wether that disaffection will turn into stronger emotions/actions.
posted by clavdivs at 8:05 AM on December 8, 2003


I'm pretty sure that the law was framed this way to make 'eco-terrorists' targets under anti-terrorism legislation. This includes forest defenders who willfully damage chainsaws to keep lumber industries out of wrongfully acquired forests.

Not to belabor this point, but it's much worse than that, kaibutsu. Even property damage can have an overtone of violence, and in the case of actions such as arson, can actually lead to physical harm.

This new California law, though, and the others of its ilk criminalize as terrorism the mere trespassing on a factory farm, or giving money to any organization that does this. It's crystal clear that the point has nothing to do with public health or security and everything to do with keeping the unsavory and unpopular aspects of the livestock industry out of the public eye (with the added point of squelching, by example, all anti-consumerist dissent). Meanwhile actual terrorists such as the above, many of whom overlap with the people these new laws protect, walk free and easy.
posted by soyjoy at 8:48 AM on December 8, 2003


clavdivs - wouldn't the lack of disaffection amount to complete agreement with mainstream society, it's laws and custom and so on? But how many people are in this camp? Most people are know are somewhat disaffected, but there are many degrees of disaffection. I know lots of sligtly to moderately disaffected people but few severely disaffected.

I don't see anything oxymoronic in the slightest in the term "disciplined disaffected". Many highly disciplined soldiers, for example, become disaffected with government policy after they leave military service. I wouldn't say the majority, but at least a significant minority.
posted by troutfishing at 11:33 AM on December 8, 2003


ok, we disagree but there are other factors of motivation without disaffection being involved. righteousness, A sense of devotion to cause. Sacrifice for a belief. The substance and moral/ethical parameters one uses as motivation to commit violence are varied and, i would say, beyond the scope of this post. for instance is it right or moral for me to say Joe Kennedy Jr. was a suicide bomber? Suicide mission?Or was his death disregard for following others advice. What of the ethics of one of largest flying bomb of the european ripping apart over england and Intelligence later proves it would have been a fruitless effort. (which does not change the need to use the weapon at the time) Was Joe disaffected?
posted by clavdivs at 1:27 PM on December 8, 2003


...not following others advice rather.
(odd typo)
posted by clavdivs at 1:29 PM on December 8, 2003


see, im disaffected with my other missed typos and i blame YOU Trout.
(very much joshing there)
posted by clavdivs at 1:33 PM on December 8, 2003


The Unabomber aside, it is laughably unlikely that new terrorist attacks on US soil will come from the ranks of environmentalists, puppet-making antiwar or global trade agreement protestors, Union members, or the members of AARP.

No : future acts of terrorism will likely be carried out by those most disaffected, those who perceive themselves to have the least stake in American society. White supremacists are one such group.


Or is just that most reasonable people feel more comfortable feeling sympathies with the former groups rather than the latter? Both the radical right and the radical left have committed their share of violence in this country. It's a natural tendency to rationalize or excuse such acts from groups whose stated goals we might have sympathy with, but any objective analysis or terrorist acts will tell you that it's the mindset (violent, death infatuated, glory hounding totalitarian), not the ideology that's the problem.
posted by jonmc at 6:57 AM on December 9, 2003


« Older Rrraaaaaagggh!   |   Funny lines Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post