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FBI Raids Michigan-based Militia Group
March 29, 2010 5:33 AM   Subscribe

Seven are arrested in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana in FBI raids linked to Christian militia group Hutaree, an extremist antigovernment group whose members are "preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive", after threats to Islamic organisations.
posted by Blazecock Pileon (200 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Now begins the war on the English language:
We all must know that we all carry a cross and a soldiers cross is just as heavy as any other. Just as Jesus did we must also carry our cross to our destination our life abounds us to. All people are givin a destination by God’s will and have to continue there walk to there own golgotha. But many people, even christians don’t agree with the things we do but all we have to say is, we will not argue over the Bible, read it for what it is. We believe only what the Bible says and not on only philosophy, as many christians of this day do. Christ is our king of kings and top general of all things, for we are not of this world but we live in it.
posted by ColdChef at 5:39 AM on March 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


Pro-tip: Camouflage is designed to confuse the human eye and is not an ideal surface on which to embed writing.
posted by DU at 5:41 AM on March 29, 2010 [23 favorites]


THE HUTAREE RANK SYSTEM
RANKS:
RADOK [RD]
BORAMANDER [BM]
ZULIF [ZL]
ARKON [AK]
GOLD RIFLEMAN [GR]
SILVER RIFLEMAN [SR]
BRONZE RIFLEMAN [BR]
LUKORE [LK]
MASTER GUNNER [MG]
SENIOR GUNNER [SG]
GUNNER [GN]


What, no Level 3 Mage [L3M], or Senior Warlock [SW] ? What a bunch of insufferable tools. Glad they didn't get a chance to kill anyone though.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 5:45 AM on March 29, 2010 [23 favorites]


Is it official now? Are the 90s "back"? Cause I've got a Rude Dog shirt, Oakley shades, and a hot pair of Jams just sitting there just begging to be worn.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:49 AM on March 29, 2010 [26 favorites]


The best part of the story is that this is a militia that's training to fight the forces of the Antichrist, and is therefore almost certainly convinced that the Tribulation has now started and they've been captured by the forces of Satan.

By "best," I mean "scariest."
posted by EarBucket at 5:54 AM on March 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


THE HUTAREE RANK SYSTEM

Good lord, that's hilarious. Are they all ten years old?
posted by rtha at 5:57 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Scariest? I'm reminded of The Big Lebowski:

Donny: Are they gonna hurt us, Walter?
Walter: No, Donny. These men are cowards.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:57 AM on March 29, 2010 [16 favorites]


Are they terrorists yet?

Apparently they hate us for our way of life.
posted by unSane at 5:58 AM on March 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


"One of the Hutaree members called a Michigan militia leader for assistance Saturday after federal agents had already began their raid, Lackomar said, but the militia member -- who is of Islamic decent and had heard about the threats -- declined to offer help. That Michigan militia leader is now working with federal officials to provide information on the Hutaree member for the investigation, Lackomar said Sunday."

Whoops.
posted by brandman at 6:01 AM on March 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


Yeah, but c'mon guys...this is totally not as bad as that one time a guy had a sign reading BUSHITLER at a rally in 2005.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:02 AM on March 29, 2010 [31 favorites]


White guys do it and they're a "militia."

If these guys were brown skinned the media would call them a "gang."

Which is what they are.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:02 AM on March 29, 2010 [26 favorites]


One of the Hutaree members called a Michigan militia leader for assistance Saturday after federal agents had already began their raid, Lackomar said, but the militia member -- who is of Islamic decent and had heard about the threats -- declined to offer help.

Man, I bet that Hutari guy felt silly.
posted by julie_of_the_jungle at 6:03 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Are they terrorists yet?

Didn't you see the word "Jesus" on their webpage? Obvs not!
posted by DU at 6:04 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


To LE's credit, note the raids were carried out by the joint terrorism task force of the FBI/ATF.

If only this were the beginning of an actual crackdown that would in fact flush all these dominionist terrorist gangs from their dirty little holes.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:08 AM on March 29, 2010


but the militia member -- who is of Islamic decent

Who knew there were decent Muslims, right?
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:10 AM on March 29, 2010


If these guys were brown skinned the media would call them a "gang."

Or a terrorist cell.
posted by oinopaponton at 6:13 AM on March 29, 2010 [20 favorites]


I don't see anything on their web page about turning the other cheek.
posted by chillmost at 6:13 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


1-666 - Area code of the Beast
00666 - Zip code of the Beast
1-900-666-0666 - Live Beasts! Call Now! Only $6.66/minute. (Must be over 18)
$665.95 - Retail price of the Beast
$710.36 - Price of the Beast plus 6.66% state sales tax

posted by jimmythefish at 6:15 AM on March 29, 2010 [64 favorites]


... of Islamic decent

Spelling errors aside, um... Islamic descent? Is that said? I mean, Italian descent, African descent, whatever, but when speaking of a religion, do you use the term "descent"? Google searches would indicate, at first glance anyway, that "Islamic descent" may be a term that is mostly used by, well, fundamentalist nutcases. But if that's the case, why is this news article using the term?

Meanwhile, the Michigan Militia would like you to know: Neither MICHIGANMILITIA.COM nor the SMVM have been "raided" by the FBI. We do nothing illegal.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:17 AM on March 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


> I don't see anything on their web page about turning the other cheek.

That part won't be in the Conservative Bible.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:20 AM on March 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


Meanwhile, the Michigan Militia would like you to know: Neither MICHIGANMILITIA.COM nor the SMVM have been "raided" by the FBI. We do nothing illegal.

Are they planning to provide healthcare insurance to their members?

That part won't be in the Conservative Bible.

Oh sweet merciful science. Talk about shifting the Overton Window.
posted by DU at 6:21 AM on March 29, 2010


I really think "gang" is better than "terrorist cell." Cuts these assholes down to proper size.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:23 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Ah, Michigan. There's a reason I left.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:28 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not even sure that 'gang' captures it. Mummery seems more accurate.
posted by jquinby at 6:36 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


A wise woman once said: "Not all Muslims may be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims".
posted by gman at 6:37 AM on March 29, 2010


RADOK [RD]
BORAMANDER [BM]
ZULIF [ZL]
ARKON [AK]
LUKORE [LK]


I'm pretty sure my fourteen-year-old owns all of these Pokemans.
posted by grubi at 6:38 AM on March 29, 2010 [57 favorites]


I've got a Rude Dog shirt, Oakley shades, and a hot pair of Jams just sitting there just begging to be worn.

I've got some Zima in the fridge when you're ready to party.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:38 AM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


I really think "gang" is better than "terrorist cell." Cuts these assholes down to proper size.


"Assholes" it is, then.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 6:39 AM on March 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


A wise woman once said: "Not all Muslims may be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims".

Yep. Wise like a doorknob.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:40 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I've got a Rude Dog shirt, Oakley shades, and a hot pair of Jams just sitting there just begging to be worn.

Sounds less like the 90s and more like 1988 to me. Let me see if I can dig up an Ocean Pacific tee...
posted by grubi at 6:40 AM on March 29, 2010


Zubaz, anyone?
posted by Ghidorah at 6:42 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is it. Obama's jackbooted thugs are coming to put all the Real Murikans in concentration camps. Grab your guns and don't let go boys! Liburty For All!
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:43 AM on March 29, 2010


... of Islamic decent

Spelling errors aside, um... Islamic descent? Is that said?


I think it was in this article on "the history of white people" by nell irvin painter, or her interview on the Colbert report, that it was mentioned that, in the centuries past, before darwin and genetically based ideas of race, religion and blood were seen to be intertwined.

So maybe this bunch is just taking things back to dark ages.
posted by eustatic at 6:44 AM on March 29, 2010


$710.36 - Price of the Beast plus 6.66% state sales tax

If the Beast is edible, then there's no Michigan sales tax. I'm just sayin'.

[Not affiliated with the Michigan Bureau of Tourism]
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:44 AM on March 29, 2010 [11 favorites]


Sounds less like the 90s and more like 1988 to me.

Well I grew up in rural Northern Indiana. We were always about 5 years behind. I was just getting the hang of that Vision Street Wear stuff when everyone else had already moved on to Cross Colours.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 6:45 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Liburty For All!

Liberty for all? What are you, a commie? Liberty for white males, especially if they can pay for it. Tiny American flags and a short lifetime of hard labor for the rest!
posted by DU at 6:45 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


If these guys were brown skinned the media would call them a "gang."

Which is what they are.


I disagree; gangs generally have a better grip on reality.
posted by acb at 6:46 AM on March 29, 2010 [11 favorites]


I came here to metafilter b/c my local TVnews gave me about three seconds coverage of this. I expected to see the raid happening up in the Thumb of Michigan, where McVeigh & Nichols hatched their terrorist plot.
Damn my eyes, this was in Adrian & Clayton--45 miles from home (thereabouts). OK, I know they grow a special kind of crazy around Hillsdale, but I sure as hell didn't know that I had to watch my back going to Lake Hudson State Park.
I disagree with calling this a gang. Let's call these asshats "terrorists." They deserve more attention and suppression than the local A2 area imam & family did. And they got deported.
Where can we deport these jerkwads to?
posted by beelzbubba at 6:47 AM on March 29, 2010


It's groups like these that make me honestly wish I were completely wrong about the whole religion thing and the second coming actually does happen. Say, this Wednesday...

I have a pretty good feeling that these chuckleheads would be in for a serious disappointment.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:49 AM on March 29, 2010


I do have to say that I really dig their depiction of the Beast. A triceratops, a bear, a lion, and several leopard heads on a tiger/leopard body?
posted by oinopaponton at 6:52 AM on March 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


That's actually a dekaceratops.
posted by DU at 6:55 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


How about if the media referred to them as 'a group of "terrorist asshats"'?
posted by From Bklyn at 6:55 AM on March 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


A triceratops, a bear, a lion, and several leopard heads on a tiger/leopard body?

Bred for its skills in magic.
posted by grubi at 6:55 AM on March 29, 2010 [11 favorites]


Listening to this Moxy Früvous song while reading this news story doesn't make things better, but it makes them more melodic.
posted by besonders at 6:57 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I followed the Persecution.com link to read about VOM: Voice of the Martyrs.
The Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, inter-denominational Christian organization dedicated to assisting the persecuted church worldwide. VOM was founded in 1967 by Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who was imprisoned 14 years in Communist Romania for his faith in Christ.
Wurmbrand. I'm collecting that name. If ever there was a name for a fictional antichrist, it would be Wurmbrand.

Also, under The News:
In 2003 The Voice of the Martyrs (VOM) announced a partnership with Oklahoma Wesleyan University (OWU) to offer an undergraduate degree and certificate program in Christian Missions and Persecuted Church Ministry. Seven years later, the program continues to produce graduates who are uniquely equipped to minister inside restricted nations.
So you can get degree in Persecuted Ministry. Wow. I can only imagine the type of people who would be attracted to pursuing that degree. Also, I'm imagining the reaction from their parents.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:58 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know you've found a winner when the *actual* Michigan Militia consider your group a bunch of extremist wackjobs.
posted by edheil at 6:58 AM on March 29, 2010 [19 favorites]


I disagree with calling this a gang. Let's call these asshats "terrorists".

Yeah, call me a dirty lib'rul and all that, but how about we call 'em "innocent until proven guilty" until they're, you know, given due process and a trial by a jury of their peers and, like are proven guilty (if they in fact are).
posted by orthogonality at 7:07 AM on March 29, 2010 [18 favorites]


You know, if they had anime and Dungeons & Dragons when the Ku Klux Klan was being founded, they'd probably have come up with titles like "Radok" and "Boromander", rather than "Grand Dragon" and "Exalted Cyclops" and what have you.
posted by acb at 7:08 AM on March 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


a trial by a jury of their peers

In a away, getting rejected by your militia buddies when you call them up and ask them for help running from the law is like a verdict from your peers.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:09 AM on March 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


Just in case you were wondering, ladies, Hutaree is available:

Hutaree's Details
Status: Single
Orientation: Straight
Body type: 6' 0" / Slim / Slender
Ethnicity: White / Caucasian
Religion: Christian - other
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
Smoke / Drink: No / No
posted by Dr. Zira at 7:11 AM on March 29, 2010


More from the Beast page:
The beast's number (humor)
$606.66 - Price of the Beast at Wal-Mart
$566.66 - Price of the Beast at Costco
Phillips 666 - Gasoline of the Beast
Route 666 - Way of the Beast
666 F - Oven temperature for roast Beast
666k - Retirement plan of the Beast
666 mg - Recommended Daily Allowance of Beast
If the Huteree had not been raided by the FBI, I would have assumed this web site to be a parody. The camouflage background, the ridiculous ranks, and the Beast jokes? It's an odd mix.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 7:12 AM on March 29, 2010


"A wise woman once said: 'Not all Muslims may be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.'"

Timothy McVeigh was a Muslim?

Son of a bitch. Ya learn something every day.
posted by Harvey Jerkwater at 7:13 AM on March 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


According to Language Log, "Hutaree" and the weirder titles are from a constructed language of their own invention.
posted by zamboni at 7:14 AM on March 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


'Not all Muslims may be terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.'

I think the commenter was making fun of Ms. Coulter.

Didn't do it right.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 7:16 AM on March 29, 2010


Well, arguably, they've already been found guilty of being asshats for perpetrating that crime against website design on the world, stockpiling assault weapons, and agitating for Christian militancy.

It doesn't take any higher court than the court of public opinion to convict someone of being an asshat, in my understanding of the law.

Now, accusing someone of being a "terrorist" is a slightly different matter. Apparently, in a lot of minds, the accusation of being a terrorist comes with a presumption of guilt, but under the law, yeah, they're technically still innocent, so we shouldn't lose sight of that.

Of course, you might be accused of being a terrorist yourself for pointing that out, if recent events are any guide (Liz Cheney's recent campaign to out the nefarious "Al-Qaeda Seven" comes to mind).

Oh wait! These are white guys?

Yeah, no. Totally innocent until proven guilty.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:27 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think her actual words were 'Not all Muslims may be terrorists, but who wants to take that chance? Let's pour water up their noses and beat them with rubber hoses, in the name of Jesus and Ronald Reagan.'
posted by shakespeherian at 7:28 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


All masters have had a master before an apprentice.

Watch out feds, these guys might be Sith.
posted by brain_drain at 7:29 AM on March 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


In the early 80s, I was bitterly disappointed that there were no souvenirs to be had at the intersection of Routes 66 and 666. Now it's gone, but it lives on my heart.
posted by lukemeister at 7:30 AM on March 29, 2010


Jesus, not just dominionists, but dominionists with a conlang? Was there really much chance of these guys coming back to reality long enough to do any damage? I think the sets of "people who invent their own conlangs for their club to use" and "people who could make a pipebomb without blowing their own hands off" are pretty much non-overlapping.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 7:30 AM on March 29, 2010 [19 favorites]


Somewhere between teabaggers and the Na'vi enthusiasts, this madness lies.

WE HAVE FOUND THE UNIVERSAL MeFi CONVERGENCE. DARE NOT LOOK UPON IT.
posted by grubi at 7:33 AM on March 29, 2010 [11 favorites]


Was there really much chance of these guys coming back to reality long enough to do any damage?

If they did indeed threaten violence against Muslim organizations, then they already did damage. Directly threatening violence against people is terrorism.

And I don't know why in the world you'd think people in touch with reality are more dangerous. These guys obviously did know how to use weapons (they've got, um, videos that show them training with weapons without shooting themselves in the foot on their website).
posted by saulgoodman at 7:37 AM on March 29, 2010


WE HAVE FOUND THE UNIVERSAL MeFi CONVERGENCE. DARE NOT LOOK UPON IT.

Needs more Juggalo taters.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:38 AM on March 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


In the picture on the group's site, is that dog wearing armor?
posted by ServSci at 7:44 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Look, this has been bugging me for months - can we please stop calling 'teabaggers' who aren't actually, you know, into 'tea-bagging' something else? Something like, "not bad people, just not real perceptive and susceptible to all kinds of infectious goofiness."
posted by From Bklyn at 7:45 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is it official now? Are the 90s "back"?

Yes. Wanna buy my 'zine?
posted by thivaia at 7:45 AM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Juggalo Teabagger Militias? That's a thread that needs to be made.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:46 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


665.9999954 Number of the Pentium Beast

LOL. At least they have a sense of humour for early 90s computer jokes.
I think I like these guys!
posted by derbs at 7:47 AM on March 29, 2010


It's fascinating but unsurprising that some of these FBI raids occurred in Washtenaw and Lenawee Counties. Everybody tends to associate Washtenaw with happy-go-lucky, tree-lined, liberal (although not as liberal as it likes to pretend) Ann Arbor, but Ann Arbor is in reality to Washtenaw County what Berkeley is to a big part of Contra Costa and Alameda Counties -- a tumorous excrescence.

It was in Pinckney (a hamlet on the border of Washtenaw and Livingston Counties 25 miles northwest of Ann Arbor), I believe, that I came upon a general store that had Klan robes hanging in its storefront window. And no, this was not in 19-dickety-3, either. It was five years ago.
posted by blucevalo at 7:47 AM on March 29, 2010


Some more details are starting to come out. Apparently, these guys had a specific plot they had set in motion to start a war with local law enforcement officials:
The Hutaree members allegedly "planned to kill an unidentified member of local law enforcement and then attack the law enforcement officers who gather in Michigan for the funeral. According to the plan, the Hutaree would attack law enforcement vehicles during the funeral procession with Improvised Explosive Devices with Explosively Formed Projectiles, which, according to the indictment, constitute weapons of mass destruction.
Since the case made it this far, and it's a Federal case, you can bet they've got mountains of surveillance footage and other evidence to make the case.
posted by saulgoodman at 7:47 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's groups like these that make me honestly wish I were completely wrong about the whole religion thing and the second coming actually does happen. Say, this Wednesday...

I was handed a tract this weekend that was full of exclamations of how the Rapture was coming on May 21, 2011. It had some calculations to explain how they came up with this date, most of which relied on 7000 years having passed since the Flood, but I couldn't help but notice that they hadn't taken into account the change from Julian to Gregorian calendars, so I, for one, will be laughing heartily when the Rapture comes on May 10, 2011 and whoever did the math on these tracts looks really dumb.
posted by Copronymus at 7:48 AM on March 29, 2010 [25 favorites]


"Six Michigan residents, along with two residents of Ohio and a resident of Indiana, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Detroit on charges of seditious conspiracy, attempted use of weapons of mass destruction, teaching the use of explosive materials, and possessing a firearm during a crime of violence."

The indictment describes an alleged plot that seems inspired by weapons more associated with urban warfare in Iraq than with rural Michigan.

The Hutaree members allegedly "planned to kill an unidentified member of local law enforcement and then attack the law enforcement officers who gather in Michigan for the funeral. According to the plan, the Hutaree would attack law enforcement vehicles during the funeral procession with Improvised Explosive Devices with Explosively Formed Projectiles, which, according to the indictment, constitute weapons of mass destruction."
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:49 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Juggalo Taters [SLYT]
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:55 AM on March 29, 2010


Love the music in their video, but how can five dudes playing dress-up expect to defeat Satan's army?
posted by sswiller at 7:55 AM on March 29, 2010


While we're on beast number jokes, my favorite has always been

667: The Neighbor of the Beast
posted by unSane at 7:58 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hey--why does (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates get a favorite just for plagiarizing my earlier nearly identical comment, eh? Doesn't originality count for anything anymore? ;)
posted by saulgoodman at 8:00 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I hereby grant all favorites to saulgoodman. And promise to preview next time.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:03 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


2000/3: The Rational Neighbor of the Beast
posted by lukemeister at 8:03 AM on March 29, 2010 [7 favorites]


Personally, I find the comments in the Detroit News scarier than a bunch of wanna-be Mercenaries for Christ. At least they self-select, self-organize and can be watched. The kooks writing in to the newspaper are supposed to be a little more representative of society at large.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 8:04 AM on March 29, 2010



Look, this has been bugging me for months - can we please stop calling 'teabaggers' who aren't actually, you know, into 'tea-bagging' something else? Something like, "not bad people, just not real perceptive and susceptible to all kinds of infectious goofiness."


These people originally called themselves "Tea-baggers." I'm sticking with it. The negative implication of the term is not targeted at those who enjoy sucking testicles, it is directed at those who were so clueless and unselfconscious to choose the name for their "political" movement in the first place. And doesn't really tell you all you need to know about the Tea-baggers?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:05 AM on March 29, 2010 [16 favorites]


The seditious conspiracy charge indicates that the arrests were a preventative action before things got out of hand. The charges do not include possessing explosives, illegal weapons or other contraband. They were in the planning stages and the cops were privy to their plans. That means they were being watched very closely and had worried enough people that there were complaints and probably at least one informant engaged in the planning. Most federal indictments of this sort are the result of a lengthy investigation. The articles mention that they were trying to find someone who could supply them with explosives and that's a very good way to get busted.

For what it's worth, the federal militia busts in the 1990's showed that the militia groups were riddled with informants, both paid and voluntary. It's not much of a stretch to see how groups like the Oath Keepers are probably in the same situation.

Typically, the worst acts of violence are committed by people who are peripheral to these type of groups and remain unnoticed and under the radar.

We can expect to see several more of these sort of preventative actions over the next year.

It's getting pretty crazy out there. Historically, the trend towards political violence is reversed only after there is widespread public revulsion. Groups like this are unlikely to trigger that revulsion because they don't look like much of a threat, however much they wanted to be one.

Another way of saying this: as long as there is a controversy (as opposed to a consensus) about political violence, the cycle will continue to escalate. And the arrival at a public consensus is usually in reaction to a successful attack, not a prevented one.
posted by warbaby at 8:12 AM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Teabaggers + Wolverines! = Wolfbaggers
posted by acb at 8:13 AM on March 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


Is it official now? Are the 90s "back"?

Dude bro! It'll be sick! I waz sk8in' over here listening to Tribe on my walkman and I realized: dude I can't wait to buy this on CD! Anyways dudes and dudettes, did you see Will Smith's new music video on MTV? It was wicked sick and fly. I saw it when I was taking a break from playing my sweet Mechwarrior SEGA videogame! Yo! can I use the phone at your house to see if my homie Zack is at his house? Well, I gotta peace-out bro I'm going to Blockbuster video to rent some japanimation.
posted by fuq at 8:17 AM on March 29, 2010 [10 favorites]


Surely there have to be juggalo teabaggers, the more I think about it. Southerners are often conservative, southerners are often juggalos, surely the lines intersect.
posted by mccarty.tim at 8:17 AM on March 29, 2010


Southerners are juggalos?

Sir, you know nothing of juggalos.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:18 AM on March 29, 2010 [6 favorites]


Indeed, according to this map, the highest concentration of juggalos is in . . . New Jersey? I would have guessed Michigan/Ohio/Illinois/Pennsylvania.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:23 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, the Michigan Militia would like you to know: Neither MICHIGANMILITIA.COM nor the SMVM have been "raided" by the FBI. We do nothing illegal.

The real reason I'll never throw in with the right is that they can't do decent graphic design.
posted by Scoo at 8:26 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


southerners are often juggalos

Maybe you meant 'gigolo' here.
posted by jquinby at 8:28 AM on March 29, 2010



Dude bro! It'll be sick! I waz sk8in' over here listening to Tribe on my walkman and I realized: dude I can't wait to buy this on CD! Anyways dudes and dudettes, did you see Will Smith's new music video on MTV? It was wicked sick and fly. I saw it when I was taking a break from playing my sweet Mechwarrior SEGA videogame! Yo! can I use the phone at your house to see if my homie Zack is at his house? Well, I gotta peace-out bro I'm going to Blockbuster video to rent some japanimation.


This is how we'll be able to identify time travellers. Also, the wearing of clocks as necklaces.
posted by The Whelk at 8:28 AM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


It's possible that ICP's become a New Jersey phenomenon. But it seems more likely that MI/OH juggalos don't need to hang around on Meetup.com in order to find each other. I'd be shocked if the smaller towns around Detroit weren't still the center of their fan base.
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:31 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


The real reason I'll never throw in with the right is that they can't do decent graphic design.
Extremist material of any kind always looks gaudy and cheap, like a bad pizza menu. Not because they can't afford decent computers - these days you can knock up a professional CD cover on a pay-as-you-go mobile - but because anyone who's good at graphic design is likely to be a thoughtful, inquisitive sort by nature. And thoughtful, inquisitive sorts tend to think fascism is a bit shit, to be honest. If the BNP really were the greatest British party, they'd have the greatest British designer working for them - Jonathan Ive, perhaps, the man who designed the iPod. But they don't. They've got someone who tries to stab your eyes out with primary colours.
- Charlie Brooker.
posted by acb at 8:33 AM on March 29, 2010 [37 favorites]


> Personally, I find the comments in the Detroit News scarier than a bunch of wanna-be Mercenaries for Christ.

Reading the comments on newspaper websites has been scientifically proven to lower IQ.

Reading YouTube comments, of course, is a form of self-lobotomy.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:39 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


did you see Will Smith's new music video on MTV?

It turns out that parents did understand-- far, far better than we would have believed.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:46 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


If you look around on the Militia website, you might happen to run across the link marked Militia Babes. If you happened to click on that link, for whatever reason, you might find a couple photos where said 'babes' were actually wrapping themselves in the American flag, in an "I've got nothing on underneath this" kind of cheesecake look. Isn't that a little desecratelicious?

It kind of goes without saying, if your personal kink is women with guns, that would be the page to check out.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:49 AM on March 29, 2010


It turns out that parents did understand-- far, far better than we would have believed.

This still, however, leaves me unable to beat Mike Tyson.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 8:50 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


which, according to the indictment, constitute weapons of mass destruction."

You've got to be kidding me.
posted by hamida2242 at 8:53 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Are they all ten years old?

NO GIRLZ ALOUD!
posted by ericb at 8:53 AM on March 29, 2010



White guys do it and they're a "militia."

If these guys were brown skinned the media would call them a "gang."

Which is what they are.


I'd disagree, fourcheesemac. Skinheads clearly aren't brown-skinned; they're labeled as gang members. Hell's Angels has consistently been referred to as a motorcycle gang; predominantly white.

I'd guess the working definition in the popular mindset would be something like "gang = criminals living amongst normal community, engaged in criminal activity / militia = armed group, often living apart from others, preparing for violent conflict but not necessarily actively engaged in criminal activity".

Race doesn't enter into the equation, in my book at least. And the above definition clearly separates these nutbags (and the Black Panthers, for that matter) from "gangs".
posted by IAmBroom at 9:00 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


You've got to be kidding me.

Why? Their plan was to use illegal (meaning, not recognized as legal for combat under international law) "Improvised Explosive Devices with Explosively Formed Projectiles." There's an article here going back to 2007 about how this type of weapon has been used to devastating effect against American troops in Iraq.

The term "Weapons of Mass Destruction" has an established legal definition. If the weapons they intended to use satisfy that definition, then what's so funny about it?
posted by saulgoodman at 9:01 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe southern juggalos don't need the internet to meet up as there are entire towns of juggalos, and oh god I can't admit I was wrong.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:02 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


That beast illustration would make an awesome "ironic" tee shirt for hipsters who already have the three wolf moon tee!
posted by Pollomacho at 9:05 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


After the Oklahoma City Bombing, Congress passed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act, which in turn refers to the definition in federal law of a weapon of mass destruction. So the "weapons of mass destruction" phrase can refer to just about anything like a bomb, heavy weapon, bugs, gas, nukes -- anything. In this case it probably refers to the contemplated IEDs using explosively formed penetrators.

Looking this over, it's the plan to kill a cop and then target his funeral to kill more cops that triggered the arrests. I still haven't seen the actual indictments yet.

The FBI didn't really take Eric Rudolph seriously when he was bombing gay night clubs and clinics. The Olympic bomb was disturbing, but when he set up a secondary bomb to take out the emergency responders, then they really woke up. It all has to do with priorities.
posted by warbaby at 9:09 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


The real reason I'll never throw in with the right is that they can't do decent graphic design.

Oh, I don't know about that. This little presentation always struck me as having an undeniable aesthetic sense.
posted by philip-random at 9:17 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Why? Their plan was to use illegal (meaning, not recognized as legal for combat under international law) "Improvised Explosive Devices with Explosively Formed Projectiles."

WTF? Why exactly does it matter exactly how you maim and kill your opponents?
posted by delmoi at 9:19 AM on March 29, 2010


That beast illustration would make an awesome "ironic" tee shirt for hipsters who already have the three wolf moon tee! anyone who enjoys awesomeness.

FTFY
posted by brundlefly at 9:20 AM on March 29, 2010


Mark Koernke is our local Militia crazy. He lives in Dexter, used to work for the U in Ann Arbor.

He's been in and out of jail for years (last time for evading the police while being chased for a bank robbery he didn't have any part in).

Mark lives in a run-down house with a yard filled with junk, old cars, sheds, and more junk.

I drive by every day on the way to and from work...

After these events I happened to drive by on Sunday. He had a gate across his driveway, a pickup truck parked across the drive behind the gate, a huge "STOP" sign in front of the gate. There was smoke from a woodstove chimney that made it clear there were a lot of documents being burned...

I suspect I'll soon have another trip from work detoured around his house as the 15 Black SUV's are blocking the road and the 'copter is parked in the field next to the house....
posted by HuronBob at 9:22 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


If ever there was a name for a fictional antichrist, it would be Wurmbrand.

Or a goth-metal band.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:22 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


The FBI didn't really take Eric Rudolph seriously when he was bombing gay night clubs and clinics. The Olympic bomb was disturbing, but when he set up a secondary bomb to take out the emergency responders, then they really woke up. It all has to do with priorities.

The Centennial Park bombing occurred before the clinic and lounge events and the notion that the FBI wasn't concerned about all of them as a piece is factually incorrect. CENTBOM was a big deal, the fiasco around Richard Jewell notwithstanding.
posted by jquinby at 9:24 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


WTF? Why exactly does it matter exactly how you maim and kill your opponents?

Well, the law also makes distinctions between thefts committed with knives and guns. So--um, does that answer your question? It's just that way in the law. Don't ask me to justify it.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:24 AM on March 29, 2010


saulgoodman, the definition for law enforcement means that a M67 hand grenade is a Weapon of Mass Destruction. Interesting.
posted by vivelame at 9:30 AM on March 29, 2010


I didn't see the indictment posted upthread yet, so here's a link (pdf).
posted by acro at 9:33 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


What's really annoying to me is that the background music for the video on the Hutaree website is "Marian" by the Sisters of Mercy. Get your own music, assholes!
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:37 AM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Some great speculation on the rank names from Language Log:

This seems to be a militia. In a conventional military most of your ranks are management hierarchy. The US navy needs to have about a dozen officer ranks so that everybody who is in charge of somebody else can be given an appropriate rank. A small country might get away with nine or ten. (NATO has translation charts so that you can figure out who you're supposed to salute on a base which has officers that use a wide variety of different systems)

This chart has 12 ranks, and I doubt they have more than a few hundred members. To me that says it's functioning more like the ranks in a treehouse club. The kid with the treehouse gets to be "Radok" and his best friend is a "Boramander". The kid they don't like much is a "Lukore" except in the summer when they use his parent's pool, then he's "Gold Rifleman" and nobody is ever a "Silver Rifleman" because the Boramander's sister took the silver pen.

posted by werkzeuger at 9:40 AM on March 29, 2010 [8 favorites]


The kooks writing in to the newspaper are supposed to be a little more representative of society at large.

Please tell me this isn't true. Please.
posted by Kirk Grim at 9:40 AM on March 29, 2010


"Captain Hutaree" is a shitty superhero name.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 9:41 AM on March 29, 2010


Can't let a reference to 667 go by without mentioning Mark Graham's song "Neighbor of the Beast." It's available in its entirety on Mark's Myspace page, but I can't figure out how to link to it directly. Worth a listen.
posted by mr vino at 9:43 AM on March 29, 2010


saulgoodman, the definition for law enforcement means that a M67 hand grenade is a Weapon of Mass Destruction. Interesting.

The common thread seems to be any weapons designed to cause a high degree of casualty to non-specific targets (so fragmentation weaponry like the M67 would qualify because it's designed to fragment on detonation in a way that potentially causes indiscriminate casualties). Using those kinds of weapons in the commission of a crime probably means you're more likely to have heavier incidental casualties, so it kind of makes sense they would be treated differently under the law.
posted by saulgoodman at 9:43 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Can't let a reference to 667 go by without mentioning Mark Graham's song "Neighbor of the Beast."

Wouldn't the neighbors of the Beast be 664 and 668?
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:47 AM on March 29, 2010 [15 favorites]


When the Michigan Militia calls you a cut and distances itself, you know you're off the reservation.
posted by klangklangston at 9:50 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wouldn't the neighbors of the Beast be 664 and 668?

Actually 'Across the Street From the Beast' would be a great song title.
posted by xorry at 9:52 AM on March 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


HuronBob beat me to the Koernke call-out. I immediately thought of him when this story began unfolding. I guess one of us might tune in to Liberty Tree Radio (I would, but I need my sanity) hosted out of Dexter, MI by DJ "Ed the AK-47" on Live365. (OK, an aside--I am flabbergasted that the weapon of choice for these self-styled freedom fighters is the Soviet Автомат Калашникова 47).

Through the Liberty Tree site, I found this interesting quote, which ultimately was debating whether the militia organizations such as the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters deserved to be on the SPLC's terrorist watch list (those last words are mine, not necessarily the SPLC's). The spokesperson for the Three Percenters Mike disagreed with the SPLC's Mark Potok about whether the greatest risk comes not from these organizations themselves, but from individuals in those organizations whose circumstances push him/her over the edge to commit violent acts.

"Vanderboegh doesn’t believe in government conspiracy theories like that. He said his focus is on restoring our God-given liberties that have slowly eroded away over the past 75 years. “Regardless of race, creed, color or religion, the Constitution contifies what God had in mind for all of us. We’re not after a revolution. We don’t want a revolution. We’re restorationists. We want what we had we want what the founders gave us, that’s what the Three Percent wants.”

RESTORATIONISTS! Yes! Bring back Charles II! Oh if only Vanderboegh knew how funny he sounded.
posted by beelzbubba at 9:54 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is it official now? Are the 90s "back"?

No, it's just that once again a Democrat is in the White House.
posted by JackFlash at 9:56 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


I do have to say that I really dig their depiction of the Beast. A triceratops ...

A carnivorous triceratops, at that!

If the Huteree had not been raided by the FBI, I would have assumed this web site to be a parody.

Those aren't jokes to take lightly, but their form of gallows humor. When the beast is all around you, you have to laugh or go mad. Or maybe a bit of both.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:03 AM on March 29, 2010


Skinheads clearly aren't brown-skinned; they're labeled as gang members. Hell's Angels has consistently been referred to as a motorcycle gang; predominantly white.

OK, IAmABroom, I grant these counter-examples, of course -- and the Cosa Nostra is another one. But when you hear talk about "gang members" on CNN (as in their current special, "Gangs of Hollenbeck"), what image comes to mind? I am referring to the contemporary media usage of the term, not historical cases. And I also don't think our public discourse waits for someone to be convicted of anything before labeling them a "gang member." Think of all the rules against wearing "gang colors" in schools, and imagine if camouflage wear were treated the same way, for example.

Gangs are indeed generally fairly rational social organizations, deploying violence for instrumental ends (though not only, as the world is full of overt sadists and the like, and violent subcultures attract people who just like violence for its own sake). But if you read some of the stuff on this group, it emerges that they were also into being the big men in their little communities, and into scaring their neighbors with public displays of armed power. That's what made me think of the comparison. Being a "gang member" is just a way of talking about someone who belongs to an organized criminal entity that uses violence to advance its means. Terrorists operating in the US (leaving aside the PR arm of Al Qaeda with its videos of training camps and the like, very similar to the Hutaree video -- would make a potent mashup) are usually organized differently, relying on stealth until the moment of violence. The performance of public displays of violent capacity in order to intimidate a community and to advance criminal conspiracies through such intimidation (producing, for example, widespread fear of snitching) is diagnostic of "gang" as term of contemporary discourse. The word "militia" whitewashes that imagery, literally. Hell, they chose that name for themselves because it's in the damn 2d amendment to the constitution. I would not want to dignify these people by calling them a name they preferred.

So they're terrorists, if convicted of terrorism. But in any case, they look like a gang to me, and deserve the same scornful derision of the general public as the Bloods or the Crips, or the Hells Angels in the 1970s. I think it's been a long time since "gang" summoned images of non-Latino or non-Black criminality for most people, and of course we all know "terrorist" is synonymous with "Muslim" (and thus, you're right, not about "race" entirely, although the American concept of Islam is that it is a racially specific identity, and thus surprising when a white American like John Walker Lindh appears to go over to the Muslim side).

My point is simple enough: the equivalence to urban criminal gang activity of "militia" activity is patently obvious, and just like the equivalence to terrorism, it is avoided in media discourse, at least, in my opinion solely because the militias are rural and mostly white (surprisingly, there are a larger number of minority militia members than you might think, although still a tiny percentage).
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:07 AM on March 29, 2010


When the beast is all around you, you have to laugh or go mad.

Or shop at Costco, instead of Walmart. Satan really knows how to pass along the savings.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:16 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


IIR, the self-styled Satan in Bruce McDonald's "Highway 61" lived at number 666 1/2
posted by stevil at 10:19 AM on March 29, 2010


Here's coverage from NYTimes
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:19 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I heard about this on the radio this morning, and still terribly groggy, spent a good thirty seconds being all "WTFHutterites?"
posted by wreckingball at 10:22 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


If the weapons they intended to use satisfy that definition, then what's so funny about it?

It's a bullshit buzzword and used in the definition of that offense to inflame juries/make prosecutors look good/sell newspapers. That the law is being used against people I disagree with doesn't mean it's a good law.
posted by hamida2242 at 10:28 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, I don't know about that. This little presentation always struck me as having an undeniable aesthetic sense.

-10 for being right wing fascists, +11 for being German in the 30's. Say what you will about their ideology, etc. etc.
posted by contessa at 10:28 AM on March 29, 2010


Say what you will about their ideology, etc. etc.

At least it was an ethos?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:30 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


Southeast Michigan seems to be a battleground, and I'm not sure the Feds are winning. In October 2009, they killed Luqman Ameen Abdullah, shooting him 20 times, effectively concluding an investigation that started two years before that.

As far as the racial argument that has crept in above, I will agree that Hells Angels are a gang, just as the Latin Kings (are they still around? I moved 30 years ago) are a gang. But I do feel that the Feds proceed with more deference if the suspects are white. All of my evidence is anectdotal, but I can't help the way I feel.
posted by beelzbubba at 10:34 AM on March 29, 2010


That the law is being used against people I disagree with doesn't mean it's a good law.

Yeah, but if it is the law right now, that's just what it is. They can't just arbitrarily decide not to use the current, existing legal classification for the weapons that were central to the plot. The WMD language that comes up in the press reports originates (I believe) in the indictment itself, the form of which is determined by the applicable law.

So if officials want to prosecute these guys for trying to use the particular kind of improvised explosives they were planning to use, they have to use that language in the indictment (because that's how the relevant law classifies those weapons).

I won't disagree that the language of the law as written seems a little sensational. But then again, fragmentary explosives are designed to cause the most possible damage in terms of enemy casualties (hence "mass destruction"--i.e., not targeting an individual, but a random crowd).
Mr. Stone used the Internet to obtain diagrams of “explosively formed projectiles,” a particularly lethal form of roadside bombs responsible for many deaths of United States soldiers in Iraq, the indictment says.

It says that he e-mailed diagrams of such devices to a person he believed to be capable of manufacturing them, and then directed one of his sons to obtain the materials to make them. It also says he and his other son taught other Hutaree members how to make bombs in June 2009.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:41 AM on March 29, 2010


I heard about this on the radio this morning, and still terribly groggy, spent a good thirty seconds being all "WTFHutterites?"

Holy shit, I'm so glad I'm not the only one who did this.
posted by rollbiz at 10:45 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


So -- do people try to use Weapons of Just a Slightly Inconvenient Destruction (pardon me, hope you don't mind if I explode)?

And why is it that we don't call, I dunno, missiles dropped from planes WMDs? I mean those cause just as much, if not more, destruction than whatever these clowns were probably trying to do.

I just hate the phrase WMD, it's just empty semantic rhetoric. And looking at the wiki page cements that idea further. How do you determine how many people killed is "massive"? Is there some sort of scale like the Richter Scale for WMDs?
posted by symbioid at 10:46 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


If the group had planned to bomb a church during a Catholic service, could they be charged with possession of Weapons of Mass Destruction?
posted by Bromius at 10:48 AM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


I just hate the phrase WMD, it's just empty semantic rhetoric. And looking at the wiki page cements that idea further. How do you determine how many people killed is "massive"? Is there some sort of scale like the Richter Scale for WMDs?

50 USC § 2302:

(1) The term “weapon of mass destruction” means any weapon or device that is intended, or has the capability, to cause death or serious bodily injury to a significant number of people through the release, dissemination, or impact of—
(A) toxic or poisonous chemicals or their precursors;
(B) a disease organism; or
(C) radiation or radioactivity.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:55 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


A professor I did IT support for at Carnegie Mellon in the late 1990s studied weapons of mass destruction as part of his larger purview (risk analysis and arms control), and a lot of that work predates the current media fascination with the term. I'd suggest Google Scholar over Wikipedia if you're looking for hard research points on what qualifies as a WMD and what level of lethality each major type encompasses.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 10:55 AM on March 29, 2010


And why is it that we don't call, I dunno, missiles dropped from planes WMDs? I mean those cause just as much, if not more, destruction than whatever these clowns were probably trying to do.

You're getting legal jargon and military jargon confused, one does not necessarily equal the other. If I procured a plane and dropped a missile from it, I would not be surprised if I was charged for using a WMD
posted by Think_Long at 10:56 AM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also according to the FBI:

What is a Weapon of Mass Destruction?

Any explosive or incendiary device, as defined in Title 18 USC, Section 921: bomb, grenade, rocket, missile, mine, or other device with a charge of more than four ounces;
Any weapon designed or intended to cause death or serious bodily injury through the release, dissemination, or impact of toxic or poisonous chemicals or their precursors;
Any weapon involving a disease organism; or
Any weapon designed to release radiation or radioactivity at a level dangerous to human life.

posted by Pollomacho at 10:57 AM on March 29, 2010


I just hate the phrase WMD, it's just empty semantic rhetoric.

Well, see, I agree, but I do think there's room for a legitimate legal distinction between the use of weapons designed to harm specific targets, and the use of weapons designed to kill indiscriminately (because the latter shows less regard for human life and in practice creates a greater potential for casualties). That's the ostensible point of the WMD classification in the law, now, as I understand it.

And as Think_Long pointed out up there, the term being used in this context is a civilian legal term--it's not the same WMD as used in the military jargon. The two terms have different meanings in their respective domains.

But, given the term's ugly associations with Dubbya's disastrous adventure in Iraq, I agree it's too tainted at this point not to rankle. But what's congress gonna do? Drop everything else they're dealing with right now and devote a bunch of floor time to debating revising the names used to classify these kinds of weapons in law? They've got more important things to do.
posted by saulgoodman at 11:05 AM on March 29, 2010


Good job, Feds.
posted by Anything at 11:10 AM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


FYI - Any explosive or incendiary device, as defined in Title 18 USC, Section 921: bomb, grenade, rocket, missile, mine, or other device with a charge of more than four ounces would include this.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:17 AM on March 29, 2010


I'd be shocked if the smaller towns around Detroit weren't still the center of their fan base.

I live in a small town roughly a half hour from Detroit (Belleville), and I rarely see yoofs in Juggalo gear. But I do see some.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 11:20 AM on March 29, 2010


I prefer the term infernal machines.
posted by gamera at 11:27 AM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Obama White House stops terrorist attack on US Soil.
posted by Mick at 11:40 AM on March 29, 2010 [22 favorites]


pollomacho: "a significant number of people" is the issue I have. Define that. I saw the definition - it's just kinda - lazy. And weak...

The way WMD is hyped up though it was always made to sound like NUKES NUKES zOMG! So that hype combined with, hell, a hand grenade, as someone mentioned, makes it seem like that term is poorly thought out.

In fact, Jason Sigger (Armchair Generalist) talks about this issue quite a bit (though more about the folly of "NBC" (Nuke, Bio, Chem) as a threat)

I think that's our issue - obviously bombs are dangerous and nasty things and causes "mass destruction"... but conflating ordinary bombs with nukes is like conflating terror with war. Or something.
posted by symbioid at 11:50 AM on March 29, 2010


What's really annoying to me is that the background music for the video on the Hutaree website is "Marian" by the Sisters of Mercy.

That's not the only one. WTF?
posted by homunculus at 11:50 AM on March 29, 2010


fair 'nuff saulgoodman - won't beat the dead horse anymore -- 'tis what it is and all that...
posted by symbioid at 11:53 AM on March 29, 2010


We're in agreement symbiod (the WMD term sucks for this), just not sure what can be done about it at this point.

I'm just relieved they stopped these guys. Wonder how many more of this particular group are still out there?
posted by saulgoodman at 12:09 PM on March 29, 2010


I read about their plot, and thought, "Axe Cop is gonna chop their heads off."
posted by breath at 12:21 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


"They are more of survivalist group and in an emergency they withdraw and stand their ground. They are actively training to be alongside Jesus," he said.

How exactly does this work? "Ok, everyone get up in front of Jesus, that way if one if us gets hit, he can magic us back into the fight. And pack light on rations, he'll probably be doing that whole bread and fish splitting trick, so we're good on food. Also, we can dispense with any kind of waterborne assault craft, as if needed, he can just ferry us across on foot."

I'd love to watch one of their training sessions, where they have a Jesus-stand in walking behind everyone, tossing ping-pong balls at people's backs LARP style "healing, healing, healing..."
posted by quin at 12:28 PM on March 29, 2010 [10 favorites]


I'd love to watch one of their training sessions, where they have a Jesus-stand in walking behind everyone, tossing ping-pong balls at people's backs LARP style "healing, healing, healing..."

I LOL'd.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:39 PM on March 29, 2010 [2 favorites]


"...They are actively training to be alongside Jesus."

I thought these kinds of guys hated hispanics!
posted by symbioid at 12:41 PM on March 29, 2010 [4 favorites]


Obama! White House! stops! terrorist attack! on U!S! Soil!

RRRRAAAWWWWWRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!1!!!!1!1!!1!
posted by From Bklyn at 12:42 PM on March 29, 2010


"...They are actively training to be alongside Jesus."

Eight year olds, Dude.

Wow, is there nowhere in this thread that a Lebowski quote doesn't seem to fit?
posted by Pollomacho at 12:52 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the Times link which includes the indictment.

First glance says this isn't much of a case: no contraband (possession is not part of the charges) and it all hinges on the seditious conspiracy charges. Juries don't like conspiracy-only cases, so this isn't a slam dunk like possession is. The only facts for the jury there are is this the prohibited item and was it in their possession. Seditious conspiracy is basically talking crime.

It looks more like the bust was intended to reel these loons in before somebody got hurt.

It also seems very likely the guy they approached to make the bombs turned them in, testified before the grand jury or something like that, since he's not indicted.

It looks like the investigation got started about nine months ago and things started to get crazy last month.

All the WMD discussion should include the phrase "...in the parlance of our times..."
posted by warbaby at 1:05 PM on March 29, 2010


which, according to the indictment, constitute weapons of mass destruction."

You've got to be kidding me.


Yeah, these are, what, nail bombs?

The term "Weapons of Mass Destruction" has an established legal definition.

One broad enough to be meaningless, it seems. Thanks post 9/11 hysteria!
posted by Artw at 1:12 PM on March 29, 2010


I live in a small town roughly a half hour from Detroit (Belleville), and I rarely see yoofs in Juggalo gear. But I do see some.

Fair enough. I lived around there up until about eight years ago, and it seemed at the time like they were everywhere. Then again, I was a yoof myself back then, so probably I was more aware of 'em — and eight years is a long-ass time for pop culture.
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:21 PM on March 29, 2010


I don't get the whole "fighting the Antichrist" bit. If I understand my loopy dispensationalist dogma correctly, the Antichrist is the avatar of Satan on Earth who fulfills certain Biblical prophecies concerning the End Times. Defeating him would be theologically impossible without throwing a monkey wrench into the apocalypse. It would be like planning a Rambo raid to free Jesus from the clutches of Pontius Pilate. It makes no sense, religiously speaking.
posted by Rhaomi at 2:22 PM on March 29, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure my fourteen-year-old owns all of these Pokemans.

I endorse the FBI taking a "Gotta Catch 'Em All" approach to people like these.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:41 PM on March 29, 2010 [3 favorites]


Rhaomi, I know. Not to mention the cognitive dissonance in the plan itself: you are fighting the Forces of Evil, who are possessed of the greatest war machine known to humanity, and your plan involves killing a local cop and then planting IEDs outside the funeral?

Sure. That's really gonna blow them back to the 9th circle of hell.
posted by jrochest at 3:31 PM on March 29, 2010


They are actively training to be alongside Jesus."

Does that mean they learned Aramaic to speak and understand commands in battle? Did they form a formation around Jesus so if they get shot he just lays his hands on them? Or do they break out swords and slings and fight as they did back in the day? Do they practice not swearing in front of the Savior while in the middle of bloody combat?

I really want to see their training manual.
posted by yeloson at 3:37 PM on March 29, 2010


If I might jump in from a more analytic POV. Sitting from the outside I really have to wonder how small the steps are from an embrace of the supernatural, to moving to the fringe, to slipping into crazed paranoia. And then of course when a person reaches that point, getting more ppl to revolve around them, becoming further and further separated from reality.

Fervor without mitigating forces seems to end up with no good end.
posted by MrLint at 3:44 PM on March 29, 2010


Juan Cole: "I am struck that Hutaree has a great deal in common with the Mahdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr in Iraq."
posted by homunculus at 3:46 PM on March 29, 2010


Here's what John Robb (of Global Guerrillas fame) had to say:

"The arrest of a heavily armed Christian militia in Michigan, beyond what it tells us about where the US is headed, provides a great example of how NOT to conduct insurgency. Lots of small unit training (weapons and camouflage), a Web site (including YouTube videos) that states intent/shows preparations, and the planning of fantasy attacks on police with IEDs will result in one thing: rapid arrest/death. It's just pathetic. "
posted by symbioid at 8:13 PM on March 29, 2010


Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post: The Hutaree militia and the rising risk of far-right violence.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:43 PM on March 29, 2010


Aaaaaaand, here they are.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:46 PM on March 29, 2010


Improvised Explosive Devices with Explosively Formed Projectiles ... constitute weapons of mass destruction.

So what you're saying is, they HAVE found Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq? Finally!

Was there really much chance of these guys coming back to reality long enough to do any damage?

When they arrest muslims for this sort of thing, they describe them as "aspirational terrorists", which is a lovely euphemism.
posted by BinGregory at 10:40 PM on March 29, 2010


flapjax at midnite: "Aaaaaaand, here they are."

Find: [terro| ] Next Previous /!\ Phrase not found
posted by Rhaomi at 11:22 PM on March 29, 2010 [5 favorites]


They (I'm watching CBS at the moment) are pretty well describing the Hutaree as terrorists. Most are family members, with a Stone, Sr. identified as the leader.

It would be easy to dismiss them as a fringe cult, an outlier, but that would be to diminish the damage that ideological zealots can wreak regardless of the identity of the Main Hero Figure (Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha) cited by the zealots as their authority.
posted by beelzbubba at 4:45 AM on March 30, 2010


Aaaaaaand, here they are.

Worst. Jug band. Ever.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:59 AM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Aaaaaaand, here they are.

Thanks! I was looking for photos.

From the LATimes story:
"They talk about fighting the Antichrist and things like that," said Michael Vanderboegh, a former militia member and leading voice of the constitutionalist militia movement in a phone interview. "I'm a Christian, OK? But that's so far around the bend I can't see that bend from here."
More like he can't see his feet from there.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:02 AM on March 30, 2010


"The arrest of a heavily armed Christian militia in Michigan, beyond what it tells us about where the US is headed, provides a great example of how NOT to conduct insurgency."

I like the John Robb. He's not thinking about the political end of it though. Many many people do this and misunderstand the nature of insurgency and the role of firearms (U can'tz fite the Fedz with gunz b/c they have teh nukes l0zerz!).
Of course there's going to be disavowing. Not all supporters are going to be active, even among those that are, you're going to have non-operations folks, of those you have passive terrorist operatives as well.
So before you get anywhere near the command and control cell you're going to have these guys farting around in the woods playing army of God.
And they like to boast. Thankfully. And none of them want to work in pussy-ass logistics or intelligence (not once they find out it's not Tom Clancy). So farting around in the woods is all that segment of cadre is good for really. Whatever value there is in small unit training is completely sabotaged by telling folks about it.
These particular guys don't have goals beyond beer o'clock generally. Some groups do have related political goals. That's what's dangerous.

Heard a lot of 'false flag' bogeymen Fed type stuff. Why does it have to be (beyond the distrust of the government bred over the last bunch of years, 9/11 alone - all that ceded) a government false flag operation? Or rather, the rank and file's false flag?
Is it not possible the planning and supposed execution by this group was an element of a broader movement's agitation?
Even small terrorist outfits have religious and political wings they work under.
And they can be connected on different levels rather than going through leadership, that in addition to the decentralization (despite being connected to other groups around the country).
So this could be the creation of a problem in order to suit a solution. And 'prove' there's resistance to this current administration, the government in general, etc.
So perhaps their high visibility is less an element of being idiots (which - they are, but not in the same way) and more a lack of necessity for organization on an operational level because the loosely confederated political ends are doing pretty well comparatively.

Contrast this with the bombings in Moscow and the oppression of the Chechyns. They (the Chechyns) don't have the luxury of having much of a political front. So their operational tempo tends to be based on the fact they have nothing to lose. (Some people romanticize this, as though losing your husband to crushing oppression, your boys to war and violence and your girls to rape and strife and going off and blowing yourself up because there's nothing else in life for you but fury is some kind of awesome, but so so sad, story)

The best way to fight terrorists is to rectify that. Of course, tell people good counterterrorism policy is giving people good roads, jobs and school boards, etc. they look at you like you're nuts.
But most of the non-shooty parts of this tend to be the more important bits.
It's unfortunate the media doesn't delve into the less shooty elements and focuses on guys like Joe Stonewall.
They are terrorists. But that's not scary. You can give terrorists something to lose and they'll stop being terrorists.
These people want to be paramilitary outfits. That is scary. They want power and won't be satisfied with anything else.
You know who else started with paramilitary outfits?
posted by Smedleyman at 6:56 AM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


"I am struck that Hutaree has a great deal in common with the Mahdi Army of Muqtada al-Sadr in Iraq."

I don't know what is so striking. You've seen one rabid fundamentalist, you've pretty much seen them all.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:34 AM on March 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't know what is so striking. You've seen one rabid fundamentalist, you've pretty much seen them all.

How do you say "boromander" in Arabic?
posted by acb at 8:22 AM on March 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Smedley - lotta words there but I'm reminded of maybe the wisest thing anyone said to me immediately post 911 about the fragile state of the world, (a retired Texan guy just passing through).

"We got way too many young fellas out there with nothing to lose."
posted by philip-random at 8:31 AM on March 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


The false flag nonsense is typical conspiratorialist mindset: information that challenges the belief structure originates from the conspiracy. From there, it's turtles all the way down.
posted by warbaby at 8:59 AM on March 30, 2010


The false flag nonsense is typical conspiratorialist mindset: information that challenges the belief structure originates from the conspiracy.

The cognitive dissonance this creates on Free Republic is hilarious to watch. They sit around all day talking about how they're totally going to rise up and kill the president and kill the gays and kill the liberals and kill the Muslims and on and on and on, and then when anyone makes violent threats or plans violence they talk about how terrible it is that the communist Obama administration is carrying out false flag operations meant to discredit the right. Barrel of laughs.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:10 AM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


You can give terrorists something to lose and they'll stop being terrorists.

I remember an article about marriage and children being the best defense against terrorism (the obvious converse--killing sons and husbands and raping daughters inspires terrorism) but I'll be damned if I can ever find it again.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:11 AM on March 30, 2010


I'd actually read it as bro-mander, which is probably something from a Ben Stiller vehicle.
posted by Artw at 9:15 AM on March 30, 2010


The always awesome Slacktivist has posted on the differences between the Hutaree group's interpretation of "Biblical end-times prophecy" and that of the Left Behind novels.
posted by infinitywaltz at 10:23 AM on March 30, 2010


Ah, Pre-Trib eschatology -- just my church's forte growing up!

Man, there were a few times when my mom came home late or I didn't realize she had planned to be out, and I turned on the Christian Radio Station (thinking it was "live" -- not realizing about taped programming) and when I heard that, I felt "safe" knowing that I didn't miss out on the Rapture.

Hey kids, remember! If you're "left behind" GET YOUR HEAD CHOPPED OFF BY THE BEAST INSTEAD OF TAKING THE MARK! *sigh*

Theology is just a bunch of angels and pins.

--------- I Wish We'd All Been Ready by Larry Norman---------
"Children died, the days grew cold,
A piece of bread could buy a bag of gold.
I wish we'd all been ready.
There's no time to change your mind,
The Son has come and you've been left behind.

A man and wife asleep in bed,
She hears a noise, she turns her head, he's gone!
I wish we'd all been ready.
Two men walking up a hill,
One disappears and one's left standing still.
I wish we'd all been ready.
There's no time to change your mind,
The Son has come and you've been left behind.

There's no time to change your mind.
How could you have been so blind?
The Father spoke, the demons dined,
The Son has come and you've been left behind.
You've been left behind
You've been left behind!"
---------
posted by symbioid at 10:43 AM on March 30, 2010


Point and laugh, should you feel inclined, at their Facebook group.
posted by jokeefe at 11:28 AM on March 30, 2010


Not the Hutaree Christian Militia you were looking for? Search more »

You mean there's more than one?
posted by Think_Long at 12:01 PM on March 30, 2010


Point and laugh, should you feel inclined, at their Facebook group.

Wow, some of their friends are a little worrisome in themselves.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:13 PM on March 30, 2010


I'ma call these nutbags "Armageddongs"
posted by symbioid at 12:14 PM on March 30, 2010


"We got way too many young fellas out there with nothing to lose."
Yeah. Easily the most dangerous kind of human being.
Banging my head against the wall under Bush listening to people talk about how much more bad ass you have to get with terrorists.
(That was the SA's motto stopping terror with terror, made me adjust my tie watching Brad Pitt talk about exactly that in Inglorious Basterds)

Bit of science of discontent: is the alienation real or is it an illusion from what's being promulgated by certain political groups (or f'ing Glenn Beck)? How to you get people to join the political process when they believe it's an attempt at co-option?

Dick Armey isn't going to run around in the woods with Steve Forbes talking revolution anymore than the Kuwati Royal family is going to have to publicly advocate for their own agenda (hell, ambassador Saud Nasir al Sabah was the father of the girl talking about Iraqi soldiers brutalizing infants, no one caught that for a while).
So, false flag, false front, astroturfing, all that, whether there's actual direct involvement in the current militia problem by any given political group or not - it's pretty easy to use propaganda to manage opinions (if you've got money) and the appearance of approval by higher profile can add to that, tacit or otherwise.
Perhaps in some ways it's reciprocating, but between some guy living in a trailer and some multi-billionaire, bit of a power difference there.

It's bad out there. I know some of those folks were not living in the best of conditions. But nothing to lose? I think it's a shame it seems to be in so many people's interest to tell people that and then on top of it, lead them there.
Stone's ex-wife was right - he dragged a lot of people down with him. What happens to people's kids now? Dave Stone is what, 19? His dad screwed his life up pretty well. Terrorists often harbor grand illusions about their effect on the world. Typically one of the things that separates them from guerrillas, who tend to have incremental goals. Nothing that great about either kind of lifestyle. (I've sat behind desks, I've been out in the field with really bad crotch rot and hemorrhoids looking for bugs to eat for roughage. The desk thing is better.)

But the big difference between people who actually have nothing to lose and people who think they have nothing to lose - the former usually have had it taken from them. The latter tend to do it to themselves. And usually with help either way from people who can make a buck from it.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:31 PM on March 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Bloody hell, Smedleyman.
posted by lysdexic at 1:05 PM on March 30, 2010


Here's a creepy wedding photo from the group. They really like their assault rifles.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:44 PM on March 30, 2010


New development: member Pale Face had a jokey video on Youtube with the immortal line, "Scar My Tattered Body No More With Your Punishing Dildo Mallet."
posted by msalt at 10:16 AM on April 1, 2010


video's gone again.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:44 AM on April 1, 2010


But that immortal slogan lives on. Plus this description:

Sickles [aka Pale Face] appears entirely naked but for a mask of President George W. Bush that obscures some, but not all, of his genitalia.
posted by msalt at 11:49 AM on April 1, 2010


Must be a very small mask.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:31 PM on April 1, 2010


See for yourself if you dare (emphatically NSFW) -- a five minute excerpt is up on TPM.

I'll say this much, the guy really has balls.
posted by msalt at 3:23 PM on April 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'll say this much, the guy really has balls.

He certainly does. And the right one hangs a little lower than the left.
posted by scalefree at 3:30 PM on April 1, 2010


OMG, I just came back to post that video link. InSANE.
posted by delmoi at 5:45 PM on April 1, 2010


I'm starting to think that the Hutaree were an art project.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:34 PM on April 1, 2010


Wait, guys, wait a minute - that militia man who informed on the Hutaree to the FBI? He wasn't of "islamic descent", he was a convert! A gun-toting, right-wing, militia leader who had converted to Islam. I'm a convert and I can't get my head around this.
The strict Christian dogma espoused by the Hutaree does not fly as well these days either, at least in Adrian militia circles. Mr. Savino said that he converted to Islam in the late 1990s after a soul-searching separation from the Lutheran faith he had grown up with, and that he believed that he was the only Muslim in the militia.
via MSNBC, with sweet picture at the top.
posted by BinGregory at 3:47 AM on April 2, 2010


I bet he heard all about the violence and the jihad and thought, "yeah, that's for me!" and then found out the reality.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:12 AM on April 2, 2010


Just in: motion for release of Joshua Stone on bail is denied. And in the ruling, the magistrate states that at least one rifle modified to fully automatic was seized. The possession of contraband is almost indefensible in court. So there will be at least one of these guys doing time, regardless of the outcome of the sedition charges.

And the magistrate described the Hutaree actions as "terrorism" -- so that semantic threshold has been crossed.

Scott Shane has this to say about that.
posted by warbaby at 8:59 AM on April 6, 2010


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