Hutaree on the loose
May 19, 2010 9:40 AM   Subscribe

Three of the Hutaree militia are released on bail. And another one on the way. (Previously) There's a new federal prosecutor following some problems with accuracy in court filings.

Here's a roundup from the DetFreep. Early on, Lenny Zeskind pointed a a big problem for the prosecution. And Mrs Robinson throws down the gauntlet to play-acting terrorists on the right.
posted by warbaby (14 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The right wingers are right. Send terrorists to Gitmo or liberal activist judges will release them.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:46 AM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Accuracy in court filings? I thought the criminal justice system was inadequate to deal with terrorist threats. Where are the calls from conservatives to nail these guys, Constitution be damned?
posted by DU at 10:02 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

Imagine the irony if these people were released because someone forgot to read them their Miranda rights.
posted by briank at 10:06 AM on May 19, 2010

Where are the calls from conservatives to nail these guys, Constitution be damned?

These guys are white, wear cammo, and prance around the woods playing patriots. Did I mention they're white?
posted by Thorzdad at 10:08 AM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

What is Sedition?
Before we start throwing around inflammatory terms like "sedition," it's essential that we understand the strict definition of the word -- and use it carefully and precisely, lest it lose all meaning.

Dear Mrs. Robinson - the phrase 'before we start' does not mean 6 paragraphs after you already thrown the term sedition around.
posted by spicynuts at 10:11 AM on May 19, 2010

Wow. Minorities terrorism suspects are arrested and held indefinitely. White people are released to their parents and given curfews.

They're being treated like they got drunk and toilet papered the high school.
posted by giraffe at 10:44 AM on May 19, 2010

Judge orders tethers, weapons bans

Weapons bans! I call socialism on that shit! Innocent until proven guilty! Give 'em back their guns! The only evidence you have that these guys were planning a cop-killing spree is hearsay! And also all them tapes and print manuals on how to go on a cop-killing spree! And the fact that the calendars in their iPhones all had several days blocked off for "cop-killing spree!" Besides that you got nothin'!
posted by Mister_A at 11:50 AM on May 19, 2010 [2 favorites]

Amazing how the right gets more worked up about an Arab woman winning a beauty contest than a bunch of white supremacist whackos with automatic weapons and a stated intention to overthrow civil society.

Well, not amazing, just further evidence that the lot of them are racist motherfuckers.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:34 PM on May 19, 2010 [3 favorites]

And the fact that the calendars in their iPhones all had several days blocked off for "cop-killing spree!"

Now you're just being facetious...there's no way these guys are smart enough to use an iPhone. They're barely smart enough to use a '89 Chevy Nova.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:24 PM on May 19, 2010

Now you're just being facetious...there's no way these guys are smart enough to use an iPhone.

Wow, really can turn any thread into a PC vs. Mac flamewar.
posted by Talanvor at 3:03 PM on May 19, 2010

You know what's good in court filings?

Didn't McQuade's office go after the underwear bomber as well?

Why sedition? Conspiracy to kill a law enforcement officer would have them in jail for a while. Abdulmutallab is looking at life for attempted murder and 'splosives on an airplane. They didn't go after him on a conspiracy charge.
I'm uncomfortable with going after anyone for sedition. It can open the door up to making it easier to prosecute. Bit too close to government censorship of speech.

I mean you have plenty of anti-terrorism laws on the books, the 1996 law passed after OKC and the WTC puts these guys in jail from 5 to life for conspiracy to commit murder. Under the Patriot Act assassinating government officials is domestic terrorism. Violent coercion/intimidation to influence government policy alone is enough to put them in jail.

I find it amazing how the left gets into a frenzy about the right's racism and white supremacism and somehow buys into what is exactly the same answer the right came up with only with a different flavor - more totalitarian law.
Gosh, the government just doesn't have enough power to prosecute these* people.

*YMMV as to who 'these' people are or aren't depending on 'Red' or 'Blue'. More juice and concentration of power for whatever administration is currently in charge remains constant. Just bearing different colors.

On the other hand, there is a war on. But isn't there always.

Why is it a straightforward case gets completely hosed? No one wants a mob hoarding firearms and looking to kill public servants living across the street from them.
I'd like to think as much as people say they hate cops and the like, no one really sympathizes with the plan these assholes had.
They belong in jail. We can put them in jail. So ...

I get where making it sedition plants a line of demarcation between what is patriotic and what is not. I might even sympathize. But we can't write a simple affidavit without fucking it up?

There's got to be this grandiose scheme and Byzantine reasoning to make some political point over every single jag off that wants to do some damage?

Militias get bent out of shape over (perceived or otherwise) encroachment of government power and constitution violations and the solution is what, stick it in and break it off because they're white?
It. Is. The. Same. Fucking. Dance.
Only difference is whether the focus is inside or outside of the country or being done to someone who is 'white' or 'not' (perceived or otherwise).

What counts is doing it by the law and showing that the system works and is equal for all.
Fail to deliver that (or like this guy give the judge the impression you're full of b.s.) and it gives people a reason to doubt not only your further veracity but your legitimacy.

And isn't that exactly - beyond just these nine goofballs - what was at stake here?

Yeah, nice work there Lou.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:04 PM on May 19, 2010

If this ends in convictions, the FBI will call it a "terrorism prevention." If there aren't any convictions, it will go down the memory hole.

As Zeskind's article says, seditious conspiracy is a real stretch. So what happened here? The FBI commits to a full field investigation - which means they were able to convince a US attorney that a crime had been or soon would be committed. It appears they were wrong about that. I've been waiting for warrant returns to be unsealed, but so far nothing. In most of these cases, it takes contraband (usually bombs or illegal weapons) to make this sort of conspiracy charge stick.

The prosecutors have made statements that they found bombs, explosives illegal weapons in the searches. It now appears those claims are bullshit. The result is that they can't convince a judge these clowns are dangerous enough to hold without bail. But the underlying impression is that the case for the prosecution is in danger of falling apart.

The essential problem with treating political violence as something that only law enforcement can deal with is law enforcement wants to deal with criminals, so there have to be crimes. It's not at al the same thing as preventing, reducing or stopping political violence. The law enforcement approach leads to things like this case -- where there almost, but not quite, is a crime.

The bottom line on terrorism and political violence is that it is a political problem first and only becomes a law enforcement problem when it's already too late. Compare this to public health - where things like sanitation are more important than putting people in jail (or sending the military to bomb and invade their ass.)

So when your only tool is the cops, every problem looks like a crime.
posted by warbaby at 5:33 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

And if your only tool is the military, every problem looks like a war.
posted by warbaby at 5:35 PM on May 19, 2010 [1 favorite]

The law enforcement approach leads to things like this case -- where there almost, but not quite, is a crime

Yeah, that's what's galling. There are actual crimes here. But the pony show takes precedence.
Do people not notice the government seems to oscillate from external bad guys to internal bad guys and there's always some spectacle that allows for ratcheting yet more power.
The unibomber, Ruby Ridge, Waco, OKC, WTC, Centennial Park, anthrax, and where there isn't incompetence there's overreaction and either case spurs new sets of laws that are yet more oppressive without regulating and clarifying operational matters. Simple things like jurisdiction.
Because if you do that, then you would have clear lines of command. In politics, that'd be lethal. Not only so you can seize or hand off power, but so there's no where for responsibility to rest.
Worked brilliantly after 9/11. No one so much as go their hair messed much less got fired or went to jail.
And the response was, of course, more power, more centralization and less autonomy and communication from the lower echelons.

Someone wants the military to be the only tool.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:54 AM on May 20, 2010

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