Saturday, May 1, 2010

Political Prisoners?

About a month ago, you may recall that swarms of FBI & state trooper SWAT teams descended upon some peaceful residential areas of Michigan to seize nine members of a militia group called the Hutaree.

My initial reaction, though I kept it pretty much to myself, coincided with that of Bryan Hyde (The Spectrum and Daily News)

At first glance, the recent arrest of a handful of militia members has all the trappings of a fiendish plot to overthrow the U.S. government by murdering police officers. But anyone willing to do a bit of research beyond the sensational and fear-mongering headlines will quickly find that there's much more to this story than is being portrayed in the press.

In a pattern seen all too often over the past 15 years, a group of individuals actively preparing to resist government tyranny was infiltrated by undercover FBI employees who acted as provocateurs, carefully steering the group toward clearly illegal activities.

Federal agents committed the same species of tyrannical enormity against Randy Weaver in the early 1990's. In case that was before your time, let me recount that Randy moved to northern Idaho to live a survivalist lifestyle with his wife Vicki along with a teenage son & daughter and an infant daughter.

The Weavers' attendance at some politically incorrect functions brought them to the attention of the feds. An FBI informant tried to persuade Randy to cut a shotgun barrel for him to less than the legal length of 18". It took a year of wheedling and begging before Randy finally consented and shortened the barrel for the FBI's agent provocateur.

The situation degenerated from there on out, with ATF agents shooting the Weavers' 13-yr-old son in the back and killing him, and FBI sniper Lon Horiuchi shooting Vicki in the head as she stood at the window holding her six-month-old child in her arms.

Right wing radio host & activist "Bo" Gritz negotiated Weaver's surrender by
assuring him that witnesses would be present, lest the feds murder him and the rest of his family. He was led from the scene in chains, and many months later a jury of his peers found Randy innocent of the original charges on the grounds of entrapment by the feds.

No federal agent ever spent a night in jail over the murders of Sam & Vicki Weaver.

That's what the raid on the Hutaree reminds me of. It seems that U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts also questions the "evidence" against the accused. An AP story reports:

An undercover agent infiltrated the group and secretly made recordings that have been played in court. While there is talk about killing police, it's not specific. In one conversation, there are many people talking over each other and laughing.

Roberts pressed that point more than once as Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Waterstreet argued in favor of keeping the nine in jail. The judge suggested she didn't hear or read in the transcripts any indication that violence was imminent.
"Mere presence where a crime may be planned is not a crime. ... How does this add up to seditious conspiracy?" Roberts said.

The news story further reports the arguments of the defense:

Defense lawyers urged the judge to look at each defendant individually. Although all are charged with conspiracy, they were not always together during critical meetings cited by the government.

"'What if' is not the standard. ... None of these words are an instruction to anyone to commit a crime," said Stone's attorney, William Swor, as held up a stack of transcripts.
Arthur Weiss, a lawyer for Thomas Piatek, 46, of Whiting, Ind., said disgust with the government as recorded by the undercover agent is similar to what's said daily by radio and TV talk-show hosts Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity.
"Millions of people" are talking about "taking our country back," Weiss said.

At this point, I would like to point out that I do not subscribe to the dispensensationalist theology that led to some of the Hutaree's views on the end times. I do, however, sympathize with their criticism of the tyrannical state that we have allowed to envelope us.

So, are there lessons that the Christian Martialist may glean from these travesties? Let me suggest just a few:

  1. Be careful of your associations: any group outside the parameters of Establishment worldview and values may become a target for federal agents provocateur;
  2. Be careful of your words in print and in person: let your speech be always with grace seasoned with salt;
  3. Be careful of those among you who would incite you to rash and intemperate speech and acts: they may be laying a snare;
  4. Be aware that our present state of affairs has come about because the Church has ignored some key Biblical commands;
  5. Be careful to search your own heart: repent of your participation in the sins that have led us into  the present judgment;
  6. Be watchful, prayerful and always ready to do the right thing.

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