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Kuhner’s Alternate Reality

Jeffrey Kuhner has a problem. Writing at the Washington Moonie Times, he wants desperately to claim that political violence in the United States comes primarily from the left, but that flies in the face of the evidence. So what to do? Oh, just play pretend:

The only known act of domestic right-wing terrorism was the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995 18 years ago Friday committed by Timothy McVeigh. Rather, the record reveals the opposite: Leftists have perpetrated most terrorist atrocities in America. The Weather Underground, the Black Panthers, the Symbionese Liberation Army and the Unabomber all of them were some kind of radical socialists, who committed heinous crimes on U.S. soil.

The only act of domestic right-wing terrorism was the Oklahoma City bombing? Really? Let me recount just a few more for him:

1. The Olympic Park bombing, perpetrated by Eric Robert Rudolph, a far-right white supremacist. He was also responsible for bombing an abortion clinic and a gay bar in Atlanta and another abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama. Those acts killed more people than the Boston Marathon bombing.

2. Charles Ray Polk, who tried to bomb an IRS office in Austin, Texas in 1995. The FBI arrested him before he could do it but he spent 21 years in prison after being found guilty. The very same IRS building that he tried to bomb in Austin had a plane flown into it by anti-tax fanatic A. Joseph Stack III in 2010.

3. Also in 1995, Willie Ray Lampley, his wife Cecelia and John Dare Baird were arrested while they were preparing to bomb a number of targets, including gay bars, abortion clinics and the Southern Poverty Law Center. They were convicted of attempted terrorism.

4. Joseph Martin Bailie, a tax protester, tried to bomb an IRS building (noticing a trend?) in 1995 with a bomb made of fuel oil and ammonium nitrate. He was convicted and sentenced to 36 years in prison.

5. Three members of the Militia-at-Large of the Republic of Georgia were convicted in 1996 of manufacturing pipe bombs and training militia members to kill politicians.

6. Three members of the Phineas Priests, a far-right white supremacist group in Washington associated with the Christian Identity movement, were convicted of robbing and bombing several targets, including a Planned Parenthood clinic and a newspaper.

7. James Cleaver of the anti-government group Sons of Liberty and several others set fire to an IRS office in Colorado Springs (gee, who would have guessed? in 1997.

That’s just in the three years following the end of the Unabomber’s killing spree and decades after the Weather Underground and the Symbionese Liberation Army became irrelevant. There are dozens and dozens more over the last 20 years.

Comments

  1. says

    These are just the first two that popped into my head. From Georgia. In 2012.

    “Five more Georgia men were charged in connection with an anti-government militia with ties to Fort Stewart that’s been accused of killing two people and plotting to assassinate President Barack Obama, authorities said Tuesday.
    “The five defendants were indicted in Liberty County, Georgia, on charges that include violation of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act, involving what prosecutors called an “identified criminal street gang” named FEAR, for Forever Enduring, Always Ready.”
    http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/11/us/georgia-soldiers-plot

    “If moviemakers are thinking about “Grumpy Old Men: The Militia Sequel,” they should head straight to Georgia for screenplay ideas. There, four members of an antigovernment militia — all Medicare-eligible — are behind bars at the Hall County Jail in Gainesville, awaiting trial on federal terrorism-related crimes.
    But this case is no comedy. Officials say the men were plotting to bomb federal buildings, assassinate public officials and attack cities with deadly ricin.” — http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2012/spring/militia-madness#.UXgMNILISUc

  2. Gvlgeologist, FCD says

    One of my RW Facebook friends has been posting an image that claims that most of the mass shootings (Sandy Hook, VaTech, Columbine, etc.) have been by liberals rather than conservatives. I seem to remember that this has been refuted, but can’t remember if it was in FTB or somewhere else. Anyone?

    Also, OT: in the FTB opening page, there’s an ad for Allen West that reads, “Fight Back Against Obama’s Liberal Agenda”. I’m not sure how these ads work – if I click on it, will it cost him money? Will I be put on a spammer’s mailing list?

  3. bmiller says

    But, but…only Muslims are responsible for terrorism.

    I asked a Catholic Fundie friend who was complaining about “sensitvity” towards Muslims (he tried to invite me to a three day weekend of silence sponsored by Opus Dei) why we shouldn;t be beating up anti-aboriton protestors, given the amount of violence perpetrated by the further reaches of the movement.

  4. says

    Ed:

    It’s like you only look for items that make wingnuts and other members of the KKKristian ReiKKK appear to be complete fucking moronz, bigotz and Santorum clogged fuckdouchenozzles. Why don’t you ever write about the good, sensible, non-fucked-in-the-skull initiatives that they undertake? Oh, btw, the fact that there AREN’T any doesn’t get you off the hook with us, mister!

  5. lofgren says

    There is definitely a point where the extreme suspicion of technology on the right wraps around and meets the extreme suspicion of technology on the left. The Unabomber occupies this space almost perfectly, because his politics were incoherent on account of being totally insane. We might as well try to determine the political leanings of Harvey Dent.

  6. says

    I agree with neike #8, the unabomber was not a leftist. He was extremely reactionary, and spoke ill of leftists, feminism, science, technology. He was, if anything, an extreme libertarian or anarchist. From the unabomber wiki:

    Industrial Society and Its Future begins with Kaczynski’s assertion that “the Industrial Revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race.”[49] The first sections of the text are devoted to discussion of the psychology of various groups—primarily leftists (a group he defines, in part as “hat[ing] science and rationality [paragraph 18 of his manuscript]”)—and of the psychological consequences for individual life within the “industrial-technological system”,[49] which has robbed contemporary humans of their autonomy, diminished their rapport with nature, and forced them “to behave in ways that are increasingly remote from the natural pattern of human behavior.” The later sections speculate about the future evolution of this system, arguing that it will inevitably lead to the end of human freedom, call for a “revolution against technology”, and attempt to indicate how that might be accomplished.[50]

    He claims that revolution, unlike reform, is possible, and calls on sympathetic readers to initiate such revolution using two strategies: to “heighten the social stresses within the system so as to increase the likelihood that it will break down” and to “develop and propagate an ideology that opposes technology”.[65] He gives various tactical recommendations, including avoiding the assumption of political power, avoiding all collaboration with leftists, and supporting free trade agreements in order to bind the world economy into a more fragile, unified whole

    Hardly sounds like a leftist to me. This guy failed on basic fact checking.

  7. TGAP Dad says

    It’s notable that the worst terrorist attack prior to the Murrah building in Oklahoma City was the Bath School bombing, perpetrated by another right-wing anti-tax type. (And right in your back yard, Ed!)

  8. rabbitscribe says

    Count me in with the “Unabomber a leftist? lol no.” crowd. The manifesto is in large part a scathing critique of modern liberalism. People who pine for the 18th century ought not be labeled progressives.

  9. dean says

    perpetrated by another right-wing anti-tax type

    There is no question that Kehoe was not happy with the consolidation of Bath schools and the taxes to pay for the new buildings, but there were many other issues that can be seen as putting pressure on a man who may have been only marginally stable and believed he did not have anyplace to turn for help.
    * His wife had been quite ill for a long time, and had recently returned from a Lansing hospital, bed-ridden with no hope for recovery. One of her sisters stayed with them to help for a short time but apparently, as he developed his plan, he sent her away
    * while he was quite handy – he wired several local farmers’ barns for electricity for instance, my paternal grandfather’s among them, he was, in the words of my father and uncles, “an atrocious farmer” whose grand ideas for work around the farm were rarely, if ever, put into practice and didn’t work when they did. It could not have been easy to know you were seen as a failure by the surrounding farmers, and it certainly did not help his financial situation. The stories were that he was on the edge of losing his farm, not entirely because of the tax load but because of his inability to earn money and pay bills
    * Stories from my father, uncles and aunts, and other neighbors of their generation who knew him represented him as very personable and willing to help others (that sounds all too familiar), although during his time on the school board he was antagonistic toward the superintendent

    As I said, you are correct that he was loud when he protested the new taxes, and there is no doubt that it may have influenced his actions, but I don’t believe that it was the sole motivation.

    On another, marginally related note: there were two explosions in Bath that day. The first destroyed one-half of the school, killing and maiming many students and teachers, As people gathered in town to help, Kehoe drove up, and as others gathered around his car he detonated some more dynamite, killing himself and several others. Even so, there was some luck to be had for the city: several days later, during the clean up, State Police found and removed roughly 500 pounds of unexploded dynamite from the basement of the school: the timing device had failed. If all of that had detonated things would have been much worse.

  10. says

    I might add that by the political standards of the US, the Muslims who committed the 9/11 crimes were far-right reactionaries, and if the motivation of the Boston bombers becomes clear I rather suspect that their attitudes will be found to reside on a similar track.

  11. scienceavenger says

    It’s easy to claim all terrorists are leftists when you automatically brand every terrorist as a leftist, just like its easy to claim all the political atrocities were committed by socialists and atheists by automatically branding every tyrant in history (Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot) an atheist socialist, even though their ideologies differed greatly with both and each other.

  12. garnetstar says

    There was that guy–am I thinking of John Stanos?–who charged into several abortion clinics in Boston and murdered the receptionists. And, many more planned bombings of abortion clinics. Then, I think it’d be a misnomer to call murdering abortion doctors just ordinary murders: they are meant to advance the political agenda of terrorizing other doctors out of providing abortions.

    I believe it was Eric Rudolph who can take credit for inventing the second-bomb-blast-delayed-to-kill-first-responders tactic. He did that in at least one of his abortion clinic bombings. Thanks, Eric, for that major contribution to terror tactics!

  13. says

    “It’s notable that the worst terrorist attack prior to the Murrah building in Oklahoma City was the Bath School bombing, perpetrated by another right-wing anti-tax type. (And right in your back yard, Ed!)”

    That is correct, if one is not thinking that “Wounded Knee”, “The Meadows Massacere”, The white response to the “German Coast’ slave rebellion and a number of other incidents.

  14. mjmiller says

    Slightly OT, but am I out of place when I cringe at the term “abortion clinic”? It’s my understanding that most womens’ reproductive care facilities provide a broad spectrum of health services. Should we not stop referring to these vital care outlets as “abortion clinics”? Maybe it’s just framing but It just seems to call up images that just arent true, and play into the Right’s narrative.

  15. dan4 says

    Surprised none of you have mentioned Jim David Adkisson, the Rev. Paul Hill, and Michael Griffin.

  16. demonhauntedworld says

    One of my RW Facebook friends has been posting an image that claims that most of the mass shootings (Sandy Hook, VaTech, Columbine, etc.) have been by liberals rather than conservatives. I seem to remember that this has been refuted, but can’t remember if it was in FTB or somewhere else. Anyone?

    Funny how the usual conservative claim is that liberals “hate guns” or are “illogically afraid of guns”, then will turn around and try and paint people who were apparently gun fanatics as “liberals”.

  17. lofgren says

    It’s my understanding that most womens’ reproductive care facilities provide a broad spectrum of health services.

    MOST women’s health and reproductive care facilities don’t do abortions at all. The terms are not interchangeable.

  18. eoleen says

    Charles Ray Polk, who tried to bomb an IRS office in Austin, Texas in 1995. The FBI arrested him before he could do it but he spent 21 years in prison after being found guilty.

    I don’t think so….. 1995 + 21 = 2016. Or maybe you have a miscalibrated time machine.

  19. Ichthyic says

    MOST women’s health and reproductive care facilities don’t do abortions at all.

    indeed.

    and a very unfortunate side effect of the decades of terrorism of right wing authoritarians in the US.

    It never ceases to amaze me that people think terrorist attacks in the US… STARTED with 9/11.

    authoritarians have been utilizing terror tactics in the US since its foundation.

  20. skinnercitycyclist says

    very personable and willing to help others (that sounds all too familiar), although during his time on the school board he was antagonistic toward the superintendent

    I guess you better lock up every classroom teacher in my district if THAT is a sign of derangement.

  21. says

    “MOST women’s health and reproductive care facilities don’t do abortions at all. The terms are not interchangeable.”

    I think it’s safe to say that there are no more than a handful of “Abortion clinics”, medical facilities whose main or sole reason for existence is to kill teh babeez.

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