When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. -- 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13, Verse 11, King James Bible.
Previous Sipsey Street posts on this subject --
Update posts from Drudge --
Now that I've had a little sleep, let's examine what just happened and what didn't happen. The lessons are mostly good and reflect well on the expanding constitutional militia of the 21st Century.
OPFOR: Intentions of the Enemy.
There seems to me to be little doubt that Main Justice was eager to ping us back after the past week or so when a few broken windows on our part and other threats not of our making caused over a hundred congresscritters to call the FBI down on the capitol building carpet to verbally beat up the Fibbies for not doing their job and to demand that they do something about the threats they perceived to their imperial personages.
The Hutaree, who by their previous nuttery over the past two years set themselves up as low-hanging fruits -- wannabe John Browns with a persecution complex -- made a perfect target. Yet even moving on the Hutaree had many risks for the Feds. If, God forbid, shots had been exchanged, people killed, or buildings burned down a la Waco, we would be looking at a nationwide mobilization and civil war. There are analysts deep in the Hoover Building who understand that there are no more free Wacos. Yet the Feds, prodded by the Dems in Congress were willing to risk it.
They were willing to risk it -- OR THEY WANTED IT.
We'll learn more as time passes and more details emerge, but the upshot now is that they got lucky -- very lucky for them indeed, for the Hutaree have long sworn they would die rather than surrender.
Yet there were apparently no shots, no innocent deaths, and thus no retaliatory spasm of an open source insurgency using 4th generation warfare to target the war-makers and war-leaders -- and those are the stakes of the game they are clumsily playing. I doubt the Dem politicians who urged them to do SOMETHING had their own deaths in mind. Unintended consequences indeed.
OPFOR: Show of force demonstrates their inherent weakness.
I have asked for an intelligence estimate of what it took to mount this huge operation in three states against a piddling number of people. Preliminary guesses are in the many hundreds, if not low thousands, of federal, state and local cops. The raiders were backed up by armored vehicles and air cover. All to arrest 7, count 'em, 7 individuals for allegedly distributing destructive devices -- pipe bombs.
(No doubt the Feds had several confidential informants and agents provocateur in the Hutaree and allied units. Another reason to be damn careful, you militia commanders, about who you ally with. You have a duty to protect your people from stupid decisions. This begins with your choices of personnel, friends and allies.)
Now, I admit that it takes a hell of a lot more folks to arrest someone as opposed to merely killing him, but the fact of the matter is that the same risk-aversion we see in the U.S. military these days is even more true of federal law enforcement.
If what they wanted to do was overawe us with this massive show of force, the fact of the matter is that it just demonstrated how overly-concerned they are about putting their own asses on the line and taking the risk of not living until retirement.
Militia and "Patriot" Responses:
1. Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia.
Read this excerpt from one of the Drudge links:
Michael Lackomar, a spokesman for the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia, said one of his team leaders got a frantic phone call Saturday evening from members of Hutaree, a Christian militia group, who said their property in southwest Michigan was being raided by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
"They said they were under attack by the ATF and wanted a place to hide," Lackomar said. "My team leader said, 'no thanks.' "
The team leader was cooperating with the FBI on Sunday, Lackomar said. He said SMVM wasn't affiliated with Hutaree.
Now, knowing from the reports of militia folks I trust in that area something of the lack of judgment and border-line criminality of the Hutaree, I do not fault the SMVM team leader for refusing to allow his people to be drawn in. I would have the same reaction if the MS-13 types in my neighborhood were raided and in desperation asked for my help. Thanks, but no thanks.
What I do fault SMVM for, and not just this team leader, is cooperating with the FBI at all. I have had this conversation with folks in Michigan before. To my mind, the proper reaction is to call your local county sheriff or, at least here in Alabama, the state police, and report that the ATF/FBI is raiding folks and let them know you and your friends are watching. A general warning about federal misconduct, put in the form of a question to them about what do they, the peace officers of the area, intend to do to prevent Waco misadventures, would go a long way to discharging your responsibility and putting the Feds on notice to mind their manners.
The Hutaree have the right to live through the service of federal warrants without being killed. This is one reason why the constitutional militias first organized in early 90s. It is our duty to attempt to protect despicable characters even if we disagree with them. SMVM, by "cooperating" with the FBI, presumably to help them make their case against the Hutaree, has crossed this line.
2. Mark "Disinformation Specialist" Koernke
An excerpt from earlier this morning:
SITREP LISTEN NOW
[04:13] I just left a shouting match about 20 minutes ago with a little over a hundred militiamen who are on the move right now. The arguement was over not if but rather where to hit them. Trying to calm them down was useless and they are not going to let this lie. They will identify the straglers or pickets first and wipe them out. By what the radiio crew said the recon teams have all of the hiddy holes
[04:14] …IDed for those they moved in and the group is infiltrating to site as we speak. I hope the locals are smart enough to step out of the way.
[04:16] this is interesting for we may have live vids from the epicanter as it developes.
This is typical of the Koernke I have known and despised for 15 years, Why anybody pays attention to this disinformation artist who does his very best to incite folks into crossing lines and committing Fort Sumters is beyond me. Given his history, he did not disappoint. The only good thing that came of this was the overwhelming number of people who ignored it and went around, over and through the disinformation to find out what actually was going on. Subsequently, he has calmed down and acts now as if he wasn't demonstrating my Michigan Grandpa's ditty making fun of folks who panic:
When in peril or in doubt,
Run in circles, scream and shout.
And in Koernke's case, flapping your arms like a chicken attempting to make airspeed velocity.
Leaders, if they ARE leaders, have a duty -- an absolute duty -- to be the calmest guy in the CP tent when everything is falling apart. 'Nuff said.
I criticize myself for going public with the fact that I couldn't get in touch with my folks in Michigan and thus jumping to the conclusion that they might have been targets. I should have kept my mouth shut about that until I heard. Yes, I know, I put in caveats and didn't Koernke on you (yes, he has become a verb), but I still scared a number of folks for a short period of time who I shouldn't have. Mea culpa.
1. Local militia response.
Having received briefings from local formations in the intervening hours, it is plain that the best units in the southeast Michigan Area of Operations and contiguous areas understood what was happening almost immediately, that it was targeted at the Hutaree (who they had all been shunning for very good reasons for some time) and used their proximity to try to understand the OPFOR's movements and playbook. Some people were monitoring federal, state and local communications, others, unarmed and dressed in civvy's circulated around, testing the federal perimeters, noting force levels, agencies, armament. Testing, prodding, notetaking, learning. By doing this they learned far more about what was going on than the media knew at any given point. Some of this information I passed on to news organizations to help them ask the Feds the right questions.
2. National militia response.
Some units mobilized at the first reports, but gradually stood down as the facts became clear. Other, smarter commanders, merely did a commo check with their members, assigned themselves or their S-2s to gather info, mostly from the Internet, and awaited events.
The interesting thing to me is how Well many newbie formations reacted to this, better than I experienced with others in similar situations in the 90s. For example, Bob Wright, 1st Brigade New Mexico Militia was in the middle of training fifteen or so newbies at Camp Proctor (formerly known in the 90s vernacular as "Fort Stinking Desert") in southeast New Mexico. He received my report on his cell phone when he awoke. At reveille, he briefed trainees that a federal raid was happening in the Midwest and asked if anyone wanted to cease training and look to their homes. WITHOUT HESITATION, not one trainee evinced any interest in leaving. Bob reports they told him that they had come to get training and they wanted that most of all.
These are not childish reactions, taking counsel of fears, as we often saw in the 90s. These are the reactions of men and women who understand the situation and are willing to see it through.
3. Sipsey Street and other Internet militia boards such as AWRM.
In large measure we reported what we knew and did not Koernke on anybody. For my part, I was very early on in communication with news outlets who were covering the story. I provided them with context and information as I was able to glean it from my own sources. This synergy worked well. The questions I kept asking over and over again -- Have shots been fired? Has anyone been killed? Has any property been burned? -- these were answered to the best of the news organizations ability to cover their own local beats.
In addition, the one time a news organization spotted a Hummer filled with hard-faced, dangerous looking men dressed in camo and carrying, according to the report, "a bazooka" in the back seat, I was able to reassure them that the vehicle was filled with federal raiders. They affirmed this by calling 9-1-1.
The 2nd Amendment exists to protect the First and all the rest. Federal misconduct most often takes place in the dark. To the extent that we can support the news media and help them understand what is happening in a situation that the Feds are tight-lipped and unresponsive, this both helps them understand what we are really about and helps us shine a bright light on the cockroaches.
This could have been one hell of a lot worse than it was. Today we avoided the beginning of a civil war. I do not know how long we will be able to do that in the future, given Fed cowboy clumsiness, but the fact that we were the ones who did not take counsel of our fears -- and who "put away childish things" and did not overreact -- bodes well at least for ensuring that we don't lose the moral high ground when the Feds, finally, in frustration at our refusal to submit to their diktats, open fire on us.
After that, it will be an open source insurgency using Fourth Generation Warfare.
And we WILL win.
Not as children, but as free men and women of the armed citizenry.