A confidential FBI source recorded a “clandestine meeting” that took place on St. Patrick’s Day of this year at Thomas’ house, where Thomas, Roberts and others allegedly discussed how to obtain castor beans to make ricin. Thomas, who allegedly lead the meeting, mentioned a fictional novel he read online in which an anti-government group killed a large number of Justice Department attorneys.
The online novel is question is called “Absolved.” It’s written by Mike Vanderboegh, a right-wing blogger and former militia man who lives on government disability checks, has been featured on Fox News in relation to the Fast and Furious scandal, is on Rep. Darrell Issa’s press release distribution list and previously advocated on his blog “Sipsey Street Irregulars” for opponents of the health care law to throw bricks through the windows of Democratic members of Congress. In reaction to the arrests, Vanderboegh called those arrested a “geriatric ‘militia’” and said he was “skeptical” of the charges.
Thomas allegedly thought Vanderboegh’s fictional plot would work pretty well in real life.
“Now of course, that’s just fictional, but that’s a damn good idea,” Thomas allegedly said of Vanderboegh’s novel. An FBI affidavit said he described a scenario in which there would be a “line in the sand” that could result in the activation of militias. He allegedly claimed he compiled a “bucket list” of government employees, politicians, corporate leaders and members of the media who would needed to be “taken out” to “make the country right again.”
I gotta tell you, TPM Muckraker must be sitting on my site all the time these days, since I didn't post that reaction to the "Georgia Geriatric Terrorist Plot" until last night. I especially like the "lives on government disability checks" line. That really seems to chap their ass, that I am recovering the money extorted from me by Social Security for over four decades and using it to bite the hand of their benevolent Federal Leviathan. I love it when they bring that up.
My as-yet-unpublished novel Absolved, for the uninitiated, begins with the premise that the ATF, for political agenda reasons of their own, has staged a deadly raid on the wrong Alabama good old boy from Winston County and what happens in the unintended consequences of that stupidity. There is nothing in there about ricin, or terrorist attacks on civilians (unless you count the forces of the federal government) or deliberate targeting of innocents. And did I mention that it is FICTION?
Of course the chapter referred to is Chapter 32, "Ten Thousand Lawyers." I published that a couple of years ago in three parts, here, here, and here.
The piece begins:
Question: “What’s ten thousand lawyers at the bottom of the sea?”
Answer: “A good start.” – An old lawyer joke.
The chapter explores the nexus in any tyrannical bureaucracy of its lawyers, and how targeting them can cripple the intentions of the evil bad guys who commit crimes under color of law. This is hardly an original idea in history.
Of course, I also wrote this at the time:
I offer this as evidence I that I try to make my fiction as real as possible. Still, it is important to remember that it IS still fiction. For now anyway. Whether it remains so is not up to me, unfortunately, but up to people who have no understanding of the titanic forces they are playing with.
Of course, TPM Muckraker did not bother to quote from the Introduction to Absolved, also available on the net:
Another civil war in this country is the last thing I want.
So why write about one? Perhaps, as David Brin, author of the magnificent book The Postman (which bears no resemblance to the Costner cinematic flop) wrote in a forward to a reprint of Pat Frank's classic Alas, Babylon:
Two books that emerged at roughly the same time as Alas, Babylon were Eugene Burdick's Fail Safe and Peter George's Red Alert, which later inspired Stanley Kubrick to make the magnificently humorous and thoughtful Dr. Strangelove. As archetypes of the useful dire warning, each dissected a specific possible failure mode, bringing it to the awareness of so many that, ironically, their particular type of debacle became much less likely. Indeed, the "self-preventing prophecy" may be the highest and most useful species in all of the vast, imaginative genus of speculative fiction. In much the same way that Orwell's 1984 girded millions against "Big Brother," these tales may have helped to keep their own nightmares from coming true. In other words, our most vivid nightmares may have been utterly practical, helping to save our lives. -- David Brin, Foreward to the First Harper Perennial Modern Classics Edition of Pat Frank's Alas, Babylon, 2005, p. X.
Absolved is fiction. I hope it is a "useful dire warning." However, I am as much to blame for the Georgia Geriatric Terrorist Gang as Tom Clancy is for Nine Eleven.
Not that it matters to TPM Muckraker and their ilk.
LATER: Or, for that matter, Media Matters.
And even later: Mother Jones, the Associated Press, the Huffington Post and even FOX.
Wow. In the artillery that's what they call a "Time on Target" salvo, where all the shells from a variety of tubes lands at the same place and the same time.