One of my best friends called me up yesterday to urge me, to plead with me, not to go to Spokane. He had a lot of reasons why. One point he raised was that some in the open carry/We Will Not Comply movement seem to be determined to become "scarier than the people they oppose" by "dressing like operators in Iraq" and "wearing masks and clown get-up." He pointed out the long-ago critique of a leftist looking back on the anti-war movement who bemoaned that they lost the larger argument when the anti-warriors, through riots and Weatherman actions, "became scarier than the Vietnam War itself." Anthony, I pointed out, was dressed in a suit and tie. "Yeah," he retorted, "but the press didn't run his picture, did they?" He has a point.
It is incumbent upon us to insist upon our rights but not to appear as out-of-control loons when we do. Armed civil disobedience puts a premium upon principle and discipline and some folks, frankly, lack both. Of course, he complained, "I know you're not going to listen to me and you're going to do what you want to do anyway." He concluded by telling me he was was putting me on another prayer list. Good. I need all the prayers I can get, as do we all.
His principal fear, and one that is well taken from the vantage point of experience (and we both have more than twenty years in this movement), is that a. the crisis is coming; b. we are nowhere near ready; and c. we are our own worst enemies. All true. And yet, what are we to do? But before we answer that question, let me ask another upon which the first depends: What do we know? Specifically, in this instance what do we know about the situation in Washington state?
Here's what I know, or can reasonably deduce from past experience.
1. The state authorities are, as in CT, frankly at a loss to know what to do about armed civil disobedience of I-594. They are at a loss and they are scared, both personally and policy-wise. Like Malloy and his minions in CT they are frozen in inaction because of the uncertainties.
2. The Feds share their fear. THEY picked this fight with Anthony Bosworth deliberately. They singled him out, among others who were open carrying and they detained him, threw him in a steel cage and sought to intimidate him and turn him. They did this, on video, without reading him his Miranda rights, then denying him a lawyer, indicated that they could, NDAA-like, essentially make him disappear, in actions that were deliberate. It was the entire purpose of the exercise. They are seeking to provoke a confrontation. They are seeking just the sort of response we are going to give them on Friday so that they can bring their considerable resources -- seen and unseen, including a considerable army of snitches and agents provocateurs -- to bear to crush the nascent movement with a discrediting incident.
3. The selection of Spokane as the battlefield in this "the federal empire strikes back" scenario is also no accident. Spokane is a hotbed of those so-called "racist right" groups that the FBI controls (and has for many years) as so many COINTELPRO assets. Spokane is also a hotbed, strangely enough, of both current and former spooks, from both sides of the Cold War, which, in case you didn't notice is even colder now than it was then. And yes, I'm talking about current Russian agents of influence (who are, oddly enough, trying to make inroads in the so-called "patriot movement" up there) as well as failed and broken down American spies and former intelligence assets retired for incompetence, blown covers, failed operations, etc. I could go into the subject of the large number of official but phony driver's licenses provided by the authorities to such people, but that is for another day.
4. This witch's brew provides a rich backdrop of potential competing conspiracy theories and plausible deniabilities to the feds in case anything should "Accidentally Happen." In the aftermath, should they be successful with whatever provocation they have in mind (and remember, a la the Elohim City/OKC bombing events prior to 19 April 1995, there are certainly likely to be competing agencies and provocations that may get out of the hands of the agencies and provocateurs themselves), it will be difficult in the ashes to determine federal culpability -- which of course is the predicate for the operation(s).
5. I also know that it is reported by sources that the Southern Poverty Law Center has (again, just like Elohim City in the pre-OKC bombing days) its own snitches in place in Spokane who are seeking to work their way into the ranks of the armed civil disobedience movement. They are also researching a big hit piece on the WA state activists. The timing of that "expose" will tell us much.
All of these are perfectly understandable reasons for cancelling Friday's rally. The Feds apparently want it -- NEED it -- and are marshaling their resources to achieve a certain outcome. Why go ahead? Because we must show ourselves to be free men and women who will stand our ground, with principle and discipline, in the very fangs of leviathan's bloody mouth. It is no accident that I intend to take my speech subject from the lessons provided by 1 Samuel, Chapter 22. It is not enough to oppose something from afar. We must stand in the gap, even (sometimes) on battlegrounds of our own enemy's choosing.
Of course it is also true that this piece may remind the analysts -- if not the operators and decision takers of the federal government -- that radar works both ways. They may think we're a bug on their screens. They should understand that they are a bug -- albeit a much BIGGER bug -- on ours as well. In the aftermath of whatever happens -- IF they themselves arrange for something to happen (for we will not, it is not in our interest) -- that many things previously hidden that they seek to remain hidden will be exposed. Something for them to think about this day as I get on the plane to carry me to Spokane.