Monday, June 1, 2009

Back to the Future: Is it just me, or have we been here before?

"It's deja vu all over again." -- Renowned American Philosopher, Yogi Berra


While the media will be busy conflating Scott Roeder with "militia extremists" today, it is important to keep reality in mind. Judy Thomas, who wrote the piece below for McClatchy News Service, is a long-time reporter of the Kansas City Star. No one gets it right one hundred percent of the time, but she is an honest reporter of events and very knowledgeable about the 1990s, having worked the Eric Robert Rudolph story among others. I have known her for many years and am impressed with her body of work. Generally speaking, if she writes it, you can believe she is reporting the story as best she can determine the facts.

Note, for example, that while Judy reports Roeder's bust, trial and conviction like all the other mainstream "bleaters" she also reports, unlike them, that his conviction was overturned based on an illegal search.

I have vague memories of Roeder's 1996 bust and will probably go through my cached emails from that time today to see if I have any mention of him.

Roeder was not a Constitutional militiaman in the 90s, he was a Freeman and "sovereign citizen." The Freemen were what we called "loose cannons" and "nutburgers" back then, and they had a distressing proclivity for petty crime and con games. Just ask their honest neighbors in Montana about getting paid for bills in worthless "sovereign notes."

Freemen Standoff, 1996.

You have but to read Professor Churchill's book, To Shake Their Guns in the Tyrant's Face, to see how the Constitutional militia people differentiated themselves from these people while still trying to protect them from government violence.

Different individuals within the movement drew the lines in slightly different places, but in general there was agreement on a core set of concerns. First, the movement issued explicit warnings to the government that any repeat of Waco would result in widespread violence. This message was conveyed with particular intensity during the siege of the Freemen compound in Montana in 1996 and the stand-off with militants from the Republic of Texas in 1997.

Most in the movement had little sympathy for the Freemen or the Republic of Texas, but they were determined to prevent another exercise of "Waco rules." Mike Vanderboegh offered the Republic of Texas as an example of the problem: "Everybody understood these guys were loons; nobody liked them. You know, they were chasing little fairies of history dust . . . Our problem was we want to let the Feds know that it's not okay to provide a Waco solution to this problem. At the same time we want to let the Republic of Texas know, 'We're not going to come to your defense. We're not encouraging you boys.'"

During the Freeman siege, over a dozen spokesmen for the militia movement signed a statement declaring that "should any citizen be injured, or suffer loss of life, now or in the future, by unlawful authority, and/or without due process . . . we will no longer restrain our bretheren from the use of whatever force is necessary to eliminate the threat of unlawful federal enforcement authority." This public message was reinforced in a series of private discussions around the country. Norm Olson traveled to Montana to monitor the siege, and latr reported warning officials that "if they treat this Montana thing like they treated Waco, that I was right there. And I told them, 'You will all die, you will all die.'"

The FBI received similarly blunt warnings in Alabama, Missouri and New Mexico. -- To Shake Their Guns in the Tyrant's Face, pp 253-254.

In point of fact, this was when Bob Wright of the 1st Brigade New Mexico Militia replied to the Albuquerque FBI SAC, when he asked if Bob would really go to the support of people under attack in another state:

"Why would I want to do that? There's plenty of you federal sonsabitches around here."

Now, that said, Mr. Roeder is going to have his day in court. The "good doctor" has already had his in the jurisdiction of the Almighty. No doubt, Mr. Roeder will ultimately be judged in the same Court. In the temporal sphere, if found guilty Mr. Roeder will likely be put to death in the fullness of time. This is something he probably thought through and accepted before he did it, if he did it.

But the one thing you can also count on is that Roder will be painted as a 90s "militiaman" by the professional liars at ADL and SPLC.

Read Judy's story, link here, and I'll have a final comment on the other side.


Sunday, May 31, 2009

Suspect supported killing abortion providers, friends say

By Judy L. Thomas | Kansas City Star

The suspect in custody for the slaying of Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller was a member of an anti-government group in the 1990s and a staunch opponent of abortion.

Scott P. Roeder, 51, of Merriam, Kan., a Kansas City suburb, was arrested on Interstate 35 near Gardner in suburban Johnson County, Kan., about three hours after the shooting. Tiller was shot to death around 10 a.m. inside Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita.

In the rear window of the 1993 blue Ford Taurus that he was driving was a red rose, a symbol often used by abortion opponents. On the rear of his car was a Christian fish symbol with the word "Jesus" inside.

Those who know Roeder said he believed that killing abortion doctors was an act of justifiable homicide.

"I know that he believed in justifiable homicide," said Regina Dinwiddie, a Kansas City anti-abortion activist who made headlines in 1995 when she was ordered by a federal judge to stop using a bullhorn within 500 feet of any abortion clinic. "I know he very strongly believed that abortion was murder and that you ought to defend the little ones, both born and unborn."

Dinwiddie said she met Roeder while picketing outside the Kansas City Planned Parenthood clinic in 1996. Roeder walked into the clinic and asked to see the doctor, Robert Crist, she said.

"Robert Crist came out and he stared at him for approximately 45 seconds," she said. "Then he (Roeder) said, 'I've seen you now.' Then he turned his back and walked away, and they were scared to death. On the way out, he gave me a great big hug and he said, 'I've seen you in the newspaper. I just love what you're doing.'^"

Roeder also was a subscriber to Prayer and Action News, a magazine that advocated the justifiable homicide position, said publisher Dave Leach, an anti-abortion activist from Des Moines, Iowa.

"I met him once, and he wrote to me a few times," Leach said. "I remember that he was sympathetic to our cause, but I don't remember any details."

Leach said he met Roeder in Topeka when he went there to visit Shelley Shannon, who was in prison for the 1993 shooting of Tiller.

"He told me about a lot of conspiracy stuff and showed me how to take the magnetic strip out of a five-dollar bill," Leach said. "He said it was to keep the government from tracking your money."

Roeder, who in the 1990s was a manufacturing assemblyman, also was involved in the "Freemen" movement.

"Freemen" was a term adopted by those who claimed sovereignty from government jurisdiction and operated under their own legal system, which they called common-law courts. Adherents declared themselves exempt from laws, regulations and taxes and often filed liens against judges, prosecutors and others, claiming that money was owed to them as compensation.

In April 1996, Roeder was arrested in Topeka after Shawnee County sheriff's deputies stopped him for not having a proper license plate. In his car, officers said they found ammunition, a blasting cap, a fuse cord, a one-pound can of gunpowder and two 9-volt batteries, with one connected to a switch that could have been used to trigger a bomb.

Jim Jimerson, supervisor of the Kansas City ATF's bomb and arson unit, worked on the case.

"There wasn't enough there to blow up a building,'' Jimerson said at the time, ``but it could make several powerful pipe bombs...There was definitely enough there to kill somebody.''

Roeder, who then lived in Silver Lake, Kan., was stopped because he had an improper license plate that read "Sovereign private property. Immunity declared by law. Non-commercial American.'' Authorities said the plate was typical of those used by Freemen.

Roeder was arraigned on one count of criminal use of explosives and misdemeanor charges of driving on a suspended license, failure to carry a Kansas registration and failure to carry liability insurance.

He was found guilty and sentenced in June 1996 to 24 months of probation with intensive supervision and ordered to dissociate himself from anti-government groups that advocated violence.

But in December 1997, his probation ended six months early when the Kansas Court of Appeals overturned his conviction. The court held that evidence against Roeder was seized by authorities during an illegal search of his car.

Morris Wilson, commander of the Kansas Unorganized Citizens Militia in the mid-1990s, said he knew Roeder fairly well.

"I'd say he's a good ol' boy except he was just so fanatic about abortion," said Wilson, who now lives in western Nebraska. "He was always talking about how awful abortion was. But there's a lot of people who think abortion is awful."
Suzanne James, former director of victim's services for Shawnee County, said she remembered Roeder.

"He was part of the One Supreme Court, a Freemen group based out of Shawnee County," James said. "He was fanatic about a lot of things. I went to one of his court appearances and thought, 'This guy is dangerous.' There were a lot of red flags that came up about him."

In recent years, someone using the name Scott Roeder has posted anti-Tiller comments on various Internet sites. One post, dated Sept. 3, 2007 and placed on a site sponsored by Operation Rescue called, said that Tiller needed to be "stopped."

"It seems as though what is happening in Kansas could be compared to the 'lawlessness' which is spoken of in the Bible," it said. "Tiller is the concentration camp 'Mengele' of our day and needs to be stopped before he and those who protect him bring judgment upon our nation."

On May 19, 2007, a Scott Roeder commented on an invitation by Operation Rescue to join an event being held May 17-20 in Wichita, "the 'Nation's Abortion Capital,' to pray for an end to George R. Tiller's late-term abortion business and for all pre-born babies everywhere to once again come under the protection of law."

The post said: "Bless everyone for attending and praying in May to bring justice to Tiller and the closing of his death camp. Sometime soon, would it be feasible to organize as many people as possible to attend Tillers church (inside, not just outside) to have much more of a presence and possibly ask questions of the Pastor, Deacons, Elders and members while there? Doesn't seem like it would hurt anything but bring more attention to Tiller."

So, here we are, back to the 1990s future.

A Democrat liberty- and property-stealing administration in power, angering the common folks, again.

A run on firearms and ammunition, again.

The armed citizenry dusting off the boots in the closet, again.

Freemen, again.

Abortion doctors having rough vigilante justice being wreaked upon them, again.

The Media with all their deliberate imprecision and conflation, again.

As this case plays out, pay attention to Judy Thomas' reportage. She usually has her facts right, whichever way they cut.


Defender said...

A wonderful juxtaposition of articles that shows where, indeed, we are. "C'est plus change..." The more things change, the more they stay the same.

ParaPacem said...

A typically excellent post and deep insights - and yes, when the government not only ceases to respond to the needs of its citizens but in fact, mocks them and ridicules them, some people who lose hope in the system do, indeed, handle things themselves.
The 'holders of power' tend to forget that very human tendency, to their own sorrow.

As far as Tiller - a man whose evil is beyong imagining, keeping his own crematoriums burning to eliminate the bodies of his victims, including the 9 + month D&X victims of that form of infanticide - I am only sad that so many people who fancy themselves good Christians will whine and wail and whimper that they don't approve of these things, and that this can never be justified, and waaah waaah waaaah.
Well, I make shed no tears about it, because his life is nowhere near as sacred as the next child he would have killed, and because he is dead, more innocents will live.
OH - yes, I am already hearing speculation that Sabelius may have arranged it, to avoid his making demands on her in her new position.
Anyone else hearing that?

Anonymous said...

The Huffington Post is already exaggerating the stories and twisting the facts.

The Tiller case is being used by the Huffpo as "another" piece of evidence towards "right wing Christian fundamentalist terrorists". Yes, they actually used that word.

Re: ParaPacem: Abortion "supporters" are some of the most cold blooded and heartless people out there. They make Freddy Krueger look like Clara Barton.