Do Not Feed The Trolls
Nine leaders of a terrorist Christian militia group calling themselves “The Hutaree” (meaning “Christian Warrior” according to the group) were targeted in simultaneous raids in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. The FBI, which had been monitoring the extremist group for months, executed the raids when it became clear that violent attacks were imminent. According to the recently unsealed documents, the group was weeks away from action against the police.
[The Hutaree] planned to kill an unidentified law enforcement officer and then bomb the funeral caravan using improvised explosive devices based on designs used against American troops by insurgents in Iraq.
According to law enforcement officials, this plot was unrelated to recent violence against congresspeople, but the militia nevertheless hoped that their planned attack would spur more widespread ‘resistance’ with the numerous other Militia organizations across the United States. The indictment of the group says this:
The general concept of operations further provided that, once such action was taken, HUTAREE members would then retreat to one of several “rally points” where the HUTAREE would wage war against the government and be prepared to defend in depth with trip-wired and command detonated anti-personnel Improvised Explosive Devices (IED), ambushes, and prepared fighting positions. It is believed by the HUTAREE that this engagement would then serve as a catalyst for a more wide-spread uprising against the Government.
Here’s the video taken from their site, play fighting in preparation for what they think will be a fight for something called the “Colonial Christian Republic”:
They believe that this is the end of the world, as prophesied by the Bible, and it’s their duty to take up arms to fight alongside Jesus against the impending forces of Satan.
There is little doubt that this terrorist organization was cloaked in Christian mythology, their own website’s about section quite plainly states it
We believe that one day, as prophecy says, there will be an Anti-Christ. All christians must know this and prepare, just as Christ commanded. “But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. 37, “For I say to you that this which is written must be accomplished in me: ‘And He was numbered with transgressors,’ For the things concerning Me have an end.” This clearly states the reason for the training and preparation of the Hutaree.
The notion that the apocalypse is imminent is a surprisingly common viewpoint within certain conservative circles. Books such as the Left Behind series have a readership base of over 80 million, and the basic theology between those books and those espoused by the terrorists are nearly identical. Fred Clark, who superbly deconstructed the first Left Behind book and is in the process of sifting through the second, points this out on his website:
After the Rapture, [Left Behind author] Tim LaHaye believes the Antichrist will take power and rule over a One World Government during the seven-year Great Tribulation … At the end of the Tribulation comes the final battle, Armageddon, which ends with Jesus’ second second coming. Then rocks fall, everyone dies.
The Hutaristas envision a different timeline for the End Times. They believe the Rapture won’t come until the end of the seven-year Tribulation. For these camouflaged Christianist al-Qaida wannabes, this seems less a theological dispute (to the extent that any of this premillennial dispensationalist nonsense can be called “theology”) than it is a preference for what they think sounds like the more exciting option.
‘Obama’s the antichrist’ signs have been the staple of practically all Teabagger rallies since they started. When you combine that with a 300% increase in armed militia groups since the 2008 election, it becomes clear that the sort of activity that the Hutaree’s were planning is symptomatic of a deeper disillusionment and fear within this predominantly white, conservative base.
The same type of fears that are at the base of these terrorist plots are, as we speak, being openly spewed on Fox ‘News’. Glenn Beck, the former coke-fiend shock-jockey-turned-demagogue, gets a whole hour every day to promote delusional conspiracy theories that speak directly to the nut jobs.
An old internet phrase comes to mind: Do Not Feed The Trolls. On any message board, you have the people who are there for productive discussion, and the people who are just in it ‘for the lulz’. Generally, the second group disappears when nobody is paying attention to them, but in some cases (perhaps if there is a ‘Noob’) someone ‘feeds the troll’. Endless, pointless, ugly and hate-filled flamewars inevitably result, and the whole board descends into chaos. Fox is currently force-feeding the ugliest trolls in our society with the likes of Glenn Beck, who is cited unfailingly as an inspiration at Teabagger events.
More gallingly, the Right Wing is now trying to distance themselves from the monster they intentionally created for fundraising. Some have even gone as far as attempt to blame democrats, but I doubt that even they think that will work in the long run.
When this escalates (and I have an awful, sinking feeling it will), I hope we have a presence of mind to understand who exactly it was that stood by complacently and allowed these terrorists to take root in the heartland of America. I’m glad the FBI keeps watch on the real nutjobs, but I just hope nobody gets hurt.