June 09, 2014

Right-wingers create right-wing terrorists

Some analyses of Jared and Amanda Miller's right-wing domestic terrorism:

Hatriot Politics Created the Las Vegas Killers

Jerad and Amanda Miller, the Wingnuts whose killing spree left two policemen, a civilian, and themselves dead, were inspired by fright-wing radio hosts and militia movement groups.

By John Avlon
Jerad Miller’s anti-government frenzy was whipped up by the extreme right-wing echo chamber. Earlier this year, Miller responded to calls to stand with Cliven Bundy and declared common cause with the renegade rancher. “I will be supporting Clive Bundy and his family from Federal Government slaughter,” he wrote. “This is the next Waco! His ranch is under siege right now! The federal gov is stealing his cattle! Arresting his family and beating on them! We must do something, I will be doing something.” When Miller returned from Bundy’s ranch, he posted that “BLM [Bureau of Land Management] snipers were all over the place.”

Miller’s anti-government rants ramped up after he served seven days in jail for a pot-related conviction. After his sentencing in 2013, he proudly posted: “Mark one up for freedom today. I stood before a fascist judge today and implied that he was a Nazi.”

According to Amanda Miller’s Facebook page, she worked at the Hobby Lobby as head of the needlework department. (Hobby Lobby has been embroiled in a faith-based lawsuit over covering contraception as part of the Affordable Care Act.) In addition to dressing as The Joker and his date for a Halloween party and exchanging gun-related gifts, the couple’s favorite book according their Facebook page was the Bible. They apparently skipped over some key sections, such as the New Testament.
And:[I]n the Las Vegas case, the extremist political fingerprints are clear. Jerad Miller was a product of his environment, the unhinged right-wing echo chamber and its constant drumbeat about government tyranny being imposed on freedom-loving citizens. “Either you stand with freedom, or you side with tyranny,” Miller wrote on his Facebook page in March. “There is no middle ground. We have deluded ourselves into such a notion. There is no grey area.”

Miller was a vocal supporter of libertarian Ron Paul, posting during the fall of 2012: “Ron Paul is the only hope for america and we have all failed him, our children and our grandchildren by failing to demand fair coverage of all presidential candidates. Today and everyday that passes by our country falls deeper into the clutches of fascist hands. Hope you wake up before its to late, hell, it may already be to late.”

Miller reposted articles from Alex Jones’s InfoWars website, promoted slogans about the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives being a domestic terrorist organization, and was deeply into Second Amendment advocacy organizations. Significantly down the political food chain, Miller also seemed to identify with the sovereign citizens movement and the Three Percenters organization, whose founder Mike Vanderboegh’s homepage warns, “All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war.”
Meet the Right-Wing Tea Party Domestic Terrorists Who Wanted to Start a ‘Revolution’ (Screenshots)

By John PragerHis Facebook Likes include the Three Percenter Nation, the leader of which recently threatened to remove Harry Reid’s testicles and promised civil war–twice, the NRA, the failure known as Operation American Spring, conservative think-tank FreedomWorks, and a number of pro-Second Amendment pages.

Miller’s profile picture is that of right-wing Facebook page, Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children, one of the many conservative bastion of racism and hatred on the Internet—and a group that was largely behind the miserable abyss of humiliation that was Operation American Spring.

Interestingly, the man who incoherently screamed “WHERE ARE YOU AT?” when Operation American Spring turned out to be a star-spangled flop, is a representative of that group. Not entirely relevant, but amusing none the less.

The group regularly preaches insane right-wing conspiracy theories, rants against President Obama and pro-Cliven Bundy misinformation.

Fox News foments another violent outbreak: From Cliven Bundy to Jerad Miller, words matter

Five years after I clashed with O’Reilly about his network’s dangerous rhetoric, it's still promoting extremism

By Joan Walsh
Back then, I thought it might be worth asking whether Fox’s increasingly shrill attacks on Obama could be contributing to a spike in violent rhetoric, and actual violence. For context, my conversation with O’Reilly wasn’t just about Tiller: an African-American security guard at Washington’s Holocaust museum, Stephen Tyrone Johns, had just been murdered by a white supremacist birther. That came months after a fan of Glenn Beck (then at Fox) murdered four police officers in Pittsburgh. We were heading into a summer of hate that would soon spawn “town hells” trashing Democrats (and moderate Republicans) over healthcare reform, and gun-carrying “patriots” waving Gadsden flags at Obama rallies. I thought Fox might want to take a look at its role in fomenting an unhinged opposition that was starting to move from rhetoric to violence. Of course, I was wrong.

Five years later, just as Fox promoted anti-Obama extremism in the first months of his presidency, so did it try to turn Cliven Bundy and his armed supporters into the second coming of the American Revolution, rising against the “tyrant” in the White House. Over 12 days in April, Fox spent almost five hours covering the ranch standoff, led by Sean Hannity. (To be fair to O’Reilly, he actually challenged one Bundy backer he interviewed. Some Republican lawmakers joined in: Nevada Sen. Dean Heller called the Bundy Ranch defenders “patriots,” and 2016 contenders like Rand Paul and Texas Gov. Rick Perry also jumped on the Bundy bandwagon--only to disembark when their hero made predictably racist statements about “the Negro.” They never explained--and they never were forced to explain--why they endorsed an armed militia threatening federal agents with violence, merely because those agents were threatening to enforce the law.

And now we have the Millers, who were, to be fair, too extreme for even the Bundy encampment; apparently Jerad Miller was turned away because he had a felony record. But it’s not just the Millers; they were almost upstaged in the past week by “sovereign citizen” Dennis Marx, who shot a sheriff’s deputy and planned to take over the courthouse in Forsyth County, Georgia, before he was killed by police. The sovereign citizen “movement” doesn’t acknowledge the legitimacy of the U.S. government. (Oh, and by the way, Forsyth County was the site of an early 20th century race riot that resulted in 98 percent of its black population moving away. Fun fact.) Meanwhile, the parents of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl are facing what the FBI considers credible death threats for the crime of trying to get their son out of captivity by the Taliban. The beat goes on.

I’m getting tired of writing patient explainers like this one--thanks, Paul Waldman, for taking one for the team this time. I just want to say what Digby said: She quotes Waldman, and earlier pieces by Rick Perlstein and David Neiwert, showing how the election of Democratic presidents so often leads to spikes in violent rhetoric and violence itself. John F. Kennedy’s election was followed by rising hate from the John Birch Society and armed anti-Communist “Minutemen”; Bill Clinton coped with a rising militia movement and the Oklahoma City terrorist attack (along with the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre demonizing federal agents as “jack-booted thugs”); Barack Obama begat the paranoid and often racist anti-government Tea Party, abetted by Fox News and, of course, the NRA’s LaPierre.

What’s different is that under Obama, the rhetoric from elected Republicans and mainstream conservative pundits has gotten more extreme. One-term congressman and Fox News contributor Allen West has declared, “We have a tyrant in the White House.” As Congress and the White House debated common-sense gun regulation in the wake of the Newtown massacre, Fox’s guests and hosts were warning that Obama was planning massive gun confiscation and comparing him to Hitler. At CPAC this year Sen. Ted Cruz suggested that Obama’s use of executive orders means “you have a president picking and choosing which laws to follow and which laws to ignore,” and therefore “you no longer have a president.”

Which means you have a dictator, or, again, a tyrant; someone whose blood might need to water the “tree of liberty,” to quote from the T-shirt that gun-toting liberty lover William Kostric wore to a 2009 Obama rally in New Hampshire.
And:But instead of quoting from my earlier pieces about all of this, I’ll give the last word to Paul Waldman, something for Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly and Ted Cruz and Rand Paul to think about before the next killings:When you broadcast every day that the government of the world’s oldest democracy is a totalitarian beast bent on turning America into a prison of oppression and fear, when you glorify lawbreakers like Cliven Bundy, when you say that your opponents would literally destroy the country if they could, you can’t profess surprise when some people decide that violence is the only means of forestalling the disaster you have warned them about.Comment:  For more on conservatives and terrorism, see Right-Wing Terrorism Worse Than Jihadism and Report Documents Right-Wing Terrorism.

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