Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Armed, "Sovereign", & Dangerous

Last month, the local "newspaper" figured it was a great idea to publish the new home address of US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D). What could possibly go wrong with that?

Apparently, the local "newspaper" didn't realize that Charles Jason Moreland was already sending explicit emails to Senator Reid declaring that he's "a dead man". Moreland wrote to Senator Reid to demand he resign from office "or face stern, harsh, unimaginable consequences to him and his family." And now, Moreland is about to stand trial in an Oklahoma federal court for his alleged death threats against Senator Reid.

Meanwhile just to the south in Texas, Douglas Lee Leguin was arrested in a tony North Dallas neighborhood. Dallas firefighters had arrived to fight a dumpster fire when Leguin allegedly opened fire on them. A SWAT team was then called to respond to him. And after an armed standoff with police, Leguin was arrested and charged with 7 counts of aggravated assault.

During the shootout with police, Leguin declared himself to be a "sovereign citizen". This isn't the first time a sovereign citizen has resorted to violence to "fight for freedom". In May 2010, the father-son team of Jerry & Joseph Kane shot dead West Memphis, Arkansas, police officers Brandon Paudert & Bill Evans during what was supposed to be a routine traffic stop.

Sovereign citizens and their ideological twins in the Patriot Movement are not above violence. In fact, they sometimes resort to violence to "start the revolution".

Does the West Memphis murder of 2 on-duty police officers seem eerily familiar? If so, that may be due to what happened in Las Vegas this past June. Metro Police Officers Alyn Beck & Igor Soldo were shot dead at a local CiCi's Pizza by Jerad & Amanda Miller to "start the revolution". They then moved to a nearby Walmart, where they shot Joseph Robert Wilcox dead before they sacrificed themselves to "the revolution" in their final standoff with Metro.

Before they brought "the revolution" to Las Vegas, the Millers were in Bunkerville to assist Cliven Bundy in his "Range War" against the federal government. The Patriot Movement and allied anti-government radicals formed a critical mass in Bunkerville to defend their fellow sovereign citizens at #BundyRanch. They declared "posse comitatus" as they commanded Metro Officers to arrest federal agents for trying to enforce federal law.

Even before Cliven Bundy made international headlines, radical right violence was on the rise. But ever since sovereign citizens and the Patriot Movement (re)gained major media attention earlier this year, they've been enjoying a cultural zeitgeist on the fringe right as they increasingly permeate into what's supposed to be "political mainstream". Even though the Bundy clan no longer command media attention like they did in April, various "TEA" flavored media personalities continue to fan the flames of Bundy approved extremism with discredited conspiracy theories and xenophobic fearmongering.

Charles Jason Moreland didn't just send ugly emails to Senator Reid. Last September, the Tulsa man sent The White House an email last September in which he threatened to go to Washington, DC, “and start killing people if the monitoring of his Internet and cell phones did not stop.” He also sent threatening emails to his local Member of Congress, Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Oklahoma).

Once upon a time, this kind of activity was considered shocking. Not any more. It's unknown at this time if Moreland has any direct ties to the Patriot Movement and/or any sovereign citizen group. However, we can't deny they're leaving indelible and rather dangerous marks on contemporary American politics.

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