Monday, March 29, 2010

Comment on the Belmont Club:
"The Man in the Mirror"

the impudence to distort the truth so infamously
Herr Schicklgruber had discovered the Audacity of Hope.

The distorted mirror could also be called the “smoking mirror”

The mark of the true Insider is the ability to affect a disdain for the lie that you are feeding to lesser mortals. Like O'Brien in Nineteen Eighty-Four they claim the freedom to turn off the view screen or even tell forbidden truths about Fearless Leader. It is all a masquerade that they project, a zombie like show of autonomy within their emptiness. The Nazgul may have sat around laughing at the little orcs who were scared of the Boss but they only existed as distorded images in his smoky mirror.

BTW wretchard, Zombie the photojournalist is neither a He nor a She. Zombie is properly addressed as the Undead It.

During the Clinton years the nation was afflicted according to the Press and Janet Reno with a plague of right wing militias. They never seemed to show the capacity to take over a corner pool hall let alone threaten the government. Several did manage to get themselves killed, possibly under circumstances in which a more professional approach would have avoided much bloodshed, and the loosely associated team of McVeigh and Nichols finally emerged as the Central Casting examples of a the threat that Janet Napolitano now stays awake at night worrying about.

We spent the following dozen years building a domestic law enforcement system to identify such people. Nothing that I am saying here is a criticism of real law enforcement efforts to identify real threats. My criticism is with a political distortion, a fun house mirror, that misidentifies the nature of the threats and which by misallocating resources puts us all at risk.

All the evidence is that being a frustrated underachieving and socially isolated person filled with rage is something that makes it unlikely that you will be become part of some larger conspiracy. Even modestly more functional people acting out fantasies of being in an invisible army would find the cases like McVeigh hard to associate with.

Such conduct has no real ideological content, putting a box of right or left wing around such people does little good. The points they string together could come from Larouche or Chomsky and they would not know for sure themselves. Perhaps now such people simple get stuck where McVeigh started, in Internet addiction and cyber hacking.

What is interesting to me is how the threat from the militias disappeared when George Bush became President, even though they hated him almost as much as Clinton. Clinton scared them for what they thought he did but Bush, through his father, fit with all the worst conspiracy theories of the fringe about a Preppy Tri-lateral alliance of global wealth and power. If this thread stays open long enough someone will respond to me by talking about the Illuminati.

What the ebb and flow of the concern about militias and domestic terrorism from the right tells us is very little about the nature of the threat and much about the nature of the regime.

As a final note the tragic effects of a political interference in a law enforcement situation does not only have to result in the deaths of white right wing conspiracy theorists. In 1985 the Philadelphia Police Department dropped an explosive on the dwelling occupied by the Move Organization resulting in the deaths of 11 people including 5 children. A retired police officer who had participated in the subsequent investigation assured me that it was a case of simple murder by Mayor Wilson Goode.

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