New York Times: Domestic Rightwing Terrorists Now 'Alt-Gov'
Last week, a report commissioned by the Washington state House of Representatives detailed the ties between Rep. Matt Shea and the armed "patriot" movement, including his participation in three armed standoffs against federal law enforcement. The report said Shea had helped plan the 2016 Bundy Dildo Militia takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, saying his participation amounted to engaging in "an act of domestic terrorism against the United States." On Monday, the New York Timespublished a detailed story on the report and on Shea's vision for how he and his wingnut buddies could seize power in the Pacific Northwest and establish a theocracy, once America finally gets the blessed second Civil War that Barack Obama was so intent on bringing. It's some pretty good journamalism, all in all! Bummer it was graced with one of those indelibly bland New York Times headlines that bends over backward to downplay Shea's rightwing radicalism:
Congratulations to the New York Times for the most dishonest use of "alternative" since Kellyanne Conway! Reminds us of other great headlines:
- Titanic Takes Alternative Route
- Jeffrey Dahmer Pursued Alternative Diet
- Japanese Navy offers Alternative to Hawaii's Sunday Routine
- Jack Ruby Had Visions of an Alternative Justice System
Beyond that ridiculous headline, the story does add some further information about Shea's hopes and dreams for establishing a Christianist homeland in the Northwest once the US government toppled, which Shea and other militia crazies are certain will happen at any moment since we're no longer a godly nation and also have welfare. The Times starts with the stuff we already knew about, like Shea's involvement in the the 2014 Bundy Cow Uprising, the 2016 Malheur takeover, and a 2015 armed confrontation with federal agents in Idaho, as well as his plans to -- legally for now -- carve a 51st state called "Liberty" from the eastern half of Washington. It also briefly discusses how Shea
distributed to his closest followers a "Biblical Basis for War" document that calls for the "surrender" of those who favor abortion rights, same-sex marriage, "idolatry" and communism. "If they do not yield — kill all males," it said.
Beyond that, with the help of the report leaked last week and documents from the same former Shea follower who leaked that Biblical War plan to the media last year, the story looks more closely at Shea and his buds' plans to take over once, as survivalists put it, the Shit Hits The Fan, a key element of any good gunhumper fantasy.
In keeping with the popular rightwing rhetoric -- fanned by Donald Trump's tweets, of course -- about imminent civil war, Shea too has a plan, although like that rhetoric, it preceded Trump's tweets. As with its headline, the Times is careful to note that Shea and his heavily armed wingnut buddies, like the Oath Keepers, have "insisted that they have been discussing preparations to respond, not instigate" the collapse of the government. They're such nice people, it seems only fit and proper to take them at their word.
Jay Pounder, a former supporter and helper of Mr. Shea, said that in the summer of 2016, he was among about 30 of Mr. Shea's closest allies who gathered in the Spokane area to discuss plans for how they would respond to what they believed was a coming civil war.
He said they discussed possible catalysts for such a conflict — immigration, economics, left-wing antifa protests. They planned which of the members would take control of geographical regions of the Northwest, Mr. Pounder said, and chose Mr. Shea to be the eventual leader of their overall government.
Mr. Pounder provided The New York Times with a variety of planning documents shared at the 2016 meeting laying out what actions should be taken in the event of a "collapse event" and describing a detailed structure of a makeshift government they would create.
The plans included some fairly standard rightwing crap like having sheriff's posses do all the law enforcing, since in wingnut fantasies, sheriffs are the most legitimate law dudes. Also, ham radio operators would take care of all the communication, because ham radio is a basic foundation of liberty. Then there were the more creative notions!
The planners called for "constitutional changes" to "sanctify to Jesus Christ" in the new government.
Mr. Pounder said the group also gathered military manuals on how to operate various weapons, such as an AT4 antitank weapon.
Mr. Pounder said he spent two years as a close ally of Mr. Shea but pulled away when he became convinced that Mr. Shea was not just a Christian conservative but was hoping to install a Christian government in the wake of civil strife that he almost seemed to welcome.
See, that's just smart planning, and an answer to the soy boy libs who point out that an AR-15 won't get you far against tanks. Also, haha, "almost seemed to welcome." Nope, nothing to worry about there -- just mental exercises, protected by the First Amendment, for some alternative self defense options!
For what it's worth, the Times also says Ammon Bundy, the ringleader of the Malheur takeover, issued a statement over the weekend denying the Washington investigators' conclusion that Shea helped plan the dildotarian uprising in Oregon. And if you can't trust a guy who was acquitted on all charges, then who can you trust? And Shea himself, who was stripped of all his committee assignments by Republican leadership in the state Lege, posted an important Facebook message decrying the "sham investigation" that denied his due process (he refused to be interviewed by the investigators) and calling the whole thing a "coup."
Wonder where he got that word?
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