You raise a fair point, but I think it's important to take these kinds of threats seriously because eventually, some of these kinds of yahoos eventually do succeed, even if to all outward appearances they can't find their ass with both hands.
There was, for instance, the case of Bradley Glover and his "Tri States Militia," which in 1997 was busted for planning an attack on Fort Hood, Texas, rather similar to the one envisioned by the Fort Dix bunch -- though, in fact, Glover's bunch was much farther along in planning and deployment, and they in fact appeared fully capable of inflicting a large number of casualties.
Or there was the case of the Sacramento militiamen who plotted to blow up a nearby propane facility, which if they had succeeded would probably have resulted in several thousand deaths, on a scale rivaling 9/11. Fortunately, they were also spectacularly stupid, and had very little chance of success -- but if they had managed to stumble their way to accidental competence, well, it would have been disastrous.
I think if authorities had stumbled upon Tim McVeigh and his little cluster of plotters before April 1995 they would have had good reason to view them the same. They were a bunch of crank users who lived in trailers, and McVeigh was lining up soup cans on a kitchen floor to plan the explosive attack, and they were testing their formula out in milk bottles in tests that never did really work. April 19 was the first time they had ever gotten anything to actually explode.
Likewise, Buford Furrow was just a big loser who drifted from job to job -- not the kind of person you would expect to post a serious threat -- before he walked into that Jewish day-care center back in 2000.
So yeah, it is vital to nip these plots in the bud before they can metastasize into events that cause real harm. Being proactive in these kinds of investigations, it's clear, has played a substantial role in the decline of actual domestic-terrorism events in the past decade, despite a noteable increase in the actual number of plots.
Again, as I said in my post -- having been through a number of these cases, it's important not to leap too far afield in speculating, because the evidence always plays out in court. It's from that vantage point, I think, that we can assess the actual level of threat from these kinds of plots. And we can also better assess authorities' and informants' claims, both of which it behooves everyone in the public to acknowledge may or may not be accurate. Presuming guilt in either case is, frankly, an ugly course to follow.Comment Posted By David Neiwert On 9.05.2007 @ 12:14
Hilarious and pathetic.
Of course, nowhere in this post is an explanation of the actual meaning of the term "eliminationist," even though it has been given numerous times at my blog. (Nice spelling of my name, BTW. Guess it goes along with this.) So, by pretending that no such definition or explanation exists, you effectively create a nice little straw man that you conveniently set aflame. Impressive. Not.
Incidentally, go back to Daniel Jonah Goldhagen's work for more on eliminationism.Comment Posted By David Neiwert On 18.07.2006 @ 22:30
Max Blumenthal is not an "ex-Clinton hit man."
You're probably thinking of his father, Sidney, though I'm unaware of any "hits" he conducted in his years as an adviser to Clinton.
But then, I guess anyone who worked for Clinton deserves to be smeared with a sobriquet suggestive of murder, right?Comment Posted By David Neiwert On 12.04.2006 @ 11:44
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