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Friday, May 7, 2010

Thank God for incompetence

It seems to me that the people who want cause mayhem and far worse in America these days are all thankfully clearly lacking in competence no matter what their political leanings. From the world of Islamist crazies we’ve had the shoe bomber with the apparently flame resistant sneakers, the underpants bomber who likewise couldn’t get his Jihadi brand underwear to explode and most recently Faisal Shahzad, the latest example of sheer ineptitude. Not only was he a complete failure at bombmaking but he’s also going to have long time to figure out that buying a vehicle to utilize as a car bomb on Craig’s list using your own cellphone is not the way to cover your tracks.

Since Obama’s election we’re also seen a rise in Militias as well as a general radicalization on the right. Nine members of a militia in Michigan were recently arrested for planning to kill a policeman or two and then set of a bomb at their funeral. Considering what they were planning, a Facebook page was probably not helpful in the discretion that their plan required.

Now comes the arrest of Walter Fitzpatrick a few days ago. Fitzpatrick is a radical birther who tried to perform a citizen’s arrest on the foreman of a Grand Jury in Madison County, Tennessee. Fitzpatrick had previously tried to persuade that grand jury to consider charges of Treason against President Obama. They declined and that ended up in Fitzpatrick being himself arrested. This prompted Darren Huff, a local militia member in Georgia to attempt to mount a one posse to free Fitzpatrick. His first mistake was telling his bank manager that he and about 8 or 9 other militias were going to descend on Madisonville and take over the city. Huff told the manager to keep an eye on the news as he (Huff) would be on it. He got his wish and he’s also been arrested.

It wasn’t too long before FBI agents showed up to interview Huff at his home on April 19. Huff told them he would be traveling to Tennessee to help Fitzpatrick get the charges against him dropped. Huff assured the agents there would be no violence unless they were provoked into violence. Still, he told agents he planned to travel with his Colt .45 handgun and AK-47 rifle.

At 6.15 AM the following day the FBI who by now were obviously watching him closely, saw him leave on his one man crusade to Tennessee. He hadn’t gone very far before The Tennessee Highway Patrol pulled him over for various traffic warrants and registration violations. If I was intent on carrying out Huff’s mission I would make sure all outstanding tickets, warrants and registration had all been taken care of. Client confidentiality with one’s banker does not extend beyond your financial situation so telling him he and other militia members were going to take over a city in another state does is not protected by any client confidentiality that I’ve heard of.

Huff has now been charged with traveling in interstate commerce with intent to incite a riot and transporting in commerce a firearm in furtherance of a civil disorder. He'll also have a long time to dwell on how dumb he was.

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