Monday, November 21, 2011

Update on the Georgia Militia Old-Farts Plot to Use Ricin in Mass Killings

It looks like the 'we're just big talking crazy old coots' defense didn't get their saggy old backsides out from behind bars.  I'm guessing that must mean there is some compelling physical evidence to support the taped evidence of their plans, which is what the original search warrant affidavits asserted (yes, I try to read as much of that stuff as I can find).  I don't think the turn of phrase 'digruntles' means what they think it means, as in purchasing the materials to make ricin...

From NPR:

Judge Refuses Bond For Men Accused In Militia Plot

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November 16, 2011
A federal judge on Wednesday denied bond to the four Georgia militia men accused of plotting terror attacks against government employees, siding with prosecutors who feared the elderly men might lash out against federal officials because they have nothing to lose.
U.S. Magistrate Susan Cole's ruling echoed concerns from federal prosecutors who warned that releasing the men risked a deadly standoff with federal agents who are forced to bring them to court.
"I can only imagine the arrests of these defendants have only heightened their ill will against the government," Cole said after a third day of federal hearings. "I'm concerned there would be government officials and employees in harm's way."
Defense attorneys, who intend to appeal the judge's decision, said the men never intended to live up to the boastful chatter and that the charges accusing them of plotting to use guns, explosives and the biological toxin ricin against federal employees are overblown.
Frederick Thomas, 73, and Dan Roberts, 67, are accused of conspiring to obtain an explosive and possessing an unregistered silencer. Ray Adams, 55, and Samuel Crump, 68, are charged with conspiring and attempting to make ricin.
The four men were arrested in early November after at least seven months of surveillance by an undercover informant who infiltrated their meetings at a Waffle House, homes and car rides. The dozens of hours of recordings the informant made are the linchpin to the government's case against the four.
In the tapes, the four allegedly boasted of a list of government officials who needed to be "taken out;" talked about scattering ricin from a car speeding down a highway past major U.S. cities; and scouted tax offices. One man said, "We'd have to blow the whole building like Timothy McVeigh," a reference to the man executed for bombing a federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, killing 168 people.
Defense attorneys said the conversations were taken out of context and that the men were actually planning to unite various militia groups across Georgia to create a legitimate "governor's army" that would be at the state's disposal.
"It's all a hypothetical," said Jeff Ertel, who represents Thomas, the suspected leader of the plot. "This is not a plan to take action now. This is a plan to take action if we are legitimized and if the government calls us into action."
But assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McBurney said the men took a series of concrete steps toward carrying out a violent plot.
He said the men cased two federal buildings in Atlanta, talked of targeting U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, obtained an illegal silencer, amassed small arsenals of weapons, tried to purchase a briefcase-sized explosive from an undercover agent and attempted to make ricin from castor beans.
"We've moved beyond hypotheticals," he said.
McBurney warned that releasing the men risks giving them exactly what they want: A galvanizing standoff with federal agents whom they could portray as "jackbooted thugs taking action against elderly patriots."
The four played very different roles in the plot, according to court testimony. Thomas was described as the "thought leader" who helped host meetings and recruit new members. He is accused of scouting the two federal buildings with the informant and leading the effort, along with Roberts, to get an illegal silencer and buy explosives from an undercover agent.
Prosecutors said the men brought Crump and Adams into the mix after Roberts talked of obtaining a "silent killer" the toxin ricin, which can be lethal in small doses. Crump had memorized the recipe for the poison, prosecutors said, and Adams had the know-how to make it as a former government lab technician.
Defense attorneys, though, heaped scorn on the informant, who recorded the conversations while on bond on South Carolina charges that he sexually abused two girls and had child pornography. They called him an "instigator" and a "scoundrel" and questioned why he's free while their clients are facing stiff penalties.
And they claimed prosecutors were making too much of idle chatter from elderly men complaining at gatherings in local restaurants and at each other's homes.
"The government doesn't have a strong case. Surely there was talk about ricin, but it was ridiculous," said Dan Summer, who represents Crump. "It was like an old man in the stages of senility talking out of the side of his mouth."
Witnesses called over three days of hearings said the men were loyal to the government and often gave back to the community. Roberts, for instance, had an animal shelter at his home with 20 dogs and 30 cats. And Melissa Adams said her father spent many holidays playing Santa Claus for children.
"He may be intimidating at times, but on the inside he's just a teddy bear," she said of her dad, a big man with a busy beard. "He has his disgruntles just like the rest of the country, with the economy, but that's all they were small disgruntles."
On the same topic: From TPM Muckraker / Georgia:

Frederick Thomas

Feds: Senior Citizen Militia Members Targeted Holder, McKinney

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that four elderly militia members charged in a plot against citizens and federal employees were targeting Attorney General Eric Holder and former Rep. Cynthia McKinney as potential assassination targets.
Holder and McKinney's names were included on a hit list compiled by 73-year-old Frederick Thomas, federal prosecutors said at a bond hearing. Authorities also said Thomas had stockpiled 52 guns and 30,000 rounds of ammunition in his Georgia home. All four suspects pleaded not guilty.
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Topics: Cynthia McKinney, Eric Holder, Frederick Thomas, Georgia, Militia Movement, Militia movement, Militias

Militia movement

Fringe Militia Member Accused In Ricin Plot Called Right-Wing Blogger's Novel 'Far From Fantasy'

One of the elderly 'fringe militia' members arrested on Tuesday for allegedly plotting a ricin attack against U.S. citizens and federal employees was a frequent commenter on a right-wing blog and thought a novel written by the blogger that allegedly inspired his plot was likely to come true.
Former Alabama militia member turned "Sipsey Street Irregulars" blogger Mike Vanderboegh said in a post that he never corresponded with 73-year-old Frederick Thomas, the man the feds considered the ringleader of the group. But he did say he believed "Ahab" was Thomas' screen name that he used to leave comments on the website.
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Topics: ATF, Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, Fast And Furious, Georgia, Mike Vanderboegh, Militia Movement, Militia movement, Militias


Feds: Four Members Of Georgia 'Fringe Militia Group' Plotted Biological Attack On Citizens, Government Officials

Four Georgia men who belonged to a "fringe militia group" were arrested by FBI agents on Tuesday and charged with plotting an attack against U.S. citizens and federal employees using the biological toxin ricin.
Authorities say 73-year-old Frederick Thomas of Cleveland; 67-year-old Dan Roberts; 65-year-old Ray H. Adams; and 68-year-old Samuel J. Crump, all of Toccoa, Ga. began meeting in March 2011 as part of a covert group that called itself, well, the "covert group."
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Topics: ATF, FBI, Fast And Furious, Georgia, Justice Department, Militia Movement, Militia movement, Militias


  1. George Carlin's #1 Rule: Never believe anything the government says.

  2. George Carlin used hyperbole.

    It is not a literal admonition, and if it were, it would be stupid.

    No one seems to be denying that these old farts were planning such an activity. That doesn't seem to be in dispute.

    The only information left to be established is, had they begun to act on that plan. From what I read, yes they had, and that information also doesn't seem to be all that disputed.

    I don't think the 'we're too incompetent to pull this off even though we were serious about trying to kill millions upon millions of our fellow citizens' defense is going to be too successful, especially not once they started trying to do so.

    Nor should it.

  3. "It is not a literal admonition, and if it were, it would be stupid."

    Stupid? I don't know about that.
    So you believed George Bush and the government's buncombe that Saddam had WMDs, yellow cake, and that Irag, after 12 years of debilitating and devastating sanctions was a threat to the US and needed to be bombed, invaded and occupied? There's a word for anybody that believed that crap.

  4. Anonymous, don't be silly.

    There are plenty of things I'm told by the government or its representatives that I either don't believe or find a need to more rigorously fact check.

    I don't automatically disbelieve everything from the government. There are many segments of the government that I find are remarkably reliable. I think the CBO, for example, overall does an excellent job.

    On the other hand, I found very little information from the Bush administration reliable. I find pretty much nothing from someone like Boehner about job creators to be credible,

    Anon wrote:
    "So you believed George Bush and the government's buncombe that Saddam had WMDs, yellow cake, and that Irag, after 12 years of debilitating and devastating sanctions was a threat to the US and needed to be bombed, invaded and occupied? There's a word for anybody that believed that crap. "


  5. To me that translates to you only believe Democrats.
    Carlin didn't say don't believe Republicans, he said, don't believe the government. Why? Because there isn't a bit of difference between them, they are all liars. That is not hyperbole.

  6. No, anonymous.

    It means I sometimes distrust Democrats, and more often have, from experience, have been given reason to distrust Republicans and their subset Tea Partiers.

    This comes from factchecking ALL of them, which I believe it is important to do.

    I've found Republicans more often to be the bigger liars, not the only liars. That holds true to, for the right wing media versus main stream media, btw.

    See the occupy wall street smear post as an example, and what I've written about the reporting on the $16 muffins story, and on any number of other stories.

    As to politicians? I just wrote my first post as the new kid on the block at a blog called the MN Political Roundtable (I don't only write here, I write......lots of places).

    In the above post, I write about the telephone town halls - plural - held by my Congressman, Chip Cravaack. I am reasonably on top of current events, and I am rigorous in following the results of multiple fact checking sources.

    So, I was well aware when I have been included in listening to these town halls that my Congressman, a Republican, did not provide factual information to his constituents. Not just once, he failed to do so ON EVERY single point he made.

    A case in point was his much repeated claim that the Keystone pipeline would provide 20,000 direct jobs, and 1 million 'ancillary jobs'. In fact, those numbers have been known to be false for quite a while, and the Canadian company has admitted that the best they can hope for is MAYBE 6,500 jobs, but probably NOT that many.

    Meanwhile the independent sources, like the nonpartisan study done by Cornell University, put it at a net increase of jobs of ZERO,nada, none, the big goose egg, with a loss of some existing businesses. That is one example of what I'm talking about. Cravaack's staff was unaware there was a State Department investigation.

    That is lying; there is no excuse for a congressman with research staffers who brief him for these sessions to be wrong on all points-- points which coincidentally are anti-democratic positions and anti-Obama.

    FACTS aren't partisan; but republicans appear to be more fact aversive than the current democrats.

  7. Anonypiss:

    You start off saying don't trust gummint, then you paint yourself into the dunce stool corner by saying, "don't trust democrats". You're a moron and, almost certainly a teapartier.

  8. Hey, I just went over and read that TPM post, WOW!


    "“How about the IRS? Are they not just as destructive of Americans and our prosperity as is the ATF destructive of our God given rights to life itself?”

    and this:

    "There is no question that this Congress and this administration need replaced, en masse! If we rebell against them outside the ballot box, and we are successful, they will be hung from lamp posts up and down Constitution Avenue, which is proper for the wrongs they’ve committed against the people; but, who will guarantee we can roll back all the damage they’ve done, restore America to the Constitutional Republic that was founded with the signing in 1787? Will there be an America left when the blood stops running?"

    were, allegedly, written by one of the Gray KKKrazeepantsers.

    "In a follow up post, Thomas allegedly wrote that he’d “feel really badly about having to shoot American servicemen/women in self defense; but, make no mistake, I WILL shoot. I’m a 30 year veteran of the U.S. Navy, have sworn the oath many times, consider the U.S. Constitution to be a holy document, and I will not take another step backward. Take note, you statists: a lifetime of service to the nation has honed this fighting man into a weapon that yes, you really should fear.”"

    Was yet another bit of his ranting.

    And guys like Greg Camp want gunzloonz assholes like this to have access to whatever sort of gunz they want?

  9. There's my name again being used to set up a straw man. The Georgia Four are clearly a bunch of loonies, and whether or not some FBI agent talked up the plan, they were the ones who kept the ball rolling. They've been caught, and they're likely to spend the rest of their (functional, at least) lives in prison. That's as it should be, if they're convicted.

    Now which gunzloons assholes were you referring to, Democommie?