Sunday, January 9, 2011

Who Is Jared Lee Loughner?

And where does he stand on the political spectrum?  Now let me make this clear- this case reminds me of Michael Vick.  Vick's pit bull killed other dogs, but it is Vick that we hold responsible, not the dog.  Loughner shows every sign of being a deeply deranged individual who may well have had no more understanding of the consequences of his actions than Michael Vick's dog.  It is the people who drove Loughner to murder that really bear the responsibility.  The right is doing everything it can to deny this truth, but nevertheless it remains true.  Here is how far I have gone toward unraveling this tangled skein:

As I have mentioned before, I have followed the right for over 40 years now.  When I heard the first reporting of Loughner's mysterious pronouncements, a couple of things stood out to me.  Here are some of them, from an article yesterday in the New York Times:

"He had posted on his Myspace page at some point a photograph of a United States history textbook, on top of which he had placed a handgun. He prepared a series of Internet videos filled with rambling statements on topics including the gold standard, mind control and SWAT teams.

After another student read a poem about getting an abortion, Mr. Loughner compared the young woman to a “terrorist for killing the baby.”

Another video, for example, says debts should only be paid in currency that is backed by gold and silver. "

Handgun imagery and violent anti-abortion rhetoric are of course part of the stock in trade of classic right wing, teabagger behavior.  But this statement goes further, in its talk of mind control, SWAT teams ready to act against Americans, and particularly the notion that only gold and silver have any value as currency.  This all pointed me toward a rather specific segment of the far right:  the Sovereign Citizen movement, which denies, for one bogus reason or another, that the Federal government has any right to demand anything of its people, who are not really citizens at all.  As usual with the right, in the end this comes down to not having to pay their taxes.  People make a living traveling around the country giving lectures about how to use these preposterous theories as a way to avoid paying taxes (mostly ineffectual, in the end- many of these lecturers end up in Federal prison, where, at least, they don't have to pay taxes.)  I particularly thought of Jerry Kane and his son, who recently murdered two Arkansas policemen in a pointless rage and then were killed themselves.  Jerry Kane was one of these people who made a living pushing these idiotic theories to people who wanted any justification to avoid their share of the cost of maintaining our way of life.

For the conclusive break in this story I have to credit Digby, who, in an excellent post   refers to another article, at Politico, which says the following, in relation to the stilted, unusual language in Loughner's web posts, which many are writing off as the product of mental illness:

"Jared Lee Loughner’s rants about grammar and mind control track closely to the writings of a conspiracy theorist who believes that is how the government controls the populace, one leading group says – and the man tells POLITICO he agrees with some of Loughner’s statements.

The far-right activist, David Wynn Miller, said in a telephone interview that he didn’t know Loughner, but agreed with his statement in a YouTube video that “the government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.”

“The idea weirdly enough of controlling grammar, of somehow the government using grammar to control the people is an idea that exists on the radical right. There’s a particular person, a man named David Wynn Miller who has plugged this idea for years,”(Mark)  Potok said."

Now, who exactly is David Wynn Miller?  Let us first turn to a report about him from the Southern Poverty Legal Center:

"He's a genius, he says, with an IQ of 200. He's the one who discovered, back in 1998, "the mathematical interface in the truth that certifies all 5,000 languages, frontwards and backwards."

The Constitution is a "bankruptcy trust," he knows, and old Ben Franklin was a triple agent. Bill Clinton and every member of the Supreme Court are students of his, along with 100 million others, and no surprise either. After all, David Wynn Miller spent 59,000 hours studying such matters and if he can't give you the answers, no one can.

Miller:  ""My name is David hyphen Wynn full colon Miller," the 53-year-old Milwaukean says, and the brows of his audience of 50 begin to furrow. This crowd of "Patriots" is used to conspiracy theories, but even at an event dominated by antigovernment ideology, Miller is tough going. "The reason I use a full colon and a hyphen in my name, the first full colon, which is full colon David, it means for the David hyphen Wynn. That's my given name, and it's also a noun, because it uses a prepositional phrase. ... Because I use prepositional phrases, through punctuation, which is classified as hieroglyphics, which makes me a life, l-i-f-e. Now, when you don't punctuate your name ... David is an adjective, Wynn is an adjective, Miller is a pronoun. Two adjectives are a condition of modification, opinion, presumption, which modifies the pronoun, pro means no on noun. So therefore, I'm not a fact. I'm a fiction."

And fictions don't have to pay taxes.  Mr. Miller travels around the country giving lectures to people who are willing to buy into this.  If you have read Loughner's posts, I think you can clearly see the similarity of phrasing here.  Now, on to an ADL report entitled "Sovereign Citizen Movement."

"David Wynn Miller. This Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based sovereign citizen is one of the most unusual of the "common law gurus" who travel the country holding seminars and offering legal advice. Miller has created his own unique version of English grammar, one that even many sovereign citizens find hard to understand or accept."

This is, of course, exactly how Jerry Kane employed his time, before deciding that it would be fun to kill a couple of police officers.

Here is the ADL's general comment about the Sovereign Citizen Movement:

"The "sovereign citizen" movement is a loosely organized collection of groups and individuals who have adopted a right-wing anarchist ideology originating in the theories of a group called the Posse Comitatus in the 1970s. Its adherents believe that virtually all existing government in the United States is illegitimate and they seek to "restore" an idealized, minimalist government that never actually existed. To this end, sovereign citizens wage war against the government and other forms of authority using "paper terrorism" harassment and intimidation tactics, and occasionally resorting to violence."

 Descending from the Posse Comitatus movement, the Sovereign Citizens share a common ancestry with right wing militias, and with the tea party movement.  Many of its members also subscribe to the grossly anti-Semitic Aryan Supremacist doctrine of Christian Identity, whose spread in this country is also tied to the Posse Comitatus movement and its descendants.  As things stand in the country today, Sovereign  Citizen adherents are only a step farther to the right than the tea party movement itself.

A little more information about the founding of this movement:

"In addition to a formative relationship with Christian Identity, a manuscript known as the Nehemiah Township Document and Common Law Contract provides the foundation for separatist organizations. In 1982, twenty-eight people signed the document that was subsequently notarized and filed by the county clerk in Kootenai County, Idaho. Notable extremist signatories included Richard Butler and KKK Imperial Wizard Thom Robb.60 A religiously- based Republican government, in which only Aryan freemen would have rights, was the ultimate goal of the Nehemiah Township Charter."

Richard Butler was , until he died several years ago, the number one Aryan Supremacist in the country, and made the city of Hayden Lake, Idaho almost synonymous with Neo-Naziism.  People who were followers of Butler and his movement include the likes of the terrorist murderer Chevy Kehoe, and cop-killer Jerry Kane himself, who spent some time in Hayden Lake.

Well, there you have it- that's who this guy is: a follower of a malignant strain of right wing extremism, carrying out the work of the many who incited him.  The Republican party, with the collaboration of the mainstream press will be doing everything they can in the next few weeks to hide this fact from the American people, probably successfully; however, fact it remains.

This is the fruit of the hatred planted by Limbaugh, Palin, Beck and all of the rest of the diabolical figures who do the bidding of the hyper rich; and it has only begun to ripen. 


mastercynic said...

I believe you left out "patriot" in your extraordinarily long description of Mr. Loughner. I'm sure it was just an oversight.

Green Eagle said...

What could be more patriotic than murder? Mastercynic, you are so quick to get to the real core of things.

magpie said...

This is a masterful post Eagle.

I can see all 40 years of your experience in diving into the deep dark oceans of Right-wing insanity.

I had to come up for air halfway through.

Green Eagle said...

Me too, Magpie. I have had real trouble forcing myself to follow these hatemongers lately. Unfortunately, the harder it is to take, the more we need to know what they are up to.