On Monday, the FBI “warned” about problems surrounding the “sovereign citizen” movement. The usual conservative suspects are now furious with the Obama Administration for picking on poor widdle tea party freedom fighters.
“…These extremists, sometimes known as “sovereign citizens,” believe they can live outside any type of government authority, FBI agents said at a news conference. The extremists may refuse to pay taxes, defy government environmental regulations and believe the United States went bankrupt by going off the gold standard. Routine encounters with police can turn violent “at the drop of a hat,” said Stuart McArthur, deputy assistant director in the FBI’s counterterrorism division. “We thought it was important to increase the visibility of the threat with state and local law enforcement,” he said….”
Naturally the usual conservative sources are treating the warning with irate anger. What on earth is the Obama Administration trying to do here? There is a problem with this scenario. These people are as dangerous and as lethal, here in the US, as Islamic terror. I suspect, if we start counting the dead bodies, you might be surprised.
Do not take their threat lightly.
“...If the FBI takes the trouble to hold a press conference alerting us to the growing threat of “sovereign citizens,” shouldn’t they have some idea of how many of these folks there are and what they’re up to? One of the FBI’s consultants claims there are 100,000 of them — but the consultant makes his money by amping up the threat….”
Oh, plueze – we’re not talking about the tea party. But, thanks to the constant crying of wolf by the Obama Administration, when they do rightly warn about a serious problem,
Pam Geller, who sees Islamic terrorists every time she looks into the face of someone who is Muslim, is laughing about this. The problem here is that we are not dealing with individuals who are almost the extreme conservative version of Occupy Wall Street.
“…Sovereign citizens are people who reject their U.S. citizenship and don’t recognize government authority, like laws and taxes. In 2009, the FBI started paying closer attention to the movement, which previously had been grouped with the militia movements in the bureau’s domestic counterterrorism operations. Many people who claim to be followers of this movement are involved in white collar crimes like tax evasion schemes and making fraudulent documents, the FBI said.
“We started to notice a heightened potential for violence,” said Stuart McArthur, deputy assistant director of the FBI’s counterterrorism division.
Speaking to reporters at the FBI’s national headquarters, McArthur said that while sovereign citizen ideologies are protected by the constitution, there have been instances when extremist members have turned to violence. “The thing about generally sovereign citizen extremists is that because their ideology just intrinsically deals with the rejection, complete rejection, of the constitutional authority of the United States or any other government for that matter … that when you have an encounter with law enforcement, we have seen that has a potential to go high and right very fast,” McArthur said….”
The ADL has an excellent dossier on the movement, which is not warm and fuzzy. These people are the neighbors you DO NOT want to have access to fire arms.
These are not nice people. They are crazies who are interested in taking out the federal government and are willing to not only die for the cause, but kill for the cause.
“…The movement is rooted in racism and anti-Semitism, though most sovereigns, many of whom are African American, are unaware of their beliefs’ origins. In the early 1980s, the sovereign citizens movement mostly attracted white supremacists and anti-Semites, mainly because sovereign theories originated in groups that saw Jews as working behind the scenes to manipulate financial institutions and control the government. Most early sovereigns, and some of those who are still on the scene, believed that being white was a prerequisite to becoming a sovereign citizen. They argued that the 14th Amendment to the Constitution, which guaranteed citizenship to African Americans and everyone else born on U.S. soil, also made black Americans permanently subject to federal and state governments, unlike themselves.
The contemporary sovereign belief system is based on a decades-old conspiracy theory. At some point in history, sovereigns believe, the American government set up by the founding fathers — with a legal system the sovereigns refer to as “common law” — was secretly replaced by a new government system based on admiralty law, the law of the sea and international commerce. Under common law, or so they believe, the sovereigns would be free men. Under admiralty law, they are slaves, and secret government forces have a vested interest in keeping them that way. Some sovereigns believe this perfidious change occurred during the Civil War, while others blame the events of 1933, when the U.S. abandoned the gold standard. Either way, they stake their lives and livelihoods on the idea that judges around the country know all about this hidden government takeover but are denying the sovereigns’ motions and filings out of treasonous loyalty to hidden and malevolent government forces…”
“...May had been a stressful month for Jerry Kane. He’d been traveling around the country with his teenage son, giving seminars to financially strapped individuals and promising them the tools to avoid foreclosure. His seminar fee ranged from $100 to $300 “per man,” but a man was free to bring his wife and children for that price. If a follower were in really dire straits, Kane would let him attend free.
As a former long-haul trucker, Kane was used to long hours on the road with his son, but in his most recent online radio show, he’d told his followers that he was frustrated with the seminar circuit and planned to cut his scheduled tour off early, after one more date in Florida. A recent seminar in Denver had been a disaster — no one had shown up — and he’d just completed a two-day event in Las Vegas, traveling thousands of miles in his old Plymouth Voyager. Despite his efforts and time, only six people had attended.
To make matters worse, Kane knew that driving cross-country was risky. As a sovereign citizen and a member of the larger antigovernment “Patriot” movement — a free man who believed that the Constitution guaranteed his right to travel without restriction — he was breaking a number of laws. He didn’t have a driver’s license. His van was registered to an accommodating ministry in Ohio. There was a brick of marijuana in the car. And, most importantly, he had outstanding warrants for his arrest in two states. In Ohio, he faced charges of forgery and theft by deception. And only a few weeks earlier, he’d been arrested in New Mexico for driving without a license and concealing his identity. He’d been preparing a series of documents to file in New Mexico that were designed to punish the police officer who arrested him. Kane was determined to make the officer and his family pay.
On May 20, Jerry and Joe Kane were driving east on I-40 from Las Vegas to their last seminar and a new life in Florida. Kane had met a Floridian named Donna Lee Wray at one of his foreclosure seminars three months earlier, and they had fallen in love. Father and son were headed, they thought, to a bright new life. Instead, they left a trail of human wreckage and smashed-up hopes and dreams.
Today, even after learning many of the facts behind the sovereign citizens movement that helped lead the Kanes and others to murder, the late Officer Paudert’s boss and father, the West Memphis chief, struggles to make sense of what happened. Bob Paudert mourns his son and the other casualties of the collision of sovereign citizen ideology and law enforcement, and he worries that his personal tragedy could repeat itself with other police officers on roads around the nation.
“How much more routine can you get than a father and son in [what looked like] a church van?” he asked in an interview. “Your guard is down and you’re just not ready for a shootout. We need indicators that tell us what to look for.”
There are telltale signs of sovereign citizens — strange license plates, unusual comments about the Fed and other government agencies, and so on. But they are not always easy to spot. And while not all are violent — sovereign leaders around the country have had mixed views of the Arkansas shootout, from painting the Kanes as heroes to various wild-eyed conspiracy theories about them being “set up” by government forces — there is little to suggest that the killings have weakened the movement. Donna Lee Wray, for example, reacted to the death of her new family by firing off angry missives demanding, among other things, that she be paid $1 million every time her “copyrighted” name is printed by those writing about the case. The number of sovereigns across America is clearly expanding, and with that growth comes an increasing level of danger….”