As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Domestic Terrorism

I know it's terribly busy and all tracking down the next Islamofascomurderocreepoterrorista, but as it turns out, we have a case of home-grown terrorism going on right here in this country. And unsurprisingly, he's an authoritarian Republican:

A California man suspected of mailing threatening letters containing a suspicious white powder to celebrities and U.S. politicians has been arrested and could face federal charges on Monday, the FBI said.

Investigators identified Chad Castagana, 39, of Woodland Hills, California, as the person suspected of sending more than a dozen threatening letters to media outlets and the homes of public figures in various cities, the FBI said in a statement on Sunday evening.

According to a federal search warrant, among those who received threatening letters were Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show;" talk show host David Letterman; Keith Olbermann of MSNBC; Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, who is set to become Speaker of the House of Representatives, and Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, both Democrats.

Turns out that this guy was an active member of Free Republic, who had the following bio:

I am a lifelong Conservative Republican .

I have an Associates Degree in the Science of Electronics .

Ann Coulter is a Goddess and I worship Laura Ingraham and Michele Malkin .

English is the langauge of the United States of America- - our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are written in the langauge that expresses our civilized freedoms .

Spanish is the language of Banana Republics, beyond that it belongs in a European country.

David Neiwert, who often chronicles these domestic terrorists, who more often than not line up squarely with Christian Nationalists, has a good rundown.

Eventually we'll find the person or persons responsible for the real anthrax attacks of 2001, the ones that killed 6 people, and we'll find that it was from the same group. Without a doubt. Those letters were sent to members of the media (MSM!) and Democratic leaders like Tom Daschle. These letters with white powder were sent to members of the media and Democratic leaders. Sending fake powder in the mail is not all that different from sending real anthrax, if the goal is to terrorize. The type of rhetoric that the most hateful on the conservative side spew on a daily basis can register with the most susceptible to authoritarianism and rage and cause this kind of domestic terrorism. Here's Neiwert:

Haters like the people Castagana claims as his heroes -- Coulter, Malkin, Ingraham, just for starters -- are constantly engaging in the worst kind of eliminationist rhetoric directed primarily at liberals. It is simply an inevitability that, when this kind of hate is broadcast to millions of people daily, some of them are eventually going to start acting it out in fashions precisely like this. And worse.

All these figures, of course, have the right to speak as they wish. But the media-industry figures -- the producers and executives who put them on the air, thereby giving them a bullhorn to broadcast it nationally and spew it across our television sets and radios -- are simply being irresponsible.

It's past time, really, to start holding them responsible.

In the past, Republicans and media owners saw nothing wrong with holding, for example, Judas Priest or Ozzy Ozbourne responsible if a listener committed suicide. I don't advocate shutting down anyone's speech. But they should have to take some heat for the direct results of whipping up fervor among those who would terrorize or kill in their name.