Remember last month's Department of Homeland Security (DHS) raid on the Hutaree militia? Well, it's back in the news ... sorta.
At the time, I had expressed skepticism about the ordeal, wondering if the FBI were agents provocateurs. After all, our benevolent CIA plotted a violent wave of terrorism on our own citizens before.
It was just last year that the Missouri DHS "fusion center" issued their infamous report on “Right Wing Extremists,” in which they "warned" of military veterans, pro-life activists, and people with Ron Paul bumper-stickers on their car.
We also know the Southern Poverty Law Center making up "extremist patriots" alerts the DHS to update their lists.
There isn't much coverage of the latest concerning the Hutaree story (probably because the FBI is having trouble with their case), so let's take a look at what's going on.
Federal officials revealed the story in explaining how the government was able to round up the eight members of the Hutaree Christian militia group that appeared for a detention hearing in U.S. District Court in Detroit on Thursday. A ninth member appeared in federal court in Indiana.
While Detroit FBI Special Agent in Charge Andrew Arena declined to detail the memorial scenario, he said: "We used the ruse to get them to a location where they didn't have access to their weapons, and everything worked out. We got most of them there."
Attorney William Swor, who represents the group's leader David Stone, 45, of Clayton, said his client got busted at a memorial service.
"Whether it was real or phony, I don't know," he said. "But if they didn't bring weapons, doesn't that make a lie out of the claim that these guys are always armed and dangerous?"
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Falvey said the Hutaree group was a violent antigovernment organization, whose members had dark hearts and evil intentions. He asked a judge to lock the group up until their trial begins.
Defense lawyers argued that prosecutors provided no evidence that the group was a flight risk, or danger to the community, describing the presentation over two days as "great spin comments."
You have to ask yourself here, who's the real conspiracy theorists? The government, or Hutaree?
The FBI was so convinced "something bad" was happening at Hutaree, they infiltrated the group and seduced them into saying something stupid - that they'd overthrow the government (with the most powerful military in history, huge police forces, secret agents, etc.). Huh?
An FBI agent who led the investigation of nine Michigan militia members charged with trying to launch war against the federal government couldn't recall many details of the two-year probe yesterday during questioning by defense lawyers.
The indictment says the nine planned to kill police officers as a steppingstone to a widespread uprising against the federal government.
Defense lawyers, however, say their clients are being punished for being outspoken.
Prosecutors fought to keep Ms. Larsen off the witness stand, saying the defendants had no legal right to question her.
But the judge said the agent's appearance was appropriate because the burden is on defense lawyers to show their clients won't be a threat to the public if released.
Ms. Larsen said she had not listened entirely to certain recordings made by an undercover agent who infiltrated the group ... she didn't know if weapons seized by investigators last month were illegal ... Ms. Larsen couldn't answer questions ...
Defense lawyer William Swor asked if the No. 1 defendant, Hutaree leader David Stone, had ever instructed anyone to make a bomb.
"I can't fully answer that question," the agent replied.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald Waterstreet played an audiotape of what he said were several militia members talking freely about killing police.
The participants talked over each other, often laughed and made goofy noises and disparaging remarks about law enforcement.
Prosecutors objected to questions about interpreting the secretly recorded conversations, but the judge said they were fair game.
It's lucky the 9 working-class folks charged in this "conspiracy" have an honest judge. U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts doesn't seem to be letting the government agents get away with any shenanigans.
This whole Hutaree ordeal, is looking more like a government ruse to demonize militias, Christians and the "right-wing," than it does a legitimate threat.