Hutaree Militiamen Cleared In Court

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Much to the
chagrin of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a federal judge has
cleared the members of a Michigan militia who were accused by federal
law enforcement agents of conspiracy to commit sedition. Since you
didn’t hear much about this ruling from the national press
corps, here is one online version
of the report
:

“Seven
members of a Michigan militia have been cleared of plotting to overthrow
the U.S. government as a judge dismissed the most serious charges
against them.

“In a
shock defeat for federal authorities, District Judge Victoria Roberts
said the group’s expressed hatred of law enforcement did not
amount to a conspiracy.

“The FBI
secretly planted an informant and an agent inside the Hutaree militia
in 2008 to collect hours of anti-government audio and video that
became the cornerstone of the case.

“Senior
officials had insisted they had captured homegrown rural extremists
poised for war.

“But the
judge said: ‘The court is aware that protected speech and mere
words can be sufficient to show a conspiracy. In this case, however,
they do not rise to that level.’’

“Judge
Roberts granted requests for acquittal on the most serious charges:
conspiring to commit sedition, or rebellion, against the U.S. and
conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction.

“Other
weapons crimes linked to the alleged conspiracies were also dismissed.”

Read
more
.

At this point,
I believe it is necessary that I review a column I wrote on April
6, 2010, regarding the Hutaree militia raid. As you read the words
that follow, please remember that they were written TWO YEARS AGO
– almost to the day.

[2010 column
starts here] I want to try and expound on William Norman Grigg’s
outstanding analysis of the Hutaree militia raid. In doing so, I
am going to also expand upon Grigg’s reference to James Madison’s
trenchant treatise in Federalist 46.

Referring to
the federal indictment against the Hutaree militia, that alleged
members were making preparations for potential armed conflict against
law enforcement officers as a “seditious conspiracy,”
Grigg astutely noted, “If they were acquiring weapons and developing
appropriate skills in anticipation of defending themselves against
government aggression, their actions – while possibly conspiratorial
in nature – don’t amount to a crime. This is particularly
true in light of our cultural history, in which sedition –
agitation to change the existing political order – is our proudest
civic tradition.”

Grigg then
rightly observes, “Government is nothing more than the rationalization
and exercise of violence. Everything done by government contains
at least the implicit threat of lethal coercion. Thus the indictment’s
description of Hutaree as ‘an anti-government extremist organization
which advocates violence against local, state and Federal law enforcement’
is a product of rhetorical onanism [from Genesis 38:9--a great analogy,
Will].”

As a general
rule, government is the most violent force on the planet. If one
wants to get a true perspective on the historical record regarding
who or what routinely produces the most violence and death, one
should pick up a copy of R. J. Rummel’s book, “Death By
Government.” Since the end of World War II, Communist China
and Red Russia lead the pack when it comes to death and brutality;
however, the US government has inflicted its share of carnage as
well. For example, in Iraq and Afghanistan alone, the government
in Washington, D.C., has killed over 800,000 civilians (and this
figure is a conservative estimate noting the most credible resources
possible).

See.

Also
see
.

Plus, does
anyone remember the violence that our federal government enacted
upon the Branch Davidians outside Waco, Texas? Does anyone remember
the mother shot in the head while innocently holding her little
baby in her own home by a federal sniper near Ruby Ridge, Idaho
(after her small son was shot in the back by federal agents)? In
fact, the list of civilians who have been killed by federal law
enforcement agents over the years is a very long one. Granted, many
of these killings were done in lawful self-defense; but others amounted
to nothing less than old-fashioned murder (and never was the federal
agent who committed the murder ever brought to justice).

If one wants
to indict an “organization which advocates violence,”
then surely the central government in Washington, D.C., should be
indicted!

If Hutaree
members were indeed planning AGGRESSIVE violence against anyone
– in the government or without – they deserved to be stopped.
If, however, they were simply preparing to DEFEND THEMSELVES against
government overreach or abuse – and would only resort to violence
in an act of lawful self-defense – they committed no crime
and are but the most recent victims of federal abuse of power. This
is a question that will doubtless be determined in a court of law.

To charge,
however (as the indictment does), that Hutaree members (all 9 of
them!) planned “to levy war against the United States, [and]
to oppose by force the authority of the Government of the United
States . . .” will take some doing to make stick. As Grigg
points out, “If Hutaree was preparing for armed DEFENSE against
criminal actions by government officials, this charge is as pointless
as a broken pencil. If their efforts to ‘prevent, hinder, and
delay’ various government initiatives were confined to activism,
rather than armed conflict, they are – in that particular –
not substantially different from hundreds or thousands of other
groups.”

The entire
case against Hutaree appears to be based upon the testimony of an
FBI undercover agent inside the group. Placing agent provocateurs
inside groups such as Hutaree is a classic strategy of federal police
agencies. This part of the story was broken by the Wall Street
Journal.

See the WSJ
report
.

Using agent
provocateurs is a long-favored tactic of both the Kremlin and the
White House. Joel Skousen’s latest WORLD AFFAIRS BRIEF contains
an extremely trenchant and insightful analysis of how Russia and
the US have used – and continue to use – this tactic.

Skousen writes,
“A related tactic [to false flag operations] is the hiring
of agent provocateurs to infiltrate a group targeted for destruction
and induce radical elements of that group to perform crimes against
innocent civilians that will justify armed retaliation or arrest.
With the sudden surge in claimed terrorism in Russia and the arrest
of the radical Hutaree group in the US, it is helpful to review
the role of false flag terror attacks in Russia and the role of
agent provocateurs in the US as we analyze what’s really going
on.”

Skousen further
states, “As we move on to discuss the arrest of the radical
members of the Hutaree cult in Michigan, it is important to note
that virtually every prosecution of so-called domestic terrorism
in the past decade is owed to the infiltration of FBI informants.
While none of us in America dispute the need to gain intelligence
on real threats to national security, we have to question the propriety
of training and pressuring informants (most of which have been forced
to accept the informant assignment in lieu of a prison term for
other crimes committed) to provoke and induce angry and unstable
dissidents to commit acts of terror.

“All too
often, FBI ‘informants’ have been pressured by superiors
to go far beyond informing. They have provided weapons, explosives,
and even acted as the guiding hand to map out the strategy and tactics
for performing the deed. These things only come out reluctantly
during trial, and even then I suspect that we are never allowed
to know the full extent of these provocations.”

To receive
a sample of Joel Skousen’s WORLD AFFAIRS BRIEF or to subscribe
to this excellent newsletter (I highly recommend it), write to:
editor@worldaffairsbrief.com.

In addition,
Will Grigg states that another major component of the indictment
that is worrisome is the charge that Hutaree is guilty of “seditious
conspiracy.” As Grigg writes, “Whatever is eventually
learned about Hutaree, as things presently stand the indictment
against it could provide a template for ‘seditious conspiracy’
prosecutions involving practically any group that endorses the use
of defensive force to protect citizens against government aggression.

“Indeed,
the definition of ‘conspiracy’ used in the Hutaree indictment
could make a criminal out of anyone who reads Federalist Paper 46
in public, thereby sharing James Madison’s commendably seditious
admonition that the people preserve ‘the advantage of being
armed’ in the event that insurrection against the central government
proves necessary in order to preserve liberty.”

Let’s
look a little closer at Federalist 46, written by Founding Father,
author of the US Constitution, and America’s fourth President,
James Madison. In dispelling the fears of colonists toward a standing
federal army, Madison said in Federalist 46, “Let a regular
army, fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and
let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government; still
it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments,
with the people on their side, would be able to repel the danger.
The highest number to which, according to the best computation,
a standing army can be carried in any country, does not exceed one
hundredth part of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth
part of the number able to bear arms. This proportion would not
yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or
thirty thousand men. To these would be opposed a militia amounting
to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered
by men chosen from among themselves, fighting for their common liberties,
and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections
and confidence. It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced
could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops.”

Madison went
on to say, “Besides the advantage of being armed, which the
Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation,
the existence of subordinate governments, to which the people are
attached, and by which the militia officers are appointed, forms
a barrier against the enterprises of ambition, more insurmountable
than any which a simple government of any form can admit of. Notwithstanding
the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which
are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments
are afraid to trust the people with arms.”

Could Madison
be any clearer? He (and the rest of America’s founders) emphatically
expected the militia of the “several States” to be universally
armed against the potential encroachment on liberty by the central
government, meaning: the citizenry must at all times be prepared
to use their arms against any aggressive nature of the federal government
to trample their freedoms.

This, of course,
reinforces the founders’ intent, that the 2nd Amendment protected
the right of the people to keep and bear arms for the express purpose
of providing the citizenry with the capability to repel (with violence)
any assault against their liberties by their own federal government.

So, pray tell,
would today’s FBI categorize James Madison’s statements
in Federalist 46 as “seditious conspiracy”? If so, perhaps
we are closer to tyranny than any of us wants to admit!

Furthermore,
it is not lost to millions of Americans that this is the same federal
government (through Department of Homeland Security fusion centers)
that just recently characterized pro-lifers; people who support
the 2nd Amendment; people who oppose the United Nations and illegal
immigration; people who voted for Ron Paul or Chuck Baldwin; and
Iraq War veterans as “extremists” and potential “dangerous
militia members.”

But, once again,
the federal government – along with their propagandists in
the major news media, including its artificial authority on militias,
the ultra-liberal Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) in Montgomery,
Alabama – is able to use the Hutaree militia to demonize militias
in general, and even more damaging, to try and destroy the concept
of constitutional State militias in the minds of the American public.

Did members
of the Hutaree intend to carry out aggressive violence against law
enforcement personnel? I have no idea. Until this story broke in
the national media, I had never heard of this group. I will wait
for the facts to come out – if indeed the federal government
and national media even allow the facts to come out.

I do know this:
I do not trust the federal government to tell the truth about anything!
They did not tell the truth about the Branch Davidians at Waco;
they did not tell the truth about Randy Weaver; they did not tell
the truth about Gordon Kahl; and, if their track record is any indicator,
it is doubtful that they are telling the truth about the Hutaree
militia. But we shall see.

In the meantime,
as William Norman Grigg opines, “There’s reason to believe
that the Feds have expanded and escalated this ongoing enterprise
to exploit, and exacerbate, growing public hostility toward an increasingly
invasive and esurient government.

“Whether
it is ever demonstrated that Hutaree intended to ‘levy war’
against the U.S. government, this much is beyond serious dispute:
The Homeland Security state is unambiguously preparing for war with
the public – in fact, it has been doing so for a long time.”
[2010 column ends here]

I invite readers
to visit William
Norman Grigg’s blog
.

Well, now in
2012, the facts have all been laid bare. The Hutaree militia was
innocent of the federal government’s conspiracy charges, and
the federal government, once again, did not tell the truth. And,
furthermore, the words written by yours truly and Will Grigg seem
even more relevant today than they did two years ago, do they not?

In closing,
let me be very clear about this: I have nothing but appreciation
and respect for honest, God-fearing law enforcement personnel. I
count law enforcement personnel among my kinfolk, and I feel very
privileged to have been made an honorary deputy sheriff by my former
county sheriff. I certainly share no anti-law enforcement prejudice.
But the current trend to militarize and federalize law enforcement
is both unconstitutional and alarming. Even more alarming is the
manner in which the federal government and its toadies at the SPLC
are attempting to criminalize the expressions of freedom and constitutional
government – the same words, thoughts, and ideas expressed
by America’s Founding Fathers. To quote myself, “So, pray
tell, would today’s FBI categorize James Madison’s statements
in Federalist 46 as ‘seditious conspiracy’? If so, perhaps
we are closer to tyranny than any of us wants to admit!”

In the meantime,
congratulations to federal District Judge Victoria Roberts for representing
the court in a manner consistent with the founders’ intentions:
by using the gavel as a hammer to protect liberty rather than as
a rubber stamp to dismantle it – as so many federal judges
are inclined to do these days.

April
7, 2012

Chuck Baldwin [send
him mail
] is a talkshow host and pastor. Here
is his website.

The
Best of Chuck Baldwin


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