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Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

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The same week a man with ties to a far-right anti-government group showed up with a gun strapped to his thigh at a New Hampshire town hall meeting where President Obama was speaking on health reform, a watchdog organization released a report documenting a surge among right-wing militias motivated in part by the election of an African-American president.

"The Second Wave: Return of the Militias" was released Wednesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group based in Montgomery, Ala. that monitors hate activity nationwide. It found that almost a decade after largely fading from view, far-right militias are re-appearing in worrisome numbers.

"This is the most significant growth we've seen in 10 to 12 years," according to one unnamed law enforcement authority quoted in SPLC's report. "All it's lacking is a spark."

The day before the report's release, William Kostric showed up with a gun outside the New Hampshire meeting carrying a sign that read, "It is time to water the tree of liberty," a reference to Thomas Jefferson's quote that the "tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants" -- the same quote that was on a T-shirt worn by far-right terrorist Timothy McVeigh on the day in 1995 he bombed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, an attack that killed 168 people and injured another 680. Kostric's action, it should be noted, broke no laws.

The Arizona Republic reports that Kostric is a "team member" of the Arizona chapter of the We the People Foundation, a group whose website claims the U.S. Republic and Constitution are in danger and that questions the U.S. citizenship of President Obama. The group was founded by Robert Schulz, a prominent figure in the far-right tax protest movement.

In its report, SPLC offers examples of the far-right's resurgence, including a gathering of anti-government activists in Pensacola, Fla., where a retired FBI agent named Ted Gunderson told attendees that the federal government has set up 1,000 internment camps across the country and is storing 30,000 guillotines and a half-million caskets in Atlanta in preparation for a mass killing of dissenters. Gunderson has long promoted conspiracy theories involving widespread satanic ritual abuse of children by U.S. government agents.

SPLC's report also points to a so-called "American Grand Jury" that assembled outside Atlanta and issued an "indictment" of Obama for fraud and treason, alleging he wasn't born in the United States and thus is illegally occupying the White House. The claim that the president is not a U.S. citizen has been repeatedly debunked and dismissed in legitimate courts of law by judges considering lawsuits that sought to challenge his qualifications to serve as president.

But the idea that the president is foreign-born continues to be promoted by by prominent pundits and politicians. They include the 11 Republican House members co-sponsoring the so-called "birther bill"  (H.R. 1503) that in response to the controversy over Obama's birthplace would require future presidential candidates to submit a copy of their birth certificate to the Federal Election Commission. The bill's primary champion is Rep. Bill Posey (R-Fla.), and the co-sponsors are Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Dan Burton (R-Ind.), John Campbell (R-Calif.), Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and six Congressmen from Texas --  John R. Carter, John Culberson, Louie Gohmert, Kenny Marchant, Randy Neugebauer, and Ted Poe.

SPLC calls on all Americans -- and especially law enforcement officers -- to take seriously the potential dangers of the militant far-right's resurgence.

"This is equally true for the politicians, pundits and preachers who, through pandering or ignorance, abet the growth of a movement marked by a proven predilection for violence," it says.

(Photo from SPLC's website)

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re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

The "right wing militias" are patriotic defenders of America. There were hundreds of other people with guns that you failed to mention. Every law enforcement person carried one. It bothers me that there is some crazy presumption that because they have a badge, they are more trustworthy.

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

So easy for Obama to get rid of this controversy and remove a major talking point from the far right -- simply release his birth certificate (in addition to his COLB).

What is he afraid of?

Where's the birth certificate?

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

The misinformation that the ironically named Rationalist puts forth is debunked in the Snopes.com article I link to in the story. Here's that link again:

http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/birthcertificate.asp

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

Sue,

Again, what is Obama afraid of?

(The article doesn't seem to address that question at all.)

Why rely on mere indirect evidence when the direct source would prove everything conclusively?

There seems to be a lot fear out there about Obama's birth certificate among Obama supporters -- why else would they insist he should *NOT* release it?

Perhaps the question above should be "What are Obama's supporters afraid of?"

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

A helpful summary of the birth certificate matter from Wikipedia:

The Obama campaign released a 2007 certified copy of his Certification of Live Birth (sometimes incorrectly called a "short form") that states Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961. A common complaint of those questioning Obama's eligibility is that he has not released a photocopy of his original birth certificate (in this instance incorrectly called a "long form"), having only issued an official certification of live birth (what Hawaii deems equivalent to one's "Birth Certificate" upon request).[7] Asked about this, Department of Health Spokeswoman Janice Okubo stated that Hawaii "does not have a short-form or long-form certificate."[8] Moreover, the director of her Department has confirmed that the state holds Obama's "original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures."[9][10]

I would also note that Hawaii is currently governed by a Republican administration. That means the conspiracy theory Rationalist is trying to sell here involves not only a forged birth certificate being covered up by GOP state officials but also a birth announcement placed in a newspaper by a Hawaii state agency in 1961 in order to help a newborn become president 47 years in the future.

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

Long live the second amendment! and the right of secession! Just because slaveholders once failed to secede doesn't mean modern non-slaveholders can't!!!! Thus the left could bid the right good riddance as will as the right being rid of the left.

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

Roger Calero, Presidential candidate for the Socialist Workers' Party, was completely forthright and honest about having been born in Nicaragua. Yet, Calero got on the ballot in several states. Unless the Posey bill is passed, there is no formal vetting procedure for Presidential eligibility. Everything is taken on faith--a dangerous thing. Thanks to Hawai'is very idiosynchratic law on birth records, the Certificate Of Live Birth does not conclusively 'prove' Obama's birthplace. The Obama has also given inconsistent statements about his birthplace: was it Kapi'olani, or Queens? Additionally, the newspaper birth anouncement listing his mother's alleged home has been revealed as a fraud (after a title search). Nor has Obama released his records from his Senate days. Among other things, these would show what lobbyists he met with. As much as his birthplace, THIS should be a cause for concern among the 'left', usually so wary of corporate influence. Obama was very candid about things like cocaine use, so what is he hiding?

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

Adam uses questionable information to raise questions about the legitimacy of Obama's presidency. Anyone interested in glimpsing the reality of Obama's original birth certificate on file in Hawaii by people who have actually seen, touched and photographed it should check out the story at the Annenberg Public Policy Center's FactCheck.org here:

http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/born_in_the_usa.html

And if you're interested in the facts around the birth address, click here:

http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2009/04/obama-birth-announcement-false/

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

Sue,

So many people do not seem to be hearing the discussion. Sigh.

The point is *NOT* about releasing the "Certification of Live Birth (COLB)." The point *IS* about releasing the vault copy of the birth certificate itself -- the primary source, not secondary or deriviative sources.

It's very easy to do. Much easier (in terms of politcal costs) than not doing so.

*WHY* is Obama afraid of doing so?

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

"Rationalist," it is you who seems unwilling to hear facts that don't support your theories. If you were to actually read the FactCheck.org report I linked to earlier, you would know that the "vault copy" of the birth certificate has been repeatedly verified:

FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate. We conclude that it meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship. Claims that the document lacks a raised seal or a signature are false. We have posted high-resolution photographs of the document as "supporting documents" to this article. Our conclusion: Obama was born in the U.S.A. just as he has always said.

You can see FactCheck.org's images of the document here. The director of Hawaii's Department of Health and the state's Registrar of Vital Statistics have also personally verified that the state is in possession of Obama's original birth certificate.

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

Sue,

I didn't realize I had postulated any theories. I didn't realize I had questioned any facts.

If the Obama's original birth certificate has been verified, then Obama (and his supporters) should have no problem with the certificate being released.

So why the fear?

Why defend not releasing it?

Release it and move on.

It's the very act of not releasing the certificate that has
millions of Americans in doubt.

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

From Politifact.com:

On Oct. 31, 2008, Dr. Chiyome Fukino, director of the Hawaii Department of Health, issued this statement: "There have been numerous requests for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama’s official birth certificate. State law prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record.

"Therefore I, as director of health for the state of Hawaii, along with the registrar of Vital Statistics who has statutory authority to oversee and maintain these type of vital records, have personally seen and verified that the Hawaii State Department of Health has Sen. Obama's original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures.

"No state official, including Gov. Linda Lingle, has ever instructed that this vital record be handled in a manner different from any other vital record in the possession of the state of Hawaii."

Even the governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle, a Republican who at the time was stumping for John McCain, said it was on the up-and-up.

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

Though I disagree with the slant of this site I do appreciate that you are apparently not censoring comments for disagreement. If you support freedom of speech on your site there's hope you will eventually support all the other cherished liberties.

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

Sue,

"Even the governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle, a Republican who at the time was stumping for John McCain, said it was on the up-and-up."

So Obama should have no problem releasing the vault copy of his birth certificate.

What is Obama afraid of?

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

Is it Obama's to release? My understanding is that the document is under the control of Hawaii, where as Dr. Fukino noted state law prohibits the release of a certified birth certificate to persons who do not have a tangible interest in the vital record. But we can rest assured knowing that opposition party officials as well as objective reporters have confirmed its existence and provided us with images of it. It's now time to put this birth certificate obsession to rest and move on to the real issues affecting our country.

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

I believe Obama could allow the vault certificate to be released if he wanted to.

As a start, he (or his office) could simply announce that he would like the document released. Then fill out any necessary paperwork or whatever mechanics are required.

He is an "interested party."

As an extreme case, he could allow one of the various law suits to proceed and allow a subpoena to fetch the document. I doubt that would be necessary.

The very fact that Hawaii maintains the documents implies that they are somehow available. (Otherwise, why put up with the expense of storing them?)

It's now time to put this birth certificate obsession to rest and move on to the real issues affecting our country

I totally agree. I believe it's to everyone's advantage to have the document released. Then we can move on.

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

Rationalist has helpfully demonstrated that the fact of Obama's birthplace -- which has been firmly established as Hawaii -- is not what he and his fellow "birthers" are interested in.

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

Sue,

Huh? What is it you believe I am interested in?

I believe I am interested in Obama's releasing the primary document (as opposed to secondary and deriviative artifacts) so the country can move on.

Again, if Obama believes that his birth place has been so firmly established, he should have no fear of releasing his vault copy.

Why is Obama afraid to release his vault birth certificate?

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

Beware of capitalists in USA and in the world. Capitalists are not democratic, and because most people hate capitalism, they (Capitalists) know that they can't win elections. So what they do is that they try to rise to power thru violent means, either thru coup de etats or thru electoral coups like Bush in 2000 and in 2004.

.

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

FactCheck.org staffers have now seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate.

Sue Sturgis, this is a deliberately misleading statement by FactCheck. They're actually talking about the 2007 short form computer printout that they post on their site, not the 1961 original long form signed by doctors and other actual witnesses. If you read further down in their article, you'll see that they mention the long form and say that the State of Hawaii refused to explain why they don't offer it as proof of birth.

The Hawaii official are also engaged in deception. Note that they say things like they have the original "on record" -- without saying that they actually examined it, or that it says where Obama was born.

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

The CIA is responsible for the Militia Movement. They are organizing all the meetings and creating all the websites that people are signing up with, and giving their personal information to. They are trying to bring them out! They are going to put these people under mind control and make them commit crimes! The movement is a CIA Mind Control experiment! Look at the repetition of the messages they are putting out there. Just listen to Alex Jones, Glenn Beck, or the Tea Party movement, ALL CIA DISINFORMATION, DESIGNED TO BRING OUT AND CONTROL THE OPPOSITION (AND GET THEM INTO DEEP DOO DOO). THIS IS FOR REAL!!!

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

continued....the CIA is looking for people with LAND, BANK ACCOUNTS, and CHILDREN. THEY WANT ALL OF THE ABOVE AND THEY ARE TAKING IT RIGHT UNDER OUR NOSES. THEY HAVE KILLED COUNTLESS AMERICANS WHO WERE PAYING MORTGAGES, AND THEY TOOK DOWN THE STOCK MARKET.

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

I'm not worried about his birth records. I am beginning to worry about the divide between Blacks and Whites brought on with the arrogant behavior of the President toward Whites, the disproportionate appointments of predomidently Blacks to Posts and Czars. and expanding Hate-crime laws.Hate comes in ALL colors. Then you have Ms. Pelosi calling Americans who protest against her beliefs...Nazis! As a Democrat, I've protested almost everything for the last 8 years. Why does the first African American President want to go down in History beside G.W.Bush? We Southerners are still cricitized for being inbred slave owners. When actually, only about the top 1 percent could afford to buy and keep slaves. Sound familiar? Blacks are doing very well right now, when they want to.Graduating from High School would be a good start. I dont question Obama's birth in America; but I'm starting to doubt his love and loyalty for ALL Americans. You know...the ones of us who elected him (that are not minority). I'm beginning to think that the Republicans hired Obama to destroy the Democrat Party. When a Southern Jew, married to a Mexican is beginning to have doubts, The Democrats are getting in hot water. Bye Y'all!

re: Watchdog warns of far-right militia resurgence

Sue, did you just quote the "Annenberg Public Policy Center's Fact Check"?

You may have just lost a lot of credibility.

They have been debunked.

Quoting them is like quoting a militia's site.

Both are biased.