Freaks of the Past

One more thing to add to  — oh, Guardians of America‘s cause, and the Selah man who threatened Patty Murray, and then there’s also Hutaree particularly with the last paragraph I’m posting here.  A tad bit of historical reference.
George Thayer, The Farther Shores of Politics: The Political Fringe in America Today  , 1968, from p 127-137

Robert Bolivar DePugh, a forty-four-year-old businessman from Norbourne, Missouri, is the leader of the most publicized and perhaps the largest Minuteman group in the country.  The impetus for such an organization grew out of a duck-hunting trip in 1960 when one member of the party said jokingly, refering to the interational political scene, that if worse came to worst and the Russians invaded, they — the duck hunters — could at least take to the hills and fight as a guerilla band.  DePugh and his friends took the remarks seriously. […]

DePugh records that “it came as a shock to suddenly realize that in the seventeen previous years the Communists had succeeded in taking over seventeen soveriegn nations.  We were surprised also to learn that only one had been taken over by military conquest.  The other sixteen were lost to Coummunism by internal subversion or negotations.”  Eventually DePugh and the others came to the following conclusions.  […]

4.  A Pro-American government could no longer be established by normal political means. …
5.  The minority blocs, controlled labor unions and corrupt political machines so completely monopolize the American political scene that there is no chance for the average American citizen to regain control of his own destiny at the ballot box. …
6. … any further effort, time or money spent in trying to save our country by political means would be wasted. […]
Therefore the objectives of the Minutement are to abandon useless efforts and begin immediately to prepare for the day when Americans will once again fight in the streets for their lives and their liberty.  We feel there is overwhelming evidence to prove that this day must come.

DuPugh heightens this stark pessimistic view of the political situation by larding his rhetoric and prose with a deep strain of potential violence.  The most celebrated example, and the one that brought DuPugh’s Minutemen to national attention, appeared in the 15 March 1963 issue of On Target, the group’s newssheet.  The story was directed to twenty US Congressmen who had voted against an appropriation for the House Committee on Un-American Activities, and read, in part.:

See the old man at the corner where you buy your papers?  He may have a silencer equipped pistol under his coat.  That extra fountain pen in the pocket of the insurance salesman that calls on you might be a cyanide gas gun.  What about your milkman?  Arsenic works slow but sure.  Your automobile mechanic may stay up nights studying your booby traps.
These patriots are not going to let you take your freedom away from them.  They have learned the silent knife, the strangler’s cord, the rifle that hits sparrows at 200 yeards.  Only their leaders restrain them.
Traitors beware!  Even now the cross-hairs are on the back of your necks.

Once the Communists have taken over, he sees a long internal struggle between the left and the right.  “In other words, this may be a long period of assassination and counter-assassination, of terror and counter-terror.  In this I feel we have one big edge because we feel that our knowledge of the left wing is far greater than their knowledge of the right wing, so far as identities are concerned.” […]

As for security, DePugh has many suggestions.  “Use deceptive measures,” he advises: subscribe to left-wing periodicals to keep an eye on your opposition (this, adds DuPugh, “will keep the postal inspector guessing as to which side you are really on”); use two envelopes in sending mail, never put a return address on the outside one, send the letter indirectly, perferably through a friend; place opaque material such as tin foil inside the envelope to keep the letter “from being read by infra-red cameras”; prepare telephone codes in advance; make sure a prospective recruit is not an infiltrator before identifying yourself as a member; undercover Minutemen should not fraternize with known Minutemen; do not write patriotic letters to newspapers; classify all correspondence “top secret,: “secret,” or “restricted”; prepare rendezvous points and mail drops and change them frequently; contribute money to Minutemen with cash; observe the “need to know” rule; keep records in code; avoid being followed, take evasive action if necessary; and so on. […]

When it comes to guerilla exercises in the woods, DePugh turns silent.  His reticence is due to a combination of factors: he no doubt revels in the mystery which he can draw, he quite justifiably fears legal reprisals; and finally, and most important of all, he fears ridicule that would destroy his group for good.

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