Add Idaho bomb-builder to list of violent extremists inspired by Glenn Beck
Well, you can add another name to the list of violent nutcases inspired to act by Glenn Beck -- this time, a northern Idaho militiaman arrested last summer for building grenades at his home in the Panhandle. From Meghann Cuniff at the Spokesman-Review:
A self-described militia leader pleaded guilty this week to federal gun charges connected to a grenade manufacturing operation at his trailer in Spirit Lake, Idaho.
Kenneth B. Kimbley Jr., 58, discussed bombing local bridges with an undercover federal agent and made threatening statements toward President Barack Obama, leading investigators last July to seize 20,000 ammunition rounds and several firearms from Kimbley’s property, where he and other suspected militia members gathered to construct grenades, according to court documents.
Kimbley, who remains in federal custody, pleaded guilty to Monday to unlawful possession of a firearm and attempt to make a firearm in violation of the National Firearms Act. He faces up to 10 years in prison when he’s sentenced Feb. 22.
... An undercover agent said Kimbley described himself as the leader of the “Brotherhood of America Patriots” militia and said “he would kill members of his group that did not follow orders,” according to court documents.
Kimbely reportedly described extensive booby traps he’d built and said his militia’s purpose “was to resist in the event the government started rounding up the patriots” and to resist foreign invasions or societal breakdowns.
His public defender, Kim Deater, did not return a phone call seeking comment. In court documents, she described Kimbley as a nonthreatening man who has passionate political views.
Though prosecutors have emphasized his militia ties and his dislike for Obama, Kimbley “made absolutely no threats to harm anyone at anytime,” Deater wrote in court documents.
“In fact, everything said by Mr. Kimbley is no different than what his idol, TV commentator Glenn Beck, typically states on the air and is protected free speech.”
This is now the third such case, following Byron Williams, the would-be Tides Foundation terrorist, and Richard Poplawski, the Pittsburgh cop-killer who believed, thanks to Glenn Beck, that authorities were going to take his guns away.
As Leah Nelson at SPLC's Hatewatch notes:
The connection between Kimbley’s beliefs and Beck’s provocative on-air statements seems clear, especially his fear that the government plans to round up and intern liberty-loving Americans, a fear that was also expressed by Poplawski and Byron.
Moreover, this is now the fourth violent incident in which Fox News' mainstreaming of extremism played a significant role:
Make no mistake: Glenn Beck has been inciting acts of terrorist violence, and the Byron Williams case clearly establishes it -- even though it is far from the first such case. It in fact was preceded by several similar cases in which the dehumanizing rhetoric, scapegoating and conspiracist smears promoted by Fox clearly played a powerful role in the violence that ensued:
-- Jim David Adkisson's shooting attack on a Knoxville Unitarian church. Adkisson left behind a manifesto that repeated numerous right-wing talking points generated by Fox commentators and specifically cited a Bernard Goldberg book. His library at home was stocked with books by Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage.
-- Richard Poplawski's shooting of three Pittsburgh police officers, because he believed a conspiracy theory that President Obama intended to take Americans' guns away from them, and he reportedly believed the cops had arrived to carry it out. Poplawski, a white supremacist, liked to post Beck videos about FEMA concentration camps to the Stormfront comments board.
-- Scott Roeder's assassination of Dr. George Tiller. Roeder was heavily involved in Operation Rescue and avidly read its newsletters -- which featured weekly pieces from Bill O'Reilly, including several attacking Tiller as a "baby killer" -- and its website, which liked to feature O'Reilly videos attacking Dr. Tiller. Indeed, O'Reilly had indulged a high-profile and unusually obsessive (not to mention vicious) jihad against Tiller, resulting in 42 such attacks on Tiller, 24 of which referred to him generically as a "baby killer."