May 5, 2010

To listen to right-wingers in the wake of the arrest the would-be Times Square bomber, Faisal Shazad, you'd think that every "liberal media" outlet on the planet had tried to pin the attempt on Tea Partiers. (The whining from Stuart Varney on Sean Hannity's show last night was especially high-pitched.)

I mean, where would anyone get the idea that right-wing Tea Partying extremists might potentially be involved in violent domestic terrorism?

Meanwhile, no one is reporting much on the arrest earlier this week by the FBI of Darren Huff, an Oath Keeper from Georgia who was upset by the arrest a few weeks ago of another "Patriot" believer who tried to conduct a "sovereign citizens" style arrest in Tennessee:

A Georgia man has been arrested in Tennessee--authorities say he headed to Madisonville, armed and prepared to take over the courthouse.

Darren Huff stands charged of traveling in interstate commerce with intent to incite a riot and transporting in commerce a firearm in furtherance of a civil disorder.

The FBI says Huff traveled to Tennessee armed with a pistol on his hip and an assault rifle in his truck, intent on carrying out citizen's arrests of 24 federal, state, and local officials, and on seeing that another man did not face trial for trying to do the same.

In the video above, you can see what happened on April 1: A Freeman-style "sovereign citizen" named Walter Francis Fitzpatrick -- after drafting "citizen's arrest warrants" for state, local, and federal officials -- had entered the Madison County Courthouse and attempted to make a citizen's arrest of Grand Jury Foreman Gary Pettway. (Fitzpatrick, as the WBIR story noted, "had previously tried to get the grand jury to indict President Barack Obama on charges of treason, with no success.") Instead, deputies wound up arresting Fitzpatrick, and he was charged with disorderly conduct, inciting to riot, disrupting a meeting, and resisting arrest.

This outraged Huff, a loud and proud member of the Oath Keepers who posted the video of Fitzpatrick's arrest with a rant demanding that his fellow Patriots leap into action to defend him. So on April 20, Huff headed to Madisonville with his big black pickup truck emblazoned with the "Oath Keepers" logo. In the back, he had ammo and several weapons, including a semiautomatic "assault" rifle.

Huff was pulled over in Sweetwater and detained, as you can see on the video, and later released on his recognizance. As the story explains:

The FBI interviewed a bank manager who said Huff told him on April 15 that Fitzpatrick had been falsely arrested, that Huff was in the Georgia militia, and that 8 or 9 other militia groups were headed to Madisonville on April 20 to "take over the city." The bank manager said Huff told him he'd see Huff's actions on the noon news.

FBI agents interviewed Huff at his home on April 19, and Huff said he would be traveling to Tennessee to help Fitzpatrick get the charges against him dropped. Huff told agents there would be no violence unless they were provoked into violence.

Still, he told agents he planned to travel with his Colt .45 handgun and AK-47 rifle.

Then, on April 20, officers in Madisonville reported numerous individuals in possession of openly displayed and concealed firearms, in the area around the courthouse.

FBI agents had observed Huff leaving his home around 6:15 that morning. Tennessee Highway Patrol troopers pulled him over in Sweetwater for traffic violations of traffic control device, registration law, and following too closely.

The troopers said Huff volunteered that he planned to travel to Madisonville to take over the courthouse, to arrest the people on Fitzpatrick's warrants--who he termed "domestic enemies of the United States engaged in treason"--and to turn those arrested over to state police to place in jail.

The troopers said Huff told them if they didn't have enough people on April 20 to do all they planned on that day, they'd be back in 1-2 weeks.

The troopers said Huff also told them he was ready to die for his rights and what he believed in, and that he would not consent to a search of his truck.

Then on April 21, Huff recorded a radio broadcast, talking about his traffic stop and saying he did have weapons and ammunition with him.

As a result, the FBI believes Huff had both the intent and means to carry out threats of violence.

The FBI arrested Huff in Tennessee; it appears Huff may have gone to Pettway's home on Saturday and effected his own "citizen's arrest," though details of the arrest are not clear. Huff is now out on bond.

Gee, where would anyone get the idea that white Tea Partiers might get indulge in an act of domestic terrorism?

Can you help us out?

For 18 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.