Another major right-wing "domestic terror" case goes up in smoke after a jury sees it
Despite what bluechecks (and some federal law enforcement officials) seem to believe, saying nasty things about Democratic public officials is not a crime
Remember the “plot” to “kidnap” Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer in 2020?
At the time, Whitmer was much loved by Team Apocalypse for Michigan’s Covid rules, which were among the most ridiculous and stifling in the United States. To wit, she tried to ban people with two houses from moving between them. As a Michigan newspaper explained:
Michiganders have until the end of the day Friday to choose which homes they will live in. After that, they will be subject to fines and penalties if they are violating the order by traveling between the two homes.
On a lighter note, she made stores close their gardening sections.
First they came for the garden centers…
Those were the days.
I realize those of us on Team Reality in blue states have blocked out how insane things got in spring 2020, but we shouldn’t. A governor thought she had the right to prevent people from traveling between properties that THEY owned. (That particular move had to be unconstitutional, although I think she dropped it before any suit was decided.)
Anyway, in October 2020 - conveniently close to the presidential election - the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested six nitwits - I mean high-level conspirators - for “conspiracy to kidnap the governor of Michigan.” These dudes definitely had military training, or paramilitary training, or watched some YouTube videos, at least played paintball a few times. And if not paintball, laser tag.
Hey, laser tag is intense!
Imma be honest. I didn’t play super-close attention to the case the last two years, since the FBI’s initial press release made clear it was pretty much nonsense. One of the key items in it:
“On two occasions, members of the alleged conspiracy conducted coordinated surveillance on the Governor’s vacation home.”
Wait, they drove past her vacation home? Twice, you say?
Fire up ol’ Sparky!
Also, they used “code words and phrases” on “encrypted messaging platforms.” Translation, they had a group chat! Your teenager uses “code words and phrases” in “encrypted messaging platforms” too.
Oh, and someone bought a Taser.
And they smoked a LOT of pot. Like a lot. At one point they got so high they “talked about attaching Whitmer to a kite and flying her over a lake.”
Even by the standards of FBI-enriched “terrorism,” this was thin gruel.
Nonetheless the bluechecks bluechecked hard for this one. Right-wing militias were now taking aim at elected officials!
This was the media party line for the last 18 months, despite mounting embarrassments as the case moved ahead. Those included fact that the FBI fired the lead agent on it after he was arrested FOR BEATING HIS WIFE AFTER FORCING HER TO ATTEND A SWINGERS PARTY.
True story. Can’t make it up. Fidelity, Bravery, Integrity, Gangbangery, that’s the slogan, right?
Now the case of “US v. Bored-Rightwing-Potheads” has reached its inevitable conclusion. On Thursday, a Michigan jury acquitted two of the defendants on all charges, and deadlocked on charges against two more. (The final two pled guilty and cut deals to testify; even so, prosecutors couldn’t manage a conviction.)
It all sounds like a joke. Only those four men spent 18 months in jail, and the two who weren’t acquitted were sent right back, while prosecutors decide whether to try, try again.
And so the Whitmer kidnapping takes its place in the glorious pantheon of FBI entrapment cases. Two generations ago, the bureau mainly focused on left-wing political radicals. After Sept. 11, it devoted its attention to Islamist terror. Now right-wingers get the love. The problem - at least from the point of view of an ambitious FBI agent - is that there’s just not enough real conspiracy to go around.
This time, though, the FBI has its own bluecheck rooting section. Instead of asking tough questions about whether the bureau is overreaching, as they have in the past, the media is egging it on. NBC just ran a piece complaining about
The dangerous message sent by the Gov. Whitmer kidnapping verdict
Apparently allowing criminal defendants to go to trial and defeat prosecutors is now “dangerous.” Add the Sixth Amendment to those the left no longer endorses!
At least the garden centers are back open.