Big headline at Yahoo: “Feds disrupt skinhead plot to assassinate Obama”
That’s a scary and chilling headline. But the story is a little more complicated:
Law enforcement agents have broken up a plot by two neo-Nazi skinheads to assassinateand shoot or decapitate 88 black people, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives said Monday.
In court records unsealed Monday inin Jackson, Tenn., federal agents said they disrupted plans to rob a gun store and target a predominantly African-American high school in a murder spree that was to begin in Tennessee. Agents said the skinheads did not identify the school by name.
Jim Cavanaugh, special agent in charge of ATF’s Nashville field office, said the two men planned to kill 88 people, including 14 African-Americans by beheading. The numbers 88 and 14 are symbolic in the white supremacist community.
The men also sought to go on a national killing spree after the Tennessee murders, with Obama as its final target, Cavanaugh told The Associated Press.
“They said that would be their last, final act — that they would attempt to kill Sen. Obama,” Cavanaugh said. “They didn’t believe they would be able to do it, but that they would get killed trying.”
The two men were arrested Oct. 22 by the Crockett County, Tenn., Sheriff’s Office. “Once we arrested the defendants and suspected they had violated federal law, we immediately contacted federal authorities,” said.
The men, Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tenn., and Paul Schlesselman 18, of Helena-West Helena, Ark., are being held without bond. Agents seized a rifle, a sawed-off shotgun and three pistols from the men when they were arrested. Authorities alleged the two men were preparing to break into a gun shop to steal more.
Cowart and Schlesselman are charged with possessing an unregistered firearm, conspiring to steal firearms from a federally licensed gun dealer, and threatening a candidate for president.
The investigation is continuing, and more charges are possible, Cavanaugh said.
The court records say Cowart and Schlesselman also bought nylon rope and ski masks to use in a robbery orto fund their spree, during which they allegedly planned to go from state to state and kill people.
For the Obama plot, the legal documents show, Cowart and Schlesselman “planned to drive their vehicle as fast as they could toward Obama shooting at him from the windows.”
“Both individuals stated they would dress in all white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt,” the court complaint states. “Both individuals further stated they knew they would and were willing to die during this attempt.”
The court documents say the two men met about a month ago on the Internet and found common ground in their shared “white power” and “skinhead” philosophy.
The numbers 14 and 88 are symbols in skinhead culture, referring to a 14-word phrase attributed to an imprisoned white supremacist: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” and to the eighth letter of the alphabet, H. Two “8”s or “H”s stand for “Heil Hitler.”
As I read this story, the two young men met on the Internet and allegedly hatched this plot to go on a killing spree. In furtherance of their plan they bought nylon rope and ski masks but were arrested by local authorities as they were allegedly preparing to break into a gun store. The article doesn’t say what is meant by “preparing” but they were not charged with attempted burglary, which indicates they were still in the early stages of the crime.
Now I’m not saying these guys are innocent, but there are a few things about this story that don’t seem right. According to the story, prior to attempting to assassinate Obama they men would first:
1. Steal guns from a gun store
2. Commit a robbery to fund their spree
3. Go from state to state killing people, including at least 14 African Americans
4. Dress in white tuxedos and top hats
5. “drive their vehicle as fast as they could toward Obama shooting at him from the windows.”
The men were arrested prior to completing step #1. Threatening someone requires communicating that threat to the victim or a third person. So who did these two men communicate the threat to? Furthermore, how did the police learn about the details of this alleged plot? Did the men confess to everything after they were arrested on the original charges? That seems kinda strange to me. Or did the police receive a tip from an informant who knew about the plan? If so, it makes you wonder if the informant was working for the authorities from the beginning.
Remember the “Seas Of David” group that allegedly formed a terrorist plot to blow up the Sears Tower? They were arrested with lots of fanfare by the FBI but it turned out that the Miami men had no money, weapons or explosives and the group had been infiltrated for nearly a year by two paid FBI informants posing as al-Qaeda members. The warehouse they were in had been wired for surveillance and provided rent-free by the FBI for six months, and the terrorist plots were discussed while they were smoking marijuana. The case has resulted in two hung juries and not a single conviction (one man was acquitted.)
Then there was the alleged plot to assassinate Obama in Denver that turned out to be bogus. This latest case seems awfully similar to the one in Denver, where the men were arrested on drug charges and then allegedly confessed to an elaborate assassination plot.
These two young men in Tennessee were arrested last Wednesday. So why did Yahoo and other media outlets post these attention grabbing headlines today? Didn’t we all learn from the incident last week in Pittsburgh to wait for the facts and not jump to conclusions?
Maybe it’s just all the cough syrup I drank this afternoon, but could this have something to do with it?:
We have not had a single nasty comment by an Obama follower on this site since Drudge ran the gigantic headline about Obama’s socialist agenda, and audiotape proof of it breaking.
Whenever Obama is in trouble, these people clam up.
The worse something is for Obama, the quieter his followers get.
If you read the comments over there you will see this one that was posted early today:
October 27, 2008 at 6:42 am
Watch out, whenever Teleprompter Jesus is in trouble they launch a fauxrage haka to change the subject.
This isn’t a fauxrage haka but it’s damn close.
From Jeralyn at TalkLeft:
The Complaint says both Cowart and his alleged partner Schlesselman have confessed and provided details.
Another person mentioned is Cowart’s friend, a woman named Danni Stafford. Since she wasn’t charged, I’m assuming she’s the one who dropped the dime on the two guys. According to the complaint, she agreed to assist them in a home robbery by driving the car. She drove them to the house the pair were going to rob and then drove to a waiting area. A dog and two cars scared the guys off and they called her to come back and get them. She did, they all left, and she went home.
These morans were “willing to die” in an assassination attempt but were scared off from committing robbery by two cars and a dog?