“People have completely forgotten that in 1972 we had over nineteen hundred domestic bombings in the United States.” — Max Noel, FBI (ret.)(I have heard Dennis Prager say the same thing).
...A reminder: during this period Weatherman is being hunted by the FBI. So how are they staying fed, sheltered, alive? Part of it is fake I.D.s. The other part of Weatherman staying alive and free is: they are being funded and supported by the National Lawyers’ Guild.
I just want to emphasize this: radical lawyers are literally giving fugitive domestic terrorists who are still bombing money and support.
And it’s harder for hippies to sneak bombs into places. What’s great cover? Parents with children. Weatherman used radical lawyers’ kids. Dohrn actually convinced a radical lawyer’s wife to leave her husband and take the kids and go under with the Weather Underground.
Weatherman bombed the Pentagon in ’72, but by 1974, they’re fighting among themselves, arguing about feminism (hence their name change to Weather Underground). And this is where Weather Underground becomes incredibly relevant to 2016 again: because they decided to re-enter mainstream politics. To do this, they decided, they would take over the radical left, and use that as wedge/entry point to change society.
...Everything goes smoothly in Weather’s plan until the PFOC conference happens, which looks stunningly like what we’re seeing emerge in today’s Democratic party politics. The white leftist elites (Weather) are stunned to discover that the diverse radicals (black, American Indian, Puerto Rican) they’ve imagined leading actually have opinions of their own, and perfectly rational desires for their own power, and no desire to be ruled by Weather’s upper-crust radicals.
...Institutions are one of two major assets that the Left has and the Right lacks. The other is Shock Troops.
...What if fanatics made a serious and nearly successful attempt on the life of the President of the United States?
What if those fanatics got into the Capitol building and committed a mass shooting on Congress while it was in session?
What if those fanatics conducted bombing sprees, for years, in multiple American cities?
And what if people really did do every one of those things, and you’d never heard of them? That’s the story of Puerto Rican separatists.
...FALN had an amazing set-up in the hard left. Not only were they trained in bomb-making by Weather Underground, they had possibly the best Institution any radical group has ever had: the Episcopal Church.
...Puerto Rican terrorists were being paid thousands of dollars by the Episcopal Church. Like cannibalizing and repurposing a nonprofit. It may be the greatest Institution in American radical history. FALN was literally using a charity run by the Episcopal Church as a front.
...Their bombmaker returned to them, FALN embarked on a new campaign of robberies, bombing, and interfering with elections.
Wait, what? Yeah. In 1980, the FALN attacked the NYC campaign HQ of George H.W. Bush in an effort to destroy voter-registration lists. Another team smashed up the Carter-Mondale HQ in Chicago. The FALN even threatened delegates to the party conventions. Nobody remembers!
Let me ask you a question: how the hell did I not know this story? Forget the presidential assassination attempt. Forget the mass shooting in the Congressional chamber. Just look at the FALN stuff: a years-long bombing campaign in multiple American cities, by perpetrators trained and initiated by a foreign power. A terrorist organization that parasitized a church so effectively, it got the church infrastructure to act on its behalf. A stunning escape from custody almost too astounding to believe.
Why is this not a movie? Why is this not two or three movies? This story is amazing! And it’s just totally memory-holed. Here’s how memory-holed it is: I didn’t even know that, in 1999, seeking Puerto Rican voter support in New York for HRC’s senate run, President Clinton offered clemency to 16 imprisoned FALN. 14 accepted. Congress condemned it at the time. But people remember the Mark Rich pardon. Not FALN.
...That’s everything I want to cover from Days of Rage. There’s more in it. Buy the book; read it; you won’t regret it. It’s amazing history.
But it’s the implications of Bryan Burrough’s book that scare the willies out of me.
I am afraid that the United States is in for political violence in 2017. It could be as bad as or worse than the 1970s. I have some ideas as to what some of it may look like. It really isn’t pleasant to think about.
...Let’s not mince words: the United States of America is currently engaged in a cold Civil War.
In North Carolina, the Republican governor lost re-election, so the Republican legislature convened a special session to limit powers of the post. Democrats nationwide howled with justified outrage; as we all know, legislators who dislike a governor should flee the state to block quorum, facilitate occupation of government buildings by mobs, and have allies execute secret raids on homes on the governor’s supporters. All of those are things that the Democrats did to oppose a Republican governor in Wisconsin, and the Democrats were pretty cool with it.Read more here.
...The mental model we have for domestic terrorism in 2017 is shaped by what scares us: mass shooters and jihad. ’70s radicals were different. ’70s radicals wanted to get away with their crimes. They wanted to avoid detection, they didn’t want to get arrested, and they didn’t want to die. Most ’70s bombers had no moral objection to killing people, but they also didn’t go to any great lengths to maximize body count. That’s pretty different from 21st-century mass shooters (who tend suicidal) & jihadists (for whom a high body count is part of the message).
...The way I see it, domestic conflict in the United States could operate in basically four stages:
cold Civil War
targeted political violence, mostly short of murder
political violence with murder as the default
Civil War II
The United States should start seriously talking about National Divorce before we get to stage 3.
...The truth: the Left is a lot more organized & prepared for violence than the Right is, and has the advantage of a mainstream more supportive of it.
...Imagine an abortion clinic bomber getting a comfortable job at an elite university.
Outrageous, right? No way the Right could get away with that. But the Left does! And the press gives them cover.
...How extremists really get mainstreamed: because the extremists have organization, logistics, and manpower that the mainstream finds useful.
...Mainstream Lefties happily go to protests they favor that are organized by the literal Stalinists of ANSWER & the Worker’s World Party. Why? The commies are really good at getting people signs and making sure there are enough port-a-potties. When you’re great at organizing signs & port-a-potties, Lefties overlook that you’re into an ideology that murdered a hundred million people.
So how far would this go? Would mainstream Nazi-hating Righties be ok w/ literal Nazis on the street fighting squads that keep them safe?
... any righty organization designed from the ground up to be violent is doomed to fail.
What this means: hard Left violence will be coordinated. Hard Right violence will be distributed.
...If you notice who Lefties really tend to go after, it’s two kinds of people:
Righties who might be growing in popularity and/or influence, to make them radioactive and make others afraid to associate with them
regular people, who have employment and social fragility, to make them scared to admit WrongThink.
...So Lefties will target more people on top and on bottom, status-wise. Righties will target more in the middle, go for the Lefty NCO corps. That’s because the biggest impact the Right can make at this stage of conflict is to destroy, damage, or neutralize Lefty Institutions. But Lefty Institutions are massive cultural power centers. Universities, Media, Bureaucracies, Organizations/Foundations, Cities.
The Right is not big enough or organized enough to really destroy Lefty Institutions. Like the Left, they’ll be looking to intimidate people out of the game and take away enemy tools. Example: Institutional and media bias means radical Leftist tactics are accepted, which means radical Leftist tactics become normalized. Ergo, the only way the Right can delegitimize Lefty tactics is to use them, at which point they’ll become The Worst Things Ever Done By Man. My guess is the Right will start using Leftist tactics against members of Leftist Institutions: “This is what you ordered. Eat it.”
...Let’s recap and wind up:
The Left wants to disrupt the Right’s power, organizations, celebrations.
The Right is sick of Leftist disruption and wants to punish it with force.
The hard Left has an effective infrastructure. The hard Right is looking to build one.
The hard Left will use the tactics it’s already using.
The hard Right will use Leftist tactics, at which point the Press will become very interested in denormalizing those tactics.