Group Allied With Ginni Thomas' Think Tank Threatens Armed Insurrection
Liberty Central, the think tank founded and fronted by Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, sure seems to like men with guns.
It was troubling enough to find, as AlterNet reported last week, that Liberty Central is allied with Gun Owners of America. (Our call for comment to Liberty Central's spokesperson was never returned.)
Further exploration of the Liberty Central Web site finds the group claiming among its "friend" organizations the Missouri Sovereignty Project, whose Web site features a video (posted below) called "Don't Tread on Me" that shows several libertarian and right-wing figures threatening armed insurrection against the government if certain unspecified actions are taken. There is talk of usurpation of the people's power by the state.
Among them is Michael Badnarik, the 2004 Libertarian Party presidential candidate. The words, "WHAT SIDE WILL YOU STAND?" appear in gold on a black screen, and then Badnarik appears.
"I sincerely hope that enough people have crossed the personal line in the sand where they will join forces with the rest of us," Badnarik says, "so that a small number of us are not required to use force and use of arms."
Later in the video, which is a trailer for a full-length DVD, a man who is not identified but appears to be standing in front of a government building, says, "The time when you have to defend yourself from the government is when the law becomes lawless…" After a few frames of a hip-looking woman with pink hair saying that she will never "take a mandatory vaccination," the editor takes us back to the scene of the man in front of the government building. "There might be shootin' that day," he says.
The Missouri Sovereignty Project promotes its own involvement with the film and urges Web site visitors to purchase a copy, with this line appearing above the video player:
The Missouri Sovereignty Project was privileged to be part of this excellent production. Go here to buy your copy.
The film was written by William Lewis and Gary Franchi, directed by Lewis and produced by Franchi. They're the team that brought you the film, " Camp FEMA," a propaganda vehicle for a favorite right-wing conspiracy theory that asserts the government is creating internment camps for the unlawful detention of ordinary Americans.
Both "Camp FEMA" and "Don't Tread on Me" feature 9/11 truther Alex Jones. (Lewis has two 9/11-themed productions of his own, "911 Ripple Effect," and "911 In Plane Site.") But more fascinating -- and disturbing -- than that is what his latest endeavor, "Don't Tread on Me", tells us about what's going on in state legislatures around the country.
"Don't Tread on Me" features four Missouri state legislators and one Oklahoma state senator who appear to be allied with the Patriot movement and comfortable with a call to arms.
Really, should the spouse of a Supreme Court Justice -- one of the most powerful government officials in the United States -- be fronting an organization officially allied with groups that state their support for taking up arms against the government?
As we reported last week, Larry Pratt, executive director of Liberty Central "friend" Gun Owners of America, recently appeared to call for war on the U.S. government at 2nd Amendment rally convened on the grounds of the Washington Monument on April 19th -- the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. (Pratt also addressed a meeting of white supremacists in 1992.)
Yes, it's Ginni Thomas' First Amendment right to associate with whomever she pleases, and it's the right of all of her organization's featured "friends" to state their views. But is this a morally okay thing? Isn't it a kind of dangerous thing? Then why no outcry from progressives over this?
Liberty Central is the latest addition to what I call Tea Party Inc. -- the coalition of AstroTurf groups, right-wing media and insider king-makers bent on harnessing the energy of the grassroots Tea Party movement. Tea Party Inc. has oodles and oddles of money that it's dying to spend in the upcoming 2010 election, and in all sorts of activities (like the 2nd Annual September 12 Taxpayers' March on Washington).
As Politico's Kenneth P. Vogel reported last week, Ginni Thomas says she's seeking, through Liberty Central, to bridge the gap between the grassroots Tea Party movement and the established players in Washington politics.
The big money groups of Tea Party Inc. have so far pledged to spend at least $61 million in the congressional mid-term elections. Does anybody care that the lady building the bridge between them and the grassroots has a power pedigree and is aligned with armed, anti-government forces?
Here's the trailer for "Don't Tread on Me," as featured on the Web site of the Missouri Sovereignty Project, which is listed as a "friend" of Liberty Central, the think tank headed by Ginni Thomas.The people interviewed in the trailer are not identified on-screen, but the cast list is as follows: Alex Jones, Michael Badnarik, Oklahoma State Rep. Charles Key, Richard Mack, R.J. Harris, Edwin Vieira, Missouri State Rep. Cynthia Davis, Missouri State Senator Brian Neives, Missouri State Senator Gary Nodler, Missouri State Senator Jim Lembke, Stephen Shute, Jason Littlejohn, Randy Stufflebeam, Justin Sane, Josh Carter, Tom DeWeese Thomas Grady, James Lane and Tracy Ward.