So this news article in and of itself, I could take or leave. It's a decent enough account presenting quotes and opinions from both sides of this trial. It doesn't seem particularly biased in one direction or another. Right now, everybody has an opinion about who is right or wrong, what they would have done differently, blah, blah, blah. That's not what bothers me in this article. What bothers me is that in a federal court these men were cleared of all charges of seditious conspiracy, they were cleared of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, they were cleared of all charges except for a couple of illegal firearms charges on only 2 of the defendants.
Here's the quote that is getting to me:
"Militia members are finding that resuming their lives isn't easy. Despite his acquittal, Michael Meeks of Manchester, Mich., said he can't open a bank account yet because the bank told him he's still on a terror watch list. Told of the troubles, McQuade didn't seem moved."It's the consequences of their actions," the prosecutor told the AP"
Their actions? Their ACTIONS?? According to a federal court of law their actions were LEGAL. According to a well respected federal judge these men were being tried on circumstantial evidence. Their actions? A judge threw the case out because they couldn't PROVE any actions. None that were illegal anyway (with the aforementioned exception of 2 defendants having illegal firearms). Now I'm not defending anyone's statements, I'm not saying all of these guys are squeaky clean boy scouts who love everything about the good ol' U.S. of A. I'm saying they were cleared of these "terrorist" charges because of lack of evidence. In spite of this they are going to be on a terror watch list. They are going to be watched by government agencies for any suspicious activity for God knows how long. They can't even get a bank account now. Their homes have been vandalized. (Hutaree leader FBI's actions validates distrust by patriots last lines) And this woman, a person who has based her career on the law says, in essence, they deserve it? "It's the consequences of their actions"? Ummm... I thought your very own court system just cleared them of any illegal actions? So it must be the action of exercising free (if controversial) speech?
I think the thing that shocks me most is my own naivety. Somewhere in my heart, I still believe/d in the United States. I really believe/d that we were innocent until proven guilty. I did not know we were guilty even when proven innocent. People, when a U.S. attorney general can make a statement like that, and even a portion of the population backs her, we're all in trouble.