So, did you guys hear we caught a terrorist last week?
Being that it is part of my actual job, I tend to read a lot of news. A wide variety of it, from many different sources. So, when something important happens, like the girl who played Stephanie Tanner on Full House goes to pick up her dry cleaning, or the FBI arrests someone for terrorism, it is usually something I find out about very quickly. However, I somehow managed to not hear a single word about Robert James Talbot, Jr. being arrested for terrorism last week. Which is weird because usually, when the FBI arrests someone for terrorism, it ends up all over the damn news.
We hear about it everywhere, from everyone– pundits biting their nails and wondering how we will ever feel safe again, people on the street raging against random strangers who happen to share the physical characteristics, religion, or political sentiment of the bastard who wanted to endanger the lives of our American citizens.
Not only that, but we usually end up rearranging our whole lives to account for what said terrorist was trying to do. I mean, we still have to awkwardly take our shoes off at the airport because one dude tried to hide a bomb in his shoe.
But Robert James Talbot, Jr. gets arrested for terrorism and I don’t see a thing about it until days later, until this weekend when I happened upon this article from the Southern Poverty Law Center. So weird! In fact, most of the other articles I’ve been able to find are from local Texas news sources. Very few national outlets have even bothered with the story.
Talbot is a white, radical right-wing conservative who was arrested by the FBI on charges of “attempted interference with commerce by robbery, solicitation to commit a crime of violence and possession of an explosive material.”
He set up a Facebook page, “American Insurgent Movement” in order to recruit five or six like-minded folks for what he called a “a Pre-Constitutionalist Community that offers those who seek True patriotism and are looking for absolute Freedom by doing the Will of God. Who want to restore America Pre- Constitutionally and look forward to stopping the Regime with action by bloodshed.” People, whom he said, must be willing to walk away from their lives to “stop the regime.” His plan was to rob banks to fund his revolution, and then also blow up mosques. He claimed to have already cased several Bank of Americas.
He wasn’t shy about his intentions, and even brazenly posted the following messages to the group’s Facebook page:
“Liberty movement starts this summer for those who are up for anything. Email the admin if your [sic] interested in walking away from your life (we have weapons if you need a weapon) to stop the Regime. We always will be recruiting. …You will be giving your life for a greater nation restoring liberty and the Lord himself. Stopping the New World Order and banking cartels.”
“That is exactly what I will have my men do during the heist. Same goes with the Muslims. Mosques are to be a blast! With three of my guys with FA [full automatic] AK’s [AK-47 semi-automatic rifles], we will send that white house worthless piece of dirt and his Muslim brotherhood a message they will never forget.”
And on March 15th…
“In a few weeks me and my team are going active for Operation Liberty. I will not be able to post no more. We will be the revolution, things will happen nationwide or in the states. They will call us many names and spin things around on media. Just remember we fight to stop Marxism, liberalism, Central banking Cartels and the New World Order.”
He was arrested after meeting with three undercover FBI agents who were pretending to be interested in helping him rob an armored car, and providing him with C-4 explosives. He also told the undercover agents that he planned to locate and kill a police officer who arrested him for drunk driving.
Now, call me crazy, but I have a feeling that if Talbot had been, instead, a Muslim man plotting to blow up Christian churches, that this is something that would have made the news cycle, in pretty heavy rotation. Despite the fact that two people with a similar ideology once committed one of the most tragic incidents of terrorism on U.S. soil, it is highly unlikely that other like-minded folks–like Larry Klayman and friends–will be put on the do-not-fly list anytime soon.
It’s unlikely that there will be any talk about how Fox News, Alex Jones and other right-wing news outlets are inciting potential terrorists by convincing them that they are actually under attack.
You can say that it wasn’t news because he was caught before going through with it, but shoe-guy was caught before he went through with it as well, and we certainly heard a lot about that.