a Threeper Citadel

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In the pages of The Nation, Leonard Zeskind and Devin Burghart look at the rising militia movement--in particular, "A proposed walled city of 'patriots,' [sic] known as The Citadel [...] in mountainous Benewah County, Idaho," where a twenty-acre plot of land serves as "a starter base-camp" for the like-minded. "Whether or not the Citadel is built," the article observes, "the gathering itself is important:"

...it could become the most significant turning point in the militia and survivalist world since Timothy McVeigh bombed the Oklahoma federal building in 1995 and the FBI crackdown on armed paramilitaries that followed.

The gun nuts' activity abated somewhat during the Bush II era, but it was not to last:

After the election of President Obama, small local militias began popping up again, as the Southern Poverty Law Center and others have documented. SPLC counted 1,360 active patriot [sic] groups in 2012, many of them militias. One militia at a Georgia military base has allegedly already left two dead. In Minnesota, a militia plot allegedly included plans to bomb the National Guard armory. In Pennsylvania, a police chief created a militia and then posted two videos of himself shootng a string of weapons while yelling a string of vulgarities at Democratic Party political figures. A new generation of local survivalists is preparing for a doomsday they feel is certain to come. They do not yet constitute a movement, however. [...]

During this period of right-wing revival, in the political space created by the Tea Parties and the militias, a tendency known as the Threepers emerged into public view on March 19, 2010, when one of its principal leaders, Alabamian Mike Vanderboegh, declared on his blog: "To all modern Sons of Liberty: THIS is your time. Break their windows. Break them NOW."

The piece suggests that the Threepers "intend to be the armed wing of a larger movement of Tea Partiers and patriots [sic again]," which leads us back to their Citadel compound:

It was to be a walled city, with an outer wall and inner walls. Entry and exit are through one main gate. Three different neighborhoods are shown, along with schools, a town center, farmers market and a firearms museum. [...]

The Citadel looks like anybody's vision of a small-town utopia- except for the III Arms Company that makes up the one absolutely necessary ingredient of the whole enterprise.

"The future of the Citadel cannot be fully known at this point," the article concludes, but fear remains a strong motivator:

Much depends on Kerodin's ability to attract enough financing to buy the huge tracts of land necessary beyond the initial twenty acres already purchased. It is also not certain that building contractors, craftsmen and entrepreneurs will move to a walled city, and unclear whether county and state zoning officials and regulators will give the necessary permits. There is ample room for skepticism about this project's ultimate prospects.

What is certain, however, is that Kerodin and his fellow militiamen are building a dangerous movement of zealots, with appeals laced with predictions of violence. The gun-manufacturing operation at the center of this movement is a development without precedent in the post-World War II era. The possibility of future violence rises in direct proportion to the proliferation of weapons.

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This page contains a single entry by cognitivedissident published on September 9, 2013 8:02 PM.

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