Friday, February 19, 2010

The Joe Stack Tragedy - UPDATED!!

I've been preoccupied by the left's campaign of personal destruction against American Power. So frankly, I haven't had time to really follow the Joe Stack story. What I have noticed is that just as expected, leftists couldn't wait to use the tragedy to attack anti-tax activists and the tea party movement. And I don't have a problem with that, for the most part. Clearly the man had political motives, for no one would fly a plane into an IRS building without some deep-seated grievances. And sadly, lives were lost. It's big news. And I know there's a suicide note, etc., but I'll take a closer look at that later, as well as some of the other information available.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times has the straight news report, "
Suicide Pilot Crashes Into Building in Texas Housing IRS Offices."

And also, from ABC News, "
Texas Plane Crash: Wife of Joe Stack Calls Attack 'Unimaginable Tragedy': Authorities Investigating Whether Explosives on Plane When it Crashed" (via Memeorandum):

The wife of the suicidal Texas pilot who slammed his plane into an Austin office building called the attack today an "unimaginable tragedy."

Sheryl Stack, who was mentioned in the hate-filled suicide note thought to have been left by her husband, issued a statement extending "my sincerest sympathy to the victims and their families."

"Words cannot adequately express my sorrow or the sympathy I feel for everyone affected by this unimaginable tragedy," she said.

Sheryl Stack said she would not answer any questions because of the ongoing investigation.

The sheer volume of flames and smoke pouring from the Austin office building after A. Joseph Stack slammed into with his plane has prompted authorities to investigate whether he had some kind of explosive on board, sources told ABC News.

Stack, 53, topped off his single engine Piper Cherokee with fuel before crashing into the IRS offices in a kamikaze mission designed to punish the government he believed wronged him.

The full tank of fuel is believed to have contributed to the force of the explosion and subsequent fire, which investigators believe was probably a deliberate tactic by Stack.
As for the politicization, Matthew Yglesias has a comment. And Spencer Ackerman responds with an encore of his total lack of seriousness:

We can’t just play defense in this fight. What Yglesias fails to understand is that the ideology Stack subscribed to is the problem. All across the country are sleeper cells preaching hatred of the tax code, gathering in public to denounce the results of a democratic election and sow the seeds of sectarian violence. They even have a major television network sympathetic to their sick agenda. The threat is there for all to see.

The proper response is to go on offense. Intelligence is crucial to anticipatory self-defense, so we must authorize the use of enhanced interrogation methods to break their determined resistance. Similarly, we need to authorize lawful methods of widespread data collection, known as the Teabagger Surveillance Program, to enable us to gather the dots necessary for putting together the puzzles of future attacks. Working with our partner intelligence agencies overseas, we will rely on humane but tough methods employed by our partner agencies in more appropriate legal environments. The gloves are off.

Of course, we have determined that as long as this Long War continues, it will be necessary to conduct the same sorts of detention operations that have featured in all previous wars. Accordingly, we ought to work to design a military commissions system for trying detainees for their war crimes. To rule out its applicability on American citizens would only encourage future radicals to recruit Americans.

The important thing to remember is that this can’t be treated as a law enforcement matter. The military is most properly in the lead here, and so we need to use our military to go on offense, busting up the cells and meeting places and safe havens the extremists use to hone both their ideological and their combat skills
And we'll put Obama in the Hague as well, right Spencer?


UPDATE: Okay, I just read James Taranto at WSJ, "Pot Calls Kettle Stack: The Austin Attack and the Media's Stereotypes."

Joe Stack was no tea partier. Indeed, he comes off sounding quite a bit the leftist, but even then he's not deeply ideological, but instead alienated. It's terrorism, nevertheless, although people like Spencer Ackerman have completely illustrated their complete sellout to international jihad. There is a global religious/ideological struggle. It's existential. But I know folks like Yglesias and Ackerman see the U.S. as the real enemy, so they'll discount Islamist terror and highlight the lone crazy who spouts unintelligible, belligerent rants as on par to 9/11-scale attacks. Leftists are indeed internal enemies in that sense, although we'll get no movement toward greater security against any of these threats with people like Janet Napolitano in power.

Joe Stack's suicide letter is at the James Taranto piece.