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Accused Domestic Terrorist Arrested In Georgia Ranted About Health Reform On Erickson’s RedState.com

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"Accused Domestic Terrorist Arrested In Georgia Ranted About Health Reform On Erickson’s RedState.com"

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CNN's Erick Erickson, editor of RedState

Earlier this week, FBI agents arrested four men in Georgia for plotting a series of domestic terror attacks on government officials and other people across the country. The FBI press release states that the men were caught on tape planning to purchase pounds of ricin, a biologic agent, as well as silencers and explosives. While the men claim to be part of a militia group, online postings identified by ThinkProgress make clear that at least one of the men had railed against President Obama, health reform, and regurgitated right-wing conspiracies on the popular conservative blog, RedState.com.

In a document filed with the Northern District of Georgia, parts of the transcript of the alleged domestic terrorists were released. “There is no way for us, as militiamen, to save this country, to save Georgia, without doing something that’s highly, highly illegal: murder,” said one of the accused terrorists, Frederick Thomas. Thomas also planned to target the ATF and the IRS. “We’d have to blow the whole building like Timothy McVeigh,” said Thomas, according to the Associated Press. The AP also notes that court documents accused Samuel Crump, a co-conspirator, of suggesting ricin could be “dropped from an airplane or blown out of a car along an interstate highway to attack people in Washington, Newark, NJ, Jacksonville, FL, Atlanta and New Orleans.”

Today, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a broader picture of the four men accused of the terror plan. Dustin Baker at the blog GAPolitico flags one important part of the AJC story: that accused terrorist Fred Thomas blogged on RedState.com, the website edited by CNN’s Erick Erickson. The Thomas blog post highlighted by Baker and AJC revealed that at one point, he did not “advocate a general rebellion against the U.S. Government for cause,” but seemed conflicted about the idea of violent revolution. Something apparently changed between that unpromoted post, published in July of 2008 and this year, when the alleged plot began taking shape.

A ThinkProgress examination of Thomas’s online writing in the following years shows that the alleged terrorist grew more and more upset, and expressed sympathy with the anti-Obama conspiracies posted on RedState. Last year, he posted a comment to a popular RedState post about the evils of health reform. Thomas claimed that the “ObummerCare Bill” not only “won’t be forgiven,” but will lead to “TYRANNY of the worst order” and “civil war.” (view a screenshot of the comment here)

The other blog Thomas mentions in his RedState comment is apparently the militia website run by Mike Vanderboegh, who gained infamy for calling for violence over the health reform bill and for writing an online series advocating a new civil war against President Obama. ThinkProgress has covered Vanderboegh, who recently signed up as a commentator for Fox News, here and here.

Thomas posted other comments on RedState, and indicated he was a regular reader. In one comment, Thomas asked how to gain promoted posts on the website, to which RedState editor Neil Stevens responded with a link and suggestion on the guidelines (view a screenshot here).

As GAPolitico notes, RedState editor Erick Erickson has a long history of fostering a blog filled with violent rhetoric and unhinged conspiracy theories. Earlier this year, Erickson suggested that “mass bloodshed” may be necessary if Roe v. Wade isn’t overturned, as Media Matters reported. During the health reform debate, when Thomas was an apparent fan of the site, Erickson promoted the debunked “death panels” smear, that health reform would give Obama the power to kill his political opponents and the elderly.

Erickson is not responsible for every comment left on his site, and he has no connection at all to the alleged terrorist plot in Georgia. His RedState website’s rhetoric of health reform “tyranny” and calls for violence, however, were embraced by at least one of the alleged conspirators.

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