While Glenn Beck scoffs at the notion that his followers would ever harm anyone, his followers keep proving him wrong. This time it’s an Idaho man who has now pleaded guilty to federal gun charges and manufacturing grenades.
“Kenneth B. Kimbley Jr., 58, discussed bombing local bridges with an undercover federal agent and made threatening statements toward President Barack Obama, leading investigators last July to seize 20,000 ammunition rounds and several firearms from Kimbley’s property, where he and other suspected militia members gathered to construct grenades, according to court documents.”
Kimbley was a felon and, as such, was already prohibited from possessing firearms. But his aspirations that led to this arrest far exceeded any simple desire to exercise any second amendment rights. The Southern Poverty Law Center identified Kimbley as the leader of the Brotherhood of America Patriots, an extreme-right militia, and notes that at the time of his arrest he had 20,000 rounds of ammunition, a stock of firearms, and materials he planned to use to construct grenades.
Kimbley admitted guilt without any plea deal and faces up to 10 years in prison. His inspiration for his lawlessness was his “idol,” Glenn Beck. In his defense his attorney was quoted as saying that…
“…everything said by Mr. Kimbley is no different than what his idol, TV commentator Glenn Beck, typically states on the air.”
I’m not sure if that’s much of a defense for Kimbley, but it is a pretty good indictment of Beck. What Beck typically says on the air is overtly hostile and incendiary. Despite frequently imploring his viewers to be peaceful, he cannot be absolved of responsibility when he also alarms them with terrifying tales of radicals conspiring to destroy their country, offend their God, and murder their families. In the face of that sort of looming nightmare, what would you do? And by the way, when a television host has to repeatedly remind his viewers not to kill anybody, what does that say about him and his employer?
This is not an isolated incident. In the recent past there have been other would-be terrorists who believed they were doing Beck’s bidding. Last July Byron Williams was captured after a shootout with police while he was on his way to kill people at the ACLU and the Tides Foundation. Beck has made numerous references to these groups and Williams regarded Beck as a teacher. In April of 2009, Richard Poplawski allegedly shot three police officers to death at his home. His best friend said that he “loved” Beck and was apparently worried that the government planned to intern dissidents in concentration camps.
The news of this latest case of domestic terrorism comes as Beck is ratcheting up the rhetoric of hate and hostility. His program today was dominated by his theory that it is the left who are prone to violence. His evidence of that was a few out of context quotes that employed analogies that no one in their right mind would take literally. Unfortunately, we’re talking about Glenn Beck here and, as we know, Glenn Beck is Unhinged.
Much his horror story was based on a portion of a speech by perennial Beck bogeyman, Van Jones. Here are the ghastly remarks by Jones where he described what he called a “nightmare scenario…”
“…where we’re going to see a nation more and more ethnically diverse, more and more culturally diverse, but less and less economically prosperous…If you know anything about history that is not a recipe for common ground. It is a recipe for a battleground. And you have opponents in this country who see the same scenario and their answer is fear the diversity. Their answer is attack the diversity.”
Clearly Jones is warning of potential trouble resulting from the ever-widening gap between the rich and the poor, and the disharmony we already see in Tea Party racism, immigrant bashing, and Beck’s own virulent anti-Semitism. Jones is not threatening violence. He is not advocating violence. He is merely observing a social trend that he views as troubling but avoidable if we act constructively and compassionately.
But what Beck hears is that “this is the bottom up, top down, and inside out theory”, wherein the people are organized to rise up so that the government can bring the top down turning us all inside out. Of course Beck invented this theory himself. It makes no sense whatsoever, but that doesn’t matter because he’ll just keep hammering it into the heads of his disciples until all they can do is repeat it robotically and assign whatever meaning to it that Beck says. And what Beck says is that…
“You have Latinos being organized. You have unions now being organized in the unemployment battle. You have unions in our churches. It’s the Czech Republic, 1948.”
See? When American workers, minorities, and people of faith are united in pursuit of their interests, and the interests of their neighbors and their nation, you have communism. And communism is the work of the Devil. And if you stand by and allow the forces of Satan to take control of your country, you are no better than the sinners who are out to enslave us all and impose a one-world government that answers only to the Prince of Darkness himself. But by all means do not resort to violence. It is just your country, your family and your eternal soul that is at stake.
And it’s after Beck berates you with that incomprehensible blather that he insists you make a choice. Poplawski, Williams and now Kimbley, made their choices. And Beck cannot disassociate himself from the demons he looses on society.