Header of hate mail sent to American Patriot Foundation
The American Patriot Foundation has received dozens of threatening phone
message, e-mails and letters during “birther” Army officer Terrence
Lakin’s legal proceedings the past few months, including two letters
that view the words “GOP” and “Birthers” through a sniper scope.
An APF official claims the threats are inspired by media attacks on people who question President Barack Obama’s eligibility to serve in the White House, even as many media figures are attempting to blame the Tucson massacre on harsh rhetoric from Republicans and conservatives.
“I’ve been called a subversive and an enemy of the state, not to
mention moron, insufferable little b-tch and a lot of other similar nasty comments,” APF’s Margaret Hemenway told WND. “I write a lot of them back to tell them that e-mail rage, like road rage, is neither healthy nor adult behavior and remind them it is the fundamental obligation of citizenship to support the U.S. Constitution.”
Lakin is the officer who refused to obey orders to compel the Army to
put him on trial, in an effort to force President Obama to prove he is
constitutionally eligible to serve as commander in chief of the U.S.
military. APF was established to support Lakin’s legal defense during
his Army court martial.
Hemenway sent the following letter, postmarked in Columbus, Ohio, to the U.S. Post Office authorities to be investigated because it contained a direct threat:
“This is to inform you that LTC Larkin (sic) is a F—— COWARD who should be put in front of a firing squad and shot. If I see his a– on the streets of Washington I will save the government the expense of a trial, I’ll dip a bullet in s— and shoot him in the head. This f— off deserves to die on the streets of America.”
Hemenway said a postal inspector told her the letter is “prosecutable,” but the inspector was not able to identify the sender during the investigation.
The incendiary rhetoric and threats aimed at “birthers” could be inspired by over-the-top rhetoric by some figures in the media, in Hemenway’s view.
“I’m just sick of the vitriol and hate mongering of the liberal media, decrying ‘birthers’ as whack jobs, lunatics, fringe, etc. Their venom has encouraged this type of email, phone calls and letter threats,” Hemenway told WND.
Hemenway cited CNN host Anderson Cooper and a guest on one of Cooper’s shows, commentator Jeffrey Toobin.
“Toobin called us a ‘racist, freak, lunatic fringe’ on Cooper’s show,” said Hemenway, who added that Cooper himself has directed abusive language at people who question Obama’s eligibility. “You don’t think this encourages attacks against us? They deserve to be held accountable for their comments.”
The steady stream of invective directed at “eligibility activists” has received little media coverage, though numerous commentators have attempted to draw a connection between heated conservative rhetoric and the attempted assassination Saturday of Democratic U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson, Ariz.
For example,Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said during a press conference, “Let me say one thing, because people tend to pooh-pooh this business about all the vitriol that we hear inflaming the American public by people who make a living off of doing that. … That may be free speech, but it’s not without consequences.”
MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann quickly linked Dupnik’s remarks to former GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, pointing out that a Palin website identified 20 Democrat-held congressional districts, including Giffords’, as targets for the GOP in the November elections by putting crosshairs on them.
Ironically, the liberal website Daily Kos also put a bull’s-eye on Giffords’ district, targeting her for defeat in the 2010 primary for being a “blue-dog Democrat.”
In an article titled “Violence and politics merge,” Politico reported that some people may have a political interest in blaming conservatives like Sarah Palin and tea partiers for inspiring Arizona gunman Jared Lee Loughner. According to Politico, “One veteran Democratic operative, who blames overheated rhetoric for the shooting, said President Barack Obama should carefully but forcefully do what his predecessor did. ‘They need to deftly pin this on the tea partiers,’ said the Democrat. ‘Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.'”
No links between Loughner and Palin, conservatives, Republicans or the tea party have surfaced since the shooting. A far different picture of Loughner is emerging: that he is a mentally deranged leftist who formerly volunteered for Giffords and the Democratic party.
Militant Association of Democrats targets GOP
Two anonymous letters sent to APF from Richmond, Va. place “GOP” and “Birthers” in the crosshairs of a rifle scope alongside the exhortation “Load ’em Up!” These letters claim to be sent by a group called “Militant Association of Democrats,” which says “We are Second Amendment Democrats!”
Each letter consists of a profanity-laced tirade directed at Republicans and eligibility activists, but neither make specific threats against any individual.
“The foundation has received quite a few messages on the phone, they’ve been coming in episodically. Only a handful have been really ugly, using horrible language and mentioning death,” said Hemenway. “We’ve received dozens of letters that are profane, obscene, and ugly, but not necessarily threatening, like you’d get from juvenile delinquents.”