Earlier this week, Mike Vanderboegh, leader of a right-wing militia group known as the Three Percenters, made a speech to a small group of hardcore followers at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch. In his speech, Vanderboegh called for a new civil war and told the crowd that they needed to fight against “state sponsored violence.” He also referenced castration at least two times in his speech, and openly threatened Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV.) Overall, the speech was a way to incite right-wing ‘patriots’ to take up arms against the federal government.
Below is video of Vanderboegh’s comments courtesy of Right Wing Watch:
Early on in the video, Vanderboegh makes a sweeping statement by quoting his grandfather. After stating that we are on the verge of civil war, Vanderboegh then says that it is “nutcutting time,” obviously referencing castration of the opposition. Now, one can say that he was just using a metaphor and basically telling his and Bundy’s supporters that they need to be ready to do what is necessary, but when taken in context with what he said later, it seems that he actually wants to cut off the testicles of those he disagrees with.
After railing on about how the federal government can only win an argument through violence (says the gun-toting man in front of armed militia members who aimed guns at federal agents), Vanderboegh then starts speaking about Reid. He first said that he agrees with Reid that this situation is not over, because all of the ‘patriots’ are going to rise up and start a civil war against the evil United States government. Vanderboegh then pulled out a soap dish and made the following statement:
“I will send it as a reminder, with the message ‘Don’t poke the wolverine with a sharp stick, Harry, unless you want your b*lls ripped off.'”
I am not sure how this can’t be seen as an overt threat to Reid. This is extremely dangerous rhetoric and goes far beyond the pale. Vanderboegh and Bundy aren’t just exercising their 1st Amendment rights. They are, and have been, making terrorist threats and are inciting violence among their followers. With their words and actions, they are trying to whip a group of heavily-armed zealots to take the law into their own hands and take no prisoners. Vanderboegh is calling for a civil war that won’t end until one side wins, suggesting that there will be bloodshed and telling his group’s members to take up arms against their fellow citizens.
If what Vanderboegh and Bundy are doing isn’t the outright definition of terrorism, then I don’t know what terrorism is. Fox News needs to take a long, hard look in the mirror, because by getting behind Bundy and his ’cause,’ they helped create this situation where right-wing warriors feel justified in speaking openly about shooting and castrating Americans.