Betrayal in Austin

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February 18, 2010 | Comments

This morning our nation fell victim to what appears to be an act of domestic terror, when a disgruntled American, Joseph Andrew Stack, crashed his private plane into a building in Austin, Texas, flashing us all back in a heartbeat to that terrible day in September of 2001.

The attack was preceded by the alleged perpetrator’s online posting of a manifesto outlining his anger at the United States government in a day and age when “taxation without representation” is epidemic. He then lit the home occupied by this wife and daughter on fire, and went on to crash his plane into a building that apparently housed an IRS office. Much is yet to be learned about this event, which occurred just a few hours ago, but we do know that his wife and daughter, and most of those in the office building (thanks to amazing acts of heroism for which Americans are legendary) survived. Stack is counted among the casualties, yet he carried out his mission intending to take as many souls as possible with him.

In the rambling pages of his online rant, we learn that, for whatever reason, life has been difficult for Joseph Stack. Seeking a source to blame, he insists that he lives in “a country with an ideology that is based on a total and complete lie,” chastising the American public, who “buy, hook, line, and sinker, the crap about their ‘freedom.” He speaks of the storm raging in his head, concluding that “violence is the only answer.”

It’s safe to say that anger is indeed prevalent in this nation today in light of what is being done to our country. Not prevalent, thank God, is the Joseph-Stack brand of that anger, which justifies attempts on the lives of one’s own family, attacks on innocent Americans, and the violation of the pure ideology and heroism on which this country was founded. Such actions are the ultimate betrayal committed by a very sick man, who has left us with a collective anger now even more palpable because of what he has done to our people and our country.

Stack’s act of terrorism has undermined the mission of modern-day patriots who share a fury at the federal government and the war declared upon our freedoms. Our shared anger, and thus our energies, are now directed toward this man, who would take our cause and use it to fuel his attack on his fellow Americans. It makes as much sense as the White House declaring this was no act of terrorism, but we Americans know terrorism when we see it, and our founders knew it, too.

The patriots who founded and fought for this nation knew well the anger ignited by oppression and unrepresented taxation. But they did not use this anger to attack and destroy each other, as Joseph Stack did today. In time we will probably seem this man written off as a victim of self-delusion or insanity or circumstance or whatever, but what he has done has damaged our nation and those who take seriously the cause of freedom during a very dangerous and precarious time. Those who oppose us in this mission, those who truly are trying to undermine our freedoms, will find some way to paint patriotic Americans in his same light and use his actions against us. And we do not need that right now. Or ever.

So yes, a sad day for America. Another sad day. May God bless those this man took from us today and the families they leave behind. And may God bless the heroes, about whom we are just starting to hear, whose courageous acts ensured that fewer would be taken.

Betsy Siino | Comments