Rachel Maddow accused a woman now dead, of being a member of a militia, as if that is unlawful and egregious, and then claimed that then-Republican Texas Representative Steve Stockman received written information of the Oklahoma City Bombing prior to the disaster that killed 168 people, including 19 children and babies, and injured hundreds. And worse, she said Stockman faxed the information to the NRA, but not the FBI. See the video below.
…Mr. Stockman actually received advanced notice that the Oklahoma City bombing was going to happen.
MADDOW: Yes, this has happened to a smaller degree before. In 1994, in the first mid-term election after the last Democratic president was elected, we got a slate of candidates that included Helen Chenoweth of Idaho and Steve Stockman of Texas. These two were so close to the militia movement in this country that Mr. Stockman actually received advance notice that the Oklahoma City bombing was going to happen.
A bit of Internet research showed this by Jim Simmon writing for the Houston Press on June 22, 1995.
Contrary to suggestions in some initial reports, Stockman’s office had received the fax after the bombing and promptly passed it on to the FBI (ironically, the initial misunderstanding about the fax was propagated by the National Rifle Association, Stockman’s chief patron).
According to the Morning News, a hand-written message on the fax read, “First update. Bldg 7 to 10 floors only. Military people on scene — BATF/FBI. Bomb threat received last week. Perpetrator unknown at this time. Oklahoma.” The machine that sent the fax to Stockman stamped “Wolverine” at the top of the page, the Morning News reported.
Militias are not everyone’s cup of tea, and anarchist militias are certainly not acceptable, but we must remember that militias are a guaranteed right under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution – for a very good reason: it is not impossible that our government might seek to take control in an unconstitutional manner. The Second Amendment allows militias to be our guardians.
Having said all that, I don’t know about Stockman’s militia connections, but it does seem that now, in 2010, trying to tie him to the deaths of those murdered in the Murrah Building in 1995, is a particularly cruel and highly improper thing to do. One thing we is, every word out of Maddow’s mouth is calculated and measured. She knew what she was doing.
I’m not sure what the implication of evoking Helen Chenoweth is about. She was a Republican Representative from Idaho from 1995 to January 2001. She died in an automobile accident in 2006, while a passenger in the back seat of a car that flipped and ejected her on a Nevada road. She apparently did have militia connections – but again, there is nothing illegal there. One interesting thing about Chenoweth, in 2003 she attempted to board a flight to her Nevada home. TSA “selected” her for a hand search. She refused and drove a rental car to get to her destination, and made this statement:
“Our borders are wide open and yet they’re shaking down a 66-year-old white grandmother they greeted by name,” she said of the incident. “It’s time the American people say no to this kind of invasion. It’s a question of personal privacy. There shouldn’t be that kind of search without reasonable cause.”
So a defenseless dead woman has been placed in the same company as a person Maddow alleges hid prior knowledge of the Oklahoma City bombing. Is there anything we can expect from MSNBC about this – like a reprimand, an apology to the family of Chenoweth and to Stockman, a firing? No, I don’t think so. These are despicable people. Others talking about Maddow’s accusations: BlackFive and Political Byline.