A comprehensive statement of principle on domestic terrorism was released today by a coalition of constitutional militia groups from all across the country. Signatures were still pouring in via fax, mail and email and will be included in the final for-the-record document that will be forwarded to the Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch.
The statement, entitled “The Alabama Declaration” after the residence of its authors and initial signatories, seeks to make plain the opposition of the constitutional militias to domestic terroism, provides details some of the known domestic terrorists from the racist fringe, and petitions Senator Hatch to open hearings on the subject of domestic terrorism and the militias.
Attached you will find a copy of the cover letter to Sen. Hatch, as well as the Declaration. Members of the press are directed to Mike Vanderboegh, 1 ACR, as contact person who can provide both local and national spokesmen and women for expanatory interviews. The cover letter to Senator Hatch will not be for release until 12:00 P.M.EDT, 13 September 1996. The Declaration is quotable now. Members of the press who have already received copies of the declaration are cautioned that the wording has been subtly changed in a few areas. Please quote from this final version of the document.
You may contact Mike Vanderboegh via pager (205) 320-4540 or fax (205) 320-2431 after Noon, EDT today.
In a related development, members of the 51st Missouri Militia will be picketing a Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations get-together at Lone Jack, Missouri, Saturday morning, 14 September 1996. Copies of the 51st Missouri press release and other contact numbers are available from 1 ACR.
Cover Letter to Sen. Orrin Hatch regarding the Alabama Declaration:
11 September 1996
The Honorable Orrin Hatch
United States Senate
Russell Building, Room 135
1st & C Streets
Dear Senator Hatch,
Attached please find a true copy of “The Alabama Declaration”, a comprehensive statement of principle on domestic terrorism by the constitutional militias of the United States. Since the Oklahoma City bombing, so-called militia “experts” have been doing their best to tar our movement with the broad brush of terrorism and racism, equating us with the Ku Klux Klan and the neo-Nazi Aryan Nations among others. A particularly egregious practicioner of this neo-McCarthyism is Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Alabama, who has been raising millions of dollars from frightened donors by direct mail solicitations emblazoned with large red letters: “Militia Terrorist Update.” His own hometown newspaper, the Montgomery Advertiser, has accused Dees of exploiting the Oklahoma City bombing tragedy by “Marketing the Militias.”
We would not begrudge Mr. Dees his fundraising dollars if his statements bore any sort of relation to the truth, at least insofar as they relate to the constitutional militia movement. Unfortunately in the fevered atmosphere following the Oklahoma City bombing, his inaccurate statements were passed along to the public by uninformed news outlets as the “gospel truth” and they inflamed an already volatile situation. It was to be expected that laws made under such circumstances of semi-hysteria would be imperfect and threatening to the liberties of innocent American citizens whose only “crime” was belonging to a “suspect” group or class whose opinions were not “politically correct.” Such we believe was the case with the original “Terror Bill”, and such we believe to be the case today with the legislation proposed by the Clinton Administration in the wake of the downing of TWA Flight 800 and the Olympic bombing in Atlanta.
It is perhaps the height of irony that it was members of the Tri-States Militia of South Dakota who saved Mr. Dees from being targeted by a bomb crafted by a self-proclaimed “prophet” from Oklahoma named Willie Ray Lampley. We believe that the Lampley case is but one example of the truly anti-terrorist nature of the constitutional militia movement. In fact, we have nothing in common with terrorists, neo-Nazis or racist killers. We wish to make our position plain with this declaration, and we think it vital that the nation understands the true nature of domestic terrorism and terrorists BEFORE more “anti-terrorism” legislation is passed that will serve to further limit the traditional and natural liberties of Americans as codified in the Constitution and its Bill of Rights. We ask that hearings be held by the Senate Judiciary Committee to explore the relationship between the real domestic terrorists and the militias who oppose them. As citizens who have been long-slandered as “militia terrorists”, we have been forced to make an in-depth study of the true nature of the real terrorists. We ask for the opportunity to correct the record, so that any further “anti-terrorism” action by the Congress may be guided by facts and not fear. Failing such hearings, the attached “Alabama Declaration” will document our principles on this subject for posterity.
Long before the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Franklin warned that “those who give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Today, we are on the brink of trading many more of our liberties for non-existent safety than Mr. Franklin ever considered. “Terrorism” is the new bogeyman, and ever-increasing federal power and surrender of civil liberties is being marketed as the cure. We believe with Ben Franklin that the country and its citizens cannot be made safe by such a trade-off. Hearings that explore the exact nature of domestic terrorism, its proponents and opponents, would demonstrate this. We await your reply with great interest.
Michael Vanderboegh, Bvt. Col.,1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment, Militia.
Col. John Hassey, Alabama Constitutional Militia.
Charli & Bill Gribble, Gadsden Minutemen, Alabama.
Lance R. Crowe and Lance R. Crowe II, Southern Kentucky Citizens Militia
Col. Wayne Yowell, 1st Kansas Militia.
Col. Robert Wright, 1st Brigade, New Mexico Constitutional Militia.
Col. Jim Strode, Commander, New Mexico Militia.
Col. Nick Johnson, New Mexico Constitutional Volunteers.
Col. Ray Smith, Texas Constitutional Militia.
Stan Wilson, Thomas D. Fey and David Costello, 4th Brigade, Indiana Militia.
Rick Kann, East Coast Command Unit, Constitutional Militia of Florida.
Del Wasso and Larry Vandewalle, Northern Illinois Militia.
Robert Ireland, Constitutional militia supporter and activist, Mendocino County, Northern California.
Gen. Terry Hicks, South Carolina Civilian Militia.
Richard Howard King, VOTERS Militia, Lubbock County, Lubbock, Texas.
Arlin Adams, citizen, Northern Virginia.