I am probably going to catch high holy hell for writing this article. But I have to. I have to because nobody is saying this publicly, although a lot of people are thinking it.
First of all, every media outlet in the world has been falling all over themselves praising Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose. Theoretically, this sniper pair was caught only after vociferous digging, and many man hours of diligent police work, with the help of honest citizens willing to tell the police about any suspicion about anything they may have had.
Law enforcement really didn't have a clue about these guys. Law enforcement at all levels, and in all the jurisdictions where the killings occurred, were an example of sheer incompetence. Police profilers had the shooting pegged as the stereotypical "angry white male", probably either a gun nut, or a man with military training. Later, they turned up two Hispanic males determined to be illegal aliens because someone stated they saw the shooters and they were Hispanic. The Tarot Card thing had some people looking at a possible Special Forces connection, which also turned up empty.
And the truck. The white Astro van, or white box truck, which people allegedly saw in the area. When they did dragnets on I-95 looking for these trucks, apparently alleged snipers John Muhammad and John Malvo drove by these guys several times. Meanwhile, innocent citizens with white vehicles were routinely searched, most of them undoubtedly illegally, and if anyone had objected, and tried to assert their constitutional rights, undoubtedly they would have been paraded and slimed before the media as the prime suspect. I would bet the ranch and the dog that if they had stopped me, and I denied them a search, as I most certainly would have, that I would at worst currently be framed as the infamous sniper, and at best, be termed a "person of interest". Be honest. You KNOW this would have happened. Look at the Richard Jewell case.
Later on, if you recall, one of the witnesses admitted to lying to the police about most of these clues.
Law enforcement didn't figure it out, and wasn't close to figuring it out, until Muhammad himself placed the needed tips in their hands and got them to listen to them.
Muhammad wanted to be caught: why?
John Allen Muhammad wanted to be caught. In fact, truth be told, he was rather desperate to be caught. He left clue after clue as to his identity. The special DC Sniper Task Force actually HUNG UP on Muhammad numerous times when he tried to give them a clue. He seemed rather impatient that he WASN'T caught, and that the police, the FBI, and the ATF were such a bunch of bumbling boobs. Finally in desperation, he tipped them off to a killing he and his accomplice John Lee Salvo committed in Alabama about a month previous. It was that tip that caught him. The FBI, the ATF, and all the county law enforcement didn't dig up Jimmy Jack Sugar to get this guy this quickly. It may have taken them YEARS to solve this crime if they ever solved it. It took them seventeen years to catch Ted Kaczynski.
Why would this sniper effectively turn himself in, and give up, or place himself in a situation were he could be easily identified and taken? For publicity? That's what most killers would do. But I don't think this was the case here. Most serial killers who go this route do a cat and mouse thing with police if they do anything at all. Wayne Williams, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy, the Green River Killer, left very few clues about who they really were to police. The fact that their KILLINGS are on the front page is sufficient publicity enough.
It isn't guilt. Guilt only works on passion killings or convenience store robberies. Guys like this don't HAVE any guilt.
Was he programmed to do the killings and then self destruct? I have heard this theory posited. And while I am not unconvinced of the possibility, there is a more important motive that is staring me in the face, and if you have any knowledge of Mr. Muhammad's background, should be staring YOU right in the face, too.
Remember the motivation that Charles Manson had for going out and butchering two innocent groups of people neither he nor his disciples even knew? You don't have to guess, because Manson has already told you. He wanted to start what he called "Helter Skelter". He wanted to use the Tate and Labianca killings to inspire a race war between blacks and whites. He used those killings to try and inspire further killings. He wanted to show people "what to do".
However, Manson was essentially "talking" to a group of people who were not his people, and whom he had little knowledge of, and had no loyalty to. In fact, Manson hated blacks. He communicated nothing to black people.
Well, this is what Muhammad was trying to do. But the exception to Muhammad's vision of "Helter Skelter" was that unlike Manson, Muhammad was trying to talk to people who WERE his people and who did understand his message in the killings. And it frustrated him that the authorities were maybe attributing this to a white guy, and maybe a few were attributing it to Arab terrorism, and not to a black man from the Nation of Islam.
If Muhammad was your average everyday common criminal, he would have been giddy with glee that law enforcement was so far off the track. If Muhammad was your average assassin, he wouldn't have cared who ultimately got fingered for these deeds, as long as he got away with them. Even your everyday soldier would not demand recognition, for recognition is not as important as doing the job.
The Nation of Islam and what they believe
John Allen Muhammad belonged to the Nation of Islam, a religious sect of Islam formerly led by Elijah Muhammad, and currently led by Louis Farrakhan.
Farrakhan puts a nice smiley face on it, and often tells the truth about the history of blacks in America. However, his religious belief is racist, as racist as any Christian Identity group. Elijah Muhammad routinely referred to the white race as "Devils", alleging that they were the literal sons of the union between Havah (Eve) and Hannachash, the Serpent (Lucifer, or Satan). He taught that the black man was the Original Man of Genesis. He taught that the black slave in America was from the tribe of Shabbazz.. He also taught that eventually the Black man would be strong enough to assert a demand for his own homeland nation in America. He also taught that the Black man would prevail over whites in a final "Battle of Armagheddon" as he termed it.
While certain Black Muslims may have rebuked this teaching, most notably Malcolm X (Malik Al Shabbazz), who was assassinated, probably by the Farrakhan faction, and while there are peaceful offshoots such as the group headed by the son of Elijah Muhammad, Warith Deen Mohammad, and while there are African-American Muslims who are followers of the more mainstream sects like the Sunnis, the Nation of Islam remains essentially an advocate of Black revolution. The NOI is estimated to have 200,000 members.
It is the Nation of Islam which is dominant among most blacks in prison. 25% of Blacks in prison are Muslims of some type.
The Black Muslims are heavily involved in what you might remember as a name from the 60's. The New Black Panther Party. The original Black Panther Party was a bit marxist in nature. The NEW Black Panther Party, however, is HEAVILY influenced by NOI activists.
Moreover, what also needs to be remembered is that for every MEMBER of the Nation of Islam, there are probably three to four SYMPATHIZERS with them, not Muslims, not as disciplined, but definitely brothers. Moreover, Farrakhan is notorious for his alliances with black CHURCHES, and black MINISTERS, and has spoken before many black CHRISTIAN congregations.
How violent can the Nation of Islam be?
How violent can this group potentially be? Well, they probably shot Malcolm, and he was a brother. Do you think they would not hesitate to shoot non-Muslims or non-blacks? Think about how violent many Black neighborhoods are and how many of these young men have turned this violence upon one another. Then imagine the Crips and the Bloods and all the rest of the "gangstas" uniting to turn the gun on America.
You think it can't happen? Many of you have NO IDEA of the depth of the hatred some black people have for America. You see Condie Rice and Colin Powell, and think integration has succeeded and everything's copasetic. You see the many black politicians, the many black people loved in sports, in entertainment, the many black people who really are pretty well off now. Yes, in a large measure, integration has succeeded. There are pockets of white racism here and there but generally they are laughed at.
However, for every black person you see integrated and become a full fledged American, there is another black person you all rarely see. Many of these black people haven't been integrated. The biggest reason many of them have not is because they don't want to be integrated. Perhaps the former criminal background of others prevents their integration, as America is a society which lacks forgiveness when it comes to crime.
And of these people, Farrakhan commands more loyalty, respect and sympathy than any other man in the country.
Many blacks have shunned integration
The black people you see integrated into American society wanted to be integrated and accepted into it. The Nation of Islam, however, doesn't WANT integration. They are segregationists of the highest order. And to them, most of YOU are still "Devils".
The thing which makes NOI Muslims particularly dangerous is their discipline. They are probably the most disciplined black people in America, and among the most disciplined Muslims in the world. There is a security arm of NOI called the Fruit of Islam, which is one of the best trained militias in the country. Most of these people have been preparing for the day they GET to do what John Muhammad apparently HAS done. The training camp in Alabama frequently by many Black Muslims is reported to be linked to Al Qaeda.
The Nation of Islam and foreign influences
As for Farrakhan and foreign influences, a few years ago it was discovered that the NOI was being aided in funding by Moammar Khadafi the President of Libya. It is being discovered that foreign Arabs managed to get contributions into a number of Black Democrats, most notably, Cynthia McKinney. If it ever turns up that there is an Al Qaeda connection to the NOI, it wouldn't shock me in the least. Nor would a Palestinian connection shock me.
Back to what John Muhammad was trying to do
There is not a doubt in my mind that the intent of John Muhammad went far beyond personal aggrandizement or random violence. His acts went far beyond acting out a personal fantasy as a mujahideen killing infidels. His acts were not the acts of a precise assassin targeting specific people.
My sincere belief is, that given his training, what Muhammad wanted to do was leave a blueprint for every Black Muslim, maybe Blacks in general, to follow. He wanted to show you how easy it is to target America, and Americans, for terror. He probably picked suburban Maryland and Virginia because so many people there work for the United States government or are connected to it in some way. This was John Allen Muhammad's precursor to his own version of "Helter Skelter".
He could not do that with the police and the media fantasizing that this sniper was some redneck angry white guy who was a gun nut and probably a Republican and an NRA member. This is why he was so anxious to have police establish precisely who he was. I suppose he could have followed Eric Rudolph into obscurity in the wilderness if only the police would recognize WHO he was, and WHY he was doing what he was doing. But getting out the message of who he was, and why he was doing this was far more important than his freedom, which he could have protected at any time by getting out of Dodge.
And you know what. I don't think the police still get it. I don't think the media still get it. But Muhammad's target audience? They got it. They got it loud and clear. And probably other would be terrorists, foreign and domestic, against the American government also got it. And that message? That one man with a gun can do a lot of damage to the status quo. That many men with guns could bring down the status quo.
But why did Muhammad shoot blacks?
Do any of you have any familiarity with the beliefs of white racists, like the Aryan Nations groups, and the Christian Identity groups? Yes, they hate dark-skinned minorities. They hate Jews. But they also hate another group even worse than they hate Jews and minorities. They call those people "race traitors". They are whites who have associated themselves with minorities, defended minorities, befriended minorities, and sometimes even married minorities. They hate those people much, much more vociferously than the people they are supposed to really hate.
Now shift back to Muhammad and the NOI. They have their own "race traitor" concept, too. Malcolm X called such people "The House Negro". (And yes, I am substituting "Negro" for the other word he really said.) How did he know he wasn't shooting another Black Muslim? Because usually Muslims tend to have a distinctive dress and manner about them. The other blacks in Washington could have been seen by Muhammad as just another bunch of "House Negroes".
I am not saying that grave injustices have not been done to black people in America. Being a part of my ancestry, I know as well as anyone what blacks have historically suffered in the United States. I won't discuss here what solutions to these injustices I believe have merit and which are without logic and sense. But the fact of the matter is, nobody's going to discuss righting wrongs their ancestors may or may not have done when there is a literal and figurative "gun to their heads".
I am gravely concerned about John Muhammad's likely vision becoming reality. And I am gravely concerned about the response to any such internal war on Americans. It's not a pretty scenario, for anyone. White, black or any other color. And numerically, I know darn well that a war that any side bases on race, or on religion, will invariably get a lot of black people killed, and get a lot of American Muslims killed, even if they didn't sympathize with any of its proponents.
I would never suggest that anyone has no right to believe what they believe. I am not suggesting that any individual or any group has no right to self defense, no right to arms, or no right to a preemptive strike. Neither am I suggesting that anyone hate or distrust anyone else for reason of race or religion. I am certainly not suggesting that any American's constitutional rights be curtailed. But that notwithstanding, I feel it is foolish to not prepare for things which may come. Sometimes we get a harbinger of things which are likely coming in our future.
A harbinger to come?
I believe the DC Sniper killings were one of those harbingers, and it is a lesson we ignore at our own peril. A lesson that our children are not really safe after all. A lesson that we cannot unilaterally disarm ourselves and think others will respect that. A lesson that the police and the FBI cannot, after all, protect us. A lesson that not everyone loves America, not even many born here. And a lesson that we need to be ever vigilant against potential enemies, not only enemies from half a world away, but enemies which may be in our own midst. Helter Skelter can be brought to our door at any time.
Liz Michael has formed a committee to run for the
U. S. Senate from Arizona in 2004.
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