Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

FBI arrests right wing extremist from Selah who had threatened to kill Patty Murray

The United States Department of Justice announced today that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has arrested a right wing extremist from Selah who had threatened to kill Washington's senior U.S. Senator, Patty Murray.

Charles Alan Wilson, sixty four, made a series of threatening phone calls to Murray's office in the District of Columbia between March 22nd and the end of Easter weekend, the Department of Justice said in a news release announcing the arrest. Wilson's conduct was described as follows:
Wilson stated that Senator Murray "had a target on her back." Wilson stated, "I want to (expletive) kill you." Wilson discussed assisting others in an attempt to kill the senator. Wilson's threats were in response to the passage of the Health Care Reform Act [properly known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act].

Wilson allegedly made the calls from a telephone line with a 'blocked' phone number. However, federally subpoenaed telephone records revealed the calls came from his home phone line. FBI agents were able to further confirm Wilson was the caller. Wilson told undercover FBI agents that he regularly carries a firearm with a concealed weapons permit. He also stated that he was extremely angry about the passage of the health care reform legislation.

Threatening a federal official is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Senator Murray's office issued a short statement in response to the arrest, saying, "“After receiving numerous phone calls that included threats of violence from an unidentified individual, our office notified the Capitol Police Department of the nature of those calls. The Capitol Police Department then instructed us to alert our local FBI offices regarding the situation."

The FBI's investigation subsequently resulted in Wilson's arrest.

We can all be thankful that Wilson was apprehended by the FBI before he had a chance to actually act on his threats. As David Neiwert has documented in his book The Eliminationists, the violent rhetoric of radicals like Wilson often leads to acts of violence. And that violent rhetoric is encouraged on a daily basis by hate talkers like Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and a host of imitators.

The news of Wilson's threatening phone calls and his arrest comes several weeks after video surfaced of a speaker at a "tea party" rally in Asotin County who said she'd like Senator Murray to be hanged.

That individual was not prosecuted, but we hope Charles Alan Wilson will get the maximum if and when he is sentenced for his alleged crime.

Talking Points Memo has a copy of the complaint, which fittingly states, United States of America, Plaintiff, v. Charles Alan Wilson, Defendant.


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