Here’s one nobody saw coming — OK, maybe Alex Jones did. But he also thinks his dog is a federal agent. Mark Kessler, the Gilberton, PA police chief who was fired last year for posting psychotic, right-wing, Second Amendment “come and take it” videos on YouTube just told Alan Colmes the whole thing was a plant. Here’s a quick refresher:
According to an interview given with Alan Colmes on November 3rd, the video above was actually part of a sting operation produced “in order to attract the worst of the worst” right-wing terrorists and potential terrorist groups operating in the United States today.
“When I say groups, I’m talking about Second Amendment groups, patriot groups, alleged patriot groups, militia groups.”
He later mentioned “Sovereign Citizens” groups as well.
When asked what agency he was working for and in what capacity, Kessler declined to answer, due to several ongoing investigations. He says he was approached by Unnamed Agencies to put the videos out after becoming something of a local celebrity among gun nuts. Kessler had recently passed a do-nothing law that protected the local nutjobs’ right to own guns, as a means to appease the large local population of said nutjobs.
When asked about his motivations insofar as participating in the operation, Kessler said
“It was bigger than me…I got to save a lot of lives.”
And how so?
“I’m happy to say that we took down several plotted attacks that didn’t go through, we took down a group in Georgia. We took down a group in Texas…We took some lone wolves down in Texas that were militia guys. I should’t say militia. They were wanna be terrorists”
Among these groups numbered the Triple-X Minutemen:
“They are from the Georgia area, and they were planning to blow up a federal building.”
When asked why he didn’t say anything before:
“I couldn’t tell anybody. I just couldn’t, it was complete deniability. I could not say a word to anyone about the operation. So again it was bigger than me. I’d seen an opportunity to advance my law enforcement career, and there was no way I was going to turn it down.”
So, a bit careerist. But what cop isn’t these days?
Of course, right-wing reaction to Kessler’s revelation was predictbly understated. And by understated, we mean they exploded into fireballs of hateful invective toward this “snitch”:
There are those who don’t believe Kessler’s claims, including Talking Points Memo and Colmes himself. TPM said his claims were “vague and unsubstantiated.”
Well…except for this.
Hatriot group “Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children” ran an article on “the snitch” last night. While most of it is the pretty standard right-wing bile and persecution complex, it also contained this little nugget:
“The revelation came as a shock to Jamie Spears, a patriot involved in the Liberty Belles of America group who appeared on an online radio program Wednesday evening, as reported at Broadside News. Jaime, who knew Kessler after he sought her out on numerous occasions through social media, realized that the potty-mouthed former Police Chief was likely behind a raid on a campground on Sept 10 2013, where Jaime gathered with others in anticipation of a rally in Washington, D.C. planned by the group “2 Million Bikers to DC.”
The raid, conducted by the Department of Homeland Security, along with state police in Maryland, did not yield terrorists, but they did manage to throw a man in jail for having a musket in his van that was handed down to him from his father.
Jaime and her 17-year-old son were held at gun point for hours, she explained. Ultimately, she was released, but has since been visited on three separate occasions by federal agents who demanded information about her friends in the patriot movement. Again, the seeming fishing expedition by the federal government yielded no “domestic terrorists.”
Hmmm…Chris Hitchens might have called that “independent third party verification.” Maybe.
Kessler has largely disappeared from the scene, but he did post this on Facebook…a red herring swimming the opposite direction, perhaps:
“Haaaaaaaa you were all punked hahahaha Alan Colmes is a retard fag liberal ! That idiot bought the story hook line and sinker ! As did so many other !! Damn I knew It would get some play but wow ! I didn’t think I was that famous hahahaga ! It was complete bullshit ! But hey thanks for busting balls ! Alan Colmes was punked !!!! N he fell for it !! I couldn’t resist throw more fule on the Fire hahahaga settle down people ! Maybe it wasn’t the best prank but It made me laugh! I got the conversation started again ! Theirs no way in hell I would do any of that shit ! I though it was funny though ! Sorry if anyone got upset !!! I didn’t think it would of blew up like that but oh well hahahahaha”
Now…let’s add up some of the evidence here, and see if we can arrive at a conclusion about whether Kessler was telling the truth on Colmes’ show:
- Exhibit 1: Right-wing domestic “Patriot” groups are now considered the No. 1 U.S. terrorist threat. Counter-terrorist agencies have been using just this kind of “flushing out” and “infiltration” strategy for years. Why wouldn’t they have done exactly the same here?
- Exhibit 2: Read the text from the Colmes interview, and then the Facebook post. One sounds like an intelligent, perfectly sane (and somewhat careerist) cop. The other sounds like a caricature of an idiot right-wing nutjob. One of these people is pretending to be the other, and stupid usually doesn’t reverse course.
- Exhibit 3: Suspicion of involvement from an independent third party.
- Exhibit 4: No denial of involvement in operations from the DHS or FBI at this point.
So, Kessler is either the most ironically self-aware lunatic ever ever to swing an assault rifle…or he is exactly what he says he is in the Colmes interview. The latter makes more sense than the former. As does the fact that he came out and said so later. In counter-terrorism and espionage operations, it’s not uncommon for governments to release information about those operations once the cover is blown, or the operation is over. It sows distrust and disorganization among the enemy. Kind of a last punch while leaving the ring.
And that’s exactly what Kessler’s statement has done.
Tell you one thing — if this wasn’t a standard counter-terrorism infiltration op, it’s doing a pretty good job of looking like one. And if it is, then one thing’s for certain:
The government is starting to take these people very, very seriously.