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Terrorist Attack in Austin, TX

As I'm sure all of you have heard by now, a psycho got into his single engine plane and committed suicide by crashing it into an IRS related federal building in Austin, TX. He left a suicide note on his website which makes it very clear this was intentional. His original website has been taken down by his ISP, but The Smoking Gun screen capped his "manifesto" before it was taken down.

Joseph Stack's Suicide Note

This was an act of terrorism. I know that the term "terrorist" has been over-used and improperly used in the years since the WTC attacks, but it is the RIGHT word in this situation. As of this writing, the Whitehouse has not referred to Stack as a terrorist. They are performing an investigation before they use the label. This is obviously terrorism, but I'm thinking that they are hesitant to use the term terrorism because the ignorant masses will interpret it as an attack by Al Qaeda. I hope that's not what they are thinking, but that's what my gut says. Regardless, I hope we hear the appropriate terminology from the Whitehouse soon. I don't like the idea of brown people being terrorists and white people being criminals.

Stack's suicide note states that he is upset with the government because it is corrupt and refuses to listen to the concerns of the people. His greatest hatred was focused at the IRS. He describes several of the financial troubles he has experienced over the last 30 years. I can understand the anger and despair that comes along with financial hardship, however, after reading about his troubles in his own words it looks like the government had very little to do with his problems. The one thing the govt was involved with was a tax code change in the 80s specifically in regards to tech consulting.

He was audited and fined once and shakes is fist at the sky cursing the government, but the truth is that by his own admission he was getting together with a group of other people to comb through the details of the tax code in order to find loop holes that would allow them to pay less in taxes. Following the tax code is good and all, but in his suicide note he specifically refers to organizations which were cheating the govt by abusing the tax code and that his group of people wanted to do the same thing. So... he abused the tax code and he got nailed for it. It was his fault, not the government.

He was out of work one year, so he didn't file taxes and then got fined for it. He suffered during the dotcom crash in the 90s, that wasn't the government's fault. That was rampant speculation in the private markets. Not his fault. Not the government's fault. He suffered another audit and fine a few years later, because he was hiding like $12k in unreported earnings of his wife. Again and again his interactions with the IRS left him fined and broken, but those were all his fault.

Regardless of what hardships he endured, he decided the right course of action was mass murder and terrorism. His goal, explicitly stated, was to "add to the body count" which would cause a knee-jerk reaction from the govt to add more draconian rules and restrictions which he hoped would be enough to push more people over the line into violent rebellion and causing a cascading effect that would end in the violent overthrow of the govt.

If that's not terrorism, I don't know what is.

Another big misunderstanding surrounding Stack is that he was a member of the Tea Party. He was not. He did share the Tea Party's desire for violent revolution, but ideologically they are very different. Stack was an extreme leftist who quoted communist ideals in his suicide note and hated capitalism (even though he tried starting several businesses, so one can assume his hatred of capitalism is because he sucked at it). This really doesn't take the Tea Party off the hook from criticism. It simply illustrates the tragedy involved when violent ideology takes control. You'd think that this wouldn't be a question, but there are a lot of Americans who are looking at this guy as a hero. That thought makes me sick. Leigh pointed us at these comments in support of Stack's terrorism. These are just the comments posted on an article discussing the attack and it's absolutely frightening that so many people view him as a hero and applaud his actions.

What the fuck is wrong with these people?

My heart goes out to all of the innocent families who were harmed by this insane act of terrorism.

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