By Annika Henthorn
Sinking deeper into a pit of endless chaos, the US continues down the rabbit hole of hopelessness. Conflict from the upcoming election, controversy of COVID-19 protocols, and the raging fires ripping through the US amplify the growing tensions of 2020. This has compelled some, specifically an anti-government group, to respond with violence.
On October 8th, it was revealed that 13 men, who were either part of or working with an anti-government group, planned to kidnap Governor of Michigan Gretchen Whitmer, according to The New York Times.
Propelled by a skewed conception of the Governor, deeming her a “tyrant”, the men planned on not only kidnapping her but also blowing up a bridge as a distraction. The strict regulations Whitmer has implemented to combat COVID-19 were considered unconstitutional in the eyes of the 13 men involved.
CNN has identified the six men charged federally as Adam Fox, 37, Ty Garbin, 24, Kaleb Franks, 26, Daniel Harris, 23, Brandon Caserta, 32, and Delaware resident Barry Croft, 44. Those charged by the state were indicated as Paul Bellar, 21, Shawn Fix, 38, Eric Molitor, 36, Michael Null, 38, William Null, 38, Pete Musico, 42, Joseph Morrison, 26. All are facing varying degrees of charges.
The New York Times stated that the men met several times over the summer to build explosives, train with firearms, and plot their mission. They allegedly met in the basement of a shop only accessible through a trapdoor to review the details. A bomb was also discussed through code language like a “baker” and “a cake.” Additionally, Governor Whitmer’s vacation home was being surveyed to acquire more information and maybe even “cap her,” as one of the men put it according to the FBI.
Adam Fox, the ring leader, was part of a group of seven called the Wolverine Watchmen, who threatened to kidnap other political leaders as well as ignite a civil war.
The Governor voiced her response on October 8th after the charges were released. Although she knew her job was difficult, she stated that she “never could have imagined anything like this.” This violent attempt to overthrow the government was directly associated with Trump's reluctance to condemn white supremacy during the debate. Whitmer perceived the president’s silence as “a rallying cry.” However, this did not go unnoticed by the President when he countered that by saying that “Democrats refuse to condemn Antifa, Anarchists, Looters and Mobs that burn down Democrat run cities.”
According to CNN, this incident was brought to light by The Detroit News, which reported earlier this year through a social media group. CNN also confirmed that by June 14, a second anonymous source verified that Adam Fox was meeting with leaders of anti-government groups. In these recorded meetings, Fox claimed that “200 men” were required to rush the Capitol building in Lansing and acquire hostages like Governor Whitmer.
With everything seeming so out of control, people will go to unexplainable lengths in an attempt to cling to any form of control or power. This boggling example of irrationality illustrates what can bloom from a world full of disorder.
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Ryan Ford '23,