Tuesday, February 23, 2010

did stack jack "little eichmans"?

WaPo | Mark Potok, a director at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks white supremacists and other hate groups, said the attack on the IRS has been endorsed by extremists even more enthusiastically than the shooting rampage last June at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington that left a security guard dead.

"I think Joseph Stack has tapped into a very deep vein of rage against the government," he said.

On one Internet thread full of praise for Stack, one person wrote that he must "suppress the urge to take flying lessons."

Pensacola, Fla., pastor and radio host Chuck Baldwin wrote on his Web site that he wished Stack had not died "because we need each other." He added: "My heart goes out to Joe Stack! The sentiments expressed above are shared by millions of Americans who are also fed up with Big Brother."

Larken Rose, a 41-year-old Pennsylvania man who served a year in prison for willful failure to file an income tax return, said he does not consider the IRS employee killed in the attack and the man's injured co-workers to be innocent victims.

"I don't know how many people they harassed or how many houses they had stolen or how many bank accounts they had swiped," he told the AP. Stack's letter "shows quite obviously he was not crazy. He was frustrated. He had been wronged over and over."

The IRS kept a master list of tax protesters until 1998, when a change in the law prevented the agency from tracking them. MacNab estimated there are more than 500,000 tax protesters today, the vast majority of whom do not file tax returns.

"There are people who sympathize with this crime and turn the criminal into a hero," said Fathali Moghaddam, a psychology professor at Georgetown University. "At tax time, what better authority figure to hit than the tax man?"