Monday, March 12, 2012

Why Mike Vanderboegh can't be an ATF snitch.

First of all:  no, nobody asked for my opinion.

It's been a little bit now since the big recent pissing contest between supporters of Mike Vanderboegh and of "Kerodin" (and to a lesser extent, between the principals themselves), and it occurred to me during all the tiresome flap that there seemed to be an obvious point nobody was really making.  (Apologies if I just missed it.)

Among the fecal flingery were accusations that "Kerodin" was an ATF plant, and then that MBV was an ATF plant.  Oh gawd, "the work of the enemy done for free," indeed.  As Joel so brilliantly put it:  "See, this is why I don't do militia any more..."

Now for full disclosure, I don't know much about "Kerodin" at all.  What little I've seen doesn't resonate with me at all--it never did--but I simply don't know enough to form a conclusion I'd rely on.

And I admit, I did really want Mike to remain above it all,  and not take what really did look like fight-picking bait to me.  But he did.  I can even understand why he did*, but it's still a disappointing blemish on an otherwise outstanding gadfly record.

But MBV as an ATF snitch just made me laugh.  Laugh.  Why, you ask?  (I realize you didn't ask.  It's just a construct of opinion writing.)  Now that's simple.  For that to be true, or even plausible, it would mean that ATF must have been capable of producing a snitch-provocateur of the quality of Mike Vanderboegh.  And that's just rainbow-shittin' unicorn territory right there.

Think about it.  Has anyone ever heard of a fed-snitch or -plant that wasn't laughably one-dimensional, pluperfectly tailored to the agency's meme-set (usually all the memes at the same time, oddly enough), and above all possessed exclusively and only of an authoritarian-statist approach to...everything?  They stick out like sore thumbs:  "Q:  How do you tell the federal snitch at the militia meeting?  A:  He's the only one talking about blowing shit up."

Mike is the very antithesis of all this.  He quite openly advocates "leaderless" organization.  He understands how to share information so that people can draw their own conclusions.  He is well-versed in the historical hubris of the state, and does not pull punches in exposing it.  He is delightfully self-effacing.  And most of all, he understands the difference between aggression and reaction.  (For that reason alone he could not viably be a product of the state.)

Nope.  MBV couldn't be a snitch.  The government just isn't capable of being that creative.

* Additionally, I'll simply forgive him that prurience.  MBV has been an absolute, ah, wolverine regarding the Gunwalker case for over a year, at great effort and cost to himself, only to discover recently that the real fix was in, ultimately, from among ostensible friendlies.  Not a surprise, really, but disappointing in a way that gets even to hardened cynics.  After that much investment and admirable success even within a rigged system, he's earned himself a lash-back or two.


MamaLiberty said...

Indeed... the idea of Mike as a "snitch" is seriously silly. I mean... he can spell and write complete sentences. :)

What I can't figure out is why anyone - Mike, David, anybody who has a clue... why would any of you believe for one second that the crimes of one part of government could or would be properly investigated and dealt with by another part of that totally criminal enterprise?

Takes optimism way too far.

Joel said...

Yeah, I've got a hard time buying Vanderboegh as a snitch. I ran into a few back in the last century, and they're pretty much of a type - not his type. And if those dumbass accusations were even a little true, I think his handlers would have prevailed on him to shut the hell up about Gunwalker.

I thought the broken windows thing from a couple of years ago was pretty stupid, but it hardly makes him the guy who always talks about blowing stuff up. (An amusing stereotype which, BTW, isn't always true.) And one of Kerodin's accusations involve him never getting around to finishing Absolved. That's just stupid. I've failed to finish a book or two, and it doesn't make me a snitch.

I've tried to blank the whole dumb thing out.

Phelps said...

FWIW, I think the argument is not that Mike started out as a snitch, but that they flipped him on the weapons charge. I find that to be laughable too (since he could make more hay out of continuing charges and the circus surrounding it).

If anything, the one that looks like a snitch, walks like a snitch, and talks like a snitch would be more like, well, Kerodin.

wirecutter said...

So everybody is laughing about MBV being a snitch, condemning it and then turning right around and doing the same thing to Kerodin.

I don't think either of them are snitches.

But as far as the reasoning behind why he can't be a snitch, it's flawed.
If you think you can spot a plant by the way he acts, you're outta your ever-lovin' minds. Some of the most hard core bike gangs in the US have been infiltrated by the ATF and their vetting process is considerably tougher than anything you can come up with.
New hopefuls have to be invited to even hang around the club, then after they get to know everybody, 6 months to a year, they're asked to prospect where their loyalty is really put to the test. That's maybe another year before the vote to admit them as full fledged members and with most clubs it's a unamimous (not majority) vote. That's after they pass extensive bacckground checks. Then and only then are they trusted with club secrets and business.

SO yeah, keep thinking the way you do and you'll be the first to go down.

Kevin Wilmeth said...

wirecutter, I can speak only for myself, but let me be clear on this: I quite deliberately recused myself from comment on "Kerodin" for a personally insufficient volume of knowledge. I still do. And that's a full stop.

And I'm not sure you are making the point you think you're making, by relating standard-fare cloak-and-dagger stories of FedThugs infiltrating an entirely authoritarian-sounding control structure that they might indeed understand perfectly.

Where you conceived the idea that I (and quite possibly others here) would naturally insist on some hard-core, secretive, formalized, draconian vetting process I've no idea, but to the extent that is the basis for your comparison and argument, I think you make my point for me.

Moe Death said...

Say, this "Kerodin" guy wouldn't happen to be a toothless carny, would he? Just thinking about old enemies of MBV and their idiot rants... Forgot the guy's handle, but he was a total idiot dickwad.

Mike, my prayers and Domino's (Yes, dogs pray, and usually with much better results) are with you. Get better. We need your sage advice now more than ever! Remember, the fight isn't in the arms, but in the mind!

The Lord be with you.

Bill and Domino

Quick, Domino! The Bushmills!

Rollory said...

As far as I know, the only person who was seriously claiming VDB was an informer was Bill Nye (who I didn't read because he was too hot-tempered and incoherent for me, and he has since taken his blog down anyway). I don't think Kerodin ever made the accusation except as a response to VDB's repeated needling of him.

I never considered it a serious possibility. I don't need someone to be an informer for me to find reasons to disagree with them.