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Weekend Review: 13 Charged in Terrifying Plot to Kidnap Governor of Michigan
It was announced on Thursday that 13 men are charged with terrorism-related crimes for conspiring to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer. The suspects were allegedly planning to have a “treason trial” to determine whether the governor’s pandemic lockdown measures were unconstitutional.
Communications show that they planned to gather a group of approximately 200 men to assist them. Their first plot was to charge the capitol building and take hostages. If that were not successful, they would go directly to the governor’s home.
They had been congregating in a basement room under a trap door for months. The group was encouraging surveillance of the governor and murder of law enforcement officers in her kidnapping process. Chillingly, all of the men already seemed to firmly believe that Whitmer was guilty of treason, so their plans for her after the trial were most likely atrocious.
Attorney General Dana Nessel told CBS News that police had to move in “before anybody lost their lives.” The group took steps to monitor Whitmer’s vacation home and had test-detonated explosives that they planned to use on a bridge. Nessel said the governor’s family had been “moved around as a result of activities,” which were highly alarming.
In April, Trump backed anti-lockdown protests in Michigan with a tweet that read, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN.” Armed protesters soon gathered at the state capitol, and the FBI confirmed that two suspects were there. This yet again illuminates a link between the president’s words and his supporters’ actions.
The men have links to a far-right movement called Boogaloo Bois. These rogue groups are often referred to as “militias” and the members as “militants,” but their actions are undeniably terroristic. They encourage murder, civil war, and societal collapse, and some seem to support Trump’s presidency ferociously.
Six men face federal charges while seven are charged with state-related terrorism connected to the plot against Whitmer. Meanwhile, Trump further attacked the governor on Twitter for not being appreciative of him for the work of law enforcement.
Trump gives first public address since Covid diagnosis
On Saturday, Pres. Trump addressed the public for the first time since being hospitalized with Covid-19 last weekend. The president delivered a speech to several hundred supporters from a balcony at the White House.
He used the speaking opportunity to rail against his presidential rival, Joe Biden, who he again connected to the “radical socialist left.” He claimed to have the support of Black and Latinos who were rejecting Biden for a “law and order” agenda.
ABC News obtained emails that showed some attendees had travel and lodging paid for by conservative activist Candace Owens and her group, BLEXIT. They encourage Black Americans to leave the Democratic party in favor of Trump.
Regarding his health, the president told the crowd he was “feeling great.” While he indeed seems to be doing fairly well, coronavirus linked to the White House has infected more than two dozen people.
The White House did not confirm to the public that Trump was negative for coronavirus before the event. However, the president claimed on Sunday that he is inexplicably and indefinitely immune to the virus.
2020 vice presidential debate
The first and only vice presidential debate of the 2020 election took place on Wednesday in Salt Lake City. Vice Pres. Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris debated pressing election issues, like the coronavirus pandemic and impending vaccine, as well as the roots of climate change.
While this debate contained far more substantive policy points than the presidential debate, Pence continued Pres. Trump’s strategy of imaginatively illustrating a Joe Biden presidency as far more progressive than it would be.
“They want to bury our economy under a $2 trillion Green New Deal,” Pence asserted at one point. Harris co-sponsored the Green New Deal, an environmental policy designed to combat climate change aggressively, but Biden said that he does not support it during his own debate. Instead, he supports “the Biden plan,” which Harris claimed will “achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, carbon-neutral by 2035.”
Pence also claimed Biden would ban fracking. While Harris ran a presidential campaign that spotlighted her work for environmental justice, she rebuffed Pence’s allegation by proclaiming, “Joe Biden will not ban fracking.”
Unfortunately, one of the most memorable takeaways from the evening was a fly that landed on Pence. Biden’s campaign has even capitalized on the incident by selling fly swatters on the website.
Protests in Nigeria lead to abolishment of SARS police force
On Sunday, a presidential directive announced that “(SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force has been dissolved WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT.” The squad was accused of widespread brutality and lawlessness, which led to massive protests, but its members will be redeployed into the police force.
Some activists have pointed out that officers of the Nigerian Police Force also engage in similar tactics. Hence, a dissolution of SARS (or the Special Anti-Robbery Squad) and officers’ distribution into the force seems too little action to create real change in policing.
The disbandment comes after multiple attempts to reform SARS by the Nigerian government failed in recent years.