Yesterday I wrote a diary about Byron Williams, who was pulled over on Interstate 580 in Oakland early Sunday morning. He was wearing body armor and engaged in a lengthy shootout with police. His mother had stated that he watched the news and was upset by "the way Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items." I made a logical connection to FOX "News", as genuine news organizations seldom whip people into such a frenzy that they engage in a 20 minute shootout with police.
A right-wing nutbag emailed me and gave me a link to newsbusters, where there was a spirited defense of FOX "News" and how there was no evidence whatsoever linking Williams to FOX.
I began the diary by asking, "Where were you going, Mr. Williams?" We now know - and we know why he targeted his locations. All of the evidence leads back to Glenn Beck and FOX News.
Police are now releasing details of his targets on Sunday. From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Convicted felon Byron Williams loaded up his mother's Toyota Tundra with guns, strapped on his body armor and headed to San Francisco on Sunday with one thing in mind: to kill workers at the ACLU and an environmental foundation, prosecutors say.
Williams, an anti-government zealot on parole for bank robbery, had hoped to "start a revolution" with the bloodshed at the ACLU and the Tides Foundation in San Francisco, authorities said.
But before he made it to the city, Williams was stopped by California Highway Patrol officers for speeding and driving erratically on westbound Interstate 580 west of Grand Avenue in Oakland.
Police say he then initiated a chaotic, 12-minute gunbattle with officers, firing a 9mm handgun, a .308-caliber rifle and a shotgun. He reloaded his weapons when he ran out of ammunition and stopped only after officers shot him in areas of his body not covered by his bullet-resistant vest, authorities said.
The ACLU is a common target of right-wing rage, but the Tides Foundation? I'm a lefty from San Francisco and I've never heard of it. How did this guy from a rural part of California learn of it?
If you guessed Glenn Back, you'd be correct - he's mentioned the Tides Foundation several times on his show, and ominously links them to ACORN and the Weather Underground. This transcript is from about a year ago:
BECK: The Apollo Alliance — OK. Oh look: It's ACORN. ACORN founder Wade Rathke is former chairman of Tides Center. That's weird: Rathke was on the Tides board. ACORN, Tides, Apollo, Van Jones, Jeff Jones, Weather Underground — uh-oh.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ACORN, SEIU, Tides — all of those connections alone and seeing how they are all intertwined and related are eye opening. But, when you combine that with what they are being mobilized to work for, it's frightening — unless you love France.
Not recent enough? Beck brought up the Tides Foundation just last week, on Wednesday, July 14th.
Well, they have the education system. They have the media. They have the capitalist system. What do you think the Tides Foundation was? They infiltrate and they saw under Ronald Reagan that capitalists were not for all of this nonsense, so they infiltrated.
Now, they are using failing capitalism to destroy it. They're using the churches through social justice. The media — do I have to explain that one? This is what progressives and all power-seekers do. They find something vulnerable. They latch on to it. They exploit it for power.
I have found no other news outlet that has mentioned the Tides Foundation in any context, much less portraying it as a Destroyer of America.
So, to the right-wing nutbags who scoffed at this guy being a consumer of FOX "News" - he gave himself away by his choice of targets. Tides is one of Beck's targets and it almost became a target of Byron Williams, wearing body armor and carrying three weapons and loads of ammo. I stand by my contention yesterday:
The irresponsibility of the right-wing media is surely going to result in more Byron Williams across the country. Potential bloodshed, even of police officers, seems a price they're willing to pay to push their agenda.
UPDATE: Thanks to everyone for the recs. I'll just add that Williams requested a Public Defender at his court hearing today. Not very bootstrappy of him!
UPDATE 2: The San Jose Mercury News adds a bit of background on this dope, as well as some interesting tidbits:
In June 2002, Williams was arrested for bank robbery after robbing the California Federal Branch in Chowchilla. He had been planning to rob a Bank of America branch but abandoned that plan when he saw a long line and because customers and tellers laughed at the suit and blond wig he was wearing, according to published reports.
...Thomason continued, "We're not sure if there may be some bigger, underlying criminal enterprise going on. I can't get into that."
Williams may not have been acting alone, police said.
Thomason said Oakland police are following up numerous leads, executing search warrants in other cities and looking for possible accomplices.