IREHR began looking closely at Chris Kerodin and the Citadel well before Stephen Colbert lampooned the militia fortress idea on his television program in January. We began to piece-together the players involved, the ownership of the numerous corporate bodies, and the North Idaho land deal that anchored the project. In February, we contacted the Nation Investigative Fund. With their financial support, we received all of the court documents in the case where Kerodin was convicted of an elaborate scheme of extortion and on gun charges. The first of April, we traveled to Idaho, the site of the Citadel itself (See below). We closely tracked the activities of Kerodin, and we watched and waited until it started to take shape. Following the first official gathering of Kerodin's Threepers on the North Idaho property over the weekend, The Nation ran a lengthy investigative piece written by IREHR entitled, "Is America's Militia Movement on the Rise?" You can read it here.
Devin Burghart and Leonard Zeskind
American Conservative Union (ACU) chairman Al Cardenas once said “CPAC is like an ‘All Star’ game for conservatives.” Watching it unfold, however, is less like a ball game and more like surveying the line-up at a Moscow May Day parade during the times of the Soviet Union, if you can push the political ideology out of the picture for a moment. Or like monitoring a north Georgia Klan Labor Day Klan rally in the 1980s. You see who is in and who is out. In that regard, seeing the Tea Party emerge at CPAC 2013 is a little like watching the first time white power skinheads showed up at the Gainesville, Georgia Kluxer event in 1989.
.223 Ammo and a Day of Tea Party Rallies
By Leonard Zeskind and Devin Burghart
The diameter of the .223 bullet is about a quarter of an inch. You can find them at gun shows sold in bulk. Hundreds of small pieces of lead stuffed into garbage bag-sized clear plastic containers. These bullets have to be specially weighted for hunting deer. But they are perfectly lethal when used against humans.
As military weaponry, it was first introduced with United States troops in Vietnam in 1963. Posse Comitatus farmer Gordon Kahl used .223 bullets to kill two federal marshals in North Dakota in 1983. And it has been the far-right’s ammunition of choice ever since.
Now Tea Partiers, Birchers and a host of self-described gun enthusiasts are commemorating the bullet with a “Day of Resistance” on 2/23—Saturday, February 23.