Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Gun-Toting Vigilantes of the Minuteman Groups has been investigated by FBI. by MICKADEIT.
More craziness in Minuteman Land, and I'm more than happy to report the goings on for those of you pelt me with deranged e- and v- mail, insisting that these are just well-meaning Americans doing what our government is too afraid to.
Some are well-meaning, if misguided, but as I've shown time and again, there are so many nut jobs in the ranks that it was just a matter of time before we'd get this: A pair of You Tube videos that purport to show a San Diego border Minuteman nicknamed Lil' Dog shooting and hitting an illegal border crosser – and the grave where the victim is claimed to be buried.
The San Diego County Sheriff's Department has determined the grave shown in one video is a fake, but it is still investigating whether Minutemen were shooting at Mexicans – perhaps while they were still on the Mexican side. (The sheriff's action was first reported by Leslie Berestein of the San Diego Union-Tribune, a reporter I hired and supervised many years ago. Good to know she has retained the low tolerance for knuckle-dragging zealots I tried to instill in her.)
"What's your '20' (i.e.: location)?" asks one of the men.
"He's up there on the smuggler's trail," replies the other.
Then they appear to lose sight of the person. Suddenly the figure reappears from behind a rock.
"I'm going to take the shot!" one man yells, and then follows two flashes of light and the sound of two gunshots. The silhouette is no longer visible. "I (expletive) got 'em, dude! I (expletive) got 'em! … Dude, what are we gonna do?"
The other man replies, "Get the shovel, get some lime, and, hey, grab me a 12-pack, too, while you're up there."
The end of the video is a daylight shot of a grave in the desert marked with stones and a crude white cross.
As you recall, I was near Lil' Dog's semi-permanent outpost near Campo earlier this year. Deborah Courtney, the Minuteman member who was with me, told me Friday that she purposely didn't take me to meet Lil' Dog that day because they considered him a little too wacky. As for the provenance of these videos, Courtney just doesn't know. "We think it was theatrical. We hopeit was theatrical."
Even if it is theatrical, it still shows you how sick some of these individuals are. And to think that I once momentarily had second thoughts about labeling them "gun-toting vigilantes."
Meanwhile, in Orange County, Courtney and the other former/current/never-were (depending on who you believe) Minuteman board members fighting founder Jim Gilchrist have encountered their own bit of strangeness.
Their attorney, Richard Gilbert, filed a lawsuit in Superior Court against Gilchrist in the ongoing battle over who really isThe Minuteman Project: Gilchrist or Courtney, et al. And indeed, Courtney filed under the corporate name, The Minuteman Project.
Shortly after her filing, Courtney was reviewing the file online when she discovered that another attorney, Guy Mailly, had filed a motion to substitute as the attorney for The Minuteman Project. Mailly is Gilchrist's attorney.
To Courtney and Gilbert, it appears Mailly is trying to pull a fast one – hijack the lawsuit by getting himself declared the attorney of record.
In court on Friday, Judge Randell Wilkinson seemed a little shocked, too, when Mailly stood at the plaintiff's table. He told him to move down to the defense table.
This sounded like one of the more audacious legal maneuvers I'd ever heard, but Mailly was unrepentant late Friday afternoon. He says he wrote Gilbert a letter saying he was the legitimate attorney for the Minutemen and "they didn't get back to me, so I filed the motion."
Mailly believes that Wilkinson will ultimately declare him the rightful attorney. "We will proceed and we will succeed, and then we will dismiss the case," Mailly told me. Next hearing: Sept. 19.