Last Thursday, a software engineer with a grudge against the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) – the Stateside equivalent of the Inland Revenue – premeditatedly flew his single engine airplane into an Austin, Texas office building that houses around 200 IRS employees. Joseph Stack had left an online “manifesto” telling of his intentions.
So far, so sad, but the big story the next day on the website of Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse) was the idea that this was an act of terrorism. There is an attempt to draw a parallel between this and the bombing of the Alfred P Murrah building in Oklahoma City back in 1995, despite the rather different scale of casualties – 168 dead in the latter attack – and the fact that the bomber, Timothy McVeigh, was a member of a local militia.
So what? Well, making the Stack attack into a terrorist act gives those who portray the Democrat administration as “soft on terror” more ammunition. The real story – that there are those in the USA who believe that the 16th Amendment has not been ratified and therefore it is somehow OK not to pay income tax, some of whom are prepared to go to extreme lengths in pursuit of their beliefs – is left behind as this act gets used for other political ends.
Stack wasn’t a terrorist. He was a sad and misguided individual acting alone. Not that Fox will let that get in the way.