2011-09-12 "Arrested Alaska militia leader bragged big" by Jill Burke
Two years ago Schaeffer Cox was on a junket. The self-made militia leader from Fairbanks, Alaska, was a rising star among people fed up with the Feds. From Chicago, Ill., to Missoula, Mont., he spoke at liberty rallies, protests and seminars. He was both forthright and brazen. Part showman, part preacher, he was a man with a message: "This is war!"
Cox's big talk may have been the start of his undoing. Before long, his words got him onto the FBI's radar, and the FBI and U.S. Attorneys were soon faced with sorting out what was protected speech, and what might be actionable conduct, according newly filed court records.
At the gatherings, Cox urged all who would listen to reject the courts, the law, the corporatization of the Constitution, and to assert and be prepared to defend their natural rights. It wasn't just a dream of some out-of-reach America. The boyish looking leader had a plan. Armed with charm, quotes from the founding fathers and plenty of personal anecdotes, Cox delivered the sermon-like call to action in appearance after appearance.
Jailed in an alleged murder conspiracy in which a state judge was among the intended targets, and also facing federal weapons charges, Cox is no longer able to freely make out-of state sojourns to solicit civil disobedience. As Cox prepares for his days in court (Cox faces both state and federal charges) his defense attorney has questioned whether Cox really did anything wrong or if he is now sitting behind bars for merely exercising his right to free speech. In an attempt to find out, attorney Nelson Traverso pushed for more information about the investigations that culminated in the March arrests of Cox and five others.
In response, the federal prosecutors in Alaska have provided Cox with transcripts of speeches Cox made that caught the attention of investigators. Most of the information remains hidden, filed under seal. But prosecutors did state that in one of the Montana speeches from 2009 Cox bragged about a common law court he had created and how it had earned enough respect that the government "isn't doing anything about it." Cox even suggested the Fairbanks District Attorney was allowing Cox's court to deal with minor matters. When asked how the court would handle a murder case, Cox responded with a remedy no less than eye-for-an-eye:
"… Common law jurisprudence says that in the case or murder that person has forfeited their right, and that at that point the victim can choose. If the pain they went through is so horrible if they want to spare other people the pain by deterring others, by putting that person to death, that’s up to the victim or the victim's family. They can do that, and that person can be hung; or they can sell that person into slavery for the rest of their life. That person is owned by the person they violated, and they can sell him or they can kill him. And these concepts are right out of the Old Testament."
In this same speech, Cox was said to also boast about the size of militia, nearly 3,500 men strong:
"It is not a rag-tag deal. I mean, we're set: we've got a medical unit that's got surgeons and doctors and medical trucks and mobile surgery units and stuff like that. We've got engineers that make GPS jammers, cell phone jammers, bombs, and all sorts of nifty stuff. We've got guys with, we've got airplanes with laser acquisition stuff and we've got rocket launchers and grenade launchers and claymores and machine guns and (sic) calvary and we've got boats. It's all set."
If Cox had amassed this level of warfare capability, the Feds either didn't find it or for some reason aren't yet using it against him. No mention of laser-equipped airplanes, rocket launchers or claymores is made in any of the charges pending against Cox.
The excerpts above are similar to things Cox has said in a long, sovereign citizen how-to speech called "The Solution," [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFOUqurUgFk] and also while in Missoula, Mont., in May 2010 during a Liberty Convention [http://missoulian.com/news/local/article_d42df978-65f9-11df-8658-001cc4c002e0.html] held at the University of Montana.
At the Liberty Convention, Cox claimed that the Irish Republican Army had invited him to Ireland to talk about his sovereign plan, and he warned that things in his hometown of Fairbanks had grown tense -- all stemming from what he described as increasingly aggressive attempts by law enforcement to meddle with his family life in order to disrupt his ability to spread his message, and he feared he might be arrested.
"We are right on the edge of having blood in our streets," [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4JZJ1lJx0E] Cox said, adding that he had put the militia on "high alert."
The fight, should one ensue, he predicted, would have a swift winner. "We can have everybody who has anything to do with tyranny dead in one night," he boasted.
Cox had not just spoken about overthrowing the government, but had taken steps to do it, Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Skrocki wrote to the court in a motion attached to other documents, related to the investigation, he was filing under seal. "… by 2010, Cox had stated that his own judicial system was up and running, and that backing it was a 3,500 member militia, armed with de facto destructive devices," Skrocki wrote.
The other documents include information about tips that had come in to the Montana FBI about Cox's activities.
By April 2010, months before two cooperating, paid sources in Alaska began to aid the investigation, hesitancy remained "as to whether Cox speeches and actions were First Amendment protected, or whether they had at some point crossed the line into actionable conduct," Skrocki wrote.
Within three months the confidential sources were in place and state and federal investigators began to collect audio and video surveillance of Cox and his militia associates. In the 10 months that followed, the group worked to obtain grenades, silencers and had developed a revenge-based death plot that included the kidnapping and murder of law enforcement and a state judge should anyone try to arrest Cox, who was on the run from a misdemeanor weapons charge, according to court records.
The investigation became public when Cox and other militia members were abruptly arrested in March 2011.
by burke2.2 | September 13, 2011 - 2:01pm
No person can infringe upon the rights of others and that is what he is trying to do. He is taking liberty with the freedoms he and others enjoy, adjudicating those laws to serve his own world views.
In effect, abridging the Constitution, Bill of Rights and the laws that govern our Country.
He can always denounce his citizenship and give it up, go to a Latin American country to preach and start a revolt, like Castro or Chavez did. But he would probably end up on a firing squad or imprisoned for life.
If he and others hate this Country so much, denounce your citizenship and become a citizen of the world, with no allegiance to any Country.
If I were he, I would travel to those countries that are ruled by dictators and see how they are treated; without respect for any laws or civil intercourse, then come back to America and kiss the ground of freedom, he was fortunate enough to be borne in.
That he can speak his mind and receive due process, in a court of law;., not by guns or threats or intimidations, or civil disobedience, but within and by, effecting change within our laws. This is what it means to be an American, to take up arms of words in a Court and force them to amend the laws we have, to bear new judiciary fruits, to nourish future generations of libertarians and leave a lasting legacy for them to follow.
by thulefoth | September 13, 2011 - 10:19am
My eyes slit down just a bit when I read about such totally over-the-top characters like this. I mean, this guy throws even the most basic caution & prudence to the wind, first thing & consistently.
How wonderful, as a way to bait a trapline to lure radically-inclined people out of the bushes, get them identified and collect info on them.
Of course, 'legitmately' winged-out people do exist, and there's plenty to Cox' trail of indulgences to support that what's behind his behavior is a major untreated condition.
But we've poured a helluva lot a new money into Homeland Security, and a new push for revived "human intel", since 9/11. The new staffing & funding to support 'creative' domestic programs is certainly there.
The FBI did this with Hippies, back when, and I am suspicious of certain contemporary radical greenies.
by Moose McNuggets | September 13, 2011 - 11:46am
Schaeffer's buddies did hold a common law court where they tried and acquitted him of the offenses he had already been charged with: reckless endangerment of his wife stemming from when he choked her during a drive to Anchorage (he had previously entered a "no contest" plea with a real court to this one), and his failure to reveal to a police officer that he was carrying a firearm when he interfered with a police walk-through following a 911 call (this was the charge for which Cox eventually missed a scheduled court appearance and became a fugitive as a result).
During his first appearance in court regarding the second charge (occurring before he opted to flee), Cox all but threatened the judge's life. This tirade can be easily found on YouTube, as can other videos where Cox calmly discusses his readiness to kill people. Here's a selection to choose from:
The common law court was held at the Fairbanks Denny's and he was "judged" by his buddies. The outcome was clearly predetermined. Schaeffer was "cleared" of the charges against him. He apparently considered this the final verdict on his criminal career up to that point.
That these nutjobs believed that a trial held at Denny's had any validity whatsoever only adds to the argument that they are all categorically insane. That Schaeffer is not only insane, but violently so is confirmed by his abusive treatment of his wife.
Whether or not he belongs in prison is up to the court to decide. But he clearly belongs in some sort of protective custody, be it prison or a high security sanitarium.
It's easy to laugh at this kid; he's a mockery of everything he says he believes in. But the judicial system is taking him seriously for some very good reasons: he's already hurt one person (his wife) and he was taking active moves toward hurting and/or killing others. He is not someone who should be allowed to walk free.
by SPECKLEFOOT | September 13, 2011 - 8:19am
ALL speech should be protected. NO SPEECH we can utter should be "actionable". It is a sad day for our country when our government forgets its lawful function and boundaries and becomes the oppressive THING that it has become, and it is an even sadder day when the nation's journalists have brains that have turned to mush and hearts that have sided with government oppression and suppression of our most basic human rights.
Shame on Jill Burke for writing this and shame on the Alaska Dispatch for printing it!
Do you people know what a "THOUGHT CRIME" is? It's a legal fiction. It's an excuse for arresting you for speaking your mind. It's the KGB. It's the old Communist Block Thing. It's kids spying on parents. It's friends telling Big Brother on friends. It's disgusting behavior by the government and even more disgusting behavior from "Americans" who should the hell know better than to agree with or tolerate this kind of action in their country.
So wake up, smell the java. If Schaeffer Cox can be arrested for thinking and speaking, then so can YOU!