America's civilian militias: Growing numbers of Americans are preparing for a war against their governmentSubmitted by Bob-45 on Fri, 08/20/2010 - 10:06
Johnny Cochran trains fellow militia men to kill the enemy by stabbing them in the back.In heavy camouflage gear, Johnny Cochran squats down and shuffles noiselessly along the ground. His target is a large man who, like Cochran, is in military fatigues. Seconds later, Cochran leaps up and stabs the man once, hard, in the neck. The movement is swift, and would almost certainly be lethal, were it not for the fact that the 'weapon' Cochran is wielding is a pen.
The scenario I have just witnessed may be simulated, but its protagonists are deadly serious. This is a 'close combat training' session given by 'Fireteam Diamondback' - an armed militia group, or civilian 'army', based in west Texas, in the United States. Cochran, a chain-smoking 39 year-old with a handlebar moustache and goatee whose T-shirt reads: 'Disgruntled Combat Vet - Right Wing Extremist', is their leader. Biro-wielding or not, he's not someone you would wish to encounter in combat.
'Straight into the base of his skull,' he says, after pretending to plunge the pen into the neck of Steven Page, a member of another militia group who has joined the training. 'That's the nerve centre. Then you push forward. If you're dealing with someone short, that works like a charm, but if you're dealing with someone tall, grab his face, insert the knife and when you shove that knife forwards, pull him towards you.'
Cochran smiles. 'You're going to make a hell of a mess, but human flesh tears easily. Bone is a pain in the a--.' He knows what he's talking about, having served four years as a combat medic with the US Marines during Operation Desert Storm. His 'handle', or nickname, in the militia is 'Doc'. And yet, as he freely admits, the hypothetical enemy - the target he's teaching the people gathered here today to kill - is a US soldier.
Why? Cochran says he is simply exercising his constitutional right to assemble an armed civilian force that is prepared to fight any enemy, be they domestic or foreign. There are 27 men in Cochran's squad including, apparently, both former and serving soldiers, policemen and members of the sheriff's department.
This didn't surprise me. I'd already read about Richard Mack, a former sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, who now travels the country 'crusading for freedom and individual rights' and insists 'the greatest threat we face today is not terrorists; it is our own federal government'.