Loew went undercover to document with hidden cameras a statewide recruitment drive by the organization, which bills itself as "a law-abiding, non-racist, non-radical unit."
Sure. That's why they crack jokes about assassinating U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.
"We cannot countenance anyone who says, `Oh yeah, let's go assassinate Holder,'" kids one militia dude as a hidden cam is rolling. "As much as he may need it, you can't do it."
When Loew finally reveals his identity, the tough militia guys cover their faces and run away. I mean, if there's nothing wrong with the group, as ASM insists, why the secrecy?
ASM claims that it has "hundreds" of members and that it carefully vets those seeking to become members, both dubious claims, considering that the meetings were small and that they were so easily infiltrated by Loew.
Loew correctly points out that there are several such groups operating in Arizona, though I use that word "group" loosely. All the same, just one of these militia nuts could turn out to be dangerous.
Timothy McVeigh, anyone?
So these delusional goofballs with guns cannot be ignored, even when, in the case of, say, the "Arizona Special Operations Group," there appear to be only two of them.
I wrote about those two in a previous blog post. Their names are Richard Malley and Robert Deatherage.
You'll remember Malley, 49, as the unemployed Glendale man living with his mom who pointed his AR-15 at an MCSO deputy in August. He's currently charged with aggravated assault and has set up a defense fund because he's broke.
In one recent post on his Facebook site under the name "Doc Garrett," Malley kvetches that no one is donating to his cause.
"The fund is not happening," he writes. "I think that everyone is concerned with all of the bigger stories out there or they just can't afford to donate, which is ok. The fund thus far is almost a break even for me as it cost 75.00 for the po box, I had to sign up for 3 months to get it and the donations to date are around 100.00 and change.
"I changed the statement on the Justice for Richard Malley page to open a forum so people can ask questions about the ASOG. It appears that there are some people that would like to believe we are a militia unit and a hate group. The ASOG has taken along time to put together and we are not militia nor are we a hate group. If you have the time visit the page and read the statements that I put up. On a positive note, the page now has 100 likes. Later, Doc."
Here's a genius idea, Rich: Sell your AR-15, all of your gear and other weapons, and your ammo. Then go look for a job instead of putzing about the desert. (Hint: Danny's Family Car Wash probably is hiring.)
Also, stop hanging out with this goon Rob Deatherage. To judge from Deatherage's YouTube videos -- featuring himself running through the cactus with his AR, pics of dead migrants and Border Patrol vehicles -- he could use a new hobby that does not involve firearms. Like trying to lace his boots while wearing a straitjacket.
Many of these yahoos seems to know each other. For instance, Rob "Lil' Dog" Crooks, a scraggly bearded fella who looks like he'd be right at home on a reality show like Duck Dynasty or Moonshiners, has been around since before the 2005 Minuteman Project.
His "group" is the Mountain Minutemen. Though MM seems to be a group of one, Crooks regularly teams up with others, such as Arizona's friendliest neo-Nazi Harry Hughes, Deatherage and Malley, among others.
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Loew hooks up (sub rosa, natch) with Crooks, who was with Deatherage and Malley the night Malley decided to point a gun at peace officer. Crooks recounts, with a chuckle, how high the deputy jumped when Malley confronted him, and ultimately shrugs it off as, "fog of war or miscommunication."
This is not Loew's first rodeo infiltrating minuteman and militia groups, and he doesn't seem to don any major disguises. I can only conclude that the oafs in these milita organizations don't watch a lot of local news.
One quibble: I think CBS 5 misidentifies Rob Deatherage as Malley about 2:55 in, but that's not a big deal. Assuming I'm right.
From what I hear, CBS 5 has gotten a lot of heat over the story. But that's Sand Land for ya. It's filled with wannabe soldiers of fortune. And white men desperately trying to find an excuse, any excuse, to use their ARs.