Thursday, March 07, 2013

On U.S. Soil

How many people have forgotten this?

This is a picture of Mr. Norman Mayer*, a United States citizen and anti-nuclear activist who drove a white panel truck with a large sign reading ""#1 PRIORITY: BAN NUCLEAR WEAPONS"  up to the base of the Washington Monument on December 8, 1982.

Mr. Mayer got out of the van dressed as you see him here and carrying a remote control device.

Here is what happened next:
Mayer claimed that he would destroy the Monument with 1,000 pounds (500 kg) of TNT loaded in his van unless a national dialogue on the threat of nuclear weapons was seriously undertaken. Mayer also claimed that he had a hidden accomplice who also could detonate the explosives.

The U.S. Park Police evacuated nearby buildings and closed down area streets for several blocks. Eight tourists were initially trapped inside the Monument, but were released after AP reporter Steven Komarow began negotiating with Mayer. Ten hours into the negotiation, Mayer jumped in his van and started to drive off, threatening to become "a moving time bomb in downtown Washington." The police opened fire, striking Mayer four times—twice in the head.

The Park Police later claimed that they did not intend to shoot Mayer, but were instead aiming for the van's engine. Their subsequent investigation disclosed that Mayer had neither explosives nor an accomplice.
Said one officer, "After all the crazies who've been coming out of the woodwork in the last few years, we're told to take anything like this seriously."

*Thank's D. for the catch


zombie rotten mcdonald said...

no drones needed.

Ed Crotty said...

As long as police can claim they thought you were dangerous/armed they have free reign to execute you. Ironically, widespread gun ownership makes this EASIER for police, because virtually anyone can be expected to be armed.

driftglass said...

Ed Crotty,


However driving a van that you claim in full on explosives up to a national monument in heart of Washington and declaring that you intend to blow something up if sorta the definition of armed and dangerous.

D. said...

Shouldn't that sentence read "This is a picture of Mr. Norman Mayer"?

(Actually, I did not remember this.)

tony in san diego said...

I think the issue of whether the president can fire on American citizens inside the United States, was settled at Fort Sumpter.

ChiefD said...

And at Kent State, it was settled for even governors.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of this incident. This does not surprise me as I find a real absence of these types of stories in out national narrative. It's almost as if the media and our leadership doesn't want any examples of us actually doing things that might exert leverage. That might call attention to issues that they would prefer unexamined. They prefer to have us view ourselves as patriotic jackasses, quietly waving flags at the periphery of their events, instead of starring in our OWN events.

Anonymous said...

The cops took a pretty big gamble that there wasn't really an accomplice with a radio trigger or that the guy didn't have a deadman switch. I assume they decided that allowing the van into a less open area was just unacceptable. Not really any good choices for the police in this situation. And what a shitty way to commit suicide.

eddie blake said...

yeah, rand paul is dumb. really dumb. then there was this:

who knew? the government DOES drop bombs on people.

Lancelot Link said...

It's almost as if the media and our leadership doesn't want any examples of us actually doing things that might exert leverage.

Doing things like Tim McVeigh in Oklahoma City 1995?
I have to admit I'm opposed to such acts, myself.