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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Texas Deputies Shooter Linked To Republic Of Texas Militia; Documents Show History Of Tension

A Texas man with alleged links to an anti-government militia was arrested Saturday after shooting two sheriff's deputies and provoking a 22-hour standoff was arrested.

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety (via the Associated Press), Victor White is connected to the Republic of Texas organization, which the AP describes as a group that "asserts Texas is an independent nation whose government was reactivated in 2005 after 163 years of dormancy." DPS also described the group as a white supremacist organization.

The Republic of Texas pre-dates 2005, however. The group appears to have originated during the term of then-Gov. George W. Bush. The following documents from the Texas state archives shed some light on the group's origins. I have redacted phone numbers which were listed on the documents, but I will make the originals available to major news outlets on request.

  • June 1995 letter to country sheriffs

    This letter claims to be from a group called "Texas Volunteers" which appears to be a precursor to the Republic of Texas. The letter shows the movement's rocky relationship with law enforcement long predates the violence of this week.

    The letter warns sheriffs that their duty is to protect the people, not just from criminals but from the federal government (all typos are continued from the original):

    The "FED's" have invaded the Counties, and perpertrated acts against the people without taking the steps to make their actions lawful. Since the people elected you to protect them, it is YOUR reponsibility to protect them in all case., even against the illegal acts of the I.R.S. A thief with the I.R.S. or the A.T.F.,or any other FED agency is no less a thief than a drug addict with a smoking gun. [...]

    It is our program to support you as you protect the Constitution of the
    Republic of Texas against all enemies, foreign and domestic, as per your
    oath of office, filed as required by law.

    Obviously, supporting the Constitution is protecting the people.

    As to those Sheriffs who do not support the Law of the Constitution or
    their oaths of office, we will proceed to have them removed from office,
    and have them replaced by a Sheriff who will enforce the Constitution,
    and act from the power therof.
  • January 1996 open letter to militia groups

    This letter, addressed to known Texas militia and white supremacy groups, appears to announce the formation of the Republic of Texas movement and invites the "commanders and executive officers" of Texas militias to attend a dinner on January 13, 1996 in Austin, Texas.

    "We apologize for the short notice," wrote Archie H. Lowe, who described himself as "Secretary of Defense" for the Republic of Texas, "but events have been moving very rapidly and the press of business of the provisional government has been great."

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    INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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