Declaring that her organization of civilian border watchers cannot accept the liability growing out of anger over the “criminal act” passage of the highly volatile health care legislation, Minuteman leader Carmen Mercer says the corporation is dissolving.
In a written statement published on the MCDC web site, Mercer said, “I’m afraid for many citizens, the passing of health care against the will of the people and now indications that Obama will try to pass amnesty (for illegal aliens already in the U.S.) may be the straw that will…ignite frustration that we, as an organization, may not be able to manage or contain.”
Mercer expressed doubts that Minuteman members “will be less likely to follow the rules of engagement in a desperate attempt to stop the criminals who violate our borders every day.”
Citing liability concerns, she said her group could not take responsibility if such mistakes were to be made. The latest border muster, a call for concentrated border surveillance by the group in Arizona announced only days before on March 15th, has been cancelled.
The abrupt move to abolish the Minuteman organization and sell off its assets comes only one week after its issuance of a “High Alert For All Minutemen” in which Mercer wrote, “The Minutemen are returning to the border –locked and loaded- to say, ‘You are wrong Obama, America comes first!’” In the e-mail message, Mercer reserved some of her anger for Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, former Governor of Arizona, who she described as an “unqualified buffoon who risks the lives of American citizens every day she is head of DHS.”
The strongly-worded message continued: “For eight long years we Minutemen played nice (but) this March we return to the border locked, loaded and ready to stop each and every individual we encounter along the frontier that is now more dangerous than the frontier of Afghanistan.” Mercer promised “the operation will not be for the faint of heart” and added that volunteers will have “zero tolerance for any and all violations of our border.”
The alert also contained this ominous message: Previously prohibited from MCDC musters, long arms (guns) will not only be allowed but encouraged.
Minutemen detractors suggest there is more to the end of the organization than fear of potential anger spillover resulting from passage of health care legislation.
The Minutemen outfit grew from a cattle call for citizen border watchers published by Chris Simcox in his Tombstone Tumbleweed newspaper in 2002. Hundreds of pistol-packing citizens converged on Cochise County, Arizona to assist in patrolling the border against an unrelenting invasion of illegal aliens.
Later, Simcox would come under fire from his own members for alleged financial shenanigans stemming from accountability questions surrounding an unbuilt MCDC-funded border fence, shenanigans he has denied.
In 2009, the conservative Washington times, writing about Simcox’ brief challenge of John McCain in the 2010 Senate Primary, offered a rather stinging rebuke of the self-avowed border patriot pointing out that former Minutemen members were “questioning the whereabouts of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of dollars in donations.”
Last August Mercer herself came under a dubious spotlight when Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard accused her of being part of a property tax scam. Goddard filed a lawsuit and obtained a restraining order to stop what he called a fraud that claimed homeowners’ properties in Arizona, California, and Nevada qualified for a “property tax reduction review.” The solicitation, which requested a $189 processing fee, was not affiliated with any government entity, according to Goddard who also noted that the appeals process for 2009 had already expired and there was no way the solicitation to make good on. Mercer owned the post office box included in the solicitation.
Mercer turned over to U.S. Postal authorities more than 1000 responses she had received.
In announcing the disbanding of the Minutemen this week, Mercer implied that citizen anger over the health care law might be taken out on illegal aliens caught crossing the Arizona desert by members of her group.
“This has brought me to the conclusion that the anger may not be directed by every individual against their government; I realize people have HAD IT (her emphasis)!” She said the Minutemen could not continue under such a great risk of liability.
Her two page e-mail alert concluded: “you know what to do – the rest is up to you.”