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Almost ten years ago, in 2013, at least two people in California lifted a heavy manhole cover to climb down into an underground vault on the side of the road. They cut fiber-optic cables that severed 911 emergency call lines, landlines and cell phone towers. Not long after, someone opened fire on a power substation hitting key pieces of the infrastructure that caused not only power transformers to go down, but others to overheat and melt down.
Even after ten years, no one knows who did it and the police have no suspects. What they discovered, according to MSNBC's Rachel Maddow who detailed the report on Monday, is that someone had placed a rock at the area where someone should shoot to administer the maximum amount of damage.
Earlier this year, Maddow continued, a group of three Ohio men was thwarted as they plotted to take down power station. Among the ghost guns, ammunition, bomb-making manuals and pro-Nazi ideology, police found the article about the attack on California.
Now it has happened again, where someone opened fire on a substation in North Carolina, sending a whole county into the shivering darkness. Based on the briefings and the reports thus far, Maddow explained that it seems the first attack happened on a substation and then a second one did, indicating it could have been one person or a small team of people. The fence had been damaged going into the substations.
Police aren't saying much, rather they're repeating over and over that it was someone who knew what they were doing. It's unclear whether they think that's an inside job or if was a planned attack from someone who researched exactly how to inflict the most damage. Law enforcement hasn't made any arrests nor have they indicated there are any suspects. They did speak to a woman online who bragged she knew who it was and implied that a drag show was the target of the attack.
"But honestly, bottom line we really do not know," Maddow explained. "At the first press conference yesterday where the sheriff and local officials took the first questions about what had happened, they were immediately asked and then asked repeatedly whether this attack on the electrical infrastructure in North Carolina might be related to threats and intimidation that have been directed at local LGBTQ groups in Moore County recently, and in particular, at a drag show at a downtown venue in the town of Southern Pines, a show that started just minutes before the power stations were shot up and the lights went out."
She noted that there were a lot of right-wing protesters trying to shut down the event Saturday night, just hours before the power stations were shot up. It follows another protest by masked right-wing paramilitary groups at an LGBTQ group last month in the nearby town of Sanford, North Carolina. In fact, there were about 4 different anti-LGBTQ hate attacks by far-right, milita groups over the weekend. One in Columbus, Ohio, and another in Lakeland, Florida.
Groups that monitor militias and hate groups have noticed a significant increase in mobilization and attacks over the past several years against LGBTQ people, people of color, Jewish Americans, Asian Americans and more. Last year, hate crimes rose 44 percent. In 2022, hate crime reports were already increasing again at the halfway point of the year.
See Maddow's opener below:
part 1 www.youtube.com
Part 2 www.youtube.com
Doug Mastriano, the Republican who ran for governor of Pennsylvania this year, was widely considered one of the most extreme candidates the GOP put forward. He believed the 2020 presidential election was stolen, met with QAnon groups, had ties to an anti-Semitic social network where the Tree of Life Pittsburgh synagogue shooter posted his manifesto, and was even present at the Capitol during the January 6 attack. He ultimately went on to lose by double digits to Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro.
Following his loss, he has turned to a new preoccupation, according to The Daily Beast: posting conspiracy theories about "chemtrails" in the sky.
"'Over Franklin County today,' Mastriano tweeted on Sunday, above four pictures of airplane trails across the Pennsylvania sky," reported Kelly Weill. "He followed up with a link to an article about proposed future plans to study the effect of artificial clouds on climate change. The tweet appeared to be a nod to the 'chemtrails' conspiracy theory, which right-wing candidates have previously disavowed under electoral pressure."
"Airplanes and their exhaust trails are normal over Franklin County, which has its own airfield and is located under flight paths from multiple large airports in New York and D.C.," noted the report. "Nevertheless, Mastriano implied the airplane trails were related to a government plot. The article he linked described a forthcoming plan by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy to study potential interventions against climate change. One of those proposed interventions includes spraying an aerosol mist at high altitude to reflect sunlight."
"That futuristic (and highly controversial) experiment wasn’t pictured in Mastriano’s tweets because it is not underway," said the report. "The proposed technique also involves flying planes several miles higher than passenger jets and spraying a fine mist that lasts for months, rather than the thick trails that evaporate shortly after a plane passes."
According to the report, Mastriano is not the only Republican candidate pushing extremist views after an election loss. In Arizona, Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem is pushing anti-Semitic conspiracy theories about Hungarian billionaire George Soros "controlling the press" and the winning Democratic candidates. Meanwhile, Shukri Abdirahman, a Republican who lost a primary to run against Rep. Ilhan Oman (D-MN), tweeted, "We can no longer get rid of tyranny with ballots. It's only by bullets now.”
After former President Donald Trump used his Truth Social platform to call for "termination" of the Constitution to correct fictitious "voter fraud" in U.S. elections and restore him to the presidency, certain high-ranking Republican officials have taken to actively condemning his statement. One notable exception: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a lawmaker who staked much of his career on reverence for the Constitution and who reportedly could recite it by heart as a teenager.
On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," anchor Erin Burnett was quick to point out Cruz's cowardice, in the face of a former president who won the nomination in part by calling his wife ugly and his father a murderer.
"Better late than number," said Burnett. "The number two Republican in the Senate [John Thune] saying he couldn't, quote, 'disagree more with former President Trump, over the weekend calling for, his words, the 'termination of the U.S. Constitution' so he could be reinstalled in the White House. New Hampshire's governor, Chris Sununu, calling Trump's comment 'outrageous'. Former Vice President Mike Pence not directly criticizing Trump, instead saying 'public servants should defend the Constitution'. Interestingly, Senator Ted Cruz wouldn't answer when asked by CNN moments ago for a response to Trump's comment. Wouldn't answer at all, which is odd, because Cruz so often describes himself as a staunch defender of the Constitution as his identity."
"I've spent my life fighting to defend the Constitution," said Cruz in one clip played by CNN. "I'm a constitutionalist," he said in another.
"Does it depend how you define it?" continued Burnett. "For years, we've seen Republicans be silent or make excuses or, you know, try to run away from Trump's outrageousness because of his influence with the Republican base."
"Ted Cruz knows that that's his identity, and yet he just refused to answer the question when we asked him about what Trump said," she added.
Watch below or at this link.
Erin Burnett on Ted Cruz not reacting to Trump's demand to terminate the Constitution www.youtube.com