I wrote this some years ago, 11 September 2002, on the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and e-mailed it to myself. It has to do with another terrorist attack. Not the one on New York and Washington; an attack on another town. The events I’m talking about took place on 19 August 1997. Later I posted the letter in our newsgroup over at sff.people.doyle-macdonald.
Make no mistake: This was a terrorist act. When Tom Tancredo came around preaching about the danger of an armed attack by Muslims unless we put up a barbed wire fence along the Canadian border, you could feel the few people in the audience, at least the ones who were here that day, bristle. Someone already brought that act to town, and he wasn’t named Mohammed.
I wrote this back on September 11th of this year.
Subject: Comments On Vinnie
From http://www.webleyweb.com/tle/libe57-19991015-01.html (the
same text is repeated on many other sites).
What an infantile opinion.
Bow, New Hampshire: Median Household Income: $83,567
But here’s what Drega saw: Someone was telling him that he
couldn’t do what he wanted to do. To a psychotic, that’s a
challenge to self that results in gunfire.
Drega had a brand new silver-colored pickup parked back at his
summer home, but that didn’t fit in his plan.
Drega then began showing himself around Colebrook, trying to
draw police attention. Scott Philips, a State Trooper who lived on
Pleasant Street, caught up with Drega in the Prescott Farms
parking lot down town. He talked with Drega there. No one knows
what was said, though it’s reasonable to speculate that Scotty
asked Drega to get the truck inspected and registered.
In the event, Drega got into his truck and drove, not south back to
his vacation home or the Town Hall where one registers vehicles, or
the service station where inspections can be performed, but north,
away from town.
Scotty followed, and radioed for backup. He got a response from
Les Lord, a State Trooper who lived in Pittsburg. Les had been
police chief of Pittsburg. He was also Pittsburg’s Fire Chief, and a
Pittsburg EMT. He’d been one of the first EMTs in the northern part of
Scott had been in the Army, and served overseas in Panama.
After his enlistment he’d come to New Hampshire, and become a
Trooper. Public service was part of his makeup. He was active in
St. Brendan’s Church, next door to his house. He was often seen
out jogging in town, pushing his three-year-old son in a stroller.
Then Drega walked back to Les, and shot him five more times
through the open window of his cruiser.
She nearly made it to the corner by Ducret’s Sporting Goods. At
Ducret’s, people heard the gunfire, and within minutes there were a
dozen armed men on the street, carrying weapons from the store.
But they weren’t looking to overthrow the State, and finish what
Drega had begun. No, they wanted to put down the madman.
The .223 is a devastatingly effective round.
[Update: The DC snipers Malvo and Mohammed proved how deadly .223 rifle rounds,
fired from a similar weapon, can be — at far greater ranges than Drega was
shooting.] Drega did some other things between the time he left the IGA and the time he
died in the woods, shot down like the rabid animal he was: He also changed his
shirt, and he shaved. Where do you suppose he did that? Could it have been at
But that mysterious State Police car didn’t just visit Drega’s house. Kenny
Parkhurst was another Columbia selectman, and so was on Drega’s enemies list.
Kenny was away at a dentist’s appointment while his wife was visiting friends
that afternoon. But when Kenny came home he found that his door had been kicked
in. The neighbors mentioned that a police car had stopped by. That was a
fortunate dentist’s appointment — without it, Vinnie would have had to somehow
justify two more murders of unarmed people, in their own homes, on their own
Next question? I notice that even Vinnie doesn’t dare ask if Dennis deserved to die. Due process is neighbors getting together to decide how their communities will
operate. And that’s a process for which Carl Drega had nothing but contempt. But tell you what, Vinnie, if you have the names of those thousands of Carl
Dregas, share them with us, so that they can be locked up or shot down now, to save reasonable, freedom loving people from the terror of their madness. If you want to hand out the name “tyrant,” give it to Drega — a man who thought
himself above the law, and who was willing to kill out of hand, without a second thought, in order to enforce his whims. What Vinnie wants is the freedom of the Nazi, to do what he wants, to oppress
anyone he feels like as long as that person is weaker than Vinnie is. Vinnie doesn’t like the laws that made America great; he likes the lack of laws that
made La Cosa Nostra great. Live free or die. Tell you what, Vinnie. Send your thousands of Carl Dregas here. We’ll show you what “Live free or die” means. We’ll send them back to you
Date sent: Wed, 11 Sep 2002 14:39:12 -0400
Live Free Or Die:
How nice for him.
How Many More Carl Dregas?
by Vin Suprynowicz
Special to TLE
Originally released 9/21/97
Go where the land meets the water, anywhere in New
England, and you will begin to understand how deeply the region of my
birth lies in bondage to the Cult of the Omnipotent State.
Town and state governments throughout New England
traditionally buy and dump tons of sea sand — or whatever will pass for
it — along the shorelines of their municipal beaches and parks. It
doesn’t matter whether the shoreline of the lake, river or ocean cove in
question was originally a reeded marshland, naturally filtering away
pollutants while offering pristine habitat to waterfowl and a hundred
other creatures — the kind of place I (for one) would far rather spend
my time communing with nature during that nine months of the year when
it’s NOT “time to turn, so you won’t burn.”
No matter: What the majority of taxpayers want is a sandy
Unsupported statements, but irrelevant in any case.
beach for picnicking and sunbathing (in fact, precious little
“swimming” ever transpires), and that is what they darned well get.
Actually, the institutionalized destruction goes much deeper
Unattributed quotes, but still irrelevant.
than this. “Urban Renewal,” in New England, often includes
development of new office complexes and highways on “unused” or
“blighted” land. For 40 years now, the larger New England cities have
bulldozed interstate highways through the “seedy, decrepit”
“low-rent” and “waterfront” in the same sentence. What planet is
this guy on?
docks and profitable but low-rent private businesses which used to
line their waterfronts,
throwing small business owners on the dole
Name three. Hell, name one.
This is silly. It’s also demonstraby false. If any such persons exist
(two generations worth of ‘em!) they are willfully avoiding the ocean or
the Connecticut, as the case may be. And still both irrelevant and
erecting their new throughways atop impassable 20- foot concrete
embankments, until two whole generations have grown up within a mile or
two of the ocean or the navigable Connecticut River in Hartford,
Springfield, New Haven or Boston without so much as SEEING the water
that gave their cities birth, except as a distant glitter far below the
highway bridge they take to work.
But let a private citizen try to turn a slice of his own
Really? And this is relevant to a paranoid schizophrenic in
northern New Hampshire … how?
private, rocky shoreline into a boat dock, a sliver of sandy
beach, or even a well-intentioned but “unpermitted” refuge for
turtles and wood ducks (yes, I
know of just such cases, in Connecticut and New Jersey)
— let him
What very colorful language! Still irrelevant, however. (And in the part
of New Hampshire we’re talking about, there’s nothing “freak” about an
April snow shower.)
try to similarly adjust nature to his needs or wishes — and suddenly
the state authorities descend like locusts, seizing and destroying the
privately-held turtles, demanding to see all the required permits,
and injunctions like a freak April snow shower.
What’s more, the very populace who blithely speed along on the
More unattributed quotes. Moreover, irrelevant to the case at hand. The
populace of Colebrook, New Hampshire lives a hard hour’s drive from the
nearest freeway, and a bit over three hours from the nearest sandy beach.
shore-destroying freeways, who consider it their civic right
to lie in pure white sand where geese and fox and a hundred
other creatures used to raise their young, cheer
with glee as these “greedy” private “despoilers
of nature” are brought low,
for daring to offend against the
This absolute right to property. Fascinating. Would Vinnie mind if I
bought the lot adjacent to his house and put in a private mosquito-
raising lagoon, complete with a supply of malaria? How about if I dumped pig
offal into a stream on my private property that fed into a pond in his back
state-enforced religion of Environmentalism … on their own property.
How dare such troglodytes tamper with sacred resources
The fact that one has applied for a permit does not guarantee that
the permit will be granted, you know. Sometimes the answer to a
request is no.
belonging to all the people, doing whatever they please with
no more justification than the fact they happen to hold some
bogus “private deed”? Of course, the notion that one need only
“apply for a permit” is nothing but misdirection,
equivalent to telling the Jews as they boarded the trains to
Vinnie loses, under Godwin’s Law.
the East that they should be careful to “label your luggage
carefully for when you return.”
Big commercial developers who make big campaign
Vinnie likes floods? What happens when the flood washes away
contributions may well get some kind of hypocritical
“certificate of environmental compliance” for their plans to
pave and channelize the local waterfront … requiring yet
more government seizure of private property for another big
“flood control project” upstream …
but the little guy faces years
Or possibly minutes.
hoop-jumping as his permit applications are lost, or returned for
re-filing on updated forms, before they’re finally denied.
At which point, the poor sad sack will learn to his dismay
The rule of law doesn’t apply to me. Anyone who dares to thwart
my slightest whim is wrong.
that it’s too late to declare, “Well then, your whole
permitting process is bogus, and I’m going ahead anyway.”
Can you come up with even one instance? No? I didn’t think so.
That’s because the state does have the right to grant or withhold
permission. That’s what the state is for. That’s what democracy is all
about. The majority rules.
that point, the long-suffering citizen will be advised by a
stern-voiced judge that he waived his right to appeal the
validity of the permitting process when he filed his
application (way back in the days when he was told
“That’s all there is to it,”) thus tacitly acknowledging
the right of the state to either grant or withhold its permission for
the project in question!
Just ask 67-year-old carpenter Carl Drega, of Columbia, N.H.
The first lie. Carl Drega was of Bow, New Hampshire, not
of Columbia NH. He was a rich summer person with a vacation
home in Columbia. Columbia, population 741 in 1997 when our
story takes place. A summer person with an attitude that these
hicks can’t tell me what to do.
Columbia, New Hampshire: Median Household Income: $42,143
Laughed Out Of Court
Violating a thousand years of common law on the spot. We’re
talking about a meandering stream here. With a meandering
stream, if one year the meander takes away five feet of
pastureland, you’ve lost five feet. Your boundary is defined as the
water’s edge. If another year the meander deposits ten feet of land,
you’ve gained ten feet of pasture, and it’s yours. This is all assuming that
Drega’s claim was true. There’s no reason to believe it. The bank of
Connecticut along Drega’s property is large, smooth, waterwashed boulders.
In 1981, 80 feet of the riverbank along Drega’s property
collapsed during a rainstorm. Drega decided to dump and pack
enough dirt to repair the erosion damage, restoring his lot
along the Connecticut River to its original size.
A state conservation officer, Sergeant Eric Stohl, claimed
Ah, the magic word “claimed”! Attempting to imply that Eric was
lying. BTW, Eric wasn’t a conservation officer, he was Fish &
to have spotted the project from the river while passing the
Probably true, though anyone could have spotted the same activity
from Rt 102 in Vermont, on the other side of the river. Recall that the
Connecticut is about twenty feet wide at this point, and forms the state
boundary between New Hampshire and Vermont.
Drega property on a fish-stocking operation.
And this is entirely irrelevant.
natural ecology harbored huge runs of shad and
Atlantic salmon, as well as native pike, pickerel, and
brook trout. So most New England states — these devoted acolytes of
environmental purity — now routinely stock bass, and brown and rainbow
of which is native and few of which survive long enough to
The state hauled Drega into court, attempting to block his
Quite rightfully. And eighty feet, when you’re talking about a river twenty
feet wide, is hardly “tiny.”
This was piled atop earlier actions by the
That was in 1975. Drega was the sort of man who reacts to every
slight or wrong, real or imagined, that he receives by plotting
revenge, and reacts to every slight or wrong he delivers to others by
preening himself over his own cleverness. If Drega didn’t want to finish
his summer house in a timely manner, he could have come to Town Meeting.
But he didn’t. He thought the law applied to you and me, but not to him.
He could have built his summer vacation cottage somewhere else. It wasn’t
like the zoning rules were secret. But no, Carl Drega wanted things his
way. He was a sociopath, in other words.
Town of Columbia, some dating back more than 20 years, and
starting when the town hauled Drega into court and threatened
him with liens, judgments and (ultimately) property seizure over
a “zoning violation” which was comprised of his
failure to finish a house covered with tarpaper within a time frame
which the town considered reasonable, former selectman Kenneth Parkhurst
told the Boston Globe.
Drega tried for years to fight the authorities on their own
His literacy has never been established. His sanity, however, has
been called into doubt. Drega’s victims, one might add, were products of the
terms, in court. Needless to say, as a quasi- literate product
of the government schools,
and no lawyer,
Though certainly rich enough to hire one.
Those two little facts appear to be the product of Vinnie’s
filings became a laughing stock both in the courts and
in the newspapers to which he sent copies, begging for
“The dispute, punctuated by years of hearings and court
Is it possible that the records were discarded during the ten years
that Drega forgot about his “case”? Perhaps after five years of
inactivity? This is assuming that the Drega was telling the truth at all.
Perhaps the truth as he saw it, which may be very different from
objective reality as you and I know it.
orders, became an obsession for Drega,” wrote reporters
Matthew Brelis and Kathleen Burge in an Aug. 20 follow-up in
the Boston Globe. Drega “filed personal lawsuits against
the state officials involved and contacted
newspapers, including the Globe, imploring them to write about the
injustice being done to him.”
In court in 1995, the Globe reports that Drega explained, “The
reason I’m like this on this case, when I started my project
10 years ago I was issued permits and everything I needed.
When I reapplied 10 years later, that’s when Eric
Stohl came in and the Wetlands Board had
absolutely no records. …
I am liable for everything that’s done
Of course you are. As Vinnie keeps pointing out, it’s your
In the New Hampshire Wetlands Board, if it’s not done according
That’s what plans are for.
to the plan, they can
take it out.
And if I don’t have the money to take it out, they’ll
He could afford it, easily.
take it out. And if I can’t pay for it, they’ll take my property.”
I sort the incoming letters-to-the-editor for a major
metropolitan newspaper. The receipt of such sheafs of
heartfelt, illiterate pleadings from folks at their wits’ end
(child custody leads the list, though property rights
also feature prominently), pleading for help from
someone, has become an almost daily occurrence.
Since such tirades are too long, rambling,
Does this suggest mental imbalance on the part of the letter
and “not of
Why don’t you diligently follow up yourself, Vinnie? What’s the
matter? Big mouth but no guts?
general public interest” to run as letters, I diligently
forward them to the city desk, in hopes an editor there may
occasionally assign a reporter to check
They never do … unless the author shoots somebody, at
Think about it. Your fellow reporters recognize these people as
which point there ensues a mad scramble through the
wastebaskets. In newsrooms around the country, the running
joke when a large number of such missives or phone calls come
in on the same day is that “It must be a full moon.”
Reporters cover the bureaucracy. The bureaucracy is adept at
Vinnie, Vinnie, Vinnie. Did someone land a punch close to home?
putting out its version of events in reasonable-sounding,
easy-to-quote form. Those who can’t get with the program are
generally ridiculed by reporters as “gadflies,” “malcontents,”
and (more recently) “black helicopter
Their rambling, disjointed stories don’t tend to fit
Think about that, too, Vinnie. “Rambling.” “Disjointed.” Are these
signs of a well mind?
well into the standard 12 inches.
By 1995, it was obvious that Carl Drega was running out of
A great deal of trouble could have been saved by putting Drega in
the hard-bar hotel, where he clearly belonged, for the rest of his life
patience. Town selectman Vickie Bunnell, 42 (since appointed a
part-time state judge) accompanied a town tax assessor to
Drega’s property in a dispute over an assessment.
Drega fired shots into the air to drive them away.
(In New England, special property tax assessments are
Irrelevant. There wasn’t a municiple sewer line fronting Drega’s
property. Assessments can also bring values down. Maybe
Vickie was going to lower the taxes, due to that missing land along
the Connecticut. Ever think of that, Vinnie?
common, and especially cruel to old folks. The courts have
ruled that if the town decides to run a municipal water or
sewer line along a street fronting one’s property,
the property owner can be assessed the amount by which the
town figures the property’s value has been enhanced — usually in the
thousands of dollars — even if the property owner has a perfectly good
septic system, and opts not to tie into the new municipal lines.
Failure to pay can eventually lead to eviction, seizure, and
Carl Drega could see what was coming. He couldn’t have been
As his paranoia reached record proportions.
ignorant of the government tactics used to ambush and murder
harmless civilians at Waco and Ruby Ridge.
He bought a $575
He could have bought the same weapon, cheaper, just up the road
at Ducret’s Sporting Goods in Colebrook, where all he’d need show
was a driver’s license proving that he was a New Hampshire
resident and over 18 years of age.
AR-15 — the legal, semi-auto version of the standard
military M-16 — in a gun store in Waltham, Massachusetts, a
state with some of the most restrictive gun laws in America.
He also began equipping his property with early-warning
electronic noise and motion
detectors against the inevitable government assault.
Too Light A Round
But they didn’t come for Carl Drega at home.
On Tuesday Aug.
This isn’t the way it went down, of course. Here’s what really
happened. Drega armed himself with that AR-15 and a 9 mm
automatic pistol, put on a bullet-proof vest under his shirt, and got in
his old orange pickup truck — the one with the expired registration. He
couldn’t get it registered because it was in such bad mechanical shape
that it wouldn’t pass the state inspection. (I suppose that Vinnie doesn’t
like state automobile inspections either.)
19, 1997, at about 2:30 on a warm summer afternoon, New
Hampshire State Troopers Leslie Lord, 45 (a former police
chief of nearby Pittsburg) and Scott
Phillips, 32, arrested Drega in the parking lot of LaPerle’s IGA
supermarket in neighboring Colebrook, N.H.
(“Arrest” comes from the French word for “stop.” Whenever
This isn’t true, of course. Arrest and detention are two different
things. Not to put too fine a point on it, Vinnie is lying.
agents of the state brace a citizen, stop him and demand to
see his papers, he has been “arrested,” no matter whether he
has been “read his rights,” no matter what niceties the court
may apply to the various steps of the
Why was Carl Drega arrested that day? New Hampshire Attorney
Probable cause for the stop. Determining that the vehicle wasn’t
registered after the stop.
General Phillip McLaughlin pulls out his best weasel words,
reporting the troopers had stopped Drega’s pickup because of a
“perception of defects.”
Earlier wire accounts reported they were preparing to ticket him for
Clearly visible. The vehicle was, in fact, unsafe to drive.
having “rust holes in the bed of his pickup truck.”
But Carl Drega had had enough.
You’re kidding. He’d gone out that day hunting cops, and these
two fellows fell into his ambush. At the IGA parking lot, Scotty got out of his vehicle and walked over to Drega’s pickup truck. Drega exited the vehicle, firing his AR-15. Scot was seriously wounded, and staggered off, toward an open field (rather than toward the IGA or the Green Mountain Snack Bar, where civilians might be hurt by Drega’s gunfire). At this point Les pulled into the parking lot, not knowing what had just happened.
He walked back to Trooper
Not true. He shot Les twice in the face through the windshield of
his car as he was pulling up — Les never got a chance to get out of
the vehicle. By that time Scotty was already down.
Lord’s cruiser and shot the uniformed government agent seven
Then he shot Trooper Philips, as the brave officer
Scott had been shot multiple times by then, but bravely tried to
draw Drega away from the bystanders at the IGA, rather than
seeking his own safety. Drega walked over to where Scott was
lying on the ground behind the Green Mountain snack bar, and as
Scott pleaded for his life, shot him four times with the 9 mm
attempted to run away.
Both died. Drega then commandeered
No. Les’s cruiser had the windshield shot out, and the interior
spattered with the friendly, helpful, well-liked and respected man’s
brains. Drega stole Scotty’s cruiser.
and drove to the office of former selectman
She’s been a lawyer for years. She also played clarinet in the
town’s marching band.
— now lawyer
and part-time Judge
We’re talking about northern New Hampshire here. Everyone is
part-time, and has multiple jobs. Unlike the wealthy Carl Drega,
most of the citizens of Colebrook and Columbia can’t afford fancy
vacation homes with elaborate alarm systems.
— Vickie Bunnell, 44.
But she didn’t have one then. She did have a restraining order on
him. One of Drega’s other hobbies was making death threats
against elected officials. Vickie was on his list after she called the
cops to have him removed from the Columbia town offices, where he was
ransacking the property room.
Bunnell reportedly carried a handgun in her purse out of
fear of Drega.
But if so, she evidently had no well-thought-out plan to use it.
Hundreds of people wish that she had — she’d have been carried
through town on her fellow citizens’ shoulders if she’d stopped this
madman’s murderous rampage right then.
Bunnell ran out the back door. Drega calmly walked to the rear of the
He shot her in the back eight times. She’d stopped to make sure
her clerk/secretary made it out first.
building and shot her in the back from a range of about 30 feet.
Dennis Joos, 50, editor of the local Colebrook News and
Shooting running women in the back is not some kind of private
business. Dennis was a former Franciscan seminarian. He was
well known for his kindness and gentleness, the last person in the
world to take on a heavily-armed lunatic. He had no training, no
natural talent for violence. But he minded the commandments of
Jesus, and tried to save a life — at the cost of his own. Greater love
than this no man has, than to lay down his life for his neighbor.
Sentinel, worked in the office next door. Unarmed, he ran out
and tackled Drega. Drega walked about 15 feet with Joos still
clutching him around the legs,
advising the editor to “Mind your own (expletive) business,” according
to reporter Claire Knapper of the local weekly.
Joos did not let go.
Drega shot Joos in the spine. He died.
He died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. He wasn’t
shot in the spine, but was shot seven times in the back at point-
blank range. Drega, in his murderous rage, had emptied the
magazine into a man lying face down on the ground.
Drega then drove across the state line to Bloomfield, Vt.,Who didn’t consider them life-threatening? Certainly Drega was trying to take
Wayne’s life. A round striking a man immediately above his heart is certainly
life threatening. Fast, efficient EMS (thanks to Stratford Ambulance Squad,
whose headquarters was less than a hundred yards away) saved Wayne’s life, that
and the random chance that put the bullet into his shield rather than his
unprotected flesh. And this, mind you, was Drega shooting at someone who had
never offered him any injury or insult in his life.
where he fired at New Hampshire Fish and Game Warden Wayne
Saunders, sending his car off the road. Saunders was struck
on the badge and in the arm, but
his injuries were not considered life-threatening.
Police from various agencies soon spotted the abandonedDrega had parked the cruiser up a lane, with the radio turned to outside
speakers, the volume turned up so that he could still hear the police radio
chatter. He draped a shirt over the steering wheel so that it would look like
he was still in the car (perhaps a suicide), to draw officers into his killing
zone, then walked back to an ambush position overlooking the trail in. But a K9
unit alerted on his ambush position, preventing further loss of life.
police cruiser Drega had been driving … still in Vermont.
As they approached the vehicle, they began taking fire from
a nearby hilltop where Drega had positioned himself, apparently
still armed with the AR-15 and about 150
rounds of ammunition. Although he managed to wound two more New
Hampshire state troopers and a U.S. Border Patrol agent before he
himself was killed by
police gunfire, none of those injuries were life-threatening, either.
(Those preparing to defend themselves against assaults byHis hits after the first four murders were to arms and legs. Drega was, when
all is said and done, a lousy shot. Nor should it be forgotten that this wasn’t
Drega’s “own property.” This last wasn’t even in the same state as Drega’s “own
property.” All of the murders and shootings, from the very first, were miles
away from Drega’s “own property.”
armed government agents on their own property should take
note that these failures do not appear attributable to
Drega’s marksmanship — after all, he scored plenty of hits —
but rather to his dependence on theThis is purest nonsense. The Israelis have never been accused of using weapons
that are anything other than effective, and the Israelis aren’t members of NATO. The Israelis use .223 rounds in their Galil Assault Rifle.
now-military-standard .223 cartridge, which has nowhere near the
stopping power of the previous NATO standard .308, or the even earlier
U.S. standard 30.06. (Some
states won’t even allow deer to be hunted with the .223, due to its
low likelihood of producing a “clean kill” with one hit.)
Fertilizer And Tractor Fuel
Actually, he’d been working on his own demonization for years, by the simple expedient of being demonic.
Immediately, the demonization of Carl Drega began.
Yeah, it’s a laff riot. Let’s see… there were exactly two state police cars
within an hour’s drive of Drega’s summer house when the events started. At 2:50
p.m, one of them was in the parking lot at the IGA market, Les Lord’s body
behind the wheel. The engine was still ticking over — it would be two hours
before anyone shut off the ignition — and the other had been stolen and was
being driven by… Carl Drega!
neighbor told the Globe about seeing a police cruiser pull
up to the Drega house at 2:50 p.m., and leave at 3:10 p.m.,
minutes before smoke began to pour from
the house. Ignoring the likelihood that a uniformed officer might
have been sent to see if Drega had gone home, “Authorities believe
the fire was set by Drega,” the Globe reported on Aug. 20, thereafter
reporting as a matter of established fact that Drega burned down his own home.
Isn’t it funny how they always do that?
Searching the barn and the remaining property later thatHow many of them have their pipe ruined by cutting it into one foot to
eighteen-inch lengths, and fitting each section with two end caps? Not too
many. These were prepared and ready; the only thing necessary to turn them from
the makings of pipebombs into actual pipebombs the addition of the explosive —
and he had the makings of the explosive on hand too.
week, “Authorities found 450 pounds of ammonium nitrate, the
substance used in the World Trade Center and Oklahoma City
bombings, as well as cans of diesel fuel,” came the breathless
Aug. 31 report by Boston Globe reporter
Trenches on the property held PVC pipe carrying wires to
remote noise and motion detectors. No remote booby-traps
were discovered, though the barn and a hillside bunker
contained ammunition, parts for AK-47s and
the AR-15, “and a few boxes of silver dollars,” as well as “homemade
blasting caps, guns, night scopes, a bullet-proof helmet (sic) and
books on bombs and booby traps,” as well as “the makings of 86 pipe
“The makings,” eh? I wonder how many wholesale hardware
outlets in this country currently stock “the makings” of 860
pipe bombs? 8,600?
The FBI was johnny on the spot, ofNo, the bunker was elsewhere, not in the barn. Get it straight, Vinnie.
course, helping New Hampshire State Police Sgt. John
McMaster search the three-story barn, with its “concrete
containing not only ammunition, but also “canned
400 pounds, 450 pounds — those seem reasonable estimates for the same pile of
food, soda, and a refrigerator.”
(I wonder if my basement would suddenly become a “concrete
bunker” if I had a run-in with the law? How about yours?)
But it was the 400 pounds of ammonium nitrate (the estimate
kept dropping during the week)
and the 61 gallons of dieselAnd we know, from the reports by the Colebrook Fire Department, that the main
house that Drega had burned had contained booby traps.
fuel in five-gallon containers that gave authorities the
willies. “Realizing the he had walked into the most
dangerous private arsenal he had ever seen, McMaster began
climbing the stairs to the second floor,” reported Brian
MacQuarrie and Judy Rakowsky of the Boston Globe on
Aug. 22. “Halfway up, (State Trooper Jack) Meaney shouted for him to
stop: He had just picked up a bomb-making manual opened to a chapter
on how to booby-trap stairs. …
“The large stores of dangerous materials, combined with theThough one would have to wonder exactly how Drega got that bullet-proof vest,
which had been stolen in Florida some time earlier.
discovery of three instruction manuals on explosives and
booby traps, helped persuade N.H. authorities that they
should destroy the barn with a controlled burn and explosion,”
which they promptly did.
“Some federal agents initially questioned the plan to
destroy the huge cache of evidence that may have shown
whether Drega had links to militia groups or criminals,” the
Globe also breathlessly reports, though the paper at least
had the decency to note no such affiliations were
(One wonders whether the newspaper would have given equalVinnie throws more irrelevancies at the wall to see if any will stick.
play to someone lamenting that they thus lost the chance to
search for hypothetical links between Drega and the Irish
Republic Army, Drega and the Ted Kennedy campaign staff,
or Drega and the Buddhist nuns who laundered
campaign contributions for Al Gore.)
Ammonium nitrate is, of course, a common fertilizer, sold inAnd Federal office buildings. Yeah, the mix that Timmy McVeigh used was this
same “relatively weak explosive.” Relative to what, I wonder?
50-pound bags to anyone who wants it — no questions asked
— in garden stores in all 50 states. Farmers all over the
nation store more than 60 gallons of diesel fuel at a time,
and even know how to combine the diesel fuel with the
ammonium nitrate to make a relatively weak explosive, useful
in blowing up tree stumps.
Purchase of blasting caps for this purpose is alsoDrega was no farmer. Nor did he have a diesel engine anywhere on the place.Nor did he have tree stumps that he needed to remove. So tell me, Vinnie, what
exactly do you think Drega was planning to do with those materials?
perfectly legal. If this and a few hundred rounds of military surplus
ammo constituted “the most dangerous private arsenal” the head of the
New Hampshire state police bomb squad had ever seen, he must not get
Anyway, the buildings are all burned to the ground now —Drega was operating an unregistered vehicle on the public highway —
unregistered because it had failed its annual safety inspection. Presumably Vinnie wants to know that the car approaching him on a curve has a steeringwheel that functions and brakes that work. That’s what registration and
inspection is all about. As to why they had stopped him — it was because Drega had planned it that way. He wanted a police radio, and he wanted to draw the
police away from his real target, Vickie Bunnell.
just like at Waco — and the newspaper reporters — trained
to just report the facts and never express opinions — had
ruled within days that Carl Drega
was “diabolical and paranoid,” while they never got around to asking
why on earth the officers chose to detain him for having rust holes in
the bed of his pick-up in the first place.
That, presumably, would have been “disrespectful to theirNo.
memory.” The remaining question is, did government agents
Vickie Bunnell, Leslie Lord, and Scott Phillips deserve to
Did Carl Drega pick the right time and place to sayDrega hadn’t lost a single one of his rights, and we all know it.
“That’s as many of my rights as you’re going to take; it stops right here?”
Or is that the right question? The problem with the question
Ant-like agents? We’re talking about Colebrook, New Hampshire, population 2,500. We’re talking about Columbia, New Hampshire, population 741. We’re
talking about Pittsburg, New Hampshire, population 600. We’re talking about people, neighbors, who all knew one another, selecting certain of their friends
to handle the details of making society work smoothly for all of them. For getting the roads plowed in the winter. For sending the fire department to a
chimney fire. For running water lines and sewer lines, and putting up streetlights. All those details that make living in a community safe and
is that the oppressor state and its ant-like agents are both
devious and clever:
Except when faced with overt resistance
Say what? There’s a gun store within a quarter mile of the elementary school here (and it’s significantly closer to the high school). Listen, Vinnie. Grow up. The government isn’t some secret society conspiracy. The government is
us. “We the people.” You’ve heard the phrase? Try to act like you understand it.
and a chance to make an example of some social outcasts
on TV, they rarely send black-clad agents
to pour out of cattle trailers in our front yards, guns ablaze.
No, they generally see to it that our chemical castration is
so gradual that there can never be a majority consensus that
this is finally the right time to respond in force. In this
death of a thousand cuts we’re always confronted with
some harmless old functionary who obviously
loves his grandkids, some pleasant young bureaucrat who doubtless
loves her cat and bakes cookies for her co-workers and smilingly
assures us she’s “just doing her job” as she requests our Social
Security number here … our thumbprint there … the signed
permission slip from your kid’s elementary school principal for
possessing a gun within a quarter-mile of the school
… and a urine sample, please, if you’ll just follow the matron into
the little room …
“Those are the rules,” after all, “Everybody has to do it; IOr come to Town Meeting. Second Tuesday of March, every year. Everyone gets
together, discusses what needs discussing, votes on any questions that come up, and get on with their lives. This is true representative democracy. Vinnie doesn’t know how very small scale and close New Hampshire democracy is.
just do what they tell me; if you don’t like it you can
write your congressman.”
When … when is it finally theScotty stopped Carl Drega because Drega planned it that way. Drega wanted to kill Vickie Bunnell for the “crime” of representing her neighbors in the town of
Columbia, New Hampshire, where a majority of the citizens, assembled at Town Meeting, decided that they’d prefer to live in a community without tar-paper
shacks. Because the people of Columbia, New Hampshire wanted to run their own community the way they liked it — and Carl Drega decided that he was above them
all. It wasn’t just Vickie that Drega shot down — he was symbolically shooting every single citizen of Columbia, New Hampshire, in the back. That’s your
“patriot,” Vinnie. Scott and Les were just stepping stones on his way to killing a woman who had taken the thankless but necessary task of making
right moment to respond, “I’ll tell you what; why don’t you
take this steel- cored round of .223 to my congressman? In
fact, take him a whole handful, and tell him to have a nice
day … when you see him in hell!”?
Carl Drega decided the day to finally say that, was the day
they came to arrest him on the private property of a
supermarket parking lot, supposedly for having rust holes in
the bed of his pickup. Does anyone believe that’s really why
they stopped Carl Drega?
Lots More ComingBecause you don’t have the courage of your convictions, Vinnie? Or because you don’t really believe?
I am not — repeat, not — advising anyone to go forth and
start shooting cops and bureaucrats.
To start with, one’sInterestingly enough, the people who sell these tax plans to “patriots” usually
pay all of their taxes in full and on time. They’re just running scams, while the people who buy their pamphlets and try to carry out the tax-avoidance
schemes wind up holding the bag. But this too is irrelevant.
own life expectancy at that point grows quite short,
limiting one’s options to continue fighting for freedom on other fronts.
Most of us — unlike Carl Drega — also have families to
think of. Third, there may be other solutions. Just as much
of the farmland near Rome sat vacant by the fall of the
Roman Empire — it simply proved cheaper to move on than to
endure the confiscatory Roman taxes — so do
James Dale Davidson and William Rees-Mogg predict in their new book,
“The Sovereign Individual,” that Internet encryption may allow many to
spirit their hard-earned assets beyond the reach of this newer,
oppressive slave state, making “the tax man in search of someone to
audit” the laughing stock of the 21st century.
And finally, such a course invites obvious risks of mistakenHe means “Joos.” But what does he mean by “relatively innocent”? A bit below,
Vinnie will wax lyrical about Thomas Jefferson. Ask yourself what Thomas Jefferson would say about a madman who shot down a newspaper editor?
identity, collateral damage to relatively innocent
bystanders (witness newspaperman Coos),
and an end to due
Due process? What “due process” was Drega planning to give Kenny Parkhurst for the crime of being a selectman, elected by his neighbors to speak for them? What “due process” did Drega give Vickie Bunnell, for that same crime? What
“due process” did Drega give Scott, who was trying to keep the roads safe? Or does Vinnie favor people who slam into kids crossing the streets after school
because their pickup trucks don’t have working brakes?
process … a concept for which I still harbor some respect,
even if our government oppressors do not.
What I do know is, in little more than 30 years, we haveYou need a new dictionary, Vinnie. What’s your dictionary say “democracy” is?
gone from a nation where the “quiet enjoyment” of one’s
private property was a sacred right, to a day when the
so-called property “owner” faces a hovering
hoard of taxmen and regulators threatening to lien, foreclose, and
“go to auction” at the first sign of private defiance of their
collective will … a relationship between government and private
property rights which my dictionary defines as “fascism.”
Carl Drega tried to fight them, for years, on their ownHe made a hobby out of bullying and threatening his neighbors. This wasn’t a man who was quietly enjoying his private property. This was a man who was
grinding his thumb in the eye of everyone else in the town where he had his vacation home, keeping them from enjoying their private property. This was a man who shot over the heads of tourists canoing on the Connecticut River by his “private property.”
terms and in their own courts. We know how far that got him.
What I do know is that this is why the tyrants are moving soHere it is, five years later, and you can still buy an AR-15 up at Ducret’s,
just by showing your driver’s license to prove that you’re a resident of New Hampshire and over 18 years of age. (To buy a pistol you have to be 21.)
quickly to take away our guns.
Because they know in theirAh, Vinnie favors child abuse, too. Our kids are our property, and no one tells
us what we can do with our property. How’s Vinnie on chattel slavery? Does he like the idea, as long as he isn’t the slave?
hearts that if they continue the way they’ve been going,
boxing Americans into smaller and smaller corners, leaving
us no freedom to decide how to raise and
school and discipline our kids,
no freedom to purchase (or do without)What’s he going on about? If you want medical care and you have the bucks, you
can have it. And if you don’t want medical care no one can force it on you.
the medical care we want on the open market,
no freedom to withdraw
Say what? I’ve done it.
$2,500 from our own bank accounts
(let alone move it out of theAs I’ve already explained, Drega was probably lying about that section of
riverbank, and even if he was telling the truth, the moment the river washed it away that ground ceased to be his property.
country) without federal permission, no freedom even to arrange the
dirt and trees on our own property to please ourselves …
if theyI spit in your face, Vin Suprynowicz. You aren’t fit to speak the names of the heroes your boy shot down.
keep going down this road, there are going to be a lot more Carl
Dregas, hundreds of them, thousands of them, fed up and not taking it
any more, a lot more pools of blood drawing flies in the municipal
a lot more self- righteous government weasels who wereVinne, you are a sick man. Seek professional psychiatric help. I can’t help
noticing the lip-smacking pleasure with which you describe violence that would leave you dirtying your britches to see.
“only doing their jobs” twitching their death-dances in the warm
afternoon sun … and soon.
When is the right time to say, “Enough, no more. On thisThomas Jefferson would have had less use for Carl Drega than he would have had
for a mad dog.
spot I stand, and fight, and die”? When they’re stacking our
luggage and loading us on the box cars? A fat lot of good it
will do us, then. Mr. Jefferson declared for us that
“whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of
these Ends, it is the Right of the People, to alter or
abolish it.” Was Mr. Jefferson only saying we have a right
to vote in a new crop of statist politicians every couple of
years, as the pro-government extremists will insist?
No. TheOddly enough, the Declaration of Independence says no such thing.
Declaration fearlessly declared that the Minutemen of
Lexington and Concord had been right to shoot down Redcoats
who were “only doing their jobs” in Massachusetts the year
And it put the nations
Are you aware, Vinnie, that in a declared war, when one of your troopers shoots down unarmed, fleeing people that the common term for him is “war criminal”?
of the world on notice that Gen. Washington was planning to shoot
himself a whole lot more.
“You must be kidding!” come the outraged cries. “This guyI see. Vinnie thinks that might makes right. Vinnie thinks that Vickie was a tyrant. She wasn’t. She was a representative of the other 740 people who lived in Columbia, New Hampshire, who had gathered peacefully to decide how they liked to live and what kind of
community they wanted to live in.
shot a fleeing woman in the back.” Oh, pardon me. Did Judge
Bunnell propose to fight a straightforward duel with Mr.
Drega, one on one, mano a mano, to determine who should have
the right to decide whether he could build a tarpaper shack
on his own property, or repair flood damage by sinking a few rocks and pilings
along his privately-owned piece of river shore?
Of course not. The top bureaucrats generally manage to beAnd how about you, Vinnie? When paranoid schizophrenics take your words literally, how much soap will it take for you to wash their blood off your
hands, to wash off the blood of the people they murder in their rage? Or will you sip your lemonade out there in Nevada, secure in the knowledge that the
police will protect you from the people you’re inciting?
sipping lemonade on the porch when the process they put in
motion “reaches its final conclusion,” with padlocks and
police tape and furniture on the side
walk … or the incinerated resister buried in the ashes.
Go watch “Escape from Sobibor.” When the Jewish
Drega was no patriot. That title goes to Vickie, to Dennis, to Scott and to Les. Those were patriots, and heros. They put their mortal bodies between a madman and their neighbors, and they paid with their lives. Who knows what
Drega might have done with pipebombs? Despite Vinnie’s sputtering, there’s no other purpose that could have been served by capped foot-long sections of pipe,
hundreds of pounds of ammonium nitrate and gallons of diesel oil. Vinnie would have to be as demented as Drega to claim an innocent purpose — a purpose other
than taking the lives of citizens who wanted nothing more than to quietly enjoy their private property.
concentration camp inmates finally start to kill their
German oppressors, tell me how long you spend worrying that
they “didn’t give the poor, jackbooted fellows a
fair, sporting chance.”
Each and every one of us must decide for him or herself when
the day has come to stand fast, raise our weapons to our
shoulders, and (quoting President Jefferson, this time)
water the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots, and of tyrants.
Give up the right to make thatOh, what colorful language! Vinnie is the beneficiary of hundreds of years of
people living together, making compromises, making accomodations, living free.
decision, and we become nothing better than the beasts in the field,
waiting to be milked until we can give no more, and then shuffling off
without objection , heads bowed, to the soap factory.
Carl Drega was a resident of New Hampshire. On the day Carl
Vickie, Dennis, Scott, and Les embodied that ideal.
Drega decided was a good day to die — on the day they towed it away
— the license plates on his rusty pickup still bore the New Hampshire
state motto: “Live Free or Die.”
Carl Drega was different from most of us, all right.He was a nut job. Most of us aren’t that spectacularly insane.
HeDid he really believe that it meant “I can do what I please and to hell with all
of you?” Because that’s how he acted.
believed it still meant something.
Subject: Comments On Vinnie
From http://www.webleyweb.com/tle/libe57-19991015-01.html (the same text is repeated on many other sites).
What an infantile opinion.
Bow, New Hampshire: Median Household Income: $83,567
But here’s what Drega saw: Someone was telling him that he couldn’t do what he wanted to do. To a psychotic, that’s a challenge to self that results in gunfire.
Drega had a brand new silver-colored pickup parked back at his summer home, but that didn’t fit in his plan.
Drega then began showing himself around Colebrook, trying to draw police attention. Scott Philips, a State Trooper who lived on Pleasant Street, caught up with Drega in the Prescott Farms parking lot down town. He talked with Drega there. No one knows what was said, though it’s reasonable to speculate that Scotty asked Drega to get the truck inspected and registered.
In the event, Drega got into his truck and drove, not south back to his vacation home or the Town Hall where one registers vehicles, or the service station where inspections can be performed, but north, away from town.
Scotty followed, and radioed for backup. He got a response from Les Lord, a State Trooper who lived in Pittsburg. Les had been police chief of Pittsburg. He was also Pittsburg’s Fire Chief, and a Pittsburg EMT. He’d been one of the first EMTs in the northern part of the state.
Scott had been in the Army, and served overseas in Panama. After his enlistment he’d come to New Hampshire, and become a Trooper. Public service was part of his makeup. He was active in St. Brendan’s Church, next door to his house. He was often seen out jogging in town, pushing his three-year-old son in a stroller.
Then Drega walked back to Les, and shot him five more times through the open window of his cruiser.
She nearly made it to the corner by Ducret’s Sporting Goods. At Ducret’s, people heard the gunfire, and within minutes there were a dozen armed men on the street, carrying weapons from the store. But they weren’t looking to overthrow the State, and finish what Drega had begun. No, they wanted to put down the madman.
The .223 is a devastatingly effective round.
[Update: The DC snipers Malvo and Mohammed proved how deadly .223 rifle rounds, fired from a similar weapon, can be — at far greater ranges than Drega was shooting.]
Drega did some other things between the time he left the IGA and the time he died in the woods, shot down like the rabid animal he was: He also changed his shirt, and he shaved. Where do you suppose he did that? Could it have been at his home?
But that mysterious State Police car didn’t just visit Drega’s house. Kenny Parkhurst was another Columbia selectman, and so was on Drega’s enemies list. Kenny was away at a dentist’s appointment while his wife was visiting friends that afternoon. But when Kenny came home he found that his door had been kicked in. The neighbors mentioned that a police car had stopped by. That was a fortunate dentist’s appointment — without it, Vinnie would have had to somehow justify two more murders of unarmed people, in their own homes, on their own property.
I notice that even Vinnie doesn’t dare ask if Dennis deserved to die.
Due process is neighbors getting together to decide how their communities will operate. And that’s a process for which Carl Drega had nothing but contempt.
But tell you what, Vinnie, if you have the names of those thousands of Carl Dregas, share them with us, so that they can be locked up or shot down now, to save reasonable, freedom loving people from the terror of their madness.
If you want to hand out the name “tyrant,” give it to Drega — a man who thought himself above the law, and who was willing to kill out of hand, without a second thought, in order to enforce his whims.
What Vinnie wants is the freedom of the Nazi, to do what he wants, to oppress anyone he feels like as long as that person is weaker than Vinnie is. Vinnie doesn’t like the laws that made America great; he likes the lack of laws that made La Cosa Nostra great.
Live free or die. Tell you what, Vinnie. Send your thousands of Carl Dregas here. We’ll show you what “Live free or die” means. We’ll send them back to you in boxes.