Is this domestic terrorism? A software engineer who was anonymous before today is now known all over the country. It appears that he has intentionally flown his plane into a building that housed the IRS in Austin, Texas. Joseph Stack was a 53-year-old gentleman who set his house on fire before flying his plane into the seven story building.
As I’ve mentioned after all of these tragedies (I’ve been doing this blog now for over four years there’s been the Virginia Tech shooting, the shooting on a military base in Texas, the shooting at the University of Alabama at Huntsville and several others), there will be the psychological valuation by the news media. We will look into this man’s background and ask why it happened. The one thing that seems never to emerge from the mainstream media is that we cannot predict an individual’s behavior. There are plenty of people in the United States who are financially squeezed, who have been laid off, who hate the IRS, who don’t have a girlfriend, who are frustrated with life and who have no intention of flying a plane into IRS building or shooting their colleagues at work. All of this introspection is fruitless.
A software engineer furious with the Internal Revenue Service launched a suicide attack on the agency Thursday by crashing his small plane into an office building containing nearly 200 IRS employees, setting off a raging fire that sent workers fleeing for their lives.
At least one person in the building was missing.
A federal law official identified the pilot as Joseph Stack and said investigators were looking at a long anti-government screed and farewell note that he apparently posted on the Web earlier in the day as an explanation for what he was about to do.
In it, the author cited run-ins with the IRS and ranted about the tax agency, government bailouts and corporate America’s “thugs and plunderers.”
“I have had all I can stand,” he wrote in the note, dated Thursday, adding: “I choose not to keep looking over my shoulder at `big brother’ while he strips my carcass.”
Stack, 53, also apparently set fire to his house about six miles from the crash site before embarking on the suicide flight, said two law enforcement officials, who like other authorities spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still going on. (more…)
From the Austin American Statesman:
“Well Mr. Big Brother IRS man…. Take my pound of flesh and sleep well,” is the Web browser title on embeddedart.com, the site registered to Stack.
The New Jersey-based Web host that served “EmbeddedArt.com” says it took down the site at the request of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. To see the full story, click here.
The note, which is about six pages of text when printed, begins: “If you’re reading this, you’re no doubt asking yourself, ‘Why did this have to happen?’”
What follows is a rambling complaint about the tax system, how it affects organized religion and corporations, and how at several turns it has derailed Stack’s professional career as a software engineer.
The note says that during the early 1980s Stack participated with others in “tax code readings and discussions” that focused on tax exemptions, such as ones that “make institutions like the vulgar, corrupt Catholic Church so incredibly wealthy.”
“We carefully studied the law (with the help of some of the ‘best’, high-paid, experienced tax lawyers in the business), and then began to do exactly what the ‘big boys’ were doing,” the note says.
The note went on to say: “That little lesson in patriotism cost me $40,000+, 10 years of my life, and set my retirement plans back to 0. It made me realize for the first time that I live in a country with an ideology that is based on a total and complete lie.”
The note does not say what happened to cause those results.
Stack then went to engineering school and later began working as a software engineer, according to the note. Later, the note says, a 1986 tax law setting out new rules for engineers essentially “declared me a criminal and non-citizen slave.” (more…)