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Time to add a new label to the lexicon of distractions.  

In addition to Birthers, Deathers, and Teabaggers, let's add Packers.  (h/t to Troubadour)

These are all different names for the same thing.  

The growing number of armed protesters appearing at public events featuring the president raises real concern.  I understand why the official response seeks to defuse these situations rather than inflame them.  These incidents are meant to be provocative.  However, the recent appearance of a man with an AR-15 generated an odd comment by the Secret Service spokesman

U.S. Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan acknowledged the incidents in New Hampshire and Arizona, but said he was not aware of any other recent events where protesters attended with open weapons. He said there was no indication that anyone had organized the incidents.

Contrary to what the Secret Service spokesman said, there is plenty of evidence these incidents are organized.  It didn't take me very long to find it.  I'm putting the information out here because we need to be clear about who and what we are confronting.   These are not isolated incidents.  I believe we will see more.   Forewarned is forearmed.

First, the CNN image of the AR-15 Packer.  This is the fellow who said "I come from another state where 'open carry' is legal, but no one does it, so the police don't really know about it and they harass people, arrest people falsely."

That is very interesting.  He's from out of state, following the president with an AR-15, the same weapon the Beltway Sniper used.  And he claims that he lives in a state where open carry is legal, but the police are ignorant of that fact?  Really?  So why cross state lines and go to a health care rally?

...the man, who wasn't identified, said in an interview aired by CNN affiliate KNVX. "I think that people need to get out and do it more so that they get kind of conditioned to it."

They interviewed the guy but weren't able to identify him?  I guess they really didn't try very hard, because I found it out pretty easily.  He is a Ron Paul supporter who works with a group based in Arizona called Ron Paul 4409

Turns out his name is Chris:

This is not Chris' first foray into political theater.  He was the guy who broke up the town hall meeting with Phoenix congressman Shedagg:

He also shows up in a video with Pastor Steve Anderson.

The name Steve Anderson may be familiar... he was the Phoenix Pastor who has made a hobby out of provoking Border Patrol officers.   He finally succeeded in getting beaten and tazed after refusing to comply with a lawful order from a local Arizona police officer.  I wrote about him back in April.  Even then, I noted:

I think the encounter was no accident.  I think it was a set up.  I think we may be seeing the beginning of a wave of people provoking incidents to justify the ravings of people like Beck.  If this gets a lot of play on FOX, I will consider that evidence in support of my suspicions.

Well, now we have Steven Anderson and Packer Chris in the same place at the same time, provoking the same people.  This is not a coincidence.

The group that seems to be one of the coordinating hubs here is the RP4409 group. In addition to being active locally, they have a significant YouTube presence and link in to a community of like-minded web sites.  According to their info on the YouTube clip of this incident:

We went down to the Obama staged Healthcare rally and our buddy Chris rolled down there with his AR-15 and his 9mm.

At this point it is worth noting the claim:

4409 works strictly off Donations to inform the people. Look through the videos and you will see this is a full time job.

They are right about that.  Looks like several people are employed at this.  Here's a case of DVD's they produced for this event:

Here's the "joker" posters they produced for the event.  As the guy on the video says,"Thank you Alex Jones":

And the "joker" posters they are reproducing to spread around have a few links to other libertarian sites and a local libertarian candidate.  I doubt the candidate is involved in this, but I make the point to emphasize these guys are not acting in isolation from one another.

As their video shows, the whole operation was planned in advance:

While researching this, I found confirmation of my suspicion that the New Hampshire Gun-Toter and the Arizona Packers were connected.  CNN interviewed Ernest Hancock, the guy who interviews Chris outside the Obama event as seen in the 4409 video.  As Hancock told CNN's Rick Sanchez:

Oh, it's more planned than you think," Hancock responded. He then let loose with a string of details, including how Hancock contacted the Phoenix police department days before the event and how he was partially motivated to do so because of the controversy surrounding William Kostric, the man armed with a gun outside of Obama's town hall in New Hampshire last week.

Lavendar Newswire did a thorough report on Packer Kostric, much more so than anything you heard on TV.  As he said on Hardball, he is a Ron Paul supporter and Ayn Rand fan.  He's a Libertarian cut from the same cloth as the 4409 crowd.  In fact:

MySpace page says he works in "Gaming - Marketing - Marketing," which is right in line with the the sole entry for a "William Kostric" in LinkedIn: "William Kostric - Independent Gambling & Casinos Professional - Phoenix, Arizona Area ... Industry - Gambling & Casinos".

According to Lavendar Newswire, Kostric is from Arizona:

and moved to New Hampshire only about a year ago — "because it’s a ‘live free or die’ state — and he thought Arizona was becoming too restrictive with its gun laws."

Kostric, you may recall did more than merely carry a gun.  He had a poster referring to Jefferson's quote about "watering the Tree of Liberty".  He made no overt mention to "blood" in his poster, but the implication was clear enough to get Chris Matthews to ask him why he brought a "God-damned gun" to the rally.  That phrase also shows up in the 4409 video interview with Packer Chris:

Camera man: What's that strap? What's that across your back?  Turn around my man. What is that?

Chris: It aids me in my resistance.

Camera Man: You taking that down to Obama.  You going to water the Tree of Liberty?

Chris: I hope not.

I take it back, these Packers are not cut from the same cloth.  They are joined at the hip.  The only question now is who is really financing all this?  

Originally posted to henry porter on Tue Aug 18, 2009 at 09:14 PM PDT.

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