In clear proof that there are crazies on ALL sides of the political spectrum, a man who believes in the practice of “sortition” was arrested by authorities in New York this week on charges of plotting to blow himself up in Washington, D.C. on the day of the midterm elections.
Sortition, the many news reports of this arrest have informed us, is the political belief that federal government officials should be selected at random rather than through the election process.
“As alleged, Paul M. Rosenfeld concocted a twisted plan to draw attention to his political ideology by killing himself on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., risking harm to many others in the process,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman. “Rosenfeld’s alleged plan for an Election Day detonation cut against our democratic principles.”
You don’t say.
Authorities said Rosenfeld, 56, had purchased large amounts of black powder online in his efforts to build a bomb in his basement. They said that he’d already made and tested other small bombs in the leadup to his grand finale. FBI officials found “what appeared to be a functional explosive device weighing approximately 200 pounds” in his home during the initial search.
The suspect’s father, Peter, who lives in Vermont, told a local news agency that he was happy that authorities intervened before tragedy unfolded.
“We’re grateful to the FBI for managing to find out about this so no one is harmed,” the elder Rosenfeld said.
According to court records, the FBI uncovered the plot thanks to the suspect himself, who sent letters and text messages to a Pennsylvania reporter throughout the late summer. In this correspondence, Rosenfeld outlined his suicide bomb plans. This led the reporter to contact the FBI and the eventual unravelling of Rosenfeld’s dastardly agenda.
“Had he been successful, Rosenfeld’s alleged plot could have claimed the lives of innocent bystanders and caused untold destruction,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney.
We suppose that Rosenfeld’s plot – thwarted as it was – did have the minor side effect of raising sortition’s profile, although it seems unlikely that the U.S. will be adopting that system any time soon. There’s too much chance that you wind up with a certified weirdo in Washington. You know, like this dude.