Conn Carroll’s right, of course, that because the pilot’s cause is left-wing, you should feel free to regard his stunt as a charmingly quirky expression of civil disobedience in the fine tradition of American eccentrics rather than a terrifying insurrectionist gesture designed to broadly mimic 9/11.
Not only did the Secret Service know that this guy might attempt this, having received a tip-off from one of his friends last spring, local media knew it too. The Tampa Bay Times has a long profile of the alleged pilot, Doug Hughes, up on the site right now quoting him at length about his plans to raise awareness about the Citizens United decision by scaring the living sh*t out of everyone on Capitol Hill, apparently.
The funniest part? He thought the feds would scramble once he was in the air and try to stop him before he reached the Capitol. In reality, despite the tip-off, they were caught napping, of course.
“Somebody will realize that they’ve got to modify the playbook and they’ll probably scramble a helicopter,” he said. “They’ll scramble a Blackhawk from Quantico, and there’s a 50-50 chance that a Blackhawk at full throttle will overfly me and realize that he’s missed and he’ll have to come back. Again, I’m going to fly low and slow and these guys are going to have a full head of adrenaline. Eventually, I’m hoping the Blackhawk will catch up with me about the time that the authorities realize that I’m not a threat and knocking me down is not a politically savvy move, and I anticipate having an escort all the way in. I’m hoping for a friendly escort.”…
“I have thought about walking away from this whole thing because it’s crazy,” he said. “But I have also thought about being 80 years old and watching the collapse of this country and thinking that I had an idea once that might have arrested the fall and I didn’t do it.
“And I will tell you completely honestly: I’d rather die in the flight than live to be 80 years old and see this country fall.”
Congress responded to the stunt by immediately passing broad new campaign-finance legislation banning all corporate and lobbyist money from politics forever.
As dessert after the first clip, watch the second to see a former director of the Clinton Foundation, an instrument of influence peddling at the highest levels of American government for foreign interests, grumbling about “unaccountable money” steering our laws.