Remember Roger Dale Stockham? He drove from San Diego to Dearborn, Michigan, where he made some ominous comments in a bar, and was eventually nabbed in the parking lot of Dearborn’s biggest mosque, with a truck full of illegal fireworks.
The media and liberal blogs went nuts. Here was a white Vietnam vet rolling through Michigan with a cargo of explosives, headed for a rendezvous with history at a mosque. No doubt he was provoked by the “Climate of Hate” created by right-wing venom. It was only a matter of time before one of those teabaggers detonated!
The imam at the Islamic Center of America, where Stockham was arrested, wailed that “We always hear about Muslims being terrorists, we always hear about Muslims attacking innocent person. When America only talks about Muslims being terrorists, they will turn a blind eye on their own terrorists.”
For a few days, it seemed as if Stockham would become a household name… and then he vanished completely from media radar screens. He’s still making his way through the Michigan court system, but nobody talks about him anymore. Why not?
Well, for one thing, the magnitude of the threat he posed was greatly exaggerated. A February 11 article in the Detroit Free Press describes his payload as “a paper bag filled with fireworks, including M-80s, smoke bombs and sparklers.” Not to downplay the kind of damage he could have done by setting off those M-80s in a controlled space full of innocent people, but he wasn’t about to blast a hole in the side of the mosque. For the record, his lawyer says “he never meant to hurt anyone at any time and had no intention of blowing up any mosque at any time.”
Also, it quickly became clear to conservative bloggers who spent the morning of January 31 frantically Googling his name that Stockman was a nut. He had a long history of weird behavior, including a plea of “not guilty by reason of insanity” for making threats against President George Bush in 2002.
By itself, Stockham’s history of mental illness would not have prevented the Left from using him as a club against conservatives. We would soon witness a very large-scale demonstration of how random lunatics can be magically transformed into associate members of the Tea Party. What pushed the Stockham story off the front pages is the kind of nut he is.
You see, the manager of the sports bar where Stockham made his threatening comments told the Washington Times back in early February that the man who drove up from San Diego with a paper sack full of fireworks “described himself as a Vietnam veteran turned Muslim holy warrior” who planned to “set off a big explosion.”
Stockham is apparently a convert to Sunni Islam, while the Islamic Center of America is run by Shi’ites. He does not like Shi’ites very much. He even tried to reject his appointed legal counsel because he thought the lawyer was a Shi’ite.
His trial on terrorism and explosives charges is still ongoing, but Roger Dale Stockham has already been convicted of first-degree Narrative violation by the media, and sentenced to obscurity.