Death Threats? Ho Hum!

Sometimes I miss the good old days–what was it, a year ago?–when liberals were in favor of civility. Remember when talking about “targeting” a Congressional district could get you accused of murder? Things were a lot more genteel back in 2011.

On Thursday, Charles Koch authorized employees of Koch Industries to reveal the contents of “hundreds of e-mails that the Kochs and employees have received in the last year, some of them containing death threats.” The Wichita Eagle, Koch Industries’ home-town newspaper, reported:

Charles Koch, his brother and employees have in recent months been getting death threats, hundreds of obscenity-laced hate messages, and harassment from some far left-wing groups, Koch said on Thursday. …

“I hope you all DIE,” one e-mail, received last year, said. “You people are ruining our country, and all for $$$.” “Choose your expiration Date, Brothers…” said another. “The Koch brothers will DIE!!!!!” said another.

There were hundreds more — some from Wisconsin, where the Kochs were accused of aiding Gov. Scott Walker in his disputes against unions. Most of them were signed with what appear to be real names, many contained obscenities, and some Koch employees said these messages had made them nervous. …

Koch Industries general counsel Mark Holden spent an hour and a half at the Koch Industries headquarters in Wichita on Thursday, refuting these charges. Holden said that all the public accusations and stories are either fabricated by far-left political opponents, or they contain only threads of truth. …

Holden, the Koch Industries general counsel, disputed many nationally aired accusations against the Kochs. Holden claimed that some politicians, including some connected to the Obama administration, have harassed the company and wrongly accused it of various nefarious activities. Holden charged that the accusations are designed to scare people into giving money to Obama’s re-election campaign and other causes.

Holden went down a list of what he said were falsehoods laid at the door of the Kochs….

Threats of the sort described by Charles Koch go with the territory if you are a conservative. We have gotten threats, harassing phone calls, etc., over the years–although none lately, as far as I know–and anyone active in politics on the conservative side has had the same experience. With the bizarre campaign of hate that the Left has orchestrated against the Koch brothers over the last year or two, one can hardly imagine the vitriol they must get from liberals.

Of course, that is of little concern to liberal reporters. The civility campaign of 2011 is so…2011. Thus, the Associated Press picked up the story yesterday, but the only thing the AP reporter added was a note of skepticism. She wrote that “Wichita Police Lt. Doug Nolte said Friday that the last reports the department had on file from Koch were in 2010 involving a complaint about someone putting signs on his property and a 2009 arrest for trespassing at his house.” Reading between the lines, it appears that the AP reporter called Koch’s general counsel to follow up, and–as far as her story discloses–she pursued only one angle: have the death threats been reported to the authorities?

Koch Industries general counsel Mark Holden told The Associated Pres that the death threats were reported to the FBI because they crossed state lines. One involved a telephone call last year from California in which the caller threatened to put a bullet in the heads of both Koch brothers. Others involved online postings advocating the Kochs’ murder.

An FBI spokeswoman did not immediately return a call for comment.

Death threats? Hey, let’s not take them too seriously! The Kochs are conservatives, after all:

Wichita-based Koch Industries decided to go public with the emails on the day before hundreds of activists were expected to gather in Wichita for three days of “Occupy Koch Town” events.

Yvonne Cather, conservation chairman for the Kansas chapter of the Sierra Club, one of the groups organizing the event, said the Koch people are overreacting to the planned activities.

Well, there is something about “the Koch brothers will DIE!!!!!” that could cause one to react, some would say appropriately. The good news is that David and Charles Koch have no intention of succumbing to liberal bullying:

Koch himself said the hate mail and death threats have worried him to a degree. But what most upsets him is that all he has done, in taking political positions or in supporting various causes, he said, is exercise freedom of speech.

“The threats are obviously worrisome to me, but I kind of relate to what Martin Luther said (when Luther took on the established church and launched the Protestant Reformation): “Here I stand; I can do no other.”

It is an interesting question whether the popes of the 16th century–who did, after all, try to have Luther murdered–were any more intolerant than 21st century liberal activists.

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