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The Intent of Fred Phelps

Posted By Blackfive • [August 27, 2005]

Via Instapundit, The Clarksville (Tennessee) Leaf Chronicle has an editorial about Fred Phelps protesting military funerals.  This is something that we've discussed here before (see link for how police have countered Phelps in Massachusetts).

What the Tennessee Editorial misses is that the intent of the hateful, ignorant Fred Phelps and his "church" is to get funds from filing law suits against anyone who assaults him or his followers. His wife is his attorney.

Here's an older message from the Navy about Phelps (who was protesting at Marine funerals at the time):

FORCE PROTECTION (FP) ADVISORY MESSAGE 05-180

(THREAT TO MILITARY FUNERALS)// REF/A/MSG/CMC/051956Z JUL 05//REF A IS HQ USNORTHCOM FORCE PROTECTION (FP) ADVISORY MESSAGE 05-180 (THREAT TO MILITARY FUNERALS)// RMKS/

1. REQUEST WIDEST DISSEMINATION POSSIBLE TO ALL COMMANDS, UNITS AND PERSONNEL.  ENSURE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS FOR ALL DOD PERSONNEL PARTICIPATING IN OR ATTENDING FUNERAL SERVICES FOR MILITARY MEMBERS.

2. USNORTHCOM IS TRANSMITTING THIS FP ADVISORY BASED ON RECENT
REPORTS OF PROTEST GROUP ACTIVITIES TO PICKET MILITARY FUNERALS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY.

2.A. A GROUP FROM WESTBORO BAPTIST CHURCH (WBC) LOCATED IN
TOPEKA, KANSAS HAS PROTESTED OR IS PLANNING TO PICKET AND PROTEST AT PUBLIC FUNERALS OF PERSONNEL KILLED IN THE WAR ON TERRORISM.  THIS GROUP HAS REPORTEDLY ANNOUNCED VIA THEIR WEBSITE THAT THEY INTEND TO PROTEST FUNERALS IN ALABAMA, CALIFORNIA, DELAWARE, IOWA, IDAHO, ILLINOIS, KANSAS, MICHIGAN,
MINNESOTA, NEW YORK, PENNSYLVANIA, WISCONSIN, AND WEST VIRGINIA.

2.B. THERE IS NO INFORMATION TO INDICATE THAT THIS GROUP PLANS ANY FORM OF VIOLENT ACTIVITY AND THEY ARE NOT KNOWN TO INITIATE PHYSICAL CONTACT. HOWEVER, THIS GROUP DOES EMPLOY PASSIVE-AGGRESSIVE TECHNIQUES INTENDED TO PROVOKE A HOSTILE RESPONSE OR OFFENSIVE REACTION FROM OTHERS. THEY WILL EMPLOY WRITTEN AND VERBAL INFLAMMATORY LANGUAGE AGAINST THE DECEASED PERSON, THEIR FAMILY, AND MILITARY PERSONNEL TO ELICIT DESIRED RESPONSES.  THIS GROUP WILL THEN FILE A CIVIL ACTION IN AN EFFORT TO REACH A SETTLEMENT IN ORDER TO FUND FUTURE ACTIVITIES.

3. SERVICES AND MILITARY UNITS PERFORMING AND SUPPORTING PUBLIC ACCESSIBLE FUNERAL DETAILS SHOULD:

3.A. ENSURE LOCAL AREA THREAT ASSESSMENTS CONSIDER THIS AS A POTENTIAL THREAT.

3.B. COORDINATE WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT/CIVILIAN AUTHORITIES AT ANY TIME WBC MEMBERS OR SIMILAR ORGANIZATIONS ARE BELIEVED TO BE PROTESTING.

4. ALL DOD PERSONNEL/FAMILY MEMBERS PARTICIPATING IN OR
ATTENDING MILITARY FUNERALS SHOULD BE MADE AWARE OF THE FOLLOWING:

4.A. SITUATIONAL AWARENESS OF REPORTED ACTIVITIES ASSOCIATED WITH THE WBC AND THEIR METHODS.

4.B. DO NOT PERSONALLY ENGAGE PROTESTORS IN ANY WAY; VERBALLY OR PHYSICALLY.

4.C. ALLOW CIVILIAN AUTHORITIES TO ADDRESS ANY INFLAMMATORY SITUATIONS OR EFFORTS TO IMPEDE THE FUNERAL PROCESSIONAL.

Update:  I added a link (above, too) to the last post discussing Phelps.  It's one that shows how local police bagpipers added a musical element to Phelps' protest.


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