Fifty-three-year-old Joseph Andrew Stack III deliberately flew a stolen Piper Cherokee PA-28 into an Austin federal building that housed the local office of the Internal Revenue Service today, according to CNN. So far two people have been reported injured and one missing. Stacks is the only officially reported death so far. Here’s what we know so far about him:
1. He is a software engineer.
2. He started off the morning by burning down his own house.
3. He then went to Georgetown Municipal Airport north of Austin at about 9:40 a.m. and took off in the Piper. He did not file a flight plan because the weather was clear enough for one not to be required.
4. He quickly directed his plane at a seven-story office building at 9430 Research Boulevard in northwest Austin, where, among other companies, about 200 employees of the Internal Revenue Service work.
5. He was mad at the IRS, and left what CNN reports was a suicide note on a local website, detailing his trials with the agency. In fact, a lot of his rhetoric could have been taken directly from a handwritten sign at a tea party rally. For example:
We are … brainwashed to believe that there is freedom in this place, and that we should be ready to lay our lives down for the noble principals represented by its founding fathers. Remember? One of these was “no taxation without representation.” I have spent the total years of my adulthood unlearning that crap from only a few years of my childhood. These days anyone who really stands up for that principal is promptly labeled a “crackpot” traitor and worse.
While very few working people would say that they haven’t had their fair share of taxes (as can I), in my lifetime I can say with a great degree of certainly that there has never been a politician cast a vote on any matter with the likes of me or my interests in mind. Nor, for that matter, are they the least bit interested in me or anything I have to say.
The law “requires” a signature on the bottom of a tax filing; yet no one can say truthfully that they understand what they are signing; if that’s not “duress” than what is. If this is not the measure of a totalitarian regime, nothing is.
It also made me realize, not only how naïve I had been, but also the incredible stupidity of the American public; that they buy, hook, line, and sinker, the crap about their “freedom” … and they continue to do so with eyes closed in the face of overwhelming evidence and all that keeps happening in front of them.
6. Stack flew the plane low to the ground and veered for the lower floors just before impact. The act is being considered criminal, and not terrorist.
Small Plane Crashes Into I.R.S. Building in Texas [NYT]
Pilot deliberately crashes plane into building in Austin, Texas, official says [CNN]
Official: Plane crash into office building ‘a criminal act’ [Statesman]