Bill Sparkman was found this month hanged from a tree near a Kentucky cemetery with the word “fed” scrawled on his chest, a law enforcement official said Wednesday, and the FBI is investigating whether he was a victim of anti-government sentiment.
“Even though he was with the Census Bureau, sometimes people can view someone with any government agency as ‘the government.’ I just was afraid that he might meet the wrong character along the way up there,” retired trooper Gilbert Acciardo told the AP.
The 51-year-old’s death comes on the heels on Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann putting out the idea that census data will be used to round up Americans and send them to internment camps. Now to be sure, the two aren’t connected, but so long as the crazy-wing of the Republican Party stirs anti-government sentiments for the sake of their own political gain, then senseless deaths like Bill Sparkman will continue to happen.
TPM and Think Progress have more debunking Bachmann’s fear mongering. If you look at Bachmann’s reasoning, she’s not saying that the current government is going to use census data for internment camps, but she’s putting that thought out there that it could happen. It’s a very sly argumentative technique (one that Glen Beck has mastered), getting her point out there but also leaving her full deniability (I’m confident that’s not an appropriate way to conjugate deny but it’s all I’ve got).
Bachmann: Take this into consideration. If we look at American history, between 1942 and 1947, the data that was collected by the census bureau was handed over to the FBI and other organizations, at the request of President Roosevelt, and that’s how the Japanese were rounded up and put into the internment camps. I’m not saying that’s what the Administration is planning to do. But I am saying that private, personal information that was given to the census bureau in the 1940s was used against Americans to round them up and put the Japanese in internment camps.