Hutaree militia leader: War necessary

As he practiced vitriolic speech, it was recorded

Detroit Free Press/April 9, 2010

One of his traveling companions, identified only as "Other Individual" in a federal transcript of the conversation filed this week in U.S. District Court in Detroit, encouraged Stone to read the speech aloud during the trip.

"Yeah, we got time," the mystery man told Stone. "Yeah, a captive audience."

The unidentified man, who is believed to have been an undercover federal agent who infiltrated the group, even turned down the car radio so David Stone, the leader of the Hutaree Christian militia in Lenawee County, thought he was trying out a speech on his supporters during a car ride to a national militia meeting in Kentucky on Feb. 6.

Instead, he was speaking into a federal microphone.

The U.S. Attorney's Office declined Thursday to say whether the unidentified individual was a federal agent, but Stone's criminal lawyer, William Swor of Detroit, said it is "a reasonable assumption."

During the speech, Stone said Americans were waiting for people like militia members to decide to go to war against the New World Order, a group of international power brokers he said had taken over the U.S. government.

"We outnumber them," Stone said. "They forget, they live in our neighborhoods. They shop at our grocery stores. They eat at our restaurants. We are the ones who control everything in this nation from preparing the food that they eat to running the power stations. ... "

Federal prosecutors played a recording of the speech last week during a detention hearing in Detroit, where a judge ordered Stone, 45, of Clayton and seven other suspected members of the Hutaree detained pending trial.

But prosecutors wouldn't release the recording or a transcript to the news media, saying it would jeopardize Stone's free trial rights.

Yet the transcript was filed in federal court in Detroit on Monday with paperwork from last week's detention hearing in Hammond, Ind., for a ninth suspect: Thomas Piatek, 46, of Whiting, Ind.

Stone never delivered his speech because a Feb. 6 snowstorm forced his group to turn back in Indianapolis.

The nine are charged with seditious conspiracy, attempting to use weapons of mass destruction and possession of a firearm in relation to a crime of violence. The weapons of mass destruction charge is the most serious, carrying a maximum penalty of life in prison.

Swor said Stone had a legal right to express his views: "There is nothing he said that's illegal. U.S. citizens have a right to criticize the government. Wasn't the whole Tea Party movement and health care debate based on 'We can't trust the government?' "

Stone, his wife, Tina Stone, 44, and son Joshua Stone, 21, are appealing their detention without bail. A judge is expected to hear their appeals next week.

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