A small aircraft has crashed into an IRS office in Austin, and authorities say it was deliberate. The pilot, identified as 53-year-old Joseph Andrew Stack, left a rambling letter on the Web that definitely looks like a suicide note. Stack says he’s had enough, and that ” by not adding my body to the count, nothing will change.”
Stack’s letter is very revealing. He doesn’t mention the Tea Party movement, but the language of his letter points to someone who would fit into the anti-government movement. He mentions that at one point, “some friends introduced me to a group of people who were having ‘tax code’ readings and discussions….and then began to do what the ‘big boys’ were doing.” Stack added that this “cost me $40,000, 10 years of my life and set my retirement plans back to zero.”
Stack was an engineer who apparently suffered failure throughout his life, including the dot.com collapse. He also dwells on Section 1706 of the tax code, which seems to involve whether contract engineers should be treated as employees or contractors for tax purposes.
More details will emerge about Stack. But it appears that he was a tax protester with anger at tax exemptions for organized religion (he singled out the Catholic Church). No mention of Tea Parties or militias, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was deeply involved in radical right politics. Which doesn’t mean an organized conspiracy by the radical right, but it will be interesting to see how – not if – Stack becomes a martyr. A martyr who tried to kill innocent government employees.