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Grudge leads to plane crashing into building

By Capitol Hill Blue
February 19, 2010

Aftermath in Austin (AP)

A software engineer with an apparent grudge against the government crashed his small plane into an office building with nearly 200 Internal Revenue Service employees inside, killing himself and at least one worker.

Before flying his single engine Piper PA-28 into the hulking black-glass office building Thursday morning, A. Joseph Stack III apparently posted a rambling screed on a Web site in which he railed against “big brother,” the Catholic Church, the “unthinkable atrocities” committed by big business and the governments bailouts that followed.

In the note, signed “Joe Stack (1956-2010)” and dated Thursday, he said he slowly came to the conclusion that “violence not only is the answer, it is the only answer.”

Law enforcement officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation was still going on, said the 53-year-old Stack apparently set fire to his house and posted the screed.

Stack’s wife, Sheryl, planned to address the news media on Friday, the Red Cross said.

Some who knew Stack said he offered little hint of his anger before the attack.

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7 Responses to Grudge leads to plane crashing into building

  1. griff

    February 19, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Very unfortunate, but a sign of the times, I’m afraid.

  2. woody188

    February 19, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    If one bothers to read his letter, referred to here as “screed,” he sounds very coherent and assured of his actions. This could have been any one of us.

  3. b mcclellan

    February 19, 2010 at 5:51 pm

    I agree Woody, incoherency/madness was not what I gathered at all, but reasoned thought in his admission that he was not schooled in tax law, but that he was misled by his adviser whom he trusted to keep him in the clear according to the IRS. Meanwhile all agencies he contacted for solution/resolution to his problems gave him the short shrift.
    His reaction being far over the top nonetheless defines the line of hopelessness many feel they teeter upon today.

    It used to be don’t trust anyone over thirty and it appears he was pushed too far to trust even himself. Worse than sad..

  4. DejaVuAllOver

    February 19, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    This country was founded, obviously, by people who had the guts to overthrow the government, by force. Seems to me the left and the right are coming together in many ways: Democrats hated the neocons for starting illegal, unjustified and immoral wars. Republicans hate the Dems for bailing out the banksters and people who trashed our economy, with no relief in sight for the working man. Now, it’s FINALLY starting to sink in that these are largely the SAME PEOPLE who have co-opted both parties, much of the government and most of the media, all for a corrupt, self-serving and racist agenda. A tyrannical judeo-christian crime syndicate this time around instead of a tyrannical monarchy, but it seems to me progressives and the tea party are coming together to take our country back. I imagine it must have felt about the same in 1773 or so, when people were finally realizing that things were NOT going to get better and that a fundamental change was in order. The problem is, we’ll probably end up like Russia. Trotsky, the radical zionist Bolshevik leader teamed up with Lennin, the labor leader, to kill the Czar, who they both hated. But as soon as labor figured out they’d been screwed by the Bolsheviks who had no intention of sharing power with the peons (workers, proletariat) the REAL fun began and it’s taken Russia 100 years to even START to recover. Hang on tight, folks, it’s gonna get messy.

  5. Almandine

    February 23, 2010 at 9:12 pm

  6. Almandine

    February 26, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    It seems not so much a “grudge” as a broken camel’s back.

  7. Bogofree

    February 28, 2010 at 9:37 am

    What would drive someone to this level of madness? Why take out a few innocents? How about a story.

    My daughter was audited a few years ago and the IRS claimed she owed about $100. No big deal but rather strange since she was in her first year of post college employment and was a 1040EZ filer with low income. The IRS deduction for student loan interest is what they were questioning and it was clearly a mistake on their part so we sent in a letter noting their own qualifications for the deduction and that the error was theirs. No problem. We get a letter stating the issue was “resolved” and that was it. Maybe.

    Now comes back to back letters that she is being audited for two previous years in which her income was less than $9,000! This is virtual no tax status but they wanted “documentation.” An inquiry to the IRS said that they wished to have a hard copy of her W-2’s since she had used an online tax service. I wrote another letter saying this was nothing more than a punitive reaction to their own screw up and supplied the documentation. All resolved. Not really. I then get a letter stating I was being audited for my own returns. I complied with the two years in question with full documentation and a blistering letter stating this is now bordering on harassment. Naturally they then wish to audit a few more year. That is resolved. End of story? Nope.

    I then get a notice from the state they are auditing my returns. That eventually was resolved.

    I am sorry for this extended post but this is just one example of how that agency attempts to wear people down. I forwarded this story to every member of Congress I could think of that has some level of oversite on the IRS and to the IRS resolution office themselves. I spent about 100 hours on this mess that was totally needless. I had no recourse as they call the shots. All you get in return is a simple letter saying “The issue has been resolved.” I cannot condone what was done but I can understand.