In the early summer of 2017, US coast guard lieutenant Christopher Hasson had an idea. He had been trying to figure out an effective way of killing billions of people – “almost every last person on Earth” – but found himself coming up against the daunting logistics of such a task.
He suspected “a plague would be most successful”, but didn’t know how to get his hands on enough Spanish flu, botulism or anthrax. His idea, he wrote in a draft email from 2 June of that year, would be to “start with biological attacks followed by attack on food supply”. He acknowledged the plan needed more research.
While horrifying in their ambition, Hasson’s plans, gleaned from email drafts, are scatterbrained and bear the hallmarks of a person still trying to figure things out. His tentative plans, outlined mostly in emails to himself, were thwarted when he was arrested last month on firearms and drugs charges and investigators discovered his inner life as a neo-Nazi and his plans for mass murder – along with a huge cache of weapons and a hit list of prominent Democrats and media figures.
What is clear, however, is that Hasson was inspired by others who came before him, and that he is likely very far from alone.
Hasson is the product of both established traditions within white supremacist circles as well as new developments. He was at once inspired by old ideas and determined to go beyond them to create more havoc than any who had come before him. [Continue reading…]