Two figures in the Michigan militia movement have lost their platforms as repercussions from the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building continued Friday.
Norman Olson, the commander of the Michigan Militia Corps, temporarily was relieved of his duties by militia leaders Friday after he sent out a news release accusing the Japanese government of the bombing.
Mark Koernke, the radio voice of the antigovernment patriot movement, was off the air Friday after he was dumped by the shortwave radio station that had been sending his voice across North American and Europe every evening. He is not connected with Olson’s group.
Michigan Militia chief Olson lost that job Friday after he issued a news release suggesting that the Japanese government planted the Oklahoma City bomb in retaliation for a nerve gas attack in a Tokyo subway.
Olson said that attack was orchestrated by the CIA to punish Japan for lowering the value of the dollar against the yen.
Olson was suffering from sleep deprivation when he released the unverified information, said Militia spokesman Ken Adams. He called the conspiracy theory “rumor” and “fantasy.”
“Mr. Olson has been under tremendous pressure in the last week,” Adams said. “With the lack of sleep we just feel his thought process may not be quite up to par and he may need some rest.
“He stepped down for a few days to get that rest,” he said.
Koernke’s show was spiked about two minutes before it was to begin Thursday, said G. Michael Callahan, the Arizona precious metals dealer who buys Koernke’s air time. World Wide Christian Radio in Nashville, Tenn., pulled the plug on “The Intelligence Report.”
Callahan said he expected that Koernke would take heat for his fiery rhetoric, but “we just never thought they would come down and put a boot on the throat of the First Amendment.”
Koernke, a 37-year-old University of Michigan building mechanic, was drawn into the national spotlight last week when critics suggested his brand of antigovernment criticism contributed indirectly to the Oklahoma bombing. President Bill Clinton on Monday denounced “the purveyors of hatred and division, the promoters of paranoia,” but did not mention broadcasters by name or advocate censorship.
Koernke couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.
xxxx CONSPIRACY THEORY Ousted militia leader Norman Olson suggested the Japanese government planted the Oklahoma City bomb to retaliate for a subway nerve gas attack, which he said was orchestrated by the CIA to punish Japan for lowering the value of the dollar against the yen.