Guilty plea in Spokane terror case

Readers may recall a story from January in which a “potentially deadly” explosive device was found along the intended route of a Martin Luther King Day march in Spokane, Wash. Some city employees noticed an unattended bag with some visible wires, alerted authorities, and the parade was re-routed without incident. What the bomb squad found, however, was a fairly sophisticated device, with a remote detonator, placed in such a way as to maximize the damage to those marching in the MLK parade.

The attempted act of domestic terrorism could have been devastating. An official said at the time, “This was the worst device, and most intentional device, I’ve ever seen.”

Initially, no one claimed responsibility for the terror plot, but the area has a history of white supremacist activity.

Two months later, a suspect was identified and taken into custody. Today, he pleaded guilty.

A man with extensive ties to white supremacists pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges he planted a bomb along a Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade route in Spokane, Wash., targeting minorities.

Kevin Harpham reached a deal with federal prosecutors for a recommended sentencing range of 27 to 32 years in prison just days before his trial was to begin in U.S. District Court.

The pipe bomb was loaded with lead fishing weights coated in a chemical, and could have caused mass casualties, prosecutors said.

Harpham explained how he built the bomb and conceded the hatred that motivated him.

Given the larger political debate about terrorism, I suppose it’s worth noting that Republicans aren’t raising a fuss about this. But why not? Here we have a dangerous man who tried to commit a heinous act of terror on American soil, targeting American civilians. Isn’t this about the time GOP officials, Liz Cheney, and Rudy Giuliani argue that Harpham shouldn’t have been brought to a civilian U.S. courtroom? And that it’s outrageous to lock him up on U.S. soil?