You win some. You Laos some
Is it just me, or does it seem like everyone is conspiring to overthrow the government of Laos these days? Apparently, Vang Pao, a former Laotion general from Orange County, and Harrison Ulrich Jack, a retired California National Guard lieutenant colonel, were arrested this morning and accused of doing just that.
The San Francisco Chronicle reported that the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives charged the men with attempting to purchase military equipment including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, machine guns and other weaponry to be overthrow the government of Laos.
According to the complaint, the men had already stockpiled 125 AK-47s, 20,000 rounds of ammunition and smoke grenades for the attack against the Asian country.
Pao led Hmong tribesmen during the Vietnam War when members were recruited by the CIA for training to fight the North Vietnamese. He fled Laos when the war ended with communists in power.
More from the Chronicle:
More than 65,000 [Hmong people] now live in California. Pao is highly respected in the Hmong exile community and is its most well-known figure.
The complaint says Jack was hired by the other eight defendants, who are Hmong, because of his "contacts in the American defense, homeland security and defense contractor community." Jack and other defendants contacted defense contractors in the hopes of obtaining weapons, the complaint says.
As of last month, the group had "intelligence operatives in place" in the Laotian capital of Vientoiane and had drawn up plans for a military strike there.
"The defendants have issued instructions that the mercenary force is to destroy . . . government facilities, to reduce them to rubble, and make them look like the results of the attack upon the World Trade Center in New York on Sept. 11, 2001," the complaint says.
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