Surely everyone in North Carolina knows that two substations in Moore County, just outside Fort Bragg, were damaged by gunfire on Saturday, wiping out electricity for about half of the 100,000 or so county residents.

Surely everyone knows that a woman named Emily Rainey, who led a protest against a drag performance inside the county limits scheduled for that very night, obliquely took credit for the terrorist attack on social media.

Did you know that Rainey, a former US Army psych-ops officer, resigned her military commission just before she led a team from NC to the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021? Did you know she faced criminal charges in Southern Pines in May 2020 for removing caution tape from a playground closed due to the pandemic? She was again arrested in September 2020 during an anti-lockdown protest.

Everyone seems to understand that Rainey is a domestic terrorist, and that shooting out the lights in Moore County was a terrorist act, regardless of its true purpose, with the possible exception of Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields.

It’s important to note that Fields has been a Republican operative in Moore County since 1999, when he was elected to serve on the Carthage Town Board; eventually he became mayor. He has been county sheriff since winning election in 2018.

Keep in mind, too that the Dept. of Homeland Security has said the greatest threat of domestic terrorism comes from violent right-wing extremists.

Fields said at his press conference that he visited Rainey right away, and that he cleared her of any wrongdoing after having a “word of prayer” with her, just after he chastised everyone in the room for spreading false news.

This was just before posed photos of the two surfaced online, his arm around her shoulder and pulling her close, from a Back the Blue event in October 2020.

It’s possible, we suppose, that the two don’t know each other. But Moore County isn’t all that big, and there are other factors as well.

As the FBI admitted in 2006, white-supremacist groups have been actively infiltrating law enforcement agencies for decades; we insist that US law enforcement has been a white-supremacist operation from the very beginning.

And so it’s not that we outright don’t believe the Moore County sheriff when he says Rainey was not involved. We’d just prefer to hear it from the FBI and the State Bureau of Investigation, who are now both on the case.

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