Threat should be identified before overreacting
To the Editor:
I’m following the case of Robert Gollubske, who has been charged with threatening to bomb the Iron County Courthouse.
Now let me see if I have this correct. The FBI, our preeminent law enforcement agency in dealing with terrorism, records a phone conversation where the 75-year-old Gollubske allegedly threatened to blow up the courthouse. But instead of acting on a credible threat, they advise the Iron County Sheriff’s Department of the “danger at hand.” The operative word here is credible.
First (and obviously), the FBI did not think this was a case of immediate, impending doom. Secondly, the sheriff’s department also didn’t act immediately on the allegation. Commendably, the sheriff at least called Gollubske for an explanation a couple days later, even though there was no immediate action (for officer safety).
There evidently was a stake-out at the Gollubske compound, for when he left the confines of the compound, he was arrested. From this point he is hauled in a wheelchair in front of Judge Patrick Madden.
While this man sits in his wheelchair, Judge Madden gives him a tongue-lashing, saying that “These inflammatory statements are completely unacceptable” and that the threats caused concern “to a significant degree” to the public and especially employees at the courthouse.
Really? No, really?
Granted, Gollubske obviously chose the wrong tactic to get attention to a cause he thinks needs to be fought for justice. But I believe any rational property owner would be grasping at straws to seek justice.
Do I condone bomb threats and the like to get justice? Absolutely not. And yes, I do see the need to make examples of similar situations. But the wiser move by our officials was not to act on such a situation as this with extreme prejudice.
I haven’t heard from anyone who was really concerned in this situation. I am certainly glad that my old classmate, District Attorney Marty Lipske, was not initially involved in this overblown incident, as I hope he would have used some of that winning philosophy that he is known for as an instructor at Gogebic Community College.
As for Judge Madden, I know him to be an honorable guy with a Boy Scout ethic. But if he and others were truly afraid of this 75-year-old “terrorist,” they need to look at the total picture and decide what actually is a threat, before overacting.
Brian M. Dary Sr.