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Lon Horiuchi: American Sniper

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Feb. 4, 2015

Somewhere, a figure clothed in a pseudonym has been tracking the box office returns of “American Sniper” with great interest and no small measure of envy. He may be among the tens of millions who contributed to its unprecedented commercial success, assuming that a visit to the local Cineplex is permitted under the terms of the federal witness protection program. 
Many who have seen the cinematic tribute to the late Chris Kyle describe the experience in religious terms, recalling how a chastened, reverent silence descended on the theater as the end credits rolled. If the individual once known as Lon Horiuchi was part of the congregation, the impious sentiment of jealousy may have tainted his devotion. After all, he had also been true and faithful to his commission as a state-employed killer, shooting people from long distances at the command of his superiors; why isn’t he the object of similar veneration?
Chris Kyle, as everyone is required to know, was a Navy SEAL. Lon Horiuchi was an infantry officer and graduate of West Point before becoming a sniper with the FBI and a member of its “Hostage Rescue Team,” an Orwellian designation for a unit that functioned as a death squad at Ruby Ridge in 1992 and Waco in 1993. 
Both Kyle and Horiuchi have been described as deeply religious and devoted family men. To the extent presently known, Kyle was a much more prolific killer than Horiuchi, which makes him more admirable in the eyes of the segment of the public that regards state-sanctioned murder as the highest and holiest public calling.
Unlike Horiuchi, who retreated into anonymity after the August 1992 federal standoff at Ruby Ridge, Kyle became a best-selling author-by-proxy and a “reality TV” celebrity following his retirement from the military. The resulting sense of artificial intimacy with the public helps explain why millions claimed to have felt a personal loss when Kyle was killed by a fellow Iraq war veteran. 
His funeral was a state-focused orgy of grief rivalling that decreed by Soviet officials in 1982 following the death of Leonid Brezhnev. When Horiuchi eventually pays his debt to nature he will earn a brief mention in the “Whatever happened to?” section of whatever media outlets happen to notice his passing........