Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #822 The Snowdenistas, the GOP and Violent Secession

Dave Emory’s entire life­time of work is avail­able on a flash drive that can be obtained here. The new drive is a 32-gigabyte drive that is current as of the programs and articles posted by 10/02/2014. The new drive (available for a tax-deductible contribution of $65.00 or more) contains FTR #812.  (The previous flash drive was current through the end of May of 2012 and contained FTR #748.)

You can subscribe to e-mail alerts from Spitfirelist.com HERE

You can subscribe to RSS feed from Spitfirelist.com HERE.

You can subscribe to the comments made on programs and posts–an excellent source of information in, and of, itself HERE.

Listen: MP3

Side 1   Side 2

The Turner Diaries and Hunter, published by Greenwald's client, the National Alliance

Introduction: This program highlights political continuity between “the Snowdenistas”–political defenders of “Eddie the Friendly Spook” Snowden, the GOP and paramilitary advocates of legal and physical secession from the United States. The essential points made here build on analysis presented in FTR #771, among other broadcasts.

(The GOP triumphs in the 2014 elections were realized because two-thirds of eligible voters stayed home. In FTR #762, we noted that the Snowden “op” appears to have alienated many of the young idealists whose support was central to Obama’s 2008 triumph. We feel that the Snowden “op” did much to enable the GOP off-year electoral success. Our analysis of the Snowden “op” might seem strange or alienating to newer listeners. Snowden and those around him can be succinctly summarized and understood by Snowden’s views on Social Security. “. . . Snow­den wrote that the elderly ‘wouldn’t be fuck­ing help­less if you weren’t send­ing them fuck­ing checks to sit on their ass and lay in hos­pi­tals all day.’ ”)

 

In FTR #756, we noted the profound political connections between the Snowdenistas and the neo-Confederate movement, an extension of the white supremacist ideology.

Greenwald’s new journalistic endeavors are being underwritten by Pierre Omidyar. Although superficially identified with more “progressive” political elements, Omidyar has been an active ideological and financial supporter of fascist elements abroad, including the OUN/B heirs in Ukraine and the Hindu nationalist/fascist political milieu of Narendra Modi abroad.

Domestically, Omidyar’s Ebay firm is a supporter of the ultra-reactionary ALEC organization, a strong supporter of the most benighted elements of the Republican Party and a staunch opponent of action on climate change.

Citizen Greenwald was not particularly disturbed by the recent presence of  neo-Nazi Andrew Auernheimer at a recent social gathering at which he and Laura Poitras were present.

Were this an isolated incident, one might be more inclined to dismiss it as happenstance.

Unfortunately, this fits all too neatly into a pattern with Citizen Greenwald. In an earlier professional incarnation as an attorney, he spent years running legal interference for Nazi murderers. (This is discussed at length in FTR #754.)

Auernheimer (aka “Weev”) is a strong advocate of the paramilitary right and expresses open sympathy for the violent overthrow of the government and is of the same cloth as the supporters of Cliven Bundy and seditious elements highlighted below. He views Timothy McVeigh as a hero.

Much of the program focuses on issues relevant to the GOP takeover of the Senate and strengtening of its control over the House of Representatives. Particular emphasis is on the GOP’s profound links to the violently paramilitary secessionist milieu.

Paramilitary vigilantes patrolling the Texas border against “illegal aliens” were recently discovered to have amassed ammonium nitrate in quantities sufficient to build a bomb similar to that used in the Oklahoma City bombing.

Of perhaps greater concern is the fact that Texas politicians have been supportive of those vigilante groups, including Greg Abbott, the former Texas Attorney General and now Governor-elect.

Among the many GOP politicians embracing far-right ideology  is Joni Ernst, the new Senator from Iowa. Ernst has been chattering about “Agenda 21,” an ideological tenet of the John Birch Society that imagines a nefarious global conspiracy involving the United Nations and political liberals.

Former Reagan and George H.W. Bush speechwriter Douglas MacKinnon is preaching sedition, advocating that numerous states (including much of the former Confederacy) should secede from the United States. MacKinnon proposes calling the new state “Reagan.”

Mitch McConnell of Kentucky is the new Senate Majority leader. Shortly before the election, a ship owned by his father-in-law was busted with 40 kilograms of cocaine on board.

Concluding with discussion of arms dealer Viktor Bout, we note that he has retained the law firm of former Bush Attorney General John Ashcroft to represent him in a bid for a new trial.

Program Highlights Include: Oklahoma GOP Senator Tom Coburn has predicted violence if Obama implements an executive order on immigration; Viktor Bout’s supplying of arms to Al Qaeda; overview of the Snowden “op;” review of the neo-Confederate and neo-secessionist movements; review of the Crusade For Freedom and the genesis of the Nazi wing of the Republican Party; review of Omidyar’s hands-on applications of neo-liberal theory in his Third World ventures; Mitch McConnell’s reliance on his in-laws’ family wealth; Joni Ernst’s espousal of the arrest of federal officials attempting to implement the Affordable Care Act; a GOP-initiated investigation into Benghazi that cleared the Obama administration of all the charges leveled by the GOP.

Matthew Hale, Glenn Greenwald's pro-bono client, convicted of solicitation of murder.

1. EBay chief Pierre Omidyar is the financial backer of Glenn Greenwald’s current media ventures. EBay is also a supporter of ALEC, one of the most destructive entities in the right-wing political armory.


“What Pos­si­ble Rea­son Can eBay Have for Stand­ing by Ultra­con­ser­v­a­tive Cli­mate Change Deniers at ALEC?” by David Holmes; Pando Daily; 10/07/2014.

The tech world’s strange love affair with ultra­con­ser­v­a­tive ALEC is unraveling.

Over the past two months, Google, Microsoft, Face­book, Yelp, and Yahoo have dis­tanced them­selves from the Amer­i­can Exec­u­tive Leg­is­la­tion Coun­cil (ALEC), a Koch Brothers-backed think tank that’s pushed just about every con­tro­ver­sial right-wing leg­isla­tive ini­tia­tive you can think of. Teach­ing cli­mate change denial in schools? Check. Advo­cat­ing for Voter ID laws that dis­en­fran­chise minori­ties? Uh huh. A national “Stand Your Ground” law? Why not?

The break­ing point for ALEC’s sour­ing rela­tion­ship with so many high-profile tech firms appears to be the group’s denial of strong, widely-agreed-upon evi­dence that cli­mate change is real and humans are mak­ing it worse. (ALEC recently denied its, uh, denial, but ALEC’s own model leg­is­la­tion directly con­tra­dicts its claims of inno­cence). But despite the risks of align­ing your orga­ni­za­tion with anti-sustainability inter­ests, there’s one high-profile tech firm that still hasn’t denounced the orga­ni­za­tion: eBay, along with its bil­lion­aire founder and chair­man Pierre Omidyar.

Today, over eighty non-profits includ­ing the Sierra Club and Green­peace signed a let­ter urg­ing eBay to end its affil­i­a­tion with ALEC. eBay, like Google and Microsoft in the past, is a mem­ber of ALEC’s Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Tech­nol­ogy Task Force, an affil­i­a­tion that costs the com­pany $5,000 a year in mem­ber­ship fees and thus rep­re­sents a direct form of finan­cial sup­port for the con­tro­ver­sial organization.

eBay spokes­woman Abby Smith has finally responded to the let­ter, say­ing that ALEC pro­motes issues that are “mate­r­ial to the suc­cess of eBay Inc and our cus­tomers” and that “our team of inter­nal stake­hold­ers meets reg­u­larly to assess the best approach for resolv­ing these issues.”

But would leav­ing ALEC really have a neg­a­tive impact on eBay’s business?

Pos­si­bly. Yelp, for exam­ple, had a clear and legit­i­mate legal inter­est in align­ing itself with ALEC. The orga­ni­za­tion crafted model leg­is­la­tion to fight SLAPP law­suits, which could be used against Yelp’s users who post bad reviews. Indeed, eBay is cur­rently rely­ing on an anti-SLAPP argu­ment in a law­suit that a patent troll filed against it. But user-generated con­tent, which is usu­ally what anti-SLAPP leg­is­la­tion pro­tects, is not as fun­da­men­tal to its busi­ness as it is to Yelp. And again, even Yelp has cut ties with ALEC.

Another of the Task Force’s stated areas of focus is “pro­mot­ing new forms of e-commerce,” which is cer­tainly in eBay’s wheel­house. But Ama­zon, the largest ecom­merce site in the US, felt no need to stay aligned with ALEC past 2012. Then there’s ALEC’s and eBay’s shared sup­port of net neu­tral­ity. That’s the same jus­ti­fi­ca­tion Face­book made when it donated $10,000 to an anti-gay politi­cian: We both sup­port a free and open Inter­net! But net neu­tral­ity has attracted sup­port among a very broad set of orga­ni­za­tions, and not all of them were just aban­doned by half a dozen of eBay’s peers.

What about eBay’s chair­man Omid­yar? Surely, this “civic-minded bil­lion­aire,” who through his Omid­yar Net­work has given hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars to phil­an­thropic causes, wouldn’t dream of align­ing him­self with an orga­ni­za­tion like ALEC — an orga­ni­za­tion for whom social and envi­ron­men­tal jus­tice plays a dis­tant sec­ond fid­dle to the Koch Broth­ers’ fun­house mir­ror ver­sion of free mar­ket cap­i­tal­ism. Or would he? As Mark Ames and Yasha Levine have reported, Omidyar’s pol­i­tics are dif­fi­cult, though not impos­si­ble, to suss out:

Omid­yar Network’s phil­an­thropy reveals Omid­yar as a free-market zealot with an almost mys­ti­cal faith in the power of “mar­kets” to trans­form the world, end poverty, and improve lives—one micro-individual at a time.

And yet, the Omid­yar Net­work is also one of the lead­ing back­ers of the upcom­ing film “Mer­chants of Doubt,” which seeks to expose the “silver-tongued pundits-for-hire” spread­ing denial cam­paigns on seri­ous pub­lic health threats like tobacco, toxic chem­i­cals, and yes, cli­mate change. Con­sid­er­ing that cli­mate change denial has become the pre­dom­i­nant force draw­ing tech com­pa­nies away from ALEC, eBay’s con­tin­ued mem­ber­ship con­sti­tutes a pretty sig­nif­i­cant con­tra­dic­tion for Omid­yar. And let’s not for­get that for many of the third world com­mu­ni­ties the Omid­yar Net­work wants to help, dev­as­ta­tion from cli­mate change isn’t just a well-supported fore­cast — it’s already a real­ity.

Maybe eBay is too focused on its forth­com­ing Pay­Pal spin off to pay atten­tion to the out­cry over ALEC. Maybe eBay has already decided to let its ALEC mem­ber­ship lapse and it sim­ply hasn’t approved the move with its share­hold­ers. In any case, com­pa­nies like Face­book learned the hard way what hap­pens when you align your­self with anti-sustainability inter­ests that run counter to the fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples of your com­mu­nity or indus­try. And with the tide in the tech com­mu­nity clearly shift­ing away from ALEC and other cli­mate change deniers, eBay needs to take con­trol of this nar­ra­tive before it spins out of con­trol, and peo­ple start accus­ing the com­pany of club­bing baby seals and cre­at­ing the hole in the ozone layer.

2a. While lambasting Bill Maher and others for critical comments about Muslim fundamentalists, Citizen Greenwald was not particularly disturbed by the recent presence of Andrew Auernheimer at a recent social gathering at which he and Laura Poitras were present.

Were this an isolated incident, one might be more inclined to dismiss it as happenstance.

Unfortunately, this fits all too neatly into a pattern with Citizen Greenwald. In an earlier professional incarnation as an attorney, he spent years running legal interference for Nazi murderers. (This is discussed at length in FTR #754.)

Do note that the article below badly understates Citizen Greenwald’s pro-Nazi activities.

In addition, Wikileaks also tracks back to Nazi and fascist elements. Eddie The Friendly Spook Snowden is part and parcel to the “Paulistinian” milieu. (To flesh out one’s understanding, do check out FTR #755, about Wikileaks and FTR #756 about the Paulistinian milieu. WikiLeaks and the Paulistinians are inextricably linked with Greenwald and his associates.)

“iPad Hacker Released From Jail, Par­ties with Glenn Green­wald, Pub­lishes Neo-Nazi Screeds” by Bob CescaThe Daily Ban­ter; 10/09/2014.

Way back in 2010, a so-called “white hat” hacker named Andrew Auern­heimer, known online as “Weev,” exploited a secu­rity loop­hole on Apple’s iPad and acquired the names of 114,000 AT&T cus­tomers who sub­scribed to the iPad 3G data ser­vice. Fol­low­ing an inves­ti­ga­tion, Weev, who had “stolen” (his words) the user data was pros­e­cuted and con­victed. To his credit, Weev informed AT&T of the secu­rity flaw and the com­pany quickly but­toned it up. But back in April of this year, Weev’s con­vic­tion was over­turned because he was evi­dently tried in the wrong state (New Jer­sey). He was sub­se­quently released from Pennsylvania’s Allen­wood Fed­eral Cor­rec­tional Com­plex on April 11, 2014. The indict­ment remains, but the con­vic­tion no longer stands.

Dur­ing his time in jail, Weev appar­ently became a neo-Nazi, com­plete with a tat­too not unlike Edward Norton’s tat­too in Amer­i­can His­tory X — a giant swastika on his right pec­toral. After his release, he posted a series of racist and anti-Semitic remarks on a web­site called The Daily Stormer, a white-supremacist site not to be con­fused with The Daily CallerThe Daily Beast or The Daily Ban­terVia Gawker, here are some choice passages:

I’ve been a long-time critic of Judaism, black cul­ture, immi­gra­tion to West­ern nations, and the media’s con­stant stream of anti-white pro­pa­ganda. Judge Wigen­ton was as black as they come. The pros­e­cu­tor, Zach Intrater, was a Brook­lyn Jew from an old money New York family.[…]

The whole time a yarmulke-covered audi­ence of Jewry stared at me from the pews of the court­room. My pros­e­cu­tor invited his whole syn­a­gogue to spectate.[…]

They took con­trol of our sys­tems of finance and law. They hyper­in­flated our cur­rency. They cor­rupted our daugh­ters and demanded they sub­ject them­selves to sex work to feed their fam­i­lies. These are a peo­ple that have made them­selves a prob­lem in every nation they occupy, includ­ing ours. What’s sad­dest is that we are the enablers of this prob­lem. The Jews abused our com­pas­sion to build an empire of wicked­ness the likes the world has never seen.

No gray area there. Weev clearly hates Jews, African-Americans and any­one he per­ceives as “anti-white.”

Oh, and in addi­tion to his con­ver­sion to the neo-Nazi cause as well as his seem­ingly pro­lific online hate speech, Weev attended a party in New York soon after get­ting out of jail. The party was held by none other than Glenn Green­wald and Laura Poitras to coin­cide with the cer­e­mony in which the duo received the Polk Award for their report­ing on Edward Snow­den and the National Secu­rity Agency.

Unless he crashed the party, he was obvi­ously an invited guest. But for a moment let’s assume Green­wald didn’t know Weev was invited. Long before the party, Green­wald had pre­vi­ously defended Weev in The Guardian back in March, 2013, months before the author/reporter rose to inter­na­tional acclaim. Indeed, Green­wald named Weev as a “hack­tivist” who was being wrong­fully per­se­cuted by U.S. authorities.

Just this week alone, a US fed­eral judge sen­tenced hac­tivist Andrew “Weev” Auern­heimer to 3 1/2 years in prison for exploit­ing a flaw in AT&T’s secu­rity sys­tem that allowed him entrance with­out any hack­ing, an act about which Slate’s Justin Peters wrote: “it’s not clear that Auern­heimer com­mit­ted any actual crime”, while Jeff Blag­don at the Verge added: “he cracked no codes, stole no pass­words, or in any way ‘broke into’ AT&T’s cus­tomer data­base – some­thing com­pany rep­re­sen­ta­tives con­firmed dur­ing tes­ti­mony.” But he had a long record of dis­rup­tive and some­times even quite ugly (though legal) online antag­o­nism, so he had to be severely pun­ished with years in prison.

For a moment, let’s set aside the whole neo-Nazi thing. Let’s also not re-litigate the past in which Green­wald, dur­ing his law-practice days, defended a com­pletely dif­fer­ent neo-Nazi. The fact that Green­wald con­tin­ues to blur the line between hack­ing and activism is utterly baf­fling. The man­ner in which he ratio­nal­ized Weev’s actions is a gross illus­tra­tion of gra­tu­itous spin and dan­ger­ous oversimplification.

2b. Pando has an inter­view of ‘weev’ from his new home in Beirut.

” ‘Weev’ in Beirut: I Can’t Go Home Until ‘Most of the agents of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment are dead.’ ” by Dan Raile; Pando Daily; 11/21/2014.

“The only hope I have of return­ing to the land I love, where I was kid­napped at gun­point and had my house bull­dozed, is if there is a such a con­sis­tent level of change that most of the agents of the fed­eral gov­ern­ment are dead. I want to go home but I can’t.”

It’s late on a Tues­day evening and I’m sit­ting with Andrew Auern­heimer in the posh envi­rons of east Beirut’s Achrafieh neigh­bor­hood. The man most peo­ple know by his online han­dle, “weev,” is seated across from me at a cozy cafe just down the street from the city’s flag­ship Western-style shop­ping mall. Auern­heimer, 29, is explain­ing why he’s been liv­ing in Beirut for the past month, and why he can’t return home to America.

Weev’s road to Lebanon began in a New York City bar in May. He was just a few weeks out of fed­eral prison, sprung on appeal after 14 months of incar­cer­a­tion and years of legal and pub­lic spar­ring with the fed­eral gov­ern­ment over hack­ing charges. Weev wanted to catch the tele­vised spec­ta­cle of NASCAR dri­ver Josh Wise rac­ing around the track at Talledega in a car embla­zoned with the head of the celebrity Shiba Inu, Doge, and the name of its hon­orary cryp­tocur­rency, Doge­Coin. As a native of Arkansas and the inter­net, Auern­heimer says he couldn’t miss it.

We’ve tells me how he’d met his girl­friend that night. A Syr­ian Alaw­ite and a tat­too artist, she has intro­duced Auern­heimer into her cir­cle in Lebanon and cov­ered a sig­nif­i­cant amount of him with Norse sym­bol­ogy in per­ma­nent black ink.

The mass-market appeal of their whirl­wind mod­ern romance is com­pli­cated by the fact that one of those tat­toos is a painstak­ing rococo swastika over his chest. (Thank­fully, Gawker has already cov­ered that exten­sively – it got me off the hook when Auern­heimer offered to show it to me.)

The star-crossed love angle goes part of the way toward answer­ing the ques­tion that had com­pelled me to seek out Auern­heimer dur­ing a recent trip to Lebanon. Namely, why in hell would an avowed white nation­al­ist super-troll and hacker be liv­ing in Beirut?

Inter­net con­nec­tiv­ity is pretty atro­cious in Lebanon, not to men­tion the fre­quent elec­tri­cal out­ages. I hardly need to men­tion that the Mid­dle East isn’t entirely rec­on­ciled to the idea of West­ern supremacy, or that the cur­rent vogue of right-wing nation­al­ist move­ments through­out Europe (which weev describes as “promis­ing”) is antag­o­nism toward immi­grants from the for­mer lands of the Ottoman empire.

Over the course of a cou­ple of hours, cof­fee, cig­a­rettes and a plate of french fries, the pieces of an expla­na­tion come together.

Auern­heimer describes him­self as the “point per­son for the press” for the loosely orga­nized crews of which he is mem­ber, and has writ­ten that “I make art… I see fed­eral courts, finan­cial mar­kets, world media and the very act of human per­cep­tion as the can­vas.” Per­haps by meet­ing Weev and report­ing our con­ver­sa­tion, I’m act­ing as a con­duit for the expres­sion of this sort of “art.” If so, I’m tak­ing in mind the words of one of my favorite authors, Oscar Wilde:

“We can for­give a man for mak­ing a use­ful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for mak­ing a use­less thing is that one admire it intensely. All art is useless.”

By this token, the cyber-activity of weev is either use­less art or unfor­giv­able, harm­ful provo­ca­tion and quite pos­si­bly both.

He says he’s encour­aged by recent mili­tia move­ments like that of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, but that they don’t have their pri­or­i­ties straight. He tells me that he views Okla­homa City bomber Tim­o­thy McVeigh as a hero, and explained his vision of send­ing tiny drones laden with high explo­sives to the per­sonal res­i­dences of US fed­eral gov­ern­ment employees.

“We are close to hav­ing atom­i­cally pre­cise engi­neer­ing for asym­met­ric war­fare. Cheap, 3D-printed drones. The tech is sim­ple. The drones that the US uses for airstrikes are crap. Sev­eral gen­er­a­tions behind. Pretty soon any­one who wants will be able to have some­thing better.”

“Some­how we need to get the ‘sol­dier types’ con­nected with the peo­ple who have the ideas about who should be tar­geted and how,” he says. “It’s about the ide­o­log­i­cal prepa­ra­tion of a seg­ment of the population.”

Auern­heimer was freed from prison when his con­vic­tion was over­turned as uncon­sti­tu­tional in vio­la­tion of his 6th amend­ment rights to a fair trial in the juris­dic­tion where an alleged crime takes place. But he doesn’t get misty-eyed about the ben­e­fits of America’s rule of law.

“I’m pro-constitution. I think it’s prob­a­bly the great­est polit­i­cal doc­u­ment ever writ­ten. But it’s been totally and sys­tem­at­i­cally cor­rupted. It’s not rule of law, its rule by lawyers. The only lan­guage the gov­ern­ment under­stands now is fear and vio­lence. And if you’re will­ing to go far enough, they’ll lis­ten. There was no Waco after Waco. They blinked.”

Lebanon has no extra­di­tion treaty with the United States. Weev says that was a cru­cial cri­te­rion for him in choos­ing a new home. Other can­di­date coun­tries were Ser­bia and Andorra, which he says is still his first choice, if he can ever afford it. He also tells me that he would pre­fer to live in Syria, but is wait­ing, con­fi­dently, for things there to “cool down.”

* * *

Of course, trolling doesn’t work unless it elic­its pro­found reac­tions of dis­gust, hate or anger. And weev is one of the internet’s most famous trolls. He is also, some­what uncom­fort­ably, a dandy of dig­i­tal civil lib­er­tar­i­ans due to his intran­si­gence in the face of fed­eral harass­ment, out at the bleed­ing edge of the first amendment.

Weev’s three-year scrap with the fed­eral gov­ern­ment has been chron­i­cled in great detail in the media and through his ownchan­nels (here’s the 2010 Gawker arti­cle that started it.) It’s a thorny story with no sym­pa­thetic pro­tag­o­nist, and all sorts of legal, tech­no­log­i­cal and social impli­ca­tions. It was a promi­nent bat­tle in the so-called “hacker-wars,” and he has received sup­port, on civil rights grounds, from the EFFand Glen Green­wald.

Recently, weev has jumped into the fray of the online brouhaha around Pando reporter Yasha Levine’s report­ing on the ori­gins and fund­ing of Tor, a con­fus­ing miasma of alliances that has seen Tor evan­ge­lists claim­ing they are under­paid by the gov­ern­ment and a promi­nent ACLU Speech, Pri­vacy and Tech­nol­ogy Project staffer invok­ing the Pro­to­cols of the Elders of Zion.

Auernheimer’s swastika tat­too is not a rhetor­i­cal device. Nor is his relo­ca­tion to Beirut a sim­ple farce. I can attest that the sort of vit­riol weev reg­u­larly writes on the inter­net springs as read­ily from Auernheimer’s lips as his keyboard.

“Amer­ica doesn’t have a gun vio­lence prob­lem, it has a minor­ity prob­lem,” he says.

One aspect of the cul­ture that weev obvi­ously enjoys is the con­cept of “wasta,” an entrenched orga­niz­ing prin­ci­ple in Lev­an­tine neigh­bor­hoods, economies and polit­i­cal life, which roughly means “clout” or “influ­ence” or “who you know.” It also sig­ni­fies protection.

“I’ve got some wasta,” weev says. “Enough to mit­i­gate a con­trolled kid­nap­ping sit­u­a­tion. But there is a much greater risk that the US gov­ern­ment could just kill me.”

He refers to wasta fre­quently through­out our talk, and clearly rel­ishes the idea of a net­work of pro­tec­tion that doesn’t cave to threats of pros­e­cu­tion or vio­lence. He says he owes his wasta to his girlfriend’s fam­ily ties in Beirut.

“In Arkansas, where I was born and raised and the only home I’ve ever really known, no one was will­ing to step up for me,” he says.

Weev has writ­ten of his own par­ents, who coop­er­ated with inves­ti­ga­tors in his case, that they “are per­fect exam­ples of how sec­u­lar lib­er­al­ism destroys fam­i­lies and will rot out the foun­da­tions of our very civ­i­liza­tion,” and that he pities his mother as “a brain­washed drone of a state gone mad.”

3. Police have report­edly found a box filled with ammo­nium nitrate in the hotel room of the recently arrested leader of one of the mili­tia groups oper­at­ing on the US/Mexican bor­der, rais­ing the ques­tion of what this mili­tia may have had in mind. Fer­til­izer for a nice hedge fence along the bor­der, per­haps?

“Records: Bor­der Mili­tia Mem­ber Had Ammo­nium Nitrate, Thou­sands of Rounds of Ammu­ni­tion in Hotel Room” by Joshua Fechter; My Sanan­to­nio; 10/29/2014.

Fed­eral agents found a box filled with what appeared to be ammo­nium nitrate — which can cause major explo­sions — along with firearms and thou­sands of rounds of ammu­ni­tion dur­ing a search of the hotel room of mili­tia mem­ber Kevin Lyn­del Massey.

Agents with the fed­eral Bureau of Alco­hol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explo­sives, who searched Massey’s hotel room in Brownsville after an Oct. 20 arrest, found an AK-47 with six loaded mag­a­zines, a loaded hand­gun, a bal­lis­tic hel­met and sev­eral cam­eras, as well as the ammu­ni­tion box filled with sus­pected ammo­nium nitrate and fuel, accord­ing to court doc­u­ments obtained by the San Anto­nio Express-News.

Ammo­nium nitrate can be a pow­er­ful explo­sive under cer­tain cir­cum­stances: a stock­pile of the sub­stance at a fer­til­izer plant in West caused the deadly April 17 explo­sion that killed 15 peo­ple and injured more than 160 oth­ers. It’s also the sub­stance used by Tim­o­thy McVeigh in the 1995 Okla­homa City bomb­ing that killed 168 people.

Massey was arrested in con­nec­tion to an Aug. 29 inci­dent dur­ing which a Bor­der Patrol agent fired four shots at a man point­ing a weapon at the agent near the Rio Grande while pur­su­ing a group of immi­grants east of Brownsville, accord­ing to doc­u­ments from the U.S. Dis­trict Court for the South­ern Dis­trict of Texas in Brownsville.

Dur­ing the inci­dent, agents seized a pis­tol from the man, iden­ti­fied as mili­tia mem­ber John Fred­er­ick Foer­ster, and two firearms – a pis­tol and rifle – car­ried by Massey, who was in the vicin­ity with another mili­tia member.

Foer­ster was arrested Oct. 21.

The court has ordered a psy­chi­atric eval­u­a­tion on Foerster.

U.S. Mag­is­trate Judge Ronald Mor­gan set Massey’s bond at $30,000 under sev­eral con­di­tions, includ­ing that Massey and his wife remove all firearms and ammu­ni­tion from their North Texas home.

4. Texas politicians are endorsing the border militias.

Armed Right-Wing Mili­tias Amass­ing Along Texas Bor­der With State Lawmaker’s Blessing” by Ian Mill­hiser; Think Progress8/08/2014.

For much of the sum­mer, right-wing mili­ti­a­men have gath­ered near the Texas-Mexico bor­der, many of them claim­ing that they are there as part of some­thing called “Oper­a­tion Secure Our Bor­der.” They include mem­bers of a move­ment that Pres­i­dent George W. Bush denounced as “vig­i­lantes,” and they also include mem­bers of even more rad­i­cal groups that pro­mote wild con­spir­acy the­o­ries and that explic­itly threaten vio­lence against the gov­ern­ment.

Miller is not the highest-ranking Texas offi­cial who has dis­missed crit­i­cism of armed vig­i­lantes patrolling the Texas bor­der. Late last month, the 12 Demo­c­ra­tic mem­bers of Texas’ con­gres­sional del­e­ga­tion penned a let­ter to Greg Abbott, the state’s attor­ney gen­eral and the Repub­li­can can­di­date to be Texas’ next gov­er­nor. In it, the 12 law­mak­ers quote a mili­tia leader who said that You see an ille­gal. You point your gun dead at him, right between the eyes, and you say, ‘Get back across the bor­der or you will be shot.’ They also ask Abbott to “denounce the actions of these mili­tia groups and clar­ify the juris­dic­tion these mili­tia groups have to patrol along­side local law enforce­ment and Bor­der Patrol agents.”

A spokesper­son for Abbott dis­missed the let­ter as a “par­ti­san polit­i­cal stunt.”

The mili­tias Abbott would not denounce include a volatile mix of para­noid anti-government groups and poten­tially vio­lent gun activists. Accord­ing to the Dal­las Morn­ing News, the ear­li­est wave of mili­ti­a­men com­ing to Texas included mem­bers of the Oath­keep­ers, a group which describes itself as an “asso­ci­a­tion of cur­rently serv­ing mil­i­tary, reserves, National Guard, peace offi­cers, fire-fighters, and vet­er­ans who swore an oath to sup­port and defend the Con­sti­tu­tion against all ene­mies, for­eign and domes­tic … and meant it.” Their web­site warns of gov­ern­ment offi­cials “disarm[ing] the Amer­i­can peo­ple,” “confiscat[ing] the prop­erty of the Amer­i­can peo­ple, includ­ing food and other essen­tial sup­plies,” and “blockad[ing] Amer­i­can cities, thus turn­ing them into giant con­cen­tra­tion camps.”

The mili­ti­a­men also report­edly include mem­bers of the “Three Percenter’s Club,” a group which claims that its “mis­sion is give our mem­bers the capa­bil­i­ties and resources nec­es­sary to exe­cute Mil­i­tary Strate­gies to defend against for­eign and domes­tic ene­mies.” The Three Per­center move­ment takes its name from the “3% of the colonist [sic]” who allegedly “refused orders by the British Crown to sur­ren­der their firearms in the Amer­i­can Rev­o­lu­tion,” and it was founded by a con­ser­v­a­tive activist named Mike Van­der­boegh. On his per­sonal blog, Van­der­boegh explained that one of the Three Per­center movement’s core beliefs is a will­ing­ness to offer vio­lent resis­tance to the gov­ern­ment:

We intend to main­tain our God-given nat­ural rights to lib­erty and prop­erty, and that means most espe­cially the right to keep and bear arms. Thus, we are com­mit­ted to the restora­tion of the Founders’ Repub­lic, and are will­ing to fight, die and, if forced by any would-be oppres­sor, to kill in the defense of our­selves and the Con­sti­tu­tion that we all took an oath to uphold against ene­mies for­eign and domestic.

We are the peo­ple that the col­lec­tivists who now con­trol the gov­ern­ment should leave alone if they wish to con­tinue unfet­tered oxy­gen consumption. We are the Three Per­cent. Attempt to fur­ther oppress us at your peril.

To put it bluntly, leave us the hell alone.

Or, if you feel froggy, go ahead AND WATCH WHAT HAPPENS.

Last April, a sim­i­lar col­lec­tion of mili­tia orga­ni­za­tions, includ­ing mem­bers of the Oath Keep­ers, gath­ered near the home of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy to offer armed resis­tance to fed­eral offi­cials seek­ing to enforce a court order pre­vent­ing Bundy from ille­gally graz­ing his cat­tle on fed­eral land. Bundy briefly became a hero among con­ser­v­a­tive media fig­ures such as Fox News’ Sean Han­nity, and Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) labeled Bundy and his sup­port­ers “patri­ots.” Bundy’s moment as a Repub­li­can folk hero ended fairly abruptly, how­ever, after he made racist remarks about “the Negro.”

What sets Bundy’s armed sup­port­ers apart from the mili­tia mem­bers gath­er­ing in Texas, how­ever, is that Bundy’s mili­tia squared off against trained fed­eral law enforce­ment offi­cials. The mili­ti­a­men in Texas, by con­trast, have threat­ened to point their guns at des­per­ate and often help­less peo­ple cross­ing the border.

5a.  As you might expect, the mili­tias might be rather fond of gov­er­nor Greg Abbott given his refusal to denounce their antics while he’s still Attor­ney Gen­eral.

“Mili­tia Leader Posed with Greg Abbott Four Days Before Feds Found Ammo­nium Nitrate, Weapons at Hotel” by Joshua Fechter; San Anto­nio Express; 10/31/2014.

Four days before fed­eral author­i­ties arrested him on fed­eral weapons charges and found ammo­nium nitrate in his South Texas hotel room, bor­der mili­tia leader Kevin Lyn­del “K.C.” Massey chat­ted and posed for a photo with Repub­li­can guber­na­to­r­ial can­di­date Greg Abbott at a cam­paign event in Brownsville.

The photo, taken at Brownsville restau­rant Cob­ble­heads on Oct. 16, shows Massey wear­ing an “Abbott for Gov­er­nor” sticker on his mil­i­tary fatigues and shak­ing hands with the smil­ing candidate.

Video footage cap­tured by Fox 2 News in Brownsville also shows Massey tak­ing pho­tos of Abbott while wear­ing a GoPro cam­era on his head, which was later con­fis­cated dur­ing the raid.

Massey posted another photo of him­self and Abbott at the event on his Face­book pro­file — since deleted, but snagged by ValleyCentral.com — with the cap­tion, “Try­ing to talk to Greg Abbott about the bor­der prob­lems. I gave him my num­ber we will see if he calls.”

Abbott deputy com­mu­ni­ca­tions direc­tor Amelia Chasse said Abbott and his cam­paign did not know who Massey was when the can­di­date posed with the mili­tia mem­ber. She declined to com­ment whether Massey posed a secu­rity threat to Abbott.

“This indi­vid­ual was part of a photo line at a pub­lic event and Greg Abbott took a photo with every­one who was in the line at that event,” Chasse said, adding the two exchanged only “pleas­antries” dur­ing their brief encounter.

Agents with the fed­eral Bureau of Alco­hol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explo­sives, who searched Massey’s hotel room in Brownsville after an Oct. 20 arrest, found an AK-47 with six loaded mag­a­zines, a loaded hand­gun, a bal­lis­tic hel­met and sev­eral cam­eras, as well as an ammu­ni­tion box filled with sus­pected ammo­nium nitrate — which can cause major explo­sions — and fuel, accord­ing to court doc­u­ments obtained by the San Anto­nio Express-News.

Chasse declined to say whether Abbott sup­ports the group.

“Greg Abbott places his trust in the Depart­ment of Pub­lic Safety, bor­der sher­iffs, the National Guard and local law enforce­ment to do the job nec­es­sary to keep Tex­ans safe,” Chasse said.

The cam­paign did not respond to a follow-up ques­tion regard­ing whether Abbott, an avid gun rights advo­cate, is con­cerned that some mili­tia mem­bers are allegedly patrolling the bor­der with weapons that, under fed­eral law, they are pro­hib­ited from carrying.

Abbott’s oppo­nent Demo­c­ra­tic guber­na­to­r­ial can­di­date Wendy Davis blasted Abbott in a state­ment for not con­demn­ing mili­tia groups’ activ­ity at the U.S.-Mexico border.

“It’s hard to say what’s more dis­turb­ing: the fact that Greg Abbott met with a rad­i­cal mili­tia leader days before fed­eral author­i­ties found the same kind of explo­sives from the Okla­homa City bomb­ing in his hotel room or the fact that Greg Abbott is refus­ing to denounce his dan­ger­ous fringe group,” Davis said. “Mr. Abbott’s refusal to dis­close what they dis­cussed or con­demn this group shows a fright­en­ing lack of judg­ment from some­one who wants to be our governor.”

In July, The Texas Demo­c­ra­tic Con­gres­sional Del­e­ga­tion, includ­ing U.S. Rep. Joaquin Cas­tro of San Anto­nio, called on Abbott to denounce mili­tia groups at the bor­der. At the time, Abbott spokes­woman Lau­ren Bean called the move a “par­ti­san polit­i­cal stunt.”

In a state­ment Fri­day, Cas­tro said the inci­dent “serves as a reminder that patrolling the bor­der should be left to the authorities.”

“This is what hap­pens when you don’t stand up for the rule of law, and allow felons to ‘patrol’ the bor­der,” Cas­tro said. “Greg Abbott should take this oppor­tu­nity to denounce these groups.”

While the optics of the photo may be unwel­come for the Abbott cam­paign, it’s not likely to stir any major shake­ups four days from the Nov. 4 elec­tion, said Mark Jones, a polit­i­cal sci­en­tist at Rice University.

Jones pointed out that can­di­dates take thou­sands of pho­tos with poten­tial sup­port­ers while on cam­paign­ing and are unable to vet each one.

“Cer­tainly for Abbott, it’s not some­thing you would like to see, but at the same time, polit­i­cal can­di­dates shake hands with peo­ple at polit­i­cal ral­lies and meet­ings on a daily basis,” Jones said.

Ammo­nium nitrate has mas­sive explo­sive power under cer­tain cir­cum­stances: a stock­pile of the sub­stance at a fer­til­izer plant in West caused the April 17 explo­sion that killed 15 peo­ple and injured more than 160 oth­ers and the sub­stance was also used by Tim­o­thy McVeigh in the 1995 Okla­homa City bomb­ing that killed 168 people. . . . .

. . . . Chasse declined to say whether Abbott sup­ports the group.

5b. Okla­homa Sen­a­tor Tom Coburn is warn­ing that if Pres­i­dent Obama issues an exec­u­tive order on immi­gra­tion peo­ple will sud­denly think “Well, if the law doesn’t apply to the Pres­i­dent … then why should it apply to me?”
“GOP Sen­a­tor Warns of Vio­lence after Immi­gra­tion Order” by Susan Page; USA Today; 11/20/2014.

Okla­homa Sen. Tom Coburn warns there could be not only a polit­i­cal firestorm but acts of civil dis­obe­di­ence and even vio­lence in reac­tion to Pres­i­dent Obama’s exec­u­tive order on immi­gra­tion Thursday.

“The country’s going to go nuts, because they’re going to see it as a move out­side the author­ity of the pres­i­dent, and it’s going to be a very seri­ous sit­u­a­tion,” Coburn said on Cap­i­tal Down­load. “You’re going to see — hope­fully not — but you could see instances of anar­chy. … You could see violence.”

Coburn, 66, is a con­ser­v­a­tive Repub­li­can but one who has a per­sonal rela­tion­ship with Obama. They entered the Sen­ate in the same class, elected in 2004, and the new sen­a­tors from oppo­site ends of the polit­i­cal spec­trum and their spouses imme­di­ately hit it off at an ori­en­ta­tion din­ner. Last year, the pres­i­dent wrote a trib­ute in Time mag­a­zine to Coburn as “some­one who speaks his mind (and) sticks to his principles.”

“I really like the guy,” Coburn, 66, told USA TODAY’s weekly video news­maker series Wednes­day. “I thought he’s neat, and I think Michelle’s a neat lady.”

That his­tory gives Coburn’s stark assess­ment a spe­cial sting. On immi­gra­tion, he accuses Obama of act­ing like “an auto­cratic leader that’s going to dis­re­gard what the Con­sti­tu­tion says and make law any­way.” He says changes in immi­gra­tion pol­icy require pas­sage by Con­gress, not just the president’s sig­na­ture — a charge the White House dis­putes and on which legal experts disagree.

“Instead of hav­ing the rule of law han­dling in our coun­try today, now we’re start­ing to have the rule of rulers, and that’s the total antithe­sis of what this coun­try was founded on,” Coburn says. “Here’s how peo­ple think: Well, if the law doesn’t apply to the pres­i­dent … then why should it apply to me?”

6a. Back in August peo­ple were ask­ing if far right GOP Sen­ate can­di­date Joni Ernst’s “flir­ta­tion” with the fringe would hurt her in the gen­eral elec­tion. She won.


“Will Joni Ernst’s Flir­ta­tions with the Polit­i­cal Fringe Haunt Her in Novem­ber?” by Mered­ith Shiner; Yahoo News; 8/13/2014.

In the weeks since her deci­sive June U.S. Sen­ate pri­mary win, Iowa Repub­li­can Joni Ernst has found her­self in the pre­car­i­ous posi­tion of being an establishment-backed can­di­date who owes her shot at a national office to some of the most con­ser­v­a­tive vot­ers in the coun­try. That means that while she’s now got the full sup­port of the National Repub­li­can Sen­a­to­r­ial Com­mit­tee, she is also being con­fronted by sym­pa­thetic remarks she made ear­lier on fringe top­ics before audi­ences far to the right of the Iowa gen­eral electorate.

The lat­est pri­mary com­ments that could haunt her Sen­ate bid are on the topic of Agenda 21, a com­mu­nity plan­ning pro­vi­sion in a decades-old United Nations treaty that’s become an object of fear and con­spir­acy the­o­ries on the right, and espe­cially in the com­men­taries and writ­ing of Glenn Beck.

Yahoo News has obtained video show­ing Ernst at a Jan­u­ary GOP forum in Mont­gomery County, Iowa, warn­ing that Agenda 21 could force Iowa farm­ers off their land, dic­tate what cities Iowans must live in, and con­trol how Iowa cit­i­zens travel from place to place.

“The United Nations has imposed this upon us, and as a U.S. sen­a­tor, I would say, ‘No more. No more Agenda 21.’ Com­mu­nity plan­ning — to the effect that it is imple­ment­ing emi­nent domain and tak­ing away prop­erty rights away from indi­vid­u­als — I don’t agree with that. And espe­cially in a place such as Iowa, where we rely heav­ily upon our agri­cul­tural com­mu­nity, our rural com­mu­ni­ties. We don’t want to see things like emi­nent domain come into play,” Ernst said in response to a ques­tion about Agenda 21 at the forum.

“We don’t want to see a fur­ther push with Agenda 21, where the Agenda 21 and the gov­ern­ment telling us that these are the urban cen­ters that you will live in; these are the ways that you will travel to other urban cen­ters,” Ernst con­tin­ued. “Agenda 21 encom­passes so many dif­fer­ent aspects of our lives that it’s tak­ing away our indi­vid­ual lib­er­ties, our free­doms as United States cit­i­zens. So I would adamantly oppose Agenda 21. I don’t believe it is respon­si­ble, not for United States citizens.”

It wasn’t the only time Ernst addressed the topic or raised such fears dur­ing her pri­mary cam­paign. “What I’ve seen, the impli­ca­tions we could have here, is mov­ing peo­ple off of their agri­cul­tural land and con­sol­i­dat­ing them into city cen­ters, and then telling them that you don’t have prop­erty rights any­more,” she told a crowd in rural Ida Grove in Novem­ber 2013, in response to a gen­eral for­eign pol­icy ques­tion and in remarks first reported by the Asso­ci­ated Press in June.

But with her pri­mary long in the rearview mir­ror and the gen­eral elec­tion less than 90 days away, Ernst now sounds more like a debunker of the con­spir­acy than an alarmist.

When asked by Yahoo News last week in Iowa about Agenda 21 and her pre­vi­ous remarks on the issue — an issue so obscure that sev­eral out­side GOP cam­paign oper­a­tives approached for this story had never heard of it — Ernst had changed her tune, and sounded more in sync with a gen­eral elec­tion audience.

“I don’t think that the U.N. Agenda 21 is a threat to Iowa farm­ers,” Ernst said in an inter­view in her Urban­dale cam­paign office. “I think there are a lot of peo­ple that fol­low that issue in Iowa. It may be some­thing that is very impor­tant to them, but I think Iowans are very smart and that we have a great leg­is­la­ture here, we have a very intel­li­gent gov­er­nor, and I think that we will pro­tect Iowans.”

Ernst has expressed out-of-the-mainstream views on a range of issues, from impeach­ing Pres­i­dent Barack Obamato the issue of states act­ing to nul­lify fed­eral law, for which she was crit­i­cized by the edi­to­r­ial board of the Des Moines Reg­is­ter.


But her posi­tions on the 1992 U.N. rec­om­men­da­tions for coun­tries to become more envi­ron­men­tally sus­tain­able — which Beckmade the basis of his novel “Agenda 21,” about a “vio­lent and tyran­ni­cal gov­ern­ment” rul­ing “what was once known as Amer­ica”— are per­haps her great­est flir­ta­tion with the pol­i­tics of the conspiracy-minded.

And unlike her impeach­ment remarks, the breadth and length of her response on the topic of Agenda 21 seems to belie a deep knowl­edge of the con­spir­acy the­ory floated by con­ser­v­a­tive radio icons on an issue on which many can­di­dates would likely have no pre­pared talk­ing points or strongly held opin­ions. Many sources famil­iar with Iowa pol­i­tics note, how­ever, that the ques­tion of Agenda 21 is more fre­quently dis­cussed in the Hawk­eye state’s agri­cul­tural com­mu­ni­ties than it is nationally.

The full audio of her Novem­ber com­ments, in response to a more generic ques­tion about the Coun­cil on For­eign Rela­tions and “the erod­ing of Amer­i­can sov­er­eignty via the United Nations,” was also obtained by Yahoo News:

For now, Ernst says she’s not con­cerned about Agenda 21 or even people’s per­cep­tion of her pre­vi­ous remarks on the matter.

“I don’t think so,” she said, when asked whether she was wor­ried about this. “Peo­ple will think what they want to think about Agenda 21 — but again, going back to Iowa: The Iowa way is to take care of Iowans, and that’s exactly what we intend to do. I think the U.N. is a far reach away from Iowa. I don’t think it’s a threat.”

6b. Note that in addi­tion to push­ing for nul­li­fi­ca­tion of Oba­macare, Ernst has also backed the arrest of fed­eral offi­cials try­ing to imple­ment it.


“EXCLUSIVE:
GOPer Ernst Backed Arresting Feds over Obamacare in a 2012 Survey” by Daniel Strauss; TPM Livewire; 10/03/2014. 

 State Sen. Joni Ernst, the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in Iowa, once said she would support legislation that would allow “local law enforcement to arrest federal officials attempting to implement” Obamacare.

Ernst voiced her support for that, as well as supporting legislation that would “nullify” Obamacare in a Iowa State Legislative Candidates survey for Ron Paul’s libertarian-aligned Campaign for Liberty in 2012. It can be viewed here.

The question was: “Will you support legislation to nullify ObamaCare and authorize state and local law enforcement to arrest federal officials attempting to implement the unconstitutional health care scheme known as ObamaCare?” Ernst answered that question as “yes.”

Campaign for Liberty Communications Director Megan Stiles told TPM on Friday that the “yes” answer is what the group is looking for in candidates. Stiles, however, cautioned that the group does not endorse candidates.

“States nullifying federal laws is one way of a check on the balance of federal power,” Stiles said. “So that’s an additional way to fight Obamacare. That’s what we’re looking for.” . . . .

7. For­mer Rea­gan speech­writer Dougas MacK­in­non is advocating the breakup of the United States.

“Author Says South Should Form New Nation with­out Gays and His­pan­ics called ‘Rea­gan’ ” by Travis Get­tys; Raw Story; 10/22/2014.

A con­ser­v­a­tive colum­nist and for­mer aide to Pres­i­dent Ronald Rea­gan called on south­ern states to secede and form an ultra­con­ser­v­a­tive new nation named after his old boss.

Dou­glas MacK­in­non, a for­mer speech­writer for Pres­i­dents Rea­gan and George H.W. Bush, appeared Tues­day on The Janet Mef­ford Show to pro­mote his new book,“The Seces­sion­ist States of Amer­ica: The Blue­print for Cre­at­ing a Tra­di­tional Val­ues Coun­try … Now,” reported Right Wing Watch.

He told the reli­gious con­ser­v­a­tive host that south­ern states – start­ing with Florida, Geor­gia, and South Car­olina – should leave the United States so they can imple­ment a right-wing Chris­t­ian sys­tem of government.

MacK­in­non envi­sions other states join­ing, but he hopes to leave out Texas because “there have been a num­ber of incur­sions into Texas and other places from some of the folks in Mexico.”

“A grow­ing num­ber of our lead­ers seem deter­mined to erase our bor­ders,” he wrote in a recent syn­di­cated col­umn pro­mot­ing his book, “do away with the rule-of-law, expand the nanny state into a the­ol­ogy, bank­rupt or pun­ish Amer­i­can com­pa­nies in the name of fight­ing cli­mate change, do away with the 2nd Amend­ment, cen­sor or demo­nize the his­tory of west­ern civ­i­liza­tion and replace it with mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism, give every kid a tro­phy and turn them into wimps, con­tinue to sup­port the com­pletely unfunded public-employee pen­sions which are destroy­ing the finan­cial sol­vency of cities, coun­ties, and states across our nation, add bil­lions every day to our $17 tril­lion in debt, destroy our health-care sys­tem to sub­sti­tute social­ized med­i­cine, vil­ify fos­sil fuels, and attack all faith in God with a par­tic­u­lar and unhinged bias against the Chris­t­ian faith.”

He argued on the radio pro­gram that the South had “seceded legally” and “peace­fully” in the months prior to the Civil War.

“Pres­i­dent Lin­coln waged an ille­gal war that was, in fact, not declared against the South after the South basi­cally did what we’re talk­ing about in this book now in terms of peace­fully, legally and con­sti­tu­tion­ally leav­ing the union,” MacK­in­non said.

How­ever, MacK­in­non brushed aside Mefford’s con­cerns that seces­sion would trig­ger another Civil War, say­ing only that “it wouldn’t remotely come to that” because news cov­er­age is faster and more thor­ough in mod­ern times.

He said the new coun­try should be called Rea­gan, at least until vot­ers there could decide on a per­ma­nent name.

MacK­in­non did not specif­i­cally address dur­ing the radio pro­gram whether slav­ery would be legal in the new seces­sion­ist gov­ern­ment, nor did he describe the sta­tus of black peo­ple liv­ing in Reagan.

But he made clear that LGBT peo­ple would be second-class cit­i­zens – or worse – say­ing that advances in their rights as cit­i­zens was a major fac­tor in his call to break up the United States.

“If you do believe in tra­di­tional val­ues, if you are a Chris­t­ian, if you are evan­gel­i­cal, if you do believe in the golden rule, then you’re see­ing all of this unravel before our eyes daily,” he complained.

MacK­in­non said he devised his plan with the help of a mil­i­tary vet­eran friend, along with a group that included “a con­sti­tu­tional law expert, two for­mer mil­i­tary offi­cers, two for­mer diplo­mats, a min­is­ter, another spe­cial oper­a­tor, and experts on bank­ing, energy, farm­ing, and infrastructure.”

8. Senate Majority Leader-to-be Mitch McConnell’s family is in the news for the wrong reasons. (Most of McConnell’s fortune apparently comes from his in-laws.) His father-in-law (James Chao) has prospered because of his founding and proprietorship of a shipping line, The Foremost Group.

That company has an opaque structure, with many of its ships registered in countries that make compliance with maritime regulations easier to skirt.

Now, one of Foremost’s ships (the Ping May) has been busted sailing from Colombia for Amsterdam with 40 kilograms of cocaine aboard.

In the post accessed below, author Nathan Downes asks a relevant question: How much of Foremost’s largesse (and, by extension, the McConnell clan’s wealth) is derived from shady enterprises?

“40 KG of Cocaine Found on Mitch McConnell’s Father-in-Law’s Boat” by Nathaniel Downes; Addicting Info; 10/31/2014.

James Chao, father of Mitch McConnell’s wife Elaine, has a lot of questions to answer after 40 kilograms of cocaine (about $6.7 million worth) was found on the Ping May, a ship owned by the Foremost Group, a company James Chao founded and led to a tidy fortune. But was that fortune built on honest movement of legitimate bulk trade goods, or has Mr. Chao been trading in less than legal goods?

The cocaine, found in 40 separate packages, was discovered during a routine inspection hidden among a load of coal bound for Europe from the port of Santa Marta, Columbia onboard the Ping May, one of 15 ships Foremost currently operates, with another 8 under construction. The final destination for the ship was to be the Netherlands, likely one of the port cities surrounding Amsterdam. It is known that the Ping May has been witnessed at the port of Zaanstad, one of these cities, in the past.

Foremost Group is the source of most of Senator McConnell’s fortune through gifts and inheritance from his in-laws. It is a shadowy corporation, utilizing a complex scheme of shell companies to skip out on millions in taxes annually.

They fly their ships under the flag of Liberia, a west African nation known for its lax labor protections, allowing Foremost the opportunity to exploit its ships’ workforce with little fear of recrimination. However, this status as an employer-friendly anti-labor nation also allowed western African nations, such as Liberia, to become one of the epicenters for drug smuggling through legitimate channels. By working to extract every red cent of profit at the cost of the laborers who make their fortunes possible, Foremost may have sewn the seeds of its own downfall.

It could be that some among the ships workforce, tired of being exploited, decided on being creative with their income. It could be that the drug cartels which dominate Columbia inserted the cocaine without any of the ships crew knowing. Or it could be that Mr. Chao is in league with the drug cartels, possibly for a very long time, and chose to fly under the Liberian flag for this very reason. We do not know.

It is most likely that Mr. Chao’s greed is the only crime for which he is guilty. By using this elaborate scheme to not only defraud the US government of owed taxes but to exploit his workforce, Mr. Chao may have made such a scenario a foregone conclusion. Now his company is under a microscope, the last place the very private man wanted it.

9. Arms dealer Vik­tor Bout has some unspec­i­fied “newly dis­cov­ered evi­dence” that he thinks will get him a new trial. He has hired former Attorney General John Ashcroft’s law firm to represent him. Bout had trafficked arms to, among other groups, Al Qaeda.

“Arms Dealer Bout Seeks New U.S. Trial, Hires Ashcroft Law Firm” by Jonathan Stempel; reuters.com; 11/03/2014.

Con­victed Russ­ian arms traf­ficker Vik­tor Bout believes he has evi­dence to jus­tify a new U.S. trial and has hired the law firm of for­mer U.S. Attor­ney Gen­eral John Ashcroft to help him pur­sue his case.

Bout, 47, is serv­ing a 25-year prison sen­tence fol­low­ing his 2011 jury con­vic­tion for hav­ing con­spired to kill U.S. sol­diers by way of his agree­ment to sell weapons to a Colom­bian rebel group.

Accord­ing to fil­ings on Mon­day with the U.S. Dis­trict Court in Man­hat­tan, Bout hired the Ashcroft Law Firm and Alexey Tarasov, a Houston-based lawyer, to help him obtain a new trial based on unspec­i­fied “newly dis­cov­ered evidence.”

U.S. Dis­trict Judge Shira Scheindlin on Mon­day granted Bout until Jan. 1, 2015 to for­mally seek a new trial, allow­ing his new lawyers more time to exam­ine the issues.

Bout’s dead­line to seek a new trial had been Mon­day, but he said the office of U.S. Attor­ney Preet Bharara in Man­hat­tan was “not opposed” to a 60-day extension.

Michael Sul­li­van, a part­ner at Ashcroft’s firm and for­mer U.S. attor­ney in Mass­a­chu­setts who would work on the case, declined to com­ment. Tarasov did not respond to requests for comment.

A spokes­woman for Bharara declined to comment.

Bout’s chal­lenge fol­lows the Sep­tem­ber 2013 refusal by the fed­eral appeals court in Man­hat­tan to over­turn his con­vic­tion, which he claimed fol­lowed a “vin­dic­tive” pros­e­cu­tion and his improper extra­di­tion from Thai­land to face U.S. charges.

Jurors con­victed Bout of hav­ing agreed to sell arms to infor­mants pos­ing as mem­bers of the Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Armed Forces of Colom­bia, which the U.S. gov­ern­ment had deemed a for­eign ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion, and con­spir­ing to acquire and export anti-aircraft missiles.

Co-defendant Richard Chichakli, a dual Amer­i­can and Syr­ian cit­i­zen, was con­victed of con­spir­acy charges last December.

Bout is in a medium-security prison in Mar­ion, Illi­nois, and is not eli­gi­ble for release until Dec. 15, 2029. He was the sub­ject of a 2007 book, “Mer­chant of Death.”

10. The endless GOP drumbeat about Benghazi continues, despite the fact that the latest [7th], GOP-initiated investigation absolves Obama and company of all of the GOP’s charges.

Eighth time’s a charm?

“GOP Intel Report Debunks Its Own Party’s Nutty Beng­hazi The­o­riesby Ken Dilanian [AP]; Talking Points Memo; 11/21/2014.

A two-year inves­ti­ga­tion by the Republican-controlled House Intel­li­gence Com­mit­tee has found that the CIA and the mil­i­tary acted prop­erly in respond­ing to the 2012 attack on a U.S. diplo­matic com­pound in Beng­hazi, Libya, and asserted no wrong­do­ing by Obama admin­is­tra­tion appointees.

Debunk­ing a series of per­sis­tent alle­ga­tions hint­ing at dark con­spir­a­cies, the inves­ti­ga­tion deter­mined that there was no intel­li­gence fail­ure, no delay in send­ing a CIA res­cue team, no missed oppor­tu­nity for a mil­i­tary res­cue, and no evi­dence the CIA was covertly ship­ping arms from Libya to Syria.

In the imme­di­ate after­math of the attack, intel­li­gence about who car­ried it out and why was con­tra­dic­tory, the report found. That led Susan Rice, then U.S. ambas­sador to the United Nations, to inac­cu­rately assert that the attack had evolved from a protest, when in fact there had been no protest. But it was intel­li­gence ana­lysts, not polit­i­cal appointees, who made the wrong call, the com­mit­tee found. The report did not con­clude that Rice or any other gov­ern­ment offi­cial acted in bad faith or inten­tion­ally mis­led the Amer­i­can people.

The House Intel­li­gence Com­mit­tee report was released with lit­tle fan­fare on the Fri­day before Thanks­giv­ing week. Many of its find­ings echo those of six pre­vi­ous inves­ti­ga­tions by var­i­ous con­gres­sional com­mit­tees and a State Depart­ment panel. The eighth Beng­hazi inves­ti­ga­tion is being car­ried out by a House Select Com­mit­tee appointed in May.

 

 


 

Discussion

15 comments for “FTR #822 The Snowdenistas, the GOP and Violent Secession”

  1. Here’s an alarmingly illustrative reminder of the GOP’s barely-crypto-embrace of far right radicalism: the incoming speaker of the Nevada State Assembly, Ira Hansen, just stepped down as speaker. Why? Because of reports that highlighted the fact that Ira Hansen has been publicly employing in remarkably racist rhetoric for a long long time. It was both shocking and not really all that shocking:

    Political Research Associates
    Racist Nevada Assemblyman Ira Hansen’s Long Family History of Reactionary Third-Party Politics
    By Rachel Tabachnick, on November 24, 2014

    Rep. Ira Hansen (R) stepped down as speaker-elect of the Nevada Assembly on Sunday, following national publicity of a report on his racist and misogynistic columns in a local newspaper—including his labeling of Black people as “simple minded darkies.” But given that memories are short, and politicians’ ambitions never die, this may be a good time to discuss the Hansen families’ 50+ year history of right-wing third party politics, from George Wallace’s 1968 presidential campaign to the present.

    Hansen is denouncing the “orchestrated attack” on his character, claiming that the inflammatory quotes are 20 years old and taken out of context—his use of the word “negro” in lower case in reference to President Obama is not two decades old—but it is true that national press failed to provide context for Hansen’s rapid rise to prominence in Nevada’s GOP.

    The Independent American Party of Nevada

    The Hansen clan, including Ira Hansen’s father, grandmother, aunt, and uncles, and other relatives, are practically synonymous with the state’s third largest party, the Independent American Party (IAP). The IAP in Nevada has included in its ranks Sharron Angle, who later ran for Senate as a Republican, and Cliven Bundy, who publicly abandoned the GOP and signed his registration form at an IAP event held in his honor in May, 2014. The IAP is the fastest growing party in Nevada, now with over 70,000 members and doubling in size since 2005.

    The Party was founded by Ira’s father, Daniel Hansen, as part of an effort to get Alabama Governor George Wallace, a hardcore segregationist, on the ballot in Nevada for the 1968 presidential election. (See the sidebar about the role of Daniel’s fellow John Birch Society members and Mormon leadership in campaigning for Wallace in Western states.) The IAP of Nevada was affiliated with the American Independent Party (AIP) in the 1960s and 70s, and later with the theocratic Constitution Party.

    Daniel Hansen was the runner up in balloting for the vice presidential slot on the ticket with Gov. Lester Maddox in 1976, and would run unsuccessfully in Nevada for Governor and Congress before his death in a car accident in 2002. The IAP would continue, with Daniel’s sister Janine and brothers Christopher and Joel, also running as perennial IAP candidates.

    The Hansens have been leading culture warriors in the fight against women’s and LGBTQ rights. Led by Janine, the Hansens organized the STOP ERA [Equal Rights Amendment] movement in the western states. Janine continues today as the leader of Nevada’s Eagle Forum and as the Constitutional Issues Chairman of the national organization founded by Phyllis Schlafly. Janine has published a voter guide since 1988 and lobbies the Nevada Assembly on behalf of Eagle Forum.

    Daniel Hansen wrote that homosexuals are “termites of civilization [who] have brazenly oozed out of their closet to proclaim that they have a right to maim, molest and embarrass society.” In 1994, the IAP published a 16-page advertising insert for local papers titled “The Homosexual Agenda Exposed,” promoting an amendment to the Nevada constitution that would permanently legalize LGBTQ discrimination. Talking Points Memo described it as including “virtually every homophobic myth ever conceived” after obtaining a copy during investigation of Angle’s role in the IAP.

    By the 1990s, the Nevada IAP affiliated with the Constitution Party. Daniel served as Western States Chairman for the national party, followed by Janine who represented Michael Peroutka’s presidential campaign at the Alaskan Independence Party convention in 2004. She continues as Western States Chairman in the national party today. (Peroutka has been featured in PRA articles concerning his successful infiltration of the Maryland Republican Party and election to an influential county council position.)

    Janine and Christopher Hansen were behind a 2006 schism in the Constitution Party. The Hansens are Mormon (LDS) and Christopher, as the IAP candidate for governor, ran on a platform opposing abortion with included the Mormon church’s support of exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother, as documented in Janine’s voter guide. This was unacceptable to some of the Constitution Party leadership, since the party adheres to a strict written policy “opposing abortion 100%, no exceptions.” In the power struggle that followed, the Hansens and IAP were not expelled from the national party, and nine state parties disaffiliated in protest. Ironically, those states included Maryland, resulting in Peroutka being essentially locked out of the party which he had represented in the presidential election.

    Ira Hansen himself has expressed disdain for his relatives’ third party efforts, complaining that “IAP candidates can only be spoilers and never win any major races themselves.” Only Ira, running as a Republican, has achieved success beyond a local office. “I don’t want anyone to think I have anything to do with the Independent American Party,” stated Hansen, according to the Las Vegas Sun, which described him as not wanting his fellow Republicans to wonder whether he belongs to the GOP just to get elected. He claims disassociates himself from his relative’s IAP activity, even getting up from his seat and walking out of the Assembly when his Aunt Janine was testifying.

    The Battle for the Soul of the GOP

    But Ira Hansen wouldn’t be the first politician to join the GOP out of expediency. Sharron Angle joined the IAP and worked with the Hansens in circulating petitions to the get the party back onto the state ballot in 1992. Talking Points Memo interviewed three IAP members, including Janine Hansen, who described Angle’s departure in 1997 as a strategic move in order to run for office.

    Ira Hansen’s critiques of the GOP sound much like those of his late father. In a 2014 interview, Ira claimed that it was Nevada Republicans who doomed Sharron Angle’s run for the Senate, and joined radio host Janet Mefferd in bemoaning what they described as the party establishment’s “leftward drift.”

    Ira Hansen also appears to share his relative’s views on state’s rights and their admiration for Cliven Bundy—who gained notoriety after refusing to pay the fees for letting his cows graze on public land for decades, although the notoriety was short-lived after he made some incredibly racist comments on Fox News.

    Janine Hansen welcomed Bundy into the IAP and described him as “her hero” in May, at an event honoring him for his “courage in standing up for state sovereignty.” Bundy spoke for more than a half hour, calling for states to take over the federal land within their boundaries, including national parks.

    Ira Hansen joined several other Assembly members in calling for the Nevada Attorney General to conduct an investigation of the Bureau of Land Management following its standoff with Bundy. “Whatever Mr. Bundy’s unfortunate comments [addressing the racist remarks] were, Mr Bundy is really not the issue per se,” Hansen told local news. “It was the overreaction by the Bureau of Land Management.” He is a co-sponsor of a bill in the Assembly creating a task force to “conduct a study addressing the transfer of public lands from the Federal Government to the State of Nevada.”

    Like Bundy, Ira Hansen has also been fighting authorities for decades. He is a professional trapper and refuses to pay fines accumulated for violations to the Nevada Department of Wildlife. In this, Hansen echoes his Uncle Christopher who touts his refusal to file income taxes and made himself “Presiding Sovereign” over a political-religious entity called “The First Christian Fellowship of Eternal Sovereignty.” The organization of about 650 “patriot saints” uses their “Testament of Sovereignty” to fight OSHA, the IRS, and other county, state, and federal entities.

    In 2008, Ira Hansen and several relatives joined a local Nevada camp of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans (SCV), advertised as the largest SCV camp outside of the South. A 2009 SCV newsletter includes a reprint of a column by Hansen titled “The Confederate Battle Flag – Symbol of Manly Courage.” (The SCV newsletter points out that Hansen knows the Stars and Bars was not the Confederate battle flag, but that he’s trying to connect with those not aware of this distinction.)

    In the column Ira Hansen reveals he does his writing in a room adorned with a Confederate flag, but it’s the following paragraph that confirms his allegiance to state’s rights:

    “Anyone who has read the Confederate Constitution, studied the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions, read Calhoun’s arguments on nullification and delved into the ideology behind the attempts at seceding knows the Southern position represents the original intent of the majority of our founding fathers. The death of the Confederacy was in fact the death of Federalism, the division of power between the equal States with a common, intentionally weak central government handling primarily the foreign affairs and general needs of this union of states known as the United States of America. By way of contrast, today, as Nevadans know oh so well, the central ‘Federal’ government is an almost unbridled and an increasingly dangerous power, while the states have become practically impotent.”

    Hansen also co-sponsored a 2001 bill in the State Assembly claiming state sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment, and demanding the federal government “cease and desist, effectively immediately, mandates that are beyond the scope of these constitutionally delegated powers.”

    Note that when Ira Hansen expresses his admiration for the Confederacy, he wasn’t kidding.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 24, 2014, 8:23 pm
  2. For people wondering why the NSA demands such deep packet inspection, here’s one good reason. We are fighting three World Wars concurrently.

    World War 3: the Cold War, which has not yet ended, quite clearly.

    World War 4: war of self-defense against the Jihad.

    World War 5: Everybody against everybody fighting on the cyberplane. This article is mostly written in Cold War terms, but even NATO countries are attacking other NATO countries to achieve cyber-supremacy. France, in particular, is targeting power plants.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-11-20/foreign-governments-have-hacked-u-s-power-system-nsa-head-says.html

    Foreign Governments Have Hacked U.S. Grid, NSA Head Says

    By Chris Strohm Nov 20, 2014 11:36 AM PT

    Several foreign governments have hacked into U.S. energy, water and fuel distribution systems and might damage essential services, the top national security official said.

    Those intrusions have left the U.S. vulnerable to a cyber-attack that will cause significant loss of life or physical damage one day, National Security Agency Director Admiral Michael Rogers told the House intelligence committee at a hearing in Washington today. Rogers said such an attack will occur during his tenure.

    “This is not theoretical,” Rogers said. Hacking attacks on U.S. networks are “literally costing us hundreds of billions of dollars” and will have “truly significant, almost catastrophic, failures if we don’t take action.”

    Rogers is one of the highest-ranking U.S. officials to warn about looming cyber-attacks. The warning is significant because it demonstrates that hacking attacks against U.S. companies and agencies are escalating in seriousness despite awareness about them and efforts to combat foreign intruders.

    Lawmakers are aware of the seriousness, despite the inability of Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation that companies and government officials have said is essential to warding off attacks.

    ’Under Attack’

    A Chinese military officer indicted by the U.S. in May allegedly gained access to a utility’s computers while on a scouting mission for information that China could use to wage war. The breach was followed by a Homeland Security Department warning to utilities in October to be on the look out for malicious software that cybersecurity companies have connected to Russia.

    “I fully expect that during my time as the commander, we are going to be tasked to help defend critical infrastructure within the United States because it is under attack by some foreign nation or some individual or group,” Rogers said today.

    “This will be truly destructive if someone decides this is what they want to do,” he said.

    Hackers from the Chinese, Russian and Iranian governments have gained access to vital U.S. computers and could launch destructive attacks that include shutting down power grids, Representative Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican and chairman of the intelligence committee, said during the hearing.

    The NSA director didn’t identify any countries but didn’t dispute that China, Russia and Iran have infiltrated U.S. critical infrastructure to carry out destructive attacks. Rogers said he also sees a “troubling” trend in which foreign governments hire criminals to carry out hacking attacks on U.S. networks in order to obscure their involvement.

    Posted by Tiffany Sunderson | November 26, 2014, 3:54 pm
  3. Part of what makes things like Tom Coburn’s recent comments about the possibility of violence and anarchy in response to President Obama’s executive actions over immigration disturbing is that such comments coming from a Senator are, alone, rather jarring. But it’s the fact that, these days, warnings of far right violence and anarchy have good chance of being eerily prescient too that made Coburn’s warnings so wildly disturbing. Coburn-style clairvoyance is not OK:

    Washington Post
    Police: Austin shooter was a ‘homegrown American extremist’
    By Abby Ohlheiser and Elahe Izadi December 1 at 5:46 PM

    Larry McQuilliams had “let me die” written in marker across his chest when he fired more than 100 rounds in downtown Austin early Friday morning.

    McQuilliams, who Austin Police officials called a “homegrown American extremist” with ties to a Christian identity hate group, was shot dead on Friday by a police officer outside the department’s headquarters.

    Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters on Monday that officers who searched the gunman’s home found a map with 34 targets, including two churches. McQuilliams had fired bullets into Austin police headquarters, a federal courthouse and the Mexican consulate in downtown Austin on Friday. He also tried to set the Mexican consulate building on fire.

    Previously, police said they had not yet determined the motive for the shooting, which left only the gunman dead, but speculated that the current immigration debate could have been a factor. On Monday, federal investigators said the gunman didn’t leave a note that outlined his motive, but that he had previously told friends he was upset he couldn’t find a job, even as immigrants to the United States receive assistance.

    On his bed, the gunman left a note and laid out clothes, officials said. A note left behind said the outfit was for his funeral.

    “Hate was in his heart,” Acevedo said.

    Police believe McQuilliams associated himself with the Phineas Priesthood, an anti-Semitic, anti-multiculturalism affiliation that opposes biracial relationships, same-sex marriage, taxation and abortion. Authorities found a copy of “Vigilantes of Christendom,” a book linked to the Priesthood, in the rental van McQuilliams used during the attacks. Inside of the book was a handwritten note that “discusses his rank as a priest in his fight against anti-God people,” Acevedo said.

    “If you look at what he did, he terrorized a city, he’s just an American terrorist trying to terrorize our people,” Acevedo said.

    Law enforcement officials will continue to investigate the gunman’s background, the police chief said.

    Among other things investigators need to determine: How McQuilliams got his weapons. He had been arrested in 1998 for driving under the influence and in 1992 for aggravated robbery, Acevedo said. He also served time in prison for a bank robbery.

    Phineas Priesthood affiliates were tied to a string of 1996 bank robberies and bombings in the state of Washington.

    Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, told The Post that the Phineas Priesthood is a “concept” that originated with “Vigilantes of Christendom,” which came out in 1990. The group takes its name from a story about the biblical figure of Phineas in the book of Numbers.

    In the story, Phineas slays an Israelite man and a Midianite woman who were together in a tent. “To the extreme right, this [story] is a biblical injunction against race mixing,” Potok said. Phineas Priests would also use the passage to justify violent acts in the name of their beliefs. “It’s very much a self-calling,” Potok said of those who would identify as Phineas Priesthood members. “If you commit a Phineas act…you can be considered a Phineas priest.”

    In a backgrounder, the Anti-defamation league wrote that “the Phineas Priesthood is not a membership organization in the traditional sense: there are no meetings, rallies or newsletters.” The ADL added that “extremists become ‘members’ when they commit ‘Phineas acts:’ any violent activity against ‘non-whites.’” Potok noted that the affiliation does not have a national structure.

    There is no organization that would determine whether one is a “member” of the group or not. Its affiliates, like McQuilliams, would be self-designated.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 2, 2014, 9:46 am
  4. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

    TPM Livewire
    Anti-‘Libtard’ Ex-Police Chief: I Was Undercover For The Feds The Whole Time

    By Catherine Thompson
    Published December 4, 2014, 10:17 AM EST 245 views

    An ex-police chief who had his 15 minutes of fame last year a series of profane YouTube videos is clawing his way back to the spotlight with some bizarre claims.

    Mark Kessler was fired from his post as the police chief of Gilberton, Pa. in September 2013. Tensions had risen between Kessler and the borough council after videos that showed him firing machine guns at an target he called “Nancy Pelosi” and ranting against “libtards” went viral — but now he’s saying that he made the videos with a federal agency as a tool to root out anti-government extremists.

    In a Tuesday interview with Fox News radio host Alan Colmes, Kessler said he did not actually believe the views he expressed in the videos and was simply acting as a “magnet” for sovereign citizens and the like.

    His claims, however, were vague and offered without proof.

    “I was sent out for — well I can’t really say exactly who — but I was sent out by agencies to go out and attract and investigate, whatever I can do to find out who’s who and what’s what among these groups,” he told Colmes. “When I say groups, I’m talking about Second Amendment groups, patriot groups, alleged patriot groups, militia groups, all kinds of groups.”

    Kessler repeatedly refused to say what federal agency he worked with, although he did say that he contacted one of the FBI’s joint terrorism task forces. He said that Gilberton officials were not aware of what he was doing at any point in the process.

    According to Kessler’s account, his videos helped take down “several plotted attacks that didn’t go through” in Georgia and Texas.

    “What was in it for you?” Colmes asked.

    “I got to save a lot of lives, I can tell you that,” Kessler responded.

    The last we’d heard from Kessler back in February, he was founding a military-style militia group of his own and had signed a development deal for a reality TV show. As for his alleged work for the federal government, Kessler told Colmes that some cases were still under investigation but his part in it was “finished.”

    Who knows, maybe the rise of the far right wing of the GOP over the last 40+ years was just one giant independent trolling operation designed to “out” and discredit violent anti-government extremists. Mission accomplished guys. You can stop now.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 4, 2014, 8:18 am
  5. Glenn Beck just made an almost surreal video where he plays himself from the year 2054, lamenting the tragic fall of the United States. The cause of this fall? ‘The dawn of progressivism’, symbolized by the showdown at the Bundy Ranch:

    TPM Livewire
    WATCH: Glenn Beck’s Warning Of ‘The Dawn Of Progressivism’ May Be His Strangest Yet

    By Nick R. Martin Published
    December 20, 2014, 6:09 PM EST

    Conservative pundit Glenn Beck took his bizarre theatrics to another level during his show on Thursday, dressing as an old man and offering a dire warning from the future about the 2014 “dawn of progressivism.”

    Right Wing Watch posted a clip from the episode in which Beck appeared in a dimly lit room, wearing a robe and a large, gray beard. He portrayed himself speaking from the year 2054, and looking back 40 years in the past to the year he said everything began to fall apart.

    “Your history books claim that was the year of the dawn of progressivism, the dawn of a new beginning, the end of capitalism!” Beck said in the video, a finger raised. “I’ll tell you now it was that. That this new era of equality, and diversity, and tolerance — I beg to differ with your history book!”

    As part of his theatrics, Beck played clips about this year’s disappearance of the Malaysian airliner as well as the standoff between Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal government over unpaid grazing fees.

    “I’m not crazy,” Beck said near the end of the clip. “I was naive, but I was not crazy.”

    A lot sure changed between the year 2050 and 2054.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 20, 2014, 7:59 pm
  6. Uh oh. Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s push to pass an open carry law for Texas has run into a couple of hurdles. First, the support doesn’t appear to be their amongst state legislators to prioritize passage of the law. Also, if the law isn’t passed soon, the open carry advocates might go violently insane:

    MySanAntonio.com
    Abbott affirms support for open carry, but urges civil discourse
    By Peggy Fikac : January 30, 2015

    AUSTIN – Gov. Greg Abbott affirmed his support for allowing open carry of handguns Friday but also urged “civil discourse” on that issue and others following several hot-button incidents.

    “We must have civil, open debate of hotly contested issues in the state. Texas values are strong enough that we can have a civil discourse about issues like this, and it must be done civilly so that everyone has the opportunity to weigh in on their beliefs,” Abbott said when asked about the matter after a speech to a Veterans of Foreign Wars conference.

    Abbott’s comments came after a Texas Muslim Capitol Day gathering Thursday drew rowdy protestors, and one Republican state lawmaker said she had asked her staff to request that Muslim visitors to her office vow allegiance ot the country.

    “The House is in recess until Monday. Most Members including myself are back in District,” Rep. Molly White, R-Belton, wrote in Facebook comments that drew attention and concern. “I did leave an Israeli flag on the reception desk in my office with instructions to staff to ask representatives from the Muslim community to renounce Islamic terrorist groups and publicly announce allegiance to America and our laws. We will see how long they stay in my office.”

    The gun issue also came to a boil this week after Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said Tuesday he didn’t think the open-carry idea had the votes to pass. Advocates accused him of going back on a campaign promise to fight for the issue. One of them, Kory Watkins of Open Carry Tarrant County, posted on Facebook, “I’m coming to his office Thursday. Tell them to get the panic buttons ready.”

    The panic-button reference stemmed from an earlier visit by Watkins and other members of his group to the Capitol office of Rep. Poncho Nevarez, D-Eagle Pass. The confrontation was so uncomfortable that the House said the state would pay for panic buttons for lawmakers’ offices.

    The sometimes ugly nature of the debate on the gun issue hasn’t swayed support for the issue from Abbott, who said early on that he’d sign open-carry legislation if it reached his desk.

    “I’m coming to his office Thursday. Tell them to get the panic buttons ready.” Well, at least Kory Watkins of Open Carry Tarrant County gave the Lt Governor a warning to “get the panic buttons ready”. Does that count as “civil discourse”? If so, that Watkins fellow seems quite civil since he just reissued the warning:

    TPM Muckraker
    Texas Gun Activist Warns Lawmakers ‘Treason’ Is ‘Punishable By Death’ (VIDEO)
    By Catherine Thompson
    Published February 4, 2015, 1:32 PM E

    The outspoken leader of a open carry gun group warned Texas lawmakers on Wednesday that putting restrictions on an individual’s right to carry firearms is “treason” and “punishable by death” under the Constitution.

    A YouTube user named “CoCo Mars” uploaded video that appeared to show Kory Watkins, the leader of Open Carry Tarrant County, going on a lengthy rant about the need for Texans to agitate for “Constitutional Carry,” or the legal carrying of a handgun without a government permit.

    The YouTube user said the video had been published to Watkin’s Facebook page and was taken down about 30 minutes later.

    “Going against the Constitution is treason. And that, my friend, is punishable by death. That’s how serious this is, and I think [lawmakers] have slipped away from that,” Watkins said on the video.

    He then appeared to reference an incident that took place last month in state Rep. Poncho Nervaez’s (D) Capitol office.

    Watkins had posted a video to YouTube and Facebook that showed him and a group of activists confronting Nervaez and his staff after the lawmaker said he wouldn’t support an open carry bill. When Nervaez tried to usher the activists out of his office and close the door, one man kept his foot in the door and told Nervaez, “What are you gonna do?”

    In the video on Wednesday, Watkins said there may be a need to go further.

    “Maybe a foot in the door got a friendly reminder, a Rosa Parks reminder, a peaceful reminder of we’re not playing around,” Watkins appeared to say in the video. “I don’t think they want to mess with us too much longer,” he said. “They better start giving us our rights, or this peaceful non-cooperation stuff is gonna be gamed up. We’re gonna step it up a notch.”

    “I want to put more than my foot in that door,” he added later. “We should be doing way more than that, we should be demanding these people give us our rights back, or it’s punishable by death. Treason. Do you understand how serious this is, Texas? We need to start doing more than sticking foots in doors.”

    And this is why decent people that happen to feel the need to have an AR-15 with them wherever they go can’t simply enjoy a meal at Chipotle in peace. *sigh*

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 4, 2015, 6:59 pm
  7. In today’s episode of “Painful Answers to Stupid Questions” Rand Paul pledges to ‘look into it’:

    TPM Livewire
    Rand: I’ll Look Into Whether The Military Is Planning To Takeover The Southwest

    By Catherine Thompson
    Published April 30, 2015, 11:00 AM EDT

    Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said in a recent interview that he’d “look at” a planned U.S. military training exercise that conspiracy theorists believe may be a cover for the implementation of martial law..

    Des Moines, Iowa radio host Jan Mickelson asked the Republican presidential candidate in an April 21 interview whether he was up to speed on the training exercise dubbed “Jade Helm” that’s scheduled to take place in several southwestern states.

    “You know I’ve gotten a few questions about it on the road and I really don’t—” Paul responded. “I’m not sure about exactly what is going on with that.”

    “It’s making some people nervous, but it doesn’t take much to make people nervous nowadays,” Mickelson said. “If you get a chance to, I’d like to know what the rest of the story is on that.”

    “We’ll look at that also,” Paul assured him.

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Tuesday asked the State Guard to monitor the exercise when it happens in order to ensure “that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed.”

    Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of “Pain Answers to Stupid Questions”. There isn’t a precise production schedule but lots of new episodes are definitely going to be made.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | April 30, 2015, 2:40 pm
  8. Ted Cruz weighed in on the “Jade Helm 15” paranoia sweeping the GOP base: After inquiring with the Pentagon, Cruz sees no reason to assume it’s really a plot to stage a military coup across the Southwest US, but he totally understands the concerns because “when the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many citizens don’t trust what it is saying”:

    Bloomberg Politics
    Ted Cruz Says He Has Asked the Pentagon for Answers on Jade Helm 15
    May 2, 2015 10:52 AM CDT
    The senator has heard the conspiracy theories about a military exercise.

    David Weigel

    COLUMBIA, S.C.—Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said Saturday that he’d been hearing concerns about Jade Helm 15, a domestic military training exercise that has become a fount of conspiracy theories, and that he wanted questions about it to be answered.

    “My office has reached out to the Pentagon to inquire about this exercise,” Cruz, a Texas senator, told Bloomberg at the South Carolina Republican Party’s annual convention. “We are assured it is a military training exercise. I have no reason to doubt those assurances, but I understand the reason for concern and uncertainty, because when the federal government has not demonstrated itself to be trustworthy in this administration, the natural consequence is that many citizens don’t trust what it is saying.”

    The paranoia about Jade Helm, which started on websites like Alex Jones’s InfoWars, had started with familiar fulmination about a mass seizure of firearms or a cover-up for American "death squads." This week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott channeled the concerns of voters in the Southwest, asking the Texas state guard to monitor the exercise for any violations of freedom. “It is important that Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed,” said the governor.

    Cruz was more plugged in. “I have a great deal of faith and confidence in Governor Abbott,” said the senator. “He is a long-time friend and mentor of mine. You know, I understand a lot of the concerns raised by a lot of citizens about Jade Helm. It’s a question I’m getting a lot. And I think part of the reason is we have seen, for six years, a federal government disrespecting the liberty of the citizens. That produces fear, when you see a government that is attacking our free speech rights, or Second Amendment rights, or religious liberty rights. That produces distrust.”

    Later, in his speech to the convention, Cruz told South Carolina Republicans about his fights in Texas and Washington for religious liberty. The backlash to Indiana’s religious-freedom law, he said, was a “perfect storm of the Democratic Party and big business coming together.” Anyone who doubted that gay-marriage supporters could declare culture war on Christians needed only look at the 2014 fight between Houston pastors and a city that was trying to pass a gay rights ordinance.

    “Just because you’re paranoid,” said Cruz, “doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.”

    Hopefully the “Jade Helm 15” participants are going to have access to lots of water during their two-month long simulation. It’s going to be a long, hot summer.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 3, 2015, 7:00 pm
  9. Texas Governor Greg Abbott defended his decision to order the State Guard to monitor operation “Jade Helm 15” and make sure it’s not, you know, part of a secret plot to militarily take over the Southwest US. As Abbott puts it, his actions were “simple and non-inflammatory” and everyone is just overreacting:

    TPM Livewire
    Texas Gov. Defends Ordering State Guard To Monitor Possible Military Takeover

    By Ahiza Garcia
    PublishedMay 4, 2015, 4:55 PM EDT

    Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Monday stood by his decision to order the state guard to monitor the U.S. military amid fears from conspiracy theorists that an upcoming training exercise is really an attempt to take over the state, the Texas Tribune reported.

    Abbott, who last week issued a letter to the Texas State Guard ordering it to oversee the U.S. military training operation known as “Jade Helm 15,” said his decision was an attempt to function as a “communication facilitator” between the military and Texans concerned about the program.

    Jade Helm 15 has been described by the military as a “standard training exercise”; however, conspiracy theorists have said the operation may be an attempt by the federal government to stage a military takeover of Texas.

    Abbott told the Tribune his actions were “simple and non-inflammatory” and shouldn’t be misconstrued.

    “I frankly think that there was an overreaction to the simple fact that someone has to be in charge of gathering and disseminating information and we stepped in to play that role, which is a role to be applauded,” Abbott told the Tribune.

    Aha! Governor Abbott wasn’t pandering to junk conspiracy theories. He was simply acting as a “communication facilitator” between the military and Texans concerned about the program!

    That’s why everyone had better stop overreacting and let the Governor do his job of ‘facilitating communication‘. Because Abbott isn’t simply working to calm the nerves of frightened Texans. He’s also undoubtedly calming the nerves of all those soldiers that are about to take part in Jade Helm 15. And why would the US military be concerned about all this hoopla? Well, wouldn’t you be concerned too if you knew Chuck Norris was on the scene and angling to kick some invader ass? Yes, you would be very concerned:

    TPM Livewire
    Chuck Norris: Don’t Trust The Gov’t On A Possible Military Takeover Of Texas

    By Ahiza Garcia
    Published May 4, 2015, 1:44 PM EDT
    The actor who starred in the TV show “Walker, Texas Ranger” wrote on Sunday that he thinks concerns about a possible military takeover of Texas might well be justified.

    Actor Chuck Norris, who has become a prominent conservative activist, published a column on the conspiracy theory website WND that told readers not to trust what the federal government has been saying about a military training exercise known as Jade Helm 15.

    Some conspiracy theorists have warned that the exercise, which is set to take place later this year in Texas and six other western states, may lead to a covert takeover of some of those states. Last week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) ordered the State Guard to monitor the operation.

    “The U.S. government says, ‘It’s just a training exercise.’ But I’m not sure the term ‘just’ has any reference to reality when the government uses it,” Norris wrote in his column. “Whatever Jade Helm 15 actually is, I think it is more than coincidental that the FBI director just confessed in February that the presence of ISIS can be felt in all 50 states of the U.S. and that the Pentagon is suddenly running its biggest military training exercise with every branch of the military across seven Southwestern states.”

    He also praised Abbott, who he said had attended a recent event for his karate charity. Norris said he “laughed as some progressives in the mainstream media tried to mock” Abbott’s decision to monitor the exercise.

    The 75-year-old martial artist emphasized the importance of questioning the government throughout his column.

    Norris wrapped up his lengthy rant about the true purpose of Jade Helm 15 by imploring Americans to not accept things at face-value when the government is the one doling out the explanation.

    “Friends, when it comes to freedom, we must question, verify and vet everyone and everything,” Norris wrote. “We must never check our brains or blindly trust, especially the government. Rather, we must fight until our dying breaths for liberty, especially when it appears those in power are trying to knock down Old Glory.”

    Good luck “facilitating communication” Governor Abbott. Your soothing words are probably the only thing standing between Chuck Norris and a total nightmare…

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 4, 2015, 5:07 pm
  10. In case you hadn’t heard, Michael Savage, the fifth most popular talk radio host as of December, is now a radio “life coach”.

    But don’t worry, he may have changed his show format but he’s still the same Michael Savage he always was. So, actually, some worry is warranted:

    Right Wing Watch
    Savage: Obama Will Arm The Crips And Bloods In the Coming Race War
    Submitted by Brian Tashman on Tuesday, 5/5/2015 1:20 pm

    Yesterday on “InfoWars,” Alex Jones invited conservative talk show host Michael Savage to discuss his new novel “Countdown to Mecca,” but not before Jones asked Savage about President Obama’s plot to destroy America.

    “What’s the score right now: patriots vs. the French Revolution crazies?” Jones asked. Savage had bad news to report: “The guillotines are ready, the guillotines are ready and they are greasing the blades. How much more successful can they be? Internment camps? I mean, what is next with this group of maniacs?”

    Savage told Jones that the Obama administration is trying to purge the military of leaders “who could have led a movement against an illegitimate government” in order to weaken resistance to his socialist plans. “One general after the other was purged like Stalin purged them, only instead of shooting them first they smeared the generals,” he said.

    The two agreed that Obama is now degrading the police by stoking a race war in which he will “deputize” gang members affiliated with the Crips and the Bloods. Savage told Jones:

    Remember my last book, ‘Stop the Coming Civil War’? Guess what, it started. Has there been a civil war? Yea, it’s a slow burning civil war. What do you think we are looking at here? It’s a race war. These are their shock troops, they don’t have the brown shirts yet, they don’t have the armbands, but soon Obama could deputize them. Isn’t that a natural army for him? Take the Crips and the Bloods, give them a green uniform and give them a weapon and they’ll keep order in the streets. Won’t they?

    Later in the program, Savage said that Obama has “got the gangs on the streets on his side” and “he’s got them armed.”

    “You’re going to see more race war right up until the Labor Day of 2016 for an obvious reason,” he said, alluding to the next election. He claimed that Obama won’t declare martial law or force people into internment camps just yet because “they’re going to take the street garbage and they’re going to take the illegal immigrants and they’re going to warp the entire election.”

    While it might be tempting to suspect that being Radio’s “Boy who cried race war” year after year would actually damage your race war prognosticating credibility, keep in mind that most of the boy’s audience has already had their minds eaten by a Fox. That helps with the street cred.

    Plus, there are a lot of other crying boys. That also helps with the street cred.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 6, 2015, 5:33 pm
  11. When Andrew ‘weev’ Auernhiemer gave an interview from Beirut back in November, he asserted that he was collecting $2000 per month in donations through Bitcoin, explaining the Bitcoin is useful because many supporters don’t want to be linked to him by a paper trial. Imagine that:

    The Guardian
    Twitter blocks promoted tweets by notorious white supremacist

    Company acts to prevent further abuse by white nationalist and internet troll after he promoted two offensive tweets using Twitter’s ad platform

    Alex Hern

    Thursday 7 May 2015 10.27 EDT
    Last modified on Thursday 7 May 2015 10.30 EDT

    Twitter has banned promoted tweets that were being used to push white supremacist messages on the website. The tweets were sent and promoted through the company’s advertising tools by Andrew ‘weev’ Auernheimer, a former president of the trolling group known as the “Gay Nigger Association of America”.

    Among the tweets promoted by Auernheimer was one that read: “Whites need to stand up for one another and defend ourselves from violence and discrimination. Our race is dying.” A second promoted tweet read: “White pride, world wide. Do you know the 14 words?” – a reference to the white nationalist credo: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”

    But a further attempt to promote the first tweet a day later led to a rejection from Twitter, which cited a ban on ads dealing with hate content, sensitive topics and violence.

    Auernheimer’s association with white supremacist movements was frequently written off as another form of provocation from the notorious troll, but after serving a jail sentence for his role in hacking AT&T’s iPad billing system, he stepped up his involvement. In October 2014, he gave an interview to white supremacist site Daily Stormer in which he revealed a large chest tattoo of a swastika, and spoke about his history as “a longtime critic of Judaism, black culture, immigration to Western nations, and the media’s constant stream of anti-white propaganda”. The site this week approvingly reported on his promotion of white pride on Twitter.

    Note that the way Twitter’s “promoted tweets” work is you only have to pay (like $0.50) every time someone clicks on or retweets your promoted tweets. And you can also target it to specific groups. If the ‘weev”s intended audience was just other neo-Nazis and fellow travelers on twitter it may have a great way to raise more bitcoins.

    But if you read his description of the whole thing it he was specifically targeting people that would be reviled by his ’14 words’ worldview. So it was pretty successful from a trolling standpoint and because he was targeting the people the least likely to retweet his tweets it probably cost him next to nothing.

    But it will be interesting to see if he tries it again because the non-neo-Nazi segment of the twittersphere could have just retweeted all of that garbage back and forth as an intentional play to spend all of his bitcoins for him. At the time, if the ‘weev’ is sitting on a much larger pile of white supremacist-funded bitcoins than he lets on, the next phase of his campaign could involve intentionally trying to cause a mass ‘let’s bankrupt the weev’ retweet counter-campaign as an intentional, albeit more expensive, method of promoting neo-Nazi ideas.

    So you have to wonder how much money he’s really taking in from secret donors each month to risk a potentially expensive stunt like this. But now that he’s demonstrated that you can pull off a twitter trolling stunt on the cheap, you also have to wonder how many more cheap trolling attempts of this nature we’re going to see going forward from the ‘weev’ or anyone else. Especially since, the more this happens, the more people are going to know that every time they retweet a troll’s words, that troll pays Twitter.

    To retweet (the neo-Nazi’s words and cost him some money) or not to retweet (the neo-Nazi’s words and avoid promoting his garbage). That is the (deeply unfortunate) question.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 7, 2015, 7:35 pm
  12. Glenn Beck’s Chalk board of Doom appears to have given him the fever sweats again:

    Right-Wing Watch
    ‘We’re Being Set Up’: Glenn Beck Warns His Audience To Prepare For The Time When He Is Murdered In The Night
    Submitted by Kyle Mantyla on Friday, 5/8/2015 10:21 am

    Glenn Beck closed out his radio program yesterday with a 10-minute monologue warning his audience that everything that is happening in Baltimore and Ferguson and elsewhere is all a giant set-up, designed to create instability so that the federal government can take control of police departments all over the nation … but nobody will listen to him.

    “We’re being set up, guys. We are absolutely being set up,” Beck said. “And I don’t know — this is what I pray every night: ‘I don’t know how to do this, Lord. I don’t know what you want. I don’t know — I don’t know what you want.’ I can’t wake up anyone. Oh, if I had the voice of an angel. I can’t wake anybody else up. They’ve smeared me. I’ve helped them smear me. I don’t have any credibility. Nobody is listening. I can tell you what’s coming. I’ve told you every step of the way. I know what’s coming next.”

    Linking a recent statement from Al Sharprton to an intentional misrepresentation of President Obama’s 2008 statement about creating a civilian security force, Beck warned that the federal government is arming local police departments with military equipment in preparation for taking them over while “grassroots” agitators are being brought in to create civil unrest in major cities for the purpose of providing an excuse for the government to do just that.

    “This is the biggest show ever,” he warned. “That’s all that’s happening right now. This is a show. We’re watching a script and a play play out in front of us. None of this stuff is real. Those riots in Baltimore. That wasn’t real … At some point, there will be a straw that breaks the camel’s back, and it will set the whole country on fire. And what happens? We will cry out for police help. The police will be overwhelmed. The DOJ will say, ‘We’re going to take over policing, we’ll coordinate it from here.’ And you’re done. It’s lights out, republic.”

    Amazingly, Beck wasn’t done, as he then went on to implore his audience to prepare for the day when Beck and people like him are murdered in the night in order to silence their voices.

    “If you look back at history, what happens to people who have voices and can cobble together people and be a leader?” he asked. “If you go back to what happened with the Armenian genocide, what is the first thing the Turks did? What is the first thing the Nazis did? You have a Night of Long Knives. The Armenian genocide. Any of the Armenians that could lead, any mayor, any writer, any person that was a hero in war, in one day, in each city, they would kill about 1,000 people. They’d just slaughter them. And they were all the leaders of the community. Anyone that people would rally around and follow. They were killed, day one. They just disappear, or they’re killed.”

    “There are 10 million people that listen to this show. They cannot kill 10 million people in one night. You were born for a reason, and you’re listening to this show for a reason,” Beck stated. “Prepare for a time when voices like mine or others are no longer heard and yours is the only voice.”

    Seemingly surprised by what he just spent the last 10 minutes saying, Beck finally fell silent before declaring “I can’t believe I just said all of that.”

    As Glenn Beck sputtered at the end, “I can’t believe I just said all of that.” It’s not actually that surprising.

    But it is quite tangentially interesting from a horrible historical unfun fact perspective. Why? Because Glenn’s ideological god father, Cleon Skousen, who happens to be the Godfather or much of the contemporary far-right/John Birch-esque conspiracy worldview, is basically one degree removed by an actual “Night of the Long Knives” scenario, if that.

    First, let’s take a look at Cleon’s role as the man with his finger on God’s pulse:

    Southern Poverty Law Center
    Intelligence Report, Sprint 2011, Issue Number 141

    Fringe Mormon Group Makes Myths with Glenn Beck’s Help

    By Alexander Zaitchik
    Illustration by Daniel Adell

    FAIRMONT, W. Va. — One fine Saturday morning last year, around 60 mostly middle-aged conservatives trickled onto the otherwise deserted campus of Fairmont State University. Clutching notebooks and coffee cups, they looked like groggy Continuing Ed students as they took seats in a modern lecture hall on the ground floor of the school’s engineering building. In a sense, they were Continuing Ed students. The room had been booked months in advance for a one-day, intro-level history and civics seminar entitled, “The Making of America.”

    But this was no ordinary summer school. Randall McNeely, the seminar’s kindly, awkward, and heavy-set instructor, held no advanced degree and made no claims to being a scholar of any kind. He was, rather, a product of rote training in a religious and apocalyptic interpretation of American history that has roots in the racist right of the last century. His students for the day had learned about the class not in the Fairmont State summer catalog, but from the website of the obscure nonprofit run by fringe Mormons. Founded as the Freeman Institute in Provo, Utah, in 1971, the outfit now goes by the name National Center for Constitutional Studies (NCSS), and works out of a remote farmhouse in Malta, Idaho (population 177).

    This humble base of operations, however, constrains neither the outfit’s national ambitions nor its missionary zeal. The NCCS has been touring the country and propagating its ultraconservative Mormon message for nearly four decades. Yet its message has never been in greater demand than in 2010. Since the rise of the Tea Party circuit, the all-volunteer NCCS has experienced exploding interest from Tea Party-affiliated groups such as the 9.12 Project and the Tea Party Patriots. On any given Saturday, several of nearly 20 “Making of America” lecturers are giving seminars across the country in spaces like the rented classroom in Fairmont, with $10 tickets and NCCS book sales paying for their travel and expenses.

    Along with a busier schedule, the NCCS also has a growing list of allies. In the media, it has found a powerful voice in the form of Fox News’ Glenn Beck, who is a Mormon himself and has used his pulpit to advocate for NCCS books and ideas. Through Beck’s sustained and energetic advocacy, once-forgotten NCCS tracts of Mormon-flavored pseudo-history such as The 5,000 Year Leap have become unlikely online bestsellers. As a result, traveling volunteer NCCS lecturers like McNeely today have no shortage of students eager to learn his version of “truth.”

    “In our time together, we’re going to learn the truth about American history and what our government is supposed to do—and not do,” said McNeely, after opening the August seminar in Fairmont with a Christian prayer and a patriotic song of his own authorship. “We’re going to learn sound principles. Once we have possession of these sound principles, we can solve nearly every problem in America, the way the Founders would have liked.”

    .As the morning progressed, it became clear that the NCCS worldview and program were based on three major pillars: understanding the divine guidance that has allowed the United States to thrive; rejecting the tyrannical, implicitly sinful, nature of the modern federal government; and preparing for a divine reckoning that will bring down America’s government and possibly tear society as we know it asunder, thus allowing those with sound principles — i.e., godly NCCS graduates — to rebuild the republic along “sounder,” more pious lines.

    America’s return to extremely limited government, as they think God intended, is destined to happen, NCCS lecturers teach, because God has already shown an interventionist role in American history. According to the NCCS, the founding of the United States was nothing short of a “miracle” in the literal sense of the word. God is watching, in other words, and he is not happy. Teaching out of the seminar’s 131-page illustrated workbook, McNeely argued that the current federal government is guilty of a “usurpation of power.” It is, therefore, illegitimate, though McNeely never actually uttered that word. Governmental powers should be used sparingly, he explained, limited largely to the common defense and the elimination of “debauchery and vice.”

    In some ways, the NCCS worldview can sound remarkably similar to that of antigovernment “Patriots,” whose movement has exploded in the last two years. So it’s not much of a surprise that it has found a number of new organizational allies among “Constitutionalist” groups such as the conspiracy-obsessed John Birch Society, the ultraconservative “pro-family” group Eagle Forum, and the Oath Keepers, a group of ex-police and military personnel who publicly promise to resist orders if they find those orders at odds with their understanding of the Constitution. At the 2010 National Liberty Unity Summit, a powwow of far-right groups, NCCS president Earl Taylor delivered the keynote address following speeches by leading Oath Keepers Richard Mack and Guy Cunningham.

    But mostly, the NCCS focuses on its seminars. And business has never been better.

    “We’re trying to flood the nation,” NCCS president Taylor told The Washington Post in June. “And it’s happening.”

    Communists, Capitalists and Jews
    Students of the American far right may not recognize the anodyne-sounding NCCS, but they no doubt know the name of its founder, the late W. Cleon Skousen. By the time Skousen founded The Freeman Institute in 1971 (the name was changed to NCCS in 1984), the bespectacled former police chief had become a minor legend in the annals of right-wing radicalism. Throughout the late 1950s and 60s, following 11 years of mostly administrative work in the FBI, Skousen toured the country whipping up anti-communist (and anti-civil rights) hysteria under the banner of the John Birch Society. Among the stories in Skousen’s fantastical arsenal was the claim that New Dealer Harry Hopkins gave the Soviets “50 suitcases” worth of information on the Manhattan Project and nearly half of the nation’s supply of enriched uranium. When the John Birch Society came under attack for its founder’s claim that Dwight Eisenhower was a communist agent, Skousen wrote a pamphlet titled The Communist Attack on the John Birch Society.

    In the 1970s, he penned an influential tract of New World Order conspiracism, The Naked Capitalist, which described a cabal of scheming, internationalist-minded bankers and government officials set on destroying the Constitution by manipulating left and liberal groups around the world. The purpose of liberal internationalist groups such as the Council on Foreign Relations, Skousen believed, is to push “U.S. foreign policy toward the establishment of a world-wide collectivist society.”

    Among the sources Skousen cited to substantiate this claim was is a former czarist army officer named Arsene de Goulevitch, whose own sources included Boris Brasol, a White Russian émigré who provided Henry Ford with the first English translation of the Jew-bashing classic, Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and later became a supporter of Nazi Germany.

    Skousen first laid out his views on the Constitution in 1981, with the publication of The 5,000 Year Leap. Now the central text of Glenn Beck’s 9.12 Project — the Fox host calls the book “divinely inspired” — Leap is an illustrated recipe for turning the United States into 50 little theocracies, each dictating morality according to its own religious ethics. These ethics, argues Skousen in Leap, should be transmitted through “extensive Bible reading” in public schools.

    The project of the book is clear, even if its author never came right out and said it. Others would prove bolder in explaining the importance of Leap. In Ronald Mann’s introduction to Leap‘s 10th-anniversary edition, he praises Skousen for grasping America’s choice of “Christ or chaos” and for acknowledging that its future depends on “accepting and demonstrating God’s government.”

    The project started by Leap was furthered a few years later with the publication of The Miracle of America. After reducing its contents to a smaller workbook suitable for one- and seven-day seminars, Skousen again hit the road. During the first “Making of America” tour, he demonized the federal regulatory agencies, arguing for the abolition of everything from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to the Environmental Protection Agency. He wanted to repeal the minimum wage, smash unions, nullify anti-discrimination laws, sell off public lands and national parks, end the direct election of senators, kill the income tax and the estate tax, knock down state-level walls separating church and state, and, of course, raze the Federal Reserve System.

    Skousen’s rolling theocratic lecture tour ran into problems in 1987, when outsiders started examining the contents of the book on which the seminars were based. The Making of America, it turned out, presented a history of slavery that could have been written by a propagandist for the Ku Klux Klan. Skousen relied for his interpretation of slavery on historian Fred Albert Shannon’s Economic History of the People of the United States. (1934). Quoting Shannon, Skousen described African-American children as “pickaninnies” and described American slave owners as the “worst victims” of the slavery system. He further explained that “[slave] gangs in transit were usually a cheerful lot, though the presence of a number of the more vicious type sometimes made it necessary for them all to go in chains.” Shannon and Skousen also cast a skeptical eye on accounts of cruelty by slave masters and expressed much more interest in the “fear” Southern whites had while trying to protect “white civilization” from slave revolts.

    Newer editions of The Making of America lack the glaring racism of Skousen’s original version. But the current NCCS president, Earl Taylor, is not unknown to echo some of Skousen’s controversial views. At a Mesa, Ariz., seminar earlier this year, a Washington Post reporter heard Taylor argue that Thomas Jefferson hesitated to free his own slaves because of his “benevolence.” As Taylor often does, he defended this interpretation by referencing his participation in a walking tour. “If you’ve been to Monticello and you see how Jefferson cared for them, they didn’t want to leave,” the Post writer quotes Taylor as saying.

    Glenn Beck and the Apocalypse
    Defenders of the NCCS argue that the outfit, run by the grandfatherly Taylor, is merely teaching good old-fashioned civics to interested Americans. But while there is a large amount of straight, accurate history included in “Making of America” seminars, the lessons are about much more than just the Constitution. The organization’s larger mission is to crudely propagandize against America’s secular foundations and sow doubt over the legitimacy of the modern welfare and regulatory state, using a textbook written by a notorious conspiracist who adhered to apocalyptic folklore. And like Skousen, current NCCS lecturers believe that time is quickly running out.

    There is a dark, often unspoken, subtext to the NCCS’s crusade to promote the “sound principles” of proper Constitutional government. That subtext is a belief in the imminent collapse of civilization. This collapse is interwoven in the bombastic teachings of NCCS friend and ally Glenn Beck, whose Doomsday-drenched shows are profitably promoted by fear-mongering purveyors of everything from gold bullion to “crisis gardens” and emergency radios. The NCCS has done much to encourage and spread a deeply apocalyptic worldview among far-right Mormons, of whom Beck is only the most famous.

    The NCCS views its education crusade as crucial for rebuilding America after a coming cataclysm; thus, “The Making of America” is best seen as a God-centric civics class for the bomb shelter. Speaking last year in Mesa, Ariz., Taylor spoke cryptically of the need for “the Good Lord’s help” to take America “into a much better phase of existence lasting for a thousand years.”

    Taylor’s remarks only make sense in the context of a cleansing, holy wrath, after which will emerge pure Constitutional defenders ready to build a new society on the ashes of the old.

    “I fear that the United States is going to have to go through the wringer,” said Taylor. “It’s gonna be rough.”

    “When the time comes, when the people who are in power for the power and the glory, and there is no more power and glory left, they’ll probably be looking around asking, ‘Can anybody help?’ And you’ll say, ‘Yeah, I’ve got some ideas. Come on over and eat a little something.’ Because there probably won’t be much food anyway, but if you’re wise, you’ll have some.”

    At this depressing image of future Constitutional scholars discussing the evils of the income tax and battling “debauchery” amid the scarred ruins of a post-Apocalyptic America, Taylor brightens up.

    “We’re gonna win this thing,” he said. “I’ve read the last chapter, like you have, and in the end, we’re gonna win this thing.”

    “Isn’t that great?”

    That’s right:


    Skousen first laid out his views on the Constitution in 1981, with the publication of The 5,000 Year Leap. Now the central text of Glenn Beck’s 9.12 Project — the Fox host calls the book “divinely inspired” —. Leap is an illustrated recipe for turning the United States into 50 little theocracies, each dictating morality according to its own religious ethics. These ethics, argues Skousen in Leap, should be transmitted through “extensive Bible reading” in public schools.

    Skousen’s words were “divinely inspired” and the central text of the of Glenn Beck’s 9.12 Project. It’s the book that ‘woke Glenn up’.

    But Skousen’s influential fan base isn’t limited to Glenn Beck. Before Glenn was pushing like The 5,000 Year Leap on Fox (and now hiw own 24/7 news network), Skousen was getting plenty of support from another fellow known for his “divinely inspired” words: The Reverend Sun Myung Moon. And the support was mutual:

    Chicago Tribune
    Power For Sale
    From Greenpeace To The Rev. Sun Myung Moon, How Pacs And Lobbies Influence America.
    April 27, 1986|By Article by Kenneth R. Clark, a Tribune media writer based in New York.

    “We pay them,“ he says. “They are not given to us. We don`t discriminate on religious grounds. Nobody picks up our costs. We were offered not a large amount but some money, and we turned it down. As I told a reporter for the Washington Post a couple of months ago when he said, `Why don`t you take their money; do you see anything wrong with it?` `The reason I don`t is that I don`t want to be bugged by people like you.` “

    But the Unification church has a broader agenda than the mere funding of various conservative groups. Respectability by association is equally important, and to that end Moon regularly stages, through his International Conference of the Unity of Sciences, his World Media Association and CAUSA, elaborate international and domestic “education“ conferences that attract some of the biggest names in academia, politics and journalism. Participants and speakers at such conferences have included White House communications chief Patrick Buchanan; AIM`s Reed Irvine; National Review publisher William Rusher; John Lombardi, dean of international programs at Indiana University; Claude A. Villee of the Harvard University medical school; Morton Kaplan, University of Chicago political scientist; and Princeton University Nobel laureate Eugene P. Wigner.

    “We hold conferences on science and values,“ says church publicist Noah Ross. “Religious thought should connect to science. We believe that through free discussion, people will come out with value-based conclusions.“

    Certainly such conferences do not hurt their founder. There is no shortage of pictures showing Moon shaking hands and rubbing elbows with his guests and speakers, who receive generous stipends for their trouble.

    The most recent conference, last November in Scottsdale, Ariz., was chaired for members of legislatures in all 50 states by former Mormon educator and FBI official W. Cleo Skousen, a high-ranking member of the John Birch Society and head of the National Center for Constitutional Studies. Wesley McCune, who publishes the Washington newsletter Group Research, says invitations to the event went out under the letterhead of the Arizona State Legislature, though the legislature was not sponsoring the event, (McCune says the fact that the legislature was not the sponsoring agent was made clear shortly thereafter by CAUSA, which paid all expenses–estimated at $750,000–for attendees.)

    Such activities buy a very high profile for Moon, his church and his political agenda, but nothing has put him on the national map with such a positive push toward respectability like the 13 months he served in a Danbury, Conn., prison following his conviction for tax fraud. The jailing of “the Messiah,“ in 1984, came just as nervous religious leaders were worrying over several other perceived incursions by government into matters of the soul, and when they rallied to the cause, they rallied to Moon`s in the process.

    Suddenly pastors who normally would avoid anyone permitting himself to be called Messiah were defending Moon from the pulpit, on television and at highly publicized rallies. The Rev. Jerry Falwell, leader of the Moral Majority, charged the Justice Department with “selective prosecution,“snoting that Vice President George Bush and vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro did no prison time for their income tax irregularities, overlooking the fact that unlike them, Moon was indicted for tax fraud involving the falsification of records. (Bush and Ferraro were never indicted; their errors reportedly were chiefly in bookkeeping.) The Rev. Joseph Lowry, president of the liberal Southern Christian Leadership Conference, echoed Falwell`s sentiments, and the Rev. Tim LaHaye, a prominent fundamentalist church activist and author, publicly offered to go to prison in Moon`s place. Editorial support poured in from the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the National Catholic Register, the Atlanta Journal, the Jewish Times and, of all places, the Washington Post.

    As we can see, back in 1986, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon was DC’s ‘it girl’, and the good Reverend was lacking in support (there’s just something about theocracy and power). But it was Cleon Skousen that was chairing the Unification Church’s “education” conferences which is no surprise given the number of important roles Skousen played in the Unification Church’s various front groups like CAUSA. And as a key figure in the Unification Church’s global network of propaganda outfits and other far-right organizations, that puts Cleon, the guy that “woke up” Glenn Beck, not too far removed from the “Night of the Long Knives” scenario that played out when Klaus Barbie’s Nazi death squads butchered La Paz:

    The Consortium
    Dark Side of Rev. Moon (Cont.): Drug Allies

    By Robert Parry
    (Posted in 1997)

    Amid debates over the 115-year-old Pendleton Act and whether it covers fund-raising phone calls from the White House, a more sinister money-in-politics issue continues to go unnoticed: the vast political influence-buying operation of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. The Clinton administration appears no more interested in where Moon’s mysterious millions originate than was the Reagan-Bush administrations which benefited from Moon’s largesse.

    Our recent series, “Dark Side of Rev. Moon,” documented how Moon’s organization purchased influence through secret payments to key political figures, including former President George Bush and Religious Right leader Jerry Falwell. Moon also financed costly media outlets, such as The Washington Times. Moon has built this U.S. network even as he tells his followers that America is “Satan’s harvest” and vows to subjugate the American people under a Korea-based theocracy.

    The series also revealed that Moon’s organization still engages in questionable financial practices. According to court records, the Moon organization has been laundering money and diverting funds to buy personal luxuries for Moon’s family, including cocaine for Moon’s son, Hyo Jin. The financial sleights-of-hand are reminiscent of offenses that led to Moon’s conviction for tax evasion in 1982.

    But since our series ran, more troubling facts about Moon’s international political connections have been brought to our attention. Most disturbing, given Moon’s free-spending ways, are his long-standing ties to ultra-rightists linked to Asian organized crime and to the Latin American drug trade. These associations — and Moon’s deepening business operations in South America — underscore the need for the U.S. government to ascertain exactly how Moon is financing his U.S. political empire.

    Moon’s representatives refuse to detail publicly how they sustain their far-flung operations. But they angrily rebut recurring allegations about profiteering off illegal trafficking in weapons and drugs.

    In a typical response to a gun-running question by the Argentine newspaper, Clarin, Moon’s representative Ricardo DeSena responded, “I deny categorically these accusations and also the barbarities that are said about drugs and brainwashing. Our movement responds to the harmony of the races, nations and religions and proclaims that the family is the school of love.” [Clarin, July 7, 1996]

    But Moon’s relationships with drug-tainted gangsters and corrupt right-wing politicians go back to the early days of his Unification Church in Asia. Moon’s Korea-based church made its first important inroads in Japan in the early 1960s after gaining the support of Ryoichi Sasakawa, a leader of the Japanese yakuza crime syndicate who once hailed Italian dictator Benito Mussolini as “the perfect fascist.” In Japan and Korea, the shadowy yakuza ran lucrative drug smuggling, gambling and prostitution rings.

    The Sasakawa connection brought Moon both converts and clout because Sasakawa was a behind-the-scenes leader of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party. On the international scene, Sasakawa helped found the Asian People’s Anti-Communist League, which united the heroin-stained leadership of Nationalist China with rightists from Korea, Japan and elsewhere in Asia. [For details, see Yakuza by David E. Kaplan and Alec Dubro]

    In 1966, the Asian league evolved into the World Anti-Communist League with the inclusion of former Nazis from Europe, overt racialists from the United States and “death squad” operatives from Latin America, along with more traditional conservatives. Moon’s followers played important roles in both organizations, which also maintained close ties to the CIA.

    South American Drugs
    Meanwhile, after World War II, South America was becoming a crossroads for Nazi fugitives and drug smugglers. Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie, the so-called Butcher of Lyons, earned his living in Bolivia by selling his intelligence skills, while other ex-Nazis trafficked in narcotics. Often the lines crossed.m

    In those years, Auguste Ricord, a French war criminal who had collaborated with the Gestapo, set up shop in Paraguay. Ricord opened up French Connection heroin channels to American Mafia drug kingpin Santo Trafficante Jr., who controlled much of the heroin traffic into the United States. Columns by Jack Anderson identified, Ricord’s accomplices as some of Paraguay’s highest-ranking officers.

    Another French Connection mobster, Christian David, relied on protection of Argentine authorities. While trafficking in heroin, David also “took on assignments for Argentina’s terrorist organization, the Argentine Anti-Communist Alliance,” Henrik Kruger wrote in The Great Heroin Coup. During President Nixon’s “war on drugs,” U.S. authorities smashed this famous French Connection and won extraditions of Ricord and David in 1972.

    But by then, powerful drug lords had forged strong ties to South America’s military leaders. Other Trafficante-connected groups, including right-wing anti-Castro Cubans in Miami, eagerly filled the drug void. Heroin from the Golden Triangle of Southeast Asia quickly replaced the French Connection heroin that had come mostly from the Middle East.

    During this period, the CIA actively collaborated with right-wing army officers to oust left-leaning governments. And amid this swirl of anti-communism, Moon became active in South America. His first visit to Argentina was in 1965 when he blessed a square behind the presidential Pink House in Buenos Aires. He returned a decade later and began making high-level contacts in Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Bolivia and Uruguay.

    The far-right gained control of Argentina in 1976 with a Dirty War that “disappeared” tens of thousands of Argentines. Michael Levine, a star undercover agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration, was assigned to Buenos Aires and was struck how “death was very much a way of life in Argentina.” [See Levine’s Big White Lie]

    A Nazi Reunion
    In nearby coca-producing Bolivia, Nazi fugitive Klaus Barbie was working as a Bolivian intelligence officer and drawing up plans for a putsch that would add that central nation to the region’s “stable axis” of right-wing regimes. Barbie contacted Argentine intelligence for help.

    One of the first Argentine intelligence officers who arrived was Lt. Alfred Mario Mingolla. “Before our departure, we received a dossier on [Barbie],” Mingolla later told German investigative reporter Kai Hermann. “There it stated that he was of great use to Argentina because he played an important role in all of Latin America in the fight against communism. From the dossier, it was also clear that Altmann worked for the Americans.” [For an English translation of Hermann’s detailed account, see Covert Action Information Bulletin, Winter 1986]

    As the Bolivian coup took shape, Bolivian Col. Luis Arce-Gomez, the cousin of cocaine kingpin Roberto Suarez, recruited neo-fascist terrorists such as Italian Stefano della Chiaie who had been working with the Argentine death squads. [See Cocaine Politics by Peter Dale Scott and Jonathan Marshall] Dr. Alfredo Candia, the Bolivian leader of the World Anti-Communist League, was coordinating the arrival of these paramilitary operatives from Argentina and Europe, Hermann reported. Meanwhile, Barbie started a secret lodge, called Thule. During meetings, he lectured to his followers underneath swastikas by candlelight.

    While the CIA was encouraging this aggressive anti-communism on one level, Levine and his DEA field agents were moving against some of the conspirators for drug crimes. In May 1980, DEA in Miami seized 854 pounds of cocaine base and arrested two top Bolivian traffickers from the Roberto Suarez organization. But Levine saw the bust double-crossed, he suspected, for geo-political reasons.

    One suspect, Jose Roberto Gasser “was almost immediately released from custody by the Miami U.S. attorney’s office,” Levine wrote. (Gasser was the son of Bolivian WACL associate Erwin Gasser, a leading figure in the upcoming coup.) The other defendant saw his bail lowered, letting him flee the United States. Levine worried about the fate of Bolivian officials who had helped DEA. [See Levine’s Deep Cover]

    On June 17, 1980, in nearly public planning for the coup, six of Bolivia’s biggest traffickers met with the military conspirators to hammer out a financial deal for future protection of the cocaine trade. A La Paz businessman said the coming putsch should be called the “Cocaine Coup,” a name that would stick. [Cocaine Politics]

    Less than three weeks later, on July 6, DEA agent Levine met with a Bolivian trafficker named Hugo Hurtado-Candia. Over drinks, Hurtado outlined plans for the “new government” in which his niece Sonia Atala, a major cocaine supplier, will “be in a very strong position.”

    Later, an Argentine secret policeman told Levine that the CIA knew about the coup. “You North Americans amaze me. Don’t you speak to your own people?” the officer wondered. “Do you think Bolivia’s government — or any government in South America — can be changed without your government and mine being aware of it?”

    When Levine asked why that affected the planned DEA investigation, the Argentine answered, “Because the same people he’s naming as drug dealers are the people we are helping to rid Bolivia of leftists. …Us. The Argentines … working with your CIA.” [Big White Lie]

    The Cocaine Coup Cometh
    On July 17, the Cocaine Coup began, spearheaded by Barbie and his neo-fascist goon squad dubbed Fiances of Death. “The masked thugs were not Bolivians; they spoke Spanish with German, French and Italian accents,” Levine wrote. “Their uniforms bore neither national identification nor any markings, although many of them wore Nazi swastika armbands and insignias.”

    The slaughter was fierce. When the putschists stormed the national labor headquarters, they wounded labor leader Marcelo Quiroga, who had led the effort to indict former military dictator Hugo Banzer on drug and corruption charges. Quiroga “was dragged off to police headquarters to be the object of a game played by some of the torture experts imported from Argentina’s dreaded Mechanic School of the Navy,” Levine wrote.

    “These experts applied their ‘science’ to Quiroga as a lesson to the Bolivians, who were a little backward in such matters. They kept Quiroga alive and suffering for hours. His castrated, tortured body was found days later in a place called ‘The valley of the Moon’ in southern La Paz.” Women captives were gang-raped as part of their torture.

    To Levine back in Buenos Aires, it was soon clear “that the primary goal of the revolution was the protection and control of Bolivia’s cocaine industry. All major drug traffickers in prison were released, after which they joined the neo-Nazis in their rampage. Government buildings were invaded and trafficker files were either carried off or burned. Government employees were tortured and shot, the women tied and repeatedly raped by the paramilitaries and the freed traffickers.”

    The fascists celebrated with swastikas and shouts of “Heil Hitler!” Hermann reported. Col. Arce-Gomez, a central-casting image of a bemedaled, pot-bellied Latin dictator, grabbed broad powers as Interior Minister. Gen. Luis Garcia Meza was installed as Bolivia’s new president.

    Moon & the Putschists
    Among the first well-wishers arriving in La Paz to congratulate the new government was Moon’s top lieutenant, Bo Hi Pak. The Moon organization published a photo of Pak meeting with Gen. Garcia Meza. After the visit to the mountainous capital, Pak declared, “I have erected a throne for Father Moon in the world’s highest city.”

    According to later Bolivian government and newspaper reports, a Moon representative invested about $4 million in preparations for the coup. Bolivia’s WACL representatives also played key roles, and CAUSA, one of Moon’s anti-communist organizations, listed as members nearly all the leading Bolivian coup-makers. [CAIB, Winter 1986]

    After the coup, Arce-Gomez went into partnership with big narco-traffickers, including Trafficante’s Cuban-American smugglers. Klaus Barbie and his neo-fascists got a new assignment: protecting Bolivia’s major cocaine barons and transporting drugs to the border. [Cocaine Politics]

    “The paramilitary units — conceived by Barbie as a new type of SS — sold themselves to the cocaine barons,” concluded Hermann. “The attraction of fast money in the cocaine trade was stronger than the idea of a national socialist revolution in Latin America.”

    According to Levine, Arce-Gomez boasted to one top trafficker: “We will flood America’s borders with cocaine.” It was boast that the coup-makers backed up.

    “Bolivia soon became the principal supplier of cocaine base to the then fledgling Colombian cartels, making themselves the main suppliers of cocaine to the United States,” Levine said. “And it could not have been done without the tacit help of DEA and the active, covert help of the CIA.”

    On Dec. 16, 1980, Cuban-American intelligence operative Ricardo Morales told a Florida prosecutor that he had become an informer in Operation Tick-Talks, a Miami-based investigation that implicated Frank Castro and other Bay of Pigs veterans in a conspiracy to import cocaine from the new military rulers of Bolivia. [Cocaine Politics]

    Years later, Medellin cartel money-launderer Ramon Milian Rodriguez testified before Senate hearings chaired by Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. Milian Rodriguez stated that in the early days of the cartel, “Bolivia was much more significant than the other countries.” [April 6, 1988]

    As the drug lords consolidated their power in Bolivia, the Moon organization expanded its presence, too. Hermann reported that in early 1981, war criminal Barbie and Moon leader Thomas Ward were often seen together in apparent prayer. Mingolla, the Argentine intelligence officer, described Ward as his CIA paymaster, with the $1,500 monthly salary coming from the CAUSA office of Ward’s representative. [CAIB, Winter 1986]

    On May 31, 1981, Moon representatives sponsored a CAUSA reception at the Sheraton Hotel’s Hall of Freedom in La Paz. Bo Hi Pak and Garcia Meza led a prayer for President Reagan’s recovery from an assassination attempt. In his speech, Bo Hi Pak declared, “God had chosen the Bolivian people in the heart of South America as the ones to conquer communism.” According to a later Bolivian intelligence report, the Moon organization sought to recruit an “armed church” of Bolivians, with about 7,000 Bolivians receiving some paramilitary training.

    Cocaine Stresses
    But by late 1981, the obvious cocaine taint was straining U.S.-Bolivian relations. “The Moon sect disappeared overnight from Bolivia as clandestinely as they had arrived,” Hermann reported. Only Ward and a couple of others stayed on with the Bolivian information agency as it worked on a transition back to civilian rule.

    According to Hermann’s account, Mingolla met Ward in the cafeteria Fontana of La Paz’s Hotel Plaza in March 1982. Ward was discouraged about the Bolivian operation. “The whole affair with Altmann [Barbie], with the whole fascism and Nazism bit, that was a dead-end street,” Ward complained. “It was stupid having Moon and CAUSA here.” [CAIB, Winter 1986] Ward could not be reached for comment about this article.

    The Cocaine Coup leaders soon found themselves on the run. Interior Minister Arce-Gomez was eventually extradited to Miami and is serving a 30-year sentence for drug trafficking. Roberto Suarez got a 15-year prison sentence. Gen. Garcia Meza is a fugitive from a 30-year sentence imposed on him in Bolivia for abuse of power, corruption and murder. Barbie was returned to France to face a life sentence for war crimes. He died in 1992.

    But Moon’s organization paid little price for the Cocaine Coup. Funding U.S. conservative political conferences and founding the ultra-conservative Washington Times in 1982, Moon ingratiated himself to President Reagan and other leading Republicans. Moon also continued to build a political-economic base in South America.

    “The whole affair with Altmann [Barbie], with the whole fascism and Nazism bit, that was a dead-end street…It was stupid having Moon and CAUSA here.” Yes, it was stupid. And horribly violent. And aided and abetted by the Unification Church which Glenn Beck’s “divinely inspired” theocrat of choice, Cleon Skousen, worked closely with for years. Including the years following the “Cocaine Coup” of Bolivia.

    So given all that, it’s a reminder that Glenn Beck’s Chalk Board of Doom, Nazi references and all, needs some updating.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 9, 2015, 7:38 pm
  13. Isn’t this cute: Charles C. Johnson, the Darth Vader of right-wing journalism known for his James O’Keefe-esque relationship with the truth, recently discovered a clever new way to overcome his most recent ban from Twitter so he could continue promoting his website and fellow travelers. His sneaky trick? Get control of the Reagan Foundation’s Twitter account. And it totally worked! Who knows how he got it, but he got it.

    Yes, Charles C. Johnson was back on Twitter as “@RonReaganLives” recently, chatting it up with Johnson’s old Twitter pals and sending them links. Links to sites like VDare.com sent to pals like Andrew “weev” Auernheimer. Just like all his old, now-banned Twitter account, except now it’s the Reagan Foundation tweeting it:

    Little Green Footballs
    Chuck C. Johnson Sneaks Onto Twitter Again, Using an Account Claiming to Be Associated With the Reagan Foundation
    The return of a nasty troll

    By Charles Johnson
    Monday, July 13, 2015 at 6:34 pm PDT

    Yesterday I got a tip from a friend that cyberstalker Chuck C. Johnson had bragged on his private Facebook page that he now has “access” to a Twitter account with 23,000 followers. A screenshot:

    [see img ]

    As you may recall, Chuck C. Johnson was recently permanently banned from Twitter, and tried to re-register several accounts, all of which were immediately suspended as well.

    Well, he’s back again. Lo and behold — here’s a Twitter account with 23,000 followers that has suddenly started tweeting about the same sorts of things that interest Chuck Johnson, including attacking Deray McKesson and tweeting links to white supremacists and VDARE.

    @DeRay is already offering to help #ElChapo fulfill his threat to kill @realDonaldTrump.

    — Ronald Reagan (@RonReaganLives) July 13, 2015

    If Columba Bush Can’t Converse in English, Was Her Naturalization Fraudulent? http://t.co/wcqmHWWV2P via @vdare

    — Ronald Reagan (@RonReaganLives) July 13, 2015

    If you look through this person’s timeline you’ll see many of the same obsessions for which Johnson is infamous; for example, here are two tweets to white supremacist “weev” (Andrew Auernheimer):

    Hey, sorry about being senile and signing the law that wrongly jailed you, @rabite. My bad.

    — Ronald Reagan (@RonReaganLives) July 12, 2015

    @rabite most transparent administration ever and if you doubt it they’ll jail you.

    — Ronald Reagan (@RonReaganLives) July 12, 2015

    @RonReaganLives also recently started following Andrew Auernheimer (@rabite) on Twitter. Auernheimer has publicly acknowledged collaborating with Johnson, and currently has this image for his avatar:
    [see #FreeChuck/#GingerRevolution img]
    Here’s a tweet suggesting that Obama didn’t write his autobiography — another conspiracy theory often floated by our boy Chuck:

    One of Ted Cruz’s friends told me he wrote his book, unlike our current president. I wrote my own speeches (mostly) so I approve.

    — Ronald Reagan (@RonReaganLives) July 13, 2015

    And here’s a tweet that actually links to Chuck Johnson’s horrible blog, to a post in which you’ll find several tweets by… @RonReaganLives.

    Someone is using my tweets! BREAKING: We Found Some Pretty Crazy People At the Anti-#DonaldTrump Rally http://t.co/zNBVYmDyfU

    — Ronald Reagan (@@RonReaganLives) July 11, 2015

    This account claims to be officially affiliated with the Ronald Reagan Foundation in Simi Valley, with a board of trustees that includes Rupert Murdoch, Peggy Noonan, Nancy Reagan, and many other well-known conservative figures.

    I wonder how they feel about their name being used by someone who retweets links to outright white nationalist websites, and holds conversations with outright white supremacists — all in violation of Twitter’s Terms of Service?

    This does seem like a pretty good question:


    This account claims to be officially affiliated with the Ronald Reagan Foundation in Simi Valley, with a board of trustees that includes Rupert Murdoch, Peggy Noonan, Nancy Reagan, and many other well-known conservative figures.

    I wonder how they feel about their name being used by someone who retweets links to outright white nationalist websites, and holds conversations with outright white supremacists — all in violation of Twitter’s Terms of Service?

    Handing Charles C. Johnson the password to your organization’s Twitter account does seem like a rather question decision. Maybe it was sort sort of performance art designed to teach the public about some of the more sensitive aspects of Reagan’s legacy that are otherwise difficult to communicate.

    Either way, the show’s over. The ghost of St. Ronnie just got banned from Twitter:

    Little Green Footballs
    BREAKING! EXCLUSIVE! Cyberstalker Chuck C. Johnson Suspended by Twitter Again
    Ba da boom

    By Charles Johnson

    Friday, July 17, 2015 at 1:35 pm PDT

    As we reported exclusively a few days ago, infamous cyber troll Chuck C. Johnson was blatantly using the account of @RonReaganLives to sneak back onto Twitter and promote his awful blog.

    And now, Johnson’s latest Twitter account has been suspended too. Looks like this really is a permanent ban for the Chuckster. I wonder who he’ll blame this time?

    These are some of the accounts used by Johnson that have now been suspended (and I’m probably forgetting one or two):

    @ChuckCJohnson
    @citizentrolling
    @freechucknow
    @GotNewsDotCom
    @GotNewsResearch
    @fakerape
    @RonReaganLives

    Yes, Charles C. Johnson killed the ghost of St. Ronnie and now https://twitter.com/RonReaganLives lives no more. At least for now.

    Could this the end of the Chuck Johnson’s adventures on Twitter? Probably not. It hasn’t stopped him before.

    But one thing is for certain: this is not the end of Charles C. Johnson’s empire. There’s only one way that’s going to happen.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 20, 2015, 6:22 pm
  14. Following Microsoft’s panicked removed of “Tay”, its new artificial intelligence twitter bot that was converted into a neo-Nazi shortly after being exposed to the world, one of the unfortunate new questions in technology is now “which piece of hardware goes neo-Nazi next?” Given that state of affairs, should your print randomly started spewing out advertisements for The Daily Stormer, it probably didn’t become a neo-Nazi printer, although a neo-Nazi is probably using it:

    Vice Motherboard

    A Hacker Made ‘Thousands’ of Internet-Connected Printers Spit Out Racist Flyers

    Written by Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai
    Staff Writer

    March 27, 2016 // 10:39 AM EST

    The notorious hacker and troll Andrew Auernheimer, also known as “Weev,” just proved that the Internet of Things can be abused to spread hateful propaganda. On Thursday, Auernheimer used two lines of code to scan the entire internet for insecure printers and made them automatically spill out a racist and anti-semitic flyer.

    Hours later, several people started reporting the incident on social media, and eventually a few local news outlets picked up on the story when colleges and universities all over the United States found that their network printers were spilling out Auernheimer’s flyer.

    Auernheimer detailed this “brief experiment,” as he called it, in a blog post on Friday. Later, in a chat, he said that he made over 20,000 printers put out the flyer, and defended his actions.

    “I did not hack any printers,” he told me in a online chat. “I sent them messages, because they were configured to receive messages from the public.”

    The hacker explained that all he did was create a script that would scan the whole internet to find printers that had port 9100, a common port used by network printers, open. Then, the script made them print the flyer.

    “It’s a big internet, I didn’t have to ‘discover’ the printers were vulnerable, I knew there were going to be a whole lot of them on the internet,” he added. “That’s like an obvious fact, of any device, if you search for it somewhere on the internet you’re going to find it. There were less than I expected there to be really. Still a lot though!”

    This incident shows, once again, that the apparently bright future of the so-called Internet of Things has a dark side too: hackers can creep out babies taking advantage of insecure baby monitors, expose kids’ identities thanks to internet-connected toys that collect and leave their data exposed online, or send a hateful white supremacist flyer all over the country with two lines of code.

    Auernheimer himself said this “experiment” is “a lesson in how positively hilarious the [Internet of Things] will be in the future.”

    Several college authorities are reportedly investigating these incidents, apparently along with the FBI as well. (The FBI did not respond to a request for comment.)

    Despite that, Auernheimer, who was convicted of hacking crimes in 2012, told me that he’s not worried.

    “This incident shows, once again, that the apparently bright future of the so-called Internet of Things has a dark side too: hackers can creep out babies taking advantage of insecure baby monitors, expose kids’ identities thanks to internet-connected toys that collect and leave their data exposed online, or send a hateful white supremacist flyer all over the country with two lines of code.”
    Well, at least the Weev hasn’t gotten around to hacking baby monitors and children’s toys to spew out white supremacist propaganda to impressionable young minds, although it sounds like it’s just a matter of time given the ease of hacking such devices and the Weev’s insationable appetite for Nazi tolling. So if you’d like to avoid exposing your kids to an uninvited “imaginary friend” living in your toys and household products (a friend who doesn’t seem to approve of your kid’s non-white friends), you’ll probably want to ensure your internet-connected devices aren’t one of the super easily hackable brands. There’s no shortage of reasons for securing your internet-connected devices, but you can now add “preventing the Weev from Nazi trolling my family” to the list.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | March 29, 2016, 6:29 pm
  15. @Pterrafractyl–

    Auerenheimer is a buddy of Citizen Greenwald, or at least a fellow (ahem) party animal!

    Keep up the great work!

    Posted by Dave Emory | March 29, 2016, 8:51 pm

Post a comment