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

For The Record  

FTR #995 Miscellaneous Articles and Updates

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This broad­cast was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Intro­duc­tion: In FTR #967, we high­light­ed the Nazi group Atom­waf­fen, one of whose mem­bers was plot­ting an attack on a nuclear pow­er plant. (The would be nuke  ter­ror­ist was Bran­don Rus­sell, a Flori­da Nation­al Guards­man.)

New arti­cles on the group dis­close that they have been respon­si­ble for a num­ber of recent mur­ders around the coun­try.  More mur­ders should be expect­ed because Atom­waf­fen pro­duces ISIS-style videos pro­mot­ing mass neo-Nazi vio­lence designed to sab­o­tage and implode soci­ety.

FTR #888 details the work of Glenn Green­wald in run­ning legal inter­fer­ence for the lead­er­less strat­e­gy advo­cat­ed by the likes of James Mason and the Nation­al Alliance. Specif­i­cal­ly, Cit­i­zen Green­wald freed up the likes of Atom­waf­fen et al from civ­il lia­bil­i­ty for their ISIS-style YouTube exhor­ta­tions to vio­lence and mur­der.

Charles Man­son

In FTR #437, we high­light­ed counter-cul­ture fas­cism and the pen­chant of some to pro­mote fas­cist out­crop­pings like the Charles Man­son cultists to bohemi­ans. Atom­waf­fen idol­ize both James Mason and his Siege newslet­ter and book, as well as one of Mason’s idols–Charles Man­son. (Man­son is pic­tured at right.)

Mason expressed sup­port for the Nazi eugen­ics and euthana­sia pro­gram. (We have dis­cussed eugen­ics and euthana­sia in numer­ous pro­grams, includ­ing Mis­cel­la­neous Archive Shows M12 and M60, as well as FTR #‘s 117, 124, 140, 141, 534, 664, 908, and 909.)

He has com­pa­ny:

Uni­ver­si­ty Col­lege Lon­don (UCL) recent­ly dis­cov­ered that there’s been a secret eugen­ics con­fer­ence host­ed in its cam­pus since 2014.

One promi­nent attendee to these con­fer­ences is Toby Young, the head of the New Schools Net­work – a net­work of “Free schools” — non-prof­it inde­pen­dent schools fund­ed by the state. Anoth­er is Richard Lynn, the ‘aca­d­e­m­ic’ who sits on the board of the Pio­neer Fund and who pro­vid­ed the bulk of the work in The Bell Curve pur­port­ing to show racial dif­fer­ence in intel­li­gence.

Atten­dees at the invite-only con­fer­ence were told about the loca­tion at the last minute and asked not to men­tion it to any­one. Con­fer­ence par­tic­i­pants are inex­tri­ca­bly linked with the Nazi/“Alt-Right” milieu.

Nazi Eugen­ics Poster

We con­clude with a very impor­tant op-ed col­umn in The New York Times under­scor­ing the con­ti­nu­ity between Amer­i­can and Ger­man eugen­ics, the Nazi T‑4 pro­gram and GOP “aus­ter­i­ty.” The Repub­li­cans and like-mind­ed indi­vid­u­als like Prince­ton fac­ul­ty mem­ber Peter Singer are advo­cat­ing against the dis­abled is being “cost inef­fec­tive.”

” . . . . We often say what hap­pened in Nazi Ger­many couldn’t hap­pen here. But some of it, like the mis­treat­ment and ster­il­iza­tion of the dis­abled, did hap­pen here.

A read­ing of Hoche and Binding’s ‘Per­mit­ting the Destruc­tion of Unwor­thy Life’ [a bedrock intel­lec­tu­al ele­ment of the 1920’s Ger­man eugen­ics movement–D.E.] shows the sim­i­lar­i­ty between what they said and what expo­nents of prac­ti­cal ethics, such as Peter Singer, say about the dis­abled today. As recent­ly as 2015, Singer, talk­ing with the radio host Aaron Klein on his show, said, ‘I don’t want my health insur­ance pre­mi­ums to be high­er so that infants who can expe­ri­ence zero qual­i­ty of life can have expen­sive treat­ments.’

These philoso­phers talk about the drain on ‘resources’ caused by lives lived with a dis­abil­i­ty, which eeri­ly echoes what Hoche and Bind­ing wrote about the ‘finan­cial and moral bur­den’ on ‘a person’s fam­i­ly, hos­pi­tal, and state’ caused by what they deem lives ‘unwor­thy of liv­ing.’ Experts point out the recent Repub­li­can health care pro­pos­als would strip Med­ic­aid fund­ing that helps the elder­ly, the poor and the dis­abled live health­i­er and more dig­ni­fied lives.

A recent New York Times arti­cle quot­ed the Rev. Susan Flan­ders, a retired Epis­co­pal priest, as say­ing: ‘What we’re pay­ing for is some­thing that many peo­ple wouldn’t want if they had a choice. It’s hun­dreds of dol­lars each day that could go towards their grandchildren’s edu­ca­tion or care for the peo­ple who could get well.’ In the arti­cle, Flan­ders, whose father had Alzheimer’s, is described as ‘utter­ly unafraid to mix mon­ey into the con­ver­sa­tion about the mean­ing of life when the mind dete­ri­o­rates.’ Prac­ti­cal ethi­cists are sim­i­lar­ly unafraid to do this. As were the Nazis. . . .”

With the Trump admin­is­tra­tion’s dereg­u­la­tion of agen­cies like the EPA and the Food and Drug Admin­is­tra­tion, the Amer­i­can peo­ple are going to be exposed to car­cino­gens, muta­gens and unsafe food and phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal prod­ucts. Years from now, the coun­try is going to expe­ri­ence a big upswing in the inci­dence of can­cer and oth­er degen­er­a­tive dis­eases, as well as birth defor­mi­ties.

The strong pos­si­bil­i­ty that this tsuna­mi of degen­er­a­tive dis­ease and birth defects could over­whelm the health care sys­tem and lead to the imple­men­ta­tion of an Amer­i­can T‑4 pro­gram is one to be tak­en very seri­ous­ly.

Andrew Aueren­heimer: Guest at Glenn Green­wald’s par­ty; appar­ent res­i­dent of Ukraine; friend of the “Atom­waf­fen.”

Pro­gram High­lights Include:

  1. The con­flu­ence of Manson/Nazi cultists with eso­teric Nazism, high­light­ed in, among oth­er pro­grams, FTR #‘s 991 and 992.
  2. Review of Man­son vic­tim Sharon Tate in the Los Ange­les area cam­paign of Robert F. Kennedy.
  3. Review of Robert Kennedy’s state­ment to Tate and her hus­band Roman Polan­s­ki (as well as oth­ers) that he would re-open the inves­ti­ga­tion into his broth­er’s mur­der after get­ting to the White House.
  4. Review of Ed But­ler’s attri­bu­tion of the Tate/La Bian­ca killings to the Black Pan­thers or oth­er “black mil­i­tants.”
  5. Review of the prob­a­ble Man­son fam­i­ly author­ship of the mur­der of Mari­na Habe, daugh­ter of anti-fas­cist writer Hans Habe.
  6. Review of the affin­i­ty between the bril­liant Nazi hack­er Andrew Aueren­heimer aka  “Weev” and the Atom­waf­fen.
  7. Review of Wee­v’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in Glenn Green­wald and Lau­ra Poitras’ par­ty cel­e­brat­ing their receipt of the pres­ti­gious Polk award.

1a. In FTR #967, we high­light­ed the Nazi group Atom­waf­fen, some of whose mem­bers were plot­ting an attack on a nuclear pow­er plant. New arti­cles on the group dis­close that they have been respon­si­ble for a num­ber of recent mur­ders around the coun­try.  More mur­ders should be expect­ed because Atom­waf­fen pro­duces ISIS-style videos pro­mot­ing mass neo-Nazi vio­lence designed to sab­o­tage and implode soci­ety.

FTR #888 details the work of Glenn Green­wald in run­ning legal inter­fer­ence for the lead­er­less strat­e­gy advo­cat­ed by the likes of James Mason and the Nation­al Alliance. Specif­i­cal­ly, Cit­i­zen Green­wald freed up the likes of Atom­waf­fen et al from civ­il lia­bil­i­ty for their media exhor­ta­tions to vio­lence and mur­der.

“Cal­i­for­nia Mur­der Sus­pect Said to Have Trained With Extrem­ist Hate Group” by A.C. Thomp­son, Ali Win­ston, and Jake Han­ra­han; Pro-Pub­li­ca; 01/26/2018.

The Cal­i­for­nia man accused of killing a 19-year-old Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia stu­dent ear­li­er this month is an avowed neo-Nazi and a mem­ber of one of the most noto­ri­ous extrem­ist groups in the coun­try, accord­ing to three peo­ple with knowl­edge of the man’s recent activ­i­ties.

The man, Samuel Wood­ward, has been charged in Orange Coun­ty, Cal­i­for­nia, with mur­der­ing Blaze Bern­stein, who went miss­ing in ear­ly Jan­u­ary while vis­it­ing his fam­i­ly over win­ter break. Pros­e­cu­tors allege that Wood­ward stabbed Bern­stein more than 20 times before bury­ing his body in an Orange Coun­ty park where it was even­tu­al­ly dis­cov­ered. The two men had attend­ed high school togeth­er.

Wood­ward, 20, is set to be arraigned on Feb. 2 and has not yet entered a plea. Orange Coun­ty pros­e­cu­tors say they are exam­in­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the killing was a hate crime — Bern­stein was Jew­ish and open­ly gay — and some recent news reports have sug­gest­ed that the alleged killer might hold far-right or even white suprema­cist polit­i­cal beliefs.

Now, three peo­ple with detailed knowl­edge of Woodward’s recent past have been able to shed more light on the young man’s extrem­ist activ­i­ties. They said Wood­ward was a mem­ber of the Atom­waf­fen Divi­sion, an armed Fas­cist group with the ulti­mate aim of over­throw­ing the U.S. gov­ern­ment through the use of ter­ror­ism and guer­ril­la war­fare.

The orga­ni­za­tion, which cel­e­brates Hitler and Charles Man­son, has been tied to four oth­er mur­ders and an elab­o­rate bomb plot over the past eight months. Experts who study right-wing extrem­ist move­ments believe Atomwaffen’s com­mit­ment to vio­lence has made it one of the more dan­ger­ous groups to emerge from the new wave of white suprema­cists.

Two of the three peo­ple who described Woodward’s affil­i­a­tions are friends of his; the oth­er is a for­mer mem­ber of Atom­waf­fen Divi­sion.

ProPublica’s rev­e­la­tions about Woodward’s back­ground add a new ele­ment to a mur­der case that has attract­ed con­sid­er­able local and nation­al news cov­er­age. But they also raise fresh con­cerns about groups like Atom­waf­fen Divi­sion, shad­owy out­fits of uncer­tain size that appear capa­ble of gen­uine harm.

Wood­ward joined the orga­ni­za­tion in ear­ly 2016 and lat­er trav­eled to Texas to attend Atom­waf­fen meet­ings and a three-day train­ing camp, which involved instruc­tion in firearms, hand-to-hand com­bat, camp­ing and sur­vival skills, the for­mer mem­ber said. ProP­ub­li­ca has obtained pho­tographs of Wood­ward at an out­door Atom­waf­fen meet­ing in the scrub­by Texas coun­try­side. One of the pho­tos depicts Wood­ward and oth­er mem­bers mak­ing straight-armed Nazi salutes while wear­ing skull masks. In oth­er pic­tures, Wood­ward is unmasked and eas­i­ly iden­ti­fi­able.

The young man is pro­fi­cient with both hand­guns and assault rifles, accord­ing to one per­son who par­tic­i­pat­ed in the Texas train­ing and watched him shoot. That per­son also said that Wood­ward helped orga­nize a num­ber of Atom­waf­fen mem­bers in Cal­i­for­nia.

Social media posts and chat logs shared by Woodward’s friends show that he open­ly described him­self as a “Nation­al Social­ist” or Nazi. He “was as anti-Semit­ic as you can get,” accord­ing to one acquain­tance.

ProP­ub­li­ca con­tact­ed Orange Coun­ty pros­e­cu­tors regard­ing Woodward’s alleged neo-Nazi activ­i­ties. Michelle Van Der Lin­den, a spokesper­son for the Dis­trict Attorney’s Office, said she couldn’t com­ment direct­ly on the case, but said the inves­ti­ga­tion is ongo­ing, with detec­tives explor­ing all pos­si­ble leads.

Wood­ward told police Bern­stein had tried to kiss him while they were in the park, accord­ing to a sealed affi­davit obtained by the Orange Coun­ty Reg­is­ter.

Atom­waf­fen start­ed in 2015 and is esti­mat­ed to have about 80 mem­bers scat­tered around the coun­try in small cells; the for­mer mem­ber said the group’s ranks have grown since the lethal and chaot­ic “Unite the Right” ral­ly last sum­mer in Char­lottesville, Vir­ginia.

While many of the new white extrem­ist groups have con­scious­ly avoid­ed using Nazi imagery, Atom­waf­fen has done the oppo­site. The name can mean “Atom­ic Weapons” in Ger­man, and the orga­ni­za­tion embraces Third Reich iconog­ra­phy, includ­ing swastikas, the Totenkopf, or death’s head insignia, and SS light­ning bolts. The group fre­quent­ly pro­duces YouTube videos fea­tur­ing masked Atom­waf­fen mem­bers hik­ing through the back­coun­try and fir­ing weapons. They’ve also filmed them­selves burn­ing the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion and set­ting fire to the Amer­i­can flag at an Atom­waf­fen “Dooms­day Hate­camp.”

Atomwaffen’s biggest inspi­ra­tion seems to be James Mason, a long-time fas­cist who belonged to the Amer­i­can Nazi Par­ty and lat­er, dur­ing the 1970s, joined a more mil­i­tant off­shoot. Dur­ing the 1980s, Mason pub­lished a newslet­ter called SIEGE, in which he eschewed polit­i­cal activism in favor of cre­at­ing a new fas­cist regime through mur­der, small “lone wolf” ter­ror attacks, and all-out war against the gov­ern­ment. Mason also struck up a friend­ship with the late Charles Man­son, who has become anoth­er hero for Atom­waf­fen.

The orga­ni­za­tion first gained a mea­sure of nation­al atten­tion in May of last year, when 18-year-old Devon Arthurs, one of Atomwaffen’s found­ing mem­bers, was charged in state court in Tam­pa, Flori­da, with mur­der­ing two of his room­mates, Andrew Oneschuk, 18, and Jere­my Him­mel­man, 22. Both vic­tims were Atom­waf­fen loy­al­ists.

The mur­ders alleged­ly occurred after Arthurs trad­ed Nazism for rad­i­cal Islam. When police took Arthurs into cus­tody, accord­ing to news accounts based on police reports, he claimed he had shot his for­mer com­rades because they had taunt­ed him about his Mus­lim faith and plot­ted vio­lent attacks to fur­ther their fas­cist agen­da. Arthurs told inves­ti­ga­tors he killed Onsechuk and Him­mel­man “because they want to build a Fourth Reich.”

When law enforce­ment searched the apart­ment in Tam­pa, Flori­da, where Arthurs and the oth­ers lived, they found firearms, a framed pho­to­graph of Okla­homa City bomber Tim­o­thy McVeigh, rifles, ammu­ni­tion, and a cool­er full of a high­ly volatile explo­sive called HMTD. Inves­ti­ga­tors also dis­cov­ered radioac­tive mate­r­i­al in the home.

The bomb-mak­ing mate­r­i­al belonged to a fourth room­mate, Atom­waf­fen leader Bran­don Rus­sell, a Flori­da Nation­al Guards­man. Arthurs told author­i­ties that Rus­sell had been plan­ning to blow up a nuclear pow­er plant near Mia­mi. Ear­li­er this month Rus­sell plead­ed guilty in fed­er­al dis­trict court in Tam­pa to ille­gal pos­ses­sion of explo­sives and was sen­tenced to five years in fed­er­al prison.

Atom­waf­fen sur­faced again in con­nec­tion with a dou­ble homi­cide in Reston, Vir­ginia, in Decem­ber 2017. A 17-year-old neo-Nazi alleged­ly shot to death his girlfriend’s par­ents, Buck­ley Kuhn-Frick­er and Scott Frick­er, who had urged their daugh­ter to break up with him. The accused, who shot him­self as well but sur­vived and remains hos­pi­tal­ized, was charged as a juve­nile in state court in Vir­ginia with two counts of homi­cide.

The 17-year-old was a big fan of Atom­waf­fen and James Mason, accord­ing to report­ing by the Huff­in­g­ton Post, which exam­ined his social media trail.

The for­mer Atom­waf­fen mem­ber in con­tact with ProP­ub­li­ca said that the teen was more than a fan: He was in direct com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the group.

“Their rhetoric is some of the most extreme we have seen,” said Joan­na Mendel­son, a senior researcher at the Anti-Defama­tion League’s Cen­ter on Extrem­ism. The group, she said, views itself as the rad­i­cal van­guard of the white suprema­cist move­ment, the front­line sol­diers of an immi­nent race war.

While many of the new white extrem­ist groups have con­scious­ly avoid­ed using Nazi imagery, Atom­waf­fen has done the oppo­site. The name can mean “Atom­ic Weapons” in Ger­man, and the orga­ni­za­tion embraces Third Reich iconog­ra­phy, includ­ing swastikas, the Totenkopf, or death’s head insignia, and SS light­ning bolts. The group fre­quent­ly pro­duces YouTube videos fea­tur­ing masked Atom­waf­fen mem­bers hik­ing through the back­coun­try and fir­ing weapons. They’ve also filmed them­selves burn­ing the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion and set­ting fire to the Amer­i­can flag at an Atom­waf­fen “Dooms­day Hate­camp.” . . . 

1b.  In FTR #437, we high­light­ed counter-cul­ture fas­cism and the pen­chant of some to pro­mote fas­cist out­crop­pings like the Man­son cultists to bohemi­ans.

In FTR #809, we exam­ined the wider polit­i­cal con­text of the Man­son fam­i­ly killings, includ­ing the pos­si­ble killing of Mari­na Habe. Sharon Tate, along with her hus­band Roman Polan­s­ki, were two of the key orga­niz­ers of Robert F. Kennedy’s cam­paign in the L.A. area. Short­ly before Bob­by’s assas­si­na­tion, he dis­closed to din­ner guests at a func­tion at the Tate/Polanski res­i­dence that, after his elec­tion, he would re-open the inves­ti­ga­tion into his broth­er’s mur­der. The ‘Alt-Right’ over­lap Charles Manson’s hopes and dreams. Atom­waf­fen open­ly wor­ships him.

“The Mani­ac Neo-Nazis Keep­ing Charles Manson’s Race War Alive” by Luke O’Brien and Christo­pher Math­ias; The Huff­in­g­ton Post; 11/21/2017.

Charles Man­son is dead now, and we are the rich­er for it. Man­son was a thief, a pimp and a mur­der­ous cult leader bent on race war. He was true scum.

No won­der some alt-righters are pour­ing out drinks for him.

“A great rev­o­lu­tion­ary,” said one com­menter of Man­son on the Iron­March neo-Nazi inter­net forum.

“The world real­ly does feel a lit­tle emp­ti­er,” said anoth­er.

One bereaved big­ot sim­ply post­ed a Celine Dion lyric: “Near, far, wher­ev­er you are I believe that the heart does go on …”

“Hero.” “Cham­pi­on.” “War­rior of Truth.” Such were the trib­utes used Mon­day to describe a dement­ed butch­er.

If you’re won­der­ing who might rhap­sodize a psy­chot­ic racist in this man­ner, the answer is oth­er psy­chot­ic racists, many of whom belong to Atom­waf­fen Divi­sion, a par­tic­u­lar­ly blood­thirsty and anti-Amer­i­can branch of the so-called alt-right that has made wor­ship­ping Man­son a part of their cultish devo­tion to vio­lent insur­rec­tion.

Even with­in the alt-right — a loose asso­ci­a­tion of white suprema­cists and fas­cists — the Atom­waf­fen Divi­sion is con­sid­ered extreme. The group, whose name trans­lates to “Atom­ic Weapons Divi­sion,” puts out ISIS-style pro­pa­gan­da videos on YouTube that fea­ture mem­bers clad in skull masks and cam­ou­flage out­fits, some­times on train­ing exer­cis­es in the woods, often hold­ing guns and the organization’s dis­tinc­tive yel­low-and-black nuclear-themed flags. In one video, mem­bers burn a copy of the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion on a grill.

pic.twitter.com/20BooyUUr2— SIEGE Cul­ture (@siegeculture_) Novem­ber 15, 2017

Atom­waf­fen is best known for a dou­ble homi­cide in Tam­pa this May, in which Devon Arthurs, a mem­ber of the group who had con­vert­ed to a vio­lent, fun­da­men­tal­ist ver­sion of Islam, shot and killed two of his room­mates, who were also Atom­waf­fen mem­bers. A fourth room­mate, Bran­don Rus­sell, was arrest­ed lat­er for hav­ing bomb-mak­ing equip­ment and radioac­tive mate­r­i­al. Rus­sell, too, was part of Atom­waf­fen. He had a framed pho­to of Okla­homa City bomber Tim­o­thy McVeigh in his bed­room.

Apoc­a­lyp­tic luna­cy has always been part of far-right pol­i­tics, and a vig­or­ous strain of it runs through today’s alt-right white suprema­cist move­ment. It should come as no sur­prise, then, that Man­son, whose once-upon-a-time sta­tus as a long­hair could nev­er obscure the swasti­ka carved into his fore­head, might serve as a new ves­sel of mad­ness for today’s vio­lent racists. In many ways, he was a fore­bear of groups like Atom­waf­fen and a bug-eyed pro­to­type for the mod­ern race war­rior.

Manson’s deranged polit­i­cal teach­ings were a mish-mash of Sci­en­tol­ogy, occultism and Nazism, all bun­dled into an orig­i­nal end-of-days tale. Stay with me, he told his fol­low­ers, and you’ll be saved from the com­ing race war.

“Man­son was moti­vat­ed by an apoc­a­lyp­tic belief in the immi­nent end of the world through a race war in which the White pop­u­la­tion was doomed to defeat,” Jef­frey Kaplan wrote in Ency­clo­pe­dia of White Pow­er: A Source­book on the Rad­i­cal Racist Right. “The vic­to­ri­ous Black pop­u­la­tion would in time real­ize that the White man is genet­i­cal­ly more fit to gov­ern, and would seek in vain for White sur­vivors of the racial Holo­caust to assume the reins of pow­er. The Man­son fam­i­ly, hav­ing sur­vived the apoc­a­lypse by hid­ing in a time­less cave at the cen­ter of the world, would then emerge to take pow­er.”

This world­view led Man­son and his fol­low­ers into an espe­cial­ly des­o­late part of Death Val­ley called Bark­er Ranch in 1969, where Time mag­a­zine described them as “holed up in run-down cab­ins” lead­ing an “indo­lent, almost sav­age exis­tence, singing Manson’s songs, danc­ing, swim­ming in a small pool, steal­ing cars for cash and pick­ing through garbage for food.” Here they would dodge the apoc­a­lypse.

By the ear­ly 1980s, of course, Man­son had failed to dodge his own down­fall. He wasn’t in a time­less cave at the cen­ter of the world. He was in a cell in San Quentin, serv­ing a life sen­tence for the grue­some mur­ders of sev­en peo­ple. Man­son had led his fol­low­ers, known as The Fam­i­ly, in the 1969 slay­ings of actress Sharon Tate and six oth­er peo­ple in a two-night killing spree in Los Ange­les.

It was in prison that Man­son start­ed a cor­re­spon­dence with a long­time Amer­i­can neo-Nazi named James Mason, who would come to view “Char­lie” as a prophet of hate. Mason was the type of man who con­sid­ered Auschwitz a “damned nice place,” and his wingnut jour­ney would take him from the heart of orga­nized white suprema­cy to years of inept obscu­ri­ty and, ulti­mate­ly, back to a faint rel­e­vance in the Trump era thanks to the alt-right and Atom­waf­fen.

A fas­cist since he was 13, when he joined the youth move­ment of George Lin­coln Rockwell’s Amer­i­can Nazi Par­ty, Mason had rad­i­cal­ized him­self while watch­ing black peo­ple take to the streets dur­ing the civ­il rights era. As a young adult, he set up Nazi booths at coun­ty fairs in south­ern Ohio, where he’d grown up.

“We should shoot for bring­ing down the sys­tem,” he would lat­er say. “Destroy the sys­tem.”

Mason even­tu­al­ly left the Amer­i­can Nazi Par­ty and joined a splin­ter group called the Nation­al Social­ist Lib­er­a­tion Front. Some NSLF mem­bers were fans of Man­son, which prompt­ed Mason to begin research­ing the cult leader. In 1980, Mason reached out to the incar­cer­at­ed Man­son. The two began com­mu­ni­cat­ing reg­u­lar­ly by mail and phone.

“What I dis­cov­ered was a rev­e­la­tion equal to the rev­e­la­tion I received when I first found Adolf Hitler,” Mason would lat­er explain.

Through “Char­lie,” Mason came to under­stand that Hitler’s death had brought about the end of West­ern civ­i­liza­tion. Every gov­ern­ment in the world was now part of an anti-white glob­al con­spir­a­cy run by “super cap­i­tal­ists” and “super com­mu­nists.” Noth­ing about West­ern cul­ture or its insti­tu­tions could be sal­vaged. It would all have to be blown to smithereens.

“It’s just like a human organ­ism that has ingest­ed a fatal dose of poi­son,” Mason would explain. “[If] you fall asleep with it and try to ride it out, you’re going to die, but if you become sud­den­ly, vio­lent­ly ill and expel that poi­son – even though the expe­ri­ence may be rather unpleas­ant – you at least have a chance to live. Man­son called that Hel­ter Skel­ter.”

So inspired by “Char­lie” was Mason that he took the mur­der­ous cult leader’s advice and renamed his neo-Nazi orga­ni­za­tion Uni­ver­sal Order. Mason began writ­ing a newslet­ter called “Siege” to pro­mote Manson’s views as a con­tin­u­a­tion of Hitler’s phi­los­o­phy. In 1992, Mason would col­lect these writ­ings into a book that neo-Nazi skin­head leader Tom Met­zger called “435 pages of hot rev­o­lu­tion­ary style white pro­pa­gan­da.”

For Mason and oth­er white suprema­cists, Man­son was almost a divine being, an atavis­tic incar­na­tion of hate. The cult leader fit neat­ly into a strain of fas­cist mag­i­cal real­ism called “Eso­teric Hit­lerism” that became pop­u­lar after World War II when the Greek writer Sav­it­ri Devi pro­posed that Hitler was the ninth avatar of Vish­nu and racist dupes some­how bought into it.

This type of crazy remains en vogue among the alt-right today, with notable expo­nents such as Andrew “weev” Auern­heimer, a neo-Nazi hack­er and the web­mas­ter for The Dai­ly Stormer, whose charis­mat­ic rav­ings make him the clos­est thing to a con­tem­po­rary Man­son in the move­ment. (Auern­heimer has ties to Atom­waf­fen and after the Arthurs mur­ders issued an over­loud decla­ma­tion about how he knew the shoot­er and the vic­tims but had pre­vi­ous­ly banned Arthurs from a Dai­ly Stormer forum.)

But the effects of Man­son on today’s white suprema­cist move­ment – in no small part thanks to Mason’s efforts – go beyond evil juju. Con­sid­er white sep­a­ratism in the mod­ern con­text. Orga­nized racists in Amer­i­ca these days like to call them­selves “white nation­al­ists.” This of course is part­ly a pub­lic rela­tions gam­bit — “white nation­al­ist” is maybe more palat­able than “neo-Nazi” or “white suprema­cist” — but it’s also an accu­rate descrip­tion of what they want.

Groups across the racist polit­i­cal spec­trum want a White Nation, an eth­no-state, some­where in Amer­i­ca for just the White Race. The three-piece-suit-wear­ing fig­ure­head of the alt-right, Richard Spencer, is very open about this. So is vet­er­an skin­head Jeff Schoep, the leader of the Nation­al Social­ist Move­ment. As is KKK-enthu­si­ast Brad Grif­fin, aka Hunter Wal­lace, a leader of The League of the South.

In 2000, Mason wrote Man­son to thank him for this brand of white sep­a­ratism. In a two-page his­to­ry of the Uni­ver­sal Order he penned for Kaplan’s The Ency­clo­pe­dia of White Pow­er, Mason wrote:

Although few would real­ize or admit it, the grad­ual move away from “White Suprema­cy” toward White Sep­a­ratism, from any hopes of recov­er­ing the U.S. gov­ern­ment, toward estab­lish­ing new, inde­pen­dent regions, is pre­cise­ly what ani­mat­ed the cre­ation of the Man­son enclaves in the Death Val­ley dur­ing the 1960s. At issue is bare sur­vival as a species as the world sys­tem begins to crum­ble and die.

Mason’s adu­la­tion of Man­son made him some­what of an out­lier in the Amer­i­can neo-Nazi scene of the 1980s. And Man­son ven­er­a­tion remains a prick­ly sub­ject for cur­rent white nation­al­ists. On Storm­front, anoth­er neo-Nazi forum, the com­men­tary Mon­day about Manson’s pass­ing most­ly had a “Good rid­dance and thank God he’s dead” tenor. The Man­son Fam­i­ly killed white peo­ple, after all. And Manson’s degen­er­a­cy reflects poor­ly on white suprema­cy.

But degen­er­a­cy has nev­er pre­vent­ed neo-Nazis from attract­ing sup­port­ers. For years, Mason’s “Charlie”-inspired insights were sought after by oth­er promi­nent racists, includ­ing Met­zger, who inter­viewed Mason for over an hour in 1993 for his “Race and Rea­son” show. When talk turned to vio­lence, as it often does with far-right extrem­ists, Mason clucked dis­ap­prov­ing­ly about a 1984 mass shoot­ing in which a sur­vival­ist gun­man took out his rage at “inter­na­tion­al bankers” by mas­sacring 21 peo­ple in a McDonald’s in San Ysidro, Cal­i­for­nia. “It wouldn’t be such a bad thing if they would pick their tar­gets a lit­tle more care­ful­ly,” he said.

Mason fad­ed into rel­a­tive obscu­ri­ty for the rest of the ’90s and ear­ly aughts, when he was in and out of prison on weapons charges and for an inap­pro­pri­ate rela­tion­ship with a 14-year-old girl, of whom he had tak­en nude pho­tographs.

But in 2017, the year his hero “Char­lie” would pass into the astral plane, Mason has found new rel­e­vance, and a fawn­ing group of dis­ci­ples in Atom­waf­fen.

Ear­li­er this year Atom­waf­fen repub­lished Mason’s book “Siege” online, and announced the launch of a new Uni­ver­sal Order web­site.

“JAMES MASON IS BACK!” read a July head­line on the fas­cist zine Noose, an Atom­waf­fen site. After years of try­ing, the arti­cle said, Atom­waf­fen mem­bers had final­ly tracked down Mason for an exclu­sive inter­view!

And to the vio­lent group’s absolute glee, Mason was still Mason, an unhinged admir­er of Man­son and mass mur­der­ers.

“My views on Man­son have not changed,” he told an Atom­waf­fen mem­ber. “We had a soci­ety post-WW2 that was dis­in­te­grat­ing, a mile a minute. We had a hip­pie gen­er­a­tion, a coun­try that was head­ing head­long into nation­al sui­cide. Manson’s com­mune was solid­ly, solid­ly white.”

When asked for his thoughts on Anders Breivik, the far-right Nor­we­gian ter­ror­ist con­vict­ed of killing 77 peo­ple in a bomb­ing and mass shoot­ing in 2011, Mason replied that Breivik was “dead-on.”

“I’m nev­er gonna dis­own any­body who does some­thing like that,” Mason said.

Else­where in the inter­view, Mason said he’s “mild­ly encour­aged” by the rise of Don­ald Trump.

As recent­ly as Sun­day, one day before Man­son died, Mason appar­ent­ly wrote an arti­cle on the Uni­ver­sal Order web­site: a 1,400-word trea­tise prais­ing Nazi eugen­ics and euthana­sia.

No word from Siegecul­ture about Char­lie’s death until we’ve com­plet­ed our sur­prise. We have a memo­r­i­al in the works, more on it lat­er this week. Satanspeed. pic.twitter.com/3M0t3qWtNY— SIEGE Cul­ture (@siegeculture_) Novem­ber 20, 2017

Mason’s young devo­tees, mean­while, have hint­ed on Twit­ter – anoth­er key rad­i­cal­iza­tion plat­form – that they’re plan­ning a memo­r­i­al for “Char­lie,” a more elab­o­rate send-off for this pro­to-alt-right Hit­ler­ian avatar of death and ter­ror.

2a. Note Mason’s sup­port for the Nazi eugen­ics and euthana­sia pro­gram. (We have dis­cussed eugen­ics and euthana­sia in numer­ous pro­grams, includ­ing Mis­cel­la­neous Archive Shows M12 and M60, as well as FTR #‘s 117, 124, 140, 141, 534, 664, 908, and 909, 995.)

Uni­ver­si­ty Col­lege Lon­don (UCL) recent­ly dis­cov­ered that there’s been a secret eugen­ics con­fer­ence host­ed in its cam­pus since 2014.

One promi­nent attendee to these con­fer­ences is Toby Young, the head of the New Schools Net­work – a net­work of “Free schools” — non-prof­it inde­pen­dent schools fund­ed by the state. Anoth­er is Richard Lynn, the ‘aca­d­e­m­ic’ who sits on the board of the Pio­neer Fund and who pro­vid­ed the bulk of the work in The Bell Curve pur­port­ing to show racial dif­fer­ence in intel­li­gence.

Atten­dees at the invite-only con­fer­ence were told about the loca­tion at the last minute and asked not to men­tion it to any­one.

“UCL to inves­ti­gate eugen­ics con­fer­ence secret­ly held on cam­pus” by Kevin Rawl­in­son and Richard Adams; The Guardian; 01/11/2018.

Uni­ver­si­ty Col­lege Lon­don has launched an urgent inves­ti­ga­tion into how a senior aca­d­e­m­ic was able to secret­ly host con­fer­ences on eugen­ics and intel­li­gence with noto­ri­ous speak­ers includ­ing white suprema­cists.

The Lon­don Con­fer­ence on Intel­li­gence was said to have been run secret­ly for at least three years by James Thomp­son, an hon­orary senior lec­tur­er at the uni­ver­si­ty, includ­ing con­tri­bu­tions from a researcher who has pre­vi­ous­ly advo­cat­ed child rape.

One promi­nent attendee at the con­fer­ence in May last year was Toby Young, the head of the gov­ern­ment-backed New Schools Net­work, who ran into con­tro­ver­sy over efforts to appoint him as a uni­ver­si­ty reg­u­la­tor.

Young’s involve­ment in the con­fer­ence was revealed by the Lon­don Stu­dent news­pa­per on Mon­day. Young announced ear­ly on Tues­day that he was step­ping down as a direc­tor of the Office for Stu­dents.

Young has also resigned from his post on the Ful­bright Com­mis­sion, which over­sees stu­dent schol­ar­ship pro­grammes between British and US uni­ver­si­ties.

UCL said it had no knowl­edge of the con­fer­ence, an invi­ta­tion-only cir­cle of 24 atten­dees, which could have led to a breach of the government’s Pre­vent reg­u­la­tions on cam­pus extrem­ism.

“UCL is inves­ti­gat­ing a poten­tial breach of its room book­ings process for events,” a spokesper­son said.

“Our records indi­cate the uni­ver­si­ty was not informed in advance about the speak­ers and con­tent of the con­fer­ence series, as it should have been for the event to be allowed to go ahead.”

UCL said it had con­tact­ed Thomp­son for an expla­na­tion. It has sus­pend­ed approval for his host­ing fur­ther con­fer­ences and speak­ers.

Young, in a speech to a sim­i­lar con­fer­ence in Cana­da last year, described the extreme mea­sures that Thomp­son employed to keep the con­fer­ence a secret.

“Atten­dees were only told the venue at the last minute, an anony­mous ante-cham­ber at the end of a long cor­ri­dor, called ‘lec­ture room 22’, and asked not to share this infor­ma­tion with any­one else.

“One of the atten­dees, on dis­cov­er­ing I was a jour­nal­ist, plead­ed with me not to write about the fact that he was there – he didn’t want his col­leagues to find out,” Young said.

“But these pre­cau­tions were not unrea­son­able, con­sid­er­ing the reac­tion that any ref­er­ences to between-group dif­fer­ences in IQ gen­er­al­ly pro­voke.”

Pre­vi­ous atten­dees includ­ed Richard Lynn, whom the US-based research group South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter labelled an “unapolo­getic eugeni­cist”, and the blog­ger Emil Kirkegaard, who has writ­ten sup­por­t­ive­ly about pedophiles being allowed to have “sex with a sleep­ing child”.

The sci­ence writer and broad­cast­er Adam Ruther­ford said the back­ground of the speak­ers sug­gest­ed that “some pseu­do­sci­en­tif­ic non­sense was being dis­cussed”.

“There are some peo­ple at these meet­ings with some deeply obnox­ious views that are also sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly invalid – notably Richard Lynn,” Ruther­ford said.

Many of the ideas dis­cussed at the con­fer­ences, which have been run­ning since 2014, ran counter to the con­tem­po­rary sci­en­tif­ic con­sen­sus, accord­ing to Ruther­ford.

“Human vari­a­tion is, of course, real. But the pro­por­tion of genet­ic dif­fer­ence that is reflect­ed in the char­ac­ter­is­tics that we can see is minus­cule.

“What that means is that evo­lu­tion is decep­tive in this regard: we broad­ly use skin colour and hair tex­ture – visu­al cues to class peo­ple into races but they are ter­ri­ble reflec­tions of over­all genet­ic dif­fer­ence,” Ruther­ford said.

“In fact, there is more genet­ic diver­si­ty with­in Africa than in the rest of the world. Two black Africans are more like­ly to be more dif­fer­ent to each oth­er than they are to a white per­son or even an east Asian.”

Lynn told the Guardian: “I have writ­ten numer­ous papers on race dif­fer­ences in intel­li­gence and their genet­ic basis. These have been pub­lished in aca­d­e­m­ic jour­nals.”

Kirkegaard did not respond to requests for com­ment. But Thomp­son told the Dai­ly Tele­graph that the conference’s main sub­ject was how IQ was inher­it­ed between dif­fer­ent groups and races. “Eugen­ics is one top­ic, but many top­ics are dis­cussed,” he said.

Young said he attend­ed last year’s Lon­don Con­fer­ence on Intel­li­gence as research for the speech he lat­er gave in Cana­da, which was “about the his­to­ry of con­tro­ver­sies pro­voked by intel­li­gence researchers”. He said he “thought the con­fer­ence in Lon­don might pro­vide me with some mate­r­i­al – and it did”.

———-

2b.  Eugen­ics con­fer­ence orga­niz­er James Thomp­son was ful­ly aware of the nature of the indi­vid­u­als he’s invit­ing to his invite-only annu­al secret con­fer­ences. His colleagues/attendees are birds of the same feath­er as James Mason et al.

“Exposed: London’s eugen­ics con­fer­ence and its neo-Nazi links” by Ben Van Der Mer­we; Lon­don Stu­dent; 01/10/2018.

A eugen­ics con­fer­ence held annu­al­ly at Uni­ver­si­ty Col­lege Lon­don by an hon­orary pro­fes­sor, the Lon­don Con­fer­ence on Intel­li­gence, is dom­i­nat­ed by a secre­tive group of white suprema­cists with neo-Nazi links, Lon­don Stu­dent can exclu­sive­ly reveal.

Con­tent note: This arti­cle con­tains ref­er­ences to racism, anti-Semi­tism and child abuse.

The con­fer­ence has tak­en place at UCL four times since its incep­tion in 2014, and now even boasts its own YouTube chan­nel bear­ing the UCL logo.

UCL have told Lon­don Stu­dent that they are inves­ti­gat­ing the con­fer­ence. A spokesper­son said: “We are an insti­tu­tion that is com­mit­ted to free speech but also to com­bat­ting racism and sex­ism in all forms.”

UCL pro­fes­sor David Colquhoun expressed dis­be­lief that the uni­ver­si­ty would host such “pseu­do­science” and stat­ed that the organ­is­er, Pro­fes­sor James Thomp­son, “clear­ly doesn’t under­stand genet­ics.”

“The actu­al genet­ic dif­fer­ence between humans, with respect to race or sex, is absolute­ly minis­cule com­pared to what they have in com­mon,” he told Lon­don Stu­dent.

Among the speak­ers and atten­dees over the last four years are a self-taught geneti­cist who argues in favour of child rape, mul­ti­ple white suprema­cists, and ex-board mem­ber of the Office for Stu­dents Toby Young.

A cen­tral fig­ure in the Lon­don Con­fer­ence on Intel­li­gence (LCI) is the white nation­al­ist, extrem­ist Richard Lynnwho has called for the “phas­ing out” of the “pop­u­la­tions of incom­pe­tent cul­tures.” Lynn, who is Pres­i­dent of the Ulster Insti­tute for Social Research (UISR), spoke at the con­fer­ence 2015 and 2016, along with four of the six mem­bers of the UISR’s Aca­d­e­m­ic Advi­so­ry Coun­cil.

Lynn’s UISR runs the jour­nal Mankind Quar­ter­ly, whose founders include a lead­ing mem­ber of Mussolini’s eugen­ics task­force, and whose board once boast­ed Nazi Joseph Mengele’s per­son­al men­tor.

Six mem­bers of the cur­rent board, includ­ing edi­tor-in-chief Ger­hard Meisen­berg, spoke at both the 2015 and 2016 con­fer­ences, while a fur­ther 16 LCI speak­ers have writ­ten for the jour­nal in recent years. In total, 82% of those who spoke at both 2015 and 2016 con­fer­ences are direct­ly asso­ci­at­ed with either UISR or Mankind Quar­ter­ly.

The UISR is bankrolled by Lynn and Meisenberg’s Pio­neer Fund, a South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­tre-list­ed hate group found­ed by Nazi sym­pa­this­ers with the pur­pose of pro­mot­ing “racial bet­ter­ment”.

Ben­e­fi­cia­ries of the fund include a mag­a­zine devot­ed to a “pen­e­trat­ing inquiry into every aspect of the Jew­ish Ques­tion,” and Jared Taylor’s Amer­i­can Renais­sance, whose con­fer­ences have host­ed promi­nent far-right fig­ures Richard Spencer (an white supre­man­cist who gained promi­nence after Trump’s elec­tion), Nick Grif­fin (ex-leader of the British Nation­al Par­ty), and David Duke (anoth­er white suprema­cist, and for­mer Grand Wiz­ard of the Ku Klux Klan).

Hel­muth Nyborg, a mem­ber of the UISR Aca­d­e­m­ic Advi­so­ry Coun­cil, gave a lec­ture at last year’s Amer­i­can Renais­sance con­fer­ence which argued that Denmark’s gene pool would suf­fer from immi­gra­tion from the Mid­dle East. Nyborg spoke at the LCI in both 2015 and 2016. He has writ­ten numer­ous arti­cles for Mankind Quar­ter­ly as well as a book for the UISR memo­ri­al­iz­ing the for­mer head of the Pio­neer Fund, white nation­al­ist J. P. Rush­ton.

James Thomp­son, the hon­orary UCL aca­d­e­m­ic who acts as the host of the con­fer­ence, is a mem­ber of the UISR Aca­d­e­m­ic Advi­so­ry Coun­cil. His polit­i­cal lean­ings are betrayed by his pub­lic Twit­ter accoun, where he fol­lows promi­nent white suprema­cists includ­ing Richard Spencer (who fol­lows him back), Vir­ginia Dare, Amer­i­can Renais­sance, Brett Stevens, the Tra­di­tion­al Britain Group, Charles Mur­ray and Jared Tay­lor.

Thomp­son is a fre­quent con­trib­u­tor to the Unz Review, which has been described as “a mix of far-right and far-left anti-Semit­ic crack­pot­tery,” and fea­tures arti­cles such as ‘America’s Jews are Dri­ving America’s Wars’ and ‘What to do with Lati­nos?’. His own arti­cles include fre­quent defences of the idea that women are innate­ly less intel­li­gent than men (1, 2, 3, and 4), and an analy­sis of the racial wage gap which con­cludes that “some eth­nic­i­ties con­tribute rel­a­tive­ly lit­tle,” name­ly “blacks.”

Writer and geneti­cist Adam Ruther­ford told Lon­don Stu­dent that, based on the titles and abstracts, some of the views pre­sent­ed were a “pseu­do­sci­en­tif­ic front for bog-stan­dard, old-school racism”.

“As soon as you begin to speak about black peo­ple and IQ you have a prob­lem, because genet­i­cal­ly-speak­ing ‘black peo­ple’ aren’t one homoge­nous group,” Ruther­ford said. “Any two peo­ple of recent African descent are like­ly to be more genet­i­cal­ly dis­tinct from each oth­er than either of them is to any­one else in the world.”

Anoth­er major organ­is­er of the LCI is Emil Kirkegaard, who has attend­ed all four con­fer­ences and even designed the web­site. Although he refers to him­self as a “poly­math” and Thomp­son describes him as a “very bright young guy”, Kirkegaard is not an aca­d­e­m­ic. His high­est qual­i­fi­ca­tion is a Bachelor’s in lin­guis­tics.

Hav­ing dropped out of his Mas­ters degree, instead pre­fer­ring to be “self-taught in var­i­ous sub­jects”Kirkegaard now runs OpenPsych, a plat­form for non-peer reviewed psy­chol­o­gy papers, along with Davide Pif­fer of Mankind Quar­ter­ly. Pif­fer is a fel­low LCI-speak­er, and was praised by Richard Lynn as hav­ing done “bril­liant work iden­ti­fy­ing the genes respon­si­ble for race dif­fer­ences in intel­li­gence.”

Authors on OpenPsych include Kevin Mac­Don­ald, described by the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­tre as “the neo-Nazi movement’s favourite aca­d­e­m­ic”, who praised Anders Breivik as a “seri­ous polit­i­cal thinker with a great many insights and some good prac­ti­cal ideas on strat­e­gy.”

John Fuerst, a fel­low of the UISR, spoke at LCI 2015 and 2016, and fre­quent­ly col­lab­o­rates with Kirkegaard on OpenPsych. As well as writ­ing var­i­ousblogs, which he describes as “race real­ist”, , he also fre­quent­ly posts anti-Semit­ic con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries on Face­book. When ques­tioned about his pop­u­lar­i­ty on the neo-Nazi forum Storm­front, he stat­ed that he had “no beef against…“Neo-Nazis”.”

Kirkegaard’s own per­son­al blog is home to top­ics such as ‘Is mis­ce­gena­tion bad for your kids?’ and how one could empir­i­cal­ly ver­i­fy a Jew­ish con­spir­a­cy. His Face­book fea­tures alt-right ‘pro­mo­tion­al videos’ and once fea­tured a friend’s Nazi salute with the cap­tion ‘There will be an heir to the Führer.’

[See image of post on Face­book fea­tur­ing a Nazi salute behind Kirkegaard along­side his ‘Führer’ com­ment]

By far the most dis­turb­ing of part of Kirkegaard’s inter­net pres­ence, how­ev­er, is a blog-post in which he jus­ti­fies child rape. He states that a ‘com­pro­mise’ with pae­dophiles could be:

“hav­ing sex with a sleep­ing child with­out them know­ing it (so, using sleep­ing med­i­cine. If they dont notice it is dif­fi­cult to see how they cud be harmed, even if it is rape. One must dis­tin­guish between rape becus the oth­er was dis­con­sent­ing (want­i­ng to not have sex), and rape becus the oth­er is not con­sent­ing, but not dis­con­sent­ing either.”

He qual­i­fies this with a note that “bod­i­ly harm” would under­mine this jus­ti­fi­ca­tion, and espe­cial­ly “with small chil­dren since their bod­i­ly open­ings are not large enuf [sic] for a reg­u­lar sized male penis. To avoid this one shud [sic] not pen­e­trate.”

Kirkegaard’s rep­u­ta­tion as a sci­en­tif­ic advo­cate for neo-Nazism was increased last April when he appeared on Tara McCarthy’s ‘Real­i­ty Calls’ to dis­cuss “the future of eugen­ics.” McCarthy was banned from YouTube for alleg­ing a Jew­ish con­spir­a­cy to com­mit “white geno­cide”, sup­ports deport­ing nat­u­ral­ized cit­i­zens and “killing them if they resist”, and said that she hopes “zero” migrants cross­ing the Mediter­ranean “make it alive”..

Kirkegaard is not the only LCI speak­er to fea­ture on McCarthy’s show. Adam Perkins of King’s Col­lege Lon­don appeared on the show to dis­cuss his con­tro­ver­sial book, ‘The Wel­fare Trait’. He pro­voked uproar last year when he shared images of data from one of Kirkegaard’s papers on immi­grant crime rates, with the cap­tion “Trump’s Mus­lim ban makes sense in human cap­i­tal terms”..

“This is so old-school as to be laugh­able,” Dr Ruther­ford said of the views dis­cussed at the LCI. While the views may sim­ply be “bad sci­ence”, accord­ing to Ruther­ford, they play into UCL’s “deep and rich his­to­ry of sci­en­tif­ic racism”.

He explained: “Fran­cis Gal­ton, the bril­liant but overt­ly racist UCL aca­d­e­m­ic, may have giv­en the world many valu­able ideas, but also cre­at­ed eugen­ics as a pseu­do­sci­en­tif­ic idea. UCL’s Gal­ton chair, named in his hon­our, was first occu­pied by Karl Pear­son, anoth­er overt racist.”

2c. A very impor­tant op-ed col­umn in The New York Times under­scored the con­ti­nu­ity between Amer­i­can and Ger­man eugen­ics, the Nazi T‑4 pro­gram and GOP “aus­ter­i­ty.” The Repub­li­cans and like-mind­ed indi­vid­u­als like Prince­ton fac­ul­ty mem­ber Peter Singer are advo­cat­ing against the dis­abled is being “cost inef­fec­tive.”

“The Nazis’ First Vic­tims Were the Dis­abled” by Ken­ny Fries; The New York Times; 9/13/2017.

I sit fac­ing the young Ger­man neu­rol­o­gist, across a small table in a the­ater in Ham­burg, Ger­many. I’m here giv­ing one-on-one talks called “The Unen­hanced: What Has Hap­pened to Those Deemed ‘Unfit’,” about my research on Aktion T4, the Nazi “euthana­sia” pro­gram to exter­mi­nate the dis­abled. “I’m afraid of what you’re going to tell me,” the neu­rol­o­gist says. I’m not sur­prised. I’ve heard sim­i­lar things before.

But this time is dif­fer­ent — the young man sit­ting across from me is a doc­tor. Aktion T4 could not have hap­pened with­out the will­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion of Ger­man doc­tors. I have a per­son­al stake in mak­ing sure this his­to­ry is remem­bered. In 1960, I was born miss­ing bones in both legs. At the time, some thought I should not be allowed to live. Thank­ful­ly, my par­ents were not among them.

I first dis­cov­ered that peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties were ster­il­ized and killed by the Nazis when I was a teenag­er, watch­ing the TV mini-series “Holo­caust” in 1978. But it would be years before I under­stood the con­nec­tions between the killing  of the dis­abled and the killing of Jews and oth­er “unde­sir­ables,” all of whom were, in one way or anoth­er, deemed “unfit.” The neu­rol­o­gist does not know much about what I’m telling him. While he does know that approx­i­mate­ly 300,000 dis­abled peo­ple were killed in T4 and its after­math, he doesn’t know about the direct con­nec­tion between T4 and the Holo­caust.

He doesn’t know that it was at Bran­den­burg, the first T4 site, where meth­ods of mass killing were test­ed, that the first vic­tims of Nazi mass killings were the dis­abled, and that its per­son­nel went on to estab­lish and run the exter­mi­na­tion camps at Tre­blin­ka, Belzec and Sobi­bor.

Three years ear­li­er, when I first arrived in Ger­many, I was con­sis­tent­ly con­front­ed with the treat­ment of those with dis­abil­i­ties under the Third Reich. But I soon real­ized I had to go back even far­ther. In the 1920s, the dis­abled were mis­treat­ed, ster­il­ized, exper­i­ment­ed on and killed in some Ger­man psy­chi­atric insti­tu­tions. In 1920, the psy­chi­a­trist Alfred Hoche and the jurist Karl Bind­ing pub­lished their trea­tise, “Per­mit­ting the Destruc­tion of Unwor­thy Life,” which became the blue­print for the exter­mi­na­tions of the dis­abled car­ried out by the Third Reich.

In Dr. Ewald Melzer’s 1923 sur­vey of the par­ents of the dis­abled chil­dren in his care, they were asked: “Would you agree def­i­nite­ly to a pain­less short­cut of your child’s life, after it is deter­mined by experts that it is incur­ably stu­pid?” The results, which sur­prised Melz­er, were pub­lished in 1925: 73 per­cent respond­ed they were will­ing to have their chil­dren killed if they weren’t told about it. I am also Jew­ish.

At the Karl Bon­ho­ef­fer psy­chi­atric hos­pi­tal in the Berlin sub­urb of Wit­te­nau, where the exhi­bi­tion “A Dou­ble Stig­ma: The Fate of Jew­ish Psy­chi­atric Patients” was held, I learned about, as the exhi­bi­tion title sug­gests, how Jew­ish patients were dou­bly stig­ma­tized by being sep­a­rat­ed from oth­er patients, denied pas­toral care, and were cared for not at the expense of the Reich but by Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tions. Jew­ish patients were sin­gled out for ear­ly exter­mi­na­tion; by Decem­ber 1942, the destruc­tion of the Jew­ish patient pop­u­la­tion at Wit­te­nau was com­plete. The young neu­rol­o­gist in Ham­burg did not know this his­to­ry.

It is only at the end of my talk with the neu­rol­o­gist that I notice he wears a hear­ing aid. I want to ask if he knows about “100 Per­cent,” the film pro­duced by deaf Ger­mans to show they could assim­i­late and be pro­duc­tive cit­i­zens who worked. Did he know the hered­i­tary deaf were sin­gled out not only by the Ger­man author­i­ties but also by those with acquired deaf­ness who tried to save them­selves?

Too often, even those of us with dis­abil­i­ties do not know our own his­to­ry. Not many peo­ple know about dis­abil­i­ty his­to­ry in the Unit­ed States. They do not know that in the Unit­ed States in 1927, Jus­tice Oliv­er Wen­dell Holmes wrote that “three gen­er­a­tions of imbe­ciles are enough” as part of his opin­ion in Buck v. Bell, in which the Supreme Court ruled that com­pul­so­ry ster­il­iza­tion of the “unfit” was con­sti­tu­tion­al. This deci­sion has nev­er been express­ly over­turned.

Many Amer­i­cans still do not know about the so-called “ugly laws,” which in many states, begin­ning in the late 1860s, deemed it ille­gal for per­sons who were “unsight­ly or unseem­ly” to appear in pub­lic. The last of these laws was not repealed until 1974. Why is it impor­tant to know this his­to­ry? We often say what hap­pened in Nazi Ger­many couldn’t hap­pen here. But some of it, like the mis­treat­ment and ster­il­iza­tion of the dis­abled, did hap­pen here.

A read­ing of Hoche and Binding’s “Per­mit­ting the Destruc­tion of Unwor­thy Life” shows the sim­i­lar­i­ty between what they said and what expo­nents of prac­ti­cal ethics, such as Peter Singer, say about the dis­abled today. As recent­ly as 2015, Singer, talk­ing with the radio host Aaron Klein on his show, said, “I don’t want my health insur­ance pre­mi­ums to be high­er so that infants who can expe­ri­ence zero qual­i­ty of life can have expen­sive treat­ments.”

These philoso­phers talk about the drain on “resources” caused by lives lived with a dis­abil­i­ty, which eeri­ly echoes what Hoche and Bind­ing wrote about the “finan­cial and moral bur­den” on “a person’s fam­i­ly, hos­pi­tal, and state” caused by what they deem lives “unwor­thy of liv­ing.” Experts point out the recent Repub­li­can health care pro­pos­als would strip Med­ic­aid fund­ing that helps the elder­ly, the poor and the dis­abled live health­i­er and more dig­ni­fied lives.

A recent New York Times arti­cle quot­ed the Rev. Susan Flan­ders, a retired Epis­co­pal priest, as say­ing: “What we’re pay­ing for is some­thing that many peo­ple wouldn’t want if they had a choice. It’s hun­dreds of dol­lars each day that could go towards their grandchildren’s edu­ca­tion or care for the peo­ple who could get well.” In the arti­cle, Flan­ders, whose father had Alzheimer’s, is described as “utter­ly unafraid to mix mon­ey into the con­ver­sa­tion about the mean­ing of life when the mind dete­ri­o­rates.” Prac­ti­cal ethi­cists are sim­i­lar­ly unafraid to do this.

As were the Nazis. Third Reich school text­books includ­ed arith­metic prob­lems on how much it would cost to care for a per­son with a dis­abil­i­ty for a life­time. Three years ago, I was the only vis­i­tor at a muse­um ded­i­cat­ed to the his­to­ry of the Reinick­endorf area of Berlin. The muse­um build­ing was once part of Wiesen­grund, which, in 1941, housed the “wards for expert care” of the Munic­i­pal Hos­pi­tal for Chil­dren.

Down a hall with flu­o­res­cent light­ing, in a white-walled room, were 30 wood­en cribs. On each of the cribs was a his­to­ry of a child, some as young as a few months old. This was the room in which these infants and chil­dren were exper­i­ment­ed on and killed: the 30-bed Ward 3, the “ward for expert care” at Wiesen­grund. My heart raced; my breath short­ened. I couldn’t stay in that room for long. The room evoked the first four weeks of my own life spent in an incu­ba­tor. Nobody knew if I would live or die.

What kind of soci­ety do we want to be? Those of us who live with dis­abil­i­ties are at the fore­front of the larg­er dis­cus­sion of what con­sti­tutes a val­ued life. What is a life worth liv­ing? Too often, the lives of those of us who live with dis­abil­i­ties are not val­ued, and feared. At the root of this fear is mis­un­der­stand­ing, mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion, and a lack of knowl­edge of dis­abil­i­ty his­to­ry and, thus, dis­abled lives.

 

 

Discussion

5 comments for “FTR #995 Miscellaneous Articles and Updates”

  1. Oh look at that: the 19 year old gun­man who just killed 17 stu­dents at his for­mer high school and insure many more was part of a white suprema­cist group called the Repub­lic of Flori­da (ROF) that seeks to cre­ate a “white eth­nos­tate” in Flori­da:

    ABC News

    Flori­da school shoot­ing sus­pect linked to white suprema­cist group: ADL

    By Aaron Kater­sky, NOOR IBRAHIM, Josh Mar­golin, BRIAN EPSTEIN
    Feb 15, 2018, 1:05 PM ET

    The Anti-Defama­tion League, a civ­il rights watch­dog, told ABC News they have infor­ma­tion they believe to be cred­i­ble link­ing Niko­las Cruz, the Flori­da school shoot­ing sus­pect, to a white suprema­cist group called Repub­lic of Flori­da.

    The ADL said ROF leader Jor­dan Jereb told them Cruz was asso­ci­at­ed with his group. Jereb, who is based in Tal­la­has­see, said Cruz was brought into the group by anoth­er mem­ber and had par­tic­i­pat­ed in one or more ROF train­ing exer­cis­es in the Tal­la­has­see area, the ADL said. Law enforce­ment offi­cials have not con­firmed the link.

    ROF has most­ly young mem­bers in north and south Flori­da and describes itself as a “white civ­il rights orga­ni­za­tion fight­ing for white iden­ti­tar­i­an pol­i­tics” and seeks to cre­ate a “white eth­nos­tate” in Flori­da.

    Three for­mer school­mates of Cruz told ABC News that Cruz was part of the group. They claimed he marched with the group fre­quent­ly and was often seen with Jereb, who also con­firmed to ABC News that Cruz was, at least at one point, part of that group.

    Jereb told the ADL that ROF had not ordered Cruz to take any such action. He told ABC News he has not spo­ken to Cruz in “some time” but said “he knew he would get­ting this call.” He would not com­ment fur­ther but empha­sized that his group was not a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion.

    ...

    Fam­i­ly mem­bers, class­mates and for­mer friends described Cruz, a 19-year-old for­mer stu­dent, as a trou­bled teen who was large­ly alone in the world when he alleged­ly stormed through the school car­ry­ing an AR-15 rifle and mul­ti­ple mag­a­zines.

    He was able to leave the school after the shoot­ing by blend­ing in with oth­er stu­dents who were try­ing to escape, but he was appre­hend­ed short­ly there­after. He has been answer­ing ques­tions from inves­ti­ga­tors work­ing on the case.

    Cruz was adopt­ed as an infant, but he had been liv­ing with the fam­i­ly of a class­mate after the sud­den death of his adop­tive moth­er late last year. His adop­tive father died in 2005.

    In an inter­view with ABC News’ George Stephanopou­los, an attor­ney for the fam­i­ly that had tak­en Cruz in for the past few months said Cruz was “depressed” fol­low­ing his mother’s death but he had been going to ther­a­py.

    The fam­i­ly is still “shocked,” he said, that Cruz would alleged­ly engage in mass vio­lence.

    “They indi­cat­ed they saw noth­ing like this com­ing,” Lewis said. “They nev­er saw any anger, no bad feel­ings about the school.”

    They were aware that Cruz was in pos­ses­sion of a mil­i­tary-style assault weapon, he said, which two law enforce­ment offi­cials tell ABC News was legal­ly pur­chased by Cruz with­in the past year from a fed­er­al­ly licensed deal­er. They insist­ed that it be locked in a safe.

    “He brought it into the home and it was in a locked gun safe,” Lewis said. “That was the con­di­tion when he came into their home that the gun was locked away.”

    Cruz’s for­mer class­mates, how­ev­er, were less sur­prised.

    A stu­dent who told ABC News that he par­tic­i­pat­ed in Junior ROTC with Cruz described him as a “psy­cho.” Cruz was a well-known weapons enthu­si­ast, the stu­dent said, who once tried to sell knives to a class­mate.

    Anoth­er stu­dent told ABC News that before Cruz was expelled from the school he was barred from car­ry­ing a back­pack on cam­pus. The class­mate said the rule was put in place after the school found bul­let cas­ings in his bag after a fight with anoth­er stu­dent.

    One stu­dent said Cruz even once threat­ened to “shoot up” the school.

    “About a year ago I saw him upset in the morn­ing,” stu­dent Brent Black told ABC News. “And I was like, ‘yo what’s wrong with you?’ And he was like ‘umm, don’t know.’ And I was like ‘what’s up with you?’ He’s like ‘I swear to God I’ll shoot up this school.’ And then I was like ‘watch what you’re say­ing around me,’ and then I just left him after that. He came up to me lat­er on the day and apol­o­gized for what he said.”

    On Thurs­day, the FBI issued a state­ment say­ing that it was alert­ed in 2017 to a threat on YouTube by some­one who said “I am going to be a school shoot­er.”

    “In Sep­tem­ber 2017, the FBI received infor­ma­tion about a com­ment made on a YouTube chan­nel. The com­ment said, “I’m going to be a pro­fes­sion­al school shoot­er.” No oth­er infor­ma­tion was includ­ed in the com­ment which would indi­cate a par­tic­u­lar time, loca­tion, or the true iden­ti­ty of the per­son who post­ed the com­ment. The FBI con­duct­ed data­base reviews and oth­er checks, but was unable to fur­ther iden­ti­fy the per­son who post­ed the com­ment.”

    Accord­ing to Broward Coun­ty Sher­iff Scott Israel, inves­ti­ga­tors have already found some “dis­turb­ing” con­tent on social media that could have pro­vid­ed warn­ing signs.

    “We have already begun to dis­sect his web­sites and things on social media that he was on, and some of the things that have come to mind are very, very dis­turb­ing,” Israel said.

    The pho­tos post­ed on an Insta­gram account law enforce­ment sources tell ABC News belongs to the sus­pect­ed shoot­er shows a young man dis­play­ing an arse­nal of weapons.

    ———-

    “Flori­da school shoot­ing sus­pect linked to white suprema­cist group: ADL” by Aaron Kater­sky, NOOR IBRAHIM, Josh Mar­golin, BRIAN EPSTEIN; ABC News; 02/15/2018

    “The ADL said ROF leader Jor­dan Jereb told them Cruz was asso­ci­at­ed with his group. Jereb, who is based in Tal­la­has­see, said Cruz was brought into the group by anoth­er mem­ber and had par­tic­i­pat­ed in one or more ROF train­ing exer­cis­es in the Tal­la­has­see area, the ADL said. Law enforce­ment offi­cials have not con­firmed the link.”

    So Cruz par­tic­i­pat­ed in Repub­lic of Flori­da (ROF) “train­ing exer­cis­es.” And what kind of train­ing might that be? This is a good time to recall the sto­ry of the Atom­waf­fen mem­ber who want­ed to attack a nuclear plant near Mia­mi for the pur­pose of caus­ing a melt­down, clear­ing out the east­ern seaboard, and build­ing a new Fourth Reich. And also a good time to recall the sto­ries about how Atom­waf­fen cre­ates ISIS-like videos of them train­ing in the woods and the Atom­waf­fen “train­ing camps” include instruc­tion in firearms, hand-to-hand com­bat, camp­ing and sur­vival skills.

    Is that the kind of “train­ing” Cruz was get­ting from the ROF? It’s a ques­tion that needs answer­ing giv­en that the leader of the “Repub­lic of Flori­da” ful­ly admits the group is seek­ing to cre­ate “white eth­nos­tate” in Flori­da while assure us all that his group is not a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion:

    ...
    ROF has most­ly young mem­bers in north and south Flori­da and describes itself as a “white civ­il rights orga­ni­za­tion fight­ing for white iden­ti­tar­i­an pol­i­tics” and seeks to cre­ate a “white eth­nos­tate” in Flori­da.

    ...

    Jereb told the ADL that ROF had not ordered Cruz to take any such action. He told ABC News he has not spo­ken to Cruz in “some time” but said “he knew he would get­ting this call.” He would not com­ment fur­ther but empha­sized that his group was not a ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion.
    ...

    And note that three for­mer class­mates told ABC News that Cruz “marched with the group fre­quent­ly and was often seen with Jereb”. So it sounds like this ROF group had notice­able pub­lic pres­ence of some sort in that area:

    ...
    Three for­mer school­mates of Cruz told ABC News that Cruz was part of the group. They claimed he marched with the group fre­quent­ly and was often seen with Jereb, who also con­firmed to ABC News that Cruz was, at least at one point, part of that group.
    ...

    So did the ROF active­ly train Cruz to be a “lone wolf” domes­tic ter­ror­ist? Well, it turns out that Jareb was ‘gab­bing’ about exact­ly this kind of sce­nario on “Gab”, a social media tool favored by the Alt Right, a few weeks before the attack. Jereb praised Nor­we­gian mass killer Anders Breivik as a “hero” and post­ed a dia­grammed strat­e­gy for using the Repub­lic of Flori­da mili­tia to cre­ate “lone wolf activists”:

    The Los Ange­les Times

    Attor­ney: Flori­da shoot­ing sus­pect is ‘sad, mourn­ful, remorse­ful’ and ‘a bro­ken human being’

    By Matt Pearce, Mol­ly Hen­nessy-Fiske and Jen­ny Jarvie
    Feb 15, 2018 | 1:25 PM
    PARKLAND, Fla.

    The expelled stu­dent accused of killing 17 peo­ple at his for­mer South Flori­da high school is “sad, mourn­ful, remorse­ful” and “he’s just a bro­ken human being,” one of his attor­neys told reporters Thurs­day.

    After a judge ordered Niko­las Cruz, 19, held with­out bond as he faces 17 counts of pre­med­i­tat­ed mur­der, defense attor­ney Melis­sa McNeil said that Cruz was “ful­ly aware of what is going on,” but had a trou­bled back­ground and lit­tle per­son­al sup­port in his life before the attack.

    Cruz appeared via video, in an orange jump­suit and with his head slight­ly bowed, for an ini­tial Broward Coun­ty court hear­ing Thurs­day.

    Mean­while, inves­ti­ga­tors were scour­ing Cruz’s social media posts for pos­si­ble motives or warn­ing signs of the attack. Sev­er­al social media accounts bear­ing Cruz’s name revealed a young man fas­ci­nat­ed by guns who appeared to sig­nal his inten­tions to attack a school long before the event.

    Nine months ago, a YouTube user with the han­dle “niko­las cruz” post­ed a com­ment on a Dis­cov­ery UK doc­u­men­tary about the gun­man in the 1966 Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas shoot­ing that read, “I am going to what he did.”

    Oth­er past com­ments by YouTube users with Cruz’s name report­ed­ly includ­ed one remark in Sep­tem­ber, say­ing: “Im going to be a pro­fes­sion­al school shoot­er.” At a news brief­ing in Flori­da, Robert Lasky, the FBI spe­cial agent in charge, con­firmed that the FBI had inves­ti­gat­ed that com­ment. But he said the agency could­n’t iden­ti­fy the per­son in ques­tion.

    In anoth­er post on Insta­gram, where he post­ed pho­tos of him­self in masks and with guns, Cruz wrote anti-Mus­lim slurs and appar­ent­ly mocked the Islam­ic phrase “Allahu Akbar,” which means God is great­est.

    Con­fu­sion also swirled after the leader of a white nation­al­ist mili­tia said that Cruz had trained with his armed group, a claim that drew wide atten­tion but could not be imme­di­ate­ly ver­i­fied.

    The leader of the Repub­lic of Flori­da mili­tia, Jor­dan Jereb, told researchers at the Anti-Defama­tion League that Cruz had been “brought up” into the group by one of its mem­bers, the ADL said in a blog post. ABC News also claimed to have spo­ken to three peo­ple who ver­i­fied Cruz’s mem­ber­ship, but some white nation­al­ists expressed con­cern that the news out­let may have been tar­get­ed by a coor­di­nat­ed hoax.

    The Repub­lic of Flori­da calls itself “a white civ­il rights orga­ni­za­tion fight­ing for white iden­ti­tar­i­an pol­i­tics” on its web­site, adding that its “cur­rent short-term goals are to occu­py urban areas to recruit sub­ur­ban young whites” in pur­suit of “the ulti­mate cre­ation of a white eth­nos­tate.”

    A train­ing video the group post­ed online shows mem­bers prac­tic­ing mil­i­tary maneu­vers in cam­ou­flage cloth­ing and salut­ing each oth­er, along with music with the lyric: “They call me Nazi / and I’m proud of it.”

    In the weeks before the attack, on Gab, a social media net­work some­times used by white nation­al­ists, Jereb had recent­ly praised Nor­we­gian mass killer Anders Breivik as a “hero.” He also post­ed a dia­grammed strat­e­gy for using the Repub­lic of Flori­da mili­tia to cre­ate “lone wolf activists.”

    Jereb lat­er told the Asso­ci­at­ed Press that he did­n’t know Cruz per­son­al­ly and that the group had no knowl­edge of his plans for the vio­lent attack. “He act­ed on his own behalf of what he just did, and he’s sole­ly respon­si­ble for what he just did,” Jereb said.

    ...

    ———–

    “Attor­ney: Flori­da shoot­ing sus­pect is ‘sad, mourn­ful, remorse­ful’ and ‘a bro­ken human being’ ” by Matt Pearce, Mol­ly Hen­nessy-Fiske and Jen­ny Jarvie; The Los Ange­les Times; 02/15/2018

    “In the weeks before the attack, on Gab, a social media net­work some­times used by white nation­al­ists, Jereb had recent­ly praised Nor­we­gian mass killer Anders Breivik as a “hero.” He also post­ed a dia­grammed strat­e­gy for using the Repub­lic of Flori­da mili­tia to cre­ate “lone wolf activists.”

    Prais­ing Breivik as a hero and dia­gram­ming how the Repub­lic of Flori­da can cre­ate “lone wolf activists.” That sure sounds like this attack was exact­ly what the ROF was try­ing to achieve. Espe­cial­ly giv­en the train­ing video fo the group show­ing mem­bers prac­tic­ing mil­i­tary maneu­vers in cam­ou­flage cloth­ing and salut­ing each oth­er while Nazi music plays in the back­ground:

    ...
    A train­ing video the group post­ed online shows mem­bers prac­tic­ing mil­i­tary maneu­vers in cam­ou­flage cloth­ing and salut­ing each oth­er, along with music with the lyric: “They call me Nazi / and I’m proud of it.”

    ...

    Jereb lat­er told the Asso­ci­at­ed Press that he did­n’t know Cruz per­son­al­ly and that the group had no knowl­edge of his plans for the vio­lent attack. “He act­ed on his own behalf of what he just did, and he’s sole­ly respon­si­ble for what he just did,” Jereb said.
    ...

    And yet Jareb claims he did­n’t know Cruz per­son­al­ly (the three school­mates in the above arti­cle would beg to dif­fer) and that his group had no idea this attack was coming...this from the guy who just post­ed about cre­at­ing “lone wolf activists.”

    All in all, if this group was­n’t an exten­sion of Atom­waf­fen, they’re pret­ty clear­ly close allies.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 15, 2018, 3:28 pm
  2. @Pterrafractyl–

    Both of your most recent com­ments are char­ac­ter­is­ti­cal­ly impor­tant and under­score a key point I’ve been mak­ing about Cit­i­zen Green­wald.

    His asso­ci­a­tion with Aueren­heimer appears much more than cypherpunk/libertarian.

    Green­wald ran legal inter­fer­ence for the “lone wolf/leaderless resis­tance strat­e­gy,” free­ing advo­cates of this type of may­hem from civ­il lia­bil­i­ty.

    But for Green­wald’s efforts, the fam­i­lies of the vic­tims and sur­viv­ing vic­tims them­selves might have been able to sue Jareb and the ROF.

    Keep up the great work,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | February 15, 2018, 3:54 pm
  3. This AP Arti­cle, print­ed in the Dai­ley Mail, 02/16/2018. It talks about how a coun­try with lib­er­al Euthana­sia laws is strat­ing to abuse the pro­tec­tions and killing unwill­ing victrims with­out fol­low­ing the pro­ce­dures and pro­tec­tions. It shows how the abus­es can become com­mon­place and insti­tu­tion­al­ized, once the slip­per slope begins to dimin­ish the val­ue of life or put a price on it.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5399059/Death-dementia-patient-stirs-Belgium-euthanasia-fears.html#ixzz57iNADtUU

    Out­rage as demen­tia patient who nev­er asked to die is euth­a­nized at request of fam­i­ly in Bel­gium

    Patient, whose iden­ti­ty was not dis­closed, was euth­a­nized at the fam­i­ly’s request
    Demen­tia suf­fer­er in Bel­gium ‘lacked the men­tal capac­i­ty to ask for euthana­sia’
    Some experts say the case as doc­u­ment­ed in the let­ter amounts to mur­der
    Case has sparked anger in coun­try with some of the world’s most lib­er­al euthana­sia laws

    By Asso­ci­at­ed Press
    PUBLISHED: 03:48 EST, 16 Feb­ru­ary 2018 | UPDATED: 06:30 EST, 16 Feb­ru­ary 2018

    A row has bro­ken out in Bel­gium after a demen­tia patient who nev­er asked to die was euth­a­nized at the fam­i­ly’s request.

    The case is described in a let­ter writ­ten by a doc­tor who resigned from Bel­gium’s euthana­sia com­mis­sion in protest over the group’s actions on this and oth­er cas­es.

    It has raised con­cerns about weak over­sight in a coun­try with some of the world’s most lib­er­al euthana­sia laws.

    Some experts say the case as doc­u­ment­ed in the let­ter amounts to mur­der; the patient lacked the men­tal capac­i­ty to ask for euthana­sia and the request for the bedrid­den patient to be killed came from fam­i­ly mem­bers.

    The co-chairs of the com­mis­sion say the doc­tor mis­tak­en­ly report­ed the death as euthana­sia.

    Although euthana­sia has been legal in Bel­gium since 2002 and has over­whelm­ing pub­lic sup­port, crit­ics have raised con­cerns in recent months about cer­tain prac­tices, includ­ing how quick­ly some doc­tors approve requests to die from psy­chi­atric patients.

    The AP revealed a rift last year between Dr. Willem Dis­tel­mans, co-chair of the euthana­sia com­mis­sion, and Dr. Lieve Thien­pont, an advo­cate of euthana­sia for the men­tal­ly ill.

    Dis­tel­mans sug­gest­ed some of Thien­pon­t’s patients might have been killed with­out meet­ing all the legal require­ments. Prompt­ed by the AP’s report­ing, more than 360 doc­tors, aca­d­e­mics and oth­ers have signed a peti­tion call­ing for tighter con­trols on euthana­sia for psy­chi­atric patients.

    Euthana­sia — when doc­tors kill patients at their request — can be grant­ed in Bel­gium to peo­ple with both phys­i­cal and men­tal health ill­ness­es. The con­di­tion does not need to be fatal, but suf­fer­ing must be ‘unbear­able and untreat­able.’

    It can only be per­formed if spe­cif­ic cri­te­ria are ful­filled, includ­ing a ‘vol­un­tary, well-con­sid­ered and repeat­ed’ request from the per­son.

    But Bel­gium’s euthana­sia com­mis­sion rou­tine­ly vio­lates the law, accord­ing to a Sep­tem­ber let­ter of res­ig­na­tion writ­ten by Dr. Ludo Vanop­den­bosch, a neu­rol­o­gist, to senior par­ty lead­ers in the Bel­gian Par­lia­ment who appoint mem­bers of the group.

    The most strik­ing exam­ple took place at a meet­ing in ear­ly Sep­tem­ber, Vanop­den­bosch writes, when the group dis­cussed the case of a patient with severe demen­tia, who also had Parkin­son’s dis­ease. To demon­strate the patien­t’s lack of com­pe­tence, a video was played show­ing what Vanop­den­bosch char­ac­ter­ized as ‘a deeply dement­ed patient.’

    The patient, whose iden­ti­ty was not dis­closed, was euth­a­nized at the fam­i­ly’s request, accord­ing to Vanop­den­bosch’s let­ter. There was no record of any pri­or request for euthana­sia from the patient.

    After hours of debate, the com­mis­sion declined to refer the case to the pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor to inves­ti­gate if crim­i­nal charges were war­rant­ed.

    Vanop­den­bosch con­firmed the let­ter was gen­uine but would not com­ment fur­ther about the spe­cif­ic case details.

    The two co-chairs of the euthana­sia com­mis­sion, Dis­tel­mans and Gilles Geni­cot, a lawyer, said the doc­tor treat­ing the patient mis­tak­en­ly called the pro­ce­dure euthana­sia, and that he should have called it pal­lia­tive seda­tion instead. Pal­lia­tive seda­tion is the process of drug­ging patients near the end of life to relieve symp­toms, but it is not meant to end life.

    ‘This was not a case of ille­gal euthana­sia but rather a case of legit­i­mate end-of-life deci­sion improp­er­ly con­sid­ered by the physi­cian as euthana­sia,’ Geni­cot and Dis­tel­mans said in an email.

    Vanop­den­bosch, who is also a pal­lia­tive care spe­cial­ist, wrote that the doc­tor’s inten­tion was ‘to kill the patient’ and that ‘the means of alle­vi­at­ing the patien­t’s suf­fer­ing was dis­pro­por­tion­ate.’

    I don’t know anoth­er word oth­er than mur­der to describe this
    Psy­chi­atric direc­tor, Dr. An Haekens

    Though no one out­side the com­mis­sion has access to the case’s med­ical records — the group is not allowed by law to release that infor­ma­tion — some crit­ics were stunned by the details in Vanop­den­bosch’s let­ter.

    ‘It’s not euthana­sia because the patient did­n’t ask, so it’s the vol­un­tary tak­ing of a life,’ said Dr. An Haekens, psy­chi­atric direc­tor at the Alex­i­a­nen Psy­chi­atric Hos­pi­tal in Tienen, Bel­gium. ‘I don’t know anoth­er word oth­er than mur­der to describe this.’

    Kristof Van Ass­che, a pro­fes­sor of health law at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Antwerp, wrote in an email the com­mis­sion itself was­n’t break­ing the law because the group is not required to refer a case unless two-thirds of the group agree — even if the case ‘bla­tant­ly dis­re­gards’ cri­te­ria for euthana­sia.

    But with­out a request from the patient, the case ‘would nor­mal­ly con­sti­tute manslaugh­ter or mur­der,’ he wrote. ‘The main ques­tion is why this case was not deemed suf­fi­cient­ly prob­lem­at­ic’ to prompt the com­mis­sion to refer the case to pros­e­cu­tors.

    Vanop­den­bosch, who in the let­ter called him­self a ‘big believ­er’ in euthana­sia, cit­ed oth­er prob­lems with the com­mis­sion. He said that when he expressed con­cerns about poten­tial­ly prob­lem­at­ic cas­es, he was imme­di­ate­ly ‘silenced’ by oth­ers. And he added that because many of the doc­tors on the com­mis­sion are lead­ing euthana­sia prac­ti­tion­ers, they can pro­tect each oth­er from scruti­ny, and act with ‘impuni­ty.’

    Vanop­den­bosch wrote that when cas­es of euthana­sia are iden­ti­fied that don’t meet the legal cri­te­ria, they are not for­ward­ed to the pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor’s office as is required by law, but that the com­mis­sion itself acts as the court.

    In the 15 years since euthana­sia was legal­ized in Bel­gium, more than 10,000 peo­ple have been euth­a­nized, and just one of those cas­es has been referred to pros­e­cu­tors.

    Geni­cot and Dis­tel­mans said the group thor­ough­ly assess­es every euthana­sia case to be sure all legal con­di­tions have been met.

    ‘It can obvi­ous­ly occur that some debate emerges among mem­bers but our role is to make sure that the law is observed and cer­tain­ly not to tres­pass it,’ they said. They said it was ‘absolute­ly false’ that Vanop­den­bosch had been muz­zled and said they regret­ted his res­ig­na­tion.

    Posted by Mary Benton | February 20, 2018, 9:03 pm
  4. This arti­cle “Inside Atom­waf­fen As It Cel­e­brates a Mem­ber for Alleged­ly Killing a Gay Jew­ish Col­lege Stu­dent” was pub­lished by ProP­ub­li­ca. The writ­ers wereA.C. Thomp­son, Ali Win­ston, and Jake Han­ra­han, Feb. 23, 5 a.m. EST
    I
    Key Quotes from the arti­cle include:
    * Author­i­ties uncov­ered a pos­si­ble plot to blow up a nuclear facil­i­ty near Mia­mi.
    * Atom­waf­fen — the word means “nuclear weapons” in Ger­man — embraces Third Reich ide­ol­o­gy and
    * The group may have as many as 20 cells around the coun­try,
    * Mem­bers have dis­cussed using explo­sives to crip­ple pub­lic water sys­tems and destroy parts of the elec­tri­cal pow­er grid. One mem­ber even claimed to have obtained clas­si­fied maps of the pow­er grid in Cal­i­for­nia. Through­out the chats, Atom­waf­fen mem­bers laud Tim­o­thy McVeigh, the for­mer sol­dier who bombed the Alfred P. Mur­rah fed­er­al build­ing in Okla­homa City in 1995, killing 168, includ­ing numer­ous chil­dren. Charleston church shoot­er Dylann Roof and Anders Breivik, the Nor­we­gian extrem­ist who mas­sa­cred 77 peo­ple, also come in for praise.
    * Join­ing us means seri­ous ded­i­ca­tion not only to the Atom­waf­fen Divi­sion and its mem­bers, but to the goal of Total Aryan Vic­to­ry.
    * White Lib­er­a­tion Front com­posed of small armed squads that would “hide in wilder­ness areas,” mov­ing fre­quent­ly from loca­tion to loca­tion while strik­ing out in a string of “hit-and-run engage­ments.”
    * Atom­waf­fen — would-be Nazi guer­ril­las devot­ed to white rev­o­lu­tion in the U.S. — are “akin to cults
    * Atom­waf­fen held a three-day train­ing ses­sion — or “Hate Camp” in the group’s par­lance — deep in the Neva­da desert.
    * [I]n a dis­cus­sion on white nation­al­ism that occurred in a non-Atom­waf­fen chat room. “You would want to tar­get things like: Sub­sta­tions, water fil­tra­tion plants, etc.”
    * Hub­sky also dis­cussed blow­ing up nat­ur­al gas lines.
    * [T]he Nation­al Social­ist Under­ground, a Ger­man orga­ni­za­tion that car­ried out a mas­sive ter­ror spree between 2001 and 2011, rob­bing 14 banks, plant­i­ng bombs and mur­der­ing 10 peo­ple, most of them immi­grants. “The NSU was pret­ty cool,” Wood­ward wrote.
    * Atom­waf­fen actu­al­ly stood to ben­e­fit from the increased noto­ri­ety stem­ming from Woodward’s affil­i­a­tion with the neo-Nazi group and the Bern­stein mur­der.

    https://www.propublica.org/article/atomwaffen-division-inside-white-hate-group?utm_campaign=sprout&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_content=1519363029

    In a mat­ter of months, peo­ple asso­ci­at­ed with the group, includ­ing Wood­ward, have been charged in five mur­ders; anoth­er group mem­ber plead­ed guilty to pos­ses­sion of explo­sives after author­i­ties uncov­ered a pos­si­ble plot to blow up a nuclear facil­i­ty near Mia­mi.

    The group’s pro­pa­gan­da makes clear that Atom­waf­fen — the word means “nuclear weapons” in Ger­man — embraces Third Reich ide­ol­o­gy and preach­es hatred of minori­ties, gays and Jews. Atom­waf­fen pro­duces YouTube videos show­ing mem­bers fir­ing weapons and has filmed mem­bers burn­ing the U.S. Con­sti­tu­tion and set­ting fire to the Amer­i­can flag. But the orga­ni­za­tion, by and large, cloaks its oper­a­tions in secre­cy and bars mem­bers from speak­ing to the media.

    The group may have as many as 20 cells around the coun­try, small groups of inde­ter­mi­nate size in Texas, Vir­ginia, Wash­ing­ton, Neva­da and else­where. Mem­bers armed with assault rifles and oth­er guns have tak­en part in weapons train­ing in var­i­ous loca­tions over the last two years, includ­ing last month in the Neva­da desert near Death Val­ley.

    Mem­bers have dis­cussed using explo­sives to crip­ple pub­lic water sys­tems and destroy parts of the elec­tri­cal pow­er grid. One mem­ber even claimed to have obtained clas­si­fied maps of the pow­er grid in Cal­i­for­nia. Through­out the chats, Atom­waf­fen mem­bers laud Tim­o­thy McVeigh, the for­mer sol­dier who bombed the Alfred P. Mur­rah fed­er­al build­ing in Okla­homa City in 1995, killing 168, includ­ing numer­ous chil­dren. Charleston church shoot­er Dylann Roof and Anders Breivik, the Nor­we­gian extrem­ist who mas­sa­cred 77 peo­ple, also come in for praise.

    An inter­nal Atom­waf­fen doc­u­ment obtained by ProP­ub­li­ca shows mem­bers scat­tered across 23 states and Cana­da. The group’s largest chap­ters are based in Vir­ginia, Texas and Wash­ing­ton, accord­ing to a mes­sage post­ed in the chats by an Atom­waf­fen recruiter last sum­mer.

    “Each chap­ter oper­ates inde­pen­dent­ly,” wrote the recruiter. “We want men who are will­ing to be the boots on the ground. Join­ing us means seri­ous ded­i­ca­tion not only to the Atom­waf­fen Divi­sion and its mem­bers, but to the goal of Total Aryan Vic­to­ry.”

    Mason pro­posed the cre­ation of a White Lib­er­a­tion Front com­posed of small armed squads that would “hide in wilder­ness areas,” mov­ing fre­quent­ly from loca­tion to loca­tion while strik­ing out in a string of “hit-and-run engage­ments.” Mason based this pro­posed orga­ni­za­tion on the short-lived Nation­al Social­ist Lib­er­a­tion Front, a small splin­ter group of the Amer­i­can Nazi Par­ty that formed in 1969 and espoused the strate­gic use of polit­i­cal ter­ror­ism.

    The chat logs show that Den­ton and oth­er Atom­waf­fen fig­ures are in con­tact with Mason, who is 65 and is said to be liv­ing in Den­ver, Col­orado.

    “Now he’s got a fol­low­ing, which he didn’t have for the last 30 years,” Kaplan said. “He’s got some kids who’ve redis­cov­ered him.

    As Kaplan sees it, groups such as Atom­waf­fen — would-be Nazi guer­ril­las devot­ed to white rev­o­lu­tion in the U.S. — are “akin to cults,” and are pro­pelled by a qua­si-reli­gious faith that they will ulti­mate­ly pre­vail.

    The for­mer mem­ber said Den­ton envi­sions using this net­work of Atom­waf­fen com­pounds to launch attacks against tar­gets in the U.S.

    Late last month, Atom­waf­fen held a three-day train­ing ses­sion — or “Hate Camp” in the group’s par­lance — deep in the Neva­da desert. The event was orga­nized by an Atom­waf­fen leader, Michael Lloyd Hub­sky, who calls him­self Komis­sar, accord­ing to the chat logs.

    Hub­sky wrote in a Sep­tem­ber 2017 mes­sage post­ed in a dis­cus­sion on white nation­al­ism that occurred in a non-Atom­waf­fen chat room. “You would want to tar­get things like: Sub­sta­tions, water fil­tra­tion plants, etc.”

    Hub­sky wrote that he had “a map of the US pow­er grid.”

    Hub­sky also dis­cussed blow­ing up nat­ur­al gas lines. ...he had retained a lawyer.

    Mem­bers would now be required to join Front Sight, a “pri­vate com­bat train­ing facil­i­ty” out­side of Las Vegas in the small desert town of Pahrump. Front Sight, the memo said, could pro­vide class­es in “Uzi and full auto M16 com­bat, as well as knife fight­ing, hand to hand com­bat,” and instruc­tion in climb­ing and rap­pelling.

    That ori­en­ta­tion attract­ed him to out­law groups like the Nation­al Social­ist Under­ground, a Ger­man orga­ni­za­tion that car­ried out a mas­sive ter­ror spree between 2001 and 2011, rob­bing 14 banks, plant­i­ng bombs and mur­der­ing 10 peo­ple, most of them immi­grants. “The NSU was pret­ty cool,” Wood­ward wrote.

    ProP­ub­li­ca sought com­ment on the chats from Woodward’s lawyer, Edward Munoz, but did not get a response.

    Fer­nan­dez, who used the alias Wehrwolf, believed that Atom­waf­fen actu­al­ly stood to ben­e­fit from the increased noto­ri­ety stem­ming from Woodward’s affil­i­a­tion with the neo-Nazi group and the Bern­stein mur­der.

    “We’re only going to inspire more ‘copy­cat crimes’ in the name of AWD. All we have to do is spread our image and our pro­pa­gan­da,” Fer­nan­dez wrote on Jan. 30.

    Posted by Mary Benton | February 26, 2018, 8:54 pm
  5. This arti­cle is about miss­ing plu­to­ni­um that has not been dis­closed to the pub­lic.

    https://www.publicintegrity.org/2018/07/16/21834/plutonium-missing-government-says-nothing

    Plu­to­ni­um is miss­ing, but the gov­ern­ment says noth­ing
    Loss­es of civil­ian nuclear mate­r­i­al are usu­al­ly dis­closed but when the gov­ern­ment los­es nuclear bomb ingre­di­ents it stays mum
    By Patrick Mal­on­eR. Jef­frey Smith 5:55 am, July 16, 2018 Updat­ed: 3:15 pm, July 20, 2018

    Plu­to­ni­um, radioac­tive cesium and sev­er­al radi­a­tion detec­tors were stolen from a rental car parked in this lot out­side of a San Anto­nio hotel.

    Two secu­ri­ty experts from the Depart­ment of Energy’s Ida­ho Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry drove to San Anto­nio, Texas, in March 2017 with a sen­si­tive mis­sion: to retrieve dan­ger­ous nuclear mate­ri­als from a non­prof­it research lab there.

    Their task, accord­ing to doc­u­ments and inter­views, was to ensure that the radioac­tive mate­ri­als did not fall into the wrong hands on the way back to Ida­ho, where the gov­ern­ment main­tains a stock­pile of nuclear explo­sive mate­ri­als for the mil­i­tary and oth­ers.

    To ensure they got the right items, the spe­cial­ists from Ida­ho brought radi­a­tion detec­tors and small sam­ples of dan­ger­ous mate­ri­als to cal­i­brate them: specif­i­cal­ly, a plas­tic-cov­ered disk of plu­to­ni­um, a mate­r­i­al that can be used to fuel nuclear weapons, and anoth­er of cesium, a high­ly radioac­tive iso­tope that could poten­tial­ly be used in a so-called “dirty” radioac­tive bomb.

    But when they stopped at a Mar­riott hotel just off High­way 410, in a high-crime neigh­bor­hood filled with temp agen­cies and ranch homes, they left those sen­sors on the back seat of their rent­ed Ford Expe­di­tion. When they awoke the next morn­ing, the win­dow had been smashed and the spe­cial valis­es hold­ing these sen­sors and nuclear mate­ri­als had van­ished.

    More than a year lat­er, state and fed­er­al offi­cials don’t know where the plu­to­ni­um – one of the most valu­able and dan­ger­ous sub­stances on earth – is. Nor has the cesium been recov­ered.

    No pub­lic announce­ment of the March 21 inci­dent has been made by either the San Anto­nio police or by the FBI, which the police con­sult­ed by tele­phone. When asked, offi­cials at the lab and in San Anto­nio declined to say exact­ly how much plu­to­ni­um and cesium were miss­ing. But Ida­ho lab spokes­woman Sarah Neu­mann said the plu­to­ni­um in par­tic­u­lar wasn’t enough to be fash­ioned into a nuclear bomb.

    It is nonethe­less now part of a much larg­er amount of plu­to­ni­um that over the years has gone qui­et­ly miss­ing from stock­piles owned by the U.S. mil­i­tary, often with­out any pub­lic notice.

    Unlike civil­ian stocks, which are close­ly mon­i­tored by the Nuclear Reg­u­la­to­ry Com­mis­sion and open­ly reg­u­lat­ed – with reports of thefts or dis­ap­pear­ances sent to an inter­na­tion­al agency in Vien­na — the han­dling of mil­i­tary stocks tend­ed by the Depart­ment of Ener­gy is much less trans­par­ent.

    The Ener­gy Depart­ment, which declined com­ment for this sto­ry, doesn’t talk about instances of lost and stolen nuclear mate­r­i­al pro­duced for the mil­i­tary. It also has been less will­ing than the com­mis­sion to pun­ish its con­trac­tors when they lose track of such mate­r­i­al, sev­er­al inci­dents sug­gest.

    That non­trans­par­ent approach doesn’t match the government’s rhetoric.

    Pro­tect­ing bomb-usable mate­ri­als, like the plu­to­ni­um that went miss­ing in San Anto­nio, “is an over­rid­ing nation­al pri­or­i­ty,” Pres­i­dent Obama’s press office said in a fact sheet dis­trib­uted dur­ing the fourth and final Nuclear Secu­ri­ty Sum­mit that he host­ed in late March 2016, a Wash­ing­ton event attend­ed by more than 50 heads of state.

    The admin­is­tra­tion boast­ed in the dec­la­ra­tion that America’s secu­ri­ty stan­dards for mil­i­tary-grade mate­ri­als “meet or exceed the rec­om­men­da­tions for civil­ian nuclear mate­ri­als” made by the Vien­na-based Inter­na­tion­al Atom­ic Ener­gy Agency. It also tout­ed the strength of its track­ing of such mate­ri­als, which it said would “ensure time­ly detec­tion and inves­ti­ga­tion of anom­alies, and deter insid­er theft/diversion.”

    The Unit­ed States also boast­ed about its trans­paren­cy, explain­ing that it “has pub­lished stud­ies and reviews of nuclear secu­ri­ty inci­dents, includ­ing lessons learned and cor­rec­tive actions tak­en.”

    Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, speak­ing to a mil­i­tary audi­ence at Fort Myer in Arling­ton, Vir­ginia, on Aug. 21, 2017, par­rot­ed the Oba­ma administration’s refrain that “we must pre­vent nuclear weapons and mate­ri­als from com­ing into the hands of ter­ror­ists and being used against us, or any­where in the world for that mat­ter.”

    The Trump administration’s Nuclear Pos­ture Review, released in Feb­ru­ary, sim­i­lar­ly empha­sized the threat posed by nuclear ter­ror­ism, and assert­ed that “pre­vent­ing the illic­it acqui­si­tion of a nuclear weapon, nuclear mate­ri­als, or relat­ed tech­nol­o­gy and exper­tise by a vio­lent extrem­ist orga­ni­za­tion is a sig­nif­i­cant U.S. nation­al secu­ri­ty pri­or­i­ty.”

    But America’s record of safe­guard­ing such mate­ri­als isn’t ster­ling. Gaps between the amount of plu­to­ni­um that nuclear weapons com­pa­nies have pro­duced and the amount that the gov­ern­ment can actu­al­ly locate occur fre­quent­ly enough for offi­cials to have cre­at­ed an acronym for it – MUF, mean­ing “mate­r­i­al unac­count­ed for.”

    Just a cat or a brick
    The gaps have shown up at mul­ti­ple nodes in the pro­duc­tion and deploy­ment cycle for nuclear arms: at fac­to­ries where plu­to­ni­um and high­ly-enriched ura­ni­um have been made, at stor­age sites where the mate­ri­als are held in reserve, at research cen­ters where the mate­ri­als are loaned for study, at waste sites where they are dis­posed, and dur­ing tran­sit between many of these facil­i­ties.

    Pro­duc­tion of the bomb mate­ri­als was so fran­tic dur­ing the Cold War that a total of rough­ly six tons of the mate­r­i­al – enough to fuel hun­dreds of nuclear explo­sives – has been declared as MUF by the gov­ern­ment, with most of it pre­sumed to have been trapped in fac­to­ry pipes, fil­ters, and machines, or improp­er­ly logged in paper­work. (That fig­ure, which dates from 2012, has not been pub­licly updat­ed.)

    For near­ly 40 years, “DOE offi­cials and their pre­de­ces­sors … did not have an effec­tive capa­bil­i­ty with­in their account­ing sys­tems to know if sig­nif­i­cant quan­ti­ties of” bomb-grade ura­ni­um were being divert­ed to illic­it use, accord­ing to Charles Fer­gu­son, a physi­cist who is now direc­tor of the Nuclear and Radi­a­tion Stud­ies Board at the Nation­al Acad­e­mies of Sci­ences.

    The Gov­ern­ment Account­abil­i­ty Office declared in Sept. 2015 that the depart­ment also had nev­er con­duct­ed an author­i­ta­tive inven­to­ry of the loca­tion and quan­ti­ty of plu­to­ni­um loaned by the Unit­ed States to oth­er nations, and that eleven for­eign sites with U.S.-made bomb-grade ura­ni­um had not been vis­it­ed by U.S. inspec­tors in the pre­vi­ous 20 years. Many sites inspect­ed before 2010 lacked rig­or­ous secu­ri­ty sys­tems, the GAO warned.

    Asked for com­ment, Nation­al Nuclear Secu­ri­ty Admin­is­tra­tion spokesman Greg Wolfe said in an email on June 29 that his agency is still work­ing with DOE on that inven­to­ry, three years lat­er. He did not say when it would be fin­ished.

    Regard­ing trans­fers to aca­d­e­m­ic researchers, gov­ern­ment agen­cies, or com­mer­cial firms with­in the Unit­ed States, the Ener­gy Department’s inspec­tor gen­er­al con­clud­ed in 2009 –the most recent pub­lic account­ing – that at least a pound of plu­to­ni­um and 45 pounds of high­ly-enriched ura­ni­um loaned from mil­i­tary stocks had been offi­cial­ly list­ed until 2004 as secure­ly stored, when in fact it was miss­ing.

    As lit­tle as nine pounds of high­ly-enriched ura­ni­um (the weight of an aver­age cat) or 7 pounds of plu­to­ni­um (the weight of a brick) can pro­duce a func­tion­ing nuclear war­head, accord­ing to Hans Kris­tensen, direc­tor of the Nuclear Infor­ma­tion Project at the Fed­er­a­tion of Amer­i­can Sci­en­tists. So the miss­ing amount in this cat­e­go­ry alone — the MUF stem­ming from loans to researchers from mil­i­tary stocks — is still enough to pro­duce at least five nuclear bombs com­pa­ra­ble to those that oblit­er­at­ed Hiroshi­ma and Nagasa­ki, experts say. Plu­to­ni­um in any quan­ti­ty is also high­ly car­cino­genic.

    The amount, respec­tive­ly, of high­ly-enriched ura­ni­um and plu­to­ni­um need­ed to make a nuclear weapons.

    Nuclear Threat Ini­tia­tive

    “Con­sid­er­ing the poten­tial health risks asso­ci­at­ed with these mate­ri­als and the poten­tial for mis­use should they fall into the wrong hands, the quan­ti­ties writ­ten off were sig­nif­i­cant,” the inspec­tor general’s report stat­ed. It also harsh­ly crit­i­cized the Ener­gy Depart­ment for fail­ing to cor­rect dozens of poor account­ing and mon­i­tor­ing prac­tices flagged in a probe of the prob­lem eight years earlier.The Ener­gy Depart­ment, the inspec­tor gen­er­al said in its report, still “may be unable to detect lost or stolen mate­r­i­al.” No inde­pen­dent probe of the department’s capa­bil­i­ties has been con­duct­ed since then. When asked whether the GAO con­clu­sions were still valid, a spokesman for the depart­ment did not respond.

    Rus­sians know even less about their own miss­ing bomb mate­ri­als

    The Unit­ed States is not alone in its uncer­tain­ty about the loca­tion of bomb-usable mate­ri­als. U.S. offi­cials who have stud­ied Russia’s pro­duc­tion prac­tices say its account­ing sys­tem has many of the short­com­ings that America’s had, if not more, part­ly because the Russ­ian fac­to­ry log­books were rou­tine­ly jig­gered to match offi­cial state pro­duc­tion quo­tas.

    Rus­sia hasn’t tried to look more deeply into these records to assess the actu­al quan­ti­ties of mate­r­i­al it pro­duced and can locate now, and thus the size of its own MUF. More than a decade ago, accord­ing to U.S. experts, some of its top physi­cists turned aside efforts by spe­cial­ists in the Unit­ed States to col­lab­o­rate on a study of it. The U.S. Nation­al Intel­li­gence Coun­cil has repeat­ed­ly said that Russ­ian account­ing was so poor that unde­tect­ed smug­gling like­ly occurred.

    The details of how or why U.S. nuclear mate­ri­als go miss­ing from mil­i­tary stocks – or the quan­ti­ty of such mate­ri­als involved in indi­vid­ual inci­dents — are not dis­closed by the gov­ern­ment. But the Nuclear Reg­u­la­to­ry Com­mis­sion annu­al­ly pub­lish­es a tal­ly of lost, miss­ing or stolen radioac­tive mate­r­i­al from civil­ian nuclear stocks (those typ­i­cal­ly used for oil and gas explo­ration, med­ical pur­pos­es, aca­d­e­m­ic research and nuclear pow­er).

    In a Jan. 2018 report, for exam­ple, the NRC stat­ed dur­ing the pre­vi­ous year, eight such items had gone miss­ing and two had not been recov­ered. None were of the type or quan­ti­ty use­able in a nuclear weapon. When­ev­er addi­tion­al mate­r­i­al goes miss­ing, the NRC dis­clos­es it pub­licly.

    The Nuclear Threat Ini­tia­tive, a non­prof­it Wash­ing­ton group that wants to tight­en the secu­ri­ty of nuclear mate­ri­als around the globe, not­ed in a 2015 report that the civil­ian stocks sub­ject to the most trans­par­ent and uni­form mon­i­tor­ing amount to just 17 per­cent of all those held by gov­ern­ments. “The absence of any inter­na­tion­al stan­dards” for secur­ing and mon­i­tor­ing the remain­ing 83 per­cent in mil­i­tary hands is dan­ger­ous, the group said.

    Con­cern that nuclear mate­ri­als are being sought around the world to delib­er­ate­ly cause harm is real, accord­ing to the Inter­na­tion­al Atom­ic Ener­gy Agency. In a 2017 report, the inter­na­tion­al agency iden­ti­fied 270 times between 1993 and 2016 when indi­vid­u­als acquired nuclear mate­ri­als “for traf­fick­ing or mali­cious use.” Twelve involved high­ly-enriched ura­ni­um, and two tar­get­ed plu­to­ni­um. Some of these cas­es were “more orga­nized, bet­ter resourced and … involved per­pe­tra­tors with a track record in traf­fick­ing nuclear/radioactive mate­r­i­al,” the report said.

    Inci­dents relat­ed to traf­fick­ing or mali­cious use, 1993–2016

    Over the past quar­ter cen­tu­ry the Inter­na­tion­al Atom­ic Ener­gy Agency, which tracks and mon­i­tors bomb-use­able mate­r­i­al across the globe, uncov­ered 270 times when some­one tried or suc­ceed­ed to get such mate­ri­als with ‘mali­cious intent.’ As of 2016, the last year of avail­able data, these nefar­i­ous activ­i­ties con­sti­tute 9 per­cent of all inci­dents tracked by the agency. The IAEA reports the inci­dents include a range of quan­ti­ties and the prob­lem per­sists even today.

    Num­ber of inci­dents
    1994
    1996
    1998
    2000
    2002
    2004
    2006
    2008
    2010
    2012
    2014
    2016
    0
    5
    10
    15
    20
    25
    Inter­na­tion­al Atom­ic Ener­gy Agency

    Slop­pi­ness in tran­sit
    Ensur­ing appro­pri­ate pro­tec­tions are in place for mil­i­tary-relat­ed nuclear mate­ri­als has iron­i­cal­ly proven a lot hard­er than imple­ment­ing tight secu­ri­ty for civil­ian nuclear mate­ri­als, said Miles Pom­per, a senior research asso­ciate at the James Mar­tin Cen­ter for Non­pro­lif­er­a­tion Stud­ies in Mon­terey, Cal­i­for­nia, who par­tic­i­pat­ed in the NTI study. “Polit­i­cal­ly and diplo­mat­i­cal­ly, it’s a lot more dif­fi­cult,” Pom­per said. “We’re not hav­ing sig­nif­i­cant con­ver­sa­tions on this issue.”

    In the San Anto­nio inci­dent, the San Anto­nio police were dumb­found­ed that the experts from Ida­ho did not take more pre­cau­tions. They “should have nev­er left a sen­si­tive instru­ment like this unat­tend­ed in a vehi­cle,” said Car­los Ortiz, spokesman for the San Anto­nio Police Depart­ment.

    Radioac­tive mate­r­i­al recov­er­ies

    The per­son­nel from Ida­ho Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry whose gear was stolen were part of the Off-Site Radioac­tive Source Recov­ery Pro­gram based at Los Alam­os Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry in New Mex­i­co, with an annu­al bud­get of about $17 mil­lion. Over­seen by the Nation­al Nuclear Secu­ri­ty Admin­is­tra­tion, the pro­gram has scooped up more than 38,000 bits of radioac­tive mate­r­i­al loaned to research cen­ters, hos­pi­tals and aca­d­e­m­ic insti­tu­tions since 1999 – aver­ag­ing 70 such mis­sions a year. No state has returned more bor­rowed nuclear mate­ri­als than Texas, where the recov­ery pro­gram has col­lect­ed 8,566 items.

    Details of the inci­dent were pieced togeth­er by the Cen­ter for Pub­lic Integri­ty from a police report obtained under a Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act request after a brief descrip­tion of the inci­dent appeared in an inter­nal Ener­gy Depart­ment report.

    While the Ida­ho Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry depict­ed the site of the theft – a Mar­riott hotel park­ing lot — in a report to the Ener­gy Depart­ment as a secure spot with high walls on two sides, a clear line of sight to the hotel’s front door, and patrolling guards, San Anto­nio police sta­tis­tics show that theft was just one of 87 at the Mar­riott hotel or its park­ing lot in 2016 and 2017.

    Ortiz said the depart­ment called an FBI liai­son to a joint ter­ror­ism task­force, who advised them to take as many fin­ger­prints in the car as pos­si­ble. But detec­tives found no use­able prints, no worth­while sur­veil­lance video of the crime, and no wit­ness­es. A check of local pawn shops – to see if some­one had tried to sell the sen­sors – turned up noth­ing.

    One of the Ida­ho Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry spe­cial­ists told them, Ortiz said, “that it wasn’t an impor­tant or dan­ger­ous amount” of plu­to­ni­um. So they closed the inves­ti­ga­tion to avoid “chas­ing a ghost,” Ortiz said.

    Ida­ho Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry spokes­woman Sarah Neu­mann respond­ed that “from INL’s per­spec­tive, the theft was tak­en seri­ous­ly” and prop­er­ly report­ed to the police and the Ener­gy Depart­ment. But she declined to say if those involved faced any inter­nal con­se­quences. “There is lit­tle or no dan­ger from these sources being in the pub­lic domain,” she said.

    Lab doc­u­ments state that a month after the inci­dent, one of the spe­cial­ists charged with safe­guard­ing the equip­ment in San Anto­nio was giv­en a “Vision Award” by her col­leagues. “Their achieve­ments, and those of their col­leagues at the lab­o­ra­to­ry, are the rea­sons our fel­low cit­i­zens look to INL to resolve the nation’s big ener­gy and secu­ri­ty chal­lenges,” Mark Peters, the lab direc­tor, said in an April 21, 2017, news release.

    At the end of the fis­cal year 2017, the Ener­gy Depart­ment award­ed the lab con­trac­tor that employed the guards assigned to pick up the nuclear mate­r­i­al, Bat­telle Ener­gy Alliance LLC, an “A” grade and described their over­all per­for­mance as “excel­lent.” It fur­ther award­ed them 97 per­cent of their avail­able bonus­es, pro­vid­ing $15.5 mil­lion in prof­it, and in Decem­ber 2017 the Depart­ment of Ener­gy announced a five-year exten­sion of Battelle’s con­tract to oper­ate Ida­ho Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry, giv­ing the con­trac­tor the job until at least 2024.

    The image on the left dep­tics plu­to­ni­um sam­ples, com­pa­ra­ble in size to one that’s been miss­ing from Ida­ho State Uni­ver­si­ty for at least 14 years, beside a U.S. quar­ter. On the right, a Lud­lum 3030 radi­a­tion meter like the one shown here was stolen from Ida­ho Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry employ­ees along with oth­er detec­tors and sam­ples of plu­to­ni­um and cesium in March 2017.
    Nuclear Reg­u­la­to­ry Com­mis­sion / Depart­ment of Ener­gy
    The NRC, in con­trast, has imposed six finan­cial penal­ties on civil­ian insti­tu­tions that lost or mis­han­dled nuclear mate­ri­als in the past year and a half alone (it has imposed and then waived penal­ties on anoth­er 20 insti­tu­tions dur­ing this peri­od). The largest penal­ty imposed was $22,500 against Qal-Tek Asso­ciates, a radi­a­tion detec­tor man­u­fac­tur­er in Ida­ho Falls, for fail­ing to “con­tain” radioac­tive mate­ri­als dur­ing their trans­port, accord­ing to a pub­lished notice of the fine.

    The most recent NRC fine was imposed this May against Ida­ho State Uni­ver­si­ty for its inabil­i­ty to find a quar­ter-sized piece of plu­to­ni­um in a radi­a­tion meter that it had bor­rowed from Ida­ho Nation­al Lab­o­ra­to­ry in 1991. An Ida­ho State Uni­ver­si­ty employ­ee con­duct­ing an inven­to­ry of such mate­ri­als last Octo­ber expect­ed to find 14 of the Plu­to­ni­um-239 pieces, each weigh­ing less than four-hun­dredths of an ounce, but found just 13. The inspec­tor report­ed this dis­crep­an­cy to the university’s radi­a­tion safe­ty offi­cer, who in turn report­ed it to the NRC.

    The NRC imposed fines total­ing $8,500 for the college’s mis­han­dling of the plu­to­ni­um, and the years-long delay in report­ing it miss­ing. Ida­ho State Uni­ver­si­ty paid the fines June 6, accord­ing to Cor­nelis Van der Schyf, the university’s vice pres­i­dent for research and dean of the grad­u­ate school. The miss­ing plutonium’s where­abouts remain unknown.

    (Update: July 20, 2018, 1:30 pm: In a let­ter to Ener­gy Sec­re­tary Rick Per­ry fol­low­ing pub­li­ca­tion of this arti­cle, Rep. Joaquin Cas­tro (D‑Tex.), who rep­re­sents San Anto­nio, expressed con­cern about the miss­ing radioac­tive mate­ri­als and asked Per­ry to explain why the pub­lic was not noti­fied when the theft occurred. He also asked Per­ry to detail any oth­er such inci­dents in Texas over the past five years, asked for a per­son­al brief­ing on the prob­lem, and said he hopes Per­ry takes seri­ous­ly “a cul­ture of nuclear secu­ri­ty and pru­dence.”)

    Posted by Mary Benton | August 8, 2018, 8:03 pm

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