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December 16, 2009

FBI-linked white supremacist walks

Great, the white supremacist radio host who threatened the life of reporter Max Blumenthal and others is a free man. Turns out, the FBI hired him to do that sort of thing. (Link fixed)


Wow, how do I get a job like that?

All this time I've been working steadily at building a career when I could have the executive branch subsidize my tendencies towards vitriol and violence.

A link to this story, please?

Turner also suggested the lynching of Rep. Cynthia McKinney, stating it would send a message to other blacks that "white people are tired of your bull***t, behave or die".

Apparently, he was an agent provocateur, hired by the FBI to infiltrate right-wing groups.

According to the Wall Street Journal, a retrial is scheduled for March 2010:

Jury Hangs in Hal Turner Case; Retrial Scheduled for March
December 8, 2009, 10:19 AM ET

A good background article on Turner and his strained links to the FBI is in the Bergen County (NJ) Record:

Records show feds used ultra-right radio host for years
Sunday, November 29, 2009

As much as the internet has changed how activist groups of all types operate, monitoring right-wing radio is still a great way to know what's happening with anti-choice groups, getting news of legal demonstrations like ‘life chains’ (and getting notice to plan pro-choice counterprotests), getting some idea of their legislative priorities, etc, which may be differently emphasized in communications they assume are going only to their target audience rather than to the general public.

Needless to say in many cases there's some monitoring going on by the government or law enforcement. You can hear that still frequently in local right-wing talk shows where if a caller goes out of line and advocates violence (like Hal Turner did), the host will call them out and say that's not allowed, and subsequent callers will back up the host, and make reference to how the out-of-line statement is against the law, either in a civil or religious sense of "law". It’s interesting when that happens, though, as even low-budget local radio stations and (especially) networks who broadcast over the airwaves need to have a delay to prevent obscenities from going on the air, so when threats or references to threats are broadcast it’s probably intentional that they’re not censored. It’s as if there’s a reason to allow them to be aired, and then denounced, and maybe the reaction to the statement and the denunciation is worth monitoring to get an idea of what public sentiment is of such statements.

Shows like Turner's are the exception, the vast majority of right-wing talk radio does not explicitly advocate violence nor tolerate callers who do. They may come very close, and (like among the gun rights-oriented shows and hosts, thankfully a different species entirely from anti-choice programming) arguably set the stage for people to do things like carry arms publically, which is verging on an incitement to violence. There’s a long history though of collaboration between government agencies and right-wing groups to monitor more extreme elements, who in many cases aren’t so much political threats as they are mentally unstable and more likely to act out violently against non-governmental targets than anyone connected with the government. There’s numerous examples of this sort of collaboration that can be found in history between the Great Depression and the civil rights movement in various state commissions, like the Florida Legislative Investigation Committee, so it’s not surprising that there would be some link between someone like Turner and investigation of anti-government, post-911 extremists.

It looks offhand like Turner went “over the edge” and maybe wanted out of his radio show and online blog, and made the statements he did about politicians and judges knowing that the plug would be pulled, and this gave him the cleanest break possible, more than if he just shut his operation down or claimed a “change of heart”. He’s not a nice man, and maybe he does believe some of what he’s said on the air and on his blog, but he’d have to be really crazy to believe it all, which doesn’t seem to be the case.

Based on your post, I thought his association with the FBI played a role in the jury's failure to convict him, but according to the New York Times story Blumenthal linked to, most of the jury apparently did not think that Turner's comments (''Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges must die. Their blood will replenish the tree of liberty.'') constituted a threat.

I felt the need to share with you the story of Jason Bromby, a 28-year-old British diplomat who has gone missing in China. This is very scary. Read more about it:

Spread the word, something needs to be done.

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