Feds 'evaluating' threats of assassinating Congress
Statements by anti-Semitic white supremacist Hal Turner, who told his Internet audience he may just have to assassinate members of Congress if Americans return them to Washington in next week's election, are being evaluated for their "investigative value," according to the FBI.
FBI spokeswoman Debbie Weierman yesterday told WND that a "duty agent" was assigned to review Turner's statements.
"It's being passed through the proper channels to see if there's any investigative value at this time," she said.
Another FBI spokesman told WND that the agents would work on verifying the statements and the circumstances under which they were made, and that report could be forwarded to the U.S. attorney for a determination on possible charges. A request for comment from the U.S. Secret Service was not returned immediately.
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A fellow Internet radio broadcaster had asked federal authorities to take a look into the incendiary comments published over the past few days.
"We may have to ASSASSINATE some of the people you elect on Nov. 7!" is a headline on Turner's website. "This could be your LAST ELECTION CHANCE, to save this Republic…
"Sorry to have to be so blunt, but the country is in mortal danger from our present government and our liberty is already near dead because of this government. If you are too stupid to turn things around with your vote, there are people out here like me who are willing to turn things around with guns, force and violence. We hope our method does not become necessary," he wrote.
urner describes himself as "outspoken, opinionated and brutally blunt." The biography on his website says he was a registered Republican until this month, when he changed his registration to unaffiliated.
While his statements – against immigrants, blacks, Jews and others – have been around for some time, it now reached the point where fellow Internet radio broadcaster James Perotti concluded an investigation might be appropriate.
"We notified people from Congresswoman Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.). We notified Sen. (Charles) Schumer (D-N.Y.). We contacted the FBI. We notified them of the situation. We sent one (notification) to (Sen.) Hillary (Clinton, D-N.Y.)," Perotti told WND.
"Technically, this is serious," said Perotti, whose own Internet radio show, when it's online, deals with everything from news issues to wrestling.
In his Oct. 27 ramblings, Turner said the approaching election concerned him.
"I decided to write a few lines to my fellow Americans about the state of our nation and the ugliness that may have to occur if the people who caused these problems are re-elected: They may have to be assassinated," he said in his Oct. 27 screed.
Just so there can be no mistaking his intentions, Turner repeats his premise several times and even offers fairly detailed plans involving five-men strike forces to carry out their work in wiping out half the U.S. Congress and at least three members of the Supreme Court.
Turner has been known for his rantings, and the Anti-Defamation League keeps tabs on some of his rhetoric against Mexican immigrants, Jews, members of the judiciary, and others.
One WND reader relegated Turner to the role of hot-air generator.
"Killing half or all of Congress will not straighten this out," wrote Richard Whitford. "Like all such hair brained ideas they have not been thought through to their logical conclusion.
"Actually, the people we send to Congress are not the problem but a result of the problem. We have chosen these representatives because they have promised to provide that which is not in their power to do and we have said Amen.
"Such talk of violence is dangerous because we are leaning more and more toward violence. The record of the Old Testament is that the Children of Israel first had to drift away from the principles of righteousness and then the violence followed along with the loss of prosperity," he said.
An e-mail to Turner with several questions from WND, including, "How do you determine which congressmen get assassinated after Election Day?" and "How does one go from being a registered member of a political party earlier this month to advocating the wholesale slaughter of members of that party?" did not earn an immediate response.
Perhaps if there is any danger, it might not come from Turner, but from among his supporters.
One wrote to Turner's website, "Hey Hal instead of saying 'may' SAY you WILL KILL THEM!!! Grow some balls!"
Turner's response was to the point. "No no no no no. Words mean things. The difference between 'may' and 'will' is the difference between an opinion and a threat," he concluded. "One is lawful, the other is not. It's not a matter of balls, it's a matter of brains!"
Turner also includes a generic disclaimer on his website, in which he states: "The remarks above are protected speech pursuant to the First Amendment of the United States Constitution as interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court … as they are uttered in a context which does not lend itself to imminent lawlessness, AND; do not constitute a 'true threat' as defined by the U.S. Supreme Court…"
But Perotti said he's conflicted with Turner over Turner's station interfering with his own broadcast, argued in e-mails and been flooded with e-mails he believes came after Turner posted his personal information on the Internet.
The ADL, which didn't immediately return a WND call requesting comment, did have a file about Turner posted. It documented a series of comments he'd made regarding several target groups, including blacks.
"On Feb. 28, 2005, Turner advocated assaulting and killing African-Americans: "I think a full day of violence against blacks … would be a really nice thing … complete with lynchings, church burnings, drive-by shootings and bombings to put these subhuman animals back in their place," the file noted Turner wrote.
Also, "On January 3, 2005, Turner posted the presidential inauguration parade route on his Web site, saying 'it seems to me there can be no protection against a 'Turner Diaries' type of mortar attack or a Hezbollah-type rocket attack launched from outside the security zone."
He's also targeted immigrants, saying, "if the INS can't do its job, and round up these illegal aliens, then in my opinion, we people who are here legally, should maybe think about drive-by shootings with machine guns in front of every Mexican Consulate and kill every single one of these invaders."
He's also vented at Jews and federal officials.
He claims no formal affiliation with other white supremacist groups, but his "Hal Turner Radio Network" broadcasts programs from Aryan Nations and provided air time to other white supremacists such as Matt Hale, of the World Church of the Creator.
"We Christians would do well to adopt the Muslim strategy," he wrote. "When someone sues to remove the Ten Commandments from a public area, attack, beat and maybe even KILL them. When a federal appeals court rules that Christian Nativity Scenes in New York Schools can be banned while Jew Menorrah's [sic] a Muslim Crescents can remain in the same schools, the Judges on that court should be attacked, beaten and if necessary, KILLED. When someone sues to halt Christian public prayers at football games, school events or local town meetings, that person should be attacked, beaten and if need be, KILLED. Violence works."
In his recent "Last Chance America" plea, he claims the government is killing innocents in Iraq, members of Congress don't read the legislation they pass, elected officials ignore the will of the people, eminent domain is jeopardizing property rights and spending is breaking the nation's financial back.
"Imagine if you will, teams of 5 committed citizens each, who were fed up with these 'problems,'" he writes of the assassination squads he envisions. He says it can be done with just 1,350 "committed citizens."
"Do you think that in America, a nation of 300,000,000 people, there are 1,350 committed citizens willing to put it all on the line to 'correct' these 'problems' and thus save the nation?" he asks. "I do," he answers.
Some of those involved in such a 'corrective action' may be arrested, tried, convicted, jailed or even killed during such an operation, but it would have been for a worthwhile endeavor; an effort that would go down in history!" wrote Turner. "This is not far fetched. It can be done. In my opinion, it might have to be done."
As if to cover his tracks, Turner also said he renounces and repudiates the use of force and violence to affect political change – "for now."
But he's also been advocating violence against members of Congress for some time, noting on March 27, that, "Over 1000 Americans, polled over a two-week period, selected direct physical attacks against Congressmen and Senators as the best way to convey our disdain for immigration…"
"Clean your guns. Have plenty of ammunition," he advised.
Earlier this year he bragged his was the only website "that talks about killing Supreme Court justices and members of Congress."
Participants in a weblog at Turner's site endorsed his position: "Kill them where ever you find them! Let the lemmings vote for them, we'll take care of them our way! They vote for the scumbags; we vote for the assassins!" said one.
"Some people see the world through rose colored glasses. I see the world through crosshairs," said DRAGUNOV. "The rot in Washington is so pervasive that selective culling of the congressional herd could not be considered murder, but sporadic acts of patriotism."
Turner himself said he's made arrangements with the government for his own protection.
"I have assured them that if they have to arrest me, I will allow it. No blazing gun battles, no hostages, no 'siege,' no suicide by cop, no 'going out is (sic) a blaze of glory."
"The single thing they MUST do to avoid a terrible tragedy is to simply knock on my door; or even just call me up and tell me to come in to be arrested! I'd go. But I live in a very dangerous neighborhood. There are home invasions, kick-in-the-front door home robberies. Many of these began with the perps yelling 'police.' I told the FBI, Secret Service and others (sic) agencies that if my door (sic) domes down, I will start shooting because I have no way of knowing if the people coming in are REAL police or just brazen criminals."
Is there a term out there which sums up the phrase "True, but stupid"?
Reminds me of certain militia generals who took a good thing and then commenced to tarnish the whole concept with a lousy execution (no pun intended).
Dude! I just found a new sigline.... "Some people see the world through rose colored glasses. I see the world through crosshairs"
The guy is a nut and should be investigated. I don't happen to agree with much of what's going on in our country either, but violence against ELECTED members of Congress isn't the answer.
I think the Founders of our Constitution intended force only as a last resort if the .gov decides to throw out the Constitution and it's protections. As long as free elections are being held, we are no where near that last resort they envisioned.
Am I now on some kind of list for clicking on this thread?
Can I get my five minutes back?
If the democrats gain power,they can use this as an excuse to crack down on all the "right wing extremists".
It will be interesting to see how much the press plays with this,if at all.Hopefully it quietly slides into the background.
As for "freely held elections"-shit,Saddam had elections,Hitler had elections,yada,yada,yada.
Are you frogs getting a little warmer too?