William B. Fox
The FBI arrest of North Bergen, NJ-based talk show host Hal Turner has become an important occasion for us to more deeply ponder political tactics and First Amendment rights and limitations. In fact, I have created a special reference page to help readers draw their own conclusions.
In his 26 June 2008 plea from prison, Turner stated "This prosecution of me is 100% political. It has to do with the sensitive information that I have been releasing."
The FBI charged Turner with "...threats to assault and murder a United States judge with intent to retaliate against such judge on account of the performance of official duties."
Turner thinks that the idea that he would personally kill a judge is absurd to his listeners, who presumably understand the difference between "political rhetoric" and real direct threats, and therefore the First Amendment should protect his speech.
In his 26 June plea from prison, Turner also claimed that he overheard an FBI agent who "argued with his bosses at the FBI for over an hour saying he did not want to arrest me, because he did not have probable cause. And he was not only ordered to arrest me, but he was told that if he didn’t arrest me, that he would lose his job."
Another very important issue, besides finding the dividing line between political rhetoric and legally actionable threats, involves the timing and political selectivity behind Turner's arrest.
In his article "Hal Turner vs. Chicago FBI," Capt. Eric May describes targeting of right wingers that ignores outrageous Zionist neo-con hatemongers. In my article "Braving the Guilt by Association Gambit -- In Order to Conduct Real Research" I describe an intensified national media campaign to associate the recent von Brunn/Holocaust Museum shooting tragedy and "terrorism" with a wide range of conservative political dissidents. This mainstream media (MSM) bias also supports draconian "hate crime" bills currently before the House and Senate.
Given these alarming trends, we are highly motivated to not yield an inch to our ideological enemies on any First Amendment rights issues. We believe that these enemies act in bad faith and are ultimately intent upon taking all of our rights away from us. Therefore, even if a jury weighs the facts and decides that Turner crossed the line, we want to see as little anti-First Amendment fallout as possible.
Judas Journalism and Giving Credit Where Due
Capt. May wrote "The MSM is simply state-controlled propaganda...Its Pulitzers are simply Orders of Lenin, fit for Charles Krauthammer or Judith Miller, but beneath the dignity of Hal Turner."
In his 5 July 2006 interview with Capt. May, Hal Turner definitely performed a valuable public service by revealing suppressed information. May addressed the Bush Administration cover-up of the Battle of Baghdad and the use of at least one neutron bomb over Baghdad Airport. May also discussed how a Special Forces Chaplain threatened his life in an attempt to keep him quiet. This assassination threat story came two years ahead of the revelations by New Yorker journalist Seymour Hersh about how VP Dick Cheney ran an assassination team. Lastly, May described how a former Marine Captain present within a few blocks of the World Trade Center towers during 9-11 convinced May that the operation was a controlled demolition inside job.
Clearly Hal Turner has done some good work in terms of getting the truth out. Still, we are left with questions about his tactics in regard to issuing threats.
Turner's Legal Justification
In his plea from prison, Turner cited the Supreme Court cases Brandenburg vs. Ohio, Indiana vs. Hess, and NAACP vs. Claiborne to explain why he is "totally confident" that everything he said was "within the meaning of the law."
These cases point out that it is not enough that speech simply sounds "threatening" to lose First Amendment protection. It must also meet many other tests, such as "intent, imminence, and likelihood."
Political speech, when addressed to the general public, tends to receive more latitude than most other types of speech since threats might be construed as merely "empty rhetoric" or "showmanship." For example, virtually no one views a demonstration where a political figure is hung in effigy as incitement to hang the actual politician. In addition, such speech may be conducted for the "common good" rather than individual gain, thereby receiving justification through various utilitarian or "necessity" arguments that I will address again later. Lastly, public figures, who are typically the targets of political speech traditionally have the least legal protection in terms of libel and defamation.
Right wing shock jocks like Hal Turner might seem very threatening to certain government officials, but he can certainly make the case that we face a vastly more dangerous "enemy within." After all, unlike Larry Silverstein, Turner did not give instructions to "pull" World Trade Center 7. Unlike Pentagon Controller and joint U.S./Israeli citizen Dov Zakheim, Turner did not preside over $2.6 trillion that strangely disappeared from the Pentagon budget just prior to 9/11, along with the audit office that quite coincidentally got hit by an alleged "airliner" whose soft nose somehow penetrated three Pentagon wings. And unlike former DHS Czar and dual loyalist Michael Chertoff, Turner did not send the infamous "dancing Israelis" caught filming the collapsing TWC towers --along with hundreds of likely Mossad "art students"-- back home to the Jewish State without a trial.
In other words, Turner believes 9-11 was an inside job --a conspiratorial act of war against the American people. Other trends and events also reflect de facto acts of war, such as the longstanding massive illegal alien invasion which is reducing the white population into another minority. Turner believes strongly that his militant language and tactics are more than justified, given that America is under attack.
Turner wrote that his practice of issuing threats and revealing addresses and other personal data has proven effective in getting crooked legislators to back down in terms of pushing through onerous anti-First and Second Amendment bills and pro-illegal alien amnesty legislation.
It is certainly true that when it comes to issuing justified threats, Americans have certainly been down this road many times before. In fact, they have even become justifiably violent. In 1775 many patriots felt that the use of violence (or the revolutionary "Appeal to Heaven") should trump the laws of King George in order to preserve liberty. In legal terminology, this kind of utilitarian reasoning is often called a "necessity." "justification," "lessor of evils," or "end justifies the means" argument.
However, to paraphrase George Washington, when he compared government to force (force = violence or the threat of violence), violence is like fire, a dangerous servant and a terrible master. It can have many potential unintended consequences. An individual who incites premature violence along lines that are ill-conceived and poorly targeted may wind up acting as a de facto agent provocateur, causing enormous unnecessary blowback and damage to real patriots. He may become analogous to incompetent World War I generals who needlessly sacrificed hundreds of thousands of lives by ordering useless human wave attacks against machine gun positions.
Issuing threats may actually be counterproductive over the long run, even if they appear useful in the short run. It is possible that certain corrupt officials reflect corrupt constituencies. Therefore, threatening them in public may at best only work only as a short term measure. So long as the corrupt constituency remains in place, the corrupt officials will continue to pop back up like mushrooms. A better long term approach may be to focus on finding ways to isolate the corrupt constituency socially and politically without taking the risk of blowback from threatening specific individuals.
Furthermore, think for a moment about the judges cited in the FBI criminal complaint, as well as the Connecticut authorities that Turner threatened earlier in June from their perspective as individuals. They have rights too, you know.
Despite these considerations, Turner believes that he has shown the finesse to stay legal --even if only by very thin margins.He compared his case with the indictment of American National Socialist Workers Party (ANSWP) Commander Bill White for soliciting violence against a Jewish jury foreman. Turner stated "Unlike Bill White, I never personally communicated to any individuals. Unlike Bill White, I never sent written communications to any individuals. And unlike Bill White, I never made communications to any individual regarding personal matters the way he did with his credit bureau report or whatever. So the charges against Bill White, and the charges against me are the same, but the circumstances between the two cases are very, very different."
In August 2005, within a month after his call for an overthrow, Capt. May explained "Info War" concepts at Cindy Sheehan's "Camp Casey" just outside Bush's "Western
in Crawford, Texas.
Call for a Counter Coup
On one level, Capt. May believes that Hal Turner's threats have been a mole hill compared to his mountainous call for a counter coup de etat against the treasonous Bush regime the night of 28 July 2005. May wrote "Professionals who took the same oath I took to defend the Constitution (even against domestic enemies)... concur with me in my fears that Texas is being set up as the easiest target in America for Bush. Most of them have listened to my July 28, 2005 international broadcast, as the Brit Petro refinery blew up in Texas City, calling for the arrest of Bush and his cabinet, and ordering `Operation Beau Coup,' which resulted in the removal of General Byrnes from TRADOC command for fouling up the false-flag attack they were setting up then and there."
This threat of a repeat 9-11 false flag attack has hardly gone away. W. Leon Smith, publisher of the Lone Star Iconoclast, published "Time To Investigate Houston is Now," and I more recently wrote "Chicago Cops Dodge Blagojevich/Sears Tower Investigation."
However, in all of this, Capt. May and I have characterized ourselves as defenders of Constitutional principles and have refrained from threatening illegal violence against particular individuals, if for no other reason than we have more than enough on our plates right now standing on general principle without making ourselves vulnerable in other areas.
I might add that I am the web master for mikepiperreport.com and thereby support American Free Press investigative journalist Michael Collins Piper who hosts his own radio show on the Republic Broadcasting Network. Piper is the author of Final Judgment, a landmark work which makes a strong case that Mossad-CIA was behind the JFK assassination. Although Piper is every bit as impassioned as Hal Turner in opposing America's "enemies within," he is usually careful on his talk shows to preface his call to hang traitors by insisting that they first be convicted in court by due process of law. This is a safeguard to avoid charges of incitement of imminent lawlessness and violence against particular individuals.
If you are going to be brutally frank and confrontational in your political speech against America's real "enemies within" --and I think there should definitely be a place for this in our national dialog-- one is still wise to insert a "safety mechanism" like Piper does. This use of a safety mechanism does not necessarily preclude explicit criticism. In fact, I view this as analogous to the way competent soldiers and Marines typically institute certain "double check" safety measures when on the firing range or even out on combat patrols to make sure that live rounds only go off when and where required. (These safeguards can include leaving the fire selector on "safe," deliberately keeping a round out of the firing chamber until prepared to fire, and never pointing a gun at someone or putting your finger inside the trigger guard unless you mean to fire the weapon or kill someone).
Time for A Verbal "Appeal to Heaven"?
In a video interview, Turner stated "A lot of people ask me if my listeners will take my words, my beliefs literally and go out and commit a crime. I don’t care. If someone goes and kills an abortion doctor, I think abortion doctors deserve to be killed. If someone kills a politician, I don’t shed a tear.”
How literally should we take Turner's statement about people who might take him literally? Turner's home is within commuting distance of the Big Apple, and having lived in the greater New York City area myself for ten years, I am fully aware that in this global capitol of Zionism and chutzpah, a lot of macho tough talk is really only meant in a half-serious, smart ass, tongue-in-cheek manner. As one New York joke goes, get two Jews together, you get three opinions. The proverbial "New York Jew," who sets the tone for the city, is famous for being impertinent, pushy, rude, crude, blustering, coldly manipulative, and duplicitous. Many Jews are brokers and middle men who are used to throwing stuff up against the wall to see what sticks without really meaning it; in other words, floating trial balloons to feel people out in negotiations or to extract concessions. They also admire brazen posturing as a necessary prerequisite to insert themselves into high level deal streams. In New York City, total hypocrisy is both acceptable and expected, where people publicly act as liberals "so that we can all get along," and then privately curse with a purple passion "multiracialism" because it has become so toxic, dangerous, and dysfunctional. (Getting mugged on the subways will do that to you, you know). Nervy "in your face" statements and cynical tough talk is just "cool jive," where it is acceptable to say things that "pull your leg" and "yank your chain" to test your mettle and gullibility. In New York City, "you gotta be street smart" and "know the town," whereas modest, simple, honest people who say what they really think are often considered "dumb schmucks." Death threats are often not taken seriously; after all, mean talk goes with mean streets. Take for example the famous New York City expression "DROP DEAD!!!"
This is almost never taken literally as "I want you to die!"
One could argue that Turner simply says as a "Big Mouth" what many thoroughly jaded New Yorkers think privately but dare not say publicly. This is one reason why it is so important in First Amendment cases for a jury with a feel for local sensibilities to review statements in their context and sort things out. This is a point I will return to later.
Conversely, someone from another part of America could easily think that Turner has shown a shocking lack of concern for unintended consequences and "collateral damage." He hardly assumes the moral high ground once demonstrated by the likes of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, or John Paul Jones!
John Paul Jones
Speaking of John Paul Jones, let us consider for a moment how the "father of the U.S. Navy" advocated a self-restrained, principled moral tone in the following quote:
I have sat on a Court Martial where the President of the court could not read the orders that appointed him, and a Captain of Marines had to make his mark in signing a report. As long as you have such characters for officers the Navy win never rise above contempt. IT IS BY NO MEANS ENOUGH THAT AN OFFICER OF THE NAVY SHOULD BE A CAPABLE MARINER. HE SHOULD BE AS WELL A GENTLEMAN OF LIBERAL EDUCATION, REFINED MANNERS, PUNCTILIOUS COURTESY, AND THE NICEST SENSE OF PERSONAL HONOR. When a commander has by tact, patience, justice, and firmness, each exercised in its proper turn, produced such an impression upon those under his orders in a ship of war, he has only to await the appearance of his enemy's topsails upon the horizon. When this moment does come, he may be sure of victory over an equal or somewhat superior force, or honorable defeat by one greatly superior.
It is possible that Turner has become so adapted to the sleazy smart ass "wise guy" culture of New York City (for example, just take a look at the video of former Mayor Rudolf Giuliani in drag bitch-slapping "breast-kissing" Donald Trump --gee, ain't that just so hilarious!) that he has completely lost touch with the straight arrow culture of old WASP America once exemplified by someone like John Paul Jones? Perhaps Turner's blustering tactics have become so close to those of his Jewish enemies that he has inadvertantly set himself up. Imagine the irony if some high level Jew like dual-loyalist White House Chief of Staff "Rahmbo" Emanuel or gay-friendly DHS Director Janet Napolitano (probably Jewish) can get lower level gentiles to throw the book at Turner. (Please see my discussion of both individuals on my Obama Nation page). One might imagine such Jews privately snickering with vengeful delight!
Maintaining the moral high ground can be an "margin of safety," incidentally, since it helps to maintain popular support as a true "martyr" or "patriot" in case one is attacked. It is possible to find ways to confront Jewish viciousness, bullying, and deceptiveness without sinking down to their level.
Using a military analogy, we might ask if Turner was wise to make himself potentially vulnerable towards the judges in question by threatening them at this time? If he had "kept his head down" in this area, would he have been able to remain out of jail while tactically "engaged" on other important issues and ultimately done more for his cause over the long term?
We also have "logistical support" issues. In this case, the civilian analog might entail the ability to maintain sympathetic alterative media and members of the public willing to make donations for his legal support. If his supporters think he has become too reckless, that could undermine his donation base.
Within the legal system, the closest popular political analog to a military logistical base is a jury, which under the doctrine of jury nullification can refuse to convict based upon a "justification" argument. As an example, Wikipedia discusses the 1728 case in Scotland where the Carnegie of Finhaven was acquitted of murder by a jury that asserted "what it believed to be their `ancient right' to judge the whole case and not just the facts." Although the accused was technically guilty of murder, the jury let him off because it believed the death was accidental.
In English history, juries have also refused to convict in order to make a political statement as a check against tyranny. Wikipedia provides the example in 1649 where a jury acquitted John Lilburne for his part in inciting a rebellion against the Cromwell regime based upon his justification argument.
Hal Turner is probably correct that his case is mostly political. For activists who wish to engage in political brinkmanship and test the outer limits of Supreme Court decisions on the First Amendment, the rule of thumb appears to be as follows: The more one pushes the legal limits of the First Amendment, the more one is forced to fall back upon the political sentiments of a jury if run through the legal system.
A jury has the power to "send a message" through nullification if it feels anywhere nearly as strongly as Hal Turner does about corrupt judges, politicians, and special interests in America today --and the need to send a defiant political message. By the same token, most juries will probably want to be satisfied that Turner exhausted all normal peaceful and legal means of accomplishing his political objectives before approving extreme measures.
For those activists who have become so frustrated with official corruption and incompetence that they feel a strong need to cross over into violent resistance --or make themselves vulnerable to being convicted for threatening some form of direct violence-- I think that most of them will find that they are addressing a much bigger social and political problem than they originally imagined.
If you want to become a genuine political resistance fighter and not just get written off as a "criminal," "murderer," or "bandit," chances are you will need to convince major segments of the public that you are altruistically working towards enhancing its "popular sovereignty" in the face of various forms of tyranny. I go into more details regarding the elements of "popular sovereignty" and why it is such a crucial political concept in Chapter 6 of my online Mission of Conscience book series.
In other words, one may need to fall back on something much greater than a jury, such as revolutionary war, alternative nation-building, or the possibility of the peaceful or violent secessionism of existing states and counties. This is obviously a huge topic beyond the scope of this article. A good starting pointing is Tom Chittum's classic work Civil War Two: The Coming Breakup of America. Suffice to say, all possible avenues, to include trying to maintain the status quo, have their pros and cons.
What we desperately need today are individuals who can calmly and honestly educate their fellow Americans regarding the true nature of their internal enemies and their most intelligent alternatives so that we can accomplish change in the most orderly and peaceful manner possible with minimal damage and unintended consequences.
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William B. Fox, a former Marine Corps Major with experience in logistics, public affairs, and military intelligence, is an honors graduate of the Harvard Business School and the University of Southern California, and publisher of www.americafirstbooks.com and www.mikepiperreport.com.
and update articles:
Turner: A Special Case by Kevin Alfred Strom
Turner is a “National Security Intelligence” Asset
by Kurt Nimmo, Infowars.com
FBI trained NJ blogger to incite others "A New Jersey
blogger facing charges in two states for allegedly making threats
against lawmakers and judges was trained by the FBI on how to be deliberately
provocative, his attorney said Tuesday. Hal Turner worked for the
FBI from 2002 to 2007 as an `agent provocateur' and was taught by
the agency `what he could say that wouldn't be crossing the line,'
defense attorney Michael Orozco said. `His job was basically to publish
information which would cause other parties to act in a manner which
would lead to their arrest,' Orozco said..."
Turner Admits He Worked for the FBI, by Kurt Nimmo, Infowars
Hal Turner Reference Page. Contains the FBI's Criminal Complaint against Turner, Turner's pleas from prison, MP3 downloads of Turner's four most recent broadcasts, and many other useful links.
Threats of Violence Against Individuals A discussion of legal theories regarding the limits of First Amendment protection by the online Supreme Court Center.
For complete background on the history of Captain May and Ghost Troop, please refer to Book I and Book II of the Mission of Conscience series.
The short URL for this article: http://tinyurl.com/l44dpb
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