Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"I was a racist for the FBI"?

In a previous post, we discussed the strange tale of racist radio and web agitator Hal Turner, who has openly called for violence against various figures. His rhetoric ventures into realms that most other radio kooks prefer to avoid.

At the beginning of 2008, the Southern Poverty Law Center claimed that it had gained access to Turner's emails. Those messages, we were told, contain evidence that Turner engaged in inflammatory speech at the behest of the FBI, in order to flush out "crazies."

In my earlier piece, I argued that, if the SPLC's allegations were true, then Hal Turner had crossed the line from informant to provocateur. Running a provocateur in such an environment is a very dangerous business, akin to lighting a match to look for a gas leak. (The image may be a cliche, but it does the job better than any alternative that comes to mind.)

That post prompted this denial from Hal Turner:
The claims of me being and FBI Informant are false. Only because the claim fit the agenda of the Southern Poverty Law Center did they do a story about the false claims.

Not a single person anywhere has ever said that I turned them in for a criminal act or testified against them in court.

I came back on the air last Wednesday to publicly refute these bogus claims. All interested persons can hear the complete 2 hour show by downloading the archive from:

The reason I never got arrested for anything I said was due to US Supreme Court case law which is discussed at length during the radio show above. It is LEGAL to call for criminal acts or killings as long as such utterances are made in a context which does not lend itself to IMMINENT lawlessness.
Although I was surprised to see Turner acknowledge the existence of this blog (my audience has nothing to do with his audience), I let the matter rest there.

Now the story twists further. Marcy Wheeler directs our attention to this article in the Hartford Courant, in which Turner's lawyer, Michael Orozco, confirms the SPLC's claim that the feds had "turned" Turner:
Internet blogger Harold "Hal" Turner's attorney said today that Turner's background as an FBI informant will be a key part of his defense to charges that he incited violence against two state legislators and a state ethics official.
Orozco said Turner was trained by the FBI as "an agent provocateur."
Orozco said Turner worked for the FBI from roughly 2002 to 2007.

"His job was basically to publish information which would cause other parties to act in a manner that would cause their arrest," Orozco said.

The comments for which he is charged came after he left the service of the FBI, Orozco said.

Turner stopped working for the FBI on his own, Orozco said. He declined to say who the targets of his comments were.
The chronology interests me. At the time Hal Turner wrote to me to deny what his lawyer now claims, he had recently quit the employ of the federal government. Yet he continued to operate within the world of the ultra-right, and had made every possible effort to re-establish his credibility with that crowd.

(I should note that, even before the SPLC revelations, some extremists had pegged Turner as an agent. Of course, paranoids tend to say that about pretty much everyone.)

The point is this: Turner continued to call for violence even after the FBI payments ceased. This indicates that the man is a genuine racist who really believes in using bullets to further his cause. But if he is sincere, why did he work for the FBI in the first place?

In the words of Dale Gribble: That's a thinker.

By the way: According to his lawyer, Turner was still working for the FBI in 2006, when Turner split the National Socialist Movement (a growing neo-fascist organization) by revealing that one of its leaders also belonged to something called "The Joy of Satan Ministry." It's a wild story with lots of laffs.


Anonymous said...

I love parsing denials.

"I am not . . ." (but I used to be)

"No one says I turned them in" (because they don't know I did)

Gero said...

"This indicates that the man is a genuine racist who really believes in using bullets to further his cause."

Do a little recherche, okay?

When Turner was arrested the second time, the Feds had a search warrant and found - TAA DAA - ammo with a bunch of illegal hollow point bullets.

Now THAT'S a thinker?

Free Speech my ass.

Joseph Cannon said...

No, Gero. The "thinker" is why a sincere fascist rebel would be selling his compadres out. I mean, call me old-fashioned, but the way I see it, you're either faking it or you're not.

Zolodoco said...

Maybe his radio show was his remaining paying gig. He needed to keep his audience.

Anonymous said...

Quite foolish to trust the SLPC. They're just as wacky as Turner and they practice their own form of hate towards others. They simply disguise themselves as attempting to prevent hate which fools most people.

Anonymous said...

Geez- the SLPC might tread down a paranoid path at times, but I would hardly dismiss them.

BTW- Turner's arrest centered around inciting Catholics. That is a thinker.


It would be interesting to see a real invesgtigation into who are government/political provocateurs?