The (Hal Turner) Show Must Go On.
Reader Robin today sent me a link to a story, the latest chapter in the Hal Turner saga that would be funny and ironic were it not for two sentences that stood out and it reveals, I think, a fundamental flaw in our social and judicial system. Namely, a right wing bias that extends down to the very enforcement of the rules and regulations that are supposed to be in place to protect the rest of us.
The paragraph in question reads thusly:
At Turner's arraignment hearing on July 28, Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Hogan argued that Turner should remain in custody based, in part, on the fact that he continued to threaten authorities even after his arrest. Hogan said that while Turner was in custody in New Jersey, he called in additional postings naming three FBI agents who interviewed him. He called in those postings despite court restrictions on his Internet use.
I don't follow Turner's postings or those written by proxy, anymore, so I didn't know anything about this. But could someone please tell me how and why Turner had access to a telephone enough times to continue threatening federal authorities even during his incarceration?
Even considering how utterly incompetent our government generally is no matter who's in charge, even the most cynical of us would be hard-pressed to imagine such a relaxation in security protocols if Turner was, say, an al Qaida terrorist trying to get coded messages out to a sleeper cell. Turner's no al Qaida terrorist, obviously (the distinction being al Qaida terrorists aren't stupid enough to publicly telegraph their plans of murder and mayhem time and time and time again and to do so while directly involving the jurisdiction of Patrick Fitzgerald, of all US attorneys), but he is a white supremacist who has gone down on record as having threatened the lives either directly or by proxy several high ranking federal officials and authorities including Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama.
We've already released from Gitmo and other military prisons so-called al Qaida terrorists and "unlawful enemy combatants" that had languished for years in federal incarceration just as Turner is, prisoners who had been uncharged with any crimes. A Spanish investigation conducted earlier this year revealed that just in Guantanamo Bay, some of these detainees had been brutally tortured after having committed no crimes or at least those that have remained unprovable.
Yet the security of our Homeland and that of our federal officials can afford to slide just because a domestic terrorist like Hal Turner can prove he was born in New Jersey and can instantly produce ultra conservative bona fides?
Yet this right wing bias, this quasi IOKIYAR mindset goes far beyond Hal Turner and even right wing media bias. The bias for today's twisted breed of conservatives that are moving closer and closer to proto-fascism, a murderous bias that often includes the elimination of liberals with extreme prejudice is spilling over into Capitol Hill and beyond into Town Hall meetings on health care.
Earlier today, another Pottersville reader, Mary B., made this telling observation in my recent post, "Please Tase Them, Bro!":
I do not understand why these people are allowed to rant, rave, scream and disrupt these Town Halls.
Imagine if this was still the Bush Administration. And the audience wasn't prescreened (like Bush always did). They'd have security, the Secret Service, the Police, someone pull these people out of the building, if even allowed in in the first place. The Patriot Act would be used for Domestic Terrorism. Because that is what this is, domestic terrorism. Why are these thugs allowed to get away with this kind of behaviour? Peaceful War Protesters, who had permits and marched against the war, were rounded up, handcuffed and charged with disorderly conduct, breach of peace and even resisting arrest, even though they were fucking PEACEFUL!
True dat. The poor bastard who got tased simply for trying to put John Kerry's feet to the fire about his lack of fight at the end of the second presidency stolen by Bush was certainly no right wing blowhard but an articulate, intelligent young man who wasn't satisfied with Kerry's non-answer.
Yet, things have changed so much since then and the pendulum (or rather, Overton's Window) has swung so far to the right that senior Senators such as Arlen Specter, with HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius beside him, were until recently barely accorded more respect than virtually any Democratic Congressman trying to hold a civil debate in their districts' Town Halls. Today, that line was crossed in Pennsylvania and Sen. Specter, for perhaps the first time ever, was given an up close and personal look at the constituency that he finally abandoned in the interests of political self-preservation.
And videos of the protests were recently publicly lauded by House Minority Leader John Boehner, a man to whom countless millions on both sides of the aisle listen. Time and again, idiotic talking points about "death panels" and Obama killing your grandmother are respectfully, patiently and without the slightest opposition given house room while a right wing, bleach blonde bubblebrain like Megyn Kelly,
time and again,
disrespects and harangues Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for his commonsensical suggestions.
So, yes, we're seeing more of the same that we've been seeing over the last 8 1/2 years. Yes, those of us in the loop have seen the right wing bias plain as day since the rise of Fox. But what's troubling is that said bias seems to be more institutionalized than ever before and has metastasized far beyond Fox's and CNN's sound stages. Now, the double standards are being applied in our very national security measures.
Those of us who had hoped for more parity and a return of the Fairness Doctrine since the 2006 midterms are in for a rude surprise. These people are digging in like Alabama ticks, minority status or no, and they're not going away anytime soon. To these people, it's as if 2006 and 2008 never happened. The show must go on, even if the show is hosted by the likes of Megyn Kelly and Hal Turner.