(Photoshopped pic courtesy of my sis Alicia Morgan of Hootersville.)
“Now that a particular dingbat from Hudson, MA has annoyed me sufficiently, I have to annoy him back. So I'll be reaching out to some of my Nazi Skinheads, Aryan Nations and Ku Klux Klan friends and put together a . . . . . . field trip . . . . to Massachusetts. This ought to be fun.
We'll take pics to circulate after its ‘done’.” – Hal Turner about yours truly, 2/2009
Thank goodness I didn’t hold my breath while waiting to come out of my Navy SEAL retirement.
It took Pat Fitzgerald’s people in Chicago long enough to get around to doing it but they finally succeeded in convicting professional turd and right wing, white supremacist psychopath Hal Turner of threatening three federal judges. At this point, about the most we can hope for is that the Federal Bureau of Prisons gives Turner the slipperiest bath soap on the market. It’ll also be amusing to speculate who in the general population will hate him more: The minorities against whom he hatefully inveighed or the Aryan Brotherhood who remember all too well his treachery against white people. May his dance card always be full.
For the most part, the media have been downplaying the Turner saga but from a sociological if not legal viewpoint, it ought to represent a watershed moment in American history. And for anyone in the media and any of us looking on as passive spectators who ever asked themself, “Why don’t we catch these psychopaths before they kill?” here’s Fat Hal gift-wrapped in a bright orange bow. We don’t see it often enough so you may not recognize it but this is what proactive pre-emption looks like. And, as the old adage goes, better late than never.
We really ought to appreciate Hal Turner. Because, while they historically lack, even eschew, intelligence and common sense, the higher tier of right wingers is nonetheless possessed of something that’s the next best thing to intelligence and that is deviousness. The likes of Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Turner’s old running buddy Sean Hannity are savvy enough to know when precisely to pull back and skirt with the agility of Fred Astaire the legal edge dividing opinion from outright illegal hate speech.
We ought to be fortunate that the right wing threw us a sacrificial pig like Hal Turner (with no help from the FBI, which prefers to pretend he never existed), a waste of trace elements who was intoxicated with his delusions of federal immunity and a huge audience of mouth-breathing social maladriots who abandoned him the minute they realized that Hal sold them up the river for an FBI paycheck. Stormfront, the pre-eminent racist website, forever banned Turner for betraying the Aryan cause and forbade any mention of him.
Turner claimed to manufacture since 2003 hate speech to draw out the crazies on behalf of the FBI. Yet that left the question of whose payroll he was on when he was spewing white supremacist rhetoric since the year before. It’s hard to believe the FBI would willingly subsidize to the tune of $20,000 a year a man who threatens one president after another not to mention federal judges, state lawmakers and 246 members of Congress, threatens to carry out a Joker-like scheme to break up President Obama’s inauguration and post instructions for how to make ricin.
But even if the FBI didn’t explicitly instruct Turner to do so, the fact remains they didn’t do anything to discourage him and didn’t bother to enforce the law even though Turner was openly doing all this and more on his blog and on other sites on the internet for over six years. Meanwhile, during those six years people were getting thrown off airplanes for arguing with flight attendants and small children, Senator Ted Kennedy and nuns were getting put on terrorist watch lists.
It could’ve easily exploded into one of the most damning scandals in FBI history, an adjunct to the Whitey Bulger clusterfuck here in Massachusetts. But why didn’t it, especially when well over half the House of Representatives, three federal judges and two presidents’ lives were threatened by Turner? Even the Bulger/Flemmi/FBI connection couldn’t boast of so many potential, high-profile victims.
The federal criminal justice system failed us (the conviction was preceded by two hung juries), federal law enforcement authorities failed us and the media, as usual, had failed us. Hal Turner could’ve achieved so much more mayhem than he did yet, despite his arrogance and stupidity, we kept giving him one free pass after another even while real right wing terrorists with more initiative were killing people by the droves.
Finally, after eight years, we pulled out of the ground a brain-damaged, worm-eaten mole named Hal Turner. Hooray. Meanwhile, the truly devious ones are still at large, ones who are just a little more artful, a lot more devious and possibly more efficacious in their exhortations to go out and kill elected officials. But unless we stop treating such hate speech as protected free speech, we’ll never know how efficacious right wing hate speech truly is.