"Hard Cases make
Bad Law". So goes the old legal adage (which dates
much farther than
Oliver Wendell Holmes, who is often given credit for
it). Any attempt to reconcile banning political speech
with the First Amendment is
bad law. So the best way to push
Crimes/Hate Speech totalitarianism is with a
Accordingly, without one readily
available, the Federal Government created their own
in the shape of Hal Turner—the White Supremacist
blogger/web radio show host /FBI Informant.
arrested on state charges on June 3 for making
threats against two Connecticut lawmakers who were
investigating whether the
Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport needed to register as
a lobbyist because of its efforts to block proposed
legislation that would have given lay members more
control over church finances.
Perhaps more notably, Turner was
rearrested on federal charges June 24 for advocating
violence against Federal judges
Richard Posner, William Bauer, and Frank
Easterbrook. After these three judges upheld a
handgun ban, Turner
"Let me be the first to say this plainly: These judges deserve to be
killed. Their blood will replenish the tree of liberty.
A small price to pay to assure freedom for millions,"
Turner then helpfully provided
information on where to find the judges.
Turner is virtually unique among
those on the "far
right" for his promotion of violence. While
La Raza, the
Southern Poverty Law Center, and the
Defamation League, and the rest of the usual
suspects claim that patriotic immigration reform leads
to violence against immigrants, they never can find any
actual examples, outside of maybe a lone message board
But there was always Hal Turner.
Thus the ADL was able to
quote him saying:
but surely we are headed toward the solution that I have
been advocating for years: KILL ILLEGAL ALIENS AS THEY
CROSS INTO THE U.S. When the stench of rotting
corpses gets bad enough, the rest will stay away."
that Turner threatened was actually harmed. The husband
and father of Judge Joan Lefkow, who ruled
"World Church of the Creator" in a trademark
infringement case, were murdered by a
disgruntled former plaintiff whose malpractice suit
Lefkow dismissed—completely unrelated to Turner or the
World Church of the Creator. Nonetheless, Turner
took credit for inciting the murder, and plenty of
the professional anti-racist watchdog groups made note
of it as well.
because of his extreme and violent rhetoric, Turner is
the perfect target for those wanting to criminalize
right wing speech in the United States. Thus the Washington Post ran a featured article on Turner:
Blogger`s Case Could Test the Limits of Political Speech.
[by Peter Slevin, August 16, 2009]
After mentioning the details of the
case, the Post`s
Slevin put it in the broader context of the supposed
rash of politically incorrect speech:
"Turner`s case is likely to test the limits of political speech at a
time when incendiary talk is proliferating on broadcast
outlets and the Internet, from the microphones of
well-known commentators to the keyboards of anonymous
President Obama has been depicted as a Nazi and
slain Kansas abortion doctor
George Tiller as `Tiller the killer.` On guns and
abortion, war and torture, taxes and now health care,
the commentary feeds off pools of anger that ebb and
flow with the zeitgeist."
Slevin then dutifully quoted
Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center—$PLC
to VDARE.COM—piously describing it as a
"tracks extremists and hate speech". And he noted
that the "line between free speech and criminality is a fine one".
into the story, Slevin mentioned—almost as an irrelevant
"Turner…worked at times as an FBI informant. Although [Federal
Patrick] Fitzgerald`s office says he provided occasional
information on right-wing extremists, [defense
Orozco said he was recruited as an `agent provocateur to
get leftists to act in public against him and reveal
themselves to the FBI.`"
There has been curiously little
interest in the news that Turner was an FBI informant.
Thus when the Los
editorialized in defense of Turner`s right to free
speech (August 22), his career as an FBI informant was
And this was not the first
revelation that Turner was an FBI informant. In 2008,
anonymous hackers broke into his computer and
e-mails between Turner and his federal handlers. On
July 1, 2007, Turner told his handlers:
"I wrote an
opinion piece on my site today in which I opine about 46
US Senators [who just
voted for amnesty]
who I believe should be removed from office
July 4 for betraying their constituents and this
nation." After somebody responded by saying he would
kill Russ Feingold in response to the piece, he gloated
to his handlers:
"Once again, my fierce rhetoric has served to flush out
a possible crazy."
After the e-mails were posted,
Turner immediately shut down his
"Hal Turner Show"
website. The FBI refused to comment, so there`s a very
good likelihood that this is true—as even the $PLC
acknowledged. We will no doubt find out as the
trials move forward.
If Turner is an
provocateur, he did a very bad job of it. No one has actually taken up his many
calls to arms.
Call me paranoid, but I don`t think that was his actual function.
I had the misfortune of meeting Turner briefly in 2006, at an
American Renaissance conference. I had not heard of
him before, and when he started talking about a race
war, I quickly left. I doubt he provoked anyone to
violence, but the
Searchlight Magazine gleefully reported that he had
attended the conference (which was open to the public),
thus smearing American Renaissance editor
This can be called "guilt by audience association".
Turner also seems to have been particularly fond of advocating violence
against federal judges—the same ones responsible for
interpreting the First Amendment. But when the judges`
own lives and the lives of their families are
potentially at stake, these "hard cases" become
Turner`s outlandish statements were perfect for the
campaign to create "bad laws" that
criminalize opposition to immigration and other
patriotic causes. Now it appears that many were made at
the behest of the Federal Government. And who else?
Alexander Hart (email
him) is a conservative journalist.