2013 August » ADL Blogs
August 23, 2013

Plot To Kidnap, Kill Police Officers Uncovered in Las Vegas

Officers from the Las Vegas Metro Police Department have arrested David Allan Brutsche, 42, and Devon Campbell Newman, 67, for allegedly plotting to kidnap and kill police officers in Las Vegas.david-allan-brutsche-sovereign-citizen

According to police, the two suspects were adherents of the sovereign citizen movement who sought to abduct a police officer while the officer made a traffic stop, then later kill him or her.    The two allegedly videotaped a police traffic stop in preparation and modified a bedroom in a vacant home to create a makeshift cell in which a kidnapped officer could be detained.  After “trying” the officer in a court of their own making, they allegedly planned to kill the officer and dispose of the body.  Both Brutche and Newman reportedly made statements in which they said they would be willing to shoot law enforcement officers.

However, Brutsche and Newman were unaware that some of the people whom they thought were accomplices were actually police officers conducting an undercover investigation.  Police have charged them with conspiracy to commit murder, conspiracy to commit kidnapping, and attempted first-degree kidnapping with use of a deadly weapon. The sovereign citizen movement is extremely anti-government in nature and adherents of the movement have been involved in a number of police killings and plots against police and government officials in recent years.

After her arrest, Newman, who for several years has been the local public relations director for the Church of Scientology in Las Vegas, gave jailhouse interviews with local television reporters in which she denied involvement in any plot to kidnap or kill officers, saying she only intended to video them.  The Scientology movement as a whole does not have any significant association with the sovereign citizen movement.

Newman told reporters that she met Brutsche while he was giving out water bottles on the Las Vegas strip in exchange for donations.  Police have, in fact, arrested Brutsche more than once for obstructive use of a public sidewalk and operating without a business license.  On a more serious note, Brutsche is a registered sex offender with felony convictions in California for indecent exposure and lascivious acts with a three-year-old child.

In October 2012, Brutsche filed a sovereign citizen “Affidavit of Status” with the Clark County Recorder’s Office in which he declared himself as “one of the people of these united [sic] States of America” and a “living, breathing sentient human being on the land” exempt from “any and all identifications, treatments, and requirements as any ARTIFICIAL PERSON pursuant to any process, law, code, regulation, ordinance, statute or any color thereof.”  In the document Brutsche also declared that “public servants” who violate their oaths of office “commit a Treason.”

Two months later, Brutsche filed a second document that seemed to anticipate future encounters with law enforcement.  The document, titled “Schedule of Fees for David Allen Brutsche,” listed fees Brutsche would apparently attempt to charge police for any interaction with him.  For example, the fee for “speaking to a cop” was “20 minutes for free” then $200 per hour.  If someone impounded his vehicle, the fee was “$2000 or 1 troy ounce of gold plus cost of recovery and any damages.”

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August 23, 2013

100 Years Later, Anti-Semitism Around Leo Frank Case Abounds

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Leo Frank

Anti-Semites are using misleading websites to exploit the 100th anniversary of the Leo Frank case and to promote anti-Jewish views.

On August 25, 1913, Leo Frank was falsely convicted of murdering Mary Phagan, whose body was found in the factory he managed in Atlanta. A mob later lynched Frank after the governor of Georgia commuted his death sentence to life imprisonment. The Frank case was a seminal moment in American Jewish history when the Jewish community united to fight against the anti-Semitism that was rampant at that time. 

A number of websites, ostensibly providing information about Leo Frank actually use deceptive means to tell their version of the circumstances surrounding the Frank case. These sites provide documents and testimony from that time, but their aim is to create confusion and perversely to accuse Jews of reverse racism. They claim that Jews used the Frank case to undermine whites, especially in the South.

One site is particularly misleading. Calling itself “The 1913 Leo Frank Case and Trial Research Library,” the site contains numerous documents from the Frank case. However, the “About” section of the site reveals the real impetus for its creation. The site, which is registered anonymously, asserts that the Frank case was one of the events of 1913 that started “the Birth of the Jewish Race War Against European-Americans.”  According to the author of the section, the Frank case led to the creation of a “Jewish lobby” and “became a political and social front for subverting the majority population of Gentiles by a tiny dissenting minority of Jews.” The author also accuses Jews of controlling the government.

Another deceptive Leo Frank website is registered to neo-Nazi Kevin Strom. Strom was a leader in the National Alliance and then the National Vanguard, two neo-Nazi organizations, until he was convicted on child pornography charges several years ago. This site cites anti-Semitic works as resources on the Frank case. Strom also promotes the articles of “Mark Cohen” on National Vanguard, a neo-Nazi site he runs. According to a July 2012 article on National Vanguard, “Mark Cohen” is “the nom de guerreof a person who writes extensively about the Leo Frank case.  Articles attributed to Cohen, which assert that Frank is guilty of the Phagan murder, appear on numerous extremist sites.

There are other websites on Frank that are also misleading. “The American Mercury,” an extreme right-wing site with anti-Semitic content, is running a series of articles that promote conspiracy theories about the Frank case. There is also a “Leo Frank” Facebook page that pretends to be a personal profile page of Frank. This page disingenuously lists a number of Jewish causes but promotes derogatory articles on Frank that appear on anti-Semitic websites.

The goal of these fraudulent websites is clear. They are using deceptive means to attack Leo Frank and the Jewish community’s efforts to fight back against anti-Semitism.

In the News – The Forward (8/20/13) “Neo-Nazis Use Leo Frank Case for Anti-Semitic Propaganda Push”

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August 21, 2013

Al Jazeera America Debut Featuring Stephen Walt Casts Doubt Over Network’s Objectivity

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Stephen Walt (right) appears on Al Jazeera America

August 20 marked the much anticipated premiere of Al Jazeera America, the Qatari government-backed 24-hour news broadcaster that has sought to make greater inroads in the American market in recent years. Although the network has striven to assure the public that it will present the news in an objective manner, Al Jazeera America’s debut news segment cast immediate doubt over its impartiality.

Their program on Tuesday featured an interview with anti-Israel professor and author Stephen Walt discussing the turmoil in Egypt. Al Jazeera’s choice of Walt as its first guest raises early questions regarding the network’s claimed intention to provide the American public stories that are “impartial, accurate and comprehensive.” 

Stephen Walt, an International Affairs Professor at the Kennedy School of Government, is best known for his anti-Israel position as described in his 2007 book, “The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy,” co-authored with John Mearsheimer. Walt is a proponent of a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and has several times accused the pro-Israel lobby in the U.S. of exercising excessive power to stifle criticism of Israel.

Prior to the launch of Al Jazeera America, the network received considerable praise from journalists, such as Soledad O’Brien and John Seigenthaler, who were assured that the new station would focus more on American issues and less on opinions and international news. According to Ehab Al Shihabi, Al Jazeera America’s acting chief executive, “Al Jazeera America will air fact-based, unbiased and in-depth news.” 

Since the Qatar-based network announced the creation of Al Jazeera America in early 2013, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed its ongoing concerns about the pan-Arab satellite network’s “troubling record” of providing a platform to all manner of virulent anti-Israel and even anti-Semitic extremists. Al Jazeera America’s decision to feature Walt on its inaugural broadcast was not an auspicious beginning.

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