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May 21, 2015 5

Texas County Considers Adopting Militia Group

Update — 6/2/15: Orange County Judge Brint Carl­ton later told the Anti-Defamation League that he has no inten­tion of cre­at­ing a county militia.

A south­east Texas county has drawn atten­tion recently after it became known that county offi­cials were con­sid­er­ing adopt­ing a local anti-government mili­tia group as an offi­cial “county mili­tia.” Orange County Judge Brint Carl­ton endorsed the idea, call­ing it a “good thing.”

David W. Smith

David W. Smith

County com­mis­sion­ers decided at the last minute to post­pone the vote after a com­mis­sioner voiced reser­va­tions, say­ing he needed more information.

The mili­tia move­ment is an anti-government cause whose adher­ents believe that the U.S. gov­ern­ment is col­lab­o­rat­ing with a shad­owy “New World Order” con­spir­acy to strip Amer­i­cans of their free­doms, start­ing with their right to bear arms, in order to even­tu­ally enslave Amer­i­cans to the New World Order. The mili­tia move­ment has a long his­tory of vio­lence and crim­i­nal acts; the Anti-Defamation League has tracked at least eight vio­lent acts, con­spir­a­cies or major crimes linked to the mili­tia move­ment just since 2011.

How­ever, David W. Smith, the “com­man­der” of the Golden Tri­an­gle Mili­tia, a small south­east­ern Texas mili­tia group formed in 2014, has lob­bied county offi­cials to adopt his mili­tia group, even­tu­ally get­ting some support.

Though Smith has claimed to reporters that his Golden Tri­an­gle Mili­tia is not anti-government but rather a “civil defense force which works with law enforce­ment,” to his own group he has showed a more con­spir­a­to­r­ial side, argu­ing that “we must never let ourselves…be com­pla­cent to the schemes of the world elit­ists” and demand­ing that Amer­i­cans “rid our­selves of tyran­ni­cal government.”

Smith, a for­mer phle­botomist who now sells “mono­lithic domes,” has expressed sup­port for views that are far from the main­stream. Through his Face­book pro­file, he is linked to a wide vari­ety of extrem­ist groups and fig­ures, from anti-government con­spir­acy the­o­rist Alex Jones (who pop­u­lar­ized the recent notion that the fed­eral gov­ern­ment was plan­ning to invade Texas) to var­i­ous Three Per­center groups (anti-government extrem­ists who view them­selves fight­ing against the fed­eral gov­ern­ment as Amer­i­can colonists fought against the British). Smith ran for U.S. sen­ate in 2014 on a plat­form of oppos­ing “this uncon­sti­tu­tional de facto government.”

Iron­i­cally, Texas law has no pro­vi­sion to allow its coun­ties to cre­ate county mili­tias. Smith has argued that Texas law allows Orange County to “rec­og­nize” his unit as the “Orange County Ready Reserve Mili­tia.” How­ever, the Texas Reserve Mili­tia is only a statu­tory man­power pool that exists to con­form to an obso­lete fed­eral mili­tia law dat­ing back orig­i­nally to 1792. The­o­ret­i­cally, the gov­er­nor of Texas can call por­tions of the reserve mili­tia into ser­vice in times of emer­gency by hav­ing county emer­gency boards insti­tute a draft. Such boards have no power to call up the reserve mili­tia on their own, how­ever, much less “adopt” para­mil­i­tary groups. The self-styled “mili­tias” of today have no legal rela­tion­ship to the his­tor­i­cal and statu­tory militia.

Despite this, Smith has claimed that coun­ties have the author­ity to orga­nize the Texas Reserve Mili­tia. He has also asserted that the mili­tia could come into ser­vice “by gen­eral con­sen­sus of the pop­u­la­tion should the state fail in the exe­cu­tion of its con­sti­tu­tional duties.” Smith has even claimed that county com­mis­sion­ers could be jailed if they refused to autho­rize a militia—a seri­ous mis­read­ing of Texas law.

Smith will have to wait to see if Orange County offi­cials sched­ule another vote or aban­don his plan altogether.

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September 30, 2014 0

Deceased Congressman Had Ties to Anti-Semitic, Anti-Government Groups

james-traficant-freedom-palooza (1)

James Traf­i­cant at Free­dom Palooza 2011. Source: Amer­i­can Third Party

Obit­u­ar­ies about for­mer Ohio Con­gress­man James Traf­i­cant, who died on Sep­tem­ber 27 from injuries sus­tained in an acci­dent on his farm near Youngstown, detail his life. How­ever, nearly all failed to men­tion that in the past five years Traf­i­cant was a promi­nent and active fig­ure on the extreme right, appeal­ing both to anti-government extrem­ists of the “Patriot” move­ment as well as to white suprema­cists and anti-Semites.

The obit­u­ar­ies did, how­ever, allude to Traficant’s past crim­i­nal activ­i­ties that cul­mi­nated in a 2002 con­vic­tion on charges of rack­e­teer­ing, bribery, tax eva­sion and obstruc­tion of jus­tice.  Traf­i­cant received an 8-year prison sen­tence and became one of the few rep­re­sen­ta­tives ever expelled from Congress.

Accord­ing to one obit­u­ary, after his release from prison, Traf­i­cant “lived a quiet life on his farm.”  In real­ity, how­ever, he was far from quiet. He was a reg­u­lar colum­nist for the Amer­i­can Free Press (AFP), a conspiracy-oriented anti-Semitic news­pa­per, attended extrem­ist events, and expressed anti-Semitic views. Traficant’s alliance with the extreme right began years earlier.

Traf­i­cant was a Demo­c­rat but by the 1990s had become pop­u­lar among the extreme right.   His strong sup­port of Nazi war crim­i­nal John Dem­jan­juk drew the approval of white suprema­cists and anti-Semites.  Later, dur­ing his trial, Traf­i­cant sought to remove Jew­ish jurors, say­ing that “I have con­cern about cer­tain polit­i­cal and reli­gious orga­ni­za­tions who have tar­geted me.”

Anti-government extrem­ists liked his grow­ing anti-government rhetoric, par­tic­u­larly in the late 1990s as his own crim­i­nal trou­bles inten­si­fied.  Traf­i­cant repeat­edly invoked the stand­offs at Ruby Ridge and Waco, called Attor­ney Gen­eral Janet Reno a “trai­tor,” attacked the Fed­eral Reserve, and stated that “we have a fed­eral gov­ern­ment that Amer­i­cans fear.”

Dur­ing his trial and impris­on­ment, white suprema­cists such as David Duke spoke out on his behalf and urged peo­ple to send him money.  In par­tic­u­lar, Traf­i­cant devel­oped a close rela­tion­ship with AFP, pub­lished by Willis Carto, one of the lead­ing Amer­i­can anti-Semites.  AFP vocally sup­ported Traf­i­cant, while one of its writ­ers even wrote a book about the for­mer Congressman.

After Traficant’s 2009 release, the rela­tion­ship became closer.  AFP announced an “appre­ci­a­tion din­ner” for him, while Traf­i­cant even became a colum­nist for the anti-Semitic publication—which he con­tin­ued until his death.  In his columns, as well as else­where, Traf­i­cant railed against Jew­ish orga­ni­za­tions like the American-Israeli Pub­lic Affairs Com­mit­tee and accused Israel of con­trol­ling the Amer­i­can media, the Amer­i­can econ­omy, and both houses of Con­gress.  Traf­i­cant appeared as a speaker at AFP events, some of which were orga­nized around him, such as a 2010 “Town Hall” with Traf­i­cant in Wash­ing­ton, D.C.

Dur­ing these years, Traf­i­cant also spoke at other extrem­ist events.  He spoke sev­eral times at “Free­dom Palooza,” an annual event in east­ern Penn­syl­va­nia run by Paul Topete, a long time anti-government extrem­ist and anti-Semite, which attracted anti-government extrem­ists and white suprema­cists.  At one such event, accord­ing to a white suprema­cist who attended, Traf­i­cant allegedly dis­cussed the “Jew­ish dom­i­nance of the press, money sup­ply, New York and Hol­ly­wood.”  Traf­i­cant also spoke at events such as Con­spir­acy Con and the Free­dom Law School, the lat­ter a group asso­ci­ated with the anti-government extrem­ist tax protest movement.

Shortly before his death, Traf­i­cant and AFP had begun a new joint ven­ture, “Project Free­dom USA,” intended to be an effort by “grass­roots patriots…to end the finan­cial tyranny that is stran­gling our nation.”  Among other things, the project intended to abol­ish the Fed­eral Reserve and “our com­mu­nist, pro­gres­sive income tax.”

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July 15, 2014 3

Militia Activist Has History of Inciting Revolution

In a response to the on-going cri­sis involv­ing juve­nile undoc­u­mented migrants cross­ing the U.S. bor­der with Mex­ico, mem­bers of a small right-wing extrem­ist mili­tia group in Texas recently issued a call for mili­tia groups to “guard” the border.chris-davis-anti-government

Local media noticed the leader of the group, “Com­man­der” Christo­pher Davis of Poteet, had posted a YouTube video in which he seemed to instruct peo­ple to point weapons at migrants and threaten to shoot them.

In response, Davis removed his YouTube videos and Face­book pro­file and assured reporters that he was just going to “sup­ple­ment” law enforce­ment and “help them.” Said Davis, “There’s noth­ing mali­cious …We’re just here to serve free­dom, lib­erty, and national sov­er­eignty.” Davis even announced inten­tions to meet with law enforce­ment in the Laredo area.

Yet a closer look at Davis reveals a his­tory of atti­tudes towards gov­ern­ment that seems not nearly so help­ful and benign. In fact, until Davis started “Secure Our Bor­der – Laredo Sec­tor” in recent weeks, his anger and rhetoric were directed not at immi­gra­tion, but almost totally against the fed­eral government.

An analy­sis of Face­book and Twit­ter post­ings by Davis dat­ing back to 2012 reveals extreme antag­o­nism towards the fed­eral gov­ern­ment. Claim­ing not to rec­og­nize any law or author­ity that “goes against the Con­sti­tu­tion,” Davis has repeat­edly expressed his will­ing­ness to phys­i­cally con­front a “tyran­ni­cal” fed­eral government.

Wait­ing on the gov­ern­ment to make the first move, Davis claimed in Decem­ber 2012 on Twit­ter, “is like step­ping into a bear trap to dis­en­gage it.” Rather, as he explained the fol­low­ing April, “when tyranny becomes law, rev­o­lu­tion becomes duty.” In Jan­u­ary 2014, Davis swore an oath on Face­book to defend Amer­ica “against the cur­rent tyran­ni­cal government.”

Davis has repeat­edly claimed that peo­ple have only two options left: “mass civil dis­obe­di­ence or another 1776.” Some­times Davis has urged the for­mer, while at other times, as in a Feb­ru­ary 2014 twit­ter com­ment, he has warned peo­ple not to be con­tent “to merely march” when the gov­ern­ment is using “fear, force, and vio­lence as weapons of oppression.”

In March, Davis declared on Face­book that “we will attempt to arrest the tyrants” and that there was only “a min­i­mal chance of suc­cess with­out vio­lent con­fronta­tion.” But Davis said that he and oth­ers were “will­ing to lay down our lives, if needed.”

What­ever path Davis envi­sions, war with the gov­ern­ment seems to be at the end of it. In a June 2 tweet, Davis argued that there are only three options: 1) a “plan of action in a last ditch effort to take our coun­try back,” 2) “take up arms and phys­i­cally remove the tyrants,” and 3) “stay reac­tive, they drop the ham­mer down…pockets of resistance…try to fight back.” All three options “will lead to war.”

To date, Davis’s efforts to mobi­lize mili­tia groups at the bor­der have met with lit­tle suc­cess, rais­ing the ques­tion of whether he may once again turn his focus to his favorite per­ceived enemy: the fed­eral government.

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