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September 30, 2014 0

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

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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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June 17, 2014 2

Murder Suspect Fan Of “Patriot” Movement Survivalist Guru

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Gary Alan Lewis

After a man­hunt that lasted sev­eral days, police in Port­land, Ore­gon, have arrested Gary Alan Lewis on mur­der and unlaw­ful use of a weapon charges for allegedly killing a female ten­ant and hid­ing her body in the wall of a shed.

The search for both Lewis and the vic­tim was com­pli­cated by the fact that Lewis had built an under­ground bunker on his prop­erty.  Police also feared the pos­si­bil­ity of booby traps as they searched the property.

The bunker, which Lewis built a num­ber of years ago, was appar­ently a prod­uct of his “Patriot” move­ment anti-government and sur­vival­ist phi­los­o­phy.  Lewis viewed the gov­ern­ment as a “Total Mafia Orga­ni­za­tion run by the Elites who want us as Slaves.”  In 2013, Lewis claimed he wanted to move out of Port­land and find a “safe place to escape to when the city becomes unten­able,” a ref­er­ence to the com­mon sur­vival­ist belief of an immi­nent col­lapse of civ­i­liza­tion.   A year ear­lier he posted to a sur­vival­ist “Meetup” group that “col­lapse is emi­nent [sic] if you have been watch­ing long.”  Peo­ple, he wrote, “need to prep for Mar­tial law or UN law.”

Lewis, who also used the names Gary Allan Lewis and Gary Loomis, was in par­tic­u­lar a devo­tee of sur­vival­ist guru James Wes­ley Rawles.  Rawles, a blog­ger, author and sur­vival­ist con­sul­tant, is most well-known for hav­ing writ­ten a series of nov­els pop­u­lar­iz­ing the notion of a “com­ing global col­lapse.”  Rawles, though more well-known as a sur­vival­ist, has also been an adher­ent of the anti-government “sov­er­eign cit­i­zen” movement.

Rawles’ best known book is a novel called Patri­ots, about a band of sur­vivors of a global col­lapse who find a refuge in north­ern Idaho where they rebuild a soci­ety based on “true Con­sti­tu­tional law.”  Lewis described Patri­ots as “the book that tells it all” on one of his Face­book pages and repeat­edly rec­om­mended it in on-line post­ings and comments.

Lewis is even listed on the Meetup group page as hav­ing attended a “Prep­pers Book Club” meet­ing in the Port­land area in June 2012 to dis­cuss another Rawles book, How to Sur­vive the End of the World As We Know It.

Lewis also described Rawles’ Sur­vival Blog as his favorite website.

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