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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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June 9, 2014 2

“Dawn of a New Day”: Las Vegas Shooter’s Final Message

The most recent entry on Jerad Miller’s Face­book, left on Sat­ur­day, June 7, is chill­ing: “The dawn of a new day. May all of our com­ing sac­ri­fices be worth it.”jerad-amanda-miller

Jerad Miller, along with his wife Amanda, are the two sus­pects who com­mit­ted sui­cide in a Las Vegas Wal­mart on Sun­day, after allegedly fatally shoot­ing two Las Vegas police offi­cers in a nearby restau­rant and a third per­son at the Wal­mart itself.

Based on their Inter­net writ­ings, Jerad and Amanda Miller were both right-wing anti-government extrem­ists of the “Patriot” move­ment vari­ety, believ­ing in all the com­mon militia-type con­spir­acy the­o­ries about the “New World Order,” includ­ing con­cen­tra­tion camps for Amer­i­cans, com­ing mar­tial law, and chem­trails, among others.

Some of Jerad’s post­ings in the months before the Las Vegas inci­dent seem to reflect a grow­ing rad­i­cal­iza­tion. In March, Jerad declared that he had “com­pro­mised enough” and that he was “pre­pared to die” for his con­vic­tions about free­dom and tyranny. “The day of your judg­ment will come,” he wrote, “not from my hand, for you will make me a martyr…Come for me, free me from your slav­ery. Give me the death a hero deserves. Help wake the masses to your cor­rup­tion and trea­son. I f*****g dare you!”

In April, Jerad Miller trav­elled to the scene of the Cliven Bundy stand­off, hop­ing that it “could be the next Waco and start of [the] rev­o­lu­tion.”   In early May, Miller claimed that “there is no greater cause to die for than lib­erty” and that he would will­ingly do so. “Death, in a sense is free­dom from tyranny,” he posted. Miller claimed that he and his wife “will not sub­mit to fas­cist rule” and “are will­ing to sac­ri­fice everything.”

Amanda Miller also had anti-government and con­spir­a­to­r­ial beliefs. “Every day I real­ize how more and more peo­ple are asleep and only a few of us are awake,” she wrote in 2012. “The gov­ern­ment is try­ing to take away our rights…only the few of us are will­ing to fight back.” Miller stated that she was “proud to be awake to see what[‘]s really going on.”

The anger that the Millers felt at the gov­ern­ment and police may have increased in 2013, when Jerad Miller had to serve a period of home con­fine­ment fol­low­ing a crim­i­nal inci­dent appar­ently involv­ing mar­i­juana. “Here I am,” he wrote about the con­fine­ment, “because the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tions of Amer­i­cans were a bunch of spine­less zom­bies.” Hope­fully, he wrote, “we can achieve free­dom with­out killing the older gen­er­a­tions off. It may come to that.”

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June 6, 2014 2

Canadian Officer Killings Reminiscent Of Deadly American Attack

Author­i­ties in Canada have arrested a sus­pected cop killer after an exten­sive man­hunt on June 4–5 in the New Brunswick town of Monc­ton, fol­low­ing a shootout in a res­i­den­tial neigh­bor­hood that left three Royal Cana­dian Mounted Police offi­cers dead and two more injured.  justin-bourque

The sus­pected shooter, caught on cam­era wear­ing military-style cloth­ing and equip­ment and car­ry­ing two rifles, is thought to be Justin Bourque, 24.  Post­ings Bourque made to his Face­book pro­file sug­gest that police them­selves may pos­si­bly have been his intended tar­gets.  The postings—some months old but oth­ers made only hours before the shootings—are full of anti-police rhetoric and imagery. 

Other post­ings reveal aspects of Bourque’s mind­set and ide­ol­ogy.  Posts with stri­dent pro-gun rhetoric and imagery—more com­mon in the United States than Canada—are inter­spersed with anti-authoritarian and con­spir­a­to­r­ial state­ments and images from a mostly right-wing lib­er­tar­ian per­spec­tive, from sup­port of the mili­tia move­ment to sup­port of the hacker group Anonymous.

Other Face­book post­ings by Bourque sug­gest a resent­ment of the wealthy and priv­i­leged, as well as a con­vic­tion that such peo­ple were engag­ing in con­spir­acy.  These include a re-posting of a web graphic about the Roth­schilds, the Jew­ish bank­ing fam­ily that is fre­quently the tar­get of anti-Semitic and anti-banking con­spir­acy the­o­ries.  “Unless the peo­ple take notice, fight, and destroy the 1%,” Bourque wrote in Feb­ru­ary, “the bat­tle for the future is lost, because the new age of the tyrants is already upon us.”

The bru­tal killings in Monc­ton are in sev­eral ways eerily sim­i­lar to a tragic inci­dent in the United States five years ago.  In April 2009, 22-year-old Richard Poplawski ambushed and mur­dered three police offi­cers in Pitts­burgh, Penn­syl­va­nia.  Dur­ing an ensu­ing stand­off, he shot and injured a fourth before police appre­hended him. 

Like Bourque, Poplawski was an ardent gun rights activist and believed in anti-government con­spir­acy the­o­ries.  Poplawski too had strong anti-police sen­ti­ments and had even con­ducted recon­nais­sance on the police.  Poplawski, how­ever, also had white suprema­cist views.  Fol­low­ing his con­vic­tion on cap­i­tal mur­der charges, Poplawski is cur­rently on death row in Pennsylvania.

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