The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Rancher Cliven Bundy, the tax scofflaw whose defiance of a federal court order invigorated the antigovernment movement last year, is becoming something of a political asset.
On Monday, Bundy met with Republican presidential candidate Rand Paul during a campaign swing through Nevada. The two met in Mesquite during a “Stand with Rand” question-and-answer session, where Paul discussed public land rights with Bundy and 50 other potential supporters and activists, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported.
After the Q-and-A session, Paul’s aids found a private room where the presidential candidate met privately with Bundy, his wife and one of his sons for 45 minutes, according to a report in Politico.
“I think almost all land use issues and animal issues, endangered species issues, ought to be handled at the state level,” Rand told the Associated Press. “I think that the government shouldn’t interfere with state decisions, so if a state decides to have medical marijuana or something like that, it should be respected as a state decision.”
After the political rally, Bundy –– not so surprisingly –– told the AP he supported Paul’s position that the federal government should turn over ownership of its public lands to the states.
“In general, I think we’re in tune with each other,” Bundy told the wire service, adding, “I don’t think we need to ask Washington, D.C. for this land. It’s our land.”
Paul, only one of an ever-growing field of GOP contenders for the White House, didn’t however mention Bundy’s April 2014 standoff near Bunkerville, Nev.,with the Bureau of Land Management, an event that proved to be inspiring to the antigovernment movement.
Bundy has said the federal government, which controls 80 percent of the land in Nevada, has no authority there and he should be free to graze his cattle on public land without federal oversight.The BLM says Bundy still owes more than $1 million in back grazing fees for having his cattle herd roam on Nevada’s public lands in Nevada for the past two decades.
The BLM has refused requests for answers about how it intends to proceed against Bundy or the others involved in the standoff, including some armed militia members who pointed firearms at federal agents, though it has promised to seek justice for Bundy’s actions.
Despite the baggage that Bundy brings to any campaign, other political candidates have sought out his celebrity. Bundy has appeared at rallies and fundraisers for other candidates, mostly in Nevada and Arizona.
Last year he showed up at an Arizona picnic attended by Republicans Douglas A. “Doug” Ducey, who was elected governor of Arizona, and Mark Brnovich, who was elected at that state’s attorney general.
Bundy, who drew widespread criticism for talking about the “negro” in an interview with The New York Times, appeared in a campaign advertisement for Kamau Bakari, who was an unsuccessful Independent American Party candidate for Congress in last fall’s elections.
Back when it was bustling with militiaman volunteers eager to stop immigrants from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, they called Cuban “Rusty” Monsees’ rural property outside of Brownsville, Texas, “Camp LoneStar.”
But as the sheen faded – and the arrests of participants at the camp mounted – the encampment of “Patriots” began to dwindle to almost nothing, and it gradually came to just be dubbed “Camp Rusty.”
Monsees recently announced that the property is now up for sale. He reflected on the changes with a reporter for KRGV-TV.
“Some of the stuff that was taking place, it wasn’t that great,” Monsees admitted.
The encampment first made news in Texas a year ago by attracting number of armed militiamen from around the rest of the nation to the little spot on the Rio Grande where participants could go rambling on “missions” running reconnaissance on border-crossing activities.
At times, the gun-toting militiamen even detained border crossers they caught – cuffing them with plastic ties and guarding them with weapons until Border Patrol arrived to take them away – while at other times they would chase people swimming over the Rio Grande back across the river.
Then participants began having run-ins with the law. First, a Border Patrol officer took shots at one of the militiamen while pursuing a border-crossing fugitive. Then it emerged that the man who had been shot at, who was carrying a weapon at the time of the incident, was a felon prohibited from possessing firearms. And so, it then emerged, was Kevin C. “K.C.” Massey III, the ostensible “commander” of Camp LoneStar, who was with the militiamen at the time and whose background check revealed a similar felony conviction.
Both men were charged with felony weapons violations and currently await trial in federal court in Texas.
Monsees, a longtime Brownsville-area rancher, explained to reporters at the time that he invited the militiamen to come to his property and set up camp there because he was concerned about “security” on his border ranch. But he told the KRGV reporter that he regretted the whole business now.
“They jeopardized my safety and some other people’s safety by what they were doing,” Monsees said.
He said he had made mistakes about who could participate. “Number one because I misread some of the people,” he said. “I found out that there were people here that I didn’t do far enough of a background check on. That’s a regret that I have.”
Some neighbors told KRGV that they appreciated having the “Patriots” gathered in their vicinity. But other reporters had earlier found a number of neighbors who found their presence intimidating and fear-inducing.
“We don’t know who these people are. They’re carrying high-powered weapons. It makes us feel less safe, not more safe to have them here,” one of them said. “I just hope they leave soon.”
That wish has been granted.
AlterNet: Why Rachel Dolezal’s mimicry is a far cry from the solidarity needed to establish an anti-racist white identity.
Right Wing Watch: Tom DeLay urges Americans to defy the ‘ten’ justices of the Supreme Court.
Raw Story: White nationalists invite McKinney cop to help build a whites-only enclave in North Dakota.
Alaska Dispatch News: Weekend Alaska militia gathering aims to debunk the extremist stereotypes.
Atlanta Journal Constitution: Neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement followers distribute fliers near Florida synagogue.
Think Progress: What religious people actually think about using ‘religious liberty’ to justify anti-LGBT discrimination.
Ex-Marine, New Hampshire resident and failed political candidate, Jerry DeLemus has a lengthy right-wing resume.
He’s a Tea Party activist, married to a birther, New Hampshire State Rep. Susan DeLemus. This spring, the couple was named to the state leadership team of the Presidential campaign of conservative Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.
DeLemus, who lives in Rochester, N.H., also leads a large local chapter of the 9/12 Project, the Tea Party-friendly group founded by right-wing broadcaster Glenn Beck. One of the pillar principles of the group is, “If you break the law you pay the penalty. Justice is blind and no one is above it.”
Apparently, Delemus forgot those words as he drove 41 hours across the country last year to Nevada to take command of the sometimes hundreds of armed antigovernment zealots, supporting scofflaw rancher Cliven Bundy. The rancher refuses to pay more than $1 million in fees to the government for grazing his cattle on environmentally sensitive federal land for 20 years.
Now it looks like DeLemus wants to add anti-Muslim provocateur to his CV.
The 60-year-old activist recently announced on his Facebook page that he plans to hold a “Draw Muhammad” contest in the Granite State in late August. He said he was organizing the contest because of what happened last month in Garland, Texas, at the end of a similar event sponsored by Pamela Geller, the anti-Muslim movement’s most visible and flamboyant leader.
As Geller’s competition to crown the best cartoon mocking the Prophet Muhammad was coming to a close, two Muslim men from Arizona opened fire outside of the event. But before they could get past the parking lot, they were shot and killed by a police officer. A security guard was slightly injured in the attack, but no one else was hurt.
A month later, FBI and local police gunned down a 26-year-old Muslim man they said lunged at them with a military-style fighting knife when they approached him for questioning on a Boston street. The man, Usaamah Rahim, had been under around-the-clock surveillance, and the authorities said he had been plotting with two other men to behead Geller before changing his mind and targeting police officers instead. He was killed before he could carry out the alleged plot.
“We must not be intimidated into silence or inaction by those that would threaten to do us harm,” DeLemus wrote on his Facebook page, announcing the New Hampshire drawing contest. “To the contrary we must take it to them and expose their evil violent positions. This is my intention and I’m sure there is risk involved but no more than those fighting this same evil in Afghanistan.”
DeLemus acknowledged in an interview, according to a local newspaper, that some Muslims would likely see the contest as blasphemous. Under most interpretations of Islamic law, it is expressly forbidden to depict the prophet visually, and Muslims have historically reacted with violence when newspapers and magazines have done so.
“I’m not worried about taking a risk,” he said.
DeLemus told a local television station that the contest has nothing to do with art. “I don’t care if it’s stick figures to be perfectly frank with you,” he said, adding, “It’s a political statement that we’re America, we’re free.”
Federal and local authorities are reportedly investigating a nighttime shooting incident last week that chased a team of surveyors from their camp near the Nevada desert area where radical rancher Cliven Bundy continues to defy the might and will of the United States government.
On the day of the incident, June 5, the surveyors were working under a contract with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which has been locked in a years-long standoff with Bundy. The rancher from Bunkerville, who does not believe in the authority of the federal government, owes more than $1 million in grazing fees accumulated over the last two decades. But, backed up by sometimes hundreds of armed antigovernment zealots, Bundy has refused to pay or remove his cattle from environmentally sensitive federal land.
In the spring of 2014, matters came to a head when the BLM tried to enforce a court order to seize Bundy’s cattle. The ensuing standoff between Bundy and his gun-toting allies and the BLM nearly ended in bloodshed on April 12 of that year, as large numbers of Bundy supporters pointed their weapons at law enforcement officials. The government backed down and, as a result, Bundy has become a folk hero on the radical right.
This April, Bundy and about 100 followers gathered near the site of the “Battle of Bunkerville” for a victory celebration with music, dancing and fiery speeches. “We drove a line down the middle of this nation,” Bundy boasted.
This month, more than a year after the standoff and about eight weeks after Bundy’s party, a three-person surveyor team from the Great Basin Institute, an environmental research and conservation group, spent a day collecting data on water seeps and natural springs not far from where Bundy illegally grazes his cattle. According to the Review Journal, the team was scheduled to stay a week in the area, which is about 100 miles northeast of Las Vegas.
At one point during the day, two men, who identified themselves as ranchers, approached the surveyors and asked them what they were doing, the Review reported. The men, the institute’s executive director, Jerry Keir, told the paper, were “very cordial.”
But a few hours later, around 9 p.m., the surveyors were climbing into their tents for the night when they heard a vehicle on the road. Its headlights, the paper said, were shining on their camp.
Then three shots rang out from about a third of a mile away. No one was hit and it is unclear if the shots were directed at the camp. The surveyors apparently tried to settle down again for sleep.
About an hour later, three more shots rang out.
That’s when the team decided to hurriedly pack and leave in the desert darkness.
Shortly after the surveyors were chased away, according to the Review, BLM directed “all personnel and contractors” to stay away from the area.
Whether the June 5 incident is connected to the “Battle of Bunkerville” is uncertain. But what is clear is that Bundy’s “victory” has encouraged a number of similar defiant and potentially bloody stands against the federal government around land and mineral rights in the West.
As reported in the summer issue of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report, in the aftermath of the BLM’s stand-down, antigovernment radicals have roared into a closed archaeological site on all-terrain vehicles, fought over access to water for livestock and traveled to Josephine County, Ore., to “guard” a local miner’s claims.
After a judge’s order last month requiring the BLM to refrain from enforcing its regulations while the dispute over the mine is being adjudicated, the antigovernment “Patriots” who gathered to protect property again declared victory.
“Mission Accomplished,” the Oath Keepers of Josephine County declared on the group’s website, adding, “Our initial mission has been a success… however this is just the first of many missions we are still working on.”
A decorated Iraq war veteran now in jail under a $3 million bail for allegedly torturing and fatally shooting three people before burning their bodies beyond recognition was a one-time candidate for political office with former ties to an Eastern Washington militia group.
Roy H. Murry, of Lewiston, Idaho, is an “apocalypse prepper” previously involved in firearms training at rural Stevens County, Wash., property owned by a man who ran in 2014 as a Republican candidate for sheriff, court documents say without identifying the land owner.
That unsuccessful candidate, Kenneth L. Barker, contacted Tuesday by Hatewatch, confirmed that the 30-year-old triple murder suspect and members of the 63rd Battalion, Light Foot Militia, once trained at rural property that Barker owns near Deer Lake, in Stevens County, Wash. Barker also confirmed he was a member of that militia group “but hasn’t seen Murry in years.”
Barker’s property where the militia trained and reportedly stored equipment is only about 10 miles north of the rural Chattaroy, Wash., home in Spokane County where Terry Canfield, a 59-year-old Spokane Fire Department lieutenant; his wife, Lisa Canfield, 52, and her son, John R. Constable, 23, were fatally shot multiple times on May 26.
Asked about the group described in the public court documents, Barker initially responded: “It was a group of guys who would come out here, you know, and shoot, practice for hunting, that kind of thing.”
Asked specifically if those involved were members of an antigovernment or militia group, Barker confirmed that they were members of the 63rd Light Foot Militia. He said he didn’t know specifically if Murry was a formal member of the militia, just that he showed up three or four times for tactical firearms training with members of the group.
The court documents filed in the murder case say during the training exercise, Murry “was in possession of a firearms sound suppressor for a pistol,” which would have been illegal if it wasn’t federally registered.
“I believe I recall seeing him with a pistol,” Barker said, adding that he didn’t see a silencer.
The 63rd Light Foot Militia’s mission statement says, “Under no circumstances will the militia of Washington tolerate those who advocate acts of criminal violence, terrorism, racism or a change away from our republican form of government; nor will it support any specific political party or candidate, nor espouse any particular religious denomination or doctrine.”
Murry is a decorated Iraq war veteran, earning the Bronze Star, and former member of the Washington Army National Guard, who reportedly suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, has been treated for opiate addiction and is receiving an estimated $1,500 a month in medical disability benefits. On his Facebook page, Murry lists the late Ed LeStage, one of the founders of the 63rd militia group, as one of his “friends.” LeStage died in January.
Public records show Murry once was the “chief acquisitions officer” of Patriot Enterprises LLC, described as a Washington state corporation doing research and development for “machined parts to serve the firearms industry.” It is now an inactive corporation.
Within hours of the fire on May 26 and the subsequent grim discovery of the three charred bodies, relatives and neighbors reportedly identified Murry as a prime suspect because of his increasingly bizarre behavior and preoccupation with firearms. He nearly always would carry a firearm – carefully wiping down his ammunition to eliminate fingerprints and DNA traces in case he needed to “shoot and scoot” – and frequently wore body armor, authorities say. Records show he owns at least 16 firearms.
After cancelling three interviews with investigators, Murry was arrested on Saturday by Spokane County sheriff’s detectives who found injuries on the suspect’s body and located in his car blood stains and a handgun believed to have been used in the killings. He told detectives “he had worked for the CIA” and suspected “the Russian Secret Police known as the FSB” was responsible for the homicides, the court documents say.
Murry is Lisa Canfield’s son-in-law who, court documents say, apparently blamed the victims for his pending divorce from Canfield’s daughter, Amanda. She was estranged from Murry and living at the Canfield home, but on the day of the killings she worked overtime as a nurse at a Spokane hospital.
When she arrived at the residence in the predawn hours of May 26, firefighters were battling a fire at the Canfield home and an outbuilding on East Chattaroy Road that investigators now say was set by an arsonist using gasoline and a road flare.
Just a week before the killings, the Bonner County, Idaho, sheriff’s office returned to Murry items that court documents say could be “materials and devices used to make improvised explosive devices,” including pressure switches and remote triggers.
Those items, which weren’t assembled in a device and therefore weren’t inherently illegal, were turned over to Idaho sheriff’s deputies in April by a woman who had broken off a “romantic relationship” with Murry and didn’t want to see him in person to return his property, the court documents say.
In 2011, Murry sought a Republican appointment to fill a vacancy in the Washington State Senate. During that selection process, it was disclosed that a year earlier he forfeited bail on a misdemeanor charge of illegally possessing a switchblade knife.
Just days after Murry was nominated by the Republican Party to fill the Senate vacancy, he was arrested in Las Vegas on a firearms charge, The Spokesman-Review reported on Sunday.
Las Vegas police arrested Murry after his car was parked at an angle on the side of the road, its motor running. “Officers said they saw tobacco juice drooling from Murry’s mouth and body armor in the car, and had trouble waking him up,” the newspaper reported.
When police asked Murry if he had any firearms, he said he did in the trunk of the vehicle. But when police patted him down, they found a semi-automatic handgun in his waistband, and two knives, two ammunition clips and some loose rounds in his pocket, the newspaper reported. Shortly after failing to get the legislative appointment, Murry was arrested after he allegedly carried a loaded gun into the veteran’s hospital in Walla Walla, Wash.
A grand jury indicted Murry on misdemeanor charges of possession of a firearm in a federal facility and possession of a dangerous weapon in a federal facility, the Spokane newspaper reported.
Murry entered a pretrial diversion program, agreeing to pay a $500 fine, perform 100 hours of community service, relinquish a concealed weapons permit for two years and complete a firearms safety course, court records show. In 2014, a judge ruled Murry complied with the agreement and dismissed the charge.
Angered by the Oregon Legislature’s recent approval of a new law requiring background checks for most gun purchases, a few hundred antigovernment “Patriots” from around the region gathered over the weekend outside the state Capitol to announce their refusal to comply with the law.
The rally was not only closely modeled after similar protests in the neighboring state of Washington earlier this year to protest a nearly identical voter-approved gun-control statute, it was in fact being led by some of the same extremists who led the rallies in Olympia.
Among the “Patriots” leading the rally were Mike Vanderboegh, cofounder of the so-called “III Percent” movement, and several “Will Not Comply” leaders from Washington state, notably Gavin Seim and Anthony Bosworth.
Seim is the “liberty speaker” from Ephrata, Wash., who organized the Olympia “We Will Not Comply” rally in December to protest Washington’s new background-check law, a gathering that featured such antigovernment figures as Richard Mack and Vanderboegh. Bosworth, who has also led antigovernment rallies in Spokane, led a follow-up protest at the Capitol in February that also featured Vanderboegh, in which marchers unsuccessfully attempted to defy the law by carrying their guns into the capitol building.
Oregon’s Senate Bill 941, requiring background checks on most gun purchases in the state, was approved by the Legislature in early May and signed into law by Brown. Gun-rights advocates have been threatening to organize recall elections against key politicians who voted for the law.
New federal charges have been filed against an Indiana man, Samuel L. Bradbury, the reported leader of the antigovernment group “765 Anarchists” that claimed ties to extremists who fatally shot two police officers last year in Las Vegas.
The self-described antigovernment anarchist is accused of making social media threats to kill local police and “blow [an Indiana] courthouse to pieces.”
The new superseding indictment, filed on May 14, now charges him with making threats to use fire or explosives and, in a second count, of maliciously conveying false information concerning the use or fire or explosives. The 23-year-old Indiana man remains in federal custody without bond, deemed a flight risk and a danger to the community. ( continue to full post… )
A judge’s order requiring the Bureau of Land Management to refrain from enforcing its regulations while the dispute over the Sugar Pine Mine in southwestern Oregon is being adjudicated appears to be enough for the assembled antigovernment “Patriots” who have shown up on the scene to declare victory and head for home.
“Mission Accomplished” now declares the header over the website of the Oath Keepers of Josephine County, the local organization that had made a national callout the month before for other Oath Keepers and likeminded antigovernment zealots to show up to defend the mine from the supposed plans of the BLM to destroy the mine and kick out its owners. The day before, the headline had read: “STAND DOWN.”
“Our initial mission has been a success… however this is just the first of many missions we are still working on,” the website proclaims.
It apparently came as no surprise to local police in the tiny community of Alpena, Ark., when they found explosive materials last week in the former home of Kurt Saxon, considered by some to be the father of modern antigovernment survivalists.
Saxon has been in a nursing home since suffering a stroke about three years ago, according to various reports. His former home recently sold and remodeling crews discovered the explosive material, Alpena Police Chief Mark S. Bailey told Hatewatch.
“There were explosive materials, but there wasn’t a bomb,” Baily said, describing the item removed as “liquid in a bottle.”
After the explosive material was discovered last Friday at his former residence, Alpena police evacuated neighbors within 300 feet. Two hours later, the liquid explosive material was safely taken to a quarry where bomb squad technicians used a small explosive device to destroy it last week, Bailey said. Several law enforcement agencies, including the Arkansas State Police, were involved, the Harrison Daily Times reported. Other “hazardous material” – described by the Alpena chief as “chemicals” – remain in the home and will be removed by specially equipped contractors, the Alpena chief told Hatewatch.
Born Donald Eugene Sisco, he changed his name to Kurt Saxon because he considered himself to be curt and a Saxon. He later moved from Eureka, Calif., to Arkansas and got into the publishing business in the 1970s after involvement in the American Nazi Party, the John Birch Society, the Minutemen and the Church of Scientology.
Saxon wrote and prospered from a series of books, including “The Poor Man’s James Bond,” that describe how to make homemade bombs, poisons, firearms and chemicals. His books, frequently sold at gun shows, became widely popular with survivalists, militia and assorted antigovernment “Patriots,” and reportedly made Saxon wealthy before he squandered his fortune.
His neighbors described Saxon, now 83 and in failing health, “as a good neighbor who occasionally blew up things,” the Harrison Daily Times reported.
“They were never big explosions,” the neighbors told the newspaper. “Saxon just wanted to see if his experiments worked,” claiming that “he never did anything that couldn’t be found by going to the library and looking it up.”
The Alpena police chief said he has had previous contacts with Saxon, but didn’t question him about the recent discovery of explosive material. There was one report that investigators went to the nursing home in an attempt to question Saxon, but he wasn’t arrested.
“We’re mindful of whom he is and what he’s capable of, but we’ve never really had any issues with him,” Bailey told Hatewatch. “To me, as a police officer, he was — I don’t know exactly how to say this — I guess he was polite enough but not overly excited about helping police.” The chief said he believed Saxon expressed an anti-police, antigovernment sentiment.