Like a jackbooted Energizer bunny, Hal Turner just keeps on ticking. The New Jersey neo-Nazi, infamous for repeatedly proposing that certain of his enemies be killed, is now suggesting that all three presidential candidates should suffer a similar fate.
Despite a series of travails — a report in this space that he was allegedly a paid FBI informant, his “quitting” of the white power movement only to rejoin days later, and attacks from other white supremacists — Turner is gamely playing on.
And for him, that means issuing threats.
A few days ago, Turner wrote on his website that John McCain, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were all “traitors.” “If you think real Patriots like me are going to sit idly by while you turn our country over to such people, you are sadly mistaken. … Think I’m kidding? My audience includes the Ku Klux Klan, Aryan Nations, skinheads and Nazis. … The deadly serious kind.” Then Turner proceeded to recount how he once said that a federal judge who had ruled against a neo-Nazi group in a 2005 copyright case was “worthy of being killed” — and how the judge’s mother and husband were subsequently murdered in her home. “I hope,” Turner wrote, “I don’t have to start talking the same way about Clinton, McCain and Obama.”
Hatewatch first printed allegations that Turner was an FBI informant on Jan. 11. Although Turner had told supporters just a day earlier that he was leaving the racist movement, he responded by bringing his Internet radio show and website back to life and insisting the allegations were false. Since then, Hatewatch has confirmed through numerous knowledgeable sources that Turner was, in fact, a paid FBI informant, and that he had worked for the agency’s Newark, N.J., office for years. As reported here in January, experts in police procedure severely criticized the FBI’s use of Turner because he was clearly doing more to provoke violence than to contain it.
Meanwhile, a minor storm broke out this week over Turner’s past links to Sean Hannity, the abrasive right-winger who co-hosts FOX News’ “Hannity & Colmes” show. Hannity’s ties to Turner have been public knowledge since at least 2005, when Max Blumenthal reported on them in The Nation. But last Wednesday, March 19, the good people over at NewsHounds captured a remarkable exchange between Hannity and guest Malik Shabazz, head of the anti-white and anti-Semitic hate group, the New Black Panther Party. In it, Hannity initially denies knowing Turner.
The exchange starts with Hannity on the offensive as he discusses Obama’s 20-year relationship with his controversial former minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright: “What I don’t think you’re understanding here, Malik, is that when you hear the minister of him for 20 years, when you hear the associations with [Nation of Islam leader] Louis Farrakhan, one of the biggest racists and anti-Semites in the country, what you’re not understanding is, America hears extremism at its worst.”
“Let me ask you this,” Shabazz replies. “Are you to be judged by your promotion and association with Hal Turner?”
Sputtering, Hannity responds, “I don’t know anybody named — this is nonsense. I don’t…” But then he changes course. “Sir, sir… That was a man that was banned from my radio show 10 years ago, that ran a Senate campaign in New Jersey.”
“A neo-Nazi, you backed his career,” Shabazz said.
“That is an absolute, positive, lie and you’ve been reading the wrong websites, my friend,” Hannity shot back. “Good try.”
As was pointed out yesterday by The Huffington Post, the two men indeed did have had “a nice, long, chummy history.” However, there’s no evidence that Hannity remained friendly with Turner once Turner went public as a full-fledged neo-Nazi.