The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Alleged Georgia Plotters Belonged to Racist, Anti-Semitic Group

By Mark Potok on November 3, 2011 - 1:27 pm, Posted in Anti-Black, Anti-Semitic, Domestic Terrorism, Patriot Groups

The FBI undercover tapes of four North Georgia militiamen arrested Tuesday offer an extraordinary glimpse of the terrorism the group is accused of planning. Details of how they allegedly intended to commit mass murder with deadly ricin, carry out assassinations of officials, and bomb government buildings abound in government affidavits that directly quote the men talking to undercover informants.

But there’s one thing the affidavits don’t tell you: What did these four elderly Georgians allegedly hope to accomplish? About as close as you get to an answer is this cryptic quote from the alleged ringleader, 73-year-old Frederick W. Thomas: “When it comes to saving the Constitution, that means some people gotta die.”

Although the group is not mentioned in the court papers, the organization the men belonged to is certainly the Georgia Militia, which on its Web page identifies one of the accused terrorists, Dan Roberts, 67, as a contact. And the Georgia Militia is one of the hardest line such groups around, going far beyond most militias’ hatred of the federal government to traffic in open racism and anti-Semitism.

On its website, the Georgia Militia links to the usual array of conspiratorial materials from other antigovernment “Patriot” groups — but it also links to the Council of Conservative Citizens, a group that angrily opposes interracial marriage and has described black people as a “retrograde species of humanity.” Another link goes to American Patrol, a racist anti-immigrant hate group.

Also found on the Georgia Militia’s website is an essay, “Protocols of Zion & Freemasonry’s Final Revelation,” that extensively cites the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a viciously anti-Semitic forgery that is nevertheless treated there as a revelatory text. Author Henry Makow discusses “the primitive Talmudic injunction to rule the world and usurp all its wealth, as outlined in the Protocols.” Elsewhere on the site, the Georgia Militia describes Israel as a “cancerous zionist [sic] entity” and refers to “our zionist occupied government that is controlled by powerful zionist lobbyists.” Zionist Occupied Government, or ZOG, is a phrase employed by most American neo-Nazi groups to describe the current federal government.

Then there are the alleged plotters themselves.

Thomas, the alleged ringleader, posted a Dec. 12, 2008, essay to a conservative website, Redstate.com, after Barack Obama was elected president but before he took office. Thomas speculated that if the Supreme Court found that Obama was not a U.S. citizen and therefore not eligible to serve, “[y]ou can bank on race riots the likes of which would make the L.A. and Watts riots look like a playground scuffle. Half the country would go up in flames.” A little later in the same essay, he added, “Personal property is destroyed by rioters to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars every time a racial violent act garners national attention.”

Later, on June 29, 2009, Thomas speculated about who the government hated the most. “It’s not minority citizens this administration and the previous one fear. … It’s you the productive, the people that pay all the taxes, that earn the wealth.”

For his part, Emory Dan Roberts has a past as a neo-Confederate activist. In 2003, Roberts helped organize a protest in Toccoa, Ga., against attempts to change the Georgia state flag, which then included a small Confederate battle flag in its design. Speaking at his rally were members of the Council of Conservative Citizens and the racist League of the South. In 2004, Roberts organized another pro-Confederate flag rally outside a middle school in Stephens County, Ga. One of his fellow protesters was arrested after a rock was thrown at a school bus.

The FBI’s tapes of Roberts, Thomas and the other two alleged plotters — Samuel J. Crump Jr., 68, and Ray H. Adams, 65 — do not spell out what the men hoped to accomplish. But the fact that they belonged to a group that repeatedly expressed racial fears and animus suggests that at least part of their motivation was anger at the way America is changing into a more racially diverse country. The Census Bureau has predicted that white people will lose their majority in the U.S. by 2050, and this has helped propel the growth of hate and other antigovernment groups recently.

In fact, the Patriot groups began to grow explosively in 2008, when there were 149 such groups, in part because the emergence of Obama reminded many of the changing demographics of our country. That, plus the collapse of the economy at around the same time, helped drive an expansion in these groups, to the point where the Southern Poverty Law Center counted 824 in 2010.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    There were no actual complaints of voter intimidation against the New Black Panther party, so they weren’t “provable” as you claim. In fact in one famous video of the incident, you can clearly see white folks going into the polls unmolested.

  • S. Wolf

    Uh huh. A bunch of politically incorrect old geezers are charged but charges against the New Black Panther Party for provable voter intimidation are dropped. Impressive.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    One of Geller’s best friends is Robert Spencer, a man who is as Jewish as he is qualified to speak on Islam, in other words- not at all.

  • Reynardine

    6?: Rightwing donkey doors. The Rev. Terror Jones isn’t a Jew, and neither are the diaperload of Dominionists who are on this bandwagon. So quit putting words in people’s mouths, or anywhere else your organic intrusion isn’t welcomed.

  • IludiumPhosdex

    Meanwhile, it’ll be interesting to see just what sort of interconnect exists between neo-Confederacists and Afrikaner Nationalist sympathisers in South Africa, mostly out of a common bond of claiming “oppressed minority” status to claim “self-determination” (as in establishing a sovereign “national home”, citing the Balfour Declaration as precedent).

    Especially so the prospect of calling for a “Day of Solidarity with the Afrikaner Peoples of South Africa” coincident with the traditional Day of the Covenant holiday (now known as the Day of Reconciliation) on December 16th.

  • 6 degrees

    Stephen Henry wrote,

    “Just imagine how loudly Pamela Geller and her cronies would be howling,”

    And by “cronies” you mean “right-wing Jews,” yes?

  • Linnea

    Yep, Stephen, you got that right!

    The Council of Conservative Citizens seems to be everywhere these days, which is seriously scary. Seems as though an awful lot of people don’t know that they’re actually the White Citizens Councils of the 50′s and 60′s, with just a name change.

  • Stephen Henry

    Just imagine how loudly Pamela Geller and her cronies would be howling, if the would-be perpetrators of this new terror plot were Muslim instead. There have been more terror plots by neo-nazi and other right wing extremists against the US than by any other group. Homeland Security needs to focus on these groups. A few life-sentences at Super Max handed out to the ring-leaders would be quite a deterrent.

  • Reynardine

    This incident has brought mention of such groups back into the mainstream news. It might be pooh-poohed away again under right-wing pressure… at least, until the next Mc Veigh (or McVay) (By the way, did you know both these names are forms of Mac Beth?)