The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.
Now that former Congressman Bob Beauprez has officially entered the race for the Republican nomination for governor in Colorado, his long record as a rabble-rousing conservative is being closely examined. This week an old video he recorded in 2012 resurfaced at ColoradoPols.com, showing Beauprez contemplating the possibility that Americans might turn to violent revolt against the Obama administration.
The observations came in an interview with Perry Atkinson of The Dove TV program Focus Today, recorded July 31, 2012. Beauprez and Atkinson were discussing the alleged dangers of American participation in various United Nations treaties “that potentially would allow Iran to disarm Americans.” Watch:
ATKINSON: You know Congressman, this, this, I don’t even like going down this road, but if this saw the light of day, and God forbid that it would, but if this saw the light of day, wouldn’t this be a modern-day civil war in this country?
BEAUPREZ: Well, some are wondering what will be the, the line that gets crossed eventually, where, where people actually rise up and say enough. I mean, our founding documents refer to it, that people have every right, a free people have every right, that when government becomes too obtrusive, too obsessive, too overwhelming, and infringes on their individual liberty and freedom, free people have the right to overthrow that government and establish a new one.
I hope and pray that, that we don’t see another revolution in this country. I hope and pray we don’t see another civil war, but this administration is pushing the boundaries like none I think we’ve ever, ever seen.
The treaty they are discussing, the proposed Arms Trade Treaty, is the focus of numerous far-right conspiracy theories, particularly among John Birch Society adherents and like-minded anti-government “Patriots”.
Beauprez, who campaigns as a “Tea Party” conservative these days, is no stranger to controversy. During his 2006 bid for the governorship (a race he eventually lost to Democrat Bill Ritter by a 17-point margin), he claimed during a debate that “as high as 70 percent, maybe even more” of African-American women’s pregnancies end in abortion, a remark for which he later apologized. Also, his campaign was briefly embroiled in a controversy involving the misuse of a national criminal database for ads targeting Ritter.
On a gorgeous spring day in Phoenix, a few hundred conservatives gathered at the downtown convention center to hobnob with lawmakers and stars of the movement at an event formerly known as Western CPAC, referencing the annual Washington, D.C.-based right-wing Conservative Political Action Conference, but now called the Western Conservative Conference (WCC). The conservatives spent their time gnashing their teeth at panels dedicated to the usual conservative bugaboos. They hit all the hot topics: President Obama is “lawless,” Obamacare is the worst. law. ever., the Constitution is under attack, OMG taxes, immigration amnesty will cause the collapse of the United States and gun control will lead to Nazi Germany.
The WCC took place last Saturday. It included a red-meat lineup of speakers at the morning plenary session. Keynote speaker and failed presidential candidate Herman Cain provided folksy anecdotes and exhortations to “stay informed, stay involved, and stay inspired” (something you can accomplish via his website, which he made sure to mention several times during the speech), and had the crowd on its feet.
Tea Partier Darla Dawald, the national director of the Patriot Action Network, announced that she’s running for office (Arizona state representative) and Tea Party News Network’s news director Scottie Hughes insisted that the conservative movement “is the true movement of diversity,” a claim that didn’t seem to hold much water, given that the vast majority of the gathered crowd was white and not particularly young.
Joe Miller, perpetual Alaska senatorial candidate and Tea Party favorite, claimed that the government keeps a dossier on all of us and wondered why the House of Representatives has not started impeachment proceedings against President Obama, saying “this man needs to go” to the cheers and applause of audience members. ( continue to full post… )
Part of Richard Mack’s shtick has always been seeming normal. Even as he spouts far-right conspiracies about the New World Order, his suit-and-tie demeanor and slick authoritativeness give him an aura of credibility that many right-leaning audiences find compelling, if not persuasive.
Perhaps it’s no wonder, then, that last weekend Mack was invited to moderate a debate in the Clark County sheriff’s race in Las Vegas, sponsored by the Libertarian Party of Nevada. And it certainly isn’t any surprise, given the fact that Mack is the leader of the far-right “constitutional sheriffs” movement, that he used that respectable-seeming podium to steer the conversation far to the right.
Mack asked a number of conspiracy-minded questions with anti-government “Patriot” movement leanings, opening with: “When government becomes venal and oppressive and out of control, can the people of Clark County count on you for peace, safety and protection?” He later asked the candidates: “Is forcing a law-abiding citizen to register their firearm unconstitutional, and will you take action to abolish the handgun registration process?”
The candidates’ answers all sturdily affirmed their opposition to such laws. One candidate, former Detective Gordon Martines, denounced the state’s gun-registration laws: “My neighbors, my friends and my family are not going to get carted off to some federal institution because of some pretend legislation. Over my dead body.”
Fortunately, for the people of Clark County, the candidates have had more grounded conversations elsewhere. At a later debate sponsored by the county’s three largest labor unions, the conversation focused on questions about sales taxes, “their leadership qualities and department morale.”
Antigovernment extremists have always feared those elusive black helicopters. Now they can add government surveillance drones to their paranoia list.
In what’s being called the first case of its kind in the United States, a Predator drone operated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection played a role in the arrest of a farmer who is an adherent of the anti-tax “sovereign citizens” movement and his three sons, all of whom were sentenced earlier this month in Lakota, N.D.
The case started on June 23, 2011, when a neighbor’s six cows wandered on to Rodney Brossart’s 3,600-acre farm in eastern North Dakota and Brossart didn’t immediately return them. Brossart, whose run-ins with the law and his neighbors are reportedly legendary in that part of North Dakota, was accused of threatening and fighting with deputies who went looking for the missing cows before arresting him. ( continue to full post… )
It took a federal jury in Gainesville, Ga., only 90 minutes to convict two members of a north Georgia militia in a plot to produce the deadly poison ricin and use it to “attack government buildings and kill government employees.”
Samuel J. Crump Jr., 70, and Ray H. Adams, 57, were convicted Friday of conspiracy, possession of a biological toxin for use as a weapon and attempted possession of a biological toxin. A sentencing date hasn’t been set, but both face up to life in prison.
The pair were among four suspects arrested on Nov. 1, 2011, after two FBI informants secretly taped 400 hours of discussions of plans for dispersing ricin powder from speeding cars in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Jacksonville, Fla., and New Orleans. Two of the men pleaded guilty in the antigovernment plot in 2012.
The FBI considered the case one of its top terrorism investigations of 2011. While it wasn’t clear what the men expected to accomplish with their ricin attacks, they were taped talking about “saving the Constitution” by killing people. ( continue to full post… )
A neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio, was evacuated Wednesday after authorities arrested an armed “sovereign citizen” facing eviction and then found bombs and bomb-making supplies when they searched his foreclosed home.
Mark Kulis, 55, was armed but arrested without incident by Franklin County sheriff’s deputies who waited for him to leave the residence before making the arrest at a nearby car wash, officials said.
Then, after investigators found flash powder and at least five assembled improvised explosive devices while serving a search warrant at the suspect’s home, nearby homes were ordered evacuated. One of the homemade bombs, rigged to a motion sensor, was found in an oven in the kitchen, WBNS-TV in Columbus reported.
It wasn’t clear what purpose the bombs were meant to serve. ( continue to full post… )
The antigovernment “Patriot” world has lost one of its most ardent conspiracy theorists.
Gerald “Jack” McLamb, 69, a military veteran, retired Phoenix police officer and longtime promulgator of Patriot conspiracy theories, died on Saturday, according to a post at Republic Broadcasting, where he hosted a radio show. An earlier post noted that McLamb collapsed on Jan. 9 at his home in Indiana and was placed on life support. He had numerous “physical disabilities,” noted one of the announcements, though what those were or whether they contributed to his death is unknown.
Following his retirement from the Phoenix Police Department in 1986, McLamb became active on the Patriot circuit, speaking at various events (often wearing his police uniform) and running a shortwave radio show where he often railed against the “New World Order” – a feared totalitarian “one world government.” He produced a periodical called Aid & Abet Police Newsletter and, most famously, a 75-page document titled Operation Vampire Killer 2000: American Police Action Plan for Stopping World Government Rule, written in 1992 (Conspiracy-monger Alex Jones is selling the updated version in his Infowars store). McLamb also ran a group called Police Against the New World Order and made the unlikely claim that he had an 6,300 members.
McLamb was perhaps best known for his claim that the government placed unobtrusive colored dots on people’s mailboxes so that troops serving the New World Order after martial law is declared would know what to do with the people living at each address. A blue dot meant that you were destined for a FEMA-operated concentration camp; pink indicated you were to be used for slave labor; red meant you were to be shot in the head immediately. ( continue to full post… )
Richard Mack, the “constitutionalist” sheriff who has been one of the leading promoters of the concept of “nullification” of federal laws by state and county authorities in recent years, stepped into the battle over same-sex marriage in Utah this weekend. Mack headlined a gathering of like-minded law-enforcement officers and declared that it was time for an “uprising against gay marriage” after a series of federal court rulings opened the door to same-sex unions in the state.
“The people of Utah have rights, too, not just the homosexuals. The homosexuals are shoving their agenda down our throats,” he told the audience of about 200 people in suburban Highland on Saturday. The meeting was co-sponsored by Mack’s Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) and a local radio station. ( continue to full post… )
The arrest in late November of a prominent “Freeman” leader in Canada has underscored the recent rise of the “sovereign citizens” movement north of the border, as well as law-enforcement authorities’ concerns about that development.
Dean Clifford, a self-described “contractor from Winnipeg” who tours Canada giving lectures to paying audiences on how to avoid paying taxes by declaring oneself a “Freeman on the Land,” was arrested by Canadian authorities on Nov. 24 at a hotel in Hamilton, Ontario, shortly after giving one of his talks. He was charged with failing to show up for court hearings regarding his July 19 arrest for alleged traffic violations, and remains under arrest today.
Clifford is well known in the Canadian movement of sovereign citizens, which is composed of antigovernment activists who generally believe they do not have to follow most tax and criminal laws (many sovereigns, in both the United States and Canada, refer to themselves as “freemen.”) His videos, featuring Clifford holding forth on various means by which ordinary people can “divest” themselves of government control and taxation, are popular among followers in both Canada and the United States, where the sovereign citizen movement has long been associated with right-wing extremists and antigovernment violence. ( continue to full post… )
The U.S. Secret Service is aware of a man with ties to a group called the Christian American Patriots Militia who is the apparent author of a Facebook post that says the antigovernment group has the “authority” to assassinate President Obama.
“We now have authority to shoot Obama, i.e., to kill him,” Everest Wilhelmsen wrote on his Facebook page on Nov. 19 – the same day Larry Klayman and his Reclaim America Coalition held a rally across from the White House to begin a “second American Revolution.”
While Wilhelmsen’s post doesn’t specifically mention the rally or Klayman, the anti-Obama rhetoric is in the same vein.
The Secret Service reportedly became aware of Wilhelmsen’s written threat yesterday, the day before the nation marked the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. ( continue to full post… )