Steven Barry Becomes Important Figure in Paramilitary Underground
By Gregory A. Walker
Not satisfied with the Army's response to its questions, Dellums' committee informed the Special Forces Command that its staffers would again visit Ft. Bragg seeking answers.
On Sept. 18, 1996, in preparation for this visit, the Special Forces Command under Major General Kenneth R. Bowra authorized an official administrative investigation "into the possible illegal activities of active duty soldiers associated with ... The Resister."
On Oct. 9, Bowra reported some preliminary findings to Withers and another committee staffer: a soldier (Barry) had been identified as distributor, publisher and editor of The Resister; the publication had ties to Soldier of Fortune (through Pate); and the publication apparently had links to other extreme-right organizations and personalities.
A key CID concern was information that had appeared in several of Pate's Soldier of Fortune articles. In August 1996, for example, Pate quoted "an Army Special Forces source at Fort Bragg," along with two others, to allege that the Army's elite DELTA counter-terrorism unit had been improperly deployed at Waco. Officials wanted to locate Pate's information pipeline — a pipeline they suspected began with Barry.
In late 1996, a DELTA soldier sympathetic to Barry was placed under surveillance, and classified information about an upcoming DELTA exercise in Houston was purposely leaked to him.
The exercise already had been compromised by a Houston city official, but with no specifics as to the date. Special Forces Command now claims it wanted to see if this more detailed information would find its way to The Resister and, ultimately, to Jim Pate and Soldier of Fortune.
The Trap is Sprung
Sure enough, Pate showed up in downtown Houston to watch and photograph the Oct. 30 night-time exercise, which involved an aerial assault on an abandoned building — which was now being played out, in part, for Pate's benefit.
In his February 1997 Soldier of Fortune story describing the exercise, Pate crowed about the "alpha-one" intelligence he'd received in advance and quoted "various special operations sources" in characterizing it. Published with his article was a floor plan Pate had obtained that indicated which floors and rooms in the abandoned building would be stormed by DELTA.
As officials with the Special Operations Command identified those around Barry, sources of information for The Resister (and, apparently, Soldier of Fortune) were dried up. Officials warned many sympathetic soldiers away from Barry and his publication, and some transfers were ordered.
The result, in part, was a change in The Resister. What had been a magazine focused on criticism of internal military matters increasingly became a mouthpiece for little more than extremist political views.
Some connected to the House committee and the CID investigation thought that Barry would face charges. But this never happened. Barry was left in place until he retired in November 1997.
The primary reason that Barry was not drummed out of the Army, sources say, was that an undercover federal investigation of Barry and the SFU was under way in 1996. Barry's operation had become so transparent that investigators were able to use it to identify other active duty extremists.
Since leaving the armed forces, Barry — a professed anti-welfare, anti-state benefit ideologue — lives on a government retirement check and shops at a discounted government commissary and PX. His college education at a predominantly black university in Fayetteville was funded by government Pell grants. But these are the kind of contradictions that have never seemed to bother Barry.
In the last two years, The Resister and its editor have moved even further to the right. In 1998, it began publishing full-page advertisements from the neo-Nazi National Alliance, prompting its long-time pro bono attorney, Kevin Jamison, to quit in protest. ("One is known by the company he keeps," Jamison wrote to Barry. "I will not have my name in the same magazine as an advertisement for nazis.")
Last fall, Barry joined an Arlington, Va., gathering hosted by white separatist author Jared Taylor, editor of American Renaissance magazine. Also in attendance was an old friend: James L. Pate of Soldier of Fortune.
Extremists and the Military
In April of this year, Barry — who publicly and repeatedly has claimed that he opposes Nazism — went a step further, joining neo-Nazi National Alliance leader William Pierce as Pierce's invited guest at a Cleveland gathering of the European-American Cultural Fest. The next day, he addressed a National Alliance meeting in the same city.
These in-person activities fit well with Barry's recent writings. In the January issue of The Resister, he unleashes tirades against Jews, blacks, immigrants and women.
On Jews: "Communism is, for all practical purposes, a Jewish invention." Television is "Talmudvision," aimed at promoting socialism. It figures, Barry asserts, that poet Emma Lazarus, "a Jewish Bolshevik female" who wrote the famous inscription on the Statue of Liberty welcoming the "huddled masses," "would think of such a collectivist obscenity."
On blacks: "American Negroes did not earn their citizenship, it was a blanket government grant to African slave labor. Their first undeserved welfare handout. ... Negroes are not 'victims' of 'subtle white racism,' whites are victims of the Negroes' very presence on this continent." Blacks "cannot build, only destroy."
On immigrants: "Do you believe that Africans, Mexicans, Arabs, or Asians could have created America? One look at their squalid, collectivist, regional pest holes is the obvious answer. ... [The media] coo and gurgle that in fifty years whites will be a minority in America. They might as well simply declare that in fifty years America will be a Third World Communist dung hill." The nation is faced with the "unassimilable Southern hemisphere barbarians that flood almost unchecked into America."
On women: Most are "collectivist utopian egalitarians."
Only time will tell if Barry develops into an important leader of the extremist right. It is possible that other radical leaders will dismiss him as a walking oxymoron — a man who depicts himself as a deep cover operative but whose insatiable taste for attention and less-than-stellar attempts to keep his own operations secret reveal critical weaknesses. Certainly, he has followed a trajectory toward more and more extreme politics, ideologies that make him amenable to America's most serious neo-Nazis.
As a former Special Forces instructor, Steven Barry has military qualities and contacts that make him extremely appealing to such leaders — and potentially dangerous to the rest of us.
Gregory A. Walker, the author of "At the Hurricane's Eye: U.S. Special Operations Forces from Vietnam to Desert Storm" and other books and articles, served with the Special Forces from 1980-1999. In 1996, he was assigned to assist in an official investigation of Steven Barry, a task for which he was awarded a Meritorious Service Medal. A decorated combat veteran, Walker is presently a police officer in the Pacific Northwest and a contributor to Jane's International Police Review on the issue of domestic terrorism.