Veterans Today Editor Blames Newtown Tragedy on Israel

Veterans Today, a website that purports to be a “military veterans and foreign affairs journal” but is really a locus of the far right, is now squarely in neo-Nazi territory.

Oh, sure, Veterans Today (VT) has engaged in all kinds of conspiracy theorizing, most of it focusing on the alleged evils of Israel, for years. Senior editor and board chairman Gordon Duff has claimed that the 9/11 attacks were a joint U.S./Israel operation and that the U.S. government is totally controlled by Israel. The site has even claimed that the Holocaust never occurred or was greatly exaggerated.

But this December, VT seemed to be trying to outdo itself when its financial editor Mike Harris, who also sits on VT’s editorial board, went on Iranian government-backed Press TV to claim that the recent murders of 20 small children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary school was carried out by Israeli death squads. The reason, he said on Dec. 17, is that the Israelis were angry about the United Nations’ vote in November to grant the Palestinians non-member observer status.

“[T]hat is something that Israelis do very, very well,” said Harris, who, remarkably enough, came in third in the 2006 Republican primary for Arizona governor. “They target the innocent, they target children, they target women.” Harris went on to blame Israeli death squads for the January 2011 critical wounding of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of six other people (actually carried out by a mentally ill man named Jared Lee Loughner); the July 2011 murder of 77 people in Norway (actually carried out by an anti-Muslim terrorist); and the July 2012 murder of 12 people at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater (apparently carried out by suspect James Eagan Holmes, who also was apparently mentally ill).

The Sandy Hook killings, which took place on Dec. 14 in Newtown, Conn., were also a product of a violent American culture, Harris said on Press TV — a culture, he said, that “comes from the Jews in Hollywood.” He blasted the “Zionist-occupied government that we have in this country — words that might have come from the mouths of uniformed American neo-Nazis, who commonly refer to the government as ZOG, for “Zionist Occupied Government.” “I am very much anti-Israel,” Harris told Press TV’s audience. “I want Israel off the face of the earth.”

Perhaps Harris’ comments shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Joining him on the current VT advisory board are Jeff Rense, a longtime racist and conspiracy theorist who carries former Klan leader David Duke’s radio show on his website and recently offered to host former Alabama Klan leader Don Black’s Internet radio show there as well; and University of Minnesota-Duluth emeritus professor of philosophy James Fetzer, who recently wrote on the site that the Newtown shootings were part of a “psy-op” meant to “strike fear in the hearts of Americans.” He didn’t conclusively say who had carried out that “psy-op,” but did say that its brutality was a “signature of terror ops conducted by agents of Israel.”

VT’s propaganda is increasingly circulating on other conspiracist sites of the radical right, along with straight-up racist sites like Stormfront. After Harris’ appearance on Press TV, one Stormfront poster suggested offering him “honorary membership.”

Harris has been on the political fringe for some time now. He has defended David Duke as a “shining example of western freedom and democracy,” adding somewhat bizarrely that the veteran Klansman and neo-Nazi had “actively embraced the diversity of cultures around the world.” He also defended openly neo-Nazi J.T. Ready after he murdered five people, including his girlfriend and her 15-month-old granddaughter, before killing himself in May 2012. To Harris, Ready, a one-time member of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement, was “one of America’s greatest hero’s [sic],” a man who battled Mexican drug cartels and local police corruption. Harris hinted that Ready was murdered by the cartels.

Local police strenuously disagree.