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Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Tragedy of Edgar J. Steele

Edgar J. Steele suffered a severe cardiac trauma in November 2009. In June 2010 he was charged with attempting to hire somebody to kill his wife and mother-in-law. The key evidence against Steele was an audio recording made by the FBI, although there were also witnesses: Steele's handyman Larry Fairfax, whom Steele was accused of hiring to do the killing, and several FBI agents who monitored what Steele was saying while his conversation with Fairfax was being recorded.

Steele claimed that the recording was a fraud, and that he was being framed in a "Mission Impossible, world-class operation." That is an extraordinary claim and I did not believe it. Neither did Jim Giles, who had a daily Internet talkshow at the time.

Giles and I collaborated in the summer of 2010 in studying the Steele case. Giles conducted interviews and I wrote up the results and did research and made suggestions.

There were essentially two different, mutually exclusive approaches to the case.

The first approach was to take Steele seriously. If  Steele really was being framed with a fraudulent recording then he would need a forensic audio expert to demonstrate that it was a fraud. Giles interviewed two top forensic audio experts; the name and contact information for the more experienced of the two was given to Steele in the letter below.

The second approach to the case was to try to explain why Steele would have done that of which he was accused. I discovered that after serious heart traumas and surgery, people are often not in their right minds, sometimes for a long time. Giles interviewed a forensic psychiatrist who said that an adverse effect on Steele's mind and disposition as a result of the trauma was entirely possible. Since Steele had done a number of things that suggested that he was not thinking clearly, I strongly favored this explanation.

Jim Giles asked me to compose this letter that he would send to Steele. Essentially it tells  him how he should pursue his frame-up defense if it is true (which, believe it or not, nobody else was discussing at the time, the talk instead being entirely about how Steele was being railroaded and had no chance), but also gently suggests that he should pursue a psychiatric defense instead if his "Mission Impossible" story happened not to be true.

Jim Giles
Radio Free Mississippi
173 Pear Lane
Pearl, MS 39208-8749
July 15, 2010

Edgar Steele #361857
Spokane County Jail
W. 1100 Mallon
Spokane, Wash. 99260-0320

Mr. Steele:

I have been making inquiries relevant to your case and have turned up some information that may be of great use to you.

I understand that the key evidence against you consists of audio recordings, which you say have been manufactured. Recently I discussed your case with one of the leading forensic audio experts in the country, Mr. Tom Owen. Mr. Owen has worked on many prominent cases, and he has not been afraid to find that the government has at times done wrong. If in fact the recordings have been falsified, he can help you by scientifically demonstrating it to the court, even if the counterfeit is very sophisticated. Mr. Owen is one of only four or five audio experts in the country with this level of expertise. His contact information is as follows:

Tom Owen 758 S. Middlesex Ave. P. O. Box 189 Colonia, NJ 07067
Voice: (732) 574-9672
Fax: (732) 381-4523

What I wish to see is the truth of the matter brought to light. If it happens to be the case that the recordings are genuine and that you did that of which you are accused, I still think you could make a credible defense based on diminished capacity, because there is a well known condition called post-operative psychosis, which is especially common as a sequel to heart surgery. If you have not had a psychiatric evaluation since the arrest, by all means, do.

If it is at all possible, I would also urge you to seek a private attorney rather than relying on the Federal Public Defender. Somebody like Jerry Spence would be ideal. Can you have your counsel seek a private attorney for you?

Do you have access to adequate funds? I have heard that your personal assets are frozen. Can you instruct your counsel to seek to have your assets unfrozen?

I would strongly advise for your sake that you make no further statements to anybody except your legal counsel about the case, and conduct all communication with the outside world through your legal counsel, including any response to this missive.


Jim Giles

Steele responded with the following letter (revealed now for the first time, since Steele had requested that it be kept confidential), in which he heartily embraces the suggestion that he may not have been in his right mind -- "Your mentioning what you called 'post-operative psychosis' was of particular interest" -- for a variety of reasons that he then proceeds to list.

           Main Letter 1
                Main Letter 2
         Medical Recap 1
             Medical Recap 2

The Trial

In spite of all this private endorsement of the proposition that he had not been in his right mind (which implies that he knew that he was not the victim of a conspiracy), Steele continued to claim publicly that he had been framed, and acted on our suggestion to hire a forensic audio expert if he were going to persist in that claim. 

On May 5, 2011 Ed Steele was found guilty after a very short trial, where the defense essentially had no argument. The entire frame-up argument would have hinged on the finding of the defense's forensic audio expert. Unfortunately for all the supporters of the frame-up conspiracy story, Dr. George Papcun's finding was not such as to make a difference, and for that reason was not even admitted into evidence:

George Papcun, who has a doctorate in acoustic phonetics, testified that he examined the recordings and found anomalies that could have been triggered by editing, or by other factors including electronic glitches. He said he wouldn’t use the term “suspicious,” because a variety of factors could have caused the glitches he observed. [Betsy Z. Russell, "Judge Says Steele Witness Unreliable, Spokesman-Review, 22 April 2011]

Nothing "suspicious" in Papcun's finding meant nothing helpful for Steele's case.

Steele was sentenced to fifty years, exactly what the prosecution had asked. After a period of visibly declining health he died on 4 September 2014 at the age of 69, nearly five years after the ruptured aneurysm that nearly killed him and seemed to mark the beginning of his downward spiral.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Hadding Scott and Carolyn Yeager discuss the smears against Frazier Glenn Miller

The discussion about Glenn Miller is in the second hour:

The Heretics' Hour: The Right not to Associate in America

I made one misstatement in the show.

Raw Story paraphrases Kirk Lyons saying that he picked up the transvestite prostitute story from rumors at the courthouse during the Shelby III Adult Bookstore trial. I think I overstated when I said that KL said that he had gotten the rumor from prosecutors.

It was actually Harold Covington -- of all people -- who specified (in his generally strongly anti-Miller Brief History of the White Nationalist Movement) that the Negro transvestite story was put out by prosecutors. He said that prosecutors also put out the rumor that Miller had AIDS:

... the source of the “Peaches” story was later traced to deliberate leaks to the Sheets defense team from Sam Currin’s office, as was a story that Miller allegedly had AIDS, which since he is still alive and drinking today, is palpably untrue.

The “Peaches” episode sounds credible in view of what we know about Miller’s mental and emotional state, and it is also credible in view of the long history of sickening misbehavior by so-called “Great White Leaders.” However, in view of the strong possibility that it may be disinformation from the U. S. Attorney designed to get revenge on their own stumblingly incompetent witness, we will redact it from this report. [Harold Covington, A Brief History of the White Nationalist Movement

Normally anything said by Harold Covington about any other figure in the White Nationalist milieu should be met with extreme skepticism. When, however, he admits that some scurrilous accusation against a person that he habitually attacks is false, it does carry some credibility, because it is contrary to his known bias. The former federal prosecutor Doug McCullough certainly encouraged propagation of the smear in 2014, although subsequently distancing himself from it.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Former federal prosecutor backtracks from "salacious" accusation against Frazier Glenn Miller

Jim Giles is actually hostile to Frazier Glenn Miller.  He has felt very strongly that Frazier Glenn Miller was guilty, as alleged in mass-media, of having been caught in a lewd act with a Black transvestite prostitute sometime in the 1980s. But the fact that the accusation appeared dubious due to lack of documentation troubled him. Giles therefore contacted the source* of the lurid accusation, former federal prosecutor and current North Carolina Judge Doug McCullough, hoping to get confirmation of the claims about Miller, but the result is more nearly the opposite. In fact, by seeking the truth, Jim Giles has done us all, including Frazier Glenn Miller, a great favor.

McCullough claims only one "contempt of court" conviction to show for his plea-agreement with Frazier Glenn Miller

Apart from the Black transvestite prostitute accusation, recent news-reports attributed two other deceptive statements to former federal prosecutor Doug McCullough. The initial report from WTVD-TV in Raleigh includes this quote:

"We secured a number of convictions with his assistance...." [Doug McCullough, quoted by Steve Daniels, WTVD-TV, 24 April 2014]

"A number of convictions" would generally be understood to mean many convictions. It is a well known and easily verifiable fact, however, that none of the defendants were convicted in the Fort Smith Mass-Sedition Trial, and Frazier Glenn Miller's associates Douglas Sheets and Robert Jackson were not convicted of the Shelby III Adult Bookstore murders. Those are the two cases where Miller testified as part of the plea-agreement that enabled him to get out of prison after only three years instead of dying behind bars. (McCullough's other misrepresentation is that Miller would be a free man by now anyway even without the plea-agreement.) There has been criticism (e.g. from Leonard Zeskind) of the fact that McCullough ultimately gained nothing from his deal with Miller, and that is precisely because of the dearth of convictions.

Giles asks McCullough if it is true that there were no convictions made with the cooperation of Frazier Glenn Miller. McCullough responds that there was "at least one person who was convicted. I think he was convicted of contempt of court, and that Miller assisted in that prosecution."

McCullough probably has in mind the conviction of Robert Eugene Jackson for failing to appear in court. Glenn Miller's testimony was clearly not necessary to secure that conviction, since Jackson either had appeared or had not.

After the acquittal of all 13 defendants at the Fort Smith Mass-Sedition Trial, after the acquittal of Douglas Sheets for the mass-murder at the Shelby III Adult Bookstore in a trial lasting only 5½ hours, and after charges were dismissed against Robert Eugene Jackson in the same case, all that former federal prosecutor Doug McCullough can claim for a success to justify his plea-agreement with Frazier Glenn Miller  is a conviction for something along the lines of contempt of court.

The fact that McCullough was clearly being deceptive about the value of his plea-agreement with Frazier Glenn Miller encouraged skepticism about his other, more bizarre claim.

The Black Transvestite Prostitute Accusation

Giles asks McCullough if it is true that Miller was caught in a lewd act with a Black male prostitute:

"I am not going to say he was in the act. I don't have any recollection of that. He was in the company of this person, is the way I have consistently stated it. If anybody has said that I described him as being engaged in an act, that would be erroneous. He was in the company of a person who was known to the police to be engaged in that kind of activity for money, but to say that they were engaged in that act at the very moment that the police-officer pulled him over, I don't think that would be accurate, and I've never said that." (Doug McCullough, 30 April 2014)

McCullough surely knows that WTVD-TV has indeed claimed that Glenn Miller was caught in the act. This is from WTVD's report, which was picked up by the ABC Television Network and then traveled around the world:

The ABC11 I-Team has also learned something stunning about Miller's time in the Raleigh area. In the 1980s, Raleigh police caught him in the backseat of a car engaged in a sex act with a prostitute - a prostitute who was a black man dressed as a woman. [Steve Daniels, WTVD-11, 24 April 2014]

Context implies that McCullough, who claimed to have seen the incident-report in question, was also responsible for the claim that Miller was "caught in the act." Now McCullough says that this is not true. McCullough also denies knowing the related detail about being caught "in the backseat":

"I don't recall. I don't recall if it described where the two parties were sitting." (Doug McCullough, 30 April 2014)

Since McCullough refers to Miller's being "pulled over" -- which would mean that he was driving his vehicle -- the probability that Miller was in the back seat at the time seems very slight. 

So here we have the former prosecutor, the ostensible source of the scurrilous tale about Frazier Glenn Miller and the Black transvestite prostitute, denying knowledge of much of what has been reported, and implying that WTVD's reporter Steve Daniels, or some source that Daniels was using but did not name (McCullough implies the SPLC), substantially invented the story.**

McCullough proceeds to complain about how mass-media distorted his account, but then lets slip that he has in fact misrepresented his own knowledge about the matter. He claims that there were "salacious" details which he told reporters he did not wish to discuss, even though he now admits that there could not have been any "salacious" details, because according to what McCullough now says, no lewd act was recorded in the alleged incident-report.

McCullough refers to the incident-report that is alleged as the basis of the whole scandal as a document of "marginal significance." That is McCullough's explanation for the fact that neither he nor anybody else seems to have retained  the document. Given the nationwide notoriety of Frazier Glenn Miller in the 1980s, and the sensational nature of the accusation, such an incident-report would not be a document of marginal significance, and it does not seem like something that would be discarded.

Frazier Glenn Miller, in an interview with the SPLC's Heidi Beirich last year, admitted that there was some incident with a Black transvestite prostitute, but maintains that his intentions toward that person were violent. The details of the story as reported by television-station WTVD and subsequently repeated by news-media around the world, especially the claim that Miller had been caught in the midst of a lewd act, made Miller's version of the story seem untenable. At this point however, the man who says that he actually saw the incident-report, who is also the only source for the story mentioned by WTVD, former federal prosecutor J. Douglas  McCullough, has disavowed all alleged details that contradict Frazier Glenn Miller's account. 

This is in no way meant to justify Frazier Glenn Miller's or anybody else's actions in random "coon-conking" or "fag-bashing." This kind of activity was perhaps common at one time among skinheads and klansmen, but, although it may offer some immediate gratification, the ultimate effect of such uncivilized behavior, while law and order are still somewhat in effect, is counterproductive. 

The point is that former federal prosecutors and mass-media should not be lying or elaborating vivid accusations around an ambiguous grain of truth -- even about a person that they are confident nobody will try to  defend. 
* McCullough is the only source that Steve Daniels named regarding the accusation about the male prostitute, and is thereby indicated as the source for all alleged details of the incident. Context also implies it. If McCullough was not the source for the claim that Miller was caught in a lewd act with a male prostitute, then Daniels has written a very misleading report.

** Steve Daniels was contacted and informed of the falsity and credibility-problems of some of the claims in his report, but no correction has been made. Even if McCullough did all the lying and Daniels accurately represented what McCullough had said, Daniels and whoever edits WTVD's news still bear responsibility for not being skeptical about wild claims, and for not bothering to check facts -- especially after they have been informed that there is a problem.


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Saturday, April 26, 2014

Is former Federal Prosecutor and current North Carolina Judge Douglas McCullough LYING about Frazier Glenn Miller?

On 14 April 2014 WTVD-11.of Raleigh, North Carolina, an ABC affiliate, published a story by Steve Daniels attacking the character of Frazier Glenn Miller. This story was immediately propagated far and wide by ABC and then predictably echoed uncritically by other mass-media.

The source of these attacks on Miller's past was Douglas McCullough, a former federal prosecutor who is now an elected (Republican) judge. As an elected official -- in other words, a politician -- McCullough is not an uninterested party in this matter.

First, McCullough seems to exaggerate the value of Miller's cooperation under a plea-agreement that McCullough arranged with Miller in the late 1980s:

"We secured a number of convictions with his assistance and in our view we had removed him from a leadership role in the White Patriot Party, because now he was in jail," explained McCullough.

This is a puzzling claim from the former federal prosecutor, because there were no felony convictions in either of the trials where Frazier Glenn Miller testified, neither in the Fort Smith Mass-Sedition Trial nor in the Shelby III Adult Bookstore trial. What "convictions" McCullough has in mind is not evident.**

McCullough seems to be claiming past successes for himself, where in fact he failed.

The fact that McCullough is defending his own reputation becomes even clearer in this section of WTVD's report:

According to a 1987 sentencing memorandum from federal prosecutors, if Miller had not become an informant, and if the government had pursued all charges against him, he could have faced a 100-year sentence if convicted.
We asked McCullough if it's possible Miller would still be in prison and three people in Kansas would still be alive.
"Not possible. You have to take into context types of sentences that were actually being imposed and the types of offenses he had committed," McCullough explained.
He said Miller would have served no more than 10 to 12 years.

The former federal prosecutor may claim in 2014 that Glenn Miller would have served no more than 10 to12 years in prison if prosecutors had not made a deal with him, but that is closer to the maximum that Miller could have faced after the deal was made. The Associated Press reported in 1988 that Miller could have been sentenced to more than 100 years in prison if federal prosecutors had not offered him a plea-agreement (Associated Press, 4 January 1988).

That's two major misrepresentations that save the former prosecutor's reputation at Glenn Miller's expense. Then McCullough makes an innuendo of sexual perversion about Miller:

The ABC11 I-Team has also learned something stunning about Miller's time in the Raleigh area. In the 1980s, Raleigh police caught him in the backseat of a car engaged in a sex act with a prostitute - a prostitute who was a black man dressed as a woman. "It was pretty shocking," said McCullough.  "...because of his personal stances that he had taken and what he was now accused of engaging in."

McCullough told ABC11 he read the Raleigh police report about the incident with the prostitute. "The facts speak for themselves, and people can draw their own conclusion about how incongruous something like that is," he offered.

Miller did not face charges in connection with the incident. McCullough explained that's likely because the government was pursuing the much bigger case against him.

While McCullough claims that that the facts "speak for themselves," he presents no facts. He does not even state the year in which the incident is supposed to have occurred. The claim that some crime was committed and discovered by Raleigh Police without any charge being filed also seems highly suspect. It is not clear how the federal government's alleged intentions toward Miller should have motivated local authorities in Raleigh to desist from prosecuting an alleged violation of a local law. McCullough's account is void of details and makes no sense on its face.

A spokesman for the Raleigh Police Department, responding to an inquiry on 24 April 2014,  says that no record of the incident to which McCullough refers could be found. He is quoted here with permission:

Recent news articles have included a mention of an incident said to have occurred in Raleigh, N.C., involving F. Glenn Miller; however no police report of such an incident has been located and no record of and an arrest for such an incident has been found. [Jim Sughrue, Director of Public Affairs, Raleigh Police Department, 25 April 2014]

When giving permission to be quoted, Mr. Sughrue cautioned that there was some possibility that the documents relating to the incident (assuming that they existed) had been misfiled, since they would date from the period before RPD computerized its record-keeping.

However, since certain other elements of Doug McCullough's account of Glenn Miller seem to be false (especially the claim that convictions were secured with Miller's help), the most likely explanation seems to be that there was no such incident-report and no such arrest.

There are two discernible motives in McCullough's statements. One is to kill any sympathy that might exist for Miller and whatever he represents by branding him as a closet homosexual and hypocrite. These are typical themes of smear-propaganda that have been standard for many decades. Such accusations were even used in ancient times. The other is McCullough's exaggeration of his own record of success as a prosecutor, and self-justification in the question of whether federal prosecutors should have worked with Miller, since there has been general criticism recently of federal prosecutors' practice of seeking the cooperation of criminals.

This is not to justify the shootings that Miller committed recently. The premise here is that nobody is justifiably tarred with lies.
* Some news-sources are even adding baseless details to the story. The New York Daily News adds the detail that Glenn Miller "paid" to have sex with the alleged Black transvestite prostitute, a detail that does not appear in their source, the report from WTVD. The addition of a detail like that is not inconsequential: it cuts off much of the possibility for doubting the approved interpretation of what happened. With sufficient aggregation of assumed details like that, a completely convincing story can be created out of practically nothing.

** “His testimony was extremely weak,” complains Leonard Zeskind, “I believe that Miller was essentially playing a game with the feds. And I don’t think he had any intention of becoming a good witness.” Zeskind clearly opines that McCullough's plea-agreement with Glenn Miller was not worthwhile. (James Hill, ABC News, 24 April 2014) McCullough claimed on 30 April 2014 that he got a conviction for "contempt of court" with Miller's cooperation, but that is not a felony, and if he means the conviction of Robert Jackson for failing to appear in court, Miller's testimony was not necessary for that.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

On Frazier Glenn Miller and the Downfall of his White Patriot Party

Miller's Prior Life

Frazier Glenn Miller
According to Glenn Miller, he only became racially conscious in 1974.  Prior to that he had been a liberal and self-hating White man,  "the world's first wigger," "ashamed to be White and ashamed to be from the South." At the age of 26 he had married a Polynesian woman (A White Man Speaks Out, ch. 4), whom he describes as "the biggest whore in Fort Bragg, North Carolina." The marriage lasted about three years and produced only one child (which Miller doubts is his).

Miller's worldview had begun to change in the late 1960s as a result of becoming better acquainted with his father, who had been generally absent when Glenn Miller was growing up.  In 1974 Miller joined the National States Rights Party, and then in early 1976 the National Socialist Party of America. Miller says that his former marriage to a Polynesian woman was never a secret.

Official documents state that Miller was in the Army from 03 March 1959 to 31 May 1979 (a full 20-year stint) at which time he retired. His rank/grade is given as Master Sergeant. Decorations and awards include: Parachutist Badge, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with 1 silver service star and 2 bronze service stars, Army Commendation Medal, Bronze Star Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm, Good Conduct Medal (5th award), Vietnam Civil Actions Medal 1st class. The announcement of his Bronze Star award on 16 June 1970 says that he was at the time Sergeant First Class, assigned to Detachment B-53, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), 1st Special Forces.

Glenn Miller's Weakness and Harold Covington's Exaggeration

In a post on the Northwest Front Forums dated 7 February 2010, Harold Covington took overall credit for the vast section of A Brief History of the White Nationalist Movement that is about Frazier Glenn Miller: "The Glenn Miller section is pretty much mine..."  In truth, however, almost half of it is plagiarized from an essay by Bill White titled  "Frazier Glenn Miller: A Biography Up Through His Convictions" published on in February 2006.

Harold Covington's Brief History claims that Miller had not one but several mixed-race children, and had them playing in his yard with his White children when he was a unit leader in the NSPA.  We are supposed to believe that a member of the National Socialist Party of America, Karl Kessler, observed this, but that Covington, leader of the party in North Carolina,  somehow never learned about it until years later.

Most likely Covington says that he only learned "years later" of Miller's past in order to avoid the problem of explaining why he, as a higher-up in the NSPA, had been willing to overlook it for several years. The same pattern is evident in the way that Covington has chosen -- even to this day -- to feign ignorance of his friend Frank Collin's Jewish ancestry.

Then there is the matter of Glenn Miller's consumption of alcohol. While Bill White only mentions Miller's being intoxicated on one occasion,  Covington caricatures him as a man constantly intoxicated. It is certain that Covington exaggerates, because at the time of his association with Covington and the NSPA Miller was an active-duty Army non-commissioned officer (E-8 Master Sergeant) and had to be sober at least five days a week. He also mentions turning down a shot of moonshine prior to the 1979 Greensboro Shootout because it was too early in the day.

Covington spoke highly of Miller in a letter that he sent from the Isle of Man to his former NSPA associates in early 1987. Click on the image, then click again to read it:

This letter is inconsistent with Covington's later representation of how he perceived Miller's character during his tenure with the NSPA.

Be that as it may, Glenn Miller clearly did have a drinking problem that was a great source of weakness for him.  Miller talks about alcohol a few times in his autobiography.  He even mentions a DUI arrest, and another occasion of driving while intoxicated. More importantly, it seems likely that a certain tendency to flee into escapism, which may have been the fundamental cause of his alcohol-consumption, undermined Miller's ability to deal with stressful situations in a steady, rational manner.

The White Patriot Party

In the early 1980s Frazier Glenn Miller led the most visible White racist organization in the country. Originally called the Carolina Knights of the KKK, then the Confederate Knights of the KKK, it ultimately became known as the White Patriot Party. Miller's organization was brought down through (1) the misbehavior of some members, (2) focused legal harassment, and (3) Miller's insufficient nerve and prudence for the tremendously difficult situations that he had to navigate.

Several members of Glenn Miller's Carolina Knights of the KKK who were employees of a North Carolina prison were accused of harassing and intimidating a Negro coworker at his home while representing themselves as members of the CKKKK. This gave an occasion for the Southern Poverty Law Center to sue..

In October 1983 Morris Dees' SPLC filed a $1 million civil suit against Glenn Miller and his organization for civil-rights violation. Miller writes: "This was the beginning of my downfall and the downfall of the organization which I had begun in December of 1980." ( A White Man Speaks Out, ch. 6)

Since a public defender is not provided in Federal civil suits Miller had to conduct the defense himself, which meant that much of his time was taken up as an amateur trying to deal with documents pertaining to the suit, forming a stack of paper four feet high by the time Miller accepted an agreement (consent decree) offered by Morris Dees in January 1985. The agreement said that Miller would not break various laws of North Carolina nor march through predominantly Black neighborhoods.

Miller explains: "Since I did not intend to do any of those things anyway, I was willing to sign it, just to get Dees off my back.... The difference was of course, that by signing the agreement 'as leader of,' I was accepting legal responsibility for every single member and associate of my organization."

While the desire to be done with Dees' lawsuit is entirely understandable, it is clear that Miller should have sought professional advice before signing that "scrap of paper" which he somehow thought would have no consequence.

Miller had interpreted Dees' suit as essentially a fishing expedition; Dees had used the suit as a premise to subpoena and question a large number of CKKKK members, in the hope, Miller believed, of uncovering some real crime. After fifteen months Dees could be considered to have failed in his purpose. Miller perhaps regarded the agreement as Dees' attempt to save face -- to declare victory and go home -- when in reality he was setting a trap.

The most important fact about the consent decree, was that it meant that an alleged violation of the criminal laws of North Carolina would be tried in a federal court, where Morris Dees had allies like crooked US Attorney Sam Currin, whose crookedness is evident in the fact that he pleaded guilty in 2006 to conspiracy to launder money, obstruction of justice, failing to surrender documents, and lying to a grand jury (Chris Fitzsimmon, NC Policy Watch, 9 October 2006).

While the first Morris Dees suit was still going on, in August 1984, ten months after the suit began, Miller was visited by Robert Jay Mathews, who gave him $75,000, which, upon being asked, he admitted was stolen. After that, Mathews brought along several members of the Order who witnessed Miller's receiving an additional $125,000. The fact that a number of members of the Order witnessed the transfer left Miller vulnerable in the event that those members were ever arrested and decided to testify, which some of them did.

When Miller's wife found out that her husband had accepted stolen money, she raged at him for several days, screaming, "I married an idiot!" among other observations.

The real problem was the number of people that had witnessed the second transfer. Order-member
Bruce Pierce, shortly after his capture in April 1985, revealed that Glenn Miller had received stolen funds from the Order. Although Pierce subsequently recanted, the revelation made Miller a focus of increased hostile scrutiny.*

Then an alleged violation of the agreement with the SPLC occurred. In July 1986 Glenn Miller, Stephen Samuel Miller, and the White Patriot Party faced the misdemeanor charge of contempt of court for violating the agreement that had ended the earlier civil-rights suit, with Morris Dees allowed to play the role of special prosecutor.

According to Miller the case was based on perjured testimony from two convicts, James Holder and Robert Norman Jones. Miller writes in his autobiography that Holder's testimony lacked credibility, while Jones lied convincingly. Miller complained that one of his witnesses, Ward Frazier, had been physically beaten to prevent him from testifying (AP, 1 August 1986).

After the trial Miller underwent a lie-detector examination to demonstrate that he had never met Jones and that Jones was therefore lying with his claim that Miller had acquired illegal weapons through him.

Apart from outright perjury, some highly imaginative "expert testimony" of questionable relevance was admitted, from FBI special agent Wayne Manis. Following the arrest of Bruce Pierce in April 1985, the fact that Miller had some connection to the Order became public, a connection that was exaggerated by the FBI agent:

An Effram Zimbalist, Jr. clone in the person of an FBI agent testified for the prosecution that he was an expert on The Order, and on the book Turner Diaries, and that Glenn Miller was definitely a member of The Order, and, I was carrying out the Turner Diary blue-print plan of violently overthrowing the government. He went on to describe in gory detail many of the crimes attributed to members of The Order, implying that I was as guilty as they. (Miller ch. 13)

The Turner Diaries is a novel, and while it portrays some methods that a guerrilla-organization could use, the claim that the work constitutes a "blueprint" -- in other words, an overall strategy -- is absurd.  The method whereby the heroes of the novel win in the end, by tricking the Soviet Union into launching a nuclear attack, lacks credibility. The author, Dr. William Pierce, has said that he wrote the novel to convey certain ideas to people who were more inclined to read fiction than non-fiction.  The Turner Diaries presents a future dystopia based on trends that Dr. William Pierce had observed in the 1970s. The main purpose of The Turner Diaries was to make people aware of those trends.

Furthermore, the picture of a vast White Racist Conspiracy that Wayne Manis portrayed was not realistic. It was the same picture of a vast racist conspiracy that formed the basis of the Fort Smith Sedition Trial in 1987-1988, which ended with all defendants acquitted, and was such an embarrassment for the Reagan Administration that Attorney General Ed Meese resigned. (The Justice Department's paranoid belief in a monolithic racist conspiracy in the 1980s parallels the exaggerations of the Soviet menace during the same period, and also foreshadows the paranoia about a monolithic Islamic conspiracy fifteen years later. Most likely all of these exaggerated beliefs can be traced to the influence of Neoconservative Jews, Ed Meese's chief of staff at the time being Neoconservative Jew and future talkshow-host Mark Reed Levin.)

Miller describes this trial for contempt of court as a kangaroo process where emotionality and the say-so of authority figures trumped all. It lasted only five days. After hearing the FBI agent's paranoid testimony, and seeing how it swayed the court, Miller panicked. This was what Miller says induced him to go underground and declare war on the government, ending in his apprehension along with Jack Jackson, Douglas Sheets, Tony Wydra, and some illegal weapons in a rented mobile home in Ozark, Missouri about six weeks later. 

Because of his panic, Miller found himself in sufficient trouble that the government was able to pressure him to testify in the Fort Smith Mass-Sedition Trial, and then in Douglas Sheets' trial for the Shelby III Adult Bookstore massacre (which remains an unsolved crime). The fact that Miller agreed to testify for the government in order to avoid spending the rest of his life in prison ruined his reputation in the White racialist milieu, but nobody was convicted in either trial.

The White Patriot Party continued for a few months under the leadership of Miller's handpicked successors Cecil Cox and  Gordon Ipock (a.k.a. Gordon Gray), but the prosecutions of Glenn Miller and others had left members fearful, and without the force of Glenn Miller's personality the organization sputtered and died. In September 1986 Ipock left the White Patriot Party and advocated its dissolution, stating that he feared legal harassment from US Attorney Sam Currin. By early 1987 Cecil Cox had formed a new organization with Ipock called the Southern National Front that was supposed to be less controversial, but it never had the  success of Glenn Miller's White Patriot Party.

*   *   *

Among the lessons of the story of Glenn Miller and the White Patriot Party are (1) do not sign legally binding agreements without good expert advice, and (2) do not panic under pressure. In both instances, signing the consent decree and then "going underground," Glenn Miller allowed the desire for escape from immediate difficulties to overpower him, rather than realistically persevering in the course of action most likely to produce the least terrible long-term result.
* It seems that Miller's acceptance of money from the Order was not in itself deemed prosecutable. Nobody (other than actual members of Robert Mathews' organization) who was said to have received such money was ever prosecuted for it, nor even required to return the funds. Rather it was the slight personal acquaintance with Robert Mathews and members of his illegal revolutionary group that was the problem. That connection facilitated portraying Miller and his White Patriot Party as a similar endeavor within a larger conspiracy: guilt by association and guilt by conspiracy-theory.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Is Harold Covington on the Terrorist Watchlist ?

Harold Covington has been claiming in his podcasts, not only that he is on the national Terrorist Watchlist, but that he was on that list before 11 September 2001.

Oh, by the way! As a point of interest -- and something of a point of pride for me -- one of the things I've been able to determine is that I am what you might call a terrorist O.G. I actually made it on the Watchlist almost a year before 9-11, when someone on Hillary Clinton's staff complained to the Secret Service about my novel Slow Coming Dark

Plus, I first got on the presidential list in 1973 when I handcuffed myself  to the White House fence as part of a Rudolf Hess protest. Now, I tried getting my Secret Service files under the Freedom of Information Act, and they just ignored me, which they're not supposed to be able to do, but since I can't afford an attorney they can pretty much do what they like.

I was especially interested in the Secret Service file on me, since I've been visited by them more often than any other agency down through the years, like when I annoyed Billy Boy after Waco by sending him back my old Army uniform with all two of my medals to him at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. A few days later a couple of them showed up at my job at First Union and of course convinced my employers that I was a homicidal maniac! [Harold Covington, Radio Free Northwest, 9 January 2014]

Covington exhibits a pattern of trying desperately to make himself appear more dangerous  and important than he is.

First, Covington's claim that he was on the Terrorist Watchlist before 9-11 could hardly be true, since the creation of such a watchlist was not even proposed until 2003 (by Senator Bob Graham).*

It is highly doubtful that Covington is on the Terrorist Watchlist even now. Covington's former collaborator Corinna Burt explains Covington's rationale for claiming that he is on the Terrorist Watchlist:

His "watch list" story comes from the time he tried to send some books to Canada and they were turned away due to hate speech laws. So he reasoned, "If my books are banned, I must be too!" But he also told me the last time he flew, it was without incident. [Corinna Burt, 30 September 2013]

Covington's speculation is beyond illogical, since Canadian censorship has nothing whatsoever to do with whether one is regarded as a terrorist by the U.S. Government. Since the Terrorist Watchlist is not published, difficulty in boarding a commercial airliner is the usual occasion for learning that one's name is on it, and Covington reputedly encounters no difficulty of that sort.

Covington also claims that he "annoyed" President Bill Clinton by returning his old Army uniform with two "medals" on it after the Waco Massacre in 1993. This seems unlikely for several reasons, most notably because Covington was probably not in the U.S. Army long enough to get any medals. Although Covington has at times claimed that he served in the Vietnam War, brother Ben Covington indicates that Harold was discharged from the U.S. Army on psychiatric grounds before he could be deployed.

Covington's claim of concern about what the files of  the Secret Service might say about him rings entirely false. If anything, he is hoping that the Secret Service considers him a threat. In 1981 Covington actually went to the Secret Service and claimed that would-be presidential assassin John Hinckley had been a member of the National Socialist Party of America, which Covington headed (as successor to Frank Collin). The FBI's subsequent investigation concluded that there was nothing to Covington's story. (Jack Taylor, The Oklahoman, 3 April 1981) Nonetheless, Covington still claims that John Hinckley was in the National Socialist Party of America, and even that he himself had signed a membership card that Hinckley had in his wallet at the time of the assassination-attempt (which is impossible, because in that case the FBI would have had to conclude that Covington's story was true).

Harold Covington, with his escapist novels of future violent rebellion, would like to appear, at least to his readers and listeners, to pose some kind of threat to the Federal Government of the United States. An image like that would perhaps generate
interest in his novels, if he could put it across convincingly. But it is not evident that anyone in any position of authority takes Covington that seriously.

One might add, given his flippant attitude toward something as grave as supposedly being officially suspected as a terrorist -- which is likely to be the ruin of any attempt at running a legal organization -- that Covington himself doesn't take what he is doing very seriously. It seems to be all a big game to him. This is what Dr. William Pierce meant when he pigeonholed Covington as a "hobbyist."
* The Terrorist Watchlist is compiled by the Terrorist Screening Center, a division of the FBI created in 2004.
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