The Wild Wild West!

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A Texas Sherrif Vowing to Capture Outlaws

On Hate Media, Gun Worship, and Domestic Terrorism

If one gives only a causal listening to the hateful rhetoric emanating from the media shills of the Republican right, accompanied by the unending panegyric to the virtues of guns, which has become a fetish and a rite of passage into manhood for a large section of American males – mostly white – the murders of multiple high ranking law enforcement officials seems a logical outcome.  As the bible says: “Ye shall reap what ye sow!”

Although they will all run for cover and attempt to wash their hands of this growing menace to our justice system – which has resulted in the murder of the Director of Prisons in Colorado and two prosecutors and a wife in Texas _ the systematic slaughter of government officials seems to me a logical outcome of the hatred of government and worship of guns that has become the mantra of the Republican infotainment complex.

Although recently denounced by long time GOP strategist David Frum, one of a dwindling number of Republicans who are trying to take political reality into account and move the party away from self-destructive rhetoric and policies, the “Republican entertainment complex” is still a driving force in the Grand Obstructionist Party.

However the GOP is not content to let the right-wing media bloviators – Rush, Sean, Glenn, Laura, Michelle Milkin, et al – launch crazy charges against the Democrats; Republican members of Congress as well as candidates for office talk just as crazy.  Michelle Bachman has gone on record saying she wants her constituents “locked and loaded!”

The Alaskan Barbarian, Sarah Palin, put a bull’s eye around a picture of Congresswoman Gabby Gifford – a democrat from Arizona – and the congresswoman was shot through the head by a crazed gunman.   Nevada Senate candidate Cheryl Engle talked about resorting to “Second Amendment solutions” if the Tea Party could not get its way at the polls during the last election campaign. Then there is defeated former Republican Congressman from Florida Alan West, who was mustered out of the military after being accused of committing war crimes – that has claimed  there are 78 democrats in Congress who he knows are members of the Communist Party!

When these irrational claims are coupled with the constant questions about President Obama’s birth place and speculation about him being a secret agent for the Muslim Jihadists, the contradictory accusations that the president is a secret Communist and also closet fascist who is a new Hitler out to enslave white Americans, because he is really an uncover black racist intent upon destroying “white civilization,” and so on in a never ending drone, it is no wonder that a growing number of racist numbskulls on the right who can’t tell shit from shineola, feel that the country is being destroyed by the President that saved it.

Wrapped in a mass of lies recited ad infinitum, the Republican propaganda spreads confusion and incites hostilities as a matter of political strategy.  We know that other gunmen like Richard Popolovsky of Pittsburg was driven to attack law enforcement officers and murder three of them with an assault rifle because he was incited by propaganda from the rightwing hysterics who blather on night and day about the sinister intentions of their government.

These blabbermouths in the rightwing media, Led by FOX News and WABC AM – White Apartheid Broadcast Company – radio are abusing their rights under the First Amendment and helping to destabilize the social order by increasing racial, ethnic and gender antagonisms; they are playing the same role in contemporary American society as Dr. Joseph Goebbels played when he incited the Christian Germans to murder the Jews in the millions during the holocaust: And they should be called out and denounced, the way I have done.  (See: “Is Rush Limbaugh an American Goebbels?” on this blog)

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The group suspected of carrying out the present assassinations of top law enforcement officials in Colorado and Texas, is the Aryan Brotherhood, a loose confederation of racist fascist minded criminals that originated in the notorious San Quentin prison in California during the 1960’s and has spread throughout the Federal Prison system like a malignant cancer.  Like many Americans, I first heard of these murderous maniacs from the prison writings of politically conscious black inmates like Eldridge Cleaver’s “Soul on Ice” and George Jackson’s “Soledad Brother.”  It was a horrendous picture they painted and left one to wonder what would become of these racist homicidal cretins once they were back on the street.   Now, a half century later we know.

A Tattooed Aryan Warrior

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A Billboard for the Police

At present the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas has been the subject of an ongoing joint year-long task force composed of local and federal police forces. This investigation has resulted in the arrest of 34 of their members, many in important leadership positions.  And they have been hit with an array of very serious charges.  Among these are: three murders, many attempted murders, kidnappings, assaults and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine.  They are also accused of the sweeping charge of exerting control over prison populations and neighborhoods in Texas through intimidation and violence.

The two murdered DA’s, Mark Hasse and Mike McLlelland, participated in this investigation that has “devastated” the Texas Brotherhood in the words of one law enforcement official.  It has been reported that the Brotherhood vowed revenge against law enforcement agencies; that’s  why they are the prime suspects in these murders.  It also explains why the US Assistant Federal Attorney, Jay Hileman, in an unprecedented move, quite the case…citing unspecified “security” concerns.

This is some serious shit. The Justice Department is sending in a new Federal Attorney, Tim Braley, a deputy chief of the Justice Department’s organized crime and gangs division, who will lead the investigation that will coordinate the efforts of several agencies. Mr. Braley will have the full force of the police powers of the American government at his command.  And they are going to crush the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas.

As white men with no formal education to speak of and thus going nowhere in life, dead end dudes, genuine American failures who can claim neither racial nor gender discrimination for their failure to advance in affluent America – they chose to support themselves through criminal activities.  And since they justified their criminal activities by investing them with political meaning, they are all the more dangerous because they have convinced themselves that they are white warriors redeeming an effete and dying white race; whose existence is threatened by the dark and foreign hordes invading America.  This is the crowd that is inspired to act on the desire to “take our country back.”

In order to understand the danger posed by this organization – which, ironically, will be considerably lessened now that these assholes have actually attacked the law enforcement apparatus of the American state – we have to examine what they believe…the twisted way in which they see the world.  However unraveling their beliefs is no easy matter because this is not an organization run by intellectuals capable of developing a coherent ideology.

From my research on them based on reportage and the analysis of law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, the Aryan Brotherhood began as a prison gang to afford protection for white inmates against the black and Mexican gangs in the California prison system.  In the beginning they were closely identified with Nazi ideology, but being more criminal than political at the outset they have become mostly a criminal organization run from prison with branches on the street headed by former inmates.

According to the FBI and the Southern Poverty Law Center, the premiere government and non-government agencies who track these groups, the Aryan Brotherhood believes that only straight white males should run the important institutions of this country, and they see their role as defending what is left of “white power” and “white civilization.”  To achieve this vague goal they are willing to resort to murder; in fact the requirement for membership is that the prospective member kills a black or other non-white person.  Hence we can assume that all of the thousands of members have gotten away with the murder of some person of color.

However the Aryan Brotherhood movement is not one organization with a centralized leadership, rather it is composed of several organizations with different leaders.  And some are more racist than others.  For instance in the California prisons the Aryans formed alliances with the Mexican Mafia, Asians and even Native Americans against the notorious Black Gorilla Family, even though in the parlance of the racist right-wing white supremacists  they are all “mud men.”

One of the most interesting first-hand accounts regarding the Aryan’s and the race question comes from an Afro-American man who encountered them in the federal prison system.  Titled “Why I Fear the Aryan Brotherhood – and You Should Too,” published on the Daily Beast website, a reliable news source edited by longtime British journalist/editor Tina Brown, under the byline “Anonymous,” the informant tells us:

I got up close and personal with members of the Brotherhood more than 20 years ago in Nevada… There were 13 white guys, and seven of them, I could tell by the tattoos, were members of the Brotherhood. But by then I was a seasoned convict (having served four previous sentences, this wasn’t my first rodeo), so I’d been around prison gangs before and knew the ropes. I kept my head down, my eyes averted, and ate my meals alone at the far end of the table…at least for the first few weeks.”

But that would soon change, partially as the result of an event over which he had no control, and partly due to his superior education and writing skills.  The writer tells us:

Then two things happened in fairly rapid succession. First, a small article about my case made it into a local paper in which the feds accused me and my crew of absconding with millions of dollars with our nefarious credit-card activities in the casinos in and around Nevada. The amount made me out to be a serious professional, worthy of respect even in the Brotherhood’s eyes, albeit only grudgingly given. The second thing that happened was the leader of the group, a huge guy with reddish hair and beard appropriately named “Big Red,” had a legal problem I helped him to solve.

Helping Big Red with his problem turned out to be a revelation. “The one thing I learned relatively quickly was that while the members of this tight-knit group might have been long on brawn and violence, they were short on brains” he recalls.”  Big Red needed some documents from the military that could help him in his upcoming murder trial, “But none of them could fill out the stack of forms, so I volunteered to help.”

This offer of assistance radically transformed his relationship with the Aryans    “When the documents I requested came back about a month later, I was considered a legal whiz on the order of F. Lee Bailey.  I was, to a degree, “in.” They considered me a harmless black mascot, I considered them fools to be played. As the saying goes, I was “stuck like Chuck.”

After Big Red decided the writer looked like the running back Earl Campbell, his favorite football star, he was in like Flynn.  Although he tells us “It’s amazing to me how gridiron prowess can overcome even the deep-seated antipathy of a dyed-in-the-wool bigot. Of course, other than having black skin, I looked nothing at all like Campbell.”  It even got to the place where Big Red forbade any of the Aryans from using the word “nigger,” and they spoke freely around him.

They identified with 19th century outlaws like Jesse James and Confederates who opposed the federal government, some claim direct descent.  The writer tells us:

These were men steeped in strong oral traditions and past heroic acts. They were still mentally fighting the Civil War (like so many other whites) and traced their roots back to men like Confederate guerrilla William Clarke Quantrill, whose Quantrill’s Raiders sacked the pro-abolitionist town of Lawrence, Kansas, at the beginning of the Civil War. One guy, Luke, claimed to be a direct descendant of one of the men who rode with Quantrill. He alleged that his great-grandfather was Cole Younger, the outlaw who robbed banks with Jesse James’s gang after the end of the Civil War.”

While all of his testimony provides us a unique look into the character and world view of these men – and how these racist anti-government, criminal gangs operate, it is the writer’s observations about what these long sentences in prison, often with extended periods isolated in Super-Max facilities, does to their personalities and the consequences for society when they are eventually released.

Recounting the day that the news flash came on TV showing the horrible bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah building in Oklahoma  City, by the home grown terrorist Kevin Macvey, he describes the response of an  Aryan leader. This ain’t shit,” he said,  “just wait until we get started. They done took me from my family for over 30 years because of some of punk-assed drug-conspiracy bullshit, and eventually they’re going to have to pay … We’re going to make them pay.”

We should pay particular attention to the writer’s conclusions:

“If these recent killings represent the Brotherhood’s twisted form of retribution, the fact that it has taken so long to begin is all the more chilling. To me this would demonstrate a hard-nosed determination that all citizens should find frightening. We shouldn’t be whistling past the graveyard on these killings… While the U.S. population grew 2.8 times since 1920, the U.S. prison population grew more than 20 times, and most dramatically since 1980. The fear among law enforcement is (or at least should be) is that now we have dozens upon dozens—if not hundreds (who knows, maybe even thousands)—of murderous chickens finally coming home to roost.

If our informant is right, it does much to explain the mysterious assassinations of law enforcement officials in Colorado and Texas.   This is a frightening development; something we expect to see in Latin American countries like El Salvador, Colombia and Mexico; not the USA.  But given the ready access to military assault weapons in this country, a group like the Aryan Brotherhood operating in secret can wreak havoc: which is their objective.

The Aryan Brotherhood of Texas is one of the most violent in the nation.  In a June 11, 2012 article in the Houston Chronicle, Malcolm Bales, the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, pointed out that a lot of their violence occurs between rival factions of the Brotherhood, “What we noticed  is that they tend to beat up on each other a lot,” he said…“We continue to get information about people who have been disappeared, and the level of violence associated with their organization is something that we cannot tolerate.” The tattoo that each member wears on their body says it all: “God forgives, Brothers don’t.”

An Imprisoned  “General” in the Texas Brotherhood

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A Really Violent Criminal with Military Weapons

However as an ongoing criminal enterprise the Aryan Brotherhood could learn a lot from the Italian Mafia.  The reason the Mafia has survived so long is because they observe the rules of the game they are playing; the object of which is to outsmart the police and be very selective about who you kill.  Under no circumstances would the Cosa Nostra order hits on prosecuters, their wives or the Director of prisons.

When they get caught doing the crime either they do the time or the squeal…they have far better sense that to assault the law enforcement agencies of the state.  That’s why they have survived so long.  Unlike the “Celtic Warriors” in the Aryan Brotherhood who are trying to restore the white race to its former supremacy, the made Mafia soldiers do not regard themselves as latter day Centurions trying to restore the glories of ancient Rome; they are just trying to run a successful illegal enterprise and make all the money they can.  They confine their celebration of the glories of Italian culture to pigging out on pasta, listening to Operas, wearing finely tailored Italian silk suits, and choosing Italian names like La Cosa Nostra.

For the most part they are sober businessmen who frown on drug addiction and value marriage and family.  Hence they don’t get whacked out on drugs and pose for pictures brandishing their guns on the internet! They keep a low public profile and most of all…they are careful about who the shoot!  This is why Federal Attorney Bales says “I don’t compare them to the Mafia.  They are too weird and dysfunctional in how they handle their lives – heavy drug use and sociopathic personalities.”

Although the facts in the present assassination spree points to the Aryan Brotherhood of Texas as the likely perps – they have both motive and opportunity- in the USA one is presumed innocent until proven guilty.  Hence we shall have to await the results of the investigation to know what really happened, and the FBI will surely find out.

But with lawmen and outlaws shooting at each other all over the place, this tragic drama sounds like a tale from the wild wild west set in the 21st century.  And one would have to be deaf, dumb and blind, unable to see or hear evil, not to recognize the role played by the verbal arsonists like Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, and their co-conspirators, in creating the racial hatred and anti- government paranoia that inspires angry, ignorant, powerless, straight white males to the ranks of racist nativist, white nationalist organizations like the Aryan Brotherhood….After all, it is the same method employed by the original Aryan brotherhood in Germany!

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Playthell G. Benjamin

March 3, 2013

Harlem, New York

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