I’ve rarely mentioned Hal Turner
on this site before. He used to run a white power internet radio show out of New Jersey that was know for its especially extreme racist rants. Turner regularly threatened to kill his political opponents, and urged others to do the same. Because of his open calls for violence, he was shunned by most other white power groups, and often operated alone. These other racist organizations were no doubt afraid that they might be caught up in a federal case against Turner if they associated with him. Oddly, despite his strident call for the murder of federal judges and others, he was never charged with a crime. The reason for this legal immunity became more clear last week after a group of unnamed hackers got access to Turner’s e-mail account
, where they found messages sent between him and his FBI handler. Turner tells his FBI contact about a threat made against a US senator in the comment section of his website, along with the poster’s ISP address. Turner notes, “Once again, my fierce rhetoric has served to flush out a possible crazy.” In another of the e-mails, he allegedly discusses receiving payment for his services to the feds. There are a couple of reasons to suspect that the alleged e-mails are authentic. First, as already mentioned, Turner has never been charged with a crime as the result of his online threats. Second, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported the story as fact
. Not that the SPLC is a completely reputable group, but they usually do a good job with their fact checking. Third and perhaps most important, shortly after this story came out Turner quit his radio show
, saying that he would have no more contacts with the “pro-white” movement.
This story has several interesting elements to it. As events over the last few years have shown, federal informants have heavily infiltrated the white power scene in the US. This incident will serve to intensify the already extreme paranoia of the racist right in this country. Also, as some people have pointed out
, this is a rather unusual use of taxpayer money. As a result of Turner’s cooperation, the FBI no doubt obtained the identities of a couple of the obnoxious loudmouths who post threats on online message boards. But how many lone wolf racists (the ones who are intelligent enough not to express their opinions online) were influenced or inspired by these radio broadcasts? When this case is finally settled, the FBI may have a bit of explaining to do.