Friday, May 30, 2014

Alex Jones Says Army Training Center Is Part of ‘Giant Buildup for War with the American People’

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

Alex Jones thinks the federal government is training military personnel to round up Americans and put them in concentration camps and could launch this dastardly plan at any moment.

Of course, he’s been saying that for a long time. It’s just that now, he says, they really are doing it. Really.

Almost since the very beginning of the “militia” movement in the 1990s, antigovernment “Patriot” movement followers have avidly subscribed to the theory that the United States government, under the grasp of the nefarious New World Order, was on the verge of swooping down on middle America with guns and SWAT teams, imposing martial law, rounding up conservative dissidents and gun owners, placing them in concentration camps, and imposing a dictatorship on the country.

Even back in the ‘90s, this conspiracy theory had been around for awhile, having first originated in the 1980s with the Posse Comitatus movement. And although no such plot or roundup has ever come to pass in the thirty years or so that the paranoia about it has been around, it has remained one of the most popular and enduring “Patriot” theories. Moreover, one of its most popular and steadfast progenitors has been Jones, the Texas-based radio talk show host, and his “Infowars” media organization. Jones has been spinning tales about FEMA concentration camps since the 1990s, and he continues doing so today, drawing in a large audience from the far left as well.

This spring, however, he has picked up the pace of his rhetoric about “martial law” and its imminent imposition on an unwitting American public. The impetus for their frenetic coverage was the construction of a “fake city” within an Army training center in Virginia, designed to give troops the chance to practice urban warfare in a realistic setting. Such urban-warfare centers are nothing new, and have been incorporated into military training for American soldiers, as well as others around the world, for many years.

The Army and its Asymmetric Warfare Group (AWG) proudly announced the opening of the new Virginia training center early this year, noting that among the features of the center are facilities that soldiers might encounter in an urban environment, including “a mosque, a soccer stadium, a subway station complete with subway cars and a train station with real rail cars.”

AWG Commander Col. John P. Petkosek said the center was designed to help identify shortfalls in its training for soldiers: “This is the place where we can be creative, where we can come up with solutions for problems that we don’t even know we have yet,” Petkosek said.

This was deemed threatening, however, by Jones and the Infowars crew, who began reporting in February, rather breathlessly, that the military was “training for martial law” at the facility.

“The public may not know the problem yet, because they [the government] haven’t yet executed the false flag event that they’ll use to openly activate martial law,” said reporter David Knight, “but the military has been creating scenarios where they can justify a move against small-town America for quite some time.” “And they’ve made it clear that their enemy is gun owners, veterans, those who want a small limited government, and Christians,” he continued.

Infowars reporters took a brief tour of the facility and shot some video as well. Among the items that disturbed them was the appearance of what looks like a small Christian church, claiming that this was supposed to be the “mosque” that the Army had described. But in fact the mosque is a separate, much larger building at the center, and in fact only a few hundred yards away from the small church.

Infowars is also highlighting another such center, this time built for the U.S. Marine Corps at Camp Lejeune in North Carolina. This story prompted Jones to deliver one of his signature paranoid rants, in which he wrapped together a host of his favorite conspiracies into one grand scheme:

JONES: It’s sensational that we’ve gotten these secret Marine Corps documents confirmed, that they’re training to take on, basically, everybody’s granddaddy – anybody who’s independent and in a rural area. Globalists always, or any takeover group, takes over the cities first, then the suburbs, then the small towns, then the rural areas. Then they fan out to subdue and dominate. And the entire Pentagon program – the Emergency Centers Establishment Act, the Rural Affairs Commission that is under the Pentagon and Homeland Security – is putting plainclothes troops in every town and city, literally spying on people. And then bringing in the federal money to buy off the town leadership.
And they are training to take on small towns everywhere, because they know when they order the gun confiscation, when they order the 80 percent taxation, when they order this they’re going to take over the town centers and control the roads. …

So this is the giant buildup for war with the American people.

This was followed by a long segment on Jones’ May 18 show in which Knight, as Jones’ guest, laid out more “groundbreaking” revelations about the Virginia center, the entirety of which turned out to be quotes from military strategists and psychologists about dealing with asymmetric warfare abroad. Jones and Knight promptly twisted the quotes around to make them appear to refer to actions against American citizens.

That’s a pretty typical day at Infowars, where they’re constantly on the lookout for new ways of stoking paranoia and feeding the conspiracy beast.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Jerome Corsi Wants to Impeach Obama over Immigration Reform

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

Jerome Corsi, the right-wing conspiracy theorist who helped put “birtherism” on the map, is yet again calling for President Obama to be impeached. This time he’s upset about immigration reform.

Back in September, Corsi and put out a video demanding Obama be removed from office. The main pretext for removal was the president’s consideration of U.S. involvement in Syria, but he also listed abortion, LGBT rights, and immigration “amnesty” as impeachable outrages.

In December, Corsi issued two more calls for Obama’s impeachment, this time related to Obamacare. And just three weeks ago, called for Obama’s impeachment over the “Benghazi scandal.” The site also has a standing Obama-impeachment petition which largely focuses on Benghazi.

Now, Corsi and have a new (albeit recycled) rationale for demanding the president’s impeachment: Obama and congressional Democrats’ plan to push for passage of comprehensive immigration reform, known in shorthand to Corsi and his audience as “amnesty.”

Corsi believes that Obama – who is frequently criticized by immigrant rights groups for overseeing record levels of deportations – aims to lavish taxpayer-funded benefits on undocumented immigrants with the ultimate aim of ceasing all enforcement of immigration laws:

Count out the taxpayer money Barack Obama intends to redistribute to illegal immigrants allowed to flood the country once Congress has voted a truly open border with Mexico:

- Free education in public schools in Spanish;

- Abundant welfare payments including food stamps issued generously to all Hispanics regardless of immigration status;

- DREAM act privileges for Hispanics to get special college admission tuition breaks;

- Obamacare plus endless free medical care at Hospital emergency rooms.

The list goes on.

To push this agenda forward, Attorney General Eric Holder has followed President Obama’s instructions to stop deportations of illegal immigrants as part of a grander policy of refusing to enforce immigration laws altogether.

What Corsi is referring to, of course, is a misleading report from the nativist Center for Immigration Studies – which was widely featured on Fox News – that purported to show that the administration had released a flood of criminals, willy-nilly, from immigration detention centers. The study was widely denounced for its misleading and false data, as well as its failure to include countervailing evidence, including the fact that deportations of undocumented immigrants with criminal records have nearly doubled since 2008. This is fairly typical of CIS studies, which have a long history of distorting and falsifying data in order to reach predetermined conclusions.

Meanwhile, expect Corsi to push ahead with his futile endeavor:

Tea Party Loyalists must let Congress know that we are serious and that we intend to push for impeachment if Barack Obama and Eric Holder continue flaunting the due enforcement of our immigration laws in their politically motivated push for amnesty.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Freedom Watch’s Klayman Makes Birther Beliefs Explicit in Radio Interview

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

Right-wing activist Larry Klayman, founder of Freedom Watch, has hinted in the past at support of “birther” conspiracy theories, such as when he helped WorldNetDaily sue Esquire for satirizing “birthers.” Last week, in a radio interview, Klayman made his support explicit.

“We have a president who was elected fraudulently who wasn’t even a natural born citizen,” Klayman asserted during an interview Friday on Fox News Radio with liberal host Alan Colmes, who shook his head at this remark and asked Klayman if he thought the president was born in Hawaii.

“I believe he was born in Kenya, the evidence points to that,” Klayman replied.

Colmes noted that in fact Obama’s birth was recorded in contemporaneous notices published in two separate Hawaii newspapers. Klayman explained that those were “ads” placed by his parents in attempt to claim citizenship for their son.

“Alan, I’m not still a birther, these are the facts,” Klayman said.  “Even if he was born in the United States, many people in Hawaii place these ads in to try to get permanent residency or citizenship. Hawaii is the most corrupt state in the United States….”

“American citizenship is valuable,” he continued. “Wouldn’t your kid want to be an American citizen rather than a Kenyan?”

In reality, of course, those birth notices published in the Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin weren’t advertisements at all. Rather, they were standard newspaper birth announcements, common during this era, collected by newspaper staff reporters who gathered birth records from local hospitals (a practice that has gradually vanished from most newspapers today). In other words, these newspaper announcements stand as independent corroboration that Obama was born in a Honolulu hospital.

Klayman also went on to claim during the interview that Obama is secretly a Muslim who “favors Muslim interests over Christian and Jewish interests”. Colmes demanded that he substantiate such a claim.

“Well, number one, his dad was Muslim,” said Klayman. “Number two, he wears a ring that says my only God is Allah. He cancelled the National Day of Prayer in the White House to observe Ramadan and endorse the Ground Zero Mosque. He has been continually hostile toward Israel in six years.”

Colmes then proceeded to knock down each of these claims factually, observing that Klayman was collecting and parroting “old wives’ tales” that had all been proven untrue.

Klayman was undaunted, and indeed continued in the same vein. “Alan, you’re Jewish, you understand what I’m talking about,” he said. “You know, Jewish people here, I’ll tell you something, you walk around Beverly Hills, California, or any other place, people are changing their opinion of this president. They believe he’s an anti-Semite. He hangs out with Reverend Wright. Previously with Derrick Bell, who’s a vehement anti-Semite and a law professor. Louis Farrakhan is one of his friends.”

Klayman concluded that “Obama in his heart is not a Christian.”

The interview is reflective of Klayman’s increasingly extremist approach to the Obama presidency. Last November, he led a small demonstration outside the White House in which he demanded that the president “come out with his hands up.” It was a spectacular failure.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Mississippi Judge Accused of Striking Young Black Man, Then Yelling ‘Run, Nigger, Run!’

[Cross-posted at Hatewatch.]

A longtime local Justice Court judge in Canton, Miss., reportedly struck a mentally challenged, young black man on May 8 during a flea market in the town, cursing him and yelling, “Run, nigger, run!”

According to a report by Jerry Mitchell at the Jackson Clarion-Ledger, Madison County Justice Court Judge Bill Weisenberger is accused by the family of 20-year-old Eric Rivers, as well as several witnesses, of striking the young man at the Canton Flea Market and chasing him away while shouting racial epithets. The incident has spurred an angry protest from local NAACP officials.

Weisenberger, according to witnesses, was dressed in the uniform of a police officer, since he was moonlighting as a security officer for the market. The judge, who is white, reportedly began questioning the presence and behavior of Rivers, who is black, and slapped him twice, chasing him out of the market and yelling epithets after him.

One witness, a vendor at the fair, said she saw Rivers hanging out on the street corner in hopes of picking up work hauling goods from people’s cars to their booths at the market, a common practice.  She said she saw Rivers asking people if they needed help: “That young man was wanting to work to earn money to buy a bike.”

The woman’s sister said she saw Weisenberger “rear back and slap” Rivers, and then chase him from the area with racial slurs.

“I do not care if this young man was being a nuisance,” said the first witness, who is white. “I do not care if he were breaking a law, I do not care if he were loitering, but I do care that a man of authority, one that is sworn to protect and serve, was slapping a young man.”

She added that she also saw Weisenberger verbally assault a female vendor at the market, threatening to make her move her car to a distant location before she could unload. When the woman asked him to change his tone, he reportedly replied that he would only deal with her husband, “because he didn’t take orders from a woman.”

The executive director of the state Judicial Commission, Darlene Ballard, told Mitchell that if the allegations are true, they would “violate multiple canons” of the state’s Judicial Code of Conduct.

Former Canton Mayor William Truly, president of the Canton branch of the NAACP, led a press conference Friday denouncing Weisenberger.

“This is 2014, not 1960, where someone could slap a young man and call out, ‘Run, nigger, run,” Truly said. He called on Weisenberger either to simply resign or to step aside from hearing cases until the matter is resolved.

“No citizen should have to face justice before a judge who holds such a high degree of racial animus and hatred,” Truly said.