United States Republican in far-right terrorism scandal


This 20 December 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

A report commissioned by the Washington state legislature found that Rep. Matt Shea is a threat due to his past participation in domestic terrorism.

By Kayla Costa in the USA:

Washington state legislator investigated for ties with violent far-right groups

30 December 2019

Republican Representative Matthew Shea of the Washington state legislature is now the subject of an investigation due to public allegations of past involvement in far-right political violence. Shea is just one of many state and federal personnel whose ties to fascistic and racist groups have been exposed, though he is the first sitting legislator to face investigation for far-right violent activities.

The Washington State House of Representatives commissioned a full report by the private investigation firm Rampart Group to discover whether Shea “engaged in, planned, or promoted political violence.”

Matt Shea has served in the lower house of the state legislature since 2009, representing Washington’s 4th legislative district, that encompasses a large part of the central rural region. While the investigation takes place, the House Republican leadership suspended Shea from his committee positions in the House, including the Environment and Energy Committee, though his expulsion as a representative cannot take place until the legislature is in session.

The Rampart report notes: “Investigators have obtained evidence that Representative Shea, as a leader of the Patriot Movement, planned, engaged in, and promoted a total of three armed conflicts of political violence against the United States Government in three states outside the State of Washington over a three-year period to include 2014, 2015, and 2016.”

The Patriot Movement includes a collection of ultra-right militia groups, which generally advocate extreme anti-government views, fantasize conspiracies of “globalists” to take away the rights of small property owners, open the United States to invasion by non-white immigrants, and replace the American Constitution with Muslim Sharia Law. The Southern Poverty Law Center identified 623 active patriot groups in 2016, 165 of which were armed militia groups.

In 2014, Shea mobilized Patriot Movement members to take part in an armed occupation of a federal government facility in Bunkerville, Nevada that lasted 41 days. The standoff between federal and militia troops centered on the longstanding attempts of cattle rancher Cliven Bundy to utilize land owned by the federal government. Shea’s calls for support on the Liberty For All III% (3 Percenters) website reportedly helped to generate a turnout of 1,500 armed militia members from different groups within the Patriot Movement, such as the Oath Keepers.

The report of investigation also indicates that in 2015, Matt Shea again called upon Patriot Movement followers to join him in an armed conflict with the Veteran’s Administration in Priest River, Idaho, to defend a veteran’s right to own firearms after he was determined unfit to purchase them by medical professionals. Shea allegedly participated in the armed conflict.

In 2016, Shea had participated in an “act of domestic terrorism” during the infamous armed standoff of federal troops against the Bundy clan and militia group supporters, after the latter occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

Representative Shea also admitted to writing a Christian neo-fascist document that was publicly released in 2018, titled “Biblical Basis for War”, which is referenced in the investigation report. The document lists 14 categories with bullet points that outline religious justifications and rules for militia-based war. According to Shea, war can be carried out to end tyranny, abortions, same-sex marriage, occultism and communism. The methods of assassination, armed resistance, and guerrilla war are justified so long as they serve the interests of God and the end of government tyranny.

In response to the investigation, Shea wrote on his Facebook page, “Like we are seeing with our President this is a sham investigation meant to silence those of us who stand up against attempts to disarm and destroy our great country. I will not back down, I will not give in, I will not resign. Stand strong fellow Patriots.”

He ended his appeal to patriot group supporters by saying, “I will continue to defend the constitution against tyranny and fight to protect our God-given unalienable rights to life, liberty, property, and the ability to defend the same.”

The revelations about Shea’s actions come after numerous police officers and military personnel have been similarly exposed in the past year, indicating the growth of fascist elements within the state.

Two men, Dalton Woodward and Trent East, who actively served in the Army National Guard, were recently kicked out after an Army investigation confirmed their membership in a neo-pagan fascistic hate group called Asatru Folk Assembly.

Less than two weeks ago, the US Army’s XVIII Airborne Corp posted a sympathetic tribute on Facebook to a Nazi war criminal named Joachim Peiper, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

In October, US Coast Guard Lieutenant Christopher Paul Hasson pleaded guilty to charges of unlawfully possessing firearms after an investigation into his stockpiling of 15 weapons and over 1,000 rounds of ammunition for use in planned acts of terrorism against Democratic Party politicians, journalists, and other “cultural Marxists”. Hasson was an active “white nationalist” who frequently browsed far-right websites on his computer at work.

In May, the World Socialist Web Site publicized a report by Unicorn Riot and Huffington Post that exposed members of the US military involved with the neo-Nazi group Identity Evropa, providing insight into how these far-right elements are recruited and cultivated within the armed forces. This report was quickly followed by another which identified hundreds of police officers who were engaged with fascistic and racist groups on social media.

Until recently, ultra-right, white supremacist and neo-fascist groups were kept on the fringes of the Republican Party, for the most part denied direct participation in the affairs of state. Under Trump, they have been promoted and encouraged and, as the case of Representative Shea demonstrates, given direct access to political office.

With his threats of civil war against political opponents and his constant praise of police and military violence, Trump is deliberately whipping up fascistic elements and creating the conditions for their mobilization, both against his political enemies within the ruling elite and, more broadly, against the working class.

GOV. EMPLOYEES FIRED OVER NAZI SALUTE More than 30 cadets and staff members at a corrections academy in West Virginia have been fired after a class photo surfaced on Dec. 5 showing them making a Nazi salute. The cadets made their gesture ― known as the “Hail Hitler” salute ― beneath a sign reading “Hail Byrd.” [HuffPost]

Trump’s Republicans threaten violence against Democrats


This 14 September 2019 video from the USA used to says about itself:

A Texas Republican tweeted a threat towards Beto O’Rourke. Ana Kasparian, Maytha Alhassen, and Ashlee Marie Preston, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

“Twitter took down a tweet from a Republican state lawmaker in Texas who wrote that his “AR is ready” for former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), the Democratic presidential candidate who at Thursday night’s debate said, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15s.”

Twitter told The Hill the tweet from Texas state Rep. Briscoe Cain violated its rules against making violent threats and that it had removed the tweet on Friday morning.”

Read more here.

By Matthew Taylor in the USA:

Fascistic elements in Republican Party threaten Democrats O’Rourke and Ocasio-Cortez

14 September 2019

Two developments on Thursday reflect the growth of fascistic elements within the Republican Party, encouraged by President Donald Trump’s racist war on immigrants, his attacks on socialism and his attempts to brand the Democratic Party as “radical socialist”.

During Thursday night’s Democratic Party debate, a commercial sponsored by the political action committee New Faces GOP showed a picture of Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s face going up in flames, while the narration linked her to the mass killings carried out by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia during the 1970s. The Maoist Khmer Rouge, covertly backed by the US, was a rabidly anti-working-class, nationalist movement.

‘Khmer Rouge’ is a nickname, by Prince Norodom Sihanouk, originally their opponent, later their ally, then opponent again. They denied being communist. They were ‘Maoist’ only in the sense that not only the Reagan administration in the USA and the Thatcher administration in Britain, but also the then Chinese government supported them (not just ‘covertly’, also publicly, eg, in the United Nations).

The ad opens with a picture of Cortez bursting into flames while the narrator declares, “This is the face of socialism and ignorance. Does Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez know the horrors of socialism?” The photo then burns completely away to reveal piles of human skulls, fleeing refugees and other scenes from the Cambodian killing fields.

The narrator, Elizabeth Heng, is the daughter of Cambodian immigrants and a candidate for a California congressional seat in 2018, a contest she lost by 15 points to her Democratic opponent. She is the executive director of New Faces GOP, which seeks to recruit youth and minorities into the Republican Party.

The commercial aired on multiple ABC TV affiliates, including in Washington DC, New York City and Houston.

The website for New Faces GOP identifies four central issues: the struggle against socialism, which the group pledges to stop “from plaguing America once and for all”; the promotion of “federalism”—coded language for the gutting of social welfare programs and labor protections; immigration, i.e., support for Trump’s mass incarceration and deportation of immigrants; and opposition to the alleged censorship of “conservative” views on the internet.

In July, Trump attacked Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, itself a reformist faction of the Democratic Party, and three other supposedly “progressive” Democratic congresswomen known collectively as the “squad”, telling them to “go back where you came from”. This was in line with his strategy of whipping up far-right and fascistic forces on the basis of extreme nationalism and racism in advance of the 2020 elections and beyond.

Also on Thursday, a Texas Republican state representative, Briscoe Cain, responded to statements made during the Democratic presidential candidates’ debate by former Texas Congressman Beto (Robert Francis) O’Rourke calling for outlawing the possession of military-grade automatic weapons by tweeting, “My AR is ready for you Robert Francis.”

Interviewed later on CNN, Cain essentially defended his tweet and accused O’Rourke of creating a provocation in order to deprive gun owners of their weapons.

In the Democratic debate, none of the candidates identified the fascistic character of Trump’s demagogy, which is directed above all against the working class. Nor did Ocasio-Cortez or O’Rourke warn of the growing threat of far-right political violence.

United States Republican on killing gay children


This 14 February 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Republican Would Drown His Kids If They Were Gay

West Virginia Republican Eric Porterfield says, during an interview, that he would drown his children if they were gay.

This 13 February 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

GOP Lawmaker Casually Jokes About Killing His Kids if They’re Gay

United States Republican bigotry


This 16 September 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz Keeps Hanging Out With Holocaust Denier

Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz from Florida really seems to enjoy hanging out with really bad people, especially Chuck Johnson, an Alt Right Holocaust denier. In January, Gaetz invited Johnson to the State of the Union address as his personal guest, and now reports have surfaced saying that the two were awfully chummy while on a yacht in California this summer. This is no longer an accident for Gaetz – it is who he is, as Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins explains.

REPUBLICANS COZY UP TO HOLOCAUST DENIER Two Republican congressmen met with noted Holocaust denier and white nationalist Chuck Johnson to discuss “DNA sequencing,” less than a day after the House voted to disavow the white supremacy of Steve King (R-Iowa). [HuffPost]

FLORIDA REPUBLICAN LASHES OUT AT PARENT OF PARKLAND VICTIM Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) lashed out at the father of a student killed in last year’s mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, in an attempt to eject him from the U.S. House chamber for speaking out of turn. Gaetz drew complaints from the audience as he tried to argue that violence caused by undocumented immigrants is worse than the toll of homegrown gun violence. [HuffPost]

GOP LAWMAKER THREATENS COHEN Hours before Cohen’s scheduled testimony, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) issued a mob-style threat on Twitter: “Hey [Michael Cohen] – Do your wife & father-in-law know about your girlfriends? Maybe tonight would be a good time for that chat. I wonder if she’ll remain faithful when you’re in prison. She’s about to learn a lot.” [HuffPost]

GAETZ SHOULD BE CHARGED WITH WITNESS TAMPERING Former White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter called for Gaetz’s immediate arrest, accusing him of witness tampering. [HuffPost]

FLORIDA BAR PROBES GAETZ After widespread outrage, the Florida Bar confirmed it’s investigating Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) over the threatening tweet he directed at Cohen. [HuffPost]

PENCE: CALLING OUT DISCRIMINATION AN ATTACK ON CHRISTIANITY Vice President Mike Pence defended second lady Karen Pence’s decision to take a teaching job at a school that discriminates against LGBTQ individuals and families, suggesting that the uproar is an attack on Christianity. [HuffPost]

Karen Pence’s anti-LGBTQ school will receive 100 copies of A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo, a children’s book about a boy bunny who falls in love with another boy bunny.

STEVE KING STILL PUSHING BIGOTED SITE Weeks after claiming to denounce racism and bigotry, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is still using his official government website to direct constituents to a white nationalist blog that regularly publishes the work of vile racists, anti-Semites, and Nazi sympathizers. [HuffPost]

STEVE KING BACKS ANOTHER WHITE NATIONALIST For the third time in less than a year, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has promoted an open white nationalist on Twitter. [HuffPost]

IOWA GOP WELCOMES SUPREMACIST STEVE Only five months ago, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) condoned white supremacy in an interview with The New York Times. He arrived early at the “America First Dinner with President Donald J. Trump” on Tuesday. [HuffPost]

Trump’s lawyer differs from Trump administration on persecuting whistleblowers


This 1 January 2019 video from the USA is called Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s Lawyer, Says Julian Assange Should NOT Be Prosecuted.

This blog has noted before that United States President Trump is a broken clock. Wrong nearly all of the time, but right two small moments a day. Like his sometimes rival, sometimes friend, Turkish President Erdogan, a dictator and a warmonger, is right at some small moments.

Trump and Erdogan are not the only two ‘broken clock’ politicians. Take United States President Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder. Holder deserves lots of criticism for not doing enough to stop police brutality, for undermining civil liberties while persecuting whistleblowers, etc. However, when he was no longer Attorney General, he admitted that the whistleblower on the NSA attacks on liberties, Eric Snowden, was right.

Now, after Obama, another president, Donald Trump. And another broken clock politician, Rudy Giuliani, on civil liberties and on another whistleblower: Julian Assange. Giuliani is notTrump’s Attorney General, but his lawyer. Interestingly, on Assange, Trump’s lawyer differs from the Trump administration on persecuting whistleblowers, threatening media freedom.

By James Cogan in the USA:

Silence follows Trump attorney’s statement that Julian Assange did nothing “wrong”

4 January 2019

During a December 30 interview on the US cable television talk show “Fox and Friends,” Rudy Giuliani, the right-wing Republican former mayor of New York and now attorney for President Donald Trump, blurted out some basic truths about WikiLeaks and its founder and publisher, Julian Assange.

Giuliani said: “Let’s take the Pentagon Papers. The Pentagon Papers were stolen property, weren’t they? It was in the New York Times and the Washington Post. Nobody went to jail at the New York Times and the Washington Post.”

Giuliani was referring to the 1971 publication of a mass of leaked documents that exposed decades of lies and crimes committed by successive American governments throughout the Vietnam War. The Nixon administration went to the US Supreme Court to outlaw the publication but the court ruled that the US Constitution’s First Amendment, guaranteeing free speech, protected the media outlets.

Once leaked information was provided to a “media publication”, Giuliani stated, “they can publish it for the purpose of informing people.”

He continued: “You can’t put Assange in a different position. He was a guy who communicated. We may not like what he communicated, but he was a media facility. He was putting that information out. Every newspaper and station grabbed it and published it.”

Giuliani was discussing, not the 2010 leaks published by WikiLeaks exposing US war crimes and diplomatic intrigues, but the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Lurid and absurd allegations have been made that WikiLeaks was part of a nefarious conspiracy with Russia to assist the Trump campaign.

In July 2016, WikiLeaks published leaked emails revealing that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had sought to undermine self-styled “democratic socialist” Bernie Sanders and ensure that Hillary Clinton was nominated as the Democratic Party’s presidential candidate.

In October 2016, WikiLeaks published leaked emails from Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta, which included transcripts of speeches Clinton had given to corporate audiences during which she pledged support to Wall Street and boasted of her role in organising the murderous US-led war on Libya in 2011.

WikiLeaks has denied that Russia was the source of the leaks and, in November 2016, Assange correctly defended its decision to publish them in the public interest.

Giuliani categorically denied there was ever any relationship or contact between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks. He stated on “Fox and Friends”: “I was with Donald Trump day in and day out throughout the last four months of the campaign. He was as surprised as I was about the WikiLeaks disclosures, sometimes surprised to the extent of ‘oh my God, did they really say that?’ We were wondering if it was true or not. They never denied it.

“The thing that really got Hillary is not so much that they were revealed, but that they were true… She really did completely screw Bernie Sanders. Every bit of that was absolutely true. Just like the Pentagon Papers put a different view on Vietnam, this put a different view on Hillary Clinton.”

He continued: “No press person or person disseminating that, for the purpose of informing, did anything wrong.”

Nothing Giuliani said is new or can be honestly disputed. Assange is a journalist and editor. WikiLeaks is a media organisation. When it was entrusted by whistleblowers with leaked information, WikiLeaks published it “for the purpose of informing people.” Assange has committed no crime. The attempts under Obama’s administration and now Trump’s to have him extradited to the US to stand trial on charges of espionage or conspiracy constitute a fundamental attack on freedom of speech and an independent and critical media.

Since 2010, when the American state apparatus launched its vendetta, every genuine defender of democratic rights has been obliged, as a matter of political principle, to stand behind Assange and WikiLeaks, and the fight for his unconditional protection from US-led persecution.

Indeed, from this standpoint, the most noteworthy aspect of Giuliani’s statements is that they were made by a ruthless representative of the American financial and corporate elite, and on Fox News, the station that in 2010 broadcast calls for Assange

and for Chelsea Manning, WikLeaks’ source for the Iraq war revelations

to be assassinated.

Giuliani, a fervent supporter of Trump’s fascistic “America First” agenda of war with China and the destruction of workers’ rights and civil liberties in the US itself, does not have the slightest concern for freedom of speech or democracy. His only motive in telling the truth about Assange and WikiLeaks is to rebut the claims circulating around the Mueller investigation and the possible use of accusations of collusion with Russia to impeach the president and replace him with Vice President Mike Pence.

A wing of the American ruling class, represented by the Democratic Party, factions of the Republican Party and sections of the military-intelligence apparatus, are outraged by Trump’s seeming lack of concern with confronting Russia. Even before he was inaugurated, that wing of the establishment demanded that Trump escalate a confrontational policy against Moscow, from the standpoint that conflict with China could be best pursued if Beijing were denied any ability to seek assistance from Russia. They believe Pence, a Christian fundamentalist and extreme right-wing ideologue, would be a more malleable figure than the erratic and unstable billionaire real estate speculator.

On a world scale, the allegations of Russian “interference” have been used as the pretext for a massive campaign of censorship, directed by companies such as Google and Facebook against, above all, left-wing, anti-imperialist and anti-war websites and social media postings.

The American state apparatus also has used them to bully the Ecuadorian government, which in 2012 provided Assange with asylum in its London embassy, to turn against the WikiLeaks publisher. In April 2017, Mike Pompeo, then CIA director and now Trump’s secretary of state, declared—after WikiLeaks published the explosive “Vault 7” leaks exposing criminal CIA operations—that the media organisation would be treated as a “non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors such as Russia.”

In March 2018, on the dictates of Washington, Ecuador cut off Assange’s right to communicate with the outside world and has taken other punitive measures to try and pressure him to leave the embassy and hand himself over to British police to face imprisonment and extradition to the US.

Predictably, not a word about Giuliani’s statements has been said by the political and media establishment in the US, Europe or Australia.

The silence in Australia is of particular significance. Assange is an Australian citizen. In the face of persecution by the governments of other states, he has always been entitled to, but denied, the full diplomatic, legal and political support of the Australian government.

The categorical statement by a figure as repellent as Giuliani, that there are no grounds to prosecute Assange, serves only to expose the perfidy of the current Liberal-National Party Coalition government, … as well as the media … . Their refusal to defend Assange testifies to the utter rot of democracy in the country.

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) in Australia announced last month that it will organise and seek the broadest support for political demonstrations in Sydney on March 3 and Melbourne on March 10.

The rallies will demand that the Australian government end its collaboration with the US-led persecution of Assange and immediately intervene, using the full scope of its diplomatic and legal powers, to insist that the British government allow the WikiLeaks publisher to leave the Ecuadorian embassy and unconditionally return to Australia, if he chooses to do so. Assange must be given a blanket guarantee that any request by the Trump administration to extradite him from Australia to the US would be rejected out of hand.