‘Official Indifference’ — U.S. Justice Dept. Provides Cover For White Nationalist Murder

By Michael German & Emmanuel Mauleón
Salon / Commentary (8/4/19)

How many violent white supremacist attacks happened last year in the United States? 50? 500? 1,000? Recent news stories have reported a rise in such crimes across the country. Yet the truth is that no one knows the scope of far-right violence in the United States because the FBI and Department of Justice deprioritize the investigation and prosecution of these crimes and fail to collect accurate national data regarding such attacks, despite a congressional mandate to do so (see here for a list of state hate crimes).

Applying a hate crime label to an attack that clearly fits the statutory definition of domestic terrorism narrows the scope of the investigation and limits its resources.

These deficiencies arise as a result of Justice Department policies, not a lack of legal authority. Congress has already done its part to equip federal agents and prosecutors with ample tools to investigate and prosecute far-right violence. It passed 52 federal crimes of terrorism that apply to purely domestic attacks, as well as five hate crimes statutes that punish the specific types of violence far-right militants often commit. Organized crime statutes provide additional authority to dismantle the violent groups that instigate and perpetuate these crimes.

Going soft on far-right violence

Despite these broad authorities, the Justice Department chooses to deprioritize far-right violence as a matter of policy and practice, which we examine in our new report, Fighting Far-Right Violence and Hate Crimes: Resetting Federal Law Enforcement Priorities. This is a follow-up to our first report on this topic, Wrong Priorities on Fighting Terrorism, which documented the dozens of federal laws the Justice Department has available to prosecute far-right violence.

When a white supremacist unleashes deadly violence against African AmericansJewsMuslimsSikhs, or LGBTQ people, the Justice Department can label these crimes acts of domestic terrorism, or hate crimes, or simply homicides. Each of these crimes carries significant penalties, but the label is meaningful because the FBI ranks countering terrorism as its number one priority, while hate crimes rank fifth and violent crimes sixth. …

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  • Ohio Senator Who Got $3 Million From NRA Scrambles To Blame ‘mental health’ At Mass Shooting Presser — Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) talked about suicide rates and opioids following Sunday’s mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio. At a Sunday press conference in Dayton, Portman reacted to the shooting that left nine dead at a nightclub. … Read the Rest

(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


Former Neo-Nazi Warns Mass Shootings Are Part Of A Broad Uprising: ‘It’s only going to get worse’

By Sarah K. Burris
Raw Story (8/4/19)

Former neo-Nazi Christian Picciolini, who created The Free Radicals Project, explained on CNN Sunday that these mass shootings from white supremacists are just the beginning.

He explained that the white supremacist manifesto the El Paso shooter left is something that he’s heard before.

“I think that manifestos have been very similar since 2009 when James von Brunn walked into the D.C. Holocaust Museum and left a manifesto,” Picciolini recalled. “They all reference the same conspiracy theories. Lately, they’ve been referencing something called ‘The Great Replacement‘ which this theory that whites being outbred in America and will be replaced. Now, it’s all based on conspiracy theories, but what’s similar about these things is now that they’re trying to outdo each other, I think the death toll is going to get bigger and bigger.”

Host Wolf Blitzer recalled the chants at the Charlottesville, Virginia riots, where men shouted out, “Jews will not replace us.” Picciolini agreed it was an example of that kind of “white replacement theory” the right believes.

“And Brenton Tarrant in the New Zealand massacre referenced ‘The Great Replacement’ and several others since then have referenced it as well,” he noted.

He also explained that President Donald Trump’s rhetoric is one part of a problem. …

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  • ‘He is encouraging this’: Beto O’Rourke Correctly Nails Trump & Fox News As ‘most responsible’ For Racist Mass Shooting — Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke suggested on Sunday that Fox News and President Donald Trump are helping to indoctrinate white nationalists like the man who killed 20 people in El Paso, Texas on Saturday. During an interview on CNN, O’Rourke insisted that new gun control laws are needed to prevent the sale of “weapons of war.” The candidate also said that Americans “have to acknowledge the hatred, the open racism that we’re seeing.”  “There is an environment of it in the United States,” he said. “We see it on Fox News, we — we see it on the Internet and we see it from our commander-in-chief.” “He is encouraging this,” O’Rourke continued. “He doesn’t just tolerate it, he encourages it, calling immigrants rapists and criminals and seeking to ban all people of one religion. Folks are responding to this. It doesn’t just offend us, it encourages the violence we’re seeing including in my home town of El Paso yesterday.” … Read the Rest and 8-Minute Video


  • 8chan Blasted By Security Expert As ‘safe haven’ For White Supremacists To Egg On Killing Sprees — Appearing on CNN’s “New Day” early Sunday morning, national security expert Juliette Kayyem lashed out at 8chan, the user-generated chatroom website, for being nothing more than a haven for white supremacists encouraging each other to commit atrocities. Speaking with host Christi Paul, Kayyem got right to the point after it was pointed out that the El Paso shooter posted his racist manifesto on the board just before he went on his killing spree that left 20 dead. “It’s legal because it is simply the sharing of ideas,” she said of the boards. “But what we are seeing with 8chan and others, it actually has become some sort of the announcement of my terror attack, as we saw it with El Paso, as well as a place that not just promotes this ideology but sort of eggs it on.” … Read the Rest and 6-Minute Video


  • Fox News Cuts Off Shooting Expert After He Mentions ‘white supremacy’ — Fox News host Leland Vittert cautioned a guest about speculating on the causes of a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas that was allegedly carried out by a white nationalist. In an interview on Fox News following the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, criminologist Brian Levin pointed to a “trend of young people from 19 to 21 who are radicalized on the internet.” “And then using the internet to memorialize their violence inscribing it in a book of evil referencing others in the past,” Levin said, referring to an so-called manifesto by the alleged shooter. … Read the Rest

(Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2019. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )