“Remember: Image is important,” David Gletty, leader of the Orlando chapter of the National Socialist Movement, admonished his tiny knot of demonstrators during its February 2006 rally. “We want to stay civilized. Give these police officers the respect they deserve.”
Gletty's professionalism, if not his perceived commitment to an abhorrent cause, impressed James Carlson of the Orlando Weekly, who had embedded himself in the NSM protest.
“Gletty knows what he's doing,” wrote Carlson, who described how the NSM leader shepherded the neo-Nazis through the much larger counter-protest, while keeping their spirits up with regular doses of “anti-Semitic bile.”
What he really wants is to direct: Gletty (center, back to camera) works with the road company of "Springtime for Hitler."
As it happens, Gletty did indeed “know what he was doing.” He once made his living in Roller Derby, a pseudo-sport that is close kindred to professional “wrestling”; this meant that he was possessed both athleticism and theatricality. He knew how to generate “heat” from an audience by performing a convincing “heel turn.” So it was entirely natural for the FBI to recruit him as an informant/provocateur in the NSM.
Appropriately, that fact came out in the course of a trial involving yet another federally funded farce, the "war on drugs."
Gletty's profession didn't change that much; he just switched employers and put the taxpayers on the hook for his livelihood. It's worthwhile to ask how many others in the neo-Nazi movement are drawing federal paychecks. The Minnesota-based NSM itself seems inert, more devoted to a bizarre niche marketing strategy (peddling such things as Ayran-friendly death metal and Nazi-themed “hoodies,” among other things; no, I'm not kidding) than any serious effort to propagate a mass movement devoted to resurrecting the Reich.
Neo-Nazi nebbish Bill White signs a copy of Mein Kampf
For at least four decades, people involved in “direct action” groups – whether of the “left” or the “right” -- have shared a piece of valuable folk wisdom: If someone joins your group and wants to start blowing things up, mark him down as a federal informant. During the heyday of the FBI's COINTELPRO operation, more than a few radical groups (including various Klan factions) owed their very existence to the Feds, whose informants fleshed out chapter rolls of organizations that otherwise would have died through attrition.
The Oklahoma City Bombing represented the zenith – or nadir, depending on how one looks at it – of the FedGov's role as a mole-master for informants and provocateurs. Elohim City, the rural Oklahoma white supremacist commune that served as the womb of the bombing plot, was overrun with informants; its residents could hardly throw a stiff-armed salute without nailing a provocateur in the face. And while on the subject of provocateurs, there's provocative evidence that Timothy McVeigh, rather than being a lethally disgruntled ex-federal employee, may have been a Federal asset at the time of the bombing.
Oddly enough, one of the informants at Elohim City – one-time white supremacist pin-up Carol Howe -- actually collected valuable pre-bombing intelligence that could have been used to prevent the atrocity. The Feds reacted in predictable fashion: They ignored or suppressed Howe's reports, blew her cover, and sent her back into Elohim City, apparently in the hope that she'd be disposed of.
Forgive me for writing short today. Sick kids, a chronically ill (but improving -- thanks for the prayers) wife, and overlapping deadlines have combined to rob me of blogging time.
Please visit the updated and revised page for The Right Source. Today I'll be doing the regular Friday gig co-hosting Kevin Shannon's radio program.
The debut of Pro Libertate: The e-zine is nigh on arrival. I've seen the beta version and it looks great; many thanks to Eric Bearly for his terrific work on that project, as well as TRS's new website. Hopefully the debut issue will be on-line soon.
Beginning Monday, I'll be doing a regular daily radio commentary for KBGN radio in Caldwell, Idaho. I'll provide the relevant details as they become available. Bandwidth permitting, we may find room for the commentaries as podcasts on TRS's website -- but don't hold me to that.
Tom Eddlem, a former colleague of mine at The New American and the JBS, is now a colleague at The Right Source and Pro Libertate. In his blog at Dangerous Talk, Tom explains some of the reasons why he has severed his connections with The New American.
The nub of the matter:
"I’ve separated from The New American because I have limited time, and can’t afford to waste any more of my nearly non-existent free time (I have three daughters who are very active) on an organization that is not devoted to the fight for freedom. "
As the freedom-obsessed father of five, I empathize with Tom and share his priorities.