Former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney sent an Email around on Sunday in which she wrote:
“[I]t has just now come to my attention that a ‘journalist’ who suggested that I be lynched was actually being paid by our own government to say that. Now, when I reported it to the FBI, how in the world was I to know that he was at that time on the FBI’s payroll?” “Hate blogger” Hal Turner’s lawyer said last week, and prosecutors agreed, that Turner was “trained by the FBI on how to be deliberately provocative” and “worked for the FBI from 2002 to 2007 as an ‘agent provocateur’ and was taught by the agency ‘what he could say that wouldn’t be crossing the line’.”
Turner is being charged with making death threats against Connecticut legislators and Illinois judges and is apparently going to claim that his actions were legal because he did the same sort of thing when employed by the FBI:
“Prosecutors have acknowledged that Turner was an informant who spied on radical right-wing organizations, but the defense has said Turner was not working for the FBI when he allegedly made threats against Connecticut legislators and wrote that three federal judges in Illinois deserved to die. ‘But if you compare anything that he did say when he was operating, there was no difference. No difference whatsoever,’ [his lawyer] said.”
McKinney wrote in her Email: “Interesting that charges stem from his comments against Connecticut lawmakers and Illinois judges, but not from the threat made against me, a sitting Member of Congress at the time!” And, apparently the threat against McKinney was made when Turner admits to having been on the FBI payroll.
John Judge, who worked for McKinney, writes of Turner:
“This is the guy who announced a program topic suggesting that Cynthia McKinney be lynched on her way to the polls to vote in 2006 and published her campaign office address on the website. He asked how she would look swinging at the end of a rope and what message it would send to other ‘uppity’ Blacks. I called NJ Homeland Security and FBI at the time…. The FBI agent I spoke to said ‘We know all about Mr. Turner’. Looks like they did.”
While Turner’s website is down, another website has what it claims was posted on Turner’s:
“LYNCHING CONGRESSWOMAN CYNTHIA MCKINNEY: SHOULD IT BE DONE BEFORE HER JULY 18 PRIMARY ELECTION?
Tune-in to ‘The Hal Turner Show’ this Wednesday evening from 9:00-11:00 PM eastern US time as we talk about this topic!
“Cynthia McKinney is a violent, black, racist, bitch whose official re-election campaign web site calls white people ‘crackers’. As such, on this Wednesday evening’s show I will ask the question ‘Given the prevalence of black crime in America, would it serve the public good to LYNCH Congresswoman McKinney within the next few weeks, while she’s on the campaign trail, so as to send an unmistakable message to other blacks: white people are tired of your bullshit, behave or die.”
Now, I realize that this sounds like ordinary civil discourse in tea-partied America, and yet it’s fairly easy to imagine altering it in ways that would have “crossed the line.” For example, Turner might have targeted a Republican, or a Democrat in good standing, or a white person. Surely that would have crossed some line.
David Swanson is the author of the new book “Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union” by Seven Stories Press. You can pre-order it and find out when tour will be in your town: http://davidswanson.org/book. Arrange to review it on your blog and Seven Stories will get you a free copy. Contact crystal at sevenstories dot com.