Special Note: Updated and reposted on January 3rd, 2007 to correct superseded photo link (the first photo)
Three men were charged with federal civil rights violations for a barroom attack on a Mexican immigrant and an assault on an American Indian outside another tavern. Prosecutors announced the indictment Friday after the arrest of Travis D. Massey, 29, and Eric G. Egbert, 21, both of Salt Lake City, and Shaun A. Walker, 38 (pictured at left), a former Utah resident currently living in Hillsboro, W.Va. Investigators said the men were members of the white nationalist group National Alliance and that they provoked arguments and fights to make minorities afraid to appear in public or live and work in Salt Lake City. Walker is currently the Chairman of the National Alliance, but earlier, when he lived in Salt Lake City, he served as the Coordinator for their Salt Lake Unit.
Massey and Egbert pleaded not guilty Friday to charges that could land them up to 20 years in prison. They were being held in federal custody pending detention hearings scheduled for Tuesday. Walker will be arraigned after U.S. marshals bring him to Utah from West Virginia. Each defendant faces a charge of conspiracy to interfere with civil rights and a second count of interference with a federally protected activity. Click here for the rest of the story from KUTV Channel 2 in Salt Lake City.
Synopsis: The charges stem from two Salt Lake City bar fights the three had with some non-whites back in December 2002 and January 2003. Supposedly the three used racial epithets towards the non-whites.
However, when the U.S. Attorney was questioned as to why they're pushing this after three years, his spokeswoman, Melodie Rydalch, claimed it took that long to "develop" the case.
The National Alliance reacted to this development earlier today. On their National Alliance News Service web site, they denounced the charges as "utterly spurious and overtly bogus", and characterized it as "selective prosecution" because of the trio's political activities. As expected, the Anti-Defamation League also picked up on it straightaway. In a press release, ADL head Abe Foxman was virtually dancing the hora in an orgiastic frenzy. In his mind, he's already got them tried, convicted, and incarcerated. Foxman wrote, "We applaud law enforcement for pursuing the investigation of these serious allegations involving possible hate crimes carried out by a National Alliance leader. The arrests send a powerful message to the racists and bigots who believe they can get away with targeting minorities for harassment, threats and violence."
Gee, whatever happened to the presumption of innocence?
Other "antifa" reaction was posted on Nikki's Nest, the admittedly interesting and lively personal blogsite of Citizens Against Hate Co-Director Nicole Nichols, as well as the loathsome anarchist website One People's Project.
However, Bill White, the editor of Libertarian Socialist News, posted some downright damning allegations against the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) on his website today. Here's a pertinent excerpt:
Immediate questions rose, though, about the legitimacy of the arrests, which
appeared to involve fighting on both sides of the fence. Federal authorities in
the Joint Terrorism Task Force claim Walker and the other two men deliberately
started bar room brawls with the non-whites for racial reasons, and that they
would regularly bar crawl and start fights while intoxicated in Salt Lake City,
however other accounts indicate that the non- whites may have been part of
groups that started fights with Walker and company over a drunken exchange of
Lurking in the darkness behind the arrests, of
course, were the ADL, who have apparently been calling for Walker's arrest and
pressuring the JTTF to fabricate a case for some time.
There is also
question about the integrity of the witnesses, who have not come forward with
accusations for three and a half years.
Since 2000, the Joint Terrorism
Task Force has fabricated charges against a number of high profile white
activists, and seen most of their cases collapse for lack of evidence. For
instance, JTTF investigators arrested Christine Greenwood in California and
charged her with possessing common household cleaning chemicals which, if one
were to theoretically combine them with a degree in chemical engineering, could
be used to make an explosive; the case was dismissed. JTTF also raided Byron
Calvert and charged him with violating a copyright by satirizing a Nike label
with the word "Nazi" -- those charged were also dropped, after it was revealed
that the drawing found in the trash and used to bring the charges was just a
sketch that was never turned into product.
The Alaskan Connection: Shaun Walker only paid one visit to Alaska while the National Alliance was active here in Anchorage from 2000-2003. During that time, David Pringle was the Coordinator of the Anchorage Unit. However, after the demise of Dr. William Pierce in 2002, successor Chairman Erich Gliebe asked Pringle to relocate to Hillsboro, West Virginia to become the NA's Membership Coordinator. The Anchorage Unit essentially disbanded afterwards, although Pringle later left the National Alliance and returned to Anchorage where he currently operates the White Wire website and does a weekly radio program.
Analysis: Reference Melodie Rydalch's earlier statement, "develop the case"? What case? It was a couple of bar fights, plain and simple. If the "victims" had a problem with it, why didn't they press charges back in 2003? This stinks to high heaven. It reminds me of the Paula Jones caper. Remember Paula Jones? She claimed that Bill Clinton, as governor of Arkansas, made improper advances towards her, but waited until he was making more money and had correspondingly deeper pockets as President before she pressed charges. Somebody had to have put these "victims" up to it.
Since when are a couple of stupid bar fights worthy of Federal charges? And this U.S. Attorney wants us taxpayers to house, clothe and feed three otherwise productive citizens at public expense for up to 20 years just because of these two bar fights, which resulted in NO STATE CHARGES? No wonder we have an $8.0 trillion national debt.
Unless the intent is more sinister - the continued persecution of people for unpopular political views. America is becoming more like the Soviet Union every day, with seat belt laws, bicycle helmet laws, the persecution of smokers, ad nauseum. White nationalists are being persecuted simply for being white nationalists. The list of victims continues to grow - David Irving, Germar Rudolf, Ernst Zundel, Brad Love, Marc Nemire, Tomasz Winnicki, Chester Doles, and Dan Schildhauer. And now three more join the list, thanks to a predatory U.S. Attorney in Utah. See my post of March 6th, 2006, entitled "The Creeping Criminalization of Dissent", for more discussion about some of the aforementioned.
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