Neo-nazi hate blogger paid by FBI to incite, says attorney

David Kravets at Wired Threat Level blog reports that Hal Turner, a notorious shitbag "hate blogger" in New Jersey who was charged two months ago with threatening to kill judges and lawmakers, was secretly an FBI "agent provocateur" paid tens of thousands of dollars by our government to broadcast white supremacist rhetoric. Snip:
Hal Turner, the blogger and radio personality, remains jailed pending charges over his recent online rants, which prosecutors claim amounted to an invitation for someone to kill Connecticut lawmakers and Chicago federal appeals court judges. But behind the scenes the reformed white supremacist was holding clandestine meetings with FBI agents who taught him how to spew hate "without crossing the line," according to his lawyer, Michael Orozco.

"Almost everything was at the behest of the Federal Bureau of Investigation," Orozco said in a 45-minute telephone interview from New Jersey. "Their job was to pick up information on the responses of what he was saying and see where that led them. It was an interesting dynamic on what he was being asked to do."

Lawyer: FBI Paid Right-Wing Blogger Charged With Threats (, via Oxblood Ruffin)

Los del Dramatica have a lot to say about this. May he serve 420 years in jail.

The Southern Poverty Law Center saw this one coming. Did COINTELPRO ever really end?


  1. Oh may god.

    What if Boing Boing is an FBI front tracking the state of weirdness in the country?

  2. At what point does your FBI-funded disinformation program become just generic government propaganda? There’s a very narrow line in there somewhere but damned if I can find it.

  3. Half of me wonders whether, given the similarly false insanity that they’re spreading, folks like Glenn Beck could be agents provocateurs winding up teabaggers and birthers and encouraging them to show up at town hall meetings.

    The other half of me wonders whether it even matters. Fighting their outlandishly false conspiracy rumors with the conspiracy rumor that more on-air personalities are on the FBI payroll might be a way to convince their unreasonable and paranoid followers to stop listening to them.

  4. Oh man. My fixed link was broken. D’oh.

    At least I made Xeni LOL. Don’t I get points for that?

  5. I’m not sure that he was an FBI plant. He’s got no evidence except his lawyer saying it and the FBI does have the policy to not confirm or deny. Nutjobs would know about that and this is a way to defend himself and attack the government at the same time.

    On the other hand, the FBI did crap like this in the 1960s. They created power struggles between black nationalist groups (Black Panthers and the United Slaves) with forged letters and framing non-informants. He is a nutjob and is making people leaning towards his nutjob views look like nutjobs.

    I think the two things we can take away from this are:

    1) The internet is good at exposing nutjobs to the ridicule they so richly deserve.

    2) Distrusting the government is good no matter which side of the political spectrum you are on.

  6. First thing I thought of Donkeyrider – and I think the conclusions Vonnegut puts forward in that book are appropriate.

  7. Oh, his *lawyers* say that’s how it is. Then I guess it *must* be so.

    Hmmm. One way to get people to want smaller government (and thus to establish a preference for rule by Big’N’Large) is to get them to hate government. This actually continues to further that ongoing campaign.

    OTOH I’m just enough of a socialist to like school, roads, transit, police, fire. People like dirtbag are in the business of destroying the village to save it.

    When I was younger, I visited friends in a city; from their back window I saw a city block surrounded by apartments. All of the buildings only went halfway to the center of the block: the acre or so of open ground at the center was broken up by rows of decaying wood fences behind each building, enclosing plots of discarded crap and mud. What could have been a wonderful green community space was a Potterville instead.

    Now I know how it got that way. Heaven and Hell are *states of mind*. Our state is decided by the supremacy of profit.

  8. It makes me indescribably happy to find that this zit was finally charged with something. That, I did not know. He’s been urging violence on minorities in general ways and on authority figures in more specific ways for years.

  9. I don’t see how it benefits Hal Turner to say this. If this is true he’s a dead man in or out of prison.

    Does it also mean that Sean Hannity was working with him?

  10. “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

    Free speech means the assholes and the slime of the earth should also have the right to speak.

  11. Reminds me of Bernie Ward, this loony radio guy in SF, who was arrested ‘researching child porn for a future thought-piece.’ Anyway, got him off the air.

  12. Xeni, I welcome you to the tin foil hat crowd. You took the red pill and you can see. Scary, ain’t it? The truth is so outlandish sounding its hard to believe, but isn’t that what Hitler said? “The bigger the lie, the easier it is to make people believe”. He was right about that. Others that pooh-pooh the things that come to light are for the most part afraid to confront that which is in front of their face, because it invades their little comfort bubble. OK folks, fire your incoming salvos, I’m already dug in.

  13. Man!! I want that job!!! 10’s of THOUSANDS(!!) of dollars just to rile people up with pathetic hate speech online?? SIGN ME UP!!! I’ll even take just one 10’s of thousands!! I swear I’ll donate a bit to NPR or something. I really believe our tax dollars should go to a good use; me. And NPR, I sear.

  14. So it’s like Mother Night for the KKK?

    That book is so what I was thinking when I read this. Vonnegut’s book should be required reading in this day and age.

    Be careful what you pretend to be…

  15. It isn’t just his lawyer who is saying this. His fellow “nut-jobs” were accusing him of being an FBI informant before this, and provided some evidence to back up the accusation, too:


    Turner was a paid FBI informant for several years supplying information about right-wing terrorism to federal agents.[25] The original allegations that Turner acted as an informant for the FBI surfaced in 2008 after unidentified hackers claimed on Turner’s website’s forums that they had read email correspondence between him and an FBI agent, apparently his handler.[26] This led to a discussion on a neo-Nazi website on January 10, 2008, in which Turner revealed he was quitting political work, was ending his radio show and that he was separating “from the ‘pro-White’ movement”.[26] At the time, the FBI declined to comment on the matter and Turner denied being an informant.[26] The Southern Poverty Law Center[27] and the Anti-Defamation League reported on the emails that “a neo-Nazi Website had posted material reportedly found by the hackers, including alleged exchanges between himself and law enforcement agents which indicated that Turner had been providing information to them.”[28]

    On July 28, 2009 in a Chicago courtroom, Turner’s defense lawyer said that Turner worked as a paid informant for the FBI.[29] During an August 11, 2009 hearing prosecutors acknowledged “that Turner has been an FBI informant, paid by the government to spy on radical right-wing organizations.”[30]

  16. We should be mindful that we don’t simply supplant radical Islam with Christian-American Antidisestablishmentarianism in the role for our next Emmanuel Goldstein.

  17. This American Life recently rebroadcast a similar story – “Arms Trader” about government security agencies arresting terrorists after using informants to incite the acts, even going as far as to provide them with weapons. Very, very strange and it appears to be far to common of a tactic.
    Like others have said, very “Mother Night.”

  18. Quote from the SPLC page:

    “I seen the emails and many others as they was posted in IRC. They did not come off his server, came from his ISP email as they hacked everything Turner owned.

    I can confirm these emails are in fact legit. There are many more but the hacker group that took these did not even wanna release this one. Was leaked by someone in the chat. They was afraid they would get in trouble for outing an informant.”

  19. “Good news! Upon further investigation, we can conclude THERE ARE NO RACISTS! And just look at all this money we’ve free up in the budget. Also, for those of you whose family members got dragged behind a truck, you’ll be receiving an apology letter in the mail soon.”

    (It’s not the first time I’ve seen racism as consciously dishonest. I had to grow up with some dirt bags who’d shitlist me for not sharing in their racist beliefs, and then go off to badmouth me to their Hispanic friends.)

  20. What if the FBI really didn’t recruit him?

    What if he’s been punked by someone with a convincing story and a phony badge? It could be either a real Nazi sympathizer or just the opposite trying to goad him into going too far.

  21. It’s telling that government paying Blackwater millions only induces a bit of mild disgust in me, but paying Hal Turner thousands pulls me towards the boiling point.

    If this was the act of a foreign government, we’d be justified in demanding a trial for treason. But we’ve met the enemy, and he is us.

    Failing all that, can I at least get a refund?

  22. I don’t blame the FBI for trying something creative. The Neo Nazi’s are dangerous and patient. I read an article recently about how they have been sending people into the miliatry to get tactics and weapons training. The military used to interview people about their tatoos and what they meant and deliberately kept out people with over racist tatoos and they have stopped doing that because of the shortage of recruits. Timothy McVeigh was in the military. We are more vulnerable to these domestic right wing nutjobs than we are to Al Qaeda.

    None the less it is never a good idea to keep a badger for a pet.

  23. One has to wonder if (if in fact the FBI did this) the goal was to see who agreed with their guys nutburger rants, or if the goal was to drive the lunatic fringe into action to help justify their existence.

  24. No real surprise here. The FBI often targets far right groups for operations like this. During the civil-rights era they had a large number of operatives (both agents and informants) active in the Knights of the KKK. Strangely, as the number of operatives increased so did the amount of violent activity in Klan.

    The interesting thing is: while the FBI uses similar with left-wing and other radical groups, the right-wing groups are often allowed to operate for much longer period and often carry out much more horrendous acts of violence then the others. Groups like the Black Panthers, AIM, and IWW were targeted for destruction, while groups like the KKK are incorporated into the FBI’s investigative process and used for the purposes of counter-intelligence.

    Scary stuff.

  25. You know, me saying “no real surprises here” sounded really condescending. Sorry Xeni. What I should have said was, “I’m not surprised when I read things like this anymore.”

  26. All of this is in perfect accord with the FBI’s COINTELPRO operations which officially ceased functioning in 1971 but continue today under several different guises. “Much of what was done outside the law under COINTELPRO was later legalized by Executive Order 12333 (12/4/81). There is every reason to believe that even what was not legalized is still going on as well.”

    Within the left, there have been several (somewhat) recent examples of this, one being the self “outing” of Brandon Darby as an FBI informant and another being the informant known only as “Anna”. None of this has anything to do with the “tin foil hat” crowd. These acts ARE conspiracies against the American public but not all conspiracies are equal (or reality based; this isn’t Lizard Overlords, controlling the world with the NWO, based out of Denver international Airport BS. Let us not homogenize those shadows into one uniform cabal).

    Of course, i won’t lose any sleep over this Neo-nazi piece of resource depletion ending up behind bars but i cannot condone the FBI’s actions simply because i find Turner’s beliefs reprehensible. The free expression of any, and all, POV is both a strength and a weakness of democracy, dissent being fundamental to any healthy socio-political body. We should be weary of power structures that seek to subvert and undermine this process even when it is done to those we would consider our “enemy.” Yep.

  27. I’ve often had a nagging suspicion that 90% of those involved with child pornography are law enforcement “professionals” trying to get the other 10%, and a substantial portion of that 10% would probably never get involved if it weren’t for the other 90%.

    Where’s Kafka when you need him?

  28. Oh, and sense we’re doing literary references, The Man Who Was Thursday also comes to mind…

  29. You never know
    If you only trust the TV and the radio
    These days
    You can’t see who’s in cahoots
    ‘Cause now the KKK
    Wears three-piece suits
    It’s like that y’all, it’s like that y’all
    In fact you know it’s like that y’all

  30. If the story holds up, I’d like to know how many neo-nazi types were actually convicted as a result of this operation – or was the real intent just to fire up the right so as to intimidate liberals?

  31. I’m a ‘truther’ to the extent I believe there is more to that story, as I suspected there was with this Hansen douchebag.

    Really though, i feel karma is more reliable than the judiciary.

  32. It’s pretty smart for the FBI to exploit this guy’s madness so that he could be the token image of a conspiracy theorist.

    I’m so tired of these extremists who take proper information and spin it into doomsday scenarios, making them seem like incredibly easy to dismiss.

    I’m not refering to Hal alone, because he’s obviously backwards and ignorant with his thoughts on society and life in general, but these Alex Jones types who spin theories and fragmented info into a blind connect-the-dots hypothesis.

  33. Counterproductive. Although it’s an interesting ploy to use this guy as “bait” to find nut-cases, how many more potential nut-cases are being created by encouraging and advising this guy on “how far he can go” and having him spew hate? I’m sure he felt he was using the FBI as much as they were using him.

  34. The Man Who Was Thursday by G.K. Chesterton comes to mind, in a similar vein to Anon@43’s point.

    Interestingly, Chesterton apparently meant the novel to be a warning against the real danger of anarchists, rather than what it read as to me, namely ridiculing the fear-mongering and agent-provocateurism of the day about anarchism (and subsequently communism, islamism, etc.).

  35. The FBI has a long history of aiding, abetting and fomenting racism in the United States of America.

  36. Seems like they learned from the german Verfassungsschutz, who in fact supported many radical groups it was supposed to collect facts about, so they would have a reason to continue their work.

    If people realized most of those xenophobic hate pits are no real menace for the constitution at all, the Verfassungsschutz would probably been disbanded long time ago, so they helped a bit creating and maintaining a menacing situation.

    Greetings, LX

  37. The FBI has always operated as a domestic spy in the United States, while perpetrating covert forms of terrorism in its counterintelligence operations (COINTELPRO). What is frightening is that the Department Of Justice refuses to prosecute the FBI for crimes that its agents commit under the Title 18 Sections 241 and 242 of the United States Criminal Code, which concerns crimes committed under the color of law.

    The FBI has never been a legitmate police force and should be abolished, since it has always existed to violate the inherent rights of Americans which should be protected by the United States Constitution and its Bill of Rights.

    The National Security Agency is even more frightening given its ability to track American citizens by way each person’s body’s own unique bioelectromagnetic field.

    You can find more on this by accessing a lawsuit filed in 1991 by a former NSA employee named John St. Clair Akwei, against the National Security Agency. Google: AKWEI VS NSA.

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