America’s government has been embroiled in a shameful “impeachment” charade for months now. The Democrats are demonstrating that there is virtually “no limit” to what they are willing to do to “attack” the president and “undermine” the last election—and the next one. Meanwhile, revelations continue to emerge about their “abuse” of the intelligence agencies to […]
Obama Derangement Syndrome huh? You know he hasn’t been President for what? 3 years now? And I remember how you fools kept screaming, foaming at the mouth when he was President, in your hypocrisy of course, how Bush was no longer President and how Obama had to take responsibility for everything left for him to do.
And now? You all want to blame him again for every thing illegal, immoral and criminal that Trump has done. Where as? If Obama had one tenth of what Trump has done while in office? Not only would you all demand his impeachment? But also his execution for High Treason.
I can just imagine? If President Obama had sent in the troops on all you Trumpsters out there protesting the Covid-19 Social Distancing rules, loaded down with your small penis substitutes, getting into the faces of police officers, taking over government buildings? Why that is ok with you people. But if Obama had sent in the troops, lie Dicktater wanna be Trump did for his photo op of his not even being able to hold his bible right, against the peaceful protesters? You all would have melted down like the snowflakes you are and cried Fascism.
Funny how you all can practice your own brand of Nazi/Socialist/White Supremacist Fascism and anyone who stands up to you pussies, like the Anti-Fascists? Scare the living daylights out of you pussies, and we are the ones who are supposed to be the weak ones? Now you all call us the terrorists lmfao.
Maybe that is because in the back of all of your minds? YOU DO remember your history on how Anti-Fascists stood up to you all during the first Civil War, and in WWI and WWII and kicked your butts. And you all scream at us, You lost, get over it???? Man talk about hypocrisy and idiocy on your parts huh? But it is you who are the treasonous Fascists, calling for a Civil War 2.0 against your fellow Citizens, that is illegal actually under the US Codes against sedition, treason and seeking to overthrow the government. And guess what? You all ever do your Boogaloo? Well you all will finally meet the True Patriots of this country who will gladly show you all how to be losers for a fourth time.
Cause we are not putting up with your crap and neither are our True Patriots of our Military and if you doubt me? Read the current Generals words about you all, and then research how our FBI and Homeland Security? Keep bagging you all. I love it too when one of your kind or group of kinds of rabid dog animals attempt to shoot it out with them and your next trip is to the morgues. Cause you sure are NOT going to defeat the combined forces of the US Military, REAL State and Local law enforcement, or REAL Patriots of this country when you all finally drop your fucking micro-nuts like you all been threatening since a REAL President, Barack Obama was in the White House and pop off with your stupid fucking Boogaloo. If you all want to wage war on your fellow citizens for Traitor Trump? Then fucking have at it. And? Before you do?
Write out your wills, to give your generational inbred loved ones your fancy double-wide outhouse trailer, kiss your sister/mother/wife and your rotted toothed rug rats goodbye, and dress up in your best GI Joe outfits, pack your gear, shoulder your weapons and pop the fuck off.
Oh and here is a clue. Wear your bullet proof jackets and helmets. We are not shooting for head shots or center mass. Oh fuck no, we are aiming right for your unprotected legs and crotch area. Then finish you off old school, just like we did to the fucking Nazis in WWII.
So? If you want to commit High Treason for Traitor Trumpturd? Your dear Commander Bone Spurs who could not make it up Pork Chop Hill and went and hid his fat ass in his bunker? YOU truly think YOU are going to take over this country when you are actually outnumbered?
And many of you morons are followings Trump’s orders and gathering like you are doing, spreading that hoax Covid-19 among yourselves and you Trumpturds are dropping like flies around the piles of shit around your outhouses?
Good. Go for it. And watch what happens when the REAL Patriots rise up and put you scumbags right where you belong. Cause that is what you want. To die for Traitor Trump? And his Fascist, white supremacist loser shit? Then we will oblige you.
Whoever, owing allegiance to the United States, levies war against them or adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort within the United States or elsewhere, is guilty of treason and shall suffer death, or shall be imprisoned not less than five years and fined under this title but not less than $10,000; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
18 U.S. Code § 2383. Rebellion or insurrection
Whoever incites, sets on foot, assists, or engages in any rebellion or insurrection against the authority of the United States or the laws thereof, or gives aid or comfort thereto, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and shall be incapable of holding any office under the United States.
18 U.S. Code § 2384. Seditious conspiracy
If two or more persons in any State or Territory, or in any place subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, conspire to overthrow, put down, or to destroy by force the Government of the United States, or to levy war against them, or to oppose by force the authority thereof, or by force to prevent, hinder, or delay the execution of any law of the United States, or by force to seize, take, or possess any property of the United States contrary to the authority thereof, they shall each be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both.
18 U.S. Code § 2385. Advocating overthrow of Government
Whoever knowingly or willfully advocates, abets, advises, or teaches the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying the government of the United States or the government of any State, Territory, District or Possession thereof, or the government of any political subdivision therein, by force or violence, or by the assassination of any officer of any such government; or
Whoever, with intent to cause the overthrow or destruction of any such government, prints, publishes, edits, issues, circulates, sells, distributes, or publicly displays any written or printed matter advocating, advising, or teaching the duty, necessity, desirability, or propriety of overthrowing or destroying any government in the United States by force or violence, or attempts to do so; or
Whoever organizes or helps or attempts to organize any society, group, or assembly of persons who teach, advocate, or encourage the overthrow or destruction of any such government by force or violence; or becomes or is a member of, or affiliates with, any such society, group, or assembly of persons, knowing the purposes thereof—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.
If two or more persons conspire to commit any offense named in this section, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than twenty years, or both, and shall be ineligible for employment by the United States or any department or agency thereof, for the five years next following his conviction.
As used in this section, the terms “organizes” and “organize”, with respect to any society, group, or assembly of persons, include the recruiting of new members, the forming of new units, and the regrouping or expansion of existing clubs, classes, and other units of such society, group, or assembly of persons.
DECLARATIONS OF WAR AGAINST THE CITIZENS OF THE UNITED STATES
Rick Wiles Wants Trump to Arrest Liberals, Torture Them Right-wing conspiracy nut Rick Wiles is always preaching that liberals want to round up conservative activists and torture them. Perhaps he was just fantasizing because that’s exactly what he says Trump should do.
Christian Conspiracist: Black Lives Matter and Antifa Leaders Must Be Executed John Guandolo, a disgraced former FBI agent who appears to treat all brown people with beards as a threat to national security and once said Muslim women shouldn’t be allowed to hold public office, now has an even worse opinion. He wants to see Black Lives Matter and Antifa leaders executed.
Rick Wiles: There Will Be “Violence in America” If Donald Trump Is Impeached On his “TruNews” broadcast Wednesday, conspiracy theorist and anti-SemiteRick Wiles warned that Donald Trump‘s impeachment would be met with violence.
Wiles, who said in August that he needed $100 million to launch a global media platform and claimed just this month that Hillary Clinton looks good because she’s drinking a lot of blood, now says that Trump supporters who “know how to fight” will hunt down Democratic lawmakers and kill them if their Savior is impeached.
Dr. Robert Jeffress: Trump Impeachment Inquiry, will cause ‘Civil War-like Fracture from which this Country will Never Heal’ Pastor Robert Jeffress has dismissed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for asking the nation to be “prayerful” about an impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, which he says has angered “thousands” of evangelicals and “will cause a civil war-like fracture in this nation from which this country will never heal.”
Pro-Trump pastor Robert Jeffress defends tweet invoking Civil War Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress defended controversial comments retweeted by President Trump linking impeachment proceedings in Congress to the prospect of civil war but clarified that he was not talking about a literal shooting war. Hashtags like #CivilWar2 and #CivilWarSignup trended on Twitter after Trump repeated Jeffress’ warning that if Democrats are successful in removing him from office, it will cause a “Civil War-like” fracture from which the nation will never heal.
Franklin Graham Threatens America With Civil War If Trump Is Impeached If the president was brought down for whatever reason, it could lead to a civil war. There are millions of people out there that voted for President Trump that are behind him that are angry and they are mad. We are just living in a very dangerous territory, and we need God’s help.
Jim Bakker: We Will Have A Civil War If Trump Is Impeached While criticizing calls to impeach Trump, Bakker said that such a move would lead to war: “If it happens, there will be a civil war in the United States of America. The Christians will finally come out of the shadows because we are going to be shut up permanently if we’re not careful.”
Evangelicals Promise Civil War if Trump is Impeached The evangelicals’ concern that their “messiah” in the Oval Office faces the prospect of being impeached, now they are worried he will be forced to resign to save the GOP from further humiliation. The thought of losing their god-king, and the free rein he provides the religious right to advance the Dominionists’ cause is not just disconcerting, it is a reason to send “an ominous warning;” impeach Trump and prepare for a violent civil war led by conservative Christians.
What is the ‘boogaloo?’ How online calls for a violent uprising are hitting the mainstream An anti-government movement that advocates for a violent uprising targeting liberal political opponents and law enforcement has moved from the fringes of the internet into the mainstream in recent months and surged on social media, according to a group of researchers that tracks hate groups.
Amid The Pandemic, U.S. Militia Groups Plot ‘The Boogaloo,’ AKA Civil War, On Facebook Thousands of armed right-wing militants are plotting a violent uprising against the U.S. government during the coronavirus crisis, a new report finds, and Facebook is providing them a platform to prepare and organize.
Report: Over 100 Militant Hate Groups Have Been Promoting Second Civil War on Facebook God help us if Mark Zuckerberg’s next congressional hearing is on the subject of the Bloody Insurrection of 2020. As HuffPost first reported, a scourge of far-right extremist accounts on Facebook appear to be gearing up for a meme-inspired civil war amid the covid-19 outbreak.
These are all acts of sedition, treason, rebellion or insurrection and seeking to overthrow our government, by Fascists, by KristoKunt Talibans and by Trumpturds along with their Commander Bone Spurs constantly throwing his dog whistles at them.
THEY HAVE DECLARED WAR ON THE CONSTITUTION, THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF ALL AND SEEK TO OVERTHROW THIS GOVERNMENT AND INSTALL THEIR KRISTOTALIBAN FASCIST REGIME.
He wants to see Black Lives Matter and Antifa leaders executed.
Which should definitely strike fear in the presidents of those organizations…
He made the comments Thursday on the American Pastors Network’s “Stand in the Gap” radio program:
“It’s time to start crushing these enemies,” he continued. “The leaders of this defund the police movement are communists and jihadis. They’re Muslim Brotherhood organized organizations like the Islamic Circle of North America, the Islamic Society of North America. They’re designated terrorist groups like Hamas, the Council of American Islamic Relations. They are leaders of communist organizations like Black Lives Matter and antifa, and as this country has done in the past, we should round up the leaders and execute them for trying to revolt and overthrow the government. And if this doesn’t happen soon, we will lose this.”
Nothing says the love of Christ like calling for a fatwa on your imaginary enemies…
Guandolo also calls George Floyd a “thug” — he wasn’t and it wouldn’t have mattered if he was — suggesting that his cruel death was somehow warranted.
The only people who have a problem with reforming the justice system are those who benefit from its corruption. A truly reformed system would benefit everyone who properly carries out their duties. But when you’re deeply racist, that change seems indistinguishable from treason.
A Message to Nazi Fascist John Guandolo and his kind
Hey Mark Zuckerberg you fucking Kike KristoKunt Kracker….you sure do love the spreading of pathological lies, hate and death by Reich-Wing Trumpturd shitstains on the underwear of humanity along with the King Shitstain, Donald J Trump, on your racist, misogynist, ChristoTaliban platform called Fascistbook.
Here are two examples of proof.
From the blog postings reports on how Fascistbook and the Kike KristoKunt Kracker Mark Zuckerberg allows racist, pig fucking, generational inbred, shitstains on the underwear of humanity Reich-Wing ChristoTaliban Trumpturd groups on Fascistbook that call for the bogaloo and other racist Civil War shit? We reported two of them. The ones we reported were The Nationalist Times and the Litmer Corporation. Both are exposed in those reports as Reich-Wing Nazi and White Supremacist promoting groups of shitstains. So let’s see what Fascistbook and the Kike KristoKunt Kracker Mark Zuckerberg decided if they violated shall we?
The Nationalist Times has been exposed as a Reich Wing Nazi White Supremacist Hate Group that has been given a business profile on Fascistbook.
Your report Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 6:49 PM You anonymously reported The Nationalist Times for displaying hate speech. Thanks for your feedback Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 7:51 PM
Thanks for your report – you did the right thing by letting us know about this. The Page you reported was reviewed, and though it doesn’t go against one of our specific Community Standards, we understand that the Page or something shared on it may still be offensive to you and others. No one should have to see posts they consider hateful on Facebook, so we want to help you avoid things like this in the future.If you want us to review something specific on this or another Page, you can report that exact content (example: photo) instead of the entire Page.From the list above, you can also block The Nationalist Times directly, or you may be able to unfollow the Page. If you unfollow it, you’ll be able to find the Page on Facebook but you won’t see its posts in your News Feed.
The Litmer Corporation posted racist ads on Fascistbook.
You anonymously reported the Litmer Corp for displaying a hate speech ad
You did the right thing by letting us know about this. While this ad is being reviewed, it will continue to be seen on Facebook. If upon review we find the ad goes against our Ad Policies, then we will take it down.Since you reported this ad, we won’t show you this in the future and will take your feedback into account when it comes to future ads you see.Please continue to report ads that you think don’t belong on our platforms and are misleading, offensive or inappropriate.Click here to review and manage your ad preferences. Learn more about giving feedback on ads.
Here again, are two proven, Reich Wing ChristoTaliban terrorist scumbags, who promote real hate, real violence and real death on Fascistbook, one of them? A fucking business site, which means Fascistbook and the Kike KristoKunt Kraker Mark Zuckerberg and Fascistbook? Are collecting money to promote the business site they created themselves, The Nationalist Times and are making money off the hate filled, bigoted ads by the Litmer Corp. Proving that the Kike KristoKunt Kraker Mark Zuckerberg and Fascistbook not only promotes this hate, terror and death on Fascistbook, but makes money off of it.
So what should we do to scumbag shitstain, generational inbred, Kike KristoKunt Krackers like Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Fascistbook, who makes money off of promoting hate, violence, death, bigotry, racism, misogyny on his platform by scumbag shitstain racist pig fucking Nazis and Fascists and Trumpturds?
You do to him what you do to any fucking rabid fucking animal, you hunt him down and you fucking give that fucking Kike KristoKunt Kracker exactly what he puts forth. You shoot this fucking Trumpturd Kike KristoKunt Kracker right between his fucking useless eyes is what you do.
If this Kike KristoKunt Kracker Mark Zuckerberg wants to promote violence, hate, bigotry, misogyny and death by Reich-Wing KristoKunt Krackers like himself? Then he, along with all the rest of the Reich-Wing KristoKunt Krackers should be fucking hunted down and fucking executed on the spot. Whether they are in bed fucking their sisters, or in the barn fucking their sheep and goats? They should be hunted down and fucking executed.
We should be waiting for these KristoKunt Kracker KKK scumbags to gather around their fucking racist burning crosses and lob fucking napalm on them and watch these KristoKunt Krackers light up like a dried out xmas tree.
These KristoKunt Krackers who walk around loaded with their small dick substitutes? Should be fucking shot on the fucking spot.
This is the thing, it is long past time for us to do unto these KristoKunt Kracker Fascist Pig Fuckers for Trump as they been doing to us for far too long. One of these fucking KristoKunt Krackers for Trump gets into your face? Pull out a fucking gun and blow their fucking faces off. This is how you fucking deal with fucking racist, pig fucking, KristoKunt Kracker Nazis and Fascists. You do not play games with these KristoKunt Krackers, you do not bow down and let them get away with their shit, you fucking walk up to these KristoKunt Krackers and you fucking put them down like the fucking rabid dogs they are. You give them no fucking mercy, you give them no compassion, you just give them a full frontal lobotomy.
Mark Zuckerberg, KristoKunt Kracker CEO of Fascistbook, all these Reich-Wing KristoKunt Kracker KKK, White Supremacist Trumpturds? All should be hunted down and fucking executed for committing High Treason Against the United States and for being fucking Nazi KristoKunt Krackers.
Right-wing conspiracy nut Rick Wiles is always preaching that liberals want to round up conservative activists and torture them. Perhaps he was just fantasizing because that’s exactly what he says Trump should do.
On Tuesday’s episode of his “TruNews” program, Wiles cheered Trump’s plan to use the military to quash nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd and called on Trump to use the military to take down liberal organizations, arrest their leaders, and send them to Guantanamo Bay to be tortured.
“We were concerned as conservatives that you’re going to have a far-left regime in power that is going to try to round up conservatives, confiscate guns, put people in detention centers, and so forth,” Wiles said. “You know what? This is turning out to be Haman’s gallows. What they planned for the church, for conservatives, for patriots, what they planned is going to be flipped around on them.”“There’s a Republican president in the White House right now who’s brought the military in,” he continued. “You know who’s going to get rounded up? The left, the communists, the people who are burning down the country. That’s who’s going to get rounded up. This thing has completely flipped on them.”
“I have to think that privately, last night, a lot of them are starting to become afraid,” Wiles said. “I’m talking about the leaders, the ones who know that their names are linked to these organizations, secretly linked, that their bank accounts, the flow of money, the meetings, the trail of emails, text messages, that if the federal government comes in and begins a serious investigation, it’s going to lead to some very powerful people. And the U.S. government is going to seize their bank accounts, seize their assets, and put some of these people in prison. That’s where this is going right now, if President Trump does not let up.”
So unlike his fantasies of persecution, he really does want to round people up and torture them.
A MESSAGE TO RICK WILES AND HIS KIND OF CHRISTOFASCIST TRUMPTURD SHITSTAINS ON THE UNDERWEAR OF HUMANITY.
You fascist little wanna be Hitler cocksucker for Trump. You degenerate piece of shit, hiding behind the Christian religion and Jesus to spread your fucking ChristoFascist ConservaCunt bullshit upon the rest of us?
Bitch Rick Wiles? I FUCKING CHALLENGE YOU TO MEET ME IN A RING SO I CAN SLOWLY BEAT YOUR FUCKING RACIST, GENERATIONAL INBRED, PIG FUCKING, CHRISTOFASCIST TRUMPTURD SHITSTAIN ASS ALL OVER THE RING. I WANT TO TAKE YOUR FUCKING PENCIL NECK AND JUST SLOWLY SNAP IT BETWEEN MY HANDS AS I WATCH YOUR FUCKING EYEBALLS POP OUT OF YOUR USELESS FUCKING SKULL AND YOUR TONGUE HANGS OUT. YOU LITTLE CHRISTOCUNT PUNK BITCH, WHO THE FUCK DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? YOU ARE FUCKING LUCKY I AM NOT LIKE ONE OF YOUR FELLOW PSYCHO TRUMPTURDS CAUSE IF I WERE?
I WOULD SHOW THE FUCK UP ON THE FRONT STEPS OF YOUR RACIST, BIGOTED, HATE FILLED CHURCH OF EVIL AND PULL OUT A GUN UNDER MY 2ND AMENDMENT RIGHT AND BLOW YOUR FUCKING USELESS, TREASONOUS HEAD OFF.
TOO BAD I AM NOT LIKE ONE OF YOUR FELLOW PSYCHO TRUMPTURDS HUH?
THESE RICK WILES, ARE YOUR FELLOW TRUMPTURD TERRORISTS, IF ANY SCUMBAG SHITSTAINS ON THE UNDERWEAR OF HUMANITY SHOULD BE ROUNDED UP AND TORTURED? IS YOURSELF AND THESE FUCKING CUNTS.
YES, RICK WILES, YOU PIECE OF SHIT, YOU FUCKING WASTE OF HUMAN SPACE, YOU SUB-HUMAN TROGLODYTE TREASONOUS CUNT. ALL OF YOU RICK, YOU, YOUR FELLOW CHRISTOTALIBANS LIKE FRANKLIN GRAHAM JR, JIM BAKKER AND OTHERS? AND ALL THESE TRUMPTURDS? ALONG WITH TRAITOR TRUMP AND ALL THE RUSSIAN REPUGNANT SCUMBAGS?
SHOULD BE ROUNDED UP AND BROUGHT TO GITMO, AND TORTURED, WATERBOARDED, BOUND AND TIED UP AND BLASTED WITH COLD WATER. AND THEN? GIVEN ONE LAST FUCKING HAPPY MEAN AND PUT UP AGAINST THE FUCKING WALL AND EXECUTED FOR COMMITTING HIGH TREASON AGAINST THE UNITED STATES.
SO FUCK YOU RICK WILES AND YOUR KIND AND IF YOU DO NOT LIKE MY WORDS AGAINST YOU? FUCK YOU AGAIN. CAUSE YOU HAVEN’T THE FUCKING BALLS LIKE TRUMP? TO COME AND MEET ME AND ATTEMPT TO MAKE GOOD ON YOUR CHRISTOFASCIST PUNK ASSED THREATS TO A REA LIBERALS FACE WHERE I WOULD RIP YOUR HEAD OFF, SHIT DOWN YOUR NECK, PUT YOUR FUCKING HEAD BACK ON AND THEN? FUCK YOU IN THE ASS.
SO BRING IT RICK WILES, FUCKING BRING IT YOU NAZI CHRISTOFASCIST CUNT.
The message by Richard Crites, a sheriff’s deputy in Missouri, starts off like so many political posts on Facebook. Then there’s the kicker:
“A RAGHEAD MUSLIM.”
In New Jersey, prison guard Joseph Bonadio posted repeated insults about the Prophet Muhammad and shared memes of roasting pigs with the message “Happy Ramadan.” In Georgia, retired cop Claude Stevens Jr. railed against Muslims for months, posting conspiracy theories and Islamophobic memes.
They are among dozens of current and former American law enforcement officers whom Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting identified as members of Facebook groups dedicated to Islamophobia. With names such as “Veterans Against islamic Filth,” “PURGE WORLDWIDE (The Cure for the Islamic disease in your country)” and “Americans Against Mosques,” these groups serve as private forums to share bigoted messages about Muslims, and they have proven attractive for cops.
Reveal’s yearlong investigation found police officers across the country belonging to a wide spectrum of extremist groups on Facebook, such as Confederate groups filled with racist memes and conspiracies and groups run by the anti-government militias Oath Keepers and Three Percenters. Islamophobic behavior was notably brazen. While officers shared slur-filled jokes about African Americans, Latinos and the LGBTQ community behind the walls of closed groups, anti-Muslim comments often were posted on public pages for all to see.
“The problem with law enforcement officials engaging in this type of behavior is that it’s probably influencing the way in which they police in their communities,” said Madihha Ahussain, special counsel for anti-Muslim bigotry at the civil rights group Muslim Advocates. “If they hold these biases towards Muslims, we’re very deeply concerned about the ways in which that manifests itself when it comes to being a first responder or being somebody who is investigating crimes against Muslims.”
Islamic centers and places of worship across the country also have boosted security since the horrific attacks against two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March, often asking local cops to stand guard during services.
Muslim Americans long have been the targets of discriminatory policing, most notably in New York City in the years after the 9/11 attacks. In 2018, the New York Police Department settled the last of three major lawsuits in which it was accused of spying on the local Muslim community for more than a decade, infiltrating mosques and creating a team of informants with the help of the CIA.
We notified nearly 150 departments about their officers’ behavior on Facebook and membership in extremist groups. Some departments launched immediate investigations, and one detective in Houston was fired for posting racist memes about African Americans, in violation of department policy.
However, other departments were unbothered by their officers’ social media activity. Some police leaders were angry that we even asked them about it.
Not a single department has said it disciplined an officer for Islamophobic posts or membership in an anti-Islam group.
‘This group is for those who wish to speak out about the evils of Islam’
We were able to identify cops in these groups by writing software to scour Facebook for connections between users who belonged to both extremist and law enforcement groups on the platform, then verifying the identities and professions of active-duty and retired officers. (Read more about our methodology here.)
Through that search, we found people such as Crites, a sworn member of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office in Missouri.
In addition to his 2018 “raghead Muslim” comment, which he used to introduce a news story about then-Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, Crites was a member of three different extremist Facebook groups, including one called “STOP OBAMA AND CRONIES : RADICAL LEFTIES, ISLAMISTS, MEDIA LIES,” which we joined. Inside the group, which was full of Islamophobic content, we saw Crites posting several times, including writing, “Stop Obama stop the Muslims.”
Lawrence County Sheriff Brad DeLay said Crites is a volunteer deputy but carries a gun and has arrest powers. Asked about Crites’ activity on Facebook, DeLay said he’s never heard any concerns from the community about his deputy’s work.
“I’m looking at disciplinary records now, and there aren’t any complaints,” he said.
DeLay wouldn’t provide us with those records, and Crites didn’t respond to numerous calls for comment.
Joseph Bonadio is a senior corrections officer for the New Jersey Department of Corrections. He also was a member of a group called “Infidel Brotherhood Worldwide.”
Islamophobic groups often use the word “infidel” as a dog whistle to attract people with similar views on Islam. Facebook is full of “infidel” groups, including “Any islamist insults infidels, I will put him under my feet,” “The Infidel Den – Anti Islam Coalition” and “Infidel Elite – Against Islam, by the Pen and/or Sword,” all of which count law enforcement officers as members.
Inside these groups, members often traffic in disproven theories that Muslims are invading the United States and plan to impose Sharia law and that this “Muslimification” already has happened across much of Europe.
Often, though, members just express their disgust with a religion practiced by about a quarter of the world’s population.
“The rabies that is islam being passed down from deluded parent to deluded and brainwashed child,” reads a typical civilian comment in “Infidel Brotherhood Worldwide.”
Bonadio, who works at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center, a prison in Woodbridge Township, New Jersey, hasn’t actually posted in the group. Instead, he posted openly anti-Muslim content on his public Facebook wall:
1. “Known fact Jesus is better then (sic) goat FUCKER Muhammad,” he posted in 2015.
2. “I love the smell of bacon on Ramadan … Smells like America,” reads a meme he posted in May, at the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
3. “Happy Ramadan,” he posted the same day, captioning a photo of a pig being roasted over a barbecue.
In addition to posting anti-Muslim content, Bonadio poked fun at the LGBTQ community, especially transgender people. He also has posted memes more than once that depict former first lady Michelle Obama as a man and questioned whether white Americans should be blamed for bringing slavery to the country.
After we sent screenshots of Bonadio’s Facebook activity to the New Jersey Department of Corrections, a spokesperson sent the following statement: “We are aware of the allegations referenced. These allegations will be investigated and appropriate disciplinary action will be taken, if warranted.”
Bonadio did not respond to a call for comment.
Many working police officers were careful to hide their identities on Facebook, using pseudonyms, not listing their place of work or sometimes claiming to work in nonexistent jobs. An officer in Chicago, for example, listed his job as “Bent Over at City of Chicago.” Several cops used variations of their real names, such as Texas State Trooper Kevin Lashlee, who called himself “KD Lash” on Facebook and posted in a group containing racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic and Islamophobic content.
But retired law enforcement officers were far more brazen.
Claude Stevens Jr., who retired from the Waynesboro Police Department in Georgia in 2015, since has joined at least six closed anti-Muslim groups, including “DEATH TO ISLAM UNDERCOVER” and another named “Rage against the veil.”
Stevens’ personal Facebook page was awash with anti-Islamic memes, and he’s actively commented in at least two of the closed groups. For example, he wrote under a video of Islamic immigrants in Germany, “The Prophet Muhammad eat’s (sic) dog shit and is a follower of Satan/Allah” in March 2017.
When reached for comment, Stevens initially was defensive of his views. He called Islam “evil” and said America needs to be extremely wary of Muslim immigrants, who he claims seek to impose Sharia law in a Christian nation. However, he claimed that as a police officer, he always treated people fairly, no matter what their religion.
Asked how he could treat all people equally while at the same time posting about how Muslims are “filthy” and “animals,” he paused and said: “I would have to concede to you that I probably have to back off on my words and look at it differently.”
As a transit officer with the New York Police Department, John Intranuovo policed a city that’s home to more than 600,000 Muslims. Now that he’s retired, he has used a group called “Stop the War on Christianity and White America” to rail against Muslims.
Intranuovo had a simple reaction to a post about former President Barack Obama endorsing Amir Malik of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who was seeking election to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2018. “No muslims,” he wrote. In another comment, Intranuovo called Muslims “evil people.”
Intranuovo also was a member of two more anti-Muslim Facebook groups: “The Infidel Den – Anti Islam Coalition” and “THE VOICE OF THE AMERICAN INFIDELS,“ neither of which allowed us to join, but both of which contained openly anti-Islam sentiment in their public descriptions.
“This group is for those who wish to speak out about the evils of Islam. All members of this group want Islam removed from America,” reads the public description for “THE VOICE OF THE AMERICAN INFIDELS,” which can be viewed by anybody on Facebook.
‘These are law enforcement officers who are sworn to protect us’
Earlier this year, Facebook announced a big push against hate speech.
As part of founder Mark Zuckerberg’s pledge to turn around the social media behemoth, Facebook first promised to ban white nationalist and white supremacist content, then followed up by ousting several prominent purveyors of anti-Muslim rhetoric, including Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer. But anyone hoping these moves would mark an end to widespread hate speech on the platform was disappointed.
Megan Squire, a computer science professor at Elon University in North Carolina who tracks hate groups on Facebook, frequently reports such groups and content to moderators. She said the social media platform acts only on reports of hateful speech, rather than proactively searching for content that violates policy. And even when groups and content are reported, Squire said, Facebook traditionally has been more accepting of “politicized hate” against Islam – that is, groups claiming to protest not Islam itself, but “radical Islam” or “creeping Sharia law.” Inside these groups, we found, slurs and hateful comments most often were directed at all Muslims in a blanket fashion.
“This horrifies me,” said Qasim Rashid, an attorney and author of several books on the Muslim experience in the United States. “These are law enforcement officers who are sworn to protect us. If a guy is in a group on Facebook called ‘Death to Islam’ or ‘Purge Islam as a disease,’ and they’re patrolling our neighborhoods and streets, then who are they really protecting?”
He said tropes linking Islam with terrorism or suggesting that Muslims plan to “take over” countries are unfair and misguided from the start.
“Terrorism has no religion. We’ve seen plenty of examples of so-called Christians who have committed mass shootings,” Rashid said. “If I started a page about ‘radical Christianity’ and started demonizing every Christian out there as a suspected ‘radical Christianist,’ I would be rightfully mocked and ridiculed and called a bigot.”
In a year of studying extremist groups on Facebook, we noticed how groups have adapted to content moderation practices on the platform. Openly racist groups such as those connected to the Ku Klux Klan don’t last very long on the site. The racist groups that survive have adopted the coded language typical of the alt-right movement or disguised themselves as Confederate history groups.
By contrast, Islamophobic groups are transparent in their intentions and even in their names. While in recent months Facebook has removed groups tied to white nationalist organizations such as the Proud Boys – like the group “Proud Boys Southern Chapter” – the social network continues to host groups that are openly hostile to Muslims, such as “DEATH TO ISLAM UNDERCOVER.” Every day, users post hateful content in these groups, often pledging violence against American Muslims.
Facebook denies treating anti-Muslim hate, in whatever guise, differently from other forms of hate speech.
“Our policies against extremist content/organized hate groups are longstanding. Our Community Standards are clear that we don’t allow hate groups to maintain a presence on Facebook,” a spokesperson wrote in an email.
Ahussain said Muslim Advocates is just one of many advocacy groups pushing Facebook and other social media companies to take hate speech more seriously.
“Facebook provides a platform and a space where people feel like they can say these things,” she said.
That’s particularly true when it comes to hate speech directed against Muslims, Squire said. Islamophobia on Facebook can be a gateway to other forms of intolerance, she said.
The majority of U.S. hate crimes motivated by religious bias are anti-Semitic, and Reveal’s investigation found plenty of anti-Semitic activity in private groups. But the public nature of the Islamophobic activity on the platform resonates with Squire’s observation from years of monitoring Facebook: that anti-Muslim hate speech is “the last accepted form of bigotry in America.”
Researchers Daneel Knoetze and Michael Dailey contributed to this story. It was edited by Andrew Donohue and Matt Thompson.
In the years since he founded the Oath Keepers in 2009, Stewart Rhodes has made a bold claim: Within the ranks of his sprawling anti-government militia are thousands of retired and active law enforcement officers.
Rhodes’ organization embraces wild conspiracy theories. Like the Three Percenters and other militia groups, the Oath Keepers refuse to recognize the authority of the federal government. Instead, many inside the movement claim that local sheriffs and police chiefs are the highest-ranking officials in America and that the Constitution is the only legitimate law governing the United States. It is part of a broader militia movement that has proven to be a breeding ground for racism and domestic terrorism.
It’s been difficult to figure out whether Rhodes’ claims were real or simply bluster, because of the secretive nature of the movement and because cops tend to keep their militia affiliations quiet, fearing disciplinary action.
However, over the last year, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting identified almost 150 current and retired cops who were members of Facebook groups run by and for Oath Keepers, Three Percenters and other militias. These law enforcement officers are a subset of a larger contingent of cops we identified as members of Confederate, anti-Islam, misogynistic or other extremist groups on Facebook.
We were able to identify cops in these groups by writing software to scour Facebook for connections between users who belonged to both extremist and law enforcement groups on the platform, then verifying the identities and professions of active-duty and retired officers. (Read more about our methodology here.)
Our analysis includes some of the most extensive evidence yet that militias are drawing support – and membership – from within American law enforcement. These connections place a number of American cops on a collision course with the federal government.
Daryl Johnson, a security consultant who spent six years as the senior domestic terrorism analyst at the Department of Homeland Security, said the presence of militia members in police and sheriff departments should concern every chief and sheriff in the country.
“At a bare minimum, just think about operational security or counterintelligence or insider threats,” Johnson said. “Most of these militia members have sworn an oath to a body that’s separate to their department. If they’re called on to investigate or arrest a fellow member of that militia group, or if they have insider information about police tactics or equipment or training, then where do their loyalties lie?”
‘When the Collapse comes they will call them all out to kill Americans’
The Oath Keepers and Three Percenters both say they’re the last line of defense against a new world order seeking to enslave everyday Americans. They promote the conspiracy theory that the federal government is controlled by a mysterious elitist cabal, which plans to take away Americans’ guns, overthrow local governments and install martial law over citizens, including setting up concentration camps to kill dissenters.
Militia groups want cops to join because they have guns, experience and training that will prove invaluable when, as their ideology contends, America’s next civil war begins.
Threaded into this worldview is the idea that military personnel and law enforcement officers represent the final word on the Constitution. Members of the Oath Keepers pledge to follow the group’s orders and bylaws over those of their own agencies or politicians.
The extent to which some cops have embraced the conspiracy theories pushed by militia leaders is on display inside the closed Facebook groups we joined.
For example, Greg McWhirter, a sheriff’s deputy at the Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office in Montana and a member of at least 15 militia-connected Facebook groups, posted a video of Rhodes in the Facebook group “Idaho Oath Keepers” earlier this year. The clip touts a conspiracy theory that the left is trying to flood America with immigrants who will vote for Democrats and upset the balance of power.
McWhirter also has appeared in one of Rhodes’ official Oath Keepers videos, giving fellow militia members advice on how to patrol voting stations after then-presidential candidate Donald Trump warned, without evidence, that the 2016 election would be rigged. Without revealing where McWhirter works, Rhodes introduced him as a member of the group’s national board of directors and a “peace officer liaison.”
“What this is, is a video tutorial from our experienced police officers,” Rhodes says in the video. “We’re asking you to go out as part of our call to action to go and hunt down and look for vote fraud.”
In the closed Facebook group “Central New York Oathkeepers,” under a story about the U.S. Department of Agriculture ordering submachine guns, former New York Police Department Sgt. John Mahoney asked a reasonable question:
“Why? Why would the Department of Agriculture require Sub-Machine Guns? Whom are they planning to shoot???”
Another former NYPD cop and group member, Pearse Columb, had an answer:
“They are arming ALL these depts because when the Collapse comes they will call them all out to kill Americans that have no food and the money is worthless.”
Reached by phone, Mahoney said he still is involved with the Oath Keepers, which he described as an honorable group. He said he doesn’t agree with the actions of all Oath Keepers, but said the organization’s principles are sound.
Columb didn’t respond to several calls for comment.
Valerie Van Brocklin, a former federal prosecutor who trains police departments and other public employees on social media use, said many police officers mistakenly believe that they can say whatever they want in their spare time.
“Most cops think that if they’re off-duty and using their own computer, then they have their First Amendment rights,” Van Brocklin said.
But it’s not as simple as that, she said. Police departments have codes of conduct and ethics, and many have developed specific social media policies that employees must abide by, even when they’re not working. It’s all part of the long-standing concept of “conduct unbecoming a police officer,” she said.
‘They hate Muslims and they hate immigrants and they hate the government’
The American militia movement’s rise has been fed by white supremacy, conspiracy theories and bigotry.
The first wave of modern militias was sparked by the 1992 standoff at Ruby Ridge in Idaho, during which federal agents surrounded a rural family’s home after charging the family patriarch, Randy Weaver, with weapons violations. Weaver was a white supremacist who attended meetings of the Aryan Nations – facts that were somewhat lost in the ensuing shootout, in which Weaver’s son and wife were killed by federal agents. Weaver became an overnight cause célèbre for conspiracy theorists who, convinced that Ruby Ridge marked a watershed moment for American liberty, started preparing for a coming civil war.
Militia growth sped up in the aftermath of the botched federal siege at the Branch Davidian religious sect compound in Waco, Texas, in 1993, then slowed after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, carried out by an anti-government terrorist steeped in the militia movement.
Recent years have seen more heated standoffs between militia groups and federal law enforcement, and militia groups have been widening their targets beyond the federal government and toward immigrants and Muslim Americans.
In 2008, with the election of Barack Obama as president, militia groups began actively recruiting again, spurred on by the racist “birther” movement, which questioned Obama’s nationality and thus his legitimacy as president. Both the Three Percenters and Oath Keepers were founded out of the fear that he was about to start taking away Americans’ guns. The two groups now are the largest and most well-known organizations in a crowded field of militia groups that vary from clubs of just a few people to thousands-strong collectives.
The Three Percenters, founded by an Alabama gun rights activist, is a loosely affiliated organization with no linear leadership. Named for the highly contested theory that only 3 percent of Americans took up arms against the British during the Revolutionary War – most historians believe the number was significantly higher – the group concentrates on Second Amendment issues.
The core principle of the Oath Keepers is that members take an oath to defend the Constitution above all else. The group describes its aims in theoretically reasonable terms, noting on its website that enlisted military personnel are obligated to refuse any order that “is not constitutional or according to regulations” and listing a “declaration of orders we will not obey,” which includes orders to disarm American citizens, impose martial law or set up concentration camps in U.S. cities.
However, in practice, the group’s actions have proved problematic, giving militia members justification to take the law into their own hands, often at gunpoint and often in conflict with law enforcement agencies assigned to keep Americans safe.
In April, the militia group United Constitutional Patriots began detaining hundreds of border-crossers at gunpoint before handing them over to U.S. Border Patrol agents. The group had received a visit from Rhodes, the Oath Keepers founder, a month before. After news spread of the group’s actions, the FBI arrested its leader and the local police department kicked the militia out of its campsite.
In 2014, the Oath Keepers and other militia groups flocked to Nevada to aid a family, the Bundys, which had for years grazed its cattle on federally managed land without paying legally mandated fees. Despite years of legal wrangling and courts’ repeated rejection of the Bundys’ claim of a constitutional right to graze cattle on the land for free, militia members took the position that they, not the courts or the federal government, were the final word on the claim.
In Oregon two years later, militia members – including Oath Keepers – gathered again to protect two ranchers who had been found guilty of arson for setting fires on federal land and had been ordered to report to prison to serve their sentences. Again, the justification militia members gave for rallying to the ranchers’ aid already had been rejected numerous times by the courts. In the end, a lawyer for the ranchers wrote to the local sheriff saying that the militia members did not represent his clients’ views and that they didn’t want their help.
Beyond these high-profile clashes with local, state and federal governments, militia members also have taken to supporting racist and violent causes.
These groups have become highly visible at rallies organized by white supremacist groups, most notably the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. And since the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, anti-government militias have spawned domestic terrorists. In the last 15 months alone, militia members have been convicted of planning at least two violent acts of terrorism against Muslim Americans.
In April 2018, three members of a militia group connected to the Three Percenters were convicted of conspiring to bomb a Somali community in Kansas. Their lawyers argued in court that they worried President Barack Obama was on the verge of declaring martial law after the election of Donald Trump and that militias needed to step in to kill Muslims, whom they described as “cockroaches.”
In January, two members of a group called the “White Rabbit Three Percent Illinois Patriot Freedom Fighters Militia” pleaded guilty to the 2017 bombing of a mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota. (A third member, the group’s alleged ringleader, pleaded not guilty and faces trial.) Again, the group was heavily influenced by conspiracy theories. Days before he was arrested, the group’s leader posted a video claiming that the federal government was descending on Clarence, Illinois, and calling on militia groups to rally to his defense.
Law enforcement agencies themselves have expressed concern over the militia movement. In 2014, three-quarters of the nearly 400 law enforcement agencies surveyed by North Carolina researchers said anti-government extremism was “one of the top three terrorist threats in their jurisdiction.”
Lane Crothers, a political science professor at Illinois State University and the author of a book on the militia movement, said that unlike neo-Nazi groups and white supremacist groups, militia members typically don’t acknowledge that their views are extremist. They don’t see themselves as bad guys, he said.
“The militias have this kind of notion of an idealized America,” Crothers said. “This notion is a racialized one and a gendered one, but somehow or another, they believe that it’s reflecting some kind of constitutional spirit. So from their point of view, they’re actually patriots.”
Crothers, who has spent hundreds of hours alongside law enforcement officers researching another book, said the very nature of police work can make officers susceptible to conspiracy theories. Cops are being lied to constantly, he said, both by the civilians they have to deal with every day and often by the departments for which they work. In the end, he said, it can become hard to separate fact from fiction.
“You live in a world where the PR people have just put out some statement about an incident that you were at, and you know that every word in the PR statement is false,” Crothers said. “It gets very easy to accept the deceptions and to imagine the power of conspiracies.”
Johnson, the former domestic terrorism analyst, was starker in his analysis of militia groups.
“These are hate groups,” he said. “They pretend they’re not, and they’ve learned to portray themselves as innocent neighborhood watch-type groups, but they’re hate groups. They hate Muslims and they hate immigrants and they hate the government. And police officers have been entrusted to protect and serve our communities, so they should be open-minded and unbiased.”
‘He will squish you like the little bug that you are!’
Inside one Facebook group we briefly joined before being banned, we identified 17 current and former law enforcement officers, including retired cops from Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, Arkansas, Illinois and Texas and cops and sheriffs who are still on-duty in New York, Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky.
The group, “XII% Dirty Dozen National,” is an offshoot of the Three Percenters. It was founded by Diane Zauderer Miller, whom members call “the General.” Here’s how she describes the group’s name: “We all know of 3% patriot organizations, however I believe that *more* than 3% of patriotic Americans are willing to stand our ground against threats both foreign & domestic – more like a DOZEN PERCENT – that’s 12% or in Roman numerals: XII%.”
The group, which has more than 14,000 members on Facebook, serves as a place where budding militia members can organize and discuss real-life meetups and the formation of new militia chapters.
Zauderer Miller regularly appoints quasi-military titles to members around the country, such as “Commander of Oklahoma” and “1st Sergeant of the Oklahoma Battalion.” Reached briefly by direct message on Facebook, Zauderer Miller, like other militia leaders, denied her group is a militia, calling it a “humanitarian group.” But the group’s own website calls it a “civil defense force.”
“We train our people/squads to be able to provide Security and Protection to themselves and others who need it within our jurisdiction,” the site reads.
Like several other similar Facebook groups we joined, this group serves as a gathering place for conspiracy theorists and Islamophobes.
A typical civilian post, for example, warned readers of an Islamic takeover of the United States ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, because more than 90 Muslims were running for political office across the country.
“Wake up people don’t let this happen,” one commenter wrote.
“Need to go back to their own shit hole,” another commented.
More recent posts and comments have taken aim at Somali American Rep. Ilhan Omar. In April, one poster encouraged someone to put a “bullet in her head,” using several slurs to describe her.
At least two active-duty and four retired law enforcement officers commented inside this group.
Arthur Terwilliger, a detective at the Cornwall-on-Hudson Police Department in New York, has been a member of Dirty Dozen since November 2015. In that time, he has commented a few times, including writing “Yes” under a meme featuring a photo of Trump saying, “I will halt the entry of all Muslim immigrants until we can figure out what the hell is going on. Are you with me? Comment ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ ”
In another comment, under a post about an undocumented immigrant allegedly threatening the president, Terwilliger wrote, “He will squish you like the little bug that you are!”
Reached by phone, Terwilliger called Reveal’s reporting “bogus.”
“I love my country, and I think Donald Trump is the best thing to ever happen to America,” he said when asked about his activity in the Dirty Dozen group.
Inside other Facebook groups we joined, police officers searched for militia groups for real-life training and meetings.
When Todd Johnston, an officer at the Rocky Top Police Department in Tennessee, posted a message introducing himself to a group called “Militia Wanted Tennessee,” a fellow member immediately asked if he was looking for a militia group to join.
“Sure thing, my friend,” Johnston replied.
The member responded that Johnston could join a local Three Percenter group, then suggested they continue their discussion via direct message.
Johnston did not respond to phone and Facebook messages seeking comment. Rocky Top Police Chief Jim Shetterly didn’t respond to our letter or several phone messages.
In Massachusetts, John Rocca, a program manager for the Department of Veterans Affairs Police, discussed the dates and location of a forthcoming meeting with a fellow group member inside “Oath Keepers of Massachusetts” in 2015.
In the same group, Charles Ricko, who retired from the Charlemont Police Department in Massachusetts last year, helped to organize meetings and offered moral support to fellow militia members. After another member posted about having organized a successful meeting, Ricko responded enthusiastically, “sign them all up!”
In Missouri, Patrick Burton, chief of the Licking Police Department, was a member of the Facebook group “Missouri Oath Keepers” for at least three years.
And in Boundary County, Idaho, Deputy Dave Schuman posted so frequently inside the group “Oath Keepers of Boundary County” that he appeared to be using the group to advertise his political campaign. He was running for sheriff.
Burton and Schuman did not respond to calls for comment. Rocca and Ricko both said that while they had been briefly interested in the Oath Keepers, they soured on the organization as it became more radical. Both said that they had not been involved with the Oath Keepers for several years and that they disagreed with the group’s current direction.
“I signed up at their tent at a motorbike rally, but that’s as far as I ever got,” Rocca said. “I never attended any meetings or anything like that.”
‘Call the FBI, call the terrorist watch list, call whoever you want’
In late 2018 and earlier this year, Reveal sent dozens of letters to departments whose officers were members of groups connected to the militia movement.
We detailed each officer’s activity on Facebook – whether the officer simply was a passive member or was actively participating or posting inside the extremist groups. The responses we received from department heads ran the gamut. Some expressed genuine concern and launched internal investigations. Others didn’t respond. Some chiefs and sheriffs were furious that we would even question the motives and activities of their employees.
“Call the FBI, call the terrorist watch list, call whoever you want,” Chief Steven Dixon of the Cornwall-on-Hudson Police Department screamed at a reporter in a phone call when we told him about Terwilliger’s activity in the Three Percenters group. Dixon then hung up.
Until recently, Officer Eric Salmestrelli of the Portland Police Bureau in Oregon was a member of at least two extremist groups on Facebook – one devoted to the Oath Keepers and one Islamophobic group.
Inside the Oath Keepers group, Salmestrelli had posted several times, including posting a meme asking, “Is Barack Obama a Saudi-Muslim ‘Plant’ in the White House?”
Under an article posted by another member about Obama-era policies, Salmestrelli wrote, “Fuck him. And his progressive jihadi agenda.”
The Portland Police Bureau recently came under scrutiny after it was revealed that officers there had a cozy relationship with the group Patriot Prayer, which regularly holds rallies and events in Portland and elsewhere that attract white nationalists and white supremacists. Shortly after we contacted the bureau, Salmestrelli’s profile disappeared from Facebook.
In late March, the bureau’s acting Internal Affairs Lt. Amanda McMillan said the department had decided to take no action against Salmestrelli. His posts, she wrote, had taken place prior to Salmestrelli joining the department.
“Ultimately, it was determined that, as the posts in question all occurred prior to the member’s employment with PPB, no jurisdiction existed,” the letter states.
Salmestrelli couldn’t be reached for comment.
At a recent congressional committee hearing on the rise of domestic terrorism in the United States, Michael McGarrity, the FBI’s assistant director for counterterrorism, joined high-ranking officials from the Department of Homeland Security and the Justice Department in stressing that well-armed militias like those police officers have joined across the country pose a significant threat.
“There have been more arrests and deaths in the United States caused by domestic terrorists than international terrorists in recent years,” McGarrity said at the hearing. “Domestic terrorism continues to pose a persistent threat to the homeland. We currently have 850 predicated domestic terrorism investigations.”
Asked later about that figure, McGarrity said approximately half of those are open investigations into “anti-government, anti-authority” groups.
Researchers Daneel Knoetze and Michael Dailey contributed to this story. It was edited by Andrew Donohue and Matt Thompson.
Hundreds of active-duty and retired law enforcement officers from across the United States are members of Confederate, anti-Islam, misogynistic or anti-government militia groups on Facebook, a Reveal investigation has found.
These cops have worked at every level of American law enforcement, from tiny, rural sheriff’s departments to the largest agencies in the country, such as the Los Angeles and New York police departments. They work in jails and schools and airports, on boats and trains and in patrol cars. And, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting discovered, they also read and contribute to groups such as “White Lives Matter” and “DEATH TO ISLAM UNDERCOVER.”
The groups cover a range of extremist ideologies. Some present themselves publicly as being dedicated to benign historical discussion of the Confederacy, but are replete with racism inside. Some trade in anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant memes. Some are openly Islamophobic. And almost 150 of the officers we found are involved with violent anti-government groups such as the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters.
More than 50 departments launched internal investigations after being presented with our findings, in some cases saying they would examine officers’ past conduct to see if their online activity mirrored their policing in real life. And some departments have taken action, with at least one officer being fired for violating department policies.
U.S. law enforcement agencies, many of which have deeply troubled histories of discrimination, have long been accused of connections between officers and extremist groups. At the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, marchers flew a “Blue Lives Matter” flag alongside anti-Semitic and white supremacist messages. In Portland, Oregon, police officers were found to have been texting with a far-right group that regularly hosts white supremacists and white nationalists at its rallies. A classified FBI Counterterrorism Policy Guide from April 2015, obtained by The Intercept, warned that white supremacists and other far-right groups had infiltrated American law enforcement.
It can be difficult to determine how deep or widespread these connections run. Researchers recently found numerous examples of police officers posting violent and racist content on their public Facebook pages. Reveal’s investigation shows for the first time that officers in agencies across the country have actively joined private hate groups, participating in the spread of extremism on Facebook.
Most of the hateful Facebook groups these cops frequent are closed, meaning only members are allowed to see content posted by other members. Reveal joined dozens of these groups and verified the identities of almost 400 current and retired law enforcement officials who are members.
One guard at the Angola prison in Louisiana, Geoffery Crosby, was a member of 56 extremist groups, including 45 Confederate groups and one called “BAN THE NAACP.”
A detective at the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Houston, James “J.T.” Thomas, was a member of the closed Facebook group “The White Privilege Club.”
The group contains hundreds of hateful, racist and anti-Semitic posts; links to interviews with white supremacists such as Richard Spencer; and invites to events such as the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. Users regularly post memes featuring Pepe the Frog, the alt-right mascot, with captions such as, “white people, do something.” And there are explicitly racist jokes, such as one with a photo of fried chicken and grape soda with the caption, “Mom packed me a niggable for school.”
Thomas once posted the logo for the Black College Football Hall of Fame inside the group with a simple caption: “Seriously. Why?” Soon after, he posted a meme about an elderly African American woman confusedly responding to a reporter’s question by naming a fried chicken restaurant.
After being presented with Thomas’ postings on Facebook, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office fired him in February for violating a number of employee conduct policies.
“These policies state that ‘an employee’s actions must never bring the HCSO into disrepute, nor should conduct be detrimental to the HCSO’s efficient operation. … Personnel who, through their use of social media, cause undue embarrassment or damage the reputation of, or erode the public’s confidence in, the HCSO shall be deemed to have violated this policy and shall be subject to counseling and/or discipline,” the department said in an email.
In a hearing to appeal his firing, Thomas said he didn’t realize he was a member of the closed group and defended his behavior. “If you remove the black female out of the picture, what’s racist about it?” he said. The Harris County Sheriff’s Civil Service Commission upheld his firing.
Lonnie Allen Brown of the Kingsville Police Department in Texas, a member of three Islamophobic groups, posted a photo of a young black man with a pistol to his head with the header, “If Black lives really mattered …. They’d stop shooting each other!” He also posted an image that read: “Islam. A cult of oppression, rape, pedophilia and murder cannot be reasoned with!” Neither he nor his department returned calls for comment.
Peter Simi, an associate professor of sociology at Chapman University who has studied extremist groups for more than 20 years, said biased views like those expressed in these Facebook groups inevitably influence an individual’s decision-making process.
“The perceptions we have about the world at large drive the decisions we make,” Simi said. “To think that people could completely separate these extremist right-wing views from their actions just isn’t consistent with what we know about the decision-making process.”
While Facebook vows that it prioritizes meaningful content, its algorithms also appear to play a role in strengthening biases. The more extreme groups we joined, the more Facebook suggested new – and often even more troubling – groups to join or pages to like. It was easy to see how users, including police officers, could be increasingly radicalized by what they saw on their news feed.
What’s harder to see is how these views affected their policing offline.
Thousands of armed right-wing militants are plotting a violent uprising against the U.S. government during the coronavirus crisis, a new report finds, and Facebook is providing them a platform to prepare and organize.
A report published Thursday by the watchdog group the Tech Transparency Project found 125 Facebook groups devoted to the idea of the “boogaloo,” a far-right term used to describe what they believe is an inevitable civil war in the U.S. Members discuss weapons, combat medicine, and how to develop explosives, the report says. One group even shared a document detailing how to disrupt U.S. government supply lines and discussing the possible need to assassinate government officials.
Over 60% of the groups were created in just the last three months, according to the report. The 125 groups have nearly 73,000 members, though it’s unclear how many individuals may belong to multiple groups.
About 50% of the groups’ members have joined within the last 30 days.
The groups have flourished despite Facebook community guidelines that prohibit facilitating, organizing or promoting “harmful activities targeted at people.” The guidelines also ban “statements of intent to commit high-severity violence.”
Daniel E. Stevens, executive director of Campaign for Accountability, the umbrella organization under which TTP operates, told HuffPost in a statement Thursday that “Facebook’s failure to stop their platform from being used as an organizing tool for extremists is completely unacceptable.”
“There is nothing subtle about how these extremist groups are using Facebook’s platform to advance their cause,” Stevens said. “Boogaloo proponents are not simply discussing ideas or political views; they are directly advocating for violent action and tactically planning how to defeat government entities.”
In a statement to HuffPost Thursday, a Facebook spokesperson claimed the company is aware of the boogaloo groups.
“We’ve removed groups and Pages who’ve used this and related terms for violating our policies,” the spokesperson said.
None of the handful of boogaloo groups specifically named in TTP’s report summary had been taken down as of Friday morning.
“We’re reviewing the content referenced in this report and will enforce against any violations,” the Facebook spokesperson said.
The potential for real-world violence by these groups came into focus earlier this week, when an Arkansas boogaloo enthusiast named Aaron Swenson live-streamed himself on Facebook driving around Texarkana, Texas, allegedly looking for a police officer to shoot and kill.
Comments left on the livestream showed some users endorsing attacking police officers. Other users suggested people call 911. Swenson was eventually arrested, according to the local police department.
A review of his Facebook page by TTP found that he “liked” over a dozen boogaloo pages, including a prominent boogaloo page called the Thicc Boog Line.
After HuffPost’s inquiry Thursday, Facebook appears to have removed Swenson’s profile page.
Facebook studies and monitors new terms, including boogaloo, which extremists may use to mask their activities, the Facebook spokesperson insisted, adding that the company has 350 people on staff devoted to stopping people and organizations from using its platform to plot or engage in violence.
The pandemic is proving to be a fraught period for the social media giant, as it struggles to slow the spread of misinformation about the virus that could put people in danger.
Facebook recently banned some pages and posts promoting anti-lockdown protests in California, New Jersey and Nebraska that defied “government’s guidance on social distancing.”
Many such protests, however, have still been organized on the platform, resulting in crowds of right-wingers not observing social distancing guidelines descending upon government buildings, demanding that lawmakers reopen local and state economies despite the desperate warnings of public health experts.
TTP also infiltrated private boogaloo groups on Facebook where pages promoting anti-lockdown events were shared and attendance was encouraged, including a page for an April 24 protest in Wisconsin.
“This is not a case of extremists outsmarting Facebook,” Stevens, of the Campaign for Accountability, told HuffPost in his statement. “By allowing these pages to exist, Facebook is demonstrating a clear unwillingness to protect the public from possible domestic terrorists. Unless Facebook takes substantive action to break up these dangerous online communities, there is a very real risk of violence spilling out into the streets.”
There is sometimes overlap between anti-government and white supremacist movements. TTP’s analysis of the boogaloo groups found that some members’ profiles include white supremacist content, including images of Adolf Hitler. Many other group members, however, claimed to reject white supremacist ideology.
TTP says it identified the 125 groups in its report by searching for different variations or abbreviations of “boogaloo,” such as “boog,” “big igloo,” “Big Luau,” and “boojihadeen.”
One group, “BoojieBastards: Intelligence and Surveillance,” has averaged 100 new members a day since its creation in February, and now boasts some 6,500 followers.
The largest group, the Thicc Boog Line, has gained about 30,000 followers since its creation in October 2019. Its main page is public and is often used to hawk boogaloo-branded clothing and accessories. The Thicc Boog Line also operates 11 private boogaloo groups that more explicitly discuss preparing for the coming civil war.
About 89% of the groups identified in TTP’s report, or 112, are set to private. Many take their war preparations so seriously that members are banned from posting memes, so as the discussion stays focused on intelligence sharing.
“The groups engage in national-level coordination or act as state and local chapters where users share tactical information and survival tips, ranging from topographic map access to instructions for evading authorities,” the report states.
Perhaps most concerning are the planning documents members upload to the boogaloo groups which, according to TTP, include military manuals, a CIA handbook, and “The Anarchist Cookbook,” a famous bomb building guide.
Another alarming, 133-page document entitled “Yeetalonians” spells out what weapons should be used for the boogaloo and instructs members how to develop propaganda to win over others to their cause.
The document discusses how “national guard depots, police stations and factories that produce munitions are all very solid targets” for disrupting the U.S. government supply chain.
It emphasizes to members that it’s deeply important “to make the enemy (government forces) see that they are not fighting terrorists, they are fighting their own countrymen who simply love liberty.”
The “Yeetalonian” document also mentions “target selection,” arguing that while assassinations of public officials and figureheads are often “overrated” as a military strategy, “some people have to go.”
God help us if Mark Zuckerberg’s next congressional hearing is on the subject of the Bloody Insurrection of 2020. As HuffPost first reported, a scourge of far-right extremist accounts on Facebook appear to be gearing up for a meme-inspired civil war amid the covid-19 outbreak.
The Tech Transparency Project (TTP), a research group focused on exposing large platforms’ misconduct and influence, released a report finding that 125 Facebook groups are promoting the “boogaloo,” a term far-right groups use to refer to a wishful Civil War sequel. The boogaloo appears to have mutated from a joking 4chan meme into a real-life movement of militiamen (“Boojihadeens”) late last year. But the TTP found a surge in boogaloo interest over the past few months, correlating with social distancing measures. According to the report, over 60 percent of the Facebook groups cropped up in the past three months and, as a whole, have attracted over 36,000 members in the last 30 days.
In a statement to Gizmodo Friday night, a Facebook spokesperson said that the company has “removed groups and Pages who’ve used this and related terms for violating our policies.” “We’re reviewing the content referenced in this report and will enforce against any violations,” they added. On Monday morning, dozens of boogaloo-themed pages, including ones mentioned in the TTP report, were still accessible on the platform.
Boogaloo promoters have been attending anti-quarantine protests, events with ties to pro-gun activists. The report says that the Boojahideen have been hearing dog whistles from the president lately, greeting his “LIBERATE” tweets with cheers. “TTP found that some members of private boogaloo Facebook groups reacted to the president’s rhetoric with memes of celebration,” it reads, “and traded details of anti-quarantine protests in Richmond, Virginia, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.”
In total, these Facebook groups boast 72,686 members, although the report did not verify how many members overlap between groups. One merch page, the Thicc Boog Line, admins at least 11 other boogaloo groups.
The vast majority are private, TTP notes. One post screenshot grabbed by TTP crowdsources tips on homemade explosives. It begins:
Let’s talk grenades, flash bangs, and other things you can throw at the enemy. Let’s just say that you didn’t want to get the paperwork in order to possess certain things that go boom or can act as a room clearer/stunner.
Is there anything you can buy to make your own flash bangs?
The report suggests this isn’t just casual dabbling in violent fantasies. The groups have uploaded CIA handbooks, military manuals, and the bomb assembly manual “The Anarchist Cookbook.” One 133-page-plus planning document reviewed by the TTP reportedly identifies strongholds like “national guard depots, police stations, and factories that produce munitions” as “very solid targets” and proposes taking out rail lines and ports to “sabotage shipments.” The TTP found that one Arkansas fan of several boogaloo pages was arrested earlier this month after allegedly livestreaming a hunt to kill a police officer on Facebook Live.
Boogaloo advocates reportedly include Matt Marshall, a leader of the militia group Three Percenters, named for the disputed belief that only three percent of Americans fought in the Revolutionary War. According to the Anti-Defamation League, Marshall suggested that followers wear the Hawaiian shirt, the mark of the Boojahideen, to anti-quarantine protests.
Slides included in the report also outline a propaganda strategy proposing that boogaloo insurgents stick to Revolutionary War-related emblems such as the Gadsden flag, rather than anarchism emblems, which the media will portray as “black and scary.”
YouTube is also culpable. As of this writing, “Top 5 Boogaloo Guns”—a guide to firearms posted on April 15th by a user with 2.35 million subscribers—remains live with over 300,000 views. “The idea being that a boogaloo is something really bad happens, it’s a tyrannical government,” the narrator, in a Hawaiian shirt, explains, “and you’ve gotta take to the streets and take care of business, protect your family, protect your neighborhood, protect your citizens.” He proceeds to review a semi-automatic version of an FN SCAR assault rifle (which, he remarks, has been a popular item at recent unnamed rallies).
YouTube told Gizmodo that “we have strict policies regarding content featuring firearms, and quickly remove content that violates those policies when flagged by our users,” but added that the boogaloo video doesn’t violate their firearms content guidelines.
Facebook was made aware of the boogaloo activity in February, the report notes, after NBC reached out to the company and received the following response:
We’ve been studying trends around this and related terms on Facebook and Instagram. We don’t allow speech used to incite hate or violence, and will remove any content that violates our policies. We’ll continue to monitor this across our platform.
Updated: This story has been updated with comment from Facebook and YouTube.
Correction: 4/17/20, 8:50 a.m. ET: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified a semi-automatic weapon as an “automatic assault rifle.” It has been corrected above and we regret the error.