Hal Turner, FBI Informant

Filed in National by on November 30, 2009

[Warning - this post contains some offensive language. -- UI]

Hal Turner is a rightwing radio host known for his extremist, far right views. He has a small, hard-core following among white supremacists and neo-Nazis. Hal Turner was named one the “40 To Watch” by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2003:

Just when some thought that the modern white supremacist movement had adopted the calmer language of scientific racism, along came Hal Turner. A belligerent, foul-mouthed talk show host, Turner is the maestro of radio hate — a man who rants about a “Portable Nigger Lyncher” machine, “faggots,” “savage Negro beasts,” “bull-dyke lesbians” and “lazy-ass Latinos … slithering across the border.” And that is just the beginning.

[...]

Turner got involved in politics as well, serving as a Republican committeeman in Hudson County, the North Jersey coordinator for white nationalist Pat Buchanan’s 1992 presidential campaign, and manager of the 1997 gubernatorial campaign of Libertarian Murray Sabrin.

As early as 1994, he was defending racism, holding a rally for New York radio talk show host Bob Grant, who had been fired from his show for making racist comments about blacks. In the late 1990s, Turner often called in to local radio shows as “Hal from North Bergen,” telling their hosts things like, “The problem with police brutality is that cops don’t use it enough.”

In 2000, Turner sought the local Republican nomination for Congress, and was enraged when GOP leaders instead supported Theresa de Leon, a dark-skinned Hispanic who was the chief financial officer for New York’s Legal Aid Society and the mother of 10 children. It was at this moment that Turner had a reported “epiphany,” deciding the system was rigged against white men and abandoning all ties to the mainstream.

Hal Turner has links to “mainstream” conservatives like Sean Hannity and Pat Buchanan. Turner often called into Sean Hannity’s radio show and he worked on Pat Buchanan’s 1992 presidential campaign. Hal Turner not only caught the eye of anti-racism groups but apparently also Bush’s FBI. Turner was recruited as an informant in 2003 and apparently provided information until he got into trouble for threatening judges in 2008.

They called him “Valhalla.”

But it was more than a nickname.

For more than five years, Hal Turner of North Bergen lived a double life.

The public knew him as an ultra-right-wing radio talk show host and Internet blogger with an audience of neo-Nazis and white supremacists attracted to his scorched-earth racism and bare-knuckles bashing of public figures. But to the FBI, and its expanding domestic counter-terror intelligence operations in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, Turner was “Valhalla” — his code name as an informant who spied on his own controversial followers.

Turner’s clandestine past was confirmed this past summer when he was jailed on charges that he made threats on his blog against three federal judges in Chicago. In court after his arrest, federal prosecutors acknowledged Turner’s FBI ties but downplayed his importance and even described him as “unproductive.”

Remember when the rightwing freaked out because the Obama Homeland Security Department released a report (commissioned under Bush) warning of rightwing domestic terrorism? I wonder how much of the information in the report came from Hal Turner?

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Comments (7)

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  1. anonone says:

    The utter outrage is that the FBI took our tax dollars and paid this racist to spew his filth on the internet for years. Without the FBI dollars, there would have been no Hal Turner website because there weren’t enough followers to support it financially.

    Why isn’t there an investigation by the Congress to explain why one of the most sustained and well-known advocates of domestic terrorism and racial violence was funded by the Federal Government?

  2. Brooke says:

    Because that’s how we play, that’s why. Who supported Saddam Hussein because he was “tough on communism”?

  3. That’s a good point, A1.

  4. cassandra_m says:

    Because the system in rigged to ignore the terroristic behavior and threats of angry white men, rigged to pretend that all of that threatening and belligerent behavior and talk is somehow, you know, mainstream.

    /paraphrase

  5. This is interesting. Chris Christie was involved in getting Hal Turner as an informant:

    His lawyer, Michael Orozco, has subpoenaed Christopher J. Christie, the former United States attorney for New Jersey and the state’s governor-elect, to testify on Mr. Turner’s behalf.

    In an affidavit filed with the subpoena, Mr. Orozco says Mr. Christie knew of Mr. Turner’s activities between 2002 and 2008 while Mr. Christie held his federal post. Mr. Orozco says Mr. Christie issued a letter saying he would not prosecute Mr. Turner for his statements.

    It was not known whether Mr. Christie would be called to testify.

    Turner also alleges that the FBI coached him to say racist things (from same link as above):

    Mr. Turner also claims the F.B.I. coached him to make racist, anti-Semitic and other threatening statements on his Internet radio show, but the newspaper also found that many federal officials were concerned that his audience might follow up on his violent speech.

  6. a.price says:

    At least it’s good to know these morons have false prophets. What do you think the backlash will be against Hal Turner? (not like i actually care) “race traitors” are treated just as brutally as their other targets.
    Just another one of many (sarah palin, glenn beck) Right Wing superheros who aren’t really in it for the cause. They tout these “american” ideals for the money, or fame, or to not go to prison. And more proof that the conservative movement, be it the racist violent fringe or the ignorant and proud mainstream, is and always has been the force holding this country back.

  7. Unbiased American says:

    I think you would find that the response of most conservatives, prior to this clown’s arrest, was “Hal WHO?”

    Personally, I look forward to him rotting in jail — especially because i have some doubts about his story.

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