Thursday, August 09, 2012

Far-right extremist background of the Sikh Temple murderer

Not for the first time, the military service newspaper Stars and Stripes are willing to report on issues that the Establishment press considers low priority or effectively taboo.

Megan McCloskey reports in Sikh temple shooter promoted extremist views during his Army years 08/07/2012 on how the killer, Wade Michael Page:

"It's kind of amazing he was able to stay in, especially given what was going on around base at the time," said Fred Lucas, a former soldier who served with Page at Fort Bragg, N.C., in the 9th Psychological Operations Battalion. ...

Page, a soldier from 1992 to 1998, did little to hide his white-supremacist beliefs, Lucas said, but he could not have predicted that Page would act out violently.

Among the open signs of Page’s extremism were his tattoos. Officials at Fort Bragg — where 21 soldiers were identified as white supremacists after a skinhead soldier was convicted of murdering a black couple in 1995 — conducted tattoo inspections to track down anybody with extremist markings. Yet a tattoo on Page's left shoulder referencing the 14-word mantra of skinheads apparently went unnoticed.

The credo reads: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children."
He gives this example of how Page articulated his attitudes:

Page often chided [Lucas] for betraying his race with his interest in Latin culture. Lucas, a fellow sergeant and team leader, spoke Spanish, had served in Latin America and went to salsa bars on the weekends. Page said that Lucas, blond-haired and blue-eyed, should be committed to the master race, Lucas recalled.

On a day the unit had allowed the soldiers to wear civilian clothes, Lucas said Page criticized him for wearing a Latin shirt called a guyabera, saying that kind of attire wasn’t something white people should wear.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has also been digging into Page's extremist past. Gina Barton, in a piece Stars and Stripes also picked up, reported on the history of far-right extremism at Fort Bragg NC in Hate groups have uneasy history with military base 08/07/2012.

Additional related reports from the Journal Sentinel also include:

Dave Umhoefer and Gina Barton, What brought Wade Michael Page to Milwaukee? Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 08/07/2012

John Diedrich and Erin Richards, Stars and Stripes/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 08/07/2012, also quotes Fred Lucas:

Page may have thought he found direction in the Army, but it appears that by then he was already pointed down the road that would lead to the mass shooting in Oak Creek.

He served approximately from 1992 to 1998, and was assigned to psychological operations - the specialists who analyze, develop and distribute intelligence used for information and psychological effect.

"That is very exclusive," said John Liebert, a psychiatrist who performs fitness examinations for the military and is an expert on suicidal mass murderers. "It's like going from the lobby to the 20th floor."

But Page's beliefs were starting to show.

Fred Allen Lucas, a Bloomington, Ind., man who served with Page at Fort Bragg, N.C., in a psychological operations battalion, recalled that he spoke of the need for securing a homeland for white people and referred to all non-whites as "dirt people."

"It didn't matter if they were black, Indian, Native American, Latin - he hated them all," Lucas said.
This does raise an important question, which Congress should follow up on more closely, but won't. Just what kind of recruiting standards does Army Psy-Ops apply?

But while he had no police record of violence, Liebert, the psychiatrist who does examinations for the military, sees in Page's past warning signs of potential trouble.

The fact that the Army essentially dropped Page after he had been selected for psychological operations team seems significant, said Liebert, who practices in Arizona and, for a time, worked at St. Francis Hospital here.

"I would want to know what happened to cause him to leave suddenly," he said.
Mark Johnson, Former white supremacist haunted by a world he once knew Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 08/07/2012:

Arno Michaelis, now 41 and working on the other side for a group called Life After Hate, knew the white power world of steel-toed boots and swastika jackets that had nurtured and fed the Oak Creek shooter Wade Michael Page.

Michaelis had lived in that world. On Sunday night, before the shooter had been identified, a nagging fear drove him to take extra sleeping pills; even then he'd nod off and wake with a start. He kept wondering, he said, "Did I recruit this guy? Is this someone I set loose on the world?"
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