Hal was also the ultimate source of the “China’s going to take our homes through emminent domain” kookspiracy that Pam Geller and other wingnut bloggers floated a few years back, and Hal was also rumored to be a frequent caller in the early days to the Sean Hannity radio show.
(I posted about the China kookspiracy here.)
Harold C. “Hal” Turner, the right-wing Internet radio shock jock, racist, Holocaust denier, FBI snitch, lynching advocate and jailbird, is back home in his New Jersey condo after spending nearly three years in a prison cell in Indiana for threatening three federal judges on his blog who had upheld a handgun ban in Chicago.
You might add delusional to the Turner list.
Just before being released from a Newark half-way house in pre-dawn darkness last Friday, Turner, 50, told the Herald News of New Jersey, “I think my actions, in defense of the country and working covertly for the FBI, prove I’m one of the good guys.”
Good guy? Good grief.
On his now defunct radio show, Turner ranted and raved for years about “bull-dyke lesbians,” “savage Negro beasts,” “faggots” and a “portable nigger lyncher” machine.
After a countless number of such incendiary statements on the radio, his blog and at neo-Nazi-sponsored rallies from New York to Michigan, Turner finally went too far. On June 24, 2009, he was arrested and charged with threatening to assault and murder three federal judges. Turner had been seething over a decision in a Chicago appeals court that upheld a local handgun ban.
“Let me be the first to say this plainly,” Turner wrote on his blog on June 2, “these judges deserve to be killed.”
“Their blood will replenish the tree of liberty,” he continued. “A small price to pay to assure freedom for millions.” The next day, Turner updated the post to include the names, work addresses, phone numbers and photographs of the judges.
It took federal prosecutors three trials before convicting Turner of threatening the judges. The first two ended in mistrials.
Turner’s defense argued that the First Amendment protected his speech. His racist rants and threats were part of his undercover work as an FBI informant, his lawyers said. All his talk of “dykes,” “Negro beasts” and lynching machines was a ruse, they argued, encouraged by his federal handlers to draw truly dangerous white supremacist out into the open.
“The vast majority of the things Hal said were nothing more than shock jock material,” Michael A. Orozco, the lawyer who represented Turner at his first two trials said today. “I don’t think he was a racist. He was doing a lot of those things at the behest of the FBI.”
“Hal likes to push people’s buttons,” Orozco added. “I don’t think he meant to cause those judges any harm.”