Feds tracking Skinheads, Militia and Fruit Loops at Idaho trial

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U.S. Agents' Masquerade as Media

Federal agents posed as members of the news media to take pictures of neo-Nazi skinheads gathered this week to support the Aryan Nations being sued in an Idaho court.


-- cpr (buytexas@swbell.net), September 01, 2000


link please I cant find it I'm at work, or a cut and paste would be nice.

-- consumer (shh@aol.com), September 01, 2000.

This is a different version of the NY Times story.


Aryan Nations Guards Testify

by JOHN K. WILEY Associated Press Writer

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho (AP) -- One of two men convicted of assaulting a woman and her son outside the headquarters of the Aryan Nations denied being a member of the white supremacist group Thursday during testimony in a civil rights case filed against them, the Aryan Nations and the group's founder, Richard Butler.

Lawyer Morris Dees, the co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center who is representing Victoria Keenan and her son, Jason, introduced letters, photographs and depositions to contradict the men's testimony.

If the jury awards compensatory and punitive damages, the Keenans could demand the Aryan Nations' assets, mainly the 20-acre compound and the sect's buildings. Dees has publicly said he hopes to bankrupt the Aryan Nations.

In court Thursday, Keenan's lawyers described Jesse Warfield, 43, as a former Aryan Nations security chief and John Yeager, 21, as former guard for the group. Both men are serving prison sentences for the 1998 assaults, and another security guard, Shane Wright, is a fugitive.

Warfield testified that he wasn't a member of the group when he, Yeager and Wright jumped into his pickup with an assault rifle and chased the Keenans' car after hearing a loud noise outside the group's compound, north of Coeur D'Alene.

He said he only chased the Keenans, who are part-white and part- American Indian, to try to find out who had paid them to shoot at the compound. No weapon was found in the Keenans' car, and authorities theorize the guards mistook a car backfire for a gunshot. Warfield said he ''always acted as if I was security chief, even though I wasn't appointed.''

Yeager said he was drunk and didn't recall shooting an assault rifle at the Keenans' car.

Both men are representing themselves and testified that the atmosphere surrounding the Aryan Nations compound in the months leading up to a 1998 Aryan parade through town was one of increasing paranoia that others would try to stop them.

The two denied lying to protect Butler, whom they consider to be the protector of the white race.

Butler, 82, has also said the men acted on their own. Edgar Steele, a lawyer representing Butler and the corporation that controls Aryan assets, has said he fears the Aryans' beliefs will be scrutinized by the jury rather than the evidence. The lawyers for the Ayran Nations have not begun calling witnesses in the case.

Outside the Kootenai County Justice Building, security has been tight since the trial began Monday. SWAT team members scan the crowd with binoculars from atop the building, visitors must pass through a metal detector and there is a daily lottery for courtroom passes.

At one point, federal agents were posing as journalists in the crowd to photograph neo-Nazi skinheads who had been rallying outside the courthouse. The sheriff's department on Wednesday revoked the agents' false credentials.

Sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger admitted he initially directed seven agents to obtain media passes so they could blend in better with photographers covering the trial. I was surprised it became an issue,'' he said.

Advocates for the news media said it is dangerous for law officers to pose as journalists. Such deceptions could lead to physical threats against reporters, who are not armed, said Kyle Niederpruem, national president of the Society of Professional Journalists.

FBI officials did not immediately return messages for comment.

-- Peg (too@much.spam), September 01, 2000.

Thanks Peg for the story.

Cpr: Ok, so whats up with the froot loop part? just a wondering.

-- consumer (shh@aol.com), September 01, 2000.

My guess is cpr needs a target to feel normal. Debunking is very stimulating, right ceep?

-- KoFE (your@town.USA), September 01, 2000.

link to assorted fruitloops White Aryan Resistance of Arkansas

Hopefully we can all pitch in and buy them a spell checker.

-- freedom of speech (is@quite.important), September 01, 2000.

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