Wednesday, June 10, 2009

James W. Von Brunn


[Correcting spelling of suspect's name, updating previous post]

NBC's Pete Williams is reporting that the Holocaust Museum shooting suspect is James W. Von Brunn, an 89-year-old man who has connections to white-supremacist, anti-government groups.

I wonder, is it still an outrage to suggest that law enforcement pay attention to threats of violence from right-wing extremists?

Just wondering.


From Times Online:

An 89-year-old white supremacist and Holocaust denier opened fire in Washington’s Holocaust Museum today, wounding at least one before being shot in the head by security officers.

James W von Brunn, who was charged and convicted in 1981 for running towards the boardroom of Washington’s Federal Reserve building with a shotgun, entered the Holocaust Museum just before 1pm and opened fire “indiscriminately” with a long rifle.

A guard was immediately hit, before two other security officers at the heavily guarded museum, less than a mile from the White House, hit von Brunn in the head with return fire. He was taken to George Washington Hospital in a critical condition. Officials said he may not survive. Adrian Fenty, the Mayor of Washington, said the security guard was in a “grave condition”.

The shooting, at one of Washington’s most popular tourist destinations – filled today with schoolchildren - came after a visit last week by President Obama to the Buchenwald Concentration Camp near Dresden, in Germany. It sparked alarm in the heart of the US capital and caused most of the National Mall to be closed down.

Von Brunn, who claims on his own website to have been a decorated PT-boat captain and lieutenant in the US Navy during World War II, has written a book entitled ‘Kill the Best Gentiles!” According to its preface, its purpose it “to present WHITE YOUTH” with factual information to explain that an “age old CONSPIRACY does exist to destroy Western Civilisation.”

Von Brunn also has a Wikipedia user profile in which he champions the virtues of Western culture and the practice of eugenics. In another article he claims that Holocaust history is destroying Western civilization.

He is clearly a Holocaust denier – a belief decried by Mr Obama during his speech to the Muslim world in Cairo last week. Von Brunn bemoans that “Jews control all important sources of information”, and claims that there is a Jewish conspiracy to destroy the white gene pool. He also wrote: “America is a Third-World racial garbage-dump – stupid, ignorant, dead broke, and terminal. Whites LOVE their Enemies. Prepare to die, Whitey.” One of heroes he cites is World War II Real Admiral John Crommelin, a notorious anti-Semite who later ran for governor of Alabama.
Key findings from Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment:

Threats from white supremacist and violent antigovernment groups during 2009 have been largely rhetorical and have not indicated plans to carry out violent acts. Nevertheless, the consequences of a prolonged economic downturn—including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit—could create a fertile recruiting environment for rightwing extremists and even result in confrontations between such groups and government authorities similar to those in the past.


Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups), and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.


A recent example of the potential violence associated with a rise in rightwing extremism may be found in the shooting deaths of three police officers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on 4 April 2009. The alleged gunman’s reaction reportedly was influenced by his racist ideology and belief in antigovernment conspiracy theories related to gun confiscations, citizen detention camps, and a Jewish-controlled “one world government.”