Archive for the ‘Mark Potok’ Category

Demjanjuk burial plans raise spectre of a neo-Nazi shrine

Date: Tuesday Mar. 20, 2012 1:19 PM ET

CLEVELAND If relatives of convicted Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk get what they want, their patriarch will be buried in the U.S. — a prospect not sitting well with Jewish advocates who argue the retired autoworker could, in death, become a magnet for neo-Nazis.

Demjanjuk died Saturday in Germany at age 91, and his family in Ohio wants to return his body for burial. Even though his U.S. citizenship had been revoked and he was deported, there is no prohibition against returning the body to this country, the U.S. attorney’s office in Cleveland said.

Munich state court spokeswoman Margarete Noetzel said Tuesday that under German law, because Demjanjuk died before his final appeal could be heard and because a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty, he is still technically presumed innocent.

But that doesn’t mean the conviction is somehow wiped from the record, she said. “The verdict exists. It is not voided. It was pronounced and based in fact.”

A Demjanjuk funeral in his adopted hometown would turn into a spectacle, said Efraim Zuroff, who leads the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem.

“I have no doubt that a funeral in Seven Hills would turn into a demonstration of solidarity and support for Demjanjuk, who’s the last person on earth who deserves any sympathy, frankly,” Zuroff said in a telephone interview.

Demjanjuk had guarded his privacy carefully, posting a “no trespassing” sign outside his house and turning aside interview requests over the decades.

His attorney appealed Monday to German authorities to arrange for his body to be sent home to Ohio, and son John Demjanjuk Jr. confirmed that, but there was no word on any arrangements or whether a funeral might be done in secret.

Demjanjuk Jr. said in an email Tuesday that any suggestion of his father’s burial or grave site turning into a spectacle was unwarranted.

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Demjanjuk burial plans raise spectre of a neo-Nazi shrine

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March 20, 2012   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Could a US Demjanjuk grave become neo-Nazi shrine?

CLEVELAND (AP) If relatives of convicted Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk get what they want, their patriarch will be buried in suburban Cleveland a prospect not sitting well with Jewish advocates who argue the retired autoworker could, in death, become a magnet for neo-Nazis.

Demjanjuk died Saturday in Germany at age 91, and his family in Seven Hills, Ohio, wants to return his body for burial. Even though his U.S. citizenship had been revoked and he was deported, there is no prohibition against returning the body to this country, the U.S. attorney’s office in Cleveland said.

A Demjanjuk funeral in his adopted hometown would turn into a spectacle, said Efraim Zuroff, who leads the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem.

“I have no doubt that a funeral in Seven Hills would turn into a demonstration of solidarity and support for Demjanjuk, who’s the last person on earth who deserves any sympathy, frankly,” Zuroff said in a telephone interview.

Demjanjuk had guarded his privacy carefully, posting a “no trespassing” sign outside his house and turning aside interview requests over the decades.

His attorney appealed Monday to German authorities to arrange for his body to be sent home to Ohio, and son John Demjanjuk Jr. confirmed that, but there was no word on any arrangements or whether a funeral might be done in secret.

The Ukraine-born Demjanjuk was a retired U.S. autoworker who maintained over three decades of legal battles that he had been mistaken for someone else.

He came to the U.S. on Feb. 9, 1952, claiming to have spent much of World War II in a German prisoner of war camp. He eventually settled in the middle-class Cleveland suburb of Seven Hills and worked as a mechanic at Ford Motor Co.’s engine plant in nearby Brook Park.

That idyll ended in 1977, when the Justice Department alleged that he had hid his past as the feared Treblinka death camp guard “Ivan the Terrible” and revoked his citizenship. The Israeli Supreme Court returned him to the U.S. after it received evidence that another Ukrainian, not Demjanjuk, was Ivan the Terrible.

Eventually, after many legal twists and turns, Demjanjuk was convicted in May of 28,060 counts of being an accessory to murder at the Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland and sentenced to five years in prison. He died in a nursing home while awaiting appeal.

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Could a US Demjanjuk grave become neo-Nazi shrine?

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March 20, 2012   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Spokesman: Westboro Ad for Rush Limbaugh Show Will Be Rejected

March 19, 2012|5:33 pm

“Premiere Networks is not considering an offer of sponsorship from Westboro Baptist Church,” said Rachel Nelson, public relations director for Premiere Networks, which carries Limbaugh’s three hour program, in a statement given to the press.

Hatewatch, a blog overseen by the Southern Poverty Law Center, has been tracking the story since last week when Westboro first offered an ad for Limbaugh’s radio program.

Mark Potok, editor of the Hatewatch blog and a senior fellow at the SPLC, told The Christian Post hat according to a Westboro spokesman, the initial offer came because WBC felt they had common ideological ground with Limbaugh.

“Westboro’s Steve Drain told us that the church sees natural affinities between its views and those of Rush Limbaugh. The church sees Limbaugh as anti-gay, and that is part of that affinity,” said Potok.

“The other part, as Drain says in our report, is that Westboro, like Limbaugh, is happy to describe Sandra Fluke as a ‘slut.’ And, Drain adds, ‘God hates sluts.'”

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With Premiere rejecting any Westboro ads, Potok felt that Limbaugh’s show would now be safe from being canceled or losing still more sponsors.

“Now that Premiere Networks had definitively rejected Westboro, I do not think it will affect his listeners much,” said Potok.

“If Premiere had actually aired a Westboro ad, I believe it would have been the end of the show; whatever advertisers Limbaugh had left would have fled immediately.”

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Spokesman: Westboro Ad for Rush Limbaugh Show Will Be Rejected

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Outlaw mountain men, extremists roam the Rockies

SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) – One is a loner who has eluded capture on Utah’s rugged Cedar Mountain for five years. Another is hiding out in the mountain forests of western Montana, wanted for attempted murder.

They are extreme versions of the self-reliant, independent-thinking frontiersmen who have long roamed the American West.

From wanted criminals to the more eccentric “Phantom Pooper” or “Dugout Dick,” a wide range of outlaws and drifters live off the land in the rugged Rocky Mountains, folk heroes to the militia movement and a source of chagrin for law enforcement.

Among the more storied is Troy James Knapp, 44, a loner wanted for burglaries of resort cabins near Zion National Park in Utah. In his five years in the wild, he has lived off land so rugged the average visitor stocks his four-wheel drive with emergency supplies.

Legend about Knapp’s uncanny outdoor skills and hardiness has grown along with the thefts he is accused of committing – frequently of firearms – and the threats he has made against a local sheriff in the forested high country of southern Utah called Cedar Mountain.

The snowshoe-clad survivalist has out-maneuvered authorities in manhunts, one as recently as last month when a reported sighting of a rifle-toting figure sent police in camouflage and bullet-proof vests pouring into the woods on foot and by air.

Knapp is one of a number of fugitives thought to be holed up in the vast back country of the Rocky Mountains, a region where self-sufficiency is almost a religion and separatist and militia movements have found fertile ground.

The forbidding mountainscape has given rise to characters such as 19th century trapper and explorer Kit Carson, and has acted as a magnet for modern-day mountain men and outlaws such as Claude Dallas.

Dallas was convicted in 1982 of manslaughter in the slayings of two Idaho game wardens investigating him for poaching while living off the canyon lands of southwestern Idaho.

After the killings, Dallas fled into the wilderness and eluded police for months. During his time on the run, he gained cult status among anti-government militiamen and was portrayed in a popular ballad as a renegade hero.

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Outlaw mountain men, extremists roam the Rockies

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March 16, 2012   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Extremists flourishing in Northwest, report warns

SPOKANE The number of militias and other extremist movements in the Inland Northwest and across the country continues to rise, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The report, released Thursday by the Alabama-based nonprofit that tracks hate groups and extremists, said the number of militia and anti-government groups in the United States soared to 1,274 last year, from 149 in 2008.

That includes 50 in Washington and 23 in Idaho.

Fueled by economic troubles and antagonism toward President Barack Obama, there has been a dramatic expansion of the radical right in recent years, said Mark Potok, senior fellow at the center.

For many extremists, President Obama is the new symbol of all thats wrong with the country the Kenyan president, the secret Muslim who is causing our countrys decline, Potok said in the report.

The election seasons overheated political rhetoric is adding fuel to the fire. The more polarized the political scene, the more people at the extremes.

The case of two men in North Idaho who admitted last year to making grenades near Spirit Lake is an example.

Kenneth B. Kimbley Jr., 60, discussed bombing local bridges with an undercover federal agent and made threatening statements toward President Barack Obama, according to court documents. His lawyer countered that Kimbley never threatened anyone and was simply echoing his idol, Glenn Beck. Kimbley was sentenced in April to a year in prison, one year of home detention and three years of probation for the weapons collection found at his trailer on July 3, 2010.

Co-defendent Steven E. Winegar, 52, of Harpster, Idaho, was sentenced to eight months of house arrest and five years of probation.

In his recent report, Potok cited the arrest of Alaskan militia leader Schaeffer Cox, who is jailed on federal charges accusing him of stockpiling weapons and plotting to kill law enforcement officials.

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Extremists flourishing in Northwest, report warns

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March 11, 2012   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Mark Potok admits his SPLC "Hate Map" is inaccurate – Video


05-10-2011 06:30 The audio volume is a bit uneven. Click here for written transcript: wp.me Mark Potok, public relations chief for the Southern Poverty Law Center claims he has identified 1002 “hate groups” in the US in 2010. When asked why 262 of his “groups” aren’t affiliated with any known location on his “Hate Map” fund-raising tool, Mr. Potok admits that the map is only a “very rough measure” and an “imperfect process.” Unfortunately, the media, the government and hundreds of thousands of well-meaning donors take Mr. Potok’s worthless numbers as fact. Last year donors sent Mr. Potok’s organization more than $31 million dollars to fight these nonexistent groups and the Department of Homeland Security has used Potok’s spurious data in its own reports. If your numbers are worthless, Mr. Potok, stop quoting them as if they were true.

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Demjanjuk burial plans raise spectre of a neo-Nazi shrine

Date: Tuesday Mar. 20, 2012 1:19 PM ET CLEVELAND If relatives of convicted Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk get what they want, their patriarch will be buried in the U.S.

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March 20, 2012   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Could a US Demjanjuk grave become neo-Nazi shrine?

CLEVELAND (AP) If relatives of convicted Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk get what they want, their patriarch will be buried in suburban Cleveland a prospect not sitting well with Jewish advocates who argue the retired autoworker could, in death, become a magnet for neo-Nazis. Demjanjuk died Saturday in Germany at age 91, and his family in Seven Hills, Ohio, wants to return his body for burial

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March 20, 2012   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Spokesman: Westboro Ad for Rush Limbaugh Show Will Be Rejected

March 19, 2012|5:33 pm “Premiere Networks is not considering an offer of sponsorship from Westboro Baptist Church,” said Rachel Nelson, public relations director for Premiere Networks, which carries Limbaugh’s three hour program, in a statement given to the press. Hatewatch, a blog overseen by the Southern Poverty Law Center, has been tracking the story since last week when Westboro first offered an ad for Limbaugh’s radio program

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March 20, 2012   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Outlaw mountain men, extremists roam the Rockies

SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) – One is a loner who has eluded capture on Utah’s rugged Cedar Mountain for five years. Another is hiding out in the mountain forests of western Montana, wanted for attempted murder

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March 16, 2012   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Extremists flourishing in Northwest, report warns

SPOKANE The number of militias and other extremist movements in the Inland Northwest and across the country continues to rise, according to a new report from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

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March 11, 2012   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed

Mark Potok admits his SPLC "Hate Map" is inaccurate – Video




05-10-2011 06:30 The audio volume is a bit uneven. Click here for written transcript: wp.me Mark Potok, public relations chief for the Southern Poverty Law Center claims he has identified 1002 “hate groups” in the US in 2010.

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March 11, 2012   Posted in: Mark Potok  Comments Closed


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