“DOCUMENTING HATE”

November 21, 2018 at 4:30 am

Frontline and ProPublica investigate a neo-Nazi group actively recruiting from inside the U.S. military.

Aired November 20, 2018.

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>>> GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO
"METROFOCUS."
I'M JENNA FLANAGAN.
IN THE WAKE OF THE DEADLY
ANTI-SEMITIC ATTACK AT THE TREE
OF LIFE SYNAGOGUE IN PITTSBURGH,
"FRONTLINE" AND ProPUBLICA
INVEST IN NEO-NAZI GROUP CALLED
THE DIVISION THAT IS ACTIVELY
RECRUITING FROM INSIDE THE U.S.
MILITARY.
TAKE A LOOK.
>> WE'RE UNDER FIRE.
HE HAS AN AUTOMATIC WEAPON.
HE'S FIRING IN FRONT OF THE
SYNAGOGUE.
>> PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA,
OCTOBER 27, 2018.
HE STORMS INTO THE TREE OF LIFE
SYNAGOGUE WITH AN AR-15 AND
KILLS 11 JEWISH WORSHIPPERS.
>> TALKING ABOUT ALL THESE JEWS
NEED TO DIE.
>> MEMBERS OF THE TREE OF LIFE
SYNAGOGUE CONDUCTING A PEACEFUL
SERVICE IN THEIR PLACE OF
WORSHIP WERE BRUTALLY MURDERED
BY A GUNMAN TARGETING THEM
SIMPLY BECAUSE OF THEIR FAITH.
>> OVER THE PAST FEW YEARS I'VE
BEEN REPORTING ON A RESURGENT
WHITE SUPREMACIST MOVEMENT.
I'VE SEEN VIOLENCE IN CITIES
ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
AND NOW THIS.
WHAT LOOKS TO BE THE DEADLIEST
ATTACK ON THE JEWISH COMMUNITY
IN AMERICAN HISTORY.
AND I FEAR THERE WILL BE MORE TO
COME.
>> HERE WITH MORE IS "FRONTLINE"
CORRESPONDENT AND ProPUBLICA
REPORTER A.C. THOMPSON.
A.C., WELCOME BACK TO THE
PROGRAM.
>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME ON.
I APPRECIATE IT.
>> ONE OF THE THINGS THAT STUCK
OUT TO ME THE MOST WAS THE FACT
THAT YOU WERE ABLE TO DRAW A
LINE BETWEEN FRUSTRATED VETERANS
WHO ARE COMING HOME FROM WAR AND
AN UPTICK IN WHITE SUPREMACY.
HOW ARE YOU ABLE TO DO THAT?
>> YOU KNOW, A LOT OF THAT
RESEARCH COMES FROM KATHLEEN
BELLIEU, A HISTORIAN AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO.
THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS SHE'S
BEEN LOOKING AT.
SHE WROTE A GREAT BOOK, "BRING
THE WAR HOME."
SHE TRACED THE EVOLUTION OF THE
WHITE SUPREMACIST MOVEMENT IN
THE POST VIETNAM ERA AND SAW
THESE SPIKES.
THAT WAS A FASCINATING THING TO
US.
I SHOULD SAY, LOOK, MY FATHER
WAS A SOLDIER.
MY GRANDFATHER WAS IN THE ARMY
AS WELL.
MOST OF THE MEN IN MY FAMILY
HAVE SERVED IN THE MILITARY.
SO I'M TOTALLY RESPECTFUL OF THE
MILITARY AND I HAVE GREAT
APPRECIATION FOR THEM.
BUT THERE HAS BEEN PER SIS
TENTLY THIS SMALL HARD CORE OF
CHARACTERS THAT COME OUT OF THE
MILITARY AND GO INTO LEADERSHIP
ROLES IN THESE GROUPS.
>> WELL, AND SPECIFICALLY THERE
WAS ONE GROUP THAT YOU FOCUSED
ON AND, OF COURSE, THAT WAS I
BELIEVE ADAM WALTHAM, CORRECT?
>> RIGHT.
>> HOW WERE YOU ABLE TO GET
PEOPLE TO TALK TO YOU SO
CANDIDLY ABOUT WHAT WAS GOING ON
ON THE INSIDE?
>> THE CHALLENGE TO GETTING
PEOPLE TO TALK, THEY WEREN'T
SCARED ABOUT LAW ENFORCEMENT OR
THE PUBLIC IN GENERAL.
THEY WERE SCARED THAT THEIR
FORMER COMRADES IN THIS GROUP,
WHICH IS BASICALLY A TERRORIST
ORGANIZATION, WOULD PHYSICALLY
HARM THEM OR THEIR FAMILIES.
>> WELL, THAT, OF COURSE, THEN
BUILDS ON WHAT I THINK IS THE
SECOND AND MORE IMPORTANT THREAD
IN THIS PIECE, AND THAT IS THE
FACT THAT THERE ISN'T A FEAR OF
WHAT LAW ENFORCEMENT MIGHT DO TO
THEM.
>> THAT WAS THE STUNNING THING.
THE FOUNDER OF THIS GROUP WAS
QUESTIONED AT HIS HOME IN TAMPA,
FLORIDA.
IN HIS HOME HE HAD RADIOACTIVE
MATERIAL, HIGH-POWERED
EXPLOSIVES, A TON OF WEAPONS AND
AMMUNITION, USES PARTS OF PIPE
BOMBS, TERRORIST MANUALS, MINE
CAMP AND THE POLICE RELEASED HIM
FROM THE CRIME SCENE.
AND THAT IS A LITTLE BIT
BAFFLING TO ME AND TO OTHER LAW
ENFORCEMENT SOURCES I'VE SPOKEN
TO.
AND A LOT OF PEOPLE I'VE
INTERVIEWED SAID, LOOK, LAW
ENFORCEMENT DOES NOT SEEM
NECESSARILY PREPARED TO DEAL
WITH THE THREAT OF WHITE
SUPREMACIST TERRORISTS.
>> YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT A MAN
NAMED JAMES MASON.
AND IN THE PIECE WE SEE YOU GO
TO SPEAK WITH HIM.
CAN YOU GIVE US YOUR SENSE OF
WHAT KIND OF A PROFILE THAT HE
FITS?
>> HIS DEAL IS, LOOK, HE SPENT
30 PLUS YEARS PROMULGATING AN
IDEOLOGY THAT SAYS, WE NEED
FASCISM IN AMERICA.
WE NEED A WHITES ONLY COUNTRY.
AND WE NEED TO GET THERE BY
USHERING IN ACTS OF HYPER
VIOLENCE, POLITICAL
ASSASSINATION, TERRORISM, AND
OCCAS
OCCASIONALLY GUERRILLA STRUGGLE
SO WE COLLAPSE THE GOVERNMENT,
AND THEN CAN TAKE POWER.
THAT IS HIS DEAL.
AND THAT IS WHAT THE ADAM
WALTHAM GROUP AND OTHERS ARE
ACTING OUT.
THIS IS A MOVEMENT THAT SAYS TO
ITS ADHERENTS, YOU DON'T NEED A
BIG GROUP TO DO IMPORTANT ACTS.
YOU ONLY NEED YOU AND A FEW OF
YOUR BEST FRIENDS TO GO OUT AND
SHOOT UP A SCHOOL OR A SYNAGOGUE
OR A CHURCH OR A SICK HOUSE OF
WORSHIP.
YOU ONLY NEED A VERY SMALL GROUP
OF PEOPLE TO TAKE THE TERRORIST
ACTS THAT WE BELIEVE WILL SAVE
THE WHITE RACE.
>> WHAT DO YOU THINK IS THE MOST
IMPORTANT THING FOR PEOPLE TO
TAKE AWAY FROM SEEING THIS FILM?
>> YOU KNOW, ONE THING THAT WE
DEFINITELY WANT PEOPLE TO
CONSIDER IS, LOOK, THERE IS A
TERRORIST ORGANIZATION OPERATING
IN OUR MIDST.
AND SINCE THE AUTHORITIES FIRST
STARTED LOOKING AT THIS GROUP IN
MAY OF 2017, THREE MORE PEOPLE
HAVE BEEN KILLED ALLEGEDLY BY
MEMBERS OR ASSOCIATES OF THIS
GROUP.
AND I THINK THAT SHOULD BE A
CONCERNING THING FOR FOLKS.
THIS GROUP, ADAM WALTHAM
DIVISION, HAS BEEN ABLE TO
CONTINUE TO OPERATE, TO RECRUIT
NEW MEMBERS, TO DISSEMINATE ITS
IDEOLOGY ON THE WEB WITHOUT A
LOT OF INTERFERENCE.
SO I THINK THAT'S A KEY THING.
THE SECOND KEY THING I THINK IS
THAT WE NEED TO LOOK AT THIS
NEXUS BETWEEN THE MILITARY AND
THE WHITE POWER MOVEMENT.
AND, AGAIN, YOU KNOW, THAT'S NOT
TO DISPARAGE THE MILITARY.
NOT MY GOAL AT ALL.
IT'S ACTUALLY TO STRENGTHEN THE
MILITARY BECAUSE, YOU KNOW, WHEN
YOU HAVE THESE PEOPLE WITHIN THE
RANKS, YOU CAN'T HAVE DECENT
UNIT COHESION, A DECENT WORK
FORCE.
THESE PEOPLE ARE COMING OUT OF
THE ARMED FORCES, JOINING UP
WITH THE WHITE POWER MOVEMENT,
AND THEY TEND TO BE THE
ARCHITECTS OF SOME OF THE MOST
SERIOUS CRIMES THE MOVEMENT IS
RESPONSIBLE FOR.
THAT'S A THING, WE NEED A REAL
AGGRESSIVE LOOK AT THAT BY THE
PENTAGON AND BY THE CHIEFS OF
THE VARIOUS BRANCHES.
>> ALL RIGHT.
WELL, ONCE AGAIN, IT'S ANOTHER
COMPELLING PIECE OF JOURNALISM.
A.C.M., I WANT TO THANK YOU FOR
JOINING US AGAIN AND FOR THE
WORK THAT YOU DO.
>> THANK YOU.
I'LL COME ON AND TALK ABOUT A
STORY THAT'S NOT SO DEPRESSING
SOMETIME, I SWEAR.
>> GREAT, WE WOULD LOVE TO HAVE
THAT JUST ONCE.
>> ALL RIGHT.
THANK YOU.
>> THANK YOU.

Mutual of America PSEG

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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