Pete Lanteri, the former Marine who’s organized a citizen surveillance group to monitor a military training exercise taking place this summer across seven southern states, is a self-described “hothead” prone to Facebook rants about rounding up “commies” and how blacks are a “failed race.”
Lanteri, a 44-year-old former Marine who is originally from New York, where he once directed that state’s branch of the Minutemen Civil Defense Corps, and currently resides in Arizona, sat down last week with Fox News Radio’s Alan Colmes to talk about how his group plans to monitor the military operation dubbed “Jade Helm 15.”
In the Thursday interview, Lanteri complained about being labelled a “Jade Helm 15” conspiracy theorist while simultaneously being dismissed by the tin foil hat set as too sympathetic to the feds. (Lanteri did not respond last week to a request for comment sent to an email account associated with his group).
Colmes asked Lanteri about a Facebook post labeling “libs” and “conspiracy nuts” as “useless fucking Americans”:
Lanteri responded to Colmes by describing himself as a “Sicilian hothead from the Bronx.”
“I tend to write something before I think, and a lot of people do that,” he added. “Of course I don’t think that.”
Colmes further pressed Lanteri to explain an inflammatory comment he wrote on the same post, in which he replied “I can’t to wait to kill thousands of these fucks” to another man who was advocating a “revolution”:
“I admit I wrote it and I admit it was stupid. And guess what? I get hotheaded at times,” Lanteri said, adding that he had been upset about having to cremate his dog that day.
In light of those posts and Lanteri’s self-identification as a “hothead,” Colmes asked how people could trust the former Marine with leading the surveillance group.
“Well, those are rare examples,” Lanteri responded. “But I personally felt like [Counter Jade Helm] was needed. Others agreed with me. And we’re gonna do it.”
A quick pass through Lanteri’s public Facebook page revealed that those posts were not rare examples, though. The “Counter Jade Helm” leader over the past several months has spouted off about everything from a “war on whites” to a fantasy about Fox News pundit Geraldo Rivera getting killed in last month’s massacre at a historic black church in Charleston, South Carolina.
And for someone who has vowed to screen “Jade Helm 15” conspiracy theorists out of his group, Lanteri himself did dabble in one of the debunked, wilder rumors about the military taking over shuttered Wal-Mart stores:
Here’s a sampling of some of the more inflammatory posts from Lanteri’s Facebook page. (TPM took screenshots of Lanteri’s Facebook posts over multiple days, during which his profile photo changed.)