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No. 83: Do We Know a Far Right Radical When We See One?

 Member Newsletter
April 14, 2023 2:57 p.m.

The radical right-wing extremist at the center of the big Pentagon intelligence link has now been identified. But even journalists who should know better struggle to explain who these people are.

Press Pushes ‘Mass of Contradictions’ Storyline about Far-Right Radical Teixeira

Originally Published: April 14, 2023 7:35 a.m.

Here’s a new article from the Post on Jack Teixeira which contains a series of assumptions I can only call disturbing. The headline reads, “He’s from a patriotic family — and allegedly leaked U.S. secrets.” In the vein of that headline, the article presents Teixeira as a bundle of contradictions. He didn’t want to hurt America. He was a patriotic guy from a patriotic, military family, etc.

And yet the guy described in numerous interviews with young men or boys from his server community is a textbook far-right radical, the type who often commits acts of violence, though as yet we have no evidence of that from Teixeira. He was very into guns; he was viciously racist and antisemitic; he worshipped at the cult of Ruby Ridge and Waco and anti-government activism.

One friend of Teixeira’s from the server described him as “as patriotic, a devout Catholic and a libertarian with an interest in guns and doubts about America’s future.” He also had a “slight temper.” The two bonded a few years ago over Glocks and Catholicism. The friend assured reporters that Teixeira wasn’t anti-America but simply pessimistic about the country’s future and looking to educate young people about current events the best way he knew how.

Had Tim McVeigh lived, he could be Teixeira’s literal as well as spiritual and figurative father.

It’s commonplace to note that white mass murderers are often humanized in newspaper accounts while those who are Black or Muslim are demonized and seen only through the prism of their crimes. There’s some of that here too. But what I’m describing is more specific. Violent far-right radicalism has been an issue in this country for decades. It’s behind Jan. 6, the murder plot against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the wave of far-right terrorist attacks against the country’s power grid which Hunter Walker wrote about at TPM just yesterday. If you can’t clearly identify that, that is a big problem. We can’t still be hung up on it being hard to understand how a kid who who joined the military, waved the flag a lot and came from a good patriotic family turns out to be an anti-government terrorist-in-the-making who hated Black people and Jews.

Back in the 1990s there were a lot of people who said of McVeigh, well, he was a critic of the Iraq War and had some decent critiques of police raids. He was a kind of rough-hewn civil libertarian who just went about his activism the wrong way. The Post article certainly doesn’t say anything like that. But the mass-of-contradictions storyline gets you more than halfway to that. Already overnight Rep. Marjorie Greene (R-GA) and Tucker Carlson are embracing Teixeira as a young anti-war activist who tried to expose the government’s misdeeds the best way he could in Joe Biden’s America.

We can’t defend the country from these extremists if we cannot even properly identify them.

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