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Shawna who? Minutemen try to deny relationship

15 June 2009

Various “minutemen” groups thoughout the United States — who had a wary relationship with Shawna Forde in the past — are attempting now to spin a narrative that they never heard of her… something rather difficult to swallow.

Forde, now the main suspect in a home invasion in Arizona that resulted in the murder of a nine-year old child and her father, as well as seriously wounding the child’s mother, ran (or runs) the miniscule “Minuteman American Defense” (MAD) organization (membership, probably around a dozen) which has received out of proportion coverage by the anti-immigration community, only recently negative.
Dan Shearer, of Arizona’s Green Valley News (a  bi-weekly newspaper in what is largely a retirement community along the Arizona-Sonora border) writes sympathetically of his own community’s “Minutemen” who worry about being connected with Forde.

Scott Anderson knows it’s coming.Anderson, who belongs to the 80-member Green Valley chapter of the national Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, said he has never heard of Shawna Forde or her group, the Minutemen American Defense, but he knows others will associate his group with hers.

“I figured something like this was going to happen,” he said Friday after three people were arrested in connection with two murders in Arivaca. “We’re all going to be painted with the same broad brush.”

Anderson said he is pulling local Minuteman volunteers from the streets until about the end of the month to avoid potential confrontations.

Anybody joining the 12,000-member national Minuteman group must undergo a background check, an interview with a national officer and go through four to six hours of training, he said.

“Our rules are very strict,” he said. “We’re doing everything above-board according to the law.”

Scott Anderson may not have heard of Forde, but the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps certainly has.   She is a former member of that organization, and — other than the internal disputes among various “Minuteman” groups —  and some sniping that the woman was a “loose cannon” no attempts to stop her activities.  On the contrary.

The Southern Poverty Law Council report on “The Nativists” detailed Forde’s connections within the overall movement, and none of the other “nativists” raised any complaint about being included with Forde on this list.  Nor, when she claimed MS-13 operatives attacked her, allegedly raping her (reported by the Everett Washington Herald’s Scott North), and those claims quickly were dismissed as false, was there any attempts by these groups to claim she was dangerous… only that she was a liar and possibly unbalance. (a racist, white-supremicist site, this is an indirect link to an equally nasty site) attacked those who questioned the rape story, but resulted in nothing from the various Minutemen groups suggesting Forde was anything worse than self-promoting.

Chuck Stonex, who vigorously defended Forde when previous accusations of her possible collusion in criminal activites, or her dubious claims of being targeted by “Mexican drug dealers” were questioned by Scott North of the Everett (Washington) Herald, who has been on Forde like white on rice.

Stonex is well-known for defending not just Forde, but the “movement”  Back in January of this year, he was the subject of a post in the Immigration Clearinghouse (“Defender of Shawna Forde relies on lies, slander and racism to defend the indefensible“).  The San Diego Minutemen (which is at odds with the other minutemen organizations for various reasons) considers Stonex a “Jim Gilchrist attack dog against other leaders and groups.  Helps Gilly[Gilchrist] spread lies.  Advocates violence and action against illegals at the border.”

Stonex himself may be more involved with Forde’s alleged crime spree (more on that in a minute) than is being reported.  Most of the wire service reports merely say that Stonex responded “This is not what Minutemen do.  Minutemen observe, document and report.”  But, as Scott North, the Herald reporter writes:

Forde called [Stonex] on May 30 while he was visiting Arizona and asked him to bring bandages to an Arivaca home because Bush had been wounded, Stonex told the AP.

According to the story, Stonex said it appeared Bush had a relatively minor gunshot wound, which he treated. Forde and Bush told him Bush been wounded by a smuggler who shot at him while the group were patrolling the desert. He didn’t suspect that might not be the case until was contacted by a deputy on Saturday about their alleged involvement in the crime.

Jim Gilchrist, whose Minuteman Project ignited the ire of the San Diego Minutemen organization:

… a longtime Forde ally, made it clear Saturday that his earlier support of Forde should in no way be construed as approving the actions now attributed to her.

Mike Vanderboegh, at  Sipsey Street Irregulars (listing an address in Pinson Arizona) — which might be best described as a “gun-owner/survivialist/”western civilization faces disaster” kind of site) writes:

I met Shawna one weekend a couple of years ago at a Patriots Border Alliance conference in St. Louis.

Of course, now Vanderboegh claims he told several people that he thought she was “not too tightly wrapped — a potential loose cannon.”  She may have been, but I find no evidence that anyone in the “Minuteman” movement did anything about it, or made any real effort to separate themselves from Forde’s group.

The point, of course, is that to claim Forde was not a part of the “Minuteman” movement, or that she was unknown to the leadership (or that the groups did anything other than attack her for poaching their potential membership and siphoning off possible contributions) did anyone raise a red flag.

While right now, with questions being raised by many about the effect of rightist propaganda on “loose cannons” (witness the terrorist attacks on George Tiller in Wichita and on the Holocaust Museum in Washington — both perpetrated by “fringe” figures within larger movements) it’s worth revisiting the probable connection between rightist movements and terrorism. But, even more, I’d suggest authorities take a second look at those troubling incidents I wrote about back in early 2007 (here, here and here) in which undocumented workers (and their drivers) were attacked (and murdered) by unknown groups.

At the time, the speculation was that the attackers were other smugglers, though the reports that three of the four attackers were “anglo” and one was “Hispanic, but appeared to speak little Spanish” (one of Forde’s alleged accomplices in the home-invasion/murder is 42-year old Albert Gaxiola from Arivaca, Arizona (the scene of the crime) whose picture (and Basque family name) suggests a “Hispanic” who may speak little Spanish.

At the time, I though “rogue” elements within the Minuteman movement was a possibility, but I’m wondering how “rogue” they really were.  The same crew of bad actors in the Armay have been in Arizona during these January 2007 attacks (in which case, the authorities should re-examine those cases), or other “Minutemen” groups may also be acting as death squads.   This seems likely.

Given the obvious criminal intent of Forde’s group (the claims — backed even by her parents — is that her crime spree was meant to finance anti-immigrant activities) suggests ties to other criminal organizations.  Forde was being spun as someone too incompetent to carry out “Minuteman” projects and a sad “loser”… which — if true — suggests the “Viagra Vigilantes” (thanks to  Mexico Trucker On-line for the appropriately dismissive moniker) may not be as toothles and comic as they seem… despite their denials, they are a breeding ground for white supremacists (and potential terrorists) at best, possibly a front for organized crime, and — it’s abundantly clear — a recruiting camp for death squads.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Bart permalink
    16 June 2009 1:24 pm

    Immigration Groups Issued Advisory on Shawna Forde before Killings

  2. 16 June 2009 4:30 pm

    I see that the weenies at ALIPAC are following Weird Willies commands and spamming all sites who post anything about Forde with their pathetic denials.

    Deny all they wish, but groups like ALIPAC, with more than 5000 topics, exclusively blaming Mexicans for everything from 9/11 to the crucifixon of Jesus Christ are scared.

    It’s their semi annual beg-a-thon and Weird Willy is deathly afraid his minions won’t cough up the cash to keep him in frijoles for another few months.

    Some of ALIPAC’s “activists” are even suggesting she was framed and leaning heavily on the “alleged” part of it.

    ALIPAC, VDARE, Lou Dobbs, Michael Savage and anyone who supports or condones any of these groups has a moral responsibility for this crime

  3. Bart permalink
    18 June 2009 4:24 am

    I see that weenies like pcorn54 are using up all their balls of string trying to tie together people who weren’t really working together at all. Many people considered Forde to be an untrustworthy and unstable individual long before this tragic murder case. It is entirely proper to use the word ‘alleged’ for someone who hasn’t been convicted yet – it’s not defending them to use that word at all. The fact that she was temporarily able to elbow her way into the movement and make claims of leadership and credibility that were unsupported by the facts is due in part to the unwholesome support of Jim Gilchrist, not William Gheen. Gheen saw her coming. So what if ALIPAC is having a fundraiser? Other organizations do it all the time, and so does ALIPAC. Judging from a count of the posts from pcorn vs. ALIPAC’s, it seems to me that if anyone is spamming sites it’s pcorn.


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