After being charged in Connecticut with inciting people to take up arms against two legislators and a state ethics official, his attorney claimed that Turner was exercising his First Amendment rights. A couple of weeks later Turner was arrested and detained in a federal detention center in Chicago. This time for threatening the lives of three federal judges.
In a surprise courtroom maneuver, Turner and his attorney told the judge that Hal should not have been arrested because he had been working as a federal informant with the FBI and DOJ, to which the judge sarcastically replied, "...so you're telling me he is a model citizen."
Well, model citizen, or not, the judge gave Turner 10 days to produce his "handlers." That never happened. Yesterday Hal's defense attorney, Michael Orozco, appeared before the Conneticut court where he now claims that his client was "trained" by the FBI to be an "agent provocateur." According to the Hartford Courant...
"Mr. Turner was trained by the FBI," Orozco said. "He was told where the line was — what he could say." Turner, of New Jersey, worked as an "agent provocateur" for the FBI from roughly 2002 to 2007, Orozco said.
"His job was basically to publish information which would cause other parties to act in a manner that would cause their arrest," Orozco said. On several occasions, Turner passed on to the FBI information about threats from readers.
As William Shakespeare said so aptly, "All the world's a stage and all the men and women merely players." The drama that has surrounded this case would create a great ABC mini-series. The only thing in question is how many segments and will there be a surprise ending?
Actually, I'm starting to believe that Michael Orozco is now being "trained" by Hal Turner - all of this is a page right off of Turner's blog. First we're told that this upstanding citizen saved the life of President Obama and thwarted the sale of military weapons helping to keep us all safe. Next we'll be expected to believe that upon Hal's orders his mythical army of skinheads interecepted and destroyed a ton of biological weapons off the coast of Bermuda headed for the U.S. Or maybe they have been deployed to assist Sarah Palin when Putin does his fly-by over Alaska.
Now, it's not that I believe that federal law-enforcement is above using others as Turner is claiming. But if Hal has been trained by them in such a manner, they really never got to the part about house-breaking him. He might have flown under the radar of the truly gullible and the really desperate - but there were several who just recognized him for precisely what he was.
Did the feds really train Turner - I don't know. What I do know is that monitoring, by the federal government, of groups or individuals because of their beliefs or ideas is nothing new. We have but to look back to the 70's at the COINTELPRO scandal to understand that this is the standard of operations. However, "monitoring" conjures up a lot of negatives. Watching and even infiltrating is common among law-enforcement agencies. Provoking people into violent action is something else altogether.
If there is a modicum of truth in what Hal's attorney is asserting...if, in fact, Hal Turner (or anyone else for that matter) was being used for the purpose of inciting others to commit violence - that is immoral and highly unethical and should be illegal.
As I look back over the years in which I warned that I believed Hal to be more valuable on the outside rather than behind bars, I am struck by many incidents - but two, in particular, really stand out...incidents that should have raised a red flag for any of his followers.
1) The whole affair surrounding the murders of Judge Joan Lefkow's mother and father. Hal was quick to take credit and immediately published the personal information of other judges he believed to be worthy of attention. Although there was a media frenzy around the killings and several white supremacists associated with Matt Hale were rounded up and questioned - Hal Turner wasn't touched.
2) A couple of years ago when anti-immigration rallies were being held all across the country, Hal Turner posted and broadcasted how and where explosive devices could be placed in a public park where a pro-immigration rally was to be held. He wasn't touched.
Disparaged by many of those he claimed to represent, Hal Turner continued to issue threats and suggest violence against many entities, always unscathed. He awaits trial in Chicago and charges in Conneticut, apparently out of favor with those who he now claims were responsible for his actions. Will he be rescued? Was he valuable enough to be saved. I doubt it.
Hal claims to have been on the payroll between 2003 and 2007. But, you see, he didn't stop. He continued to operate just as he always had even though he was no longer part of the team. He overestimated his importance - and he lost. It would also seem that he has convinced Orozco that he was a lot more valuable than is true. Turner remains hopeful - because, as he said he "...really isn't cut out for this." But as Henry Ellis once said, "The place where optimism most flourishes is the lunatic asylum."
Throughout life, we all play the roles we invent for ourselves. We create our own persona and we strive everyday to get it right. Some get so caught up in the drama that the fantasy becomes our reality - and it bites.