Chicago, IL – In a very rare and unusual move, a sitting federal judge talked about a pending federal case in a speech before the American Bar Association (ABA). Judge Joan Lefkow (N.D. Ill.), whose husband and mother were killed in 2005 by a disgruntled litigant — seems to be on the fence about the Hal Turner case. At the recent ABA annual conference, she described the Turner case, then remarked:
“We’re probably all saying to ourselves, ‘Well, is that enough to constitute a threat under the law?’ and I honestly don’t know,” she said just before reading the relevant statute [18 U.S.C. § 115] out loud. “I don’t know if that’s a threat or not.”
Hal was arrested on June 24, 2009 after publishing an Editorial which was critical of the way three federal Judges violated the US Constitution and violated a recent US Supreme Court Ruling. Hal wrote that the Judges were "traitors" to the United States and were tyrants. He quoted Thomas Jefferson's "Tree of Liberty Letter" which said "The tree of liberty must be replenished from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots." Hal then wrote "Let me be the first to say this plainly, these judges deserve to be killed."
The government claims that saying the judges "deserve to be killed" is a threat to actually go out and kill them! Hal knows that saying someone "deserves" something is just an opinion; it is perfectly lawful free speech.
Based on what he wrote, the government charged Hal with "threatening to assault and murder three United States judges."
THERE'S JUST ONE LITTLE PROBLEM
Hal was trained in the use of violent rhetoric because he was working with the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force as a National Security Intelligence Informant. The FBI gave repeated instructions, some in writing, which taught Hal exactly where the line is between lawful and unlawful speech.
For instance, during the Lefkow murder investigation, two members of the JTTF contacted Hal early the morning after the Lefkow murders, asking to meet with him immediately. Hal met them at the Coach House Diner about a half mile away from his home in North Bergen, NJ.
At that meeting, Hal recalls Agent Stephen Haug and New Jersey State Police Detective Leonard Nerbetski inquired of him about the murders and then dropped a bombshell: They said it would increase Hal's "anti-government image" if he poked fun at the murders!
Hal remembers being flabbergasted at that, saying it was grotesque to make fun of such a thing. But the FBI was adamant saying they suspected White Supremacists were behind the killings and one way to flush them out was to make them think they had a friend they could confide in. Hal was to play that role.
Hal went home and within minutes of that meeting - on March 1, 2005 - Hal published a photo of Judge Lefkow beneath a banner headline which read "GOTCHA!"
Hal regretted having to do that and hopes one day to meet with Judge Lefkow, explain why he did what he did and apologize for the hurt such a thing must have caused. The FBI however, was quite pleased. Within two weeks of Hal poking fun at the Lefkow murders, the FBI paid him $3,000.
The paperwork accompanying the pay voucher covers the date range for which Hal was being paid and, among other things, specifically mentions Hal's work in the Lefkow murder case! In justifying the payment to Hal, the FBI paperwork states "there is absolutely nothing illegal or criminal about posting Judges addresses on TURNER'S web site." Hal has the pay voucher to prove this.
Not only did the FBI pay Hal $3,000 but months later, in an annual "Suitability Report" the FBI applauded Hal for his work on the Lefkow case, saying his efforts allowed the FBI to determine the Lefkow murders were NOT related to White Supremacist groups. That report went on to recommend Hal be retained and continue operating for the FBI, going to rallies and performing other tasks.
What's even more astonishing about this situation is that during Hal's criminal trial in December, US Attorneys William Hogan and William Ridgway tried using the Lefkow situation AGAINST Hal to try proving he was a threat! That trial ended in a hung jury which voted 9 to 3 in favor of acquittal. If Hal goes back on trial as scheduled for March 1, the pay voucher and its accompanying paperwork will be introduced as defense evidence. It will prove the FBI paid Hal Turner for what he did against federal judges.
The link to Judge Lefkow's remarks about Hal Turner is here: