Fair and Balanced? Death Threats Hit Prominent Political Columnists
Fair and Balanced?: Death Threats Hit Prominent Political Columnists
by Todd Brendan Fahey
February 13, 2006
James Hall publishes as "SARTRE" throughout the Web. Perhaps the most prolific right-wing columnist on the 'net, he keeps to himself in private life. Long retired as a political strategist, Hall is no longer a believer in organized politics--though very much still a believer in and spokesman for Jeffersonian anti-federalist, limited government ideology.
And so he was surprised to answer his unlisted phone number on January 30th, to the question that was asked three times in succession: "Is this SARTRE?" (His response each time: "Who is calling?"). Finally, the caller shouted, "We know who you are!", followed by a death threat that he has divulged only to the New York state police department in his area, which he alerted immediately.
Says Hall, "No one calls for Sartre on my home phone number."
The *64 function on his phone brought back a Toronto, Canada phone number (416-785-4574) owned by Dr. Laurence B. Shiff, 327 Cortleigh Boulevard, Toronto, Ontario MSN 1R2 CA. Friends assisted Hall in some Google sleuthing, and which reveals Dr. Shiff an officer of the Kaspu Corporation. When relaying the events to longtime SARTRE publisher Jeff Rense, Rense said: "That's the same number I've been getting threats from, and two of my other writers."
The morning of Hall's telephone death threat, he had published an incendiary piece titled "Hamas, Israel and the United States," [http://batr.org/gulag/013006.html], which went 'net-wide and which, later in the week, resulted in his being dropped from New Media Alliance--ostensibly, a start-up conservative news bureau. The article calls for a complete severing of the "USrael alliance," as a danger to American citizens and an affront to the Constitution.
Two weeks before the threat received by James Hall, fellow Rense.com writer Kurt Nimmo closed down his blog entirely, citing an inability to reconcile death threats received, his publishing life and the safety of his family ("Zionist Death Threats: Nimmo Closes Down Blog," http://www.rense.com/general69/goned.htm).
"The primary reason I have decided to stop posting the blog has to do with threats. I have received many of them, including death threats. Usually, I am able to brush aside threats, since most are not of a serious nature, but lately I have received several that are not to be taken lightly, especially considering the fact somebody has taken the liberty to post my address and telephone number (information easily attained from the domain registry) in various places on the internet. First and foremost, I have a responsibility to my family and posting political commentary obviously comes in a distant second."
On February 2, Rense.com writer Jim Mortellaro received calls from the same Toronto, Canada phone number: "Beginning three days ago, two more so-called 'men' began their tirade on this writer. Like the first person, they informed me that I was a Rense supporter and that makes me an anti-Semite. Me. Of all people, with a Jewish side to our family in which 2.15% survived the camps. That would be two out of 93 human beings. You picked the wrong person, guys. ...I now have his name and address. The man lives in Toronto. He is the son of a (I won't go there, not to worry), he is a member of a very wealthy family there, with interest in (major interest) in a very large corporation." ("Zionist Threats and Harrassment Continue," http://rense.com/general69/cpontn.htm)
Mortellaro received the call on his cell phone, which, as he writes: "is extremely hard to obtain. You must have the *authority* to do so and that authority must be high up the food chain. So, whomever called, did so from a "restricted telephone number" and had *access* to cellphone numbers and their owners. A 'restricted' telephone number, being different from a 'restricted call,' makes the case for a governmental, institutional or large and powerful company as having made the call."
Messrs. Hall, Rense, Nimmo and Mortellaro are now coordinating efforts--with state police, FBI and Canadian authorities--for to bring about a Federal investigation. Each writer has been critical in their writings of US/Israeli entanglements; each has received death threats from the same phone source--which has now been identified. All manner of "special interest groups" have been protected from harrassment and seen perpetrators punished. That this group is comprised of prominent writers who hold what are undoubtedly unpopular beliefs, in the eyes of mainstream media and probably within Washington D.C., will prove a test case for the law being "fair and balanced."
Todd Brendan Fahey has served as aide to former Congressman John B. Conlan, former Arizona Governor Evan Mecham, to CIA officer Theodore L. Humes and to the late Defense Intelligence Agency chief, Lt. General Daniel O. Graham.
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