Gun Blogger Convicted of Death Threats to Chicago Judges

“Let me be the first to say this plainly,” Internet radio guy Hal Turner blogged back in ’09. “These Judges deserve to be killed.” These judges: Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook and Judges Richard Posner and William Bauer of the Chicago-based 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Their crime: they refused to overturn handgun bans in Chicago and suburban Oak Park, which were later struck down by the United States Supreme Court. The kicker? Turner published the judges’ photos, telephone numbers and addresses. At his trial, Turner sprung a surprise defense, as reported by . . .

In an investigative report last November, based on FBI documents, The Record outlined Turner’s secret FBI role in infiltrating the same groups who were drawn to his radio show and blog.  Besides neo-Nazis, Turner said he made contact with the Ku Klux Klan and the Aryan Nation.

In more than two hours of testimony before lunch, Turner described how he was recruited in 2003 by the FBI’s Newark-based Joint Terrorism Task Force. He said he was paid “in excess of $100,000” by the FBI during his almost five years as an informant.

After the husband and mother of Chicago-based U.S. District Court Judge Joan Lefkow were murdered in 2005, Turner said the FBI asked him to “ratchet up the rhetoric” on his radio show in an attempt to “flush out” the killer. As it turned out, Lefkow’s husband and mother were not murdered by right-wing extremists but by a man who was disgruntled with one of her rulings.

Never mind. Turner now faces a decade behind bars.

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