Total Drek

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Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Turner Tuesday Volume V

Despite the rather lengthy hiatus, which was doubtless viewed with considerable pleasure by regular readers, it's now time for us to once more embark upon that semi-regular feature here at Total Drek: Turner Tuesday. This is, of course, our ongoing attempt to dissect and understand the infamous Turner Diaries, written by White Supremacist, and all around fun guy William Pierce.

As you might recall, last time our protaganist, Earl Turner, was living underground with the rest of his terrorist cell. So far they've acquired monetary resources through petty theft and murder, located a new hideout, recovered their secret cache of weaponry, and gotten laid. Well, not all of them- Earl has gotten laid because his co-combatant, Katherine, has apparently taken a shine to him. Apparently she finds a catastrophic lack of critical thinking skills to be quite arousing. We also learned last time that Turner's unit, which I will henceforth refer to as the "FluffBunnies," has been ordered to carry out a strike against the U.S. government. Thus, we finally get to see some actual terrorism instead of just Turner talking about terrorism.

Chapter Five

As has become standard since chapter three this chapter of the Turner Diaries opens with Turner giving us a lecture on terrorist tactics. (As a side note: try saying this three times fast- "Turner tells of terrorist tactics.") Specifically he is discussing how a potential insurgent might go about setting up a collection of alarms to warn them of the arrival of the authorities. Seeing as how the FluffBunnies are somewhat unpopular with the government, they see these defenses as quite necessary.

Along both sides and the back of the building I buried a row of pressure-sensitive pads, which are wired to a light and an alarm buzzer inside. The pads are the sort which are often installed under doormats inside stores to signal the arrival of a customer They consist of two-foot-long metal strips sealed inside a flexible plastic sheet, and they are waterproof. Covered with an inch of soil they are undetectable, but they will signal us if anyone steps on the ground above them.

This method could not be used in front of our building, because nearly all the ground there is covered by the concrete driveway and parking area. After considering and rejecting an ultrasonic detector for the front, I settled on a photoelectric beam between two steel fence posts on either side of the concrete area.

In order to keep the light source and photocell unnoticeable, it was necessary to place them inside the fence post on one side, with a very small and inconspicuous reflector mounted on the other. I had to drill several holes in one post, and quite a bit of tinkering was necessary to make everything work properly.

Katherine was a big help with this, carefully adjusting the reflector while I lined up the light and photocell. It was also at her suggestion that I changed the alarm system inside the building, so that it not only warns us at the instant an intruder steps on one of the pressure-sensitive pads or interrupts the light beam, but it also turns on an electric clock in the garage. This way we will know whether someone has been around while we were all out of the building-and we will know when.


Thus, we are given a lesson in how to secure your potential terrorist compound against intruders. The preceding is quite a practical guide as well, though it does perhaps miss one crucial detail: Why exactly is Turner taking such care to conceal his photoelectric detectors? After all, detectors of this sort have become ubiquitous, so why should he take such pains to hide them? Well, as it happens, there are two reasons. First, since their hideout is being leased illegally, the presence of obvious security technology would, itself, be suspicious. Second, since Turner is attempting to defend against deliberate police raids as well as accidental discovery, concealment is desirable. That Pierce didn't point both of these facts out either means that he considers the reasoning too elementary to bear repeating or, more likely, his constant monologues on tactics bore the fuck out of even him. I find this second interpretation pleasing, in that it means that he might have suffered from the process of writing this book almost as much as I'm suffering from reading it.

Following the description of the security devices, Turner also describes the beginnings of an escape tunnel for the FluffBunnies. Pierce understands the need for an escape tunnel, since no terrorist organization can count on remaining undetected, and this sequence neatly ties our current "plot" into an earlier chapter. Specifically, it explains how the Chicago cell of the "Organization" was able to escape a police raid in chapter three. This is, admittedly, a clever rhetorical trick on Pierce's part because it seems to show how regular people can accomplish the seemingly-magical stunt described in earlier chapters. In reality, of course, escaping a major police raid undetected is more of a challenge than Pierce would have us believe, but you have to admire his ability to sling the bullshit.

From there, Turner goes on to discuss the ongoing operation to destroy the FBI building. As you might recall, the FluffBunnies had been assigned the task of destroying the building with resources provided by other terrorist cells. What we get in the first part of this section of the chapter is a discussion of bomb making and deployment:

The people in Unit 8 had planned to raid a supply shed in one of the areas where the Washington subway system is being extended, but they didn't have any luck at all until yesterday- and then not much. They were only able to steal two cases of blasting gelatin, and one case wasn't even full. Less than 100 pounds.

But that solved my problem, at least. The blasting gelatin is sensitive enough to be initiated by one of my homemade lead azide detonators, and 100 pounds of it will be more than sufficient to detonate the main charge, when and if Unit 8 finds more explosives, regardless of what they are or how they are packaged.

I packed about four pounds of the blasting gelatin into an empty applesauce can, primed it, placed the batteries and timing mechanism in the top of the can, and wired them to a small toggle switch on the end of a 20-foot extension cord. When we load the truck with explosives, the can will go in back, on top of the two cases of blasting gelatin. We'll have to poke small holes in the walls of the trailer and the cab to run the extension cord and the switch into the cab.

Either George or Henry-probably Henry-will drive the truck into the freight-receiving area inside the FBI building. Before he gets out of the cab he will flip the switch, starting the timer. Ten minutes later the explosives will go off. If we're lucky, that will be the end of the FBI building-and the government's new three-billion-dollar computer complex for their internal-passport system.


This section is interesting for two reasons. First, it neatly describes some of the practical aspects of bomb-making: fuses, initiators, starter charges, and main charges. This is key because these simple ideas can make a backyard insurgency much more successful and, oddly, many people never seem to think of them on their own. The idea of a starter charge, for example, is often overlooked despite the fact that they are necessary in some of the biggest weapons ever produced by humankind. Hell, a hydrogen bomb uses an entire atomic weapon as a trigger, so this approach has a distinguished, and morbid, history. The second point to be taken from Pierce's discussion of bomb making, however, deals less with what he does say, and more with what he doesn't: that amateur bomb making is an exceedingly dangerous practice. As we know from insurgencies in Northern Ireland, Israel, and even in the United States, it isn't uncommon for terrorist bomb makers to blow themselves up while building their devices. Yet, Pierce's protaganist doesn't even mention this very real risk. This is part of Pierce's consistent pattern of trying to build up his readers' desire to emulate the book as well as their beliefs about their own probable success in doing so. As usual, Pierce misrepresents the likelihood of failure. In combination, what we have is a piece of outstanding propaganda.

After a brief discussion of national identification cards and the use of "controlling illegal immigration," as an excuse for them, Pierce goes on to explain some of the further ideology for armed rebellion against the United States government. This discussion of ideology is made necessary by the impending attack on the government. I mean, so far all the FluffBunnies have done is murder innocent people, but now that they're about to begin serious operations, Pierce needs to make sure his readers remain convinced of the terrorists' virtue. This section is so interesting, and so full of code words, that we need to go through it bit by bit. It starts as follows:

If the freedom of the American people were the only thing at stake, the existence of the Organization would hardly be justified. Americans have lost their right to be free. Slavery is the just and proper state for a people who have grown as soft, self-indulgent, careless, credulous, and befuddled as we have.

Indeed, we are already slaves. We have allowed a diabolically clever, alien minority to put chains on our souls and our minds. These spiritual chains are a truer mark of slavery than the iron chains which are yet to come.


This section is basically the setup for what is to come- it hooks the reader in by explaining that we are all already subjugated in our own minds. That we are not subjugated in body is, therefore, irrelevant. But how are we subjugated? Who has subjugated us? What is the "diabolically clever alien minority," that Pierce refers to? The answers are, of course, coming.

Why didn't we rebel 35 years ago, when they took our schools away from us and began converting them into racially mixed jungles? Why didn't we throw them all out of the country 50 years ago, instead of letting them use us as cannon fodder in their war to subjugate Europe?


This passage refers to two things: education and war. The education part refers to the Brown v. Board of Education ruling by the Supreme Court that ended the era of separate but equal education in this country. That this made schools "jungles" is quite the overstatement, but let's at least make sure we're clear about what is being said. But then, what about this war he refers to? Well, that would be World War II and the United States was, according to Pierce, the one doing the subjugating. I'm quite certain that Europeans in general and our own European Correspondent in particular might have a great deal to say about this. It's important to remember at this juncture that the Nazis under Hitler are the idols of Pierce, rather than fanatics and their insane dictator.

More to the point, why didn't we rise up three years ago, when they started taking our guns away? Why didn't we rise up in righteous fury and drag these arrogant aliens into the streets and cut their throats then? Why didn't we roast them over bonfires at every street-corner in America? Why didn't we make a final end to this obnoxious and eternally pushy clan, this pestilence from the sewers of the East, instead of meekly allowing ourselves to be disarmed?


Here we have, once more, the hysterical claim that our guns are being taken away. As nothing could be further from the truth, and because I've addressed this point previously I see no need to go into it again. What I will address is the added detail in here about the alien "enemy." This enemy who is "from the sewers of the East," and is referred to as an "obnoxious and eternally pushy clan," who might they be? Well, if you guessed Jews, you're right. As always, Pierce blames Jews for all the troubles of the U.S. without, you'll notice, any supporting evidence. Instead, as always, all we have is rhetoric and propaganda. Well, you know, that's enough to justify genocide, right?

The answer is easy. We would have rebelled if all that has been imposed on us in the last 50 years had been attempted at once. But because the chains that bind us were forged imperceptibly, link by link, we submitted.

The adding of any single, new link to the chain was never enough for us to make a big fuss about. It always seemed easier -and safer-to go along. And the further we went, the easier it was to go just one step further.

One thing the historians will have to decide-if any men of our race survive to write a history of this era-is the relative importance of deliberation and inadvertence in converting us from a society of free men to a herd of human cattle.


So, Pierce basically says we've come to folly because we ever compromised on anything. That is a simply wonderful attitude to have in a democracy and leads us to wonder further about the type of government he wants his white supremacist terrorists to build. Here's a hint: it starts with "D" and ends with "tatorship." Interestingly, though, Pierce is probably right about the best way to enslave a previously free society- with progressive small reductions in freedoms. This is, of course, why there has been such heated opposition to the Patriot Act.

After rambling on a bit about our "spiritually debilitating lifestyle," Pierce finally arrives at his main point:

The Enemy we are fighting fully intends to destroy the racial basis of our existence.

No excuse for our failure will have any meaning, for there will be only a swarming horde of indifferent, mulatto zombies to hear it. There will be no White men to remember us-either to blame us for our weakness or to forgive us for our folly.

If we fail, God's great Experiment will come to an end, and this planet will once again, as it did millions of years ago, move through the ether devoid of higher man.


And so we come to the end- Pierce's explanation that the "enemy" is attempting to destroy all "white men" and, in so doing, end the reign of "higher man" on Earth. This is, in a word, heinous. To assert that only white people constitute higher forms of hominid life is to employ the crudest possible understanding of evolutionary theory. Moreover, accepting this argument of racial war and white supremacy is to justify nothing less than genocide. Are any of us really prepared for that on the flimsy "evidence" of Pierce's poorly-written fiction? Fuck, I hope not.

Now, let's look at the above excerpts again, but with the flowery language deleted:

If the freedom of the American people were the only thing at stake, the existence of the Organization white supremacist terrorists would hardly be justified. Americans have lost their right to be free. Slavery is the just and proper state for a people who have grown as soft, self-indulgent, careless, credulous, and befuddled pluralistic as we have.

Indeed, we are already slaves. We have allowed a diabolically clever, alien minority Jews to put chains on our tolerance and reason in our souls and our minds. These spiritual chains lessons are a truer mark of slavery than the iron chains which are yet to come.

Why didn't we rebel 35 years ago, when they the Supreme Court took our schools away from us and began converting them into racially mixed jungles upheld the Constitution? Why didn't we throw them the Jews all out of the country 50 years ago, instead of letting them use us as cannon fodder fighting in their our war to subjugate Europe defeat Hitler?

More to the point, why didn't we rise up three years ago, when they the government started taking our guns away mandating a waiting period before purchasing a lethal device? Why didn't we rise up in righteous fury and drag these arrogant aliens Jews into the streets and cut their throats then? Why didn't we roast them the Jews over bonfires at every street-corner in America? Why didn't we make a final end to this obnoxious and eternally pushy clan ethnic group, this pestilence from the sewers of the East, instead of meekly allowing ourselves to be disarmed?

The answer is easy. We would have rebelled if all that has been imposed on us in the last 50 years had been attempted at once. But because the chains that bind us were forged imperceptibly, link by link, we submitted.

The adding of any single, new link to the chain was never enough for us to make a big fuss about. It always seemed easier -and safer-to go along. And the further we went, the easier it was to go just one step further.

One thing the historians will have to decide-if any men of our race white men survive to write a history of this era-is the relative importance of deliberation and inadvertence in converting us from a society of free men bigots to a herd body of human cattle reasonable people.

...

The Enemy people we are fighting fully intends to destroy the racial basis of our existence marry us and have children with us.

No excuse for our failure will have any meaning, for there will be only a swarming horde of indifferent, mulatto zombies people to hear it. There will be no White men to remember us-either to blame us for our weakness or to forgive us for our folly.

If we fail, God's great Experiment will come to an end, and this planet will once again, as it did millions of years ago, move through the ether devoid of higher man white people.


I trust my point is clear?

In any case, after this half-assed philosophical justification, we're back to the impending attack on the FBI. The remainder of the chapter, despite being somewhat lengthy, is really not interesting enough to discuss. Feel free to read it if you want, but it basically just explains that they feel compelled to destroy the FBI building as soon as possible, and that they're lacking enough explosives to go with their original plan. This does serve to set up the normal "white supremacists triumph despite all odds" theme that Pierce adores so much, but isn't worth discussing.

What is worth mentioning, though, is the composition of the weapon that's going to be used on the FBI building:

Instead, what we have is a little under 5,000 pounds [of explosives], and nearly all of that is ammonium nitrate fertilizer, which is much less effective than TNT for our purpose.

...

...Unit 8 made a night raid on a farm-supply warehouse near Fredericksburg, about 50 miles south of here. They found no explosives, as such, but did find some ammonium nitrate, which they cleaned out: forty-four 100-lb. bags of the stuff.

Sensitized with oil and tightly confined, it makes an effective blasting agent, where the aim is simply to move a quantity of dirt or rock. But our original plan for the bomb called for it to be essentially unconfined and to be able to punch through two levels of reinforced-concrete flooring while producing an open-air blast wave powerful enough to blow the facade off a massive and strongly constructed building.


Some of you are already realizing why this is interesting. For those who aren't I'll explain: Turner is basically describing the explosive device used in the Oklahoma City bombing. This is relevant for two reasons. First, it shows just how much impact this book might well have had on Ameircan radical groups. Secondly, however, it drives home the lie of Pierce's message. The Oklahoma City bombing was not a blow for freedom, or a moment that galvanized a disgruntled America- it was cold-blooded murder of innocent people. No revolution emerged, no popular resistance. Instead, the bomber was caught and executed, and life went on.

As we will see next time, this operation of the FluffBunnies will go forward and, sadly, we'll notice even more similarities to Oklahoma City.

So where are we? We've received a set of twisted philosophies, been introduced to still more terrorist tactics, and have impending bloodshed waiting for us in the next chapter. Goodie.

Join us next time when Pierce's writing takes an ominous, and rather noticeable, turn for the worse: "An instant later the blast wave hit us-a deafening 'ka-whoomp,'"

"Ka-Whoomp," indeed. Until then...

As a personal note, I just want to be honest with y'all about something. I am finding it increasingly difficult to continue writing this series. It isn't because I'm having dreams about becoming a white supremacist- I mean, I'm not. It also isn't because of the disgusting content of this novel. It's pretty wretched but, frankly, I'm somewhat fascinated by the dark parts of human nature (explaining my interest in religious thinking) and thus am not unduly repelled. No, my problem stems from that fact that this has to be the most boring goddamn book I've ever read. Seriously, people, I've read Ayn Rand and Dan Brown for crying out loud, so I know bad writing. I'm just saying, don't blame me if I need a few weeks off between each installment. I can only take so much.

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