Well, folks, it's that time again- time for another installment of our "popular" series Turner Tuesday.
In this series, we take a probing look at the white supremacist classic, the Turner Diaries.
This is, to put it mildly, one of the less enjoyable blogging assignments I've ever taken on and, in perfect honesty, has made me keenly aware of the similarity between "blogging" and "flogging."
Change one letter, and yet sometimes it's basically the same goddamned thing.Last time,
as you'll recall, we joined our protaganist, Earl Turner, as he retreived weapons from a secret cache in Pennsylvania. We also witnessed the first open clash between the terrorist "Organization" and the U.S. Government, in which the Government came off rather the worse for wear. Because, you know, a couple of poorly-trained thugs are really a match for the FBI, local police, and
a national guard unit. So, you know, it's nice to see that Pierce
has a firm grasp on reality.
And so, without further delay, let's dive right in.Chapter 4
As this chapter opens we discover that the mind-numbing lectures delivered in chapter 3
are still with us. Specifically, Turner begins this chapter with a thrilling (and by "thrilling" I mean "staggeringly dull") explanation of the clandestine communications system in use by the Organization.
Our plan for setting up the network was simple and straightforward, but actually doing it has required a terrific effort, at least on my part. The difficulties I've had to overcome have emphasized for me once again the fact that even the best-laid plans can be dangerously misleading unless they have built into them a large amount of flexibility to allow for unforeseen problems.
Basically, the network linking all the Organization's units together depends on two modes of communication: human couriers and highly specialized radio transmissions. I'm responsible not only for our own unit's radio receiving equipment but also for the overall maintenance and supervision of the receivers of the eleven other units in the Washington area and the transmitters of Washington Field Command and Unit 9. What really messed up my week was the last-minute decision at WFC to equip Unit 2 with a transmitter too. I had to do the equipping.
The way the network is set up, all communications requiring consultation or lengthy briefing or situation reports are done orally, face-to-face. Now that the telephone company maintains a computerized record of all local calls as well as long-distance calls, and with the political police monitoring so many conversations, telephones are ruled out for our use except in unusual emergencies.
On the other hand, messages of a standard nature, which can be easily and briefly coded, are usually transmitted by radio. The Organization put a great deal of thought into developing a "dictionary" of nearly 800 different, standardized messages, each of which can be specified by a three-digit number.
Thus, at a particular time, the number "2006" might specify the message: "The operation scheduled by Unit 6 is to be postponed until further notice." One person in each unit has memorized the entire message dictionary and is responsible for knowing what the current number coding of the dictionary is at all times. In our unit that person is George.
Actually, it's not as hard as it sounds. The message dictionary is arranged in a very orderly way, and once one has memorized its basic structure it's not too difficult to memorize the whole thing. The number-coding of the messages is randomly shifted every few days, but that doesn't mean that George has to learn the dictionary all over again; he just needs to know the new numerical designation of a single message, and he can then work out the designations for all the others in his head.
Using this coding system allows us to maintain radio contact with good security, using extremely simple and portable equipment. Because our radio transmissions never exceed a second in duration and occur very infrequently, the political police are not likely to get a directional fix on any transmitter or to be able to decode any intercepted message.
So, as is common for Pierce's work, we have less a work of fiction, and more an explanation of terrorist tactics. In this case, we have suggestions to avoid phone calls and personal meetings as much as possible, and to dispense with complicated ciphers (which can be broken) in favor of short messages that require an involved codebook to interpret. Moreover, while the codebook is involved, it should be straightforward enough for one man to memorize. This, as you can guess, improves operational security- as long as none of those message-men have turned against you, your code remains largely unbreakable.
From this inauspicious beginning, Pierce describes the receiving equipment for these coded messages, which amounts to a radio receiver attached to a hand calculator. Now, at this juncture I think it's important to point something out. Pierce is arguing for more or less total reliance on radio communications but, in so doing, he demonstrates a profound lack of understanding for radio. I, as it happens, have an amateur radio license and was a member of both my local civil defense, and disaster response, groups during my time in Florida. Now that I am elsewhere, and without my equipment, my membership is largely irrelevant, but that isn't the point. The point is that I know something about radio communications. One of these things is that given the proper equipment and a trained staff the origin points of even short signals can be determined. This isn't conjecture, either. American Radio Relay League
affiliated clubs often have what is known as a "fox hunt." During these events amateur operators report to the clubhouse with radios, and the materials for making antennas. They then divide into teams and build jury-rigged antennas with which they locate transmitters hidden in the area by the club officers. Now, it's important to realize something: this is being done by a bunch of men who are often drunk off their asses and are using antennas made of everything from aluminum foil to coat hangers. Yet, despite the unconventional nature of the equipment, and questionable skill of the operators, they usually find the transmitters. Does anyone seriously think that sober Federal agents with modern equipment would be worse
at this task than the amateurs? And, considering that the Turner Diaries are set largely in Washington D.C., the U.S. Capital city, I think we can assume that Federal agents and sophisticated gear are plentiful.
For all of Pierce's attempts to lay out instructions for his would-be terrorists, he does a rather poor job of it in spots. An intelligent person might ask what this says about his other technical instructions, but a more intelligent person would go further and question all of his content- not just the technical details. Which begs the question: which sort of person are you?
Moving along, we come to one of the rare instances where Pierce may have caught a glimpse of the future.
One thing on which they are working is a computerized, universal, internal passport system. Every person 12 years or more of age will he issued a passport and will be required, under threat of severe penalties, to carry it at all times. Not only can a person be stopped on the street by any police agent and asked to show his passport, but they have worked out a plan to make the passports necessary for many everyday operations, such as purchasing an airline, bus, or train ticket, registering in a motel or hotel, and receiving any medical service in a hospital or clinic.
All ticket counters, motels, physician's offices, and the like will be equipped with computer terminals linked by telephone lines to a huge, national data bank and computer center. A customer's magnetically coded passport number will routinely be fed into the computer whenever he buys a ticket, pays a bill, or registers for a
service. If there is any irregularity, a warning light will go on in the nearest police precinct station, showing the location of the offending computer terminal-and the unfortunate customer
They've been developing this internal passport system for several years now and have everything worked out in detail. The only reason it hasn't been put into operation has been squawks from civil-liberties groups, who see it as another big step toward a police state-which, of course, it is. But now the System is sure it can override the resistance of the libertarians by using us as an excuse. Anything is permitted in the fight against "racism"!
There are several issues here worth discussing. First, in many ways this vision isn't entirely unreasonable. As it stands now, most people can be tracked relatively easily by their cellphones, debit and credit card usage, and other similar electronic means. The only problem from a government repression standpoint is that this information isn't centralized, but rather is dispersed in multiple institutions. However, this dispersion isn't as significant a hurdle as you might think. Efforts by the GOP
to do something like this with the Patriot Act
are hardly news to anyone, and additional government programs like ECHELON
strongly suggest the impressive information-gathering capabilities of the government. As such, while an overt "passport system" like Pierce suggests is unlikely to appear, that is at least partly because it is unnecessary.
The other issue of note is his parting shot that anything is permissible in the fight against "racism." There are two problems with this. The first is that, quite evidently, not everything is permissible in such a fight. We are long past the date in which Pierce set the Turner Diaries, and we have yet to see significant amounts of repression to reduce racism. While a certain amount of informal pressure, and in some places formal pressure, exists to be "P.C.,"
the extent to which this is backed up by formal law is limited. For the most part this is restricted to harassment
laws of various sorts and hate crime
legislation. While I will be the first one to admit that I've never agreed with the logic of hate crime laws (Either we don't like people killing people or we do- the nature of the person is largely irrelevant) I also have to admit that such regulations don't significantly interfere with most people's lives. Secondly (and this is a somewhat silly point, but only somewhat) why is "racism" in quotes? Racism
quite nicely sums up what Pierce does, indeed, advocate and as such is a perfectly appropriate term to use here. The quotes are a meaningless attempt to make the term's usage seem inappropriate when, in fact, it's entirely justified.
In any case, after discussing the passport issue, Pierce lays it aside and discusses a new mission for his protaganist: he must travel into Maryland to fix the transceiver being used by another terrorist cell. As you might expect, this goes only so well.
Unit 2 is reasonably close to two other units, but all three are inconveniently far from the other nine Washington-area units- and especially from Unit 9, which was the only unit with a transmitter for contacting WFC. Because of this, WFC had decided to give Unit 2 a transmitter, but they hadn't been able to make it work.
The reason for their difficulty became obvious as soon as they ushered me into their kitchen, where their transmitter, an automobile storage battery, and some odds and ends of wire were spread out on a table. Despite the explicit instructions which I had prepared to go with each transmitter, and despite the plainly visible markings beside the terminals on the transmitter case, they had managed to connect the battery to the transmitter with the wrong polarity.
I sighed and got a couple of their fellows to help me bring in my equipment from the car. First I checked their battery and found it to be almost completely discharged. I told them to put the battery on the charger while I checked out the transmitter. Charger? What charger, they wanted to know? They didn't have one!
Because of the uncertainty of the availability of electrical power from the lines these days, all our communications equipment is operated from storage batteries which are trickle-charged from the lines. This way we are not subject to the power blackouts and brownouts which have become a weekly, if not daily, phenomenon in recent years.
Just as with most other public facilities in this country, the higher the price of electricity has zoomed, the less dependable it has become. In August of this year, for example, residential electrical service in the Washington area was out completely for an average total of four days, and the voltage was reduced by more than 15 per cent for an average total of 14 days.
The government keeps holding hearings and conducting investigations and issuing reports about the problem, but it just keeps getting worse. None of the politicians are willing to face the real issues involved here, one of which is the disastrous effect Washington's Israel-dominated foreign policy during the last two decades has had on America's supply of foreign oil.
This passage is interesting in that it implies that Pierce's Aryan supermen are too stupid to follow simple directions, but this is of course passed off with a sigh. Doubtless if it had been African-American characters with this problem, we would have been treated to a lengthy discussion of their natural inability to use electronics. I'm just as happy we got to miss that. Before we can dwell too much on stupid white people, though, we are treated to another discussion of the corruption running rampant in the U.S. Government of Pierce's dreams, and the blame for it is placed squarely on the shoulders of Israel. Now, on the one hand, U.S. aid to Israel is substantial
and this has alienated a number of Arab states, and Israel hasn't always been the best ally,
but the logic here is bizarre in the extreme. Pierce seems to be arguing that being dependent on foreign oil is just fine, so long as Jews aren't involved. I have few doubts, given Pierce's beliefs about African-Americans and Jews both, that were the situation different he would be criticizing the government for relying upon Arabs. Sorry, Pierce, but you don't get to bitch about everything.
Now, I said earlier that the description of Unit 2 seemed to demonstrate a flaw in Pierce's supermen but, as it happens, he's got that covered:
I wondered how such an inept and unresourceful group of people were going to survive as an underground unit. It seems that they were all people that the Organization decided would not be suited for guerrilla activities and had lumped together in one unit. Four of them are writers from the Organization's publications department, and they are carrying on their work at the farm, turning out copy for propaganda pamphlets and leaflets. The other four are acting only in a supporting role, keeping the place supplied with food and other needs.
So, the problem isn't that they're useless, but rather that their uses are a little different from Turner's. I'm so relieved. This also continues to drive home a point that Pierce makes frequently- it isn't enough to just kill people you don't like. You have to also tell a story about it. So, propaganda is now, and will remain, a key theme in the Turner Diaries.
Despite the incompetence of Unit 2, and Turner managing to drop a battery on his own foot, our intrepid terrorist eventually manages to return to his own hideout and is taken care of by the lovely Katherine. At some point during their conversation Turner dozes off but, really, I suspect his falling asleep at inconvenient moments is something that Katherine is just going to have to get used to.
And if you think that's a cheap shot, then read this:
I undressed, got a towel, and opened the door to the shower. And there was Katherine, wet, naked, and lovely, standing under the bare light bulb and drying herself. She looked at me without surprise and said nothing.
I stood there for a moment and then, instead of apologizing and closing the door again, I impulsively held out my arms to Katherine. Hesitantly, she stepped toward me. Nature took her course.
We lay in bed for a long while afterward and talked. It was the first time I have really talked to Katherine, alone. She is an affectionate, sensitive, and very feminine girl beneath the cool, professional exterior she has always maintained in her work for the Organization.
There is much absurdity to enjoy here. First, the notion that Turner didn't realize the shower was occupied. It seems more than a bit unreasonable to think, given the quarters, that he wouldn't have knocked first, or heard her in the shower. Secondly, there's the comment that "Nature took her course." What is "natural" is a major theme in the Turner Diaries but, as always, Pierce has a funny view of natural. Unless humans have no more control over their mating than dogs (Which are known for having amorous intentions in regards to people's legs) I don't think what happened can be summed up as "nature taking her course." Finally, Katherine is described as really being a soft, gentle, feminine person beneath her psycho terrorist exterior. I may not speak for all men, but I think many of us can attest that the layers usually go the other way. Slag- help me out here.
I am, of course, not
referring to my Sainted Girlfriend here, but rather to certain other individuals I have had the misfortune of dating.
The point of all this, though, is that Pierce must emphasize that Katherine is a "real woman," meaning soft and delicate. Since he not only envisions a hierarchy among the races, with white people on top, but also a hierarchy among the sexes, with men on top, his actions here are absolutely necessary. Sorry, girls- even after the Aryan revolution, you're still going to be second-class citizens.
We also finally get to learn a bit about Katherine's past:
Four years ago, before the Gun Raids, she was a Congressman's secretary. She lived in a Washington apartment with another girl who also worked on Capitol Hill. One evening when Katherine came home from work she found her apartment mate's body lying in a pool of blood on the floor. She had been raped and killed by a Negro intruder.
That's why Katherine bought a pistol and kept it even after the Cohen Act made gun ownership illegal. Then, along with nearly a million others, she was swept up in the Gun Raids of 1989. Although she had never had any previous contact with the Organization, she met George in the detention center they were both held in after being arrested.
Katherine had been apolitical. If anyone had asked her, during the time she was working for the government or, before that, when she was a college student, she would have probably said she was a "liberal. " But she was liberal only in the mindless, automatic way that most people are. Without really thinking about it or trying to analyze it, she superficially accepted the unnatural ideology peddled by the mass media and the government. She had none of the bigotry, none of the guilt and self-hatred that it takes to make a really committed, full-time liberal.
After the police released them, George gave her some books on race and history and some Organization publications to read. For the first time in her life she began thinking seriously about the important racial, social, and political issues at the root of the day's problems.
She learned the truth about the System's "equality" hoax. She gained an understanding of the unique historical role of the Jews as the ferment of decomposition of races and civilizations. Most important, she began acquiring a sense of racial identity, overcoming a lifetime of brainwashing aimed at reducing her to an isolated human atom in a cosmopolitan chaos.
She had lost her Congressional job as a consequence of her arrest, and, about two months later she went to work for the Organization as a typist in our publications department. She is smart and a hard worker, and she was soon advanced to proofreader and then to copy editor. She wrote a few articles of her own for Organization publications, mostly exploring women's roles in the movement and in the larger society, and just last month she was named editor of a new Organization quarterly directed specifically toward women.
And, so, we're treated to another lengthy stretch of unsupported accusation. The intruder who killed Katherine's roommate was, of course, African-American and, of course, subsequently Katherine learned the "truth" about Jews and history. I have a difficult time refuting any of this, insofar as Pierce makes no actual points. I might as easily say, "I learned the truth about William Luther Pierce two years ago- he is a compulsive masturbator whose writings will result in the downfall of the Sizzler
restaurant chain." There we go- I'm now on an equal footing with the Turner Diaries and, of course, I feel dirty as a result.
Finally, to end out the chapter, we reach a sort of cliffhanger: the future activities of our terrorist "heroes:"
Apparently Revolutionary Command has decided to take the offensive against the political police before they arrest too many more of our "legals" or finish setting up their computerized passport system.
George was given the word after he was summoned by WFC for a second briefing yesterday. A man from Unit 8 was also at yesterday's briefing. Unit 8 will be assisting us.
The plan, roughly, is this: Unit 8 will secure a large quantity of explosives-between five and ten tons. Our unit will hijack a truck making a legitimate delivery to the FBI headquarters, rendezvous at a location where Unit 8 will be waiting with the explosives, and switch loads. We will then drive into the FBI building's freight-receiving area, set the fuse, and leave the truck.
While Unit 8 is solving the problem of the explosives, we have to work out all the other details of the assignment, including a determination of the FBI's freight-delivery schedules and procedures. We have been given a ten-day deadline.
My job will be the design and construction of the mechanism of the bomb itself.
And so, very soon, we will get to see Turner begin waging war on the government, rather than simply talking about it.
This brings us to the conclusion of yet another chapter of the Turner diaries. So far we've been introduced to a corrupt United States, have met the racists-with-hearts-of-gold, and have received an excruciating introduction to terrorist tactics.
Join us next time when Turner finally helps murder many, many innocent people. And if that's not enough for you, return for when Turner's new-found love shows him who the boss really is: "...Katherine made me strip and hosed me down in the service pit before she would even let me go upstairs..."
Soft and feminine my ass.
See you next time.