By Mike Weland
As Human Rights Day approached, the Boundary County Watchman on Saturday posted Facebook links to “Achtung! Amerikaner – Interview Gordon Kahl and Casey Whalen Discussing Modern Day Stasi State,” a 13 1/2 minute podcast “interview” attempting to make the case that collaboration between northwest human rights organizations and state and federal law enforcement agencies amounts to a disgusting evil on par with Stasi, the Ministry for State Security of East Germany from 1950 to 1990 often likened to Russia’s notorious KGB.
While it doesn’t quite attain even the most basic of normal journalistic standards, the podcast is emblematic of the widening differences in worldview between those who follow “lamestream” news outlets considered enemies of the people by those who choose to get their news from “radical right” sources, considered lies and propaganda by the “liberal vermin.”
It also gives lie to the oft-quoted tropes used by the radical right when pushing to restrict longstanding boundaries, “we’re here to help, we’re here to protect the children.”
They are not.
More appropriate is “we’re here to save you from yourselves,” to normalize their radical points of view and thus make it easier for them to inflict their morals and mindset on communities of the northwest and make of them their very own “redoubt,” a safe haven where they and other conservative Christians can prepare and survive in the wake of the social collapse they prophesy, when banks fail, the power grid goes down, the government declares martial law. Their intent, kept mostly quiet, is a takeover.
“In such times, with a few exceptions, it will only be the God-fearing that will continue to be law-abiding,” wrote James Wesley Rawles in “The American Redoubt – Move to the Mountain States” in proposing the establishment of the American Redoubt just a dozen years ago. “Choose your neighborhood wisely. We’re going to move to completely virgin territory and start afresh … In effect, we’re becoming pistol-packing Amish. People who recognize that they are of the remnant, that they are God’s elect, will in increasing numbers choose to vote with their feet.”
The “virgin territory” he refers to is anything but, yet increasing numbers are certainly voting with their feet as well as at the ballot boxes once they arrive, displacing true Idaho conservatives in offices high and low with a new extreme conservatism bent on pushing the constitution and Democracy aside in favor of fascism.
In the past decade, Idaho has become one of the nation’s fastest growing states, with the majority of those moving here being conservative Republican Christians. Across the nation, Americans are rapidly segregating on the basis of politics, red states growing more red, blue states more blue.
In 28 states, including Idaho, one party, Republican or Democrat, has super majority control, sending policies, liberal or conservative, to extremes. Ask newcomers what brought them to Boundary County and you’re more likely to hear something along the lines of “to be among like-minded people.” That “their way of life” was under assault by liberals where they came from. That they won’t let it happen here.
It’s segregation by ideology, and while many who’ve been here for generations agree with the extreme conservatism, it’s being forced on a majority who were here long before this latest migration who do not.
In addition to driving politics to extremes, political segregation is blurring the line between journalism, “the production and distribution of reports on the interaction of events, facts, ideas, and people that are the ‘news of the day’ and that informs society to at least some degree of accuracy,” and propaganda, “communication that is primarily used to influence or persuade an audience to further an agenda, which may not be objective and may be selectively presenting facts to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, or using loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information that is being presented.”
Under our nation’s constitution, a free press is protected, and there is no distinction as to whether it’s factual news or propaganda that’s produced. The founders had faith that truthful press would prevail, but in times of extreme national divisiveness and discord, as in the time of the Civil War and as is occurring now, the maxim becomes questionable.
The fact that Boundary Watchman Adrienne Norris, a “private citizen not endorsed/authorized/sponsored by any entity or government agency” who runs a free press online at the community level, “working with our local government to ensure transparency according to Idaho Statute 74. -Jeremiah 6:17,” chooses to use her forum to bring attention to this fallacious podcast as if it were news unmistakably helps widen the difference in perception between what’s news and what’s propaganda.
The propaganda campaign is working all too well.
Kahl is likely a pseudonym taken from Gordon Wendell Kahl, an American farmer who is known for being a one-time member of the Posse Comitatus movement and for his involvement in two fatal shootouts with law enforcement officers in the United States in 1983, killed in the second in Mountain Home, Arkansas.
He is the brains behind “Achtung! Amerikaner,” a Nazi-themed propaganda outlet described in its introduction as a “dissident right podcast for fly-over country, including the midwest, the great plains, the rust belt, and other forgotten areas of the US. We cover a variety of topics related to these areas, and hope to one day interview members of the dissident right from every fly-over state to learn more about their situations and, more importantly, what they are doing to prepare themselves and their communities for the harsh days ahead.”
One of those dissident right interviews was with a married Upper Sandusky, Ohio, couple in January, 2023, the two allegedly behind a Nazi homeschooling group boasting thousands of members and distributing “neo-Nazi lesson plans” to transform kids into ‘Wonderful Nazis,'” according to a news report that helped draw the attention of state legislators and school officials.
A reporter contacted Kahl for a comment and got one that was short and not very sweet.
“I think you should kill yourself instead,” he said.
Whalen is from Coeur d’Alene, the videographer and self-proclaimed independent investigative reporter for liberty with about three years’ experience, the brains behind the “North Idaho Exposed” podcast.
He tells Kahl that he saw an LGBTQ Story Hour in Spokane in 2019, and began to understand the “cultural mechanisms being put in place to bring about LGBTQ ideology.” He started researching and found they and “other Marxist” organizations, starting with the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations established around 40 years ago, were already well entrenched in Kootenai County.
Then he recently discovered, he said, that individuals in these nefarious groups routinely work with law enforcement, including the Department of Justice, FBI and Idaho State Police, to report constitutional activity, such as that planned by 31 members of the white nationalist Patriot Front who unpacked from the back of a U-Haul going to a pride event in Coeur d’Alene in June, 2022.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, Patriot Front is a Texas-based white supremacist group formed in 2017, whose estimated 200 members maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it to them alone. They define themselves as American fascists or American nationalists who are focused on preserving America’s identity as a European-American nation.
A central tactic to Patriot Front is “flash demonstrations” – privately planned and unannounced events that allow groups to promote their beliefs while limiting the risk of individual exposure, negative media coverage, arrests and public backlash. These flash demonstrations are mainly orchestrated for a quick photo and video opportunity that is then turned into online content.
Describing them as having a “history of peaceful demonstration,” Whalen said the group, depicted as dangerous rioters, were actually in Coeur d’Alene to speak for strong and healthy families and against the upcoming drag queen dance, their presence a “solid, healthy thing.”
Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White begged to differ.
“It is clear to us based on the gear that the individuals had with them, the stuff they had in their possession and in the U-Haul with them, along with paperwork that was seized from them, that they came to riot downtown,” he said.
Police found at least one smoke grenade in the truck, White said, and paperwork that appeared to show a master plan to riot both at the Pride event and along the main commercial strip of downtown Coeur d’Alene.
All 31 men, hailing from 10 different states, were charged with conspiracy to riot, five were convicted and sentenced to five days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
Whalen contends that the Kootenai County Task Force over the course of years spawned many of the human rights task forces in the area, and that there is a “direct correlation” of this network, now spanning five northwest states, working with law enforcement to encourage the public to report “hate incidences” because “if a hate crime was committed, they can throw on additional charges.”
He alleges it was this cooperation between the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations and law enforcement agencies including the Department of Justice, FBI, Idaho U.S. Attorney and the Idaho State Police that led to the stop of the Patriot Front U-Haul, and that such cooperation is an affront against people’s rights to defend their families, faith, freedom and future. As defined by “People’s Rights” founder Ammon Bundy, “individuals have the right to complete and total control over their life and their property.”
White Christian people in particular.
“Is there anything major at issue?” Kahl asked. “Roving bands of white supremacists or racial hate groups hurting people?”
“They’ve successfully bamboozled the public,” Whalen replied. “Now we’re living in a Stasi state.”
“And there’s never an end to it,” Kahl said. “Never enough. You can never make these people happy. If they think they can get somebody for hate, they go for it no matter what, no matter how benign it is. I don’t know what their end goal is … they never seem to say.”
“They say they promote the constitution, but they also promote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights from the U.N., and we know the constitution and Universal Declaration are not ambiguous, they are like oil and water, promoting human rights while individual rights go right out the window. Freedom of speech is not a universal human right, the right to self defense or second amendment is not a universal human right. It’s interesting how they pick and choose which rights to defend and which time.”
It’s disgusting, he said, that these human right groups, the DOJ, FBI and IRS are working together. “It’s very disgusting and people should speak out against it.”
The Staatssicherheit, Stasi, rose from the ashes of the fascist dictator Adolph Hitler’s dreaded Gestapo and was one of the most hated and feared institutions of the East German communist government. It served as a means of maintaining state authority, the “Shield and Sword of the Party,” primarily through the use of a network of paid civilian informants to spy and report on their neighbors.
The main page of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Rights establishes that they, as with other human rights task forces across the region, support the self-evident truth that all persons are created equal and that the dignity of each Human Being is inviolable.
“We oppose discrimination or the denial of ‘Equal Protection of the Laws’ based upon race, color, religion, creed, gender, age, disability, ethnic origin, sexual orientation or social and/or economic status,” they write. “We further oppose all attempts to promote segregation or separation of the races. We reject the doctrine of white supremacy or any other doctrine that advocates the superiority of one race over another. We pledge to work for the elimination of prejudice and discrimination.”
It’s not coincidental that Whalen says the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Rights has expanded to five states since its inception, those states just happen to coincide with the five northwest states Rawles identified as home to his American Redoubt; Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, eastern Washington and eastern Oregon.
Anyone can run a “free press,” whether it uses ink, as is traditional and expensive, or, in today’s world, pixels, cheap and available to everyone with a device and an internet connection. A press can publish news meant to inform or enlighten or propaganda to indoctrinate and condition. Both are protected in the United States by the first amendment of the constitution. It was assumed that the reader of at least passable intelligence would be able to discern the difference and seek out the truth.
As in Germany in the 1930s, that assumption is facing a grave test in the United States today, and the outcome could well decide if we are to nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.