By Hilary White

WASHINGTON, June 12, 2009 ( – The online ravings of the man who shot and killed a security guard in Washington’s Holocaust Memorial Museum on June 10th show that he does not fit the description of the “right wing” or “conservative Christian” extremist that has been portrayed in the liberal mainstream media since the shooting. 

In one of many online tirades, the shooter, 88 year-old James von Brunn wrote, “Christianity and the Holocaust are hoaxes. ‘Christianity’ destroyed Roman Civilization. The ‘Holocaust’ Religion is destroying Western Civilization.” Between them, he said, they destroyed the “Aryan gene pool.”

He wrote, “socialism represents the future of the West.”

Before he was stopped, von Brunn, a white supremacist and neo-Nazi, killed Stephen T. Johns, a 39 year-old security officer at the museum. Von Brunn was well known to federal authorities for his long history of violence and extreme anti-Semitic views.

Von Brunn entered the Holocaust Memorial Museum on Washington’s National Mall carrying a .22-caliber rifle and shot Johns at close range. He is in critical condition after being shot by two other security officers and is facing charges of murder and weapons violations. The FBI is also investigating possible civil-rights and hate-crimes charges.

Von Brunn wrote that he believed Christianity is a cult created by St. Paul and proliferated by Jews. Christianity’s set of “dangerous, imbecilic, concepts, tenets, and teachings, often treasonous, destroyed the Roman Empire and drenched the soil of Europe with Aryan blood for almost 2000 years!”

Left-leaning news media in the US have pounced on the shooting, blaming it on the proliferation of “hate” and “divisiveness” brought about by the political and religious conservatism of the Bush administration. Pundits were quick to link the Holocaust Museum shooting with the killing of late-term abortionist George Tiller, as evidence of the kind of “right wing extremism” identified as a threat to national security in a government report in April by the Department of Homeland Security.

Michelle Kraus, in an editorial in the Huffington Post, wrote, “Hate is out of control in the post Bush years.”

“The Bush years,” Kraus wrote, “are the gift that keeps on giving. They were masters of the message deeply infiltrating the culture with seeds of fear and hate … Every major issue facing this country has been tarnished by their polarizing messaging—whether it is climate crisis legislation, nuclear proliferation, Mid East peace, stem cell research and treatment, women's reproductive rights, health care reform, or gay marriage.”

Martin Sieff wrote for UPI, “[Von Brunn’s] attack came not long after a doctor who performed late-term abortions was killed in Wichita, Kan., allegedly by a man with anti-abortion-rights beliefs … It is ironic that the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano were all severely criticized recently for an internal report that listed right-wing extremism as a likely source of terrorist violence.”

But efforts by the left to paint Von Brunn as a “right wing extremist” ignore the evidence that the shooter was not a “conservative,” but a self-admitted “Aryan” socialist who hated Christianity and America’s conservative political class as well as the Jews. Ben Johnson, Managing Editor of FrontPage Magazine, noted von Brunn’s own internet rants against Christians and “neo-cons” as part of a vast Jewish conspiracy to undermine the white race.

Von Brunn’s confused racist fanaticism and conspiracy-laden views defy reasonable political classification, said Ben Smith, writing for the Politico website. Smith noted that after the shooting, two FBI agents had visited the offices of the Weekly Standard, a popular US conservative political magazine, and told staff the magazine’s address had been found on a piece of paper associated with von Brunn, and asked whether the Standard had received any threats. 

Smith writes that von Brunn’s “white supremacist roots put him under the rubric of a ‘right-wing extremist,’ but the substance of his views … are too far on the fringe to fit into conventional political classification.”

Read related coverage:

Homeland Security Pulls Report Calling Pro-Life Activism Sign of Violent “Rightwing Extremism”


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