U. S. neo-Nazi indicted for Web threats

National Post, Canada/December 12, 2008

A U. S. neo-Nazi has been indicted over threats against Ottawa lawyer Richard Warman, whose successful fight against hate speech on the Internet has angered right-wing extremists.

Bill White, a Virginia white supremacist and self-styled "commander" of the American National Socialist Workers Party, was charged yesterday with seven counts related to threats against five people.

The indictment accuses Mr. White of posting the home address of a Canadian lawyer identified only as RW on the Internet, and writing that he should be "drug out into the street and shot ... it won't be hard to do."

Writing on his Internet site, overthrow.com, Mr. White also allegedly said RW "is an enemy, not just of the white race, but of all humanity, and he must be killed. Find him at home and let him know you agree."

Mr. White was charged with knowingly transmitting interstate communications containing a threat to injure RW. The National Post has confirmed that the RW referred to in the indictment is Mr. Warman.

A former employee of the Canadian Human Rights Commission, Mr. Warman has initiated scores of complaints with the commission as well as lawsuits over Internet postings, many by far-right extremists.

His complaints have resulted in hefty fines but they also made him a target of Mr. White, whose Web site has been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as the second-most-popular racist site on the Internet.

Apparently anticipating the case could draw fire from free-speech advocates, the Acting U. S. Attorney, Julia Dudley, told reporters "this case will not serve as a referendum on freedom of speech.

"The case is about innocent people being threatened, intimidated and extorted by a man that in most cases, they don't know and have never met," she said.

She said Mr. White has the right to express himself but "he does not have the right to threaten to injure, intimidate and extort innocent people. He must now face justice for confusing criminal activity with freedom of speech."

Threats against Bernie Farber, the CEO of the Canadian Jewish Congress, have also appeared on overthrow.com but Mr. White was not charged over them.

"This case has been long in the making," said Mr. Farber, who has received several threats from neo-Nazis during his career. "We've been dealing with it for three years. It has caused tremendous concerns for people like me and Richard Warman, who were specifically threatened by him and the fact that he's behind bars is a good thing for justice in both Canada and the United States."

The incidents referred to in the indictment allegedly took place between 2006 and 2008, and concern Internet postings, e-mails, letters and phone calls Mr. White is alleged to have made.

In addition to singling out individuals, Mr. White has used his Web site to call for the "overthrow" of the Canadian government and has suggested that the United States declare war on Canada. The Web site is no longer in service.

Mr. White is being held in custody in Chicago, where he has been charged with posting the photo, address and phone number of a jury foreman who convicted white supremacist Matthew Hale.

If convicted on all counts, he faces up to 55 years in prison and US$1.75-million in fines. On his Web site, he admits to provoking people but denies issuing any direct threats.

Mr. Warman could not be reached for comment.

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