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Crime As A Political Tactic

By       Message Stephen Crockett     Permalink
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Crime As A Political Tactic

Recently, I had several weeks of mail stolen in what I believe was a politically motivated crime. In the previous two weeks before the theft, I wrote several blistering columns complaining about oil industry price-gouging, calling for the possible nationalization of the oil industry and urging the immediate withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. My brilliant co-host, Al Lawrence interviewed and aired an excellent segment with Cindy Sheehan from Crawford, Texas on a local radio station. The timing seems to indicate that the mail theft was connected to these events.

Democratic Talk Radio has been the victim of mail crimes in the past that were directly connected to politics. In July of 2001, we received an anthrax hoax letter mailed from Newark, New Jersey. It contained a brownish white, clumpy powder and a photocopy of a New York Post article (about Clinton firing missiles against Bin Laden 's forces in Afghanistan and Sudan after the US interests were attacked). Written on the photocopy was the statement, "you guys make me sick. " A couple of days later, we received a flyer from Huntsville, Texas with different handwriting on which was written, "have you been checked for anthrax, yet? "

Coming the same week that Democratic Talk Radio received around ten thousand pieces of hate email along with several telephone death threats, we ignored the letters. Of course, the deadly anthrax attacks that were aimed at elected Democrats and media outlets including the New York Post would not happen for several months when we received our anthrax hoax letters. Personally, I believe the same individuals were responsible. The handwriting seemed similar but we discarded the letters after a couple of weeks.

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Democratic Talk Radio was being attacked by Neal Boortz on his nationally syndicated Right Wing (allegedly Libertarian but seemingly Republican) talk radio show. The Free Republic website seemed to be a center for Internet organizing by Right Wingers to harass Democratic Talk Radio with hate mail and vandalism of our website http://www.democratictalkradio.com .

It is still unclear what stealing our mail was meant to achieve. If the criminals involved wanted to see our political contacts or financial base, they wasted their time. We are very public about our political contacts. We have no financial base worth mentioning. I had largely funded our low, low budget activities out of personal funds. My personal activities and a personal injury from an accident collapsed my finances.

I have my house up for sale and will soon be homeless in large part because Democratic Talk Radio failed to secure advertisers, sponsors or donations. We are now a bare bones operation largely funded out of the personal wages of my co-host, Al Lawrence. No Democratic or labor donors have been keeping us going in the past year.

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I injured myself seriously in a construction accident last Fall and was unable to work for months. I had no health insurance and faced huge medical bills. Credit card debts went unpaid for months. You can see that I am personally concerned over health care policy, changes in bankruptcy laws and changes in debt collection practices pushed into law by the Bush Republicans. Politics does matter in how we live and survive. Voting is important to survival!

The mail theft will create serious personal business problems concerning working out debt repayment issues with creditors. Legal notices and important business letters are missing. It will occupy some time and likely cost this writer some money. It will not curb any of my political activities.

I am largely a writer, thinker and commentator on political issues. It costs little to write, think or talk.

Crime will not silence my political activities unless I am murdered. So far, Pat Robertson has not publicly called for my assassination!

A nationally syndicated Democratic talk show host received a small bomb in their mailbox. Several years ago, a Democratic campaign headquarters in Tennessee was burglarized and a list of campaign donors was stolen. Last year, another Democratic headquarters in Ohio was burglarized and voter lists were stolen. It looks like Karl Rove and others in the Bush White House have committed crimes in the Novak-CIA Traitorgate affair.

We are all familiar with Watergate and the other political crimes of Nixon 's Republican operatives. This writer thinks that the Nixon approach to political crimes is alive and well in the Bush Republican political machine.
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Stephen Crockett is co-host of Democratic Talk Radio and author of the Democratic Voices opinion column.

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