Thursday, July 02, 2009

Shawna Forde: Mainstream Wacko

One thing we've been hearing over and over since the border patrolling loon Shawna Forde and a couple of her compatriots gunned down a sleeping man and his 9-year-old daughter (allegedly to rob them of drug money which would be used to finance their vigilante activities) is that, even by the bargain-basement standards of sanity among the anti-immigrant crowd, she was considered someone to shunned, like some Amish girl who won't part with her iPod. As it turns out, they really only started to shun her after she blew a little girl's head off.

Shawna Forde was a rogue, many border-security activists say, or an impostor or a criminal.

But interviews with so-called Minutemen and their critics, as well as reviews of recently scrubbed Web sites, suggest Forde was well-placed in the border-security movement and represented a persistent radical wing. ...

Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project and an early leader of the movement, said last week that he donated $200 to a member of Forde's group, that he called Forde a few days after the murders as investigators closed in, and that his group removed postings by and about Forde from its Web site after the arrests. But he called Forde and her associates "rogues," and denied that he or his group had a formal relationship with her.

"They happened to use the Minuteman movement as a guise, as a mask," he said.

Glenn Spencer, founder of the American Border Patrol and another prominent figure in the anti-illegal-immigration movement, posted an Internet account of Forde's arrest titled "Full Disclosure About Shawna Forde." She was arrested minutes after leaving Spencer's house near Sierra Vista.

He said Forde had dropped in uninvited on June 12 and asked to use a room in the house, which doubles as American Border Patrol's offices, to write an e-mail, then left.

"Being a polite person, I spoke with her, even though last summer I told American Border Patrol employees that, due to her strange behavior, she was no longer welcome at the ranch," Spencer wrote. "This is an object lesson about understanding with whom you are dealing in the border volunteer effort."

But former American Border Patrol employee Michael Christie, who left the group in February, said radicals such as Forde were a persistent part of the movement.

"This movement attracts people who are desperate to be a part of something big," Christie said. "These are people who are discontented with their lives for one reason or another, who have probably tried to make a difference in other aspects of their lives and failed." ...

As Forde made forays into other groups, she formed an association with Gilchrist, the founder of the Minuteman Project. She posted reports from the border on his Web site, and they defended each other publicly from critics.

In July 2008, Forde wrote about Gilchrist, identifying herself as "Operations Director For The Project," and saying, "The Project has worked closely with MAD (Minutemen American Defense) for several years now."

On Feb. 23, the day after Forde's hometown newspaper, the Everett (Wash.) Herald, published an exposé of Forde's background, Gilchrist defended her in an Internet posting.

"In my experience with Ms. Forde I conclude that she is no whiner. She is a stoic struggler who has chosen to put country, community, and a yearning for a civilized society ahead of avarice and self-glorifying ego."

"The Minuteman Project is proud to be a supporter of Shawna Forde's Minutemen (women) American Defense (M.A.D.)"

On June 2, three days after the murders, Gilchrist received an e-mail from a Southern Arizona associate who had been visited by investigators looking for Forde. Gilchrist forwarded the e-mail to Forde, he said.

He said he called her and asked if there was a warrant for her arrest. She said no.

But after roaming Southern Arizona for another nine or so days, she was picked up outside Spencer's home.


Of course, we hate to refer to groups like Gilchrist as "mainstream," but they're at least allegedly on the non-homicidal side of crazy. We think. Maybe. Anyway, the beauty of these revelations is that the predictable fissures are starting to open among the nutters. This, from Americans for Legal Immigration, in our inbox this afternoon:

NOTE: We warned the nation and all group leaders, including Spencer and Gilchrist, about Shawna Forde many months before these murders. It is truly unfortunate that Gilchrist and others continued to offer Shawna support and aid long after all other groups and leaders in the movement did our best to isolate her. These latest articles show us that Gilchrist and Spencer assisted Shawna Forde after the date of the murders. If Jim Gilchrist and Glen Spencer had listened to the rest of the movement after Shawna Forde and Jim Gilchrist tried to circulate fake rape and beating pictures of Shawna, it would have been clear to Forde that she had no reason to be on Spencer's property or in regular phone and email contact with Jim Gilchrist (Co-Founder of Minuteman Project).

Fourth of July isn't much of a holiday here, but we're gonna pull up a blanket and enjoy the fireworks anyway.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Does she have another body part attached to her nose??