Exclusive: Trump-endorsed radio show has promoted ex-CIA agent's call for right-wing rebellion

Michael Scheuer, who favors "elimination" of Trump's enemies, is a frequent guest on Trump-backed radio show

Published July 31, 2018 7:05PM (EDT)

Michael Scheuer; Donald Trump (AP/J. Scott Applewhite/Evan Vucci)
Michael Scheuer; Donald Trump (AP/J. Scott Applewhite/Evan Vucci)

Suppose there were a best-selling author, historian, essayist, public speaker, TV commentator, adviser to Ron Paul, secessionist advocate, Christian nationalist, Vladimir Putin apologist and expert on terrorism who was married to a senior intelligence official. Suppose he were a frequent commentator on an influential radio show with close ties to President Donald Trump, his family and his administration.

Suppose this Trump-connected radio show routinely directed its listeners to this person’s blog, on which he wrote that it was “quite near time” for “well-armed citizens who voted for Trump” to “kill those seeking to impose tyranny,” of whom there was a “long and very precise list” that included journalists, activists, pundits, abortion providers, Republican and Democratic elected officials, federal judges, law professors, FBI agents, intelligence officials and Justice Department officials, along with “all who support them.”

There is such a man, and such a show, on which he has declared that former President Barack Obama “deserves to be hung.” The broadcast promotes his blog (archived here), where for years, he has advocated the right of, and the approaching “necessity” for, “armed rebellion” by citizens seeking to “end the tyranny of their elected representatives,” and listed people cast as “tyrants” and “expendables” whom Trump voters should prepare to “eliminate” by stockpiling arms and ammunition.

Michael Frank Scheuer, 66, of McLean, Virginia, a former CIA intelligence official and the author of four books, is the man. And John Fredericks Radio is the influential, nationally syndicated talk radio show that provides Scheuer a platform as a regular commentator and occasional host. In many ways, the show is a favored voice of Team Trump, as evidenced by its preferential access to Trump family members and White House officials, its payments from the Trump campaign, and “testimonials” from the president and people close to him. So it would appear significant that Scheuer has appeared on the show with increasing frequency for the last four years, including more than 25 times since January 2017. Each time, the show promotes his blog, where his violent rhetoric has been escalating.

“He’s earned our trust and support”

John Fredericks, 60, who co-chaired Trump’s 2016 Virginia campaign, is a commentator on CNN, which describes him as a member of Trump’s 2020 presidential advisory board. Although Fredericks has interviewed elected officials and candidates from both parties, Team Trump demonstrates its conspicuous support for the show in various ways. For example, with a nod from Ivanka Trump, Team Trump approved the Fredericks show as the “exclusive” media outlet allowed to broadcast live from the war room in Trump Tower on election night in 2016.

READ MORE: Right-wing talk show host Joe Walsh tells Salon: Donald Trump "betrayed his country"

Recently, the White House included Fredericks at a press briefing. He live-tweeted a lament: “At WH presser with @PressSec All Russia. Again.” Then Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders called on him for the final question. Fredericks said he was using the opportunity to “change the topic” from the Russia investigation to Mexico. Sanders smiled and said, “Sure, I think that would be fine.” She has been a guest on his show.

Fredericks’ show has featured numerous exclusive interviews with Trump family members, White House officials and Trump campaign advisers. Donald Trump has been interviewed eight times, most recently in July 2016. Others have included Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, as well as Mike Pence, Kellyanne Conway, Marc Short, Corey Lewandowski, Sean Spicer, Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton, Larry Kudlow, Nikki Haley, Ben Carson, Tom Price, Tom Ridge, Sebastian Gorka and Carl Higbie (a Trump appointee who went on the show in May to defend his racist, sexist, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBTQ comments just after his resignation).

Fredericks’ wife, Anita “Anne” Fredericks (a major Trump donor), runs their family business, Common Sense Media, LLC, which operates John Fredericks Radio in Chesapeake, Virginia. John is the general manager. Both served as Trump delegates to the 2016 Republican National Convention (Anita as an alternate). And FEC records show that the Trump campaign paid Common Sense Media, LLC $34,000 for “placed media.” (Fredericks’ company has no affiliation with the San Francisco-based nonprofit, also called Common Sense Media.)

You’re a man of great brainpower and a lot of common sense, which is a great combination,” Trump told Fredericks on the show. Trump echoed this sentiment in a “testimonial” on the show’s homepage: “Every time I do his show something good happens. John was the very first one in media who said if I run, I would win. John predicted it first. I want to thank John for his unwavering support. John’s a man of great brainpower and a lot of common sense, which is a good combination.”

Donald Trump Jr. has offered his own “testimonial”: “From the very first day, John has been fighting for us. He’s earned our trust and support. I enjoy being on his show!”

Republican operative Pete Snyder helps underwrite John Fredericks Radio, and also offers a “testimonial.” Snyder has a long résumé in conservative politics: as a pollster for Rudy Giuliani, chair of Ed Gillespie’s losing 2017 Virginia gubernatorial campaign, state finance chair of the Republican Party of Virginia and Fox News commentator. He is also the founder and former CEO of the social media marketing firm New Media Strategies (NMS).

Snyder sponsors John Fredericks Radio through his venture capital firm Disruptor Capital –– through which he is also a major investor in Echelon Insights, a Republican polling firm that surveys “Trump Country”; Media Group of America (MGA); and MGA’s conservative news and opinion publisher IJ Review. Snyder ran for lieutenant governor of Virginia in 2012, at Fredericks’ urging. In the past two years, he has appeared at least 12 times on the show, whose sponsor page displays his skull-and-crossbones logo above the tagline, “All roads to the White House go through Virginia.”

When Snyder was CEO of NMS, serving its client Fox News, he is said to have admitted to trolling perceived enemies by various means, including sock puppets, under the direction of former Fox News executives Roger Ailes and Bill Shine. Snyder denies the allegation. But Fox has confirmed that Ailes directed NMS’ work, and that Shine was the primary Fox executive on that account, although the network has insisted that Shine had no knowledge of sock puppets. Shine is now White House communications director.

Other Trump-affiliated supporters of Fredericks’ show include former Trump campaign manager Lewandowski, whom Fredericks has interviewed at least 23 times. Indeed, the show sometimes broadcasts from the century-old Washington rowhouse where Lewandowski stays when he’s in town, and which Fredericks calls “the Lewandowski galactic headquarters.” That house is also the headquarters for Turnberry Solutions, a lobbying firm founded by Lewandowski associates. (When Lewandowski opened his previous lobbying firm, Avenue Strategies, the show’s website acknowledged the firm’s sponsorship of the show and of Fredericks’ conservative political newsletter, the John Fredericks Report.) Lewandowski has hailed the show on its homepage and in press releases as “an invaluable voice for the Trump agenda in America.”

In other words, John Fredericks Radio has multiple close ties to Donald Trump and his circle. It provides Michael Scheuer a megaphone that reaches large swaths of Trump’s base – on the Internet and on radio stations in Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida – and directs listeners to his blog.

Visitors to Scheuer’s blog will encounter arguments that Trump should order sweeping arrests of his supposed political opponents (some of whom he appointed) or, failing that, that armed Trump voters should prepare to fulfill their “constitutional duty of rebellion to destroy tyranny” by making lists of “tyrants,” because, he writes, “it seems not only appropriate but just, for the deplorables to begin to draft lists of those who can be properly called the ‘expendables’.” Scheuer has published his own lists over the years and recently has added more names.

He wrote on July 14:

American patriots have so far, praise God, been remarkably disciplined in not responding to tyranny and violence with violence. For now they must remain so, armed but steady. But the time for such patience is fast slipping away; indeed, that patience is quickly becoming an obviously rank and self-destructive foolishness. If Trump does not act soon to erase the above noted tyranny and tyrants, the armed citizenry must step in and eliminate them.

He continued in that vein on July 17: "It is far past time to terminate the Democratic/Neocon ‘Russian-hacking’ melodrama, and begin to arrest the hundreds of politicians, bureaucrats, and media figures who manufactured it, flogged it ad infinitum, and so merit trial and incarceration.” This would create an opportunity, Scheuer wrote, “to investigate and eradicate the intervention in American affairs of Israel, prominent Jewish-Americans, and their host of well-paid human assets in the Congress, the federal bureaucracy, and the media.

“Now there is a target,” he concluded, “that has long proven itself to be more than worthy of merciless annihilation.”

That same day, Fredericks interviewed Scheuer on his radio show and promoted Scheuer’s blog, which includes a long series of posts justifying Vladimir Putin’s seizure of Crimea and aggression in Ukraine, spreads conspiracy theories about the Robert Mueller investigation, argues that the U.S. government is illegitimate on moral grounds, attacks NATO and Israel as “cancers,” advocates limiting immigration to “endangered White Christians,” supports secession and touts an armed rebellion as a way to “restore” a republic ruled justly by Christians in accordance with God’s law.

A day after that, Sarah Huckabee Sanders called on Fredericks at the White House press briefing.

Scheuer's blog has apparently been offline since his post of July 17. He did not respond to questions about why that is the case. Subsequent to those questions, some Google-cached pages of his blog posts have disappeared, and some pages on the John Fredericks Radio site acknowledging the show's "sponsors" have apparently been altered.

On the July 17 broadcast, Scheuer held up the example of Putin, saying he had practiced indiscriminate killing of his adversaries in Syria. Fredericks said this reminded him of a Civil War story. That story provides a window into the extraordinary sensibilities of these influential figures, hiding in plain sight.

Listen to the full broadcast here. This is an excerpt with a transcript [at 7:39]:

Fredericks: You know, when you say that, it reminds me of the story that I read, I guess it was back in college, I guess it was a battle that [Confederate Gen.] “Stonewall” Jackson was in around Fredericksburg [Virginia], that the Confederates won. And the story went that one of the sergeants came to him and said, “Well, they have all those troops there, and our fortifications aren’t that good. It’s like, how do we win?” And according to this historical document, Stonewall Jackson said, “Just kill them. Kill them all.”

Scheuer: Yeah.

Fredericks: That’s getting the win!

Scheuer: Isn’t that just a piece of prime common sense, John?

Fredericks: I mean, I remember reading that and saying to myself, “OK, I get it. You know.”

Scheuer: Yeah.

Fredericks: He said, “Just kill them. Kill them all.” I guess that’s it.

Scheuer: Kill them all. And whoever supports them. Kill them, too.

Fredericks: Kill them, too.

Scheuer: Because the worst -- the only mercy in war, John, is a speedy end to it. You want to never go to war unless you have to, and if you have to, you end it as fast as you can, with victory.

Scheuer went on to praise Trump’s deference to Putin in Helsinki, and criticized the U.S. intelligence community’s well-known findings that Russia had attacked the American electoral system. He said, “The idea that we want the president of the United States to go to the only other major nuclear power in the world and call him out in public – for what? Why in the world would any American believe the story about Russian meddling?” He also accused U.S. intelligence and law enforcement officials of corruption and treason.

Scheuer concluded the interview by praising Putin for coming to the aid of white Christians, whom he alleges are victims of genocide in South Africa. “Here’s a man who’s standing up for Christianity, and for people that are being genocided, on a small scale admittedly, but it’s still a matter of killing people for who they are and what they are. He’s the one who’s protecting Christians.”

The mainstream media has frequently put Fredericks in the spotlight while giving him a free pass on Scheuer. CNN features Fredericks as a contributor without challenging or even revealing that he provides a platform to the man whose July 17 list of “traitors” includes the network’s own Jake Tapper and Jim Acosta, as well as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow.

Perhaps understandably, such conservative pundits as Michelle Malkin (whom Fredericks has interviewed) and David Frum have pooh-poohed Scheuer’s significance, portraying him as an isolated nut. But any reasonable review of his record shows that this man says what he means and means what he says. In light of his escalating rhetoric, we ignore him and his influential network at our peril.

Scheuer’s escalating eliminationist rhetoric

Scheuer, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba, no longer hunts Islamic terrorists or runs the rendition program for the CIA (where he was known as “Mike”). Nor does he teach courses on al-Qaida and global jihad at Georgetown University or serve as a senior fellow at the Jamestown Foundation, a right-wing think tank created with CIA support (although its site still promotes him as a terrorism analyst). But he remains an influential figure in American public life, as an author, speaker and television commentator.

Scheuer lives in McLean, Virginia, according to numerous media reports and public records, with his wife of three and a half years, Alfreda Frances Bikowsky. She is an infamous figure in the history of U.S. intelligence, referred to as the “Queen of Torture” (without being named) in a 2014 New Yorker article. She is visible in the iconic White House “Osama bin Laden” photo by Pete Souza. Bikowsky is one of the CIA counter-terrorism analysts on whom Jessica Chastain’s character Maya is based in the film “Zero Dark Thirty.”

As TV Guide notes, fans of “The Looming Tower” on Hulu – a series “about the rise of Al-Qaeda in the years before 9/11 and the FBI and the CIA’s failure to work together to prevent that attack” – will recognize Scheuer and Bikowsky, who married in December 2014, as the basis for the characters Martin Schmidt and his CIA supervisee, Diane Marsh.

From their home in suburban Virginia, Scheuer now blogs the names, occupations and supposed crimes and violations of God’s law of “expendables” – people whom he envisions Trump supporters may soon take up arms to “eliminate.”

Scheuer also does occasional Skype interviews from their home with the Russian state TV outlet RT, where he disparages the American government and trashes the CIA as corrupt, incompetent and bloated with too many “immigrants, Hispanics, transgender people, and homosexuals.” He has told RT that, in his view, one of America’s biggest problems is that too many members of the Jewish community support Israel.

As concerning as all this is, Scheuer, who has been public about his extreme views for many years, has recently escalated his rhetoric toward urging “well-armed citizens who voted for Trump” – especially white, English-speaking Christians – to buy more guns and prepare to use them against their fellow citizens.

For example, in 2009, Scheuer shocked even Glenn Beck, then at the height of his popularity. Beck asked Scheuer how he would defuse an insurrection by anti-government “Bubba” militias facing off against ATF or FBI agents. “So how do you defuse this, Michael,” Beck asked, “or how long do we even have before this becomes a crazy, real scenario?”

“Well, I don’t think you would want to defuse it, Glenn,” Scheuer replied.

“Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait a minute,” Beck sputtered. He suggested that we would not want to head toward a “revolution.”

“Civil war,” Scheuer corrected.

“This is the scenario that would tear this country apart,” Beck protested, “and spiral us into something that maybe we have never even seen before, including the Civil War.”

“Glenn, the Second Amendment is about, at base, not about hunting or about a militia,” Scheuer replied, “but about resisting tyranny. The founders were very concerned about allowing individual citizens weaponry to defend themselves as a last resort against the tyrannical government. I don’t think the government — the founders ever considered that there would be a tyranny of incompetence, but I think that’s what we’re facing.”

“And ultimately, that’s the right of the Americans,” Scheuer added. He then suggested that the U.S. military and the militias would join forces to defend their interpretation of the Constitution. More recently, he repeated that he hoped such an alliance would form to support an armed uprising.

Scheuer, who had taught two graduate courses at Georgetown, wrote a blog post in December 2014 offering a historical argument for the assassination of tyrants and the glorification of assassins, while pointing out the supposed tyrannical behavior of President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

The Georgetown student newspaper, the Hoya, wrote that it seemed as if Scheuer were calling for those leaders to be assassinated. The paper reported that he said the American people have the right to revolt, and reported that he “refused to shy away from endorsing assassination.” Indeed, Scheuer said, “At some point, when push comes to shove, you kill people and get them out of the way.”

In the wake of the resulting public uproar, Georgetown announced that while it was not firing Scheuer, his two courses would not be renewed, because they were no longer needed. Scheuer protested in a letter to the Hoya that his critics were “ignorant of U.S. history” and that his article had not “called” for the assassination of Obama or Cameron but was meant as “a warning to them, their parties, and their successors that no republican people is obliged to sit quietly and watch their nation become a tyranny.” He said that the Second Amendment gives citizens “a duty to resist tyranny” of the kind that marked “both the Obama and Bush presidencies.”

Scheuer may have a point about his critics. He insists in his book "Marching Toward Hell" that "America was founded as a Christian nation." "It is ahistorical, therefore, to deny the Christian roots of American society and government," he writes, "and an exercise in willful ignorance to refuse to acknowledge the pervasive role Christian beliefs continue to play in the workings of the contemporary American polity."

His critics have not seemed to notice, however, that his notions of tyrant-killing are an outgrowth of his Christian nationalist vision. For example, he has cited the movement led by the English theocrat Oliver Cromwell, claiming obedience to Higher Law, which overthrew and beheaded the “tyrant” King Charles I in 1649. Scheuer claimed that this reasoning applies equally to contemporary America, and exemplifies “the proper popular response to a tyrant,” such as Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. However strange such a worldview may seem, it deserves to be understood and responded to in a serious manner.

Scheuer is a passionate, scholarly analyst and gifted communicator driven by a strict moral code, who retains powerful connections around the world. At the time of his departure from Georgetown, he had just married Bikowsky, who was (and remains) a senior CIA official.

Scheuer himself once headed the CIA unit “Alec Station” -- named for his adopted son -- that was searching for Osama bin Laden, and wrote in his (originally anonymous) best-seller “Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror” about the importance of understanding the motivations of thoughtful, armed people who view themselves as fulfilling a moral imperative to resist an “apostate, corrupt, and tyrannical” government. Indeed, in a remarkable historical twist, it turned out that bin Laden had apparently read Scheuer’s book. The U.S. forces who raided the al-Qaida leader's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, found a well-thumbed copy on his bookshelf.

As mentioned above, mainstream pundits and poohbahs appear to believe they don’t need to pay heed to warnings they assume come from a lunatic. Scheuer understands how that works. In his biography of bin Laden, Scheuer portrayed the al-Qaida leader as a rational actor incorrectly deemed a madman, who understood the danger of this kind of hubris and made his plans accordingly. Imagining the shock of an empire devastated by the attack on the World Trade Center, bin Laden quoted the Quran: “Wherever you are, death will find you, even in the looming tower.”

Scheuer has been trying to teach us the folly of dismissing a man like bin Laden as a nut. In his first book, “Through Our Enemies’ Eyes,” which he began in 1999 as a manual for counter-terrorism officers (with a revised edition in 2006), he argued that this view of bin Laden was like a “myopia” that limits strategic thinkers’ ability to respond to his threats effectively. It’s a history lesson he is still trying to get across to Washington know-it-alls who remain oblivious in their “looming tower.”

Reflecting on bin Laden’s books and papers in a September 2016 blog post, Scheuer wrote: “Bin Laden’s last words surely must have been ‘God is greatest!’ [emphasis in original]. And, wherever he is, bin Laden knows that, God willing, there is still another al-Qaeda shoe to fall on the United States.”

A “long and very precise list”

Scheuer’s list of those he has argued should be jailed and prosecuted by President Trump, or otherwise “eliminated” by Trump loyalists, includes:

  • Television journalists Shepard Smith, Jake Tapper, Jim Acosta, and Rachel Maddow, reporters for the Washington Post and the New York Times, and commentators Bill Kristol and Joe Scarborough
  • Federal “judges appointed by the last three presidents” and the law professors who taught them
  • Intelligence and law enforcement officials from both parties, including current and former Attorneys General Jeff Sessions, Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, special counsel Robert Mueller and prosecutors on his team, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Former NSA Director Michael Hayden, current and former FBI Directors Christopher Wray and James Comey, former CIA Director John Brennan, former Acting CIA Director Michael Morell, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page and other “work-a-day FBI agents,” as well as the staff of the U.S. Department of Justice
  • Numerous current and former elected officials, including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, Sens. Dianne Feinstein, John McCain, Susan Collins, Jeff Flake and Bob Corker; House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Reps. Adam Schiff and Debbie Wasserman Schultz
  • Valerie Jarrett and John Podesta, former aides to Obama and the Clintons
  • Philanthropist George Soros
  • Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
  • Members of the American Jewish community who support Israel
  • The Council on Foreign Relations
  • “Tens of thousands” of “illegal” immigrants
  • Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists
  • “Establishment Republicans” and their supporters
  • Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses, along with women who advocate abortion rights and/or obtain abortions
  • Any and all Democrats

“The option of killing the politicians”

Here’s an example of what Scheuer means when he talks about a proper response to tyranny.  

In November 2015, one Robert Lewis Dear Jr., fatally shot a police officer and two civilians, and wounded five police officers and four civilians, at the office of Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood. Scheuer subsequently wrote that the U.S. Supreme Court, due to its protection of abortion rights in Roe v. Wade, was “the place where humans become non-humans and murder becomes constitutional.” He said that “women who champion and/or have abortions = Constitutionally privileged murderers,” while Planned Parenthood clinics were “slaughter pens” staffed by “Mengele-like executioners.” But his Christian nationalist vision doesn’t stop there.

In October 2017, Scheuer labeled all sitting U.S. Supreme Court justices as “tyrants.” He said the Supreme Court had become an “absolute monarchy” that is guilty of the “suppression of the Christian faith” and the “murder of 60-plus million unborn Americans” by upholding the right to legal abortion. He said that because citizens have the “right to own arms to kill tyrants,” Americans will “always have the option of killing the politicians” who try to eliminate their “God-given rights.”

Scheuer has also suggested that a campaign of assassination would not be sufficient, and in August 2016 offered a broader vision of “a collective, armed, and wide-ranging American rebellion”:

In America today, moreover, an assassination would change nothing as the number of would-be tyrants who inhabit both political parties, along with their liberty-sapping corps of advisers, funders, academic shills, and media acolytes, are far too numerous. No, to effectively restore our republic to liberty could well require nothing less than a collective, armed, and wide-ranging American rebellion of the kind the Founders, God’s peace be upon them, presided over and risked their own lives in fighting.

Escalation to August

Since then, Scheuer’s rhetoric and conspiracism has continued to escalate as we approach Aug. 1, a notional deadline he has set for President Trump to take action before armed patriots take matters into their own hands.

Jan. 26: Scheuer tweeted a link to his blog post, titled “Be a hard-ass, President Trump, and slay the republic’s domestic enemies now.” He claimed that the delay in the release of House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes’ memo on the Russia investigation indicated a coup plot against Trump led by Obama and including “leading” elements of the intelligence community, who Scheuer suggested were “probably allied with” Republican senators, including McCain, Corker, Collins, Flake and Lindsey Graham. He suggested the delay was “meant to give Mueller a few more days to indict President Trump,” and that it was an attempt to “suppress data that will yield the magnificent and long overdue annihilation of much of the bipartisan governing elite.”

Scheuer then fingered a host of public figures, including elected officials, law enforcement agents, intelligence community leaders, business leaders, civil rights activists and journalists, whom he advised Trump to arrest and incarcerate. He said that if the prosecutions were botched, or if any plea deals were offered, then armed citizens should take “responsibility for cleaning out the maggots” by executing any who might be acquitted. He said shooting the “miscreants” would be acceptable, although he “would prefer public hangings.”

April 12: Scheuer accused FBI agents and Justice Department officials “at all levels” of corruption and wrote that “we can no longer tolerate a Department of Justice and FBI that are clearly engaged in a lawless attempt to overthrow a legitimately elected U.S. president.”

“When the time comes,” he concluded. “the process of elimination in both organizations will have to be wide, deep, and utterly final.”

April 13: Scheuer claimed on John Fredericks Radio that the FBI was complicit in a “coup attempt against the president” and that Rod Rosenstein was trying to drive Trump from office. He said, “It makes you wonder whether this can be fixed without extra-legal activity that will remove those people one way or another.” He added, “It needs to stop, either legally or extra-legally.” He imagined the fates of Trump’s enemies: “They are going to find themselves either tried and imprisoned or hanging from an old oak tree somewhere.”

May 14: Scheuer told John Fredericks Radio listeners that he would be happy to see “a public hanging” of former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. He said, “A happy day would be to see a public hanging of Brennan and Clapper. That would be a most joyous occasion for Americans.”

July 2: Scheuer advised giving Trump time to act, and holding off the “reckoning” until at least Aug. 1. He wrote, “If this period passes, Americans are in the happy position of already being well-armed and in possession of an initial, partial list of miscreants who are in desperate need of attrition.”

Scheuer did not respond to an emailed question from this reporter about whether his August date held any significance. It may not be coincidental that a “Unite the Right” rally is scheduled to take place outside the White House on Aug. 12, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the violent, racist march on Charlottesville, Virginia. One of the main organizers of the Charlottesville rally was the neo-Confederate, secessionist and theocratic League of the South, whose leader, Michael Hill, believes that the road to recovering white Christian values in the South through secession must be paved by small armed squads practicing a form of guerrilla warfare he has called “fourth generation warfare.”

Fourth generation warfare, sometimes called 4GW, is not a well-known concept outside the military and intelligence communities. But it has been central to the development of American military doctrine for decades; the term was first used in 1989. It generally involves covert strategies intended to delegitimize the state or its institutions on moral grounds, to blur the lines between politics and traditional notions of warfare, and to incite the extrajudicial killing of public figures. This is a topic on which Scheuer is an acknowledged expert.

July 9: Scheuer explained on John Fredericks Radio why “tyrants,” as he sees them, “deserve” to die. Scheuer also declared that Obama and leaders of the European Union “deserve to be hung.” About Obama, Scheuer said: “For what he did to this country, I think hanging is probably too good for him.”

July 14: Scheuer wrote: “As this week’s end [sic], it seems likely that it is quite near time for killing those involved in the multiple and clearly delineated attempts to stage a coup d’état against the legitimately elected Trump government and thereby kill our republic.”

He falsely accused Democrats of violence against Trump supporters, and warned that the “well-armed patriot’s patience” would and should grow short while “trying to give Trump time to forever eliminate” his opponents.

He also stated that in light of the “dark, anti-constitutional, and fascist heart of the FBI,” it can only be concluded that the entire agency “is in need of rapid and merciless eradication.”

It was in that same blog post where Scheuer wrote that “well-armed citizens who voted for Trump” now have “a long and very precise list of the names and photographs of those who hate and threaten them, their families, their way-of-life, their liberty, their livelihoods and their republic.”

If Trump does not act soon to erase the above noted tyranny and tyrants,” he continued, “the armed citizenry must step in and eliminate them.

Political extermination

Indiscriminate killing is central to Scheuer’s thinking. He has not only looked to Putin’s example in Syria on John Fredericks Radio, but in his 2004 book, “Imperial Hubris,” advocated it as a method of subduing the Muslim world:

To secure as much of our way of life as possible, we will have to use military force in the way Americans used it on the fields of Virginia and Georgia, in France and on Pacific islands, and from skies over Tokyo and Dresden. Progress will be measured by the pace of killing and, yes, by body counts. Not the fatuous body counts of Vietnam, but precise counts that will run to extremely large numbers. The piles of dead will include as many or more civilians as combatants because our enemies wear no uniforms.

While Scheuer has long imagined other countries piled with bodies of Muslim men, women and children, he revels in envisioning a domestic civil war festooned with the corpses of American citizens. On July 14, he predicted that the “sheer, nay, utter joy and satisfaction to be derived from beholding great piles of dead U.S.-citizen tyrants is not one that will be missed if Trump does not soon do the necessary to save the republic.”

While it is no small thing that Scheuer spreads his tyrannicidal ideas – which sociologists might call a form of “scripted violence” – via John Fredericks Radio, which enjoys the “trust and support” of Team Trump, Team Putin may also appreciate their work. A new Russian site, Novom.ru, launched in May, registered to an anonymous, private individual through the same company that registers the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. It has collected many of Scheuer’s TV and radio interviews over the past several years. You’ll find his “Kill them all” interview there, as well as the one where he declares that Obama “deserves to be hung.”

Conveniently, the site also collects years of videos from the League of the South, which participated in a 2014 Moscow conference that brought together secessionists from around the world. The League has launched a Russian-language section of its site, to make common cause with their white Christian brothers in that country. Novom.ru also curates a wide selection of videos on the subject of fourth-generation warfare. While these videos are buried among thousands of pop culture videos, they are easily findable through the site’s search bar.


It is an astounding development in American history that close associates of the president of the United States and senior members of his administration have supported and promoted a platform that amplifies the voice of a man who says it is nearly time for armed factions to kill a list of people with guns or ropes. It is further astounding that reporters and public figures on Scheuer’s “long and very precise list,” and those who support the survival of constitutional democracy, have either not noticed this or have chosen to see it and say nothing.

We don’t even bother to observe, analyze or confront these alerts of a possible threat to our “Looming Tower” watching party because we figure the messages come from a lone nut. If that’s how we deal with warning signals, there’s no reason to binge-watch the miniseries on Hulu: We’re all co-starring in it.

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Jonathan Hutson is a researcher, writer and human rights advocate. He is the architect of the Satellite Sentinel Project, which George Clooney launched in 2010 to corroborate eyewitness reports of war crimes with satellite imagery and analysis together with open-source information. Hutson and his translator, Kibrom Goush Mouz of Khartoum, worked pro bono to interview eyewitnesses in four refugee camps in eastern Sudan in August-September 2021. A nonpartisan, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, Giving Back to Our Roots, paid their travel expenses. Maxar and the U.K.-based nonprofit Vigil Monitor provided satellite imagery and analysis.

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