FBI closes case on Sikh temple massacre
The FBI recently confirmed what it has stated all along: Wade Michael Page acted alone.
Page, a white supremacist associated with neofascist groups, walked into a Sikh temple on the morning of Aug. 5 in Oak Creek, Wis., 12 miles south of Milwaukee, and opened fire as the Indian worshippers, many with children in tow, were preparing for services.
Page killed six people and wounded four others. A police officer took nine shots from Page before Page killed himself with a bullet to the head.
The day after the massacre, an FBI spokesperson, special agent Theresa Carlson, stated, “No one else has been associated with the shooting.”
Now the FBI has ended its investigation and issued a report concluding that Page acted alone. Carlson said the FBI investigated 200 leads, interviewed 300 people and gathered some 200 pieces of evidence. The FBI’s report said no evidence was found that indicated Page’s actions were “directed or facilitated by any white supremacist group.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nov. 20)
This investigation by the FBI did not last even four months. The number of witnesses, leads and items of evidence they claimed to have investigated seems paltry for a crime of this magnitude. But, it’s “case closed” as far the FBI is concerned.
U.S. Army solidified Page’s hate
Page was a former psychological operations specialist in the U.S. Army, where he served from 1992 to 1998.
The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks racist right-wing groups and hate-based activity around the U.S., issued a report Nov. 27 by Marilyn Elias entitled “Sikh Temple Killer Wade Michael Page Radicalized in Army.” The report, found at splcenter.org, states, “the details of [Page’s] life suggest that the path toward his final act began at a U.S Army base that was home to a thriving neo-Nazi underworld during the time Page was stationed there in the mid-1990s.”
Page arrived at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, home to the 82nd Airborne Division and the Army’s Special Forces Command, in 1995. Elias reports: “When Page was transferred there, it also served as the home base for a brazen cadre of white supremacist soldiers. Nazi flags flew and party music endorsed the killing of African-Americans and Jews. And, according to the Military Law Review, soldiers openly sought recruits for the National Alliance, then the most dangerous and best organized neo-Nazi group in the country. A billboard just outside the base even advertised for the National Alliance.
“That same year, three paratroopers from Fort Bragg murdered a black man and a black woman in Fayetteville to earn their spider web tattoos, racist badges of honor that sometimes signify that their bearers have killed non-whites. The soldiers went to prison for life, and 19 other paratroopers were discharged for participating in neo-Nazi activities.”
Page was a known neo-Nazi who belonged to racist “white power” bands and was into the fascist music scene. Elias surmises that Page’s “immersion in the neo-Nazi rock music world undoubtedly raised his profile in extremist circles. In October 2011, he earned his ‘patch’ and became a full member of the Northern Hammerskins, a chapter of Hammerskin Nation, one of the most violent and dominant skinhead groups in the U.S.”
Anti-racist unity will stop fascists
The FBI’s quick investigation and conclusion that Page’s killing spree had nothing to do with any white supremacist groups is not surprising. When it earlier looked into and dismissed the killings as a possible act of “domestic terrorism,” it confirmed what many already know: The FBI prefers to use its resources investigating, harassing, arresting, imprisoning and visiting other acts of state-sponsored terror on progressive solidarity movements, Muslim peoples, African Americans and other peoples of color.
Right-wing, neofascist, racist terror groups that plot mass murder on U.S. soil seemingly rank low on the FBI’s priority list. Tommy Cavanaugh, an anti-racist youth activist with Wisconsin Bail Out the People Movement, told Workers World: “The Milwaukee cops on a routine basis brutalize, assault and kill mostly oppressed Black people with impunity and nothing is done by the FBI. There is plenty of documentation on the terrorist Nazis Page was affiliated with, but this isn’t the kind of ‘terrorism’ the FBI and its ruling class masters are looking for.”
On Sept. 3, 2011, more than 2,000 people came out in West Allis, Wis., also near Milwaukee, to protest a small group of rallying Nazis and their police protectors. According to Cavanaugh, “We made it clear to the fascists and their big-business and banking backers that their hatred, racism and anti-unionism would not be tolerated by the people. A united struggle turned back these racist, murderous indiviuals.”