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Press ReleaseMilitias
RULE
RE: Q & A ON CHARLES DUKE
DATE: MAY 21, 1996

Charles Duke is a Republican State Senator in Colorado who, at the request of the anti- government Freemen in Montana, is currently mediating their long standoff with the FBI. Mr. Duke has been associated with other extremist groups as well, including addressing rallies of far-right activists, and appearing as a featured guest on a radio program affiliated with the anti-Semitic, racist newspaper, The Jubilee.

This Q&A may be reproduced in its entirety or as excerpts with proper credit to the Anti-Defamation League.

Who is Charles Duke?

Duke, a Republican State Senator in Colorado, has spoken at rallies of far-right anti-government activists and has made supportive statements about the activities of militia groups. Duke has been described as a leader of the Tenth Amendment Movement, which refers to a provision of the Constitution that addresses the relationship between the Federal Government and the states. According to The Wall Street Journal, the Tenth Amendment Movement is "an amalgam of small-town populists, gun enthusiasts, old Ross Perot supporters and private militias who share a deep distrust, almost a hatred of the Federal government."

Why is he in the news?

On May 14 Duke was asked by the Freemen (a request conveyed by the FBI) to mediate the Montana standoff between that extremist group and government officials, now entering its seventh week.

What has he said about the militia movement?

Duke has stated: "The few militia people I know practice a policy of nonviolence... not altogether different from a Boy Scout kind of idea."

He has described himself as a "zealot" and a "revolutionary."

At a meeting of far-right activists in July 1994, Duke said: "We need some ability to get some firepower to protect the citizens. I would like to see a militia... [the type] that functions as a sheriff's posse and has sufficient training."

What extremist events has he attended?

In March 1995, he was a featured speaker at the Voice of Liberty Patriots conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The event was planned by Rick Tyler, a leader in the anti-tax Constitutionalist

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movement, who has told listeners of his shortwave radio show that government agencies are "ruthless, they are cunning, they are cutthroat, and furthermore, we are their target."

In June 1994, Duke spoke at a conference sponsored by the Kansas-based "Constitutionists," whose leader, Evan Meacham, is the impeached former governor of Arizona. Duke promoted the formation of militias as an effective way for citizens to protect themselves from the government.

In June 1995, he attended a Nevada Sovereignty Committee conference in Las Vegas, where he harshly criticized the federal government: "The tyranny of King George is alive and well and living in America today."

How is Duke connected to the extremist outfit called The Jubilee?

Duke was a featured guest on The Jubilee's shortwave program, "NewsLight," when he promoted the Tenth Amendment Resolution. The Jubilee is a bi-monthly newspaper filled with anti-Semitic, racist and anti-government rhetoric. The newspaper is also affiliated with the Identity movement, which identifies whites of European ancestry as the "true chosen people," blacks as "mud people" and Jews as "Satan's spawn."

Duke was scheduled to be a featured speaker at The Jubilee's 1994 "Jubilation Celebration" conference. He backed out at the last minute.

Duke did attend an event called the "Politically Incorrect Cruise," attended by a number of individuals in the Patriot movement, as well as Jubilee editor Paul Hall Jr.

What other extremist connections does Duke have?

A computer-assisted analysis done by a Denver Post reporter of Duke's public phone records just after the Oklahoma City bombing revealed over 1,500 long-distance calls made from his Senate office to a number of extremists:

_ David Trochmann, co-founder of the Militia of Montana.

_ Ed Brown, leader of the Constitution Defense Militia in Plainfield, N.H.

_ The American Citizens and Lawmen Association of Phoenix, founded by former Arizona policeman Gerald "Jack" McLamb, an anti-Federal government activist and author of "Operation Vampire Killer 2000," a tract that aims to convince law enforcement officials of a plot to create a one-world government.

Additionally, following the bombing in Oklahoma City, a Denver Post columnist reported that Duke raised the possibility of a government role in the bombing: "They're certainly capable of it. Look what they did to Waco. There's many people around the country who believe they did it.... Is it unreasonable to see the continuation of a pattern here?" He has been criticized by a number of government figures, including Senator Ray Powers (R-Colorado Springs), Colorado Democratic chairman Mike Beatty and Bob Gardner, chairman of the El Paso County Republican Party, for his suggestions that the Federal government was responsible for the bombing.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world's leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.



 
 
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1996 Anti-Defamation League