In my 2006 article titled “Ask the Right Question” I said:
Sadly and once again, I get to say "I told you so". THIS time two "Minutemen" coldly murdered a 9 year old girl, Brisenia Flores, and her father!!! Where is the outrage?
- "I can only guess what their real agenda is, but the “Minutemen” are certainly not seeking real solutions, otherwise they would be calling for open immigration and removal of gates and guards. They seem to me (again only my guess, YMMV) to be Rambo wannabes looking for unarmed big game under the thin guise of protecting privately owned rangeland and open deserts. And they probably want government funding to do it!"
January 21, 2011 03:00 PMThe Shawna Forde trial: Will the mainstream media bother to notice?
By David Neiwert
There's another infamous shooting of a nine-year-old girl that is making headlines this week in Tucson. This time, we wonder if the rest of the media will bother to cover it.
The little girl's name was Brisenia Flores. She lived near the border with her parents and sister outside the town of Arivaca, Arizona. On May 30 of 2009, a woman named Shawna Forde, who led an offshoot unit of Minutemen who ran armed border patrols for patriotic "fun". Forde's gang had decided to go "operational,"
which meant they concocted a scheme to raid drug smugglers and take their money and drugs and use it to finance a border race war and "start a revolution against the government"
. They targeted the Flores home, which had neither money nor drugs, based on dubious information. They convinced Flores to let them in by claiming to be law-enforcement officers seeking fugitives, then shot him point-blank in the head when he questioned them and wounded his wife, Gina Gonzalez. And then, while she pleaded for her life, they shot Brisenia in cold blood in the head.
(Her sister, fortunately, was sleeping over at a friend's.)
You can listen to the wounded mother's 911 call here:http://crooksandliars.com/medialoader/8711/eeee2/mp3/MinutemanRaid_911Call_1.mp3
As Terry Greene Sterling at the Daily Beast reports, Shawna Forde's trial finally opens this week, having been briefly delayed by the Giffords shooting.
Already, we're getting some fascinating details about that riveting 911 call:
- Gonzalez testified Tuesday she recognized Forde for several reasons. It was the first time she'd seen her in person since the incident, she wasn't wearing makeup (the women in the photo lineup were wearing makeup), she had the same smile and her hair was styled the same way.
As for the smile, Gonzalez said that after the shootings, the home invaders ransacked her house and then left. However, when she was on the phone with 911, she looked up and saw the woman standing on the threshold, smiling.
"She saw me standing there and her face dropped and she said 'Oh, (expletive)," Gonzalez said.
The woman went back outside and a few seconds later Gonzalez said she and the tall man exchanged shots. (Prosecutors think the tall guy was Jason Bush.)
We've been following the Forde case closely from the day it was first reported, in large part because it tells us so much about the mindset and behind-the-scenes operations of would-be border vigilantes.
Indeed, one of the things we look forward most to learning from this trial is the extent to which Minutemen cofounder Jim Gilchrist was involved: there is a considerable likelihood it will turn out he tipped off Forde that federal authorities were looking for her in connection with the murders.
We're also looking forward to perhaps finally seeing some coverage of the case in the mainstream media -- perhaps even Fox News, which has been assiduous in refusing to do so. I have to admit I'm baffled that, in a cable-TV business that prizes riveting audio snippets, it's gotten so little attention elsewhere.
But then, this case always cut against everyone's favorite "neighborhood watch" narrative. It's about time we laid that one to rest for good.
This one is slightly different
David Neiwert — 1/21/11 4:10pm
In it, you hear the mother successfully drive off Forde and Bush with gunfire. Indeed, Bush was wounded in the exchange, a critical factor in their being caught.
But when she cries: "Why did they kill my family?" to the operator -- that's quite a kick in the gut.
San Diego County
NavSpecWarVet — 1/21/11 3:24pm
Here in San Diego County we have a whole lot of these supremacist assholes. It seems like the authorities are playing "Whack a Mole" - whenever they bust a group of them another group pops up a few miles away. They periodically go down to the border to play soldier. Haven't been any incidents in awhile. Boy, do they hate Obama. But, that's to be expected I guess.
I grew up in East county San
yakfitguy — 1/21/11 5:14pm
I grew up in East county San Diego and know what you're talking about. I regularly saw KKK posters nailed to telephone poles showing "dirty" Mexican "illegals" and the other usual right-wing targets (Jews, Africans, etc.)
Animosity toward undocumented migrants in my hometown was strong and often lead to open hatred of the Latino population in general. These are the laborers: Avocado pickers, chicken ranch hands, etc.)
Fact is, without them, there would be no CA agriculture industry. No cheap wine, lettuce, tomatoes, grapes, almonds, etc.....Artificially low prices are subsidized by these people and their near-slave wages.
If FOX news ever decides to astonish us...
Milquetoast — 1/21/11 3:29pm
...and somehow ends up covering this story, it will only be to "trumpet" how Gina Gonzales successfully used a firearm to defend herself.
Anybody else seen the Glen Beck 'shoot them in the head' video ?
Ferrofluid — 1/21/11 3:47pm
Glen Beck's Shoot them in the head video
He actually said it.http://crooksandliars.com/david-neiwert/glenn-beck-youre-going-have-shoot-th
And the Glenn Beck supporters
Ferrofluid — 1/21/11 4:59pm
are loudly saying that he didn't mean shoot normal people in the head, just radicals, if that makes his advocacy of violence any better...
And yet at the same time we
Ape-Man — 1/21/11 5:24pm
And yet at the same time we have an out of control police state emerging. The most alarming part of which is that they are ignoring the Glenn Beck type elephants in the room:http://www.michaelmoore.com/words/mike-friends-blog/how-top-secret-america
The FBI is raiding the homes and offices of peace 'activists'. Why has the FBI not raided the offices and home of this domestic violence activist Glenn Beck?
An answer to your question
gump — 1/21/11 4:54pm
Do a google search. Amazingly you'll find next to nothing from our so called MSM on this. Both the murder and the coverage is sickening. IF this was a white family murdered in cold blood it would be a story for months. It was in that rich CT's family's killing (can't remember who it was). Shame on this country and the media.
JohnnyBravo — 1/21/11 8:22pm
If it was a white family murdered by a group of non-whites, the story would be plastered everywhere.
A drop in the bucket
louiswu — 1/22/11 7:59am
Sadly, Forde's mindset is all too common here in southern AZ. JT Ready, and his band of neo-nazis have been down here for months, supported by Arpaio, and others in law enforcement. The Oath Keepers, The American Third Position, and a couple of other groups no ones even heard of have been trying to gain a foothold here. I think, at their core, these are people desperately searching for a way to murder someone, and not be held criminally liable. And when those in authority give them tacit approval with a wink and a nudge, they become all the more dangerous.
Media blackout of Shawna Forde Trial
lucidpanther — 1/23/11 9:14am
This crime by anti-immigrant, Nativist Shawna Forde was a horrific crime. The cold-blooded murder of a nine yr old girl ( Brisenia Flores ) in her home by intruders who pumped two bullets into her head for no reason other than racial hatred.
Yet the media has ignored this story. I have scoured the internet in vain to find stories or coverage of the trial but there is zero. The first place I found a mention was here with this article - even other progressives blogs and webstites are ignoring the story.
It is obvious the life of a 9 yr hispanic girl is not worth covering or even mentioning. The media is very aware t of the story. Reporters know about this but obviously producers and editors are choosing to intentionally bury it.
This is blatant racism from the media and the progressive websites and netroots are just as guilty.
Who supports Shawna Forde?
lucidpanther — 1/23/11 9:49am
Yes, she has "many" supporters.
This woman decided to fund her border vigilante group by raiding the properties of supposed illegal alien drug dealers, and her first raid turned out to be the home of perfectly legal - and drugless - US citizens, who she then proceeded to gun down without compunction. And this woman has supporters? It's a sick nation!Propagandists and Predators
Minuteman Project — 1/23/11 10:49am
Memo to article's author:
You forgot to mention Shawna Forde's associations with William Gheen's ALIPAC in North Carolina, the now defunct organizations like Jeff Schwilk's San Diego Minutemen, Chris Simcox's Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, and Robert Crooks' Mountain Minutemen, or any of the many other immigration reform groups scattered about the country at the time. Ms. Forde interacted with all of these groups and more, including various newspaper reporters.
According to your thinking, if Forde had also emailed you "border reports," then, by simple association, you, too, would be "deeply involved" in whatever alleged actions of which she is accused. Not too bright.
Fortunately, we have a system of jurisprudence in the United States that prevents propagandists, "dirty" journalists, and other witch-hunting predators from using the vagueness of guilt by association to hang the innocent.
You would be well-advised to let the Arizona court system determine the guilt or innocence of the defendant(s) in the case at hand, rather than use your editorial talents to arbitrarily make that decision. You are not a lawyer, a jury, or a judge. Accordingly, you should not bogusly assume that authority and attempt to interfere with the concept of "equal justice for all."
I rest my case.
Jim Gilchrist, President, The Minuteman Project - a multi ethnic immigration law enforcement advocacy group
* more ▼
Dear Mr. Gilchrist:
David Neiwert — 1/23/11 11:33am
I remember you sharing a stage with Shawna up here in Everett, too.
If you had bothered to, you know, click on the link with your name attached, you'd have found this to read
My friend Scott North at the Everett Herald
recently published a riveting account of just how deeply Gilchrist and Forde were intertwined. Indeed, he was working to help promote her "work" on the border intensely during the two weeks between the murders and Forde's arrest -- and may have tipped her off that she was being sought by federal SWAT teams:
Jim Gilchrist counts himself among those fooled by Forde.
He stuck with her when some questioned her methods. He stood by her through the blood and tumult in Everett that started last December. He remained her ally right up until the day she was arrested in connection with the two murders in Arivaca, Ariz.
"If she hadn't been able to use me she would have used somebody else," Gilchrist said. "It is so unfortunate because I really thought this person, in spite of her checkered past had, in lieu of a better term, 'found Jesus' and really wanted to be a do-gooder."
Gilchrist said he was oblivious to the behind-the-scenes drama at his 2007 speech in Everett. He'd never met Forde before she e-mailed to arrange his travel. He was impressed by her and her fledgling Minutemen operation and donated the money he was paid to cover his travel expenses to Everett -- cash that actually came from Parris.
Gilchrist gave that money to Forde.
Forde arrived in Gilchrist's life at a time when his running feud with Simcox and other Minutemen leaders left him in need of allies.
He communicated with Forde largely by e-mail, telling her he admired her dedication. Forde praised Gilchrist for being controversial.
"You are a powerful man when in name only you can stir a state," Forde wrote. "I just am amazed sometimes. I've never been attacked so much for a associate. But you are my friend and I'm proud to be associated with you so (expletive) 'em!!"
By early 2008 Gilchrist had made Forde the Minuteman Project's border patrol coordinator. He sent volunteers her way, telling them she "is one tough lady." Forde's role in bringing Gilchrist to Everett was noted in a profile of Minutemen figures around the country prepared by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a high-profile Alabama-based civil-rights watchdog group.
Gilchrist now says his only concerns about Forde revolved around her claims that she was using "undercover" tactics to infiltrate border-area drug traffickers.
"I really thought that she was getting into the wrong crowd and was going to end up murdered," he said.
Gilchrist stood by Forde when her ex-husband was shot, after her reported rape and after her mysterious shooting, when she was wounded in the arm. When The Herald in February revealed Forde's history of childhood felonies and teenage prostitution, Gilchrist said what mattered more was her ability to overcome a troubled past.
"She is no whiner," he wrote at the time. "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."
Gilchrist remained in touch with Forde after she left Everett without giving detectives a chance to question her closely about the attempted murder of her ex-husband.
On the Minuteman Project Web site, Gilchrist continued to post press releases and Forde's dispatches detailing her Arizona border exploits.
One of the last arrived on May 31, just hours after the Arivaca killings.
Forde reported that she and her group had been in "boots on the ground" patrols of the border for eight days and had observed thousands of pounds of dope being smuggled into the country.
"A (sic) American family was murdered 2 days ago including a 9 year old girl," Forde wrote. "Territory issue's (sic) are now spilling over like fire on the US side and leaving Americans so afraid they will not even allow their names to be printed in any press releases."
In a few days Gilchrist began receiving e-mails from a Minuteman in Tucson who had previously let Forde's teenage daughter live at his home. The man asked Gilchrist why a SWAT team had shown up at his door looking for Forde.
"I called her," Gilchrist said. "She was as calm as can be."
Forde told him there was no cause for worry. The man, she said, was a disgruntled former member of her group.
At the same time, though, she was sending out a list of 17 people around the country she wanted contacted if she was arrested or killed. After her arrest, Gilchrist learned he was 10th on her list.
He and Steve Eichler, executive director of the Minuteman Project, almost certainly were among the last people Forde e-mailed before her June 12 arrest. They talked about adding her and her officers to their Web site's list of national Minutemen leaders.
"The border is going to be HOT. Good things to come my brother," Forde wrote Eichler that morning. She was in police handcuffs later that day.
Gilchrist has since scrubbed references to Forde from his Web site. He says she appears to have cloaked her true self behind the Minutemen movement.
miss_kitty — 1/23/11 11:58am
I guess old Jimbo forgot about things like archives.