by Travis Mateer
While it might be in bad taste to express my excitement that Missoula’s collective leadership is worryingly anticipating WHITE SUPREMACISTS this Saturday, especially after the media terrorized the minds of the Pacific Northwest with a completely legit bust of the PATRIOT FRONT strain in Coeur d’Alene, my excitement will hopefully make a little more sense by the end of this article, so hang with me.
On-the-ground reporting, at least for me, has also entailed on-the-ground ranting because my direct, sometimes random conversations in Missoula allow me more leeway to discuss elements of this insanity than I can sometimes write about. Sometimes my inability to write about something is due to safety issues, and sometimes it’s because the timing isn’t right. Well, I think the timing is finally right to tell all you Zoom Chron readers about a REAL example of what the Missoulian is currently reporting on.
In the picture below there are two people. The man on the left, I am told, is Steven Barry. The man on the right is David Barsotti. While David Barsotti is now a familiar name in western Montana, due to his wife being dead and everyone but the Mineral County Sheriff’s Office thinking the circumstances are damn suspicious, not many people are aware of who Steven Barry is. Let’s change that!
A good piece of content regarding Steven Barry is this piece from the Southern Poverty Law Center, titled Steven Barry Becomes Important Figure in Paramilitary Underground. There is a lot of intriguing information in this piece, like this excerpt:
Eleven days after the April 19, 1995, Oklahoma City bombing, Sergeant First Class Steven M. Barry, a.k.a. “J.F.A. Davidson,” appeared on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
Questioned by reporter Steve Kroft, the Special Forces soldier — his face obscured and voice altered electronically to hide his identity — identified himself as the editor of an underground newsletter called The Resister. Introducing Barry’s “political warfare journal,” Kroft told his listeners that it used “the same inflammatory rhetoric espoused by the radical militia movement and portrays the U.S. government as the enemy.”
“The command says you don’t exist,” Kroft told Barry.
“That’s excellent,” replied Barry. “Great. Exactly.”
I suggest reading the whole article, it’s pretty wild. And the fact this man’s narrative arc is potentially intermingling with David Barsotti’s is fascinating. Here’s a little more context from the article:
Here is the untold story of Steven Barry, drawn from this author’s role in an Army investigation and from numerous other sources. It shows that confidential Army information has been published in The Resister, a periodical once read by Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh; that Barry received a career-ending reprimand as a result of his activities and, at one point, was a target of both federal and military criminal investigations; and that The Resister boasted of Special Forces members illegally defying orders in Haiti by helping to arm anti-democratic forces. It describes how U.S. military officials sidelined Congress and allowed Barry to remain in the military despite clear evidence of his extremism.
And it explains how The Resister, which today has a circulation of almost 2,500, was helped immeasurably by its intimate relationship with Soldier of Fortune, a magazine aimed at mercenaries and military men that enjoys a circulation of 100,000.
I am now VERY curious, with all this cultural angst brewing in the Northwest again, if the same local media landscape that studiously ignored the David Barsotti-hires-a-hitman-to-kill-his-mother-in-law angle might be interested in the David Barsotti-hangs-out-with-a-right-wing-extremist angle.
I know the Missoulian is interested because it’s only Wednesday and another story is being thrown up about our caring liberal community and how we JUST WON’T STAND for no Neo-Nazis. Like no way, no how! From the link (emphasis mine):
Racism has no place in Montana, according to Missoula mayor John Engen, commissioner Josh Slotnick and local rabbi Laurie Franklin. All three released statements condemning plans for a white supremacist neo-Nazi rally that’s apparently planned for Saturday in Missoula
“The City of Missoula will once again go on record in denouncing bigotry, hate and violence as a fresh crop of protesters and propagandists attempt to drive more wedges in our cracked republic,” Mayor Engen said. “We continue to monitor groups traveling the country and will respond appropriately to all credible threats.”
Engen is asking residents to be wary and report incidents that cause alarm.
Ok, let’s test this out. I am reporting an incident of NON INVESTIGATION by local authorities that is causing some serious alarm amongst the people paying attention, including me. And it’s not like there isn’t any credible reason, or REASONS, to be investigating, like the hitman who diligently documented his part in a criminal conspiracy to torch the trailer and/or Virginia home of Angela Mastrovito and her husband.
Exhibit A: recorded conversations between the hitman, Nathan Jacobsen, and David Barsotti.
So far, the hitman’s antics haven’t spurred any investigative scrutiny of David Barsotti. Could an association with a known extremist change that?
I’m not sure the answer to that, but if our elected leaders words are any indication, they are more worried about what they imagine COULD happen than what is actually happening in our community. To highlight this perspective, here’s Commissioner Slotnick using his noggin’ to conjure potential scenarios to be worried about:
Commissioner Slotnick said he recently heard about neo-Nazis planning to come here.
“This could just be an unfounded rumor,” he said. “Regardless, imagining such a thing brings a whole array of passionate negative emotions to a boiling point. We can take heart in knowing these dangerous misguided ideas have no place in Missoula County, that’s clear and easy.”
When it comes to a man like Steven Barry, there is no need to imagine anything. He lives in Montana, he has pals like David Barsotti, and he likes to fuel acts of domestic terrorism, like the Oklahoma City bombing.
Now, it might seem kind of risky to be writing about an extremist who hangs out with an eye-patch-wearing “merc”, but thankfully I have organizations like the Montana Human Rights Network to protect me. Yes, that is a joke.
But seriously, I find the lack of an investigation into the circumstances that led to Rebekah Barsotti’s “river accident” to be so inexplicably disturbing, my own imagination starts getting active, especially when I remember what Johnny Lee Perry told me about the KKK in Montana (aka “the trashmen”) doing things the badges with guns can’t.
I wish Johnny could have told me more, but he was shot dead last August by a Missoula County Sheriff Deputy in an incident that was totally NOT a state-sanctioned execution.
Getting back to our local extremist and the Southern Poverty Law Center piece, I think it’s important to note how seemingly isolated incidents can so embarrass intuitional authority that they find themselves FORCED to investigate. That is what happened when a black couple was murdered in 1995. From the SPLC link:
In the wake of the December 1995 murder of a black couple outside Ft. Bragg by three active-duty white supremacist paratroopers, the House National Security Committee decided to hold a hearing into extremist activity in the military.
That decision followed the embarrassing disclosure that Army officials had known for at least 10 months that one of the murderers was an active white supremacist who’d been caught wearing Nazi symbols and fighting with a black soldier. It also came after then-Army Secretary Togo West ordered an investigation into white supremacist activities at all Army bases.
Since we’re doing some imagining here, let’s imagine a local Sheriff with a VERY close relationship with a man suspected of contributing to his wife’s death. And let’s imagine other members of authority, like Ryan Funke, who might have been too preoccupied with wanting to be Sheriff that his ability to do basic investigative work was put on the back-burner.
I hope you can see now why I’m so excited: Missoula’s elected leaders have an AMAZING opportunity to address some REAL extremist shit going on, possibly so extreme that it’s compromised the entire Mineral County Sherrif’s Office (MCSO).
Or, if that’s too real, just find some LARPing Fed Bois and play pretend with them because that might be safer. Thanks for reading!
The best piece yet re the Barsotti saga.
I’m not getting why the FBI declines to put someone on this, considering that interstate telephone communications were utilized to threaten torching of the Virginia home if Mom didn’t back off from tree-shaking, and especially now that there’s a “hit man” who has produced purported interstate recordings and texts of conversations between himself and “Sgt.” David Barsotti planning arson of the home, on user-untraceble “burner” phones. That gives FBI concurrent jurisdiction. David’s ties to an SPLC-watched, neo-fascist hate-monger would, one would expect, only increase G-Man interest, particularly in light of the latest Northern Idaho bust of alt-Right white nationalists on weapons charges. Finally, if it’s true that details of planning were discussed between/among conspirators via radio, there is federal jurisdiction, as well. Reports that this utilized “ham radio” are almost certainly inaccurate. It’s awfully difficult to communicate via amateur (“ham”) radio using voice modes (as is said by some to have occurred) without being monitored by other ham operators, scanner hobbyists, etc. What almost certainly happened, if the intercepted and reportedely recorded radio coms are for real, is that ignoramus RWNJs were using cheap, Chinese VHF/UHF radios, millions of which have been unlawfully dumped on the U.S. market, which are user-programmable to any frequency from 136-174 MHz and from 420-470 MHz. The Baofeng Company is the most prolific manufacturer, wholesaler and retailer of these radios, which the FCC once rigorously banned but that are now impossible to control (although, when 1/6 Capitol breachers and group commanders were using “Baofeng radios,” the FCC issued an Order stating that although some of these radios are FCC certified for U.S. importation, sale and use for various licensed radio services, many are not and all of them are user front-panel programmable, making them illegal. The open market still has a glut of such radios offered for sale direct from China, openly advertised. We’re now in the epoch of software defined radios, also. It’s another federal offense, conferring FBI jurisdiction, with (as I recall) a max $100K fine, and up to 20 years in prison, to use radio communication (whether licensed or not) to help facilitate a crime. FBI jursidiction would also lie if there is any fire behind the smoke re the Mineral Co. Sheriff. Ihave to say htat after watching videos of the family’s P.I., I’m not very impressed, and many of his claims about SAR and about the dynamics of bodies in rivers, were simply wrong.
It’s a good thing that some people are keeping a spotlight on this.
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