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WA State Civil Rights Exec Commissioner Slanders
Washington Minuteman Detachment?Minuteman Civil Defense Corps?P.O. Box 3290?Ferndale, WA. 98248-9998?August 2, 2007
Washington State Human Rights Commission
Marc Brenman, Director?Idolina Reta , Deputy Director?Kathy Baros Friedt, Chair?Ellis Casson?Deborah Sioux Cano-Lee?Jerry Hebert?Shawn Murinko
711 S. Capitol Way, #402?P.O. Box 42490?Olympia, WA 98504-2490
This letter of protest is written on behalf of the one hundred and ninety-six current members of the Washington State Chapter of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. We are addressing this letter of protest to all of the Commissioners on the Washington State Human Rights Commission, as well as to Governor Christine Gregoire, because we are not confident that writing directly to the Commission’s Executive Director, Marc Brenman alone will be either acknowledged or responded to, even though we are all American citizens and residents of Washington State and help pay the taxes which provides for his income.
On Sunday July 15th 2007, the Everett HeraldNet online news publication published a viciously insulting and derogatory opinion piece written by Marc Brenman
in which he maligned all members of “The Minutemen” with the following paragraph:
“The Minutemen rely on the use of hateful speech, the Big Lie, and fear of people who are different to corrupt and coarsen political dialogue, just as their Nazi forebears did. The so-called Minutemen, like their former fellow traveler Tim McVey, are precursors to domestic terrorism and vigilantism.”
In a single paragraph, given without any qualification or example to buttress his accusations, he branded us all as liars, as spreaders of hate and fear, linked us all directly to genocidal Nazism, directly associated us with a mass-murdering domestic terrorist, and said flatly that we are the precursors to terrorism and vigilantism.
Although the piece was published as opinion, Mr. Brenman was identified at the bottom of the article as the “Executive Director of the Washington State Human Rights Commission” which added the implication of “fact” to his opinion as that offered by an officer of the State of Washington. Indeed, why would an officer of the State of Washington, speaking with far-reaching impact, lie to readers by saying things which are not true and cannot be factually substantiated on a point by point basis?
Why would Mr. Brenman openly fabricate such slanderous allegations about people he does not know and could not name and would not recognize in person?
People reading Mr. Brenman’s words could easily believe that he was speaking factually about “Minutemen” organizations in Washington State, rather than simply being vindictively insulting and facetious as he painted all “Minutemen” with the same brush. Indeed, officers of the State are expected to be honest when communicating with the public and at least marginally fair and unbiased when commenting on controversial issues of broad community concern.
But Mr. Brenman was neither honest nor impartial, and he was not fair, and that is why we are so deeply offended by his statements.
It is Mr. Brenman who is relying on the use of hateful speech, the Big Lie, and fear of people who are different to corrupt and coarsen political dialogue.
Mr. Brenman, every member of the Washington State Chapter of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps is a good, decent, law abiding citizen of both the United States and Washington State. Our ranks include highly decorated veterans of the United States military, police officers, Democrats and Republicans, working class and professionals, Christians and Jews, and people of many races. We do not discriminate on the basis of race or religion or sexual orientation or country of origin.
In fact when a candidate applies to join the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a national organization headquartered in Arizona, they are required to undergo legal background checks. Once their background is cleared of any criminal activity, they must then take a pledge to uphold the Constitution of the United States. This pledge includes the line:
“There is no tolerance among Minutemen for racism or bigotry - E Pluribus Unum - Out of Many, One.”
And they must promise to abide by our standard operating procedures, rule number one of which specifies:
“1. Minutemen are courteous to everyone with whom they come into contact, and never discriminate against anyone for any reason.”
Furthermore, our rules clearly and aggressively forbid any hint of vigilantism:
“6. Minutemen follow all federal, state and local laws, understanding that we are being held to a higher standard by all.”
We do not, therefore, understand on what grounds Mr. Brenman could possibly link our membership to Nazis and the mindset of genocide. The Nazis gassed and shot and starved millions of people to death! To compare a group of law abiding American citizens actively advocating for the enforcement of our laws against illegal immigration–to Nazis, is not only patently ridiculous and belittling of the atrocities committed by the Nazis, it is also outrageously false and slanderous to the men and women of the Washington State Chapter of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps! There is simply no logical comparison between us and the Nazis!
We do not, therefore, understand on what grounds Mr. Brenman claims to link us to a domestic terrorist like Timothy McVeigh who killed 186 innocent people at the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma, including wiping out an entire day care center filled with children!
We defend our Constitution, Mr. Brenman, and the likes of Timothy McVeigh would be instantly driven from our ranks!
We do not, therefore, understand why or how Mr. Brenman could possibly state that we are “precursors to domestic terrorism and vigilantism”! We in the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps uphold our nation’s laws, sir! We do not stand above them! And you cannot show otherwise! And that must be why you do not substantiate your claims in your opinion piece—because you CANNOT!
Your slanders are WITHOUT ANY BASIS IN FACT!
As an appointed officer of the State of Washington, Mr. Brenman must be held accountable for his vicious public accusations and publicly retract them in WRITTEN form. HE WORKS FOR ALL THE *CITIZENS* OF THIS STATE AND NOT JUST THOSE WHO HOLD HIS POLITICAL VIEWS!
We have been deeply and unjustly maligned by Mr. Brenman and deserve a public apology from him printed in the very publication in which he made such unjust and outrageously false accusations about our Organization or we will pursue every legal option available to us to secure our satisfaction in this matter!
Will you issue a written public apology to our organization to be published on the HeraldNet online news service, Mr. Brenman, or do you refuse?
Please respond immediately.
With greatest concern,
Signed the men and women of the Washington State Chapter of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.
WA State MMCDC: http://minuteman-wa.com/
MMCDC Pledge: http://www.minuteman-wa.com/blog/?page_id=13
MMCDC SOP: http://www.minuteman-wa.com/blog/?page_id=14