Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne is palling around with terrorists
April 14, 2012 by William K. Wolfrum
Ernest Hancock and Freedom’s Phoenix “watering the tree of liberty” with guns at an Obama appearance.
I’ve written several times about Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne, focusing on his love for intimidating and slandering financial journalists, his constant misleading of investors, and other subjects.
Byrne – who has led Overstock to yearly loss after loss and has been key in driving OSTK stock to it’s current $5.01 per share – is also an extreme right-winger. Not a Sean Hannity-type extreme right-winger, mind you, but closer to one of those faux-Libertarian, overthrow-the-government types of extremists.
Such does Byrne support the right-wing libertarian militia movement, that he was recently a guest of Earnest Hancock on Freedom’s Phoenix radio show. Who is Hancock, you ask? Well, just someone who has been accused by Arizona State Senator Russell Pearce – a far-right conservative himself – of being a terrorist.
Ernest Hancock, the online radio host who staged an interview with an assault rifle-wielding associate at the Obama event in Arizona yesterday — and was himself armed with a 9 millimeter pistol — was a vocal supporter and friend of right-wing anti-government militia members who were convicted of conspiracy and weapons charges in the 90s.
And in an interview today with TPMmuckraker, Hancock said he still believes the Viper Militia case was “manufactured” by the same government that manufactured Waco and lied to its people about 9/11.
The federal government initially accused the Arizona Viper Militia of plotting to blow up federal buildings, which the twelve-member group cased on videotape.
In July 1996, after a grand jury indicted the suspects, federal agents “seized about 90 high-powered rifles and hundreds of pounds of a bomb-making compound from the shabby bungalow of a man whom officials identified as the ordnance specialist of a local paramilitary group,” the New York Times reported at the time.
Hancock, who in recent years designed the famous “Ron Paul rEVOLution” graphic, was an oft-quoted defender of the militia members. The tapes of the government buildings, he said at the time, were purely “educational.”
Byrne – who notably railed against Utah voters for rejecting his push to “reform” the Utah school system by making it a voucher program and runs the libel factory known as Deep Capture – shared some of his radical, paranoid views with Hancock, including his claims that “Naked Short Sellers” have destroyed the stock prices of his mismanaged company.
Hancock is not currently under arrest, and it was by no means a crime for Byrne to appear on his radio show. But it shows he is a supporter of those with radical and dangerous ideologies. If you don’t think right-wing terrorism is a problem in the U.S., read some of David Neiwert’s work on the subject.
People like Hancock like to talk how they just want to be “left alone” by the federal government, but what they really want to be left alone to be racists who dream of an overthrow of the U.S. government. These are violent, ignorant, paranoid people who fantasize that Ron Paul will someday be President and allow them to unleash chaos in the name of of something they like to call Libertarianism.
And Overstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne supports them.