21st Century Wire says…
It seems that activist and former RT America host, Abby Martin, has been caught in the cross hairs of Chris Kyle’s new found following...
This storm of controversy started after Martin released a photo of a T-Shirt design she is currently marketing, which reads “F*ck Chris Kyle”.
Interestingly, this story blends into right into a much more inflammatory situation created by anti-Islamic media personality Pamela Geller who was seen to have intentionally baited what looked like a terrorist attack in Garland, Texas last Sunday.
“Very telling that the #ChrisKyle fans who tell me he ‘died for my freedom’ to wear clothes are threatening to rape & kill me for free speech,” said Martin on Twitter…
Perhaps. Abby Martin is a staunch anti-war voice and her view are very well known on that issue – so her feelings regarding both Kyle and American Sniper should come as no surprise to anyone. Mob threats of physical violence against Martin and her family are flat wrong, if not illegal, and should be treated seriously by law enforcement. However, in this new nation of extremes, it’s obvious that passions are running hot in all directions – on issues regarding war and the synthetic fear of terrorism, ISIS and of Muslims in America. Unfortunately, not everyone is patient enough, or in some cases even able to rise above the “shock culture”. Whether it’s the bombastic Geller, the cutting Martin, or the war mongering cult of Kyle, this is the new ugly America where everyone is compelled to shove it in each others’ faces, and where ideological opponents are threatened with heinous physical crimes.
Wiser pundits should be wondering where this this new “free speech” odyssey is actually heading. Regardless, we’ll have to get used to a confrontational culture, of endless calculated and intentionally instigatorial mud-slinging, hate-based and polarized discourse trumps civil debate and discussion. This is just the way things are now. And we expect this unsettling trend to get worse, before it gets better.
So who’s right and who’s wrong? At some point in the near future, that won’t even matter (if it doesn’t already). Problem, reaction, solution. Undoubtedly, this is where the foul-mouthed ‘Geller Culture’ is all heading. As this new instigator environment becomes progressively worse (as it certainly will), then expect our trusted savior and nanny supreme – the Government – to step in and restrict our REAL free speech. Originally, Americans’ “free speech” was earmarked by the US Constitution’s founders – first and foremost – to protect genuine dissenters from a tyrannical government or state.
NOTE: Even though it’s not a product we would sell at 21WIRE, we recognize Martin’s opinionated stance in the face of the immense Hollywood war propaganda machine. However, if there is indeed any spike in T-Shirt sales from this manufactured (on both sides) controversy, maybe a donation to some good cause is in order.
The Price Of Dissent: Abby Martin Gets Graphic Rape Threats From Chris Kyle Fans
Mint Press News
Journalist Abby Martin has never been afraid to speak her mind, no matter how controversial the topic. What she didn’t expect was that her choice of T-shirt would result in her address and other personal information being leaked online and provoke a storm of death and rape threats.
It wasn’t the first time she’d spoken out against the overwhelming popularity of “American Sniper,” or the way the cult of personality surrounding the film’s inspiration, deceased U.S. Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, supports America’s military-industrial complex, so the intense reaction to a recent social media post was unexpected. A week after Martin shared an Instagram photo of herself wearing a “Fuck Chris Kyle” T-shirt, a military veteran leaked her home address and other personal information to the Internet, sharing it on popular forums for current or former snipers:
The practice of leaking personal information to the Internet to aid in the harassment of a political enemy is known as “doxing.”
Supporters of Kyle flooded Martin’s social media accounts with threats of violence, sexual assault, and murder, forcing the journalist to take action to protect her safety and that of her family:
— Rania Khalek (@RaniaKhalek) May 8, 2015
— Mike Prysner (@MikePrysner) May 5, 2015
(…) A recurring topic on Martin’s program was the damage caused by America’s ever-expanding military adventures, and the ways nationalist and fanatically patriotic American culture supports the country’s deadly wars overseas.
In January, she spoke on “Breaking the Set” to journalist Rania Khalek about “American Sniper,” calling the film “patriot porn” and a “celebration of psychopathy.” Although she received backlash then, it was only after being doxed for a T-shirt that Martin faced credible threats to her life.
Angering the “American Sniper” cult
Mint Press News interviewed Martin, who spoke with us by phone from an undisclosed location. We asked her why she thought the T-shirt, and “American Sniper,” provoked such a violent reaction.
“Of everything I’ve done, I never expected it would be Chris Kyle fans that would come down this hard,” Martin said.
“When Chris Kyle initially died, no one was really calling him a hero, they were just talking about how terrible it is that these soldiers are coming back and killing each other,” she explained. “What ‘American Sniper,’ the movie, did, was bring him up to this cult hero worship status where he’s on par now with Muhammad.”
Martin explained that she’s seen Kyle supporters make this hyperbolic comparison on multiple occasions.
“Literally, people are likening this situation to drawing cartoons of the Prophet,” she said, before reiterating that one is central to the religion of 1.6 billion people, while the other is a former sniper. “That is how insane this reaction has been.”
Taking threats seriously
“They’re making this about a ‘free speech issue,’ but they don’t understand that free speech does not entail rape, death and torture threats,” Martin told MintPress. “That’s actually a misdemeanor, a threat of bodily harm, or a felony in the case of actual legitimate death threats.”
For safety reasons, Martin did not reveal all the steps she’s taken in response to the threats, but she emphasized that she is doing what is necessary to protect herself and her family.
“I have stalkers, aside from this incident,” she revealed, “so having this information out there is actually really dangerous for me. So I did take immediate precautions. And for everyone who actually sent me an overt rape, death or torture threat, I filed charges with police. And then with this latest doxing, I filed that as well.”
Martin explained that reporting the actions to the police is the best way to create a paper trail, in the event that someone tries to act on one of these threats.
Michael Vincent Trautman, the veteran who doxed Abby Martin
Martin revealed to MintPress that through multiple, credible reports, she was able to trace the leak of her personal information to posts made on several sniper and veteran Internet forums. The author of the posts was a man named Michael Vincent Trautman.
“The fact that he posted my address and phone number on a bunch of veterans and sniper forums was a clear incitement for violence and harm on me and my family,” Martin told MintPress.
According to his Facebook, Trautman was born in Pittsburgh, and currently lives in Pleasant Hill, Pennsylvania.
In the “About” section of his profile, Trautman wrote:
“What have you or I done for our fellow man? As to do for your fellow man is to do for God as he is within us all. I truly hate nobody, yes as a flawed sinful man I dislike certain others but I still love them and seek to forgive them and desire to be forgiven by them.”
However, contrary to Trautman’s stated philosophy, a search of publicly available Internet records shows a troubling history of violent threats…
(…) A myth of an American hero
“American Sniper” author Chris Kyle poses for this 2012 file photo. (Photo: Paul Moseley/AP
After emphasizing that the threats are a crime verging on terrorism, Martin also critiqued the idea that oppressive behavior is a way to uphold the principle of free speech.
“You’re not doing anything daring, dude, you’re just riding a wave and then saying it’s all about free speech,” she said.
“Sure it’s free speech, but you’re not standing up to the man.”
The First Amendment is meant to protect dissent, she told MintPress, adding: No one needs to protect the free speech rights of those who are just repeating the propaganda of America’s militaristic culture about one of its soldiers, Chris Kyle.
“It’s an insane, cult-like syndrome and they are on top of the world. The U.S. is the military machine, it’s the military empire. And here you have this war ‘hero’ who is in reality a xenophobic, racist bigot that bragged about killing savages,” said Martin.
She reserved some of her strongest criticism for those who claim that Kyle died defending the Constitution, when in reality he was slain by another soldier:
“Don’t get it twisted, he didn’t die in Iraq,” she said. “Just the fact that these people think the Iraq War had something to do with freedom, that’s how in denial they are and that’s how dangerous movies like ‘American Sniper’ are.”
Martin explained that “American Sniper” deliberately includes footage of September 11 as a way to emphasize the imaginary connection between Iraq and the 2001 terrorist attack.
She continued: “These kinds of psychotic people are the reason why Iraq is so messed up today and the reason why terrorism is on the rise.”
The gender factor
Gender plays an obvious role in the severity of the threats against Martin.
In July 2014, Jesse Ventura, the former governor and Navy SEAL, won a lawsuit against Kyle’s estate. Kyle invented a fictional fistfight between the pair in his book and repeated the story in a subsequent appearance on Fox News.
“I’m sure that he got his own share of threats, but what he didn’t get was people saying they want to rape him,” she said, comparing the reaction to Ventura’s lawsuit to the social media users who threatened to mutilate Martin’s genitals.
“Those are the threats that men don’t get, but with women all of them revert to this base level misogyny — where men on public Facebook and Instagram accounts are saying, ‘We’re going to put on our raping shoes and find this bitch,’” quoted Martin.
Electronic Intifada journalist Rania Khalek also received rape and death threats after she published unflattering quotations from Kyle’s book, “American Sniper.” And Khalek documented how viewing the film based on the book inspired Twitter users to make racist threats against Arabs and Muslims.
“Right now, I’m more scared of Chris Kyle fans than terrorists,” Martin said, pointing out that a person is more likely to die from an accident in their home than an act of terrorism…
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