In recent months, we have been dealing with a group white supremacist gloryhounds out of Maryland led by Matthew Heimbach, who in addition to a number of other organizations has been notable as the guy who started what he called a "White Student Union" on the campus of TowsonUniversity. While not recognized by the school, this White Student Union crowd still manages to get some media posturing time in via stunts like announcing anti-crime patrols on campus, harassing black conservatives during their CPAC workshop, or protesting May Day celebrations in WashingtonDC, the latter resulting in a rather comical altercation with this crew between them and the May Day participants. Now of this crew, Heimbach, his girlfriend the ironically-last-named Theresa Braun, Scott Terry and Shane Long are the only ones who publicly identify themselves. Others in the group prefer not to bask in the media glow and stand behind them, lending their support in the background. One of them, a guy named John Stortstrom, might have a pretty good reason for that, but its also the reason why we better not Let him stay in the shadows. See, not only is he vice-president of a Republican Party club that curiously was comfortable enough with Heimbach that he was invited to speak at one of their meetings, but his job - his actual bread winning profession - is making things that explode! What’s more, that job is with the part of the US Military that works with chemical weapons!
Shall we begin?
The Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) is a part of the U.S. Army and it’s Wikipedia entry calls it “the United States’s principal research and development resource for non-medical chemical and biological (CB) defense.” In addition to protecting the nation from the threat of chemical and biological weapons, they also assist in the development of chemical warfare defense technology. After graduating first from Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, MD in 2003 and then from the University of Maryland in 2008, Stortstrom started working for the Army in April of 2009, and he currently works in the Obscuration and Nonlethal Engineering Branch of the ECBC. In a video posted in 2012, he explained one of the projects he was working on at the time.
Now when it comes to his politics, what you will see on the internet is him playing it strictly mainstream. He was the Executive Director of the Maryland Federation of College Republicans in 2009, as evidenced by a comment from him in an article about Romney on the Huffington Post. Currently, he is the Vice-President of the Route 40 Republican Club in Maryland which has brought national GOP figures to their meetings and among its current activities include raffling off AR-15s at gun rallies. And then this month, they invite Heimbach to speak and call for the Republican Party to stand up for white interests. Of course everyone on the racist right say this is the greatest thing in the world for them, but when you talk to the mainstreamers, that might be a different story. Before the speaking engagement, one Maryland blogger voiced his displeasure with the invite to the group’s president Frank Mullis, who responded by noting he was of the “Hebrew Faith”, that Heimbach “does not have a hate for anyone” and that the blogger has “such dislike for yourself”. It sounds like if RNC Chairman Reince Priebus is going to do that outreach to communities of color, he has his work cut out for him if clowns like Mullis are representing the party.
But let’s not forget about Stortstrom. We said earlier that he plays it mainstream on the internet, and he does play it cool with his public displays of affection for Heimbach and the White Student Union. So if you want to see him involved with that crowd, you actually have to go to where that crowd is. Stortstrom officially got on the radar when he showed up at the Jared Taylor appearance at TowsonUniversity. He not only asked a question of the aging White supremacist, but when a student that asked Taylor about where he fit in as an Italian, given the long-held dispute of the ethnicity of some Italians. Stortstrom upon hearing that shouted out to that student, “You were always white!” from the audience. And lest we think this was some onetime experience with Taylor, in April, Stortstrom attended the white supremacist American Renaissance Conference just outside Nashville, pretty much making his connections with that crowd solid. A few weeks later, he was participating in the pro-gun rally where he was raffling off the AR-15.
In 1995, it was noted in one study that terrorist elements may have established themselves within the United States Armed Forces. That concern came just after Tim McVeigh’s horrific bombing in Oklahoma City. In 2013, we are not even allowing people on planes just because they have Muslim names, so you can imagine what we are thinking when we see a guy who is a military contractor who job it is to develop bombs (albeit in his professional capacity non-lethal munitions) associating himself with the same element that has more than a passing association with racist domestic terrorists such as McVeigh. Add to that his political pull via his position with the Republican Club, and we have someone who is playing a very serious game. If the authorities are looking at this the same way we are, John Stortstrom might be getting himself an immediate career change. That may be why at press time he is suspended by the ECBC pending an investigation.
Faces of American Renaissance (Stortstrom is identified here)
A neo-Nazi conference takes place on Feb. 27 at the National Press Club. Let the Press CLub know what they have on their hands.
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