Someone is using the name "Sam Bacile" as a way to hide their identity. Why? Because they KNOW they stirred up a shitstorm and now they think they are going to get out of the way. They're wrong.
Why am I so confident of this? A couple of reasons.
First off, I used to make good money finding people, assets and information that people were trying to hide. Ever notice how people don't "go underground" anymore? Because you can't. There are too many people like me and too many tools for everyone to use now.
If you want an example of my work, look at what I wrote about Pastor Terry Jones and his money laundering operation 2 years ago. It's only a coincidence he is neck deep in this sewer. He's not the focus of my attention right now. But I am sure his role in this will turn out to be substantial as more people dig into this story.
Second, and more important, when a guy with my skills goes looking for a weasel like "Bacile" and NOTHING turns up. No phone records, no auto records, no real estate records, no military records, no court records, you have to start wondering if the guy is a ghost.
Third, there's another problem... the guy's own words don't make sense. Bacile tells the WSJ he is an Israeli-American. Then he tells them he is "surprised" by the violence the movie has prompted.
There are three things wrong with all that.
1) Bacile is not a Jewish name. It's Italian. The Bacile's who immigrated to America in the 1890s landed mostly in Michigan, New York, New Jersey, Louisiana and Texas. Some were later in Virginia and much later, some show up in California. Now you can find a few sprinkled in Florida or Wyoming, but most stayed near where their ancestors landed. Look it up yourself. It's not the most common name. There are only a couple hundred Bacile's in the country.
2) Bacile isn't saying he was born here. He says he is an Israeli-American. I can't recall ever hearing someone self-identify as an "Israeli-American." They call themselves "Israeli-born Americans," Natalie Portman is a perfect example. Why? Because being born in Israel gives you bragging rights. Dual citizenship doesn't have special significance for Jews because ALL Jews are born with the Right of Return. Any Jew can exercise that right, even criminals. Meyer Lansky and Samuel Scheinbein weren't Israeli citizens. That didn't stop them from going aliyah the second it was in their interest. They knew Israel would take them in.
Why? Because Israel had to. The Israeli Law of Return passed in 1950 made immigration to the land of Israel the right of every Jew. This is a fundamental principle of Zionism that has been an aspiration of Jews since the Babylonian Exile, 2500 years ago. This was before the Holocaust. Before Rome. Even before Hanukkah was invented.
3) If Bacile really is Israeli, then he is the stupidest Israeli on the planet. No Israeli is going to be surprised they provoked a serious response if they broadcast images of Mohammed, forget about images of Mohammed having sex.
Remember all the controversy about the cartoons? That didn't happen in Israel. It happened in Denmark. I'm not saying Israelis never taunt Muslims or disparage Mohammed. I'm saying if they do, they aren't surprised when it provokes a violent reaction. And no Israeli is going to be surprised people riot when you put up a movie showing Mohammed going down on a woman. That's why Yigal Palmor, the Israeli Foreign Minister, was blunt when asked about Bacile.
“Nobody knows who he is. He is totally unknown in film making circles in Israel. And anything he did — he is not doing it for Israel, or with Israel, or through Israel in any way.”
To make it crystal clear where Israel stood on this, their head diplomat, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, then called Bacile
“a complete loose cannon and an unspeakable idiot.”
All this reinforced my gut feeling that "Sam Bacile" was not who he said he was. It turns out, I was right.
So who is behind this? Good question. If you have been here any length of time you may be shocked, but not surprised, at what you find when you turn over a few rocks.
The Daily Mail (UK) reports
A search is on for the man behind the 'blasphemous' film that branded Mohammed a fraud, a pedophile and a womaniser and sparked deadly protests after records apparently reveal he does not exist.
They basically arrived at the same conclusion I did, for the same reasons. I didn't pursue the matter or publish it because I didn't want to make the mistake Spike Lee did after the Treyvon Martin shooting. Even if I had found a Sam Bacile who was even close to the age of this guy (he claims he is 58), I wouldn't have published it. That would be a death sentence.
However, a guy named Steven Klein told Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic
the producer of the film, is not Israeli, and most likely not Jewish, as has been reported, and that the name is, in fact, a pseudonym. He said he did not know "Bacile"'s real name. He said Bacile contacted him because he leads anti-Islam protests outside of mosques and schools, and because, he said, he is a Vietnam veteran and an expert on uncovering al Qaeda cells in California.
Who is Steven Klein? According to the Daily Mail report
Klein, who works as a Christian activist in California, said 'Bacile' contacted him with help on the film as he leads anti-Islam protests. 'The Middle East Christian and Jewish communities trust me,' he said.
Hopefully, that won't last much longer.
The Mail goes on to quote Klein as saying:
'It is not our fault, we told the truth'.
He said that he did not feel guilty for the murder of John Christopher Stevens and that the mob who carried it out were to blame as they were following Mohammed’s violent teachings...He said: "I feel bad for the death of the ambassador - he didn’t do anything to anybody - but it’s not our fault. We didn’t want anybody to get killed but on the other hand the truth had to come out...We told the truth and these people reacted the way that Mohammed wanted to them to react - by killing people."
Now THAT sounds like something you would expect a Christian Zealot to say. Why? Because they've BEEN talking that trash for years. It's a cottage industry in some evangelical circles.
The Mail article goes on to reveal an interesting point about Klein:
Mr Klein, a Christian who is now head of a group called Concerned Citizens for the First Amendment, said that he was prepared for a backlash against him personally.
He said: "I am not afraid and if these people tried to kill me they would not be the first. I sleep with a 12 gauge shotgun by me and my wife sleeps with a 38 caliber pistol next to her. I live in rural California with lots and lots of guns - I am not afraid to stand up for what I believe in."
Sounds more like a Second Amendment kind of guy to me, but who am I to judge where he puts his priorities? One thing is clear. He and Terry Jones are cut from the same cloth, no doubt about that.
So who the hell are Concerned Citizens for the First Amendment? And how come they aren't a department of the ACLU? They are a California Corporation:
||CONCERNED CITIZENS FOR FIRST AMENDMENT
||25220 HANCOCK AVE STE 210
|Entity City, State, Zip:
||MURRIETA CA 92562
|Agent for Service of Process:
||736 N STATE ST SUITE 201
|Agent City, State, Zip:
||HEMET CA 92543
So now that we have this mystery cleared up, Mr. Klein has some 'splainin' to do. Specifically, let's talk about that $5 million dollars, "Bacile" claimed he raised to produce this movie. A movie that has such wretched production values, you would get a barely passing grade for it in a high school film class.
Where exactly did the money come from. And who finances CCFFA? They didn't just appear out of nowhere. This is not the first time they attacked Muslims. In fact, the Southern Poverty Law Center's "HateWatch" just publishedsome truly shocking information about Klein and his group of merry men.
Steve Klein, who served as a consultant for the Islam-bashing film that sparked the deadly assault on a U.S. Consulate in Libya, is a longtime religious-right activist who has helped train paramilitary militias at a secretive church in California.
That's right. This guy who sleeps with a shotgun has been training paramilitary militias.
Someone is bankrolling them. Who is it? Inquiring minds want to know!
The HateWatch piece is particularly surprising -- because so many common themes emerge:
In a 22-acre compound at the southern edge of Sequoia National Park in California, a secretive cohort of militant Christian fundamentalists is preparing for war. One of the men helping train the flock in the art of combat, a former Marine named Steve Klein, believes that California is riddled with Muslim Brotherhood sleeper cells “who are awaiting the trigger date and will begin randomly killing as many of us as they can.”
“I know I’m getting prepared to shoot back,” Klein says.
At the head of the Church at Kaweah is Pastor Warren Mark Campbell, who sees yet another enemy on the horizon: the “New World Order,” that chimera of the conspiracists who populate the resurgent, antigovernment “Patriot” movement.
The tiny church has been well outside the mainstream since the early 1990s, when founding pastor Warren Lee Campbell (father of the current pastor) bought into the notion that churches should shun all government regulation and answer solely to God. Since then, the church has become increasingly radical, ramping up its paramilitary activities and forging alliances with an array of figures revered on the radical right — among them, militia and Patriot leaders, white supremacists, neo-Confederates, border vigilantes and Christian Reconstructionists, whose goal is to turn America into a theocracy based on the Old Testament.
That's right, Christian Reconstructionists are part of the mix. Thanks to Kossack Frederick Clarkson, we know all about that crew of misfits
. (h/t to Panglozz from the comments some extensive links relevant to the SoCal group
). It's no surprise Clarkson is actually quoted by HateWatch. He is, after all, an expert on the religious right.
So, what do we know about Church at Kaweah?
Kaweah Community Church, Inc.
PO Box 75
Kaweah, CA 93237
GuideStar, the standard source of information for such organizations simply states:
They have no reported income, no Form 990s filed with the IRS, in fact nothing is filed with the IRS. Think about that. NOTHING FOR 50 YEARS!
This organization is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because it is a church. This organization does not appear in the IRS's most recent list of tax-exempt organizations. IRS records do not, however, indicate that the organization’s tax-exempt status has been revoked.
Contact the organization for more information.
Call me crazy, call me paranoid. But I think if you are claiming to be protecting the Constitution, arming people with guns, and then using a church to avoid reporting anything to the government -- someone should be looking in to this. The money is coming from somewhere.
LATE BREAKING NEWS Since I started writing this, Associated Press has reports they found another one of the guys behind the film. I won't say he is "the guy" because it is clear there are a bunch of people behind this. However, this guy is going to be important.
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, told The Associated Press in an interview outside Los Angeles that he was manager for the company that produced "Innocence of Muslims," which mocked Muslims and the prophet Muhammad and may have caused inflamed mobs that attacked U.S. missions in Egypt and Libya. He provided the first details about a shadowy production group behind the film.
Nakoula denied he directed the film and said he knew the self-described filmmaker, Sam Bacile. But the cell phone number that AP contacted Tuesday to reach the filmmaker who identified himself as Sam Bacile traced to the same address near Los Angeles where AP found Nakoula. Federal court papers said Nakoula's aliases included Nicola Bacily, Erwin Salameh and others.
Nakoula denied he had posed as Bacile. During a conversation outside his home, he offered his driver's license to show his identity but kept his thumb over his middle name, Basseley. Records checks by the AP subsequently found it and other connections to the Bacile persona.
Yesterday, Crazyhorse wrote a heartbreaking diary
about the impact these killings are having at the State Department. The president has said those responsible for killing our people in Libya will be brought to justice. I have no doubt he will deliver on that. I just want to make sure EVERYONE who had a hand in this gets what's coming to them. That includes the people who incited the violence, too.
There is no question the First Amendment protects us in ways most people around the world can't even imagine. Yes, Americans have a Constitutional right to be an idiot. But idiots don't have a Constitutional right to avoid the consequences of their behavior. The First Amendment is not cover for snipers, bomb throwers and provocateurs. I hope the powers that be go full-bore werewolf on these idiot assholes. Vile Rat ,two Marines, and Ambassador Stevens deserves no less.
At this point the names of the Marines have not been publicly released. However, they will not remain nameless forever. It would be an insult to their sacrifice to leave them nameless for long. After their families have been properly notified and their names have been released into the public record, I will publish them here because these men deserve the recognition and respect of a grateful nation.
9:47 PM PT: Since this was published, it has now been learned that the two casualties from the security detail were NOT Marines. They were contractors. One, Former Navy SEAL Glen Doherty, has been identified. It is unfortunate that these men do not get the kind of recognition and respect for their service that we accord to active duty personnel. While I had very ambivalent feelings about the use of contractors during the Iraq War, this is clearly a different situation. Glen Doherty was serving in a vital capacity, not only protecting the diplomatic mission, but also working to locate dangerous weapons that may have fallen in to the wrong hands during the chaos of the revolution.