The Idaho Statesman reports that White nationalist lawyer Edgar Steele, famed for his vigorous but unsuccessful defense of Pastor Richard Butler in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit brought against them by the Southern Poverty Law Center in 2000, has been arrested by the FBI in connection with a dubious-sounding "murder-for-hire" plot.
An individual occasionally employed by Edgar Steele turned out to be a confidential informant and has been singing to the FBI. According to the snitch, Steele had discussed a list of people he wanted dead, including his wife and her mother, six months earlier. The snitch agreed to the plot and accepted $500 in travel money, and Steele allegedly promised as much as $25,000 if the murders were completed on Friday June 11th. It was intended to be a car crash made to look like an accident. Steele also allegedly promised the snitch another $100,000 if an insurance policy paid out after his wife's murder. Steele also allegedly said he would deny knowing the witness if he were caught, but he would compensate the witness's family if Steele was never implicated.
Once the snitch learned of the specific deadline, he informed his FBI handlers, who equipped him with a concealed recording device which documented Steele allegedly discussing the murders. As a result, Steele was arrested at his home in Sagle, Idaho on June 11th. Traci Whelan, an assistant U.S. attorney for Idaho, explained that the complaint is just a charging document and is not proof of guilt. Steele will likely appear at a preliminary hearing on Monday June 14th, and the case will eventually go before a grand jury. Whelan further stated that Steele is in custody on federal felony charges, but she declined to reveal where he is being held.
What makes this case spurious is that there is no recorded discord between Steele and his wife. The couple is reportedly still married and have not separated. Steele's wife was visiting or helping out with a health care issue at her mother's house in Oregon this week.
Edgar Steele, also the author of "Defensive Racism", operates the ConspiracyPenPal and NickelRant websites. In late summer 2009, he took an extended sabbatical from posting on those sites. Since then, he's revealed that he almost died of a ruptured aorta in November 2009, so he's been contending with serious medical issues of his own. In his most recent post on NickelRant on May 21st, he does not disclose any problems with his wife, although he does disclose the intent to get active in the Cause again and publish a softbound edition of Defensive Racism. I don't see how any of his activism could suddenly attract FBI interest.
The unanswered question is was the snitch deliberately sent in by the FBI in advance to worm his way into Steele's confidence, or did he become a snitch after he began working for Steele? Informants can only be trusted to do one thing; tell the story the government wants to hear. Without independent objective evidence corroborating this story, it is difficult to take this snitch seriously.
Unfortunately, the government does, and the government has Steele in custody. He's about to go through hell. Update: American Nazi Party activist John Taylor Bowles has now picked up the story, and offers useful tips for activists who don't want to get swallowed up in this type of situation. Stormfront has also picked up the story, and most everyone posting on the thread share my skepticism. Now also discussed on the Vanguard News Network Forum.