Imperial Klans of America (IKA)

Emma Best filed this request with the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States of America.

It is a clone of this request.

Tracking # 1363729-000, DOJ-AP-2017-001929
Due Jan. 25, 2017
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Michael Best

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

Records relating to or mentioning the Imperial Klans of America (IKA).

Employing classical Klan ideology, the IKA targets Jews, homosexuals, blacks, Latinos and "race traitors." The group predicts the "end of the race" by 2100 if white hate groups do not mobilize to protect white racial purity. "If America Only Had One Race," an article on the IKA website, seeks to raise fears of radical privacy violations and bans on white couples to be enacted by a future Muslim president. "Mr. Powers and Ms. Smith have both been genetically certified as members of the white race," read the fantastical piece. "They wish to have a child. They may not do so without violating the Act and thereby risking serious penalty. The Mandatory Miscegenation Act was enacted by Congress after several years of public debate. It was hailed by President Muhammad as 'the most important, the most fundamental civil rights legislation in the history of our nation.'"

The IKA subscribes to a variety of grand conspiracy theories concerning Jewish control of the establishment, especially the American media and government. The IKA says that Jews are directing America's foreign relations to help Israel. Their beliefs derive from members' adherence to Christian Identity, a particularly radical religion that vilifies Jews and non-whites. "WE BELIEVE the White, Anglo-Saxon, Germanic and kindred people to be God's true, literal Children of Israel," the IKA writes. "Only this race fulfills every detail of Biblical Prophecy and World History concerning Israel and continues in these latter days to be heirs and possessors of the Covenants, Prophecies, Promises and Blessings YHVH God mad to Israel. … This chosen seedline making up the 'Christian Nations' (Gen. 35:11; Isa. 62:2; Acts 11:26) of earth stands far superior to all other peoples in their call as God's servant race (Isa. 41:8, 44:21; Luke 1:54)." The creed can be generously deemed a false interpretation, as the cited Bible passages make absolutely no mention of white racial superiority. Through similar "proof," the IKA lays claim to being the "chosen people" of the Bible, a key tenet of Christian Identity theology. "History, archaeology, and the Bible now prove that ancient Anglo-Saxon-Celtic-Scythian people are all Caucasian descendants of the House of Israel," the IKA says.

The IKA's Dawson Springs, Ky., compound serves as a venue for the annual Nordic Fest, a festival of racist music that attracts an array of white supremacist groups and their families, including skinheads, neo-Nazis, and other Ku Klux Klan groups. At the Spring 2006 gathering, a speech by Steven Boswell of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) provoked a brawl between the violent Vinlanders Social Club and the NSM. The clash culminated in approximately 50 Vinlanders, headed by Eric "The Butcher" Fairburn, attacking five NSM members as Boswell's 10-year-old daughter screamed from the crowd, 'They're killing my daddy!" IKA security stood by as the fight continued on before breaking up the warring racists.

Like other white supremacist groups, the IKA has in recent years focused its propaganda on illegal immigration. Though their website clearly states that the group does not condone violence, and that "ANY MEMBER COMMITTING ANY ILLEGAL ACT DOES SO ON THEIR OWN," IKA members have been party to brutal and unprovoked violence. Given the harsh anti-immigrant stance of IKA, it was not surprising when on July 30, 2006, two IKA members, Jarred R. Hensley, 24, of Cincinnati and Andrew R. Watkins, 26, of Louisville, attacked Jordan Gruver while the 16-year-old was enjoying the Meade County Fair in Brandenburg, Ky., because they thought he was Latino (they used racial slurs, including "spic," during the attack). Gruver was beaten to the ground and kicked with steel-toed boots by his attackers, one of whom was 6 foot 5 inches and 330 pounds; Gruver weighed 150 pounds. The Klansmen cracked Gruver's ribs, broke his arm and broke his jaw. Hensley and Watkins were later sentenced to three-year prison terms for the attack.

The SPLC filed a civil lawsuit against the IKA in July 2007, naming Ron Edwards, the IKA's founder, and several ranking members as defendants. By the summer of 2008, Edwards and several others had been deposed. During the trial, Edwards would defend himself by arguing that his racism consisted of only words and symbols. No matter how offensive his views might be to some people, he argued, he has a constitutional right to freedom of speech. "Nobody in America should be persecuted for what they believe in," he said.

But the SPLC made the case that the First Amendment did not immunize Edwards' activities. Edwards, the SPLC lawyers argued, enlisted men with violent histories and then sent them out to recruit new members — all in an effort to line his pockets with membership dues. Rather than try to control his recruiters by prescribing rules to govern their conduct, Edwards added fuel to the fire by preaching hatred and encouraging violence. For these reasons, the SPLC legal team said, Edwards should be held liable for Gruver's injuries.

The trial was held in November 2008. After deliberating for more than six hours, the jury returned the verdict finding that Edwards had failed to properly supervise the Klansmen who attacked Gruver and that he had encouraged their violence. The jury awarded just over $1.5 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages to Gruver. Based on the jury's apportionment of responsibility for Gruver's attack, Edwards will be responsible for 20% of the compensatory award as well as the entire punitive damages award. Punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant and serve as a deterrent to future misconduct.

Please conduct a search of the Central Records System, including but not limited to the Electronic Surveillance (ELSUR) Indices, the Microphone Surveillance (MISUR) Indices, the Physical Surveillance (FISUR) Indices, and the Technical Surveillance (TESUR) Indices, for both main-file records and cross-reference records of both HQ and all field offices for all relevant names, agencies, organizations, companies and events including but not limited to those cited in the previous paragraphs and/or links as well as a cross-reference with the Southern Poverty Law Center to include any information provided by the SPLC. My request includes but is not limited to 137, 157, 176, 177, 183, 184, 188, and 214 files. If previously released records are available, then I request a rolling release consisting of those records while additional records are located and processed for release.

I am a member of the news media and request classification as such. I have previously written about the government and its activities for AND Magazine, MuckRock and Glomar Disclosure and have an open arrangement with each. My articles have been widely read, with some reaching over 100,000 readers. As such, as I have a reasonable expectation of publication and my editorial and writing skills are well established. In addition, I discuss and comment on the files online and make them available through the non-profit Internet Archive, disseminating them to a large audience. While my research is not limited to this, a great deal of it, including this, focuses on the activities and attitudes of the government itself. As such, it is not necessary for me to demonstrate the relevance of this particular subject in advance. Additionally, case law states that “proof of the ability to disseminate the released information to a broad cross-section of the public is not required.” Judicial Watch, Inc. v. Dep’t of Justice, 365 F.3d 1108, 1126 (D.C. Cir. 2004); see Carney v. U.S. Dep’t of Justice, 19 F.3d 807, 814-15 (2d Cir. 1994). Further, courts have held that "qualified because it also had “firm” plans to “publish a number of . . . ‘document sets’” concerning United States foreign and national security policy." Under this criteria, as well, I qualify as a member of the news media. Additionally, courts have held that the news media status "focuses on the nature of the requester, not its request. The provision requires that the request be “made by” a representative of the news media. Id. § 552(a)(4)(A)(ii)(II). A newspaper reporter, for example, is a representative of the news media regardless of how much interest there is in the story for which he or she is requesting information." As such, the details of the request itself are moot for the purposes of determining the appropriate fee category. As such, my primary purpose is to inform about government activities by reporting on it and making the raw data available and I therefore request that fees be waived.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Michael Best

From: FOIPARequest

Good morning,

The FBI has received your Freedom of Information Act/Privacy (FOIPA) request and it will be forwarded to Initial Processing for review. Your request will be processed under the provisions of FOIPA and a response will be mailed to you at a later date.

Requests for fee waivers and expedited processing will be addressed once your request has been assigned an FOIPA request number. You will receive written notification of the FBI’s decision.

Information regarding the Freedom of Information Act/Privacy is available at http://www.fbi.gov/ or http://www.fbi.gov/foia/. If you require additional assistance please contact the Public Information Officer.

Thank you,

Holly Early
Government Information Specialist
Record/Information Dissemination Section (RIDS)
FBI-Records Management Division
170 Marcel Drive, Winchester, VA 22602-4843
PIO: (540) 868-4593
Direct: (540) 868-4854
Fax: (540) 868-4391/4997
E-mail: foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foiparequest@ic.fbi.gov>
Questions E-mail: foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov<mailto:foipaquestions@ic.fbi.gov>

Do you have further questions about the FOI/PA process? Visit us at http://www.fbi.gov/foia

Please check the status of your request online at https://vault.fbi.gov/fdps-1/@@search-fdps. Status updates are performed on a weekly basis.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

An acknowledgement letter, stating the request is being processed.

From: Michael Best

I am appealing the decision to not perform the cross-reference searches requested and to not search field offices as I specifically requested.

From: Federal Bureau of Investigation

An interim response, stating the request is being processed.

From: OIP-NoReply@usdoj.gov

01/27/2017 05:22 PM FOIA Request: DOJ-AP-2017-001929

From: OIP-NoReply@usdoj.gov

DOJ-AP-2017-001929 has been processed with the following final disposition: Closed for other reasons -- Other -- No Component Response to Adjudicate.

  • Best, Michael FBI 17-001929 (2-8-17) failure.no.adverse.determination-

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