Capitol Rioter’s Excellent Vacation on Trump’s Campaign Trail: A Portrait of an American Insurrectionist

15 May

New York man arrested multiple times for assaulting, threatening to kill cops while flying ‘Blue Lives Matter’ flags on nationwide Trump campaign tour

May 12, 2021

By Nate Thayer

On Jan. 6, 2021, Jonathan Munafo punched a cop twice in the head with his fists, ripped away his riot shield and held it aloft in victory to a cheering crowd of insurrectionists. He then smashed a window with an American flag helping others seize control of the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., video, photographs, and court documents show.

But that was not the 34-year old Albany,, New York man’s first rodeo assaulting law enforcement while demonstrating his support for the re-election of then president Trump.

Munafo is charged in at least five states, two federal jurisdictions, and an American Indian reservation with weapons violations and assaulting cops and others as one of Donald Trump’s most fervent supporters in a nationwide crime spree in the run up to presidential elections  and the  insurrection at the Capitol in Washington, court and police documents obtained in an investigation show.

Munafo spent an uninterrupted year criss-crossing the country attending Trump campaign rallies in a borrowed car with official New York state “Naval Militia” license plates,  plastered with pro-Trump stickers, flying Trump and “Blue Lives Matter” flags and “Support our Police” banners from the vehicle’s roof, and a life-size mannequin of Trump seated in the back passenger seat, making a minor name for himself as one of then president Trump’s most fanatical true believers.

Munafo was arrested April 23, 2021 in Florida by a U.S. Marshall’s SWAT team on two separate federal warrants for 10 felony offenses including assaulting a federal officer, violent entry and disorderly conduct related to the January 6 U.S. Capitol riot. 

Other federal warrants accuse him of making 143 calls in a three hour period on January 5, 2021–the day before the Capitol insurrection–to a recorded 911 emergency number of the Calhoun County, Michigan sheriff’s office threatening to kill deputies while he was parked at a Dunn, North Carolina truck stop enroute to the insurrection to seize the Capitol building, according to FBI criminal complaints issued by the federal western district of Michigan court.

Munafo has left a trail of violent kerfuffles arrested on weapons and assault on law enforcement charges in a transcontinental crime spree from Washington D.C. to Washington state to Massachusetts in the days, weeks, and months prior to the January 2021 insurrection in Washington D.C.

But local, state, and federal law enforcement have never connected all the dots–and may not still realize Munafo, now in custody in Florida, is the same man with current outstanding arrest warrants for violence in numerous other jurisdictions.

At least three courts in different states with current outstanding warrants for Munafo’s arrest were not aware of charges in other jurisdictions or that Munafo is currently in custody when contacted this week by a reporter.

“He is scheduled to appear in court later this week–tomorrow– on May 13 for assault and battery on a police officer,” said a Lynn, Massachusetts court clerk when contacted by telephone this week. “I see he has another warrant out for him in Newburyport (Massachusetts) District Court.”

But neither the Lynn or Newburyport Massachusetts courts knew Munafo was at the time in custody in Florida on similar charges and is unlikely to appear in their courts.

“Hhmmm…that is interesting. I’ll try and let the court know he shouldn’t be expected to show up for court,” she said.

On September 14, 2020, Massachusetts State Police received a report that a man in a car “covered in Trump stickers threatened to shoot another man” at a highway rest stop near the small town of Salisbury, Massachusetts. State Police traced the license plate, a New York State vanity plate “Naval Militia 305”, to Munafo and issued him a summons to appear in court.

Law enforcement records show Munafo failed to appear and, instead, on September 22, 2020, in response to the issuance of the summons, called the emergency line for the State Police post in Newberry, Massachusetts 21 times using vulgar language and yelling at state troopers, arguing he shouldn’t be in trouble for threatening to shoot someone at the highway rest stop.

Several weeks later, on November 6, 2020, he was arrested again in nearby Lynn, Massachusetts for hip checking an elderly jogger, punching a 46-year old woman in the face who objected, and then assaulting local law enforcement while holding a placard reading “the no longer silent majority stands with Trump” placard and flying Trump and Blue Lives Matter flags from his nearby car in the quiet seaside town.

That was three days after Trump lost his re-election bid for president, which Munafo contends was stolen from the now former president.




Jonathan Munafo assaulting an elderly passing jogger in Lynn, Massachusetts on November 6, 2020. Photo screen grabbed from a cellphone video taken by a victim of the assault and provided to a reporter


“Take a hike, you ignorant motherfucker, “Munafo, carrying a Trump for president campaign placard, is video recorded telling a 46-year old woman passerby who objected to his berating others who disagreed with his one-man pro-Trump demonstration. “You just listen to the media. You’re talking to a real man today.”

Munafo then “punched me in the face. The guy was flying ‘blue lives matter’ and Trump flags and targeting people of color,” said the victim of Munafo in the November incident who pressed charges but asked that her name not be used when contacted this month by a reporter.

“I will fucking knock you silly, lady,” Munafo told her shortly before he hip checked the elderly jogger and punched him in the face with one hand while holding a Trump placard in the other, video of the incident taken by the crime victim shows.


Jonathan Munafo’s car in Lynn, Massachusetts November 6, 2020 when he was arrested for assaulting random pedestrians while holding Trump action signs three days after the then president was defeated for re-election

After Munafo was arrested for assaulting those pedestrians on that November Friday night,  he allegedly spit in the face of arresting officers while handcuffed to a hospital bed under police guard on Saturday, calling the cops ‘niggers’ and ‘spics, resulting in additional charges of assault and battery against a cop. After the weekend in jail, he was released November 9 by the Lynn district court on $500 bond pending a trial scheduled for January 7, 2021, according to Lynn, Massachusetts court and police charging documents.

Five days after that, on November 14, 2020, Munafo was photographed with a determined look on his face and flying an American flag at a large pro-Trump demonstration organized by white nationalists in Washington, D.C., a review of video and photographs taken that day show.

Jonathan Munafo in Washington, D.C. November 14 2020


The following month, on December 12, 2020, Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police documents show Munafo was arrested again for  “Illegal possession of a prohibited weapon” at the “Mega MAGA March” organized in part by the now nationally known “Proud Boys” supporting Trump and demonstration organizers false claim the presidential election results were fraudulent and his re-election was stolen.

Munafo spent three days in jail and was released on December 15, Washington, D.C. police arrest and incarceration records show.



Months earlier, Munafo had drawn the attention of news media. “If you’re hoping to get a seat at President Trump’s Tulsa rally, you won’t be able to out compete Jonathan Munafo,” wrote Tulsa, Oklahoma TV KTUL on June 15, 2020. “Not only did he come to Tulsa all the way from Massachusetts, but he’s already been camped out in front of the BOK Center for the past THREE DAYS. He’s got it down to a science…”

Jonathan Munafo’s orange 2015 Chevy TRX in Tulsa, OK June 2020. Munafo is pictured in the background in the blue shirt waiting in line for tickets to the Trump campaign rally in Tulsa.

“It’s just an effort to show support for President Trump and what he is doing for the American people,” Munafo told Tulsa, Oklahoma television while sleeping on the sidewalk waiting in line for tickets to a Trump campaign appearance where he obtained coveted front row seats only feet from the then president, video posted on Twitter by Munafo shows.

“The vehicle behind you is equipped with everything I need for events such as this. I also have reservations at the hotel, obviously for hygiene purposes and whatnot,” he told Tulsa news media at the time.

For months, that orange colored 2015 Chevrolet TRX vehicle with official New York State “Naval Militia 305” license plates criss-crossed the country on a tour that placed Munafo at Trump rallies from Oklahoma to Nevada to South Carolina, during which he aquired criminal felony weapons, assault, attacking law enforcement, and making other threats charges in Washington state, California, Michigan, Massachusetts, and Washington, D.C., court and local law enforcement records show.

Munafo, who records show does not appear to have a valid current drivers license, had been driving the vehicle with “New York Naval Militia” license plates across the country following President Trump’s campaign trail for more than year.

The following month, in July, 2020, Munafo was arrested on a Washington state Native American tribal reservation.

On July 16, 2020, Munafo was arrested by Nisqually Tribal law enforcement for “brandishing a weapon” and “driving with a suspended license” and held in a tribal jail run by the “Nisqually Department of Corrections” outside of Olympia, Washington, Washington state, county police, Tribal law enforcement, and other court records show.


Nisqually Tribal Department of Correction records showing Jonathan Munafo being held in their jail for “Brandishing a Weapon” charges in July 2020

After spending 3 nights in jail, a Thurston County, Washington judge sentenced him to a year in jail and then suspended the sentence and Munafo walked out of court to continue his nationwide tour and still unquenched support for the re-election of president Donald Trump.

Munafo’s transcontinental trip involving disputes with law enforcement while campaigning in support of the re-election of Donald Trump, only accelerated from then.

When he was cited for threatening to shoot someone at a Massachusetts highway rest stop in September, 2020 the victim jotted down his license plate number and called 911. Massachusetts State Police ran the license tag number, called the New York Naval Militia and quickly determined that the driver–but not owner–was Jonathan Munafo, 34, of Albany, New York.

When contacted this month, a spokesman for the New York State Naval Militia, Lt COL Richard Goldenberg, tried his best to be helpful but was limited in what information he was allowed to share due to state and federal privacy laws.

Goldenberg was adamant Jonathan Munafo had no connection with the New York State Naval Militia and distanced the official militia from the vehicle owner who he acknowledged had been attached to the military unit. “Our records show that NYNM Militia Vanity plate #305 did belong to one of our former members, discharged and no longer serving in our force,” Goldenberg said in a series of email exchanges. “The vanity plate had been secured appropriately with NYS DMV and the vehicle was borrowed by Jonathan Munafo. Munafo did not own nor register the vehicle in the Lynn, Massachusetts incident, to the best of our knowledge. The owner has since surrendered those plates back to DMV. I hope this answers your inquiry. Munafo has no ties to the New York Naval Militia and the owner of his borrowed vehicle no longer serves in the New York Naval Militia.”

When asked why New York State required a Navy Militia force, he cited the state’s lengthy waterways and commercial ports and said “we do border Canada.”





“To the best of our knowledge your account is correct,” said New York State Naval Militia spokesman Goldenberg. “Mr.. Gladding left service with our NY Naval Militia in October 2020 and his vehicle vanity plate remained in effect until he returned the plate to DMV in early 2021. I also have no additional details on Gladding’s departure from service. He may have retired or simply completed his reserve service or decided Naval Militia additional volunteer duties was no longer for him. You’d have to ask him.”

On January 7–the day after the Capitol insurrection, Munafo fled Washington, D.C. in his borrowed orange colored 2015 Chevrolet TRX with NY state “Naval Militia 305” license plates–and “was rear ended by a semi tractor trailer truck in Maryland, which totaled my car,” according to the vehicle owner, U.S. Navy reservist Kenneth Gladding and recently departed member of the New York State Naval Militia, in a telephone interview this week while he was at work as a “senior security officer” for the New York State Department of Health.

Gladding, a “Religious Program Specialist” with the U.S. Navy Reserves, acknowledged he had authorized Munafo to use his car. “He is a big Trump supporter,” Gladding said of his friend. “He just loved driving across the country.”

Gladding said he only learned of the fate of his vehicle when his insurance company called to tell him his car had been totaled in Maryland while being driven by Munafo on January 7. Gladding said he had talked to Munafo “who called me from jail in Florida today and said he still has headaches” from the car accident.

Gladding said his friend, as far as he knew, was never violent prior to Trump becoming president, adding Munafo didn’t have steady employment but worked intermittently in “Pest control.”

11 days after wrecking the vehicle in Maryland while fleeing the violent insurrection in Washington, D.C., Munafo was arrested on January 18, 2021 by Davis, California police for “Disturbing The Peace By Fighting” in Yolo County, California at a Martin Luther King Day celebration .


“He got a ride to California with other Trump supporters” who attended the Capitol riots, Gladding said. “Then he took a Greyhound bus to Florida,” he added, saying he had just spoken with Munafo who called him from his Florida jail cell where he is currently being held on federal charges waiting extradition to Michigan before he is sent to Washington, D.C. to face other federal charges related to the January 6 riot there.

Two days after his California arrest, on January 20, 2021, Munafo was charged with “communicating an interstate threat” on January 5th from North Carolina to the Calhoun County, Michigan Sheriff’s Office and charged in the Western District of Michigan federal court.

This was prior to the FBI having connected the dots that Munafo was the same person wanted on other, 10 separate Washington, D.C. federal charges including assaulting federal officers for his role on January 6, 2021 at the Capitol insurrection.

“The caller, later identified as Jonathan Munafo, placed approximately 143 calls demanding to speak with a deputy sheriff or sergeant, tying up the emergency line for several hours,” wrote the Michigan FBI agent in the federal criminal complaint.



Munafo is shown on far left carrying an American flag which he used to smash a window at the U.S. Capitol building on January 6, 2021. Both the FBI and internet sleuths had identified the man as one of the most violent of the Capitol insurrectionists and given him the hashtag #BoyintheHood

After attending a Trump re-election rally in Las Vegas, Munafo made his way back to the east coast where he had his several run ins with law enforcement which included, in September and November, more weapons and assault charges in Massachusetts, more again in Washington, D.C. in December after the defeat of Trump in the November presidential election.

On January 5th, 2021–the day before the Trump fueled and sanctioned insurrection in Washington and at the height of the mass propaganda campaign claiming dark forces had conspired to steal the election from Trump, Munafo parked at a Dunns, North Carolina truck stop, his vehicle flying a “Blue Lives Matter” flag and adorned with numerous pro-Trump signage, and made 143 threatening calls to Calhoun County, Michigan 911 dispatchers, threatening to kill and hurt the sheriff’s deputies, according to geo-location evidence, his Google email accounts, his failed attempt to obscure his phone number, and other social media obtained by subpoena and obtained by the FBI. 

Like all calls to law enforcement emergency numbers, the calls were recorded and captured Mufano–telling the cops his name was “Yankee Patriot”–being very impolite and abusive, telling a 911 dispatcher he was going “to cut your throat” and reciting accurate information of her home address and mortgage payment arrangements during the 143 calls in a three hour period the Sheriff’s office said “tied up the entire county emergency response system,” according to law enforcement records.

The western Michigan Calhoun County sheriff was not amused and contacted the FBI who then launched a federally court approved Jihad to find out who the caller was, FBI criminal complaints and U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Michigan documents show.

They were entirely unaware that hours later on the next day of January 6, Munafo would attract the attention of other law enforcement agencies and more FBI jurisdictions for assaulting law enforcement while violently entering the Capitol building in Washington, D.C.

“I have listened to approximately three hours of MUNAFO’s calls, which were recorded by (Calhoun County Michigan Sheriff’s Office) CCSO. MUNAFO advised the 911 dispatcher that he knew where she lived, and recited accurate information about her mortgage and tax obligations,” reads an FBI affidavit seeking a criminal complaint against Munafo dated January 20, 2021.

“Put a fucking cop on the phone now you stupid bitch, or it’s going to go way worse for your family!” Munafo told the Michigan Sheriff’s Office 911 dispatcher, according to the then sealed FBI arrest warrants. “Bitch, I’m gonna cut your throat. I’m gonna make you eat your fucking nose. I’m gonna hurt you bad for this. It won’t be today, it won’t be tomorrow, it’ll be fucking soon though, you stupid cunt. Insurrection Act, I’m coming to your door first and it’s public knowledge, you stupid, stupid bitch!” 


At the time, the same man who was photographed January 6 in Washington, D.C. punching Capitol Police officers in the head and ripping away their riot shields, had not yet been identified but was listed as one of the top ten violent insurrectionists by the FBI who released photographs of him at the Capitol building and made a public appeal for help to to identify him.

The FBI said the still unidentified Munafo was the assailant responsible for “one of the most violent and horrifying assaults on federal officers during the January 6th riots at the Capitol. We need your help to identify these individuals.”




In separate criminal investigations, FBI and local law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. were aggressively pursuing Mufano on the same day of the Capitol riots with no idea that other law enforcement were doing the same thing at the same time he was assaulting law enforcement officers and attempting to overthrow the government in Washington.


“On or about January 6, 2021, CCSO Detective Jonathan Pignataro (of Calhoun County, Michigan) determined through public records that the phone number making the threat calls was issued by “,” an internet phone service provider. A representative of advised Det. Pignataro that the number was resold by another internet phone service provider, Det. Pignataro served an emergency disclosure request, followed by a search warrant. provided the subscriber’s username, gmail address, and IP addresses used at the time of the threat calls, all of which were determined to belong to MUNAFO,” reads a federal criminal complaint from the Middle District of Michigan.

“Also on January 6, 2021, Det. Pignataro served a search warrant on Google LLC, for the gmail account associated with the number. Google disclosed that the subscriber had provided the recovery e-mail address, and sign-in phone number (508) 418-XXXX.”

“(Calhoun County Michigan) Det. Pignataro’s search warrant establishes that MUNAFO was at a truck stop in Dunn, North Carolina when he placed the threat calls to the Calhoun County Dispatcher on January 5, 2021. In response to the Calhoun County search warrant, Google also provided MUNAFO’s internet search history for January 5, 2021, the day before the assault on the U.S. Capitol. MUNAFO searched for information on “Calhoun sheriff Michigan.” Among other search terms disclosed by Google, MUNAFO also searched for “Freedom Plaza, Washington, DC,” several firearms and military surplus stores, and (Michigan governor) “Gretchen Whitmer” on January 4 and 5, 2021. His whereabouts are currently unknown,” reads the January 2021 police report.


“If I had known all this was going to happen, I wouldn’t have lent him my car,” the owner of the vehicle with New York State Naval Militia license plates said this week in a telephone interview.































































Did the ‘Pink Hat Lady’ command Armed Militia During the D.C. Attempted Coup?

18 Jan

D.C. Riot attracted an odd, combustable mix of extremists: Demonstrators wearing tin-foil hats; carrying spears; dressed in all sorts of inappropriate military camouflage; and wielding beliefs dominated by conspiracy theories from the frightening to the bizarre. One Pennsylvania rioter is even said to have stolen Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s laptop in order to sell to the Russians. Now the Twittersphere has been booster fueled by rumors of “The Lady in the Pink Hat” rumored to have commanded armed rioters inside the halls of Congress during the height of the violence.

The still unidentified woman in a pink knit hat who was coordinating violent rioters with a bullhorn inside the Capitol building and displayed an intimate knowledge of the Congressional floor plan and location

By Nate Thayer

January 19, 2021

Speculation over dark connections between a far right freshman U.S. Congresswoman, Lauren Boebert, who has held office less than a week, and highly organized elements of the armed rioters who took control of the Capitol, has reached a fever pitch. And a growing frenzy of social media mobs suspect it is aa still unidentified middle aged woman dubbed “The Lady in the Pink Hat.”

FBI Wanted Poster for the Lady in the Pink Hat

Intercepted audio communications and videotapes have emerged suggesting rioters conducted surveillance inside the Capitol building prior to, and coordinated tactics during, the January 6 storming of the Capitol. Federal law enforcement called has declared the issue a “top-tier priority” and vowed a thorough investigation, and other elected Congressman insist that coordination between plotters inside Congress and the rioters occurred prior to the attack.


Some people are insinuating the still unidentified “Lady in the Pink Hat” is the dark hand behind the organized putschists, and a considerable number of them believe her to be the mother of the far-right extremist freshman representative from Colorado, Lauren Boebert.

The Pink Hat Lady at the height of violence when police barricades were first overrun

The allegations took on high drama as the focus zeroed in on a middle-aged woman with a bullhorn wearing a pink knit hat who, video-shows, helped smash a window to breach the capitol, and then barked orders revealing an intimate knowledge of the floorpan of the Capitol’s interior, and bears a remarkable resemblance to Congresswoman Boebert’s mother.

Woman in a pink, knit hat wielding battering ram is identified as a coordinator of armed rioters after the breached the Capitol building

Several elected officials say that rioters that breached some offices in the Capitol building had to have been guided by someone familiar with the layout.

The private office of Congressman Jim Clyburn–known as a ‘hideaway’ and accorded only to select senior elected officials, was looted and Clyburn is convinced that it had to be an inside job. These hideaways have no markings or nameplates and are separate from the public offices of elected officials.

Similarly, rioters located the private offices of Speaker Pelosi in less than 15 minutes of breaching the Capitol, and both federal elected officials and the FBI suspect that someone tipped off and directed the violent mob to zero in zeroed in. Clyburn is known to have an iPad stolen and Pelosi a computer laptop.

Clyburn told CNN’s Jake Tapper he believed “something untoward may have been going on.”

“I have an unmarked office—you got to know exactly where it is,” the South Carolina Democrat said. “It’s where I spend most of my time doing my work as the majority whip.”

“For some reason, these people showed up at that office. But the office where my name is on the door was not disturbed. I’m just saying, they didn’t go to where my name was…Yes, somebody on the inside of those buildings were complicit in this.”

“We saw congress[woman] Boebert taking a group of people for a tour sometime after the 3rd and before the 6th,” in the 48 hours before the riot, Rep. Steve Cohen told CNN Monday.

Riot organizer (L) and Congresswoman Boebert (R)

But Congresswoman Boebert has denied “The Pink Hat Lady” is her mother. Boebert tweeted that during the insurrectionist coup attempt on January 6, her mother was not at the Capitol. To add to the confusion, her mother she was in lockdown in the Congresswoman’s office on the 6th. Both women denied that the Congresswoman gave a tour to her. “I did not give any tours between Jan 3rd and 6th,” she responded in a tweet.

The mother, Shawna Roberts, also known as Shawna Bentz, who owns a saloon in rail, Colorado is known to be a flamboyant, gun-slinging, ardent Trump supporter. She is also known to be currently in Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, federal law enforcement has made it a stop priority to find the facts.

The FBI has appealed to the public to help identify the “Pink Hat Lady,” releasing more than a dozen photographs taken from video of her during the riot.

Other photos taken from the thousands of videos taken during the turmoil January 6

Pink Hat Lady is shown wielding a heavy two-by-four using it as a battering ram to smash heavily fortified bullet proof windows to create an opening where armed militia, many dressed in camouflage and wielding everything from baseball bats to spears to bear spray.

After breaching the window, the unknown middle-aged woman began barking orders through a bullhorn to dozens of her apparent subordinates ransacking offices in the Capitol.

After the woman breached the window with a battering ram, she produced a bullhorn and began giving detailed instructions of floorpans in the Capitol building

“Hey guys! I’ve been in the other room. Listen to me,” she barked at marauding rioters giving instructions. “In the other room on the other side of this door where the feet are standing there is a glass that if somebody, if it is broken you can drop down to a room underneath it.”

“What’s the floor plan?” yelled a frantic long-haired man from inside a nearby office.

Video of the unidentified woman instructing rioters by bullhorn showing intimate knowledge of the floorpan of offices in Congress

“There is also two doors in the other room, one in the rear, and one to the right when you go in. So, people should probably coordinate together if you’re going to take this building,” instructed Pink Hat Woman. “We got another window to break to make it in and out easy. And this window here needs to be broken,” she said, bullhorn in one hand and pointing through the shattered window with her other.

Meanwhile, other connections between Congresswoman Boebert, her mother, and armed, violent insurrectionists emerged over the weekend.

A far right extremist, Robert Gieswein, 24, of Cripple Creek, Colorado was arrested for assaulting a police officer and breaking into the capitol building, entering through the same window that Pink Hat Lady shattered with a battering ram.

Colorado militiaman Robert Griesein breaching police lines
Griesein entering a shattered window at the Capitol building

Gieswein, who adheres to a sect of far right extremists known as ‘3%ers’, heads a Colorado militia group, the “Rocky Mountain Oathkeepers” as well as running an armed militia training camp named the “Woodland Wild Dogs.” 

Griesein, after accessing the Capitol building wearing jungle camouflage, a tactical vest, stitched cloth patch that read “My mother thinks I’m special’, and carrying bear spray in one hand and a baseball bat in the other

Gieswein was photographed inside the capitol wearing military tactical gear, a bullet proof vest, cloth patches that read “My Mother Thinks I’m Special,” and carrying a can of aerosol Bear Spray in one hand and a baseball bat in the other.

But Gieswein and Congresswoman Lauren Boebert are connected by a November 2019 photograph which emerged showing Gieswein and three other armed militiamen posing  flashing white supremacist hand symbols in front of the Shooters Grill in Rail, Colorado—the saloon that is owned by Boebert’s mother.

Colorado militiaman, now under arrest by the FBI, shown posing at the saloon owned by Congresswoman Lauren Boebert’s family. The men are flashing white supremacist hand signals. Photo taken in November 2019


There were “perhaps some type of communication with core groups of people ingressing into the Capitol,”acting U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia Michael Sherwin said, adding his a “Tier 1 top priority” for his prosecutors to find out “whether there was this overarching command and control and whether there were these organized teams that were organized to breach the Capitol, and then perhaps try to accomplish some type of a mission inside the Capitol.” 

“She pissed off the Queen, now she’s dead ”Why Brits Are Loopier Than Americans Re: Fruitcake Conspiracy Theories?

24 Feb

Why Are The Brits Even More Loopy Than Americans When it Comes to Fruitcake Conspiracy Theories?

By Nate Thayer

February 24, 2013

Some may recall that in December 2012 a couple of radio disc jockey pranksters in Australia called the London hospital where the pregnant Princess whatever-her-name-is was staying having taken ill with tummy troubles. The Aussie jokesters told the nurse on duty who answered the phone that they were the Queen of England and inquired about the well-being and status of their “grand-daughter.”

The nurse believed them and they engaged in a non-substantive, but recorded, conversation as to how the Princesses was feeling that resulted in a minor global hullabaloo after the joke was broadcast in Oz.

The blaring British tabloids didn’t damper the incident and  a few days later the unfortunate and gullible nurse committed suicide.

That is when things got rather decidedly wonky.

What struck me—and motivated me to write the December 2012 story– was the extraordinary number of complete nutcases and the most inane conspiracy theorists who dominated the chattering classes on social media.

These people were seriously forwarding theories convinced that the poor nurse was the victim of a royal murder plot.

So I wrote an obvious tongue in cheek spoof story on my blog titled: BREAKING NEWS: Dark Hand of British Royal Family Behind Secret Murder of Kate’s Morning Sickness Nurse “She pissed off the Queen, now she’s dead.”–Twitter Ace Journalist

After my byline, Nate Thayer, I accorded myself the job title “Senior News Ombudsman for World Social Media Operations”

That should, I would have thought, been a clue that my tongue was firmly in my cheek.

The story began as follows:

The UK nurse at hospital where pregnant Kate Middleton was resting with morning sickness and  answered the prank phone call from two  male Aussie radio DJ’s saying they were Queen Elizabeth asking ”Hello, I’m just looking after my granddaughter, Kate. I wanted to see how her little tummy bug is going?” has been found dead.

Fortunately the crack professionals of social media, which has effectively replaced what use to be the job of the now widely agreed to be the untrustworthy, sensationalist, incompetent institution known as the “Mainstream Media” of journalism is on the case and a well-informed citizenry is in safe hands.

‘I believe the royal family and the British secret agents killed the nurse. It is not the first time. Remember what happened to Diana”–Twitter Crack Reporter'”

The story followed with a series of other outlandish quotes I culled from Twitter and other social media that any—I thought—any half-sensible reader would interpret for what they were—complete and utter poppycock.

I am still scratching my head and continue to be entirely flummoxed and more than a little concerned to have found that almost all the readers of the story—the entirety of it published below—took the story seriously as if I was writing a straight news article.

Every single comment I have received has been from those who agreed the Royal family was behind the death of the poor nurse, because….well they did not say because why, actually.

The story, for no discernible reason, still more than a year later ranks as one of the most read stories on my blog. I received another comment today on it:

“Or perhaps it’s a ‘warning signal’ that if anyone else tried to go near the Royal Family or doesn’t do their job properly, they will be grave consciences. The nurse let her guard down and so the ‘secret Royal guardian forces’ put her down. That’s why everyone else under the watch of the Royals has to do their job properly and those wanting to cause grave harm to them have been warned. Bottom line is The Royal Family has to be viewed as powerful and influential people. Its up to these ‘secret guardian forces’ of theirs to make sure that these ‘views’ are always in place. I will never believe this B.S. even Diana’s car crash death.”

Other comments responding to the story include:

“How many years your country’s king and queen will kill people to save their dirty secrets. ” who is william ‘s baby real mom ?” was it that secert royal family wants to save from england people then they kill the nurse ? You don’t think it is time to kick ass to kings …. England people have a deep sleep . I am yelling “wake up England. WAKE UP ENGLAND, IT IS SO Late.”

Then there was Holly:

“First of all, it wasn’t two MALE disc jockeys, one was a female. Secondly, it’s not the QUEEN MUM, she’s been dead since 2002. This writer should get the facts straight. Bloody British Royal Family or not, this is a super-convenient distraction for them from the Jimmy Savile affair, focusing on this “royal” pregnancy will go on and on and on for another 7 months, then there will be watching the little devil, I mean darling, grow up. I’m sick of all this already.”

I responded to Holly with the following:


My apologies on not realizing your Queen Mum was dead. Really, I had lost track of keeping current on the family health issues since my people expelled your people a couple centuries back.

However, occasionally I do admit to spurts of entertainment with Fergie and Di and Camilla (sp?) and Chuck and Randy Andy and Philip et al. But I do agree, it does get tiresome rather quickly.

Why is it they are useful for you people to keep them on the payroll again?

And who is the “them” you refer to?

And if I could politely offer one small correction: Isn’t it “Sir” Jimmy Savile?

The public sexual shenanigans of your people really are a bit hard to keep up with nearly as much as the state of health of your Mum’s and Princesses and Duchesses et al etc and so on….

And since you mention being “sick of it all”, I might suggest you alert your health care providers about your preferences for incoming well wishers, as there appears to be some confusion on that front as well.

Good luck with it all.

I don’t envy you.


Here is the rest of the story, unredacted, including actual Twitter comments followed by other people who wrote to my blog responding to the article. Not a single one acknowledged the story to be a spoof:

“The Royal Plot behind the Secret Conspiracy to Murder the Morning Sickness Nurse appears to be unlikely to mislead the news hound sleuths from the most respected global Twitter news operations:

“If u think the prank callers are at fault, then YOU are what’s wrong with this world. It’s obviously the Mafia Royal Family. They have done this before many times to avoid shame.”

But while the dominant theme trending by the new vanguard responsible for ensuring a vibrant and free press that serves the people and the principles of freedom of press—Twitter—is to blame the media for the death of the Florence Nightingale of our era, there is another strain of analysis trending on Twitter: That the demise of the deceased nurse was murdered at the hands of the Royals, a dark plot cooked up by the Royal family who murdered her to protect dark secrets which would expose the monarchy to unthinkable revelations of…well they don’t get very specific on the minor details.

“So royal family murders this nurse, calls it suicide and you crazy people are mad at the radio station? It was an innocent prank. At best it was semi-unprofessional and a bit lame. They do not deserve a shred of an ounce of blame for the supposed “suicide”. Nobody with common sense would utter something so ridiculous.”–Senior World Affairs Correspondent for Twitter

The Twitter righteous-indignation social media SWAT teams have been deployed in full force, calling for the poor Aussie radio prankster blokes to get fired, go to jail, or what seems to be the overwhelming favorite, be executed by guillotine.

“We were very surprised that our call was put through,” DJ Mel said after the prank. “We thought we’d be hung up on as soon as they heard our terrible accents.”

The now widely agreed to be murdered nurse took seriously the Australian men imitating the voice of the  British Royal Great-grandmother to be and apparently revealed secrets which surely threatened to bring down the British Empire, and took necessary measures to save its subjects from the calamity.

And the entertaining kerfuffle promises only to get more fun.

The two DJs have deleted their Twitter accounts and gone into hiding after a deluge of death threats, the radio station says it is very, very sorry and apologized for the poor attempt at humour, the Royals have all sent their condolences  and the Queen Mum and Princes Charles conveyed their “sadness and concern for the nurses family”

“I just saw a lord, stupid Brit elites, she was suicided by the inbreeds for knowing too much, either reptile hybrid, or In vitro fertilization from a human donor, the good thing is, no harm was done the royals.”

But the Trojan horse attempt to redirect blame from the real perpetrators by cleverly blaming two 20 something Australian radio talk show jocks did not detract the professional media sleuths of the powerful world network of Social Media.

“The British Royal Family has murdered millions for shiny rocks in the past. You think they have any qualms about killing?”–Twitter Senior  Investigative Correspondent

But to look on the bright side of these developments, I must say it is comforting to know that the nutcase conspiracy theorists running loose are not confined to those among my brethren Americans, but they appear to have taken root across the pond quite nicely.”

Other comments left on my blog include:

“Middleton is a strange woman. Now that the baby is her, she seems very awkward and unloving towards it. Like it’s not hers” and “If everything were really just honest with that family I doubt there would be so many bizarre rumors ?”


Happy The Day After Valentine’s Day Is Finally Over: Espionage, Commercialism, and the Betrayal of Love

15 Feb

Happy The Day After, Finally, Valentine’s Day Is Done And Over With: Valentines Day, Espionage, Commercialism, and the Betrayal of Love

“Love is whatever we can still betray…”–John Le Carré 

By Nate Thayer

Happy Valentines Day, everyone. Or, more honestly, Happy The Day After Valentines Day is Done And Over With.

Now that Valentines Day–that capitalist marketing trick we are pressured to prove our love via bald commercialism –is over, I waited a full day to throw in my cynical, curmudgeonly two cents.

While money can not buy love, it does facilitate the business of love, which is what Valentines Day is and what love can not be: The business of love, institutionalized, diminished and soiled.

Diminishing and soiling love by legitimizing the pressures of commercialism is an insidious betrayal. And once love is betrayed, there is nothing else left to betray in life.

Here is my contribution, with thanks to the excellent Portuguese journalist Rui Araújo: Continue reading

Kabul Job Opening, U.S. Hiring News Photog, Blames Afghan Corruption on “Negative Media Pics”

12 Feb

U.S. Job Opening for News Photogs, Picture Propagandist: U.S. Blames Afghan Corruption on Photographers for “Negative” and “Misleading” Pics

U.S. Agency for International Development Says it “Can’t Compete”, Posts Job Opening to Address Charges of Corruption in Afghanistan 

(Updated at 1800 hours EST with responses from the United States Agency for International Development)

Nate Thayer

February 12, 2014

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) office in Afghanistan has appealed for news photographers to work as U.S. government propagandists, saying the “overwhelming majority of pictures” by news journalists “are negative and at least to some extent misleading.”

A new job posting by USAID in Kabul seeks professional photographers “with at least one years experience with a news agency” to “to counter negative visual images” and “aggressively distribute these positive images”.

USAID, which is in the midst of an ongoing scandal involving billions of dollars they provided lost to corruption and mismanagement in Afghanistan, does not blame bungled administration of overseeing Afghan corruption and misuse of U.S. money, but rather the news media.

The bad publicity “is because professional photographers working for news agencies are the prime sources of high-quality images of USAID work in Afghanistan. News photographs by their very nature focus on the negative.” Continue reading

Why Journalism is Better than a Real Job: Excerpts from Sympathy for the Devil

10 Feb

Why Journalism is Better than a Real Job: Excerpts from Sympathy for the Devil

Sympathy for the Devil: A Journalist’s Memoir From Inside Pol Pot’s Cambodia

(Copyright Nate Thayer. No publication or distribution in whole or part without express prior written permission from the author)

Please consider donating to support the publication of Sympathy for the Devil. Details on how to show support are on this blog

By Nate Thayer

By 1994, after more than a decade focused on Cambodia and its war, I only had one more objective: To interview Pol Pot. And then, I told myself, I would leave that wicked country forever.

And the opportunity was tantalizingly possible.

Brewing dissatisfaction within the Khmer Rouge ranks were creating cracks in their armor, opening up potential new means for me to access the core of their inner circle leadership holed up deep in the jungles. Where there was turmoil, there was an increased possibility that I could wangle my way into the heart of the Khmer Rouge central command.

I had found that the Khmer Rouge opened up to me when they had difficulties which often left them with issues they wanted to clarify or explain to outsiders. Turmoil and weakness increased the likelihood that they would want to play that card. And I was forever scheming to ensure that the vehicle they used to do so would be me.

I was always encouraging, maneuvering for, and poised to take advantage of increased and higher level contacts within their ranks. I approached it as an endless chess game, requiring long-term strategy and patience and an intimate knowledge of one’s opponent. By the mid 1990’s, obstacles were being removed and I was advancing. I knew from viewing their chessboard that I was closing in, however slowly, on their king—Pol Pot. Continue reading

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