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Christopher Dorner: The Defector Who Went Out With A Bang

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    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    The ghost of Nat Turner did not descend on LA over the past week, although lots of Black folks imagined as much. Christopher Dorner’s fans “embraced his death-throe defection from the LAPD, and imbued him with qualities they wish were reliably available to the struggle: a Nat Turner, or a Spook Who Sat By the Door.”


    Christopher Dorner: The Defector Who Went Out With A Bang

    A Black Agenda Radio commentary by executive editor Glen Ford

    Dorner is best described as a disaffected soldier in the ranks of the U.S. global and local Los Angeles occupation armies.”

    Although his fans will argue otherwise, Christopher Jordan Dorner was neither a Nat Turner nor a Spook Who Sat by the Door.

    Nat Turner was a leader of men, who inspired approximately 70 enslaved and free Black men in a glorious attempt to overthrow the slave system in Virginia, in 1831. The rebellion that goes by his name was a collective struggle that shook the slavocracy to its core, and one of the few U.S. slave revolts that was not betrayed by informers. Christopher Dorner enlisted no one in his fatal and solitary vendetta against those he felt had done him personal harm. He died alone trying to hide his huge Black self in a mostly white mountain recreation area, leaving behind a “manifesto” that was mainly about himself and his service to the national and local armed forces.

    Chris Dorner was no Dan Freeman, the protagonist “Spook” of the 1973 movie about an urban Black rebellion in the United States. Freeman is a Black nationalist who joins – infiltrates – the CIA, learns all he can about their evil arts, then returns to the Black community to train a cadre of urban guerilla fighters. The war of liberation catches fire. Christopher Dorner’s manifesto reveals a man who – until the unraveling – had been wholly captured by the myth and mystic of superpower America, a proud reserve lieutenant in the imperial Navy and officer in the LAPD who wanted only to serve with personal honor as a man-at-arms.

    Dorner is best described as a disaffected soldier in the ranks of the U.S. global and local Los Angeles occupation armies, who made his psychological break with the forces of racial oppression – or, was broken by them – only after having first been ejected. He transformed his ejection into a bloody defection, and flamed out – effectively, a suicide-by-cop (and, almost certainly, a victim of execution by white phosphorous-like incendiary).

    He transformed his ejection into a bloody defection, and flamed out.”

    His self-definition could not survive separation from the institution that became his personal nemesis. In the end, he was as lonely as Rambo in First Blood, and just as politically lost.

    A public death belongs to the public. Dorner’s fans, his African American public, whom he did not serve but who would inevitably embrace his weeklong death-throe defection from the LAPD, imbue him with qualities they wish were reliably available to the struggle: a Nat Turner, a Spook Who Sat by the Door. The Bronx, New York dope dealer, Larry Davis, who in1986 succeeded in shooting six of seven cops who came to his sister’s apartment to arrest or assassinate him, achieved similar fame. Davis eluded capture for 17 days, negotiated a surrender at his public housing hideout as residents chanted "Lar-ry! Lar-ry!" – and beat the charges of attempted murder of cops. (William Kunstler and Lynne Stewart were his lawyers.) His fans forgave Davis’s dope dealing ways, just as Dorner’s fans forgave his previous service to the Los Angeles Occupation Army.

    The enduring lesson of Dorner’s saga is that the transformation of the LAPD into a majority-minority police force does not change its nature as an army of occupation whose mission is racist to the core, regardless of its ethnic composition. That fact finally dawned on Christopher Dorner – and it killed him.

    For Black Agenda Radio, I’m Glen Ford. On the web, go to

    BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at


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    Dorner's death

    All you say is true, Glen, but I still hate how he was killed.  I don't want to live in a world where burning a person alive is an acceptable way of apprehending a suspect. 

    Too high a standard

    The fact will always remain that every state no matter how radical will have law enforcement. Dorner was martyred for rejecting the brutality and racism of LAPD. How late he came to the conclusion isn't the point, his slightly confused reaction is also beside the point. Nat Turner also failed.Turner may have led men, but what did he actually accomplish?He shook the slavocracy, Dorner shook the LAPD. Acts of rebellion can be of value in and of themselves, whether they are solitary, or organized. I respect the man, and will remember him fondly.

    chris dorner

    dorner did not fail, neither did nat turner. if nat had we would not be talking about him 188 years later. your problem is that you can only think about your own, personal wellbeing. start thinking of the group. do you want to tell me that the rebellion lead by NT had no accumulative impact on the abolition of slavery? victories come in many ways. our children will be talking about, and drawing inspiration from chris dorner 200 years from now.

    Believe this.

    Sure we all believed what we wanted to believe. I did too. I believed that Dorner was on a vendetta against the LAPD, and that he had killed a cop's daughter and her fiance, and then checked into a hotel on a military base using his own ID two days later. I mean wouldn't you? If you'd written and publicized a manifesto, murdered two people in cold blood, and were on a crusade to kill cops, wouldn't you check into a hotel on a military base under your own ID two days after the first murders? What? You wouldn't? Well, neither would I. A lot of the manifesto rings true, so it probably came from his public writings but there are several versions and none of them came directly from Dorner. There is no evidence whatsoever that he committed the double murder. Since that time, there has been no positive ID of Dorner anywhere, not even the charred remains. Am I supposed to believe that he is as smart and determined to accomplish his goals as the manifesto indicates, and casually checked into a hotel on a military base under his own ID? My guess is that he hadn't killed anyone and didn't even know about the murders until he checked into that hotel room and turned on the TV. Once he learned that he was being set up for something he hadn't done, he left the hotel without checking out. That's just a guess, but it makes a lot more sense than any other story. I don't know if he's alive or dead, but if he's half of what the cops and the media want us to believe he is, he sure wouldn't have been using his own ID on military bases once his cop-killing spree started. The best explanation I can think of is that there was no cop-killing spree and that he was framed for murders he didn't do. That happens all the time in this country. For decades the Chicago police used to solve murders by picking a Black man off the street at random and torturing him until he "confessed." But a smart, premeditated killer doing something as dumb as using his own ID on a military base during a killing spree? That's totally implausible. I wanted to believe it, I tried to believe it, but some things are just unbelievable.

    Yeah, it smells...

    Convenient that he was a former LAPD officer and Black. So you hack his Facebook and put some kind of racial thing on there about the LAPD, which he left in 2009 (but suddenly wanted to strike in 2013?)

    In the ever changing, so-called manifesto, he blames the LAPD for ruining his Naval career? But he was due to be discharged,,, honorably???

    He left the LAPD in 2009?

    It’s 2013.

    A 4-5 year old grudge?

    He made his tour in the navy with no problems, look at the photo’s they tell the story.

    Gets killed right before the state of the union speech?

    His wallet and identification card found unharmed beside charred remains in a burned out cabin where police cornered "him"?

    If we assume half the reports by mainstream media are true, we can be sure that the military & racist police departments across the nation are terrified of the prospects of copy cat incidents of this sort. We can assume that "diversity" will be questioned a little bit more by the powers that be.

    I want to believe that Charlie Rangel's proposal for a draft was a trojan horse for this sort of thing. Counter the poor public school to prison pipeline, by stacking the military with young Black men, increasing the odds that orders to turn the military's guns on its own people would be disobeyed (hopefully).

    I don't trust the so-called "manifesto," as it has been altered/manipulated numerous times. I am focused entirely on the racist history of the LAPD that led to the L.A. insurrection's of the 60's & 90's, the divide & conquer gang warfare in L.A., the unsolved murders of B.I.G. & Tupac, the rounding up & massacre of innocent civilians that ensued, the drones used, and the specific case that got this brother fired from the LAPD/NYPD.


    What happened to Margaret Kimberley this week?

    See These Articles on the burning of Chris Dorner...

    @ Counter Punch: The State of the Union Amidst the Ashes of Extrajudicial Death- 'The Execution of Christopher Dorner'    [ ]

    @ AlterNet: 'How Law Enforcement and Media Covered Up the Plan to Burn Christopher Dorner Alive' [ ] Some Key excerpts:} 'At 7 PM ET, I [reporter Max Blumenthal] listened through a police scanner as San Bernardino Sheriffs gave the order to burn down the cabin where suspected murderer Christopher Dorner was allegedly hiding. Deputies were maneuvering a remote controlled demolition vehicle to the base of the cabin, using it to tear down the walls of the cabin where Dorner was hiding, and peering inside.  

    It was then that the deputies decided to burn the cabin down. <“We’re gonna go ahead with the plan with the burner, like we talked about.” one sheriff’s deputy told another. Minutes later, another deputy’s voice crackled across the radio: “The burner’s deployed and we have a fire.”> 

    For the next hour, I listened as the sheriffs carefully managed the fire, ensuring that it burned the cabin thoroughly. Dorner, a former member of the LAPD who had accused his ex-colleagues of abuse and racism in a lengthy, detailed manifesto, was inside. The cops seemed to have little interest in taking him alive.

    Burn that fucking house down!” shouted a deputy through a scanner transmission inadvertently broadcast on the Los Angeles local news channel, KCAL 9. “Fucking burn this motherfucker!” another cop could be heard exclaiming. They assumed Dorner was hiding there [in the basement], and apparently wanted to ensure that he would be burned to a crisp. “Because the fire is contained, I’m gonna let that heat burn through the basement,” a deputy declared.

    There is a grand tradition of law enforcement using incendiary devices to assault besieged suspects, and of covering up their use. One of the most infamous examples of this tactic, and its horrible consequences, was the Philadelphia Police Dept's bombing of the compound of the radical Black nationalist group, M.O.V.E., dropping C-4 explosives by helicopter on the house, killing 11 members of the group, including 5 children, and destroying 65 homes in the West Philadelphia neighborhood.

    It was not until the 51-day FBI siege of the Waco, Texas compound of the messianic Branch Davidians that “burners,” or incendiary 40mm military grade cartridges, were used to burn a structure down. Six years after claiming that the Branch Davidians deliberately burned their own compound down, the FBI finally admitted that it used incendiary rounds [FYI: This burn tactic was also used by the LAPD against the Symbonese Liberation Army {SLA} Group during the alleged Patty Hearst kidnapping caper]...

    “Burners,” or military grade incendiary grenades, are very likely among the items passed down from the US army to local police outfits like the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department. The “burner” of choice for the modern American soldier is the AN-M14 TH3. It is a hand held grenade comprised of a THERMITE Mixture that Rapidly Converts to Molten Iron when it is thrown, Burning at a Temperature of 4000 DEGREES Fahrenheit, HOT Enough to BURN THROUGH a Half Inch STEEL Plate or Bring an ENGINE BLOCK to a BOIL…” {


    PS- FYI: Super HI-Tech Nano-Thermite residue particles has reportedly been found in the dust blown all over Manhattan due to collapse of WTC 1, 2 & 7 on 9-11-2001.


    Nothing about the slaughter of Christopher Dorner makes any sense except that he was martyred.

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