Thursday, February 06, 2003

5th Column?

White Supremacists Accused of Spying

A former Washington Army National Guard intelligence officer arrested earlier this week on espionage charges had a top-secret clearance and had drifted toward the radical right in recent years, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

Rafael Davila, 51, and his ex-wife, Deborah Davila, 46, are suspected of providing white supremacists and other radical organizations with sensitive materials involving the strategic response of the Guard to a variety of emergency situations, both foreign and domestic, according to a Department of Justice source.

Military officials confirmed Rafael Davila's clearance level but would not comment on what information he allegedly provided.

The two were arrested Tuesday after a grand jury in Spokane indicted them on unlawful possession of "documents related to the national defense of the United States" in 1999 — the year Rafael Davila retired from the Guard with the rank of major.

Rafael Davila is named in a single felony count while Deborah Davila is named in three counts, including providing false statements to the FBI in April 2000. According to the indictment, she lied when she told agents she did not know Kirk Lyons — a firebrand North Carolina lawyer who has defended the Ku Klux Klan and White Patriot Party and who has advocated for "Southern ethnic cleansing."

Lyons was involved as a defense lawyer in a 1987 trial in Fort Smith, Ark., in which Butler and 10 others were charged with a seditious conspiracy to overthrow the government by acts of violence. All the defendants were acquitted.

A federal law-enforcement source said some of the national security documents were passed on to Lyons.

Lyons has not been charged with a crime. He told The Associated Press he barely knew Deborah Davila but that she had attended his wedding, which was performed by Aryan Nations founder Richard Butler at the group's former compound near Hayden Lake, Idaho.

Kirk Lyons is also a major power in the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the League of the South.