“Drop Zone” Bill Fulton, the one-time FBI operative who helped derail Alaskan Joe Miller’s seemingly guaranteed journey to the U.S. Senate, now has a book on the way.
“Blood of Patriots: How I Took Down an Anti-Government Militia with Beer, Bounty Hunting, and Badassery” is due out in May, according to Amazon.com, but is available for order now.
“Set against the vast, rugged, and sometimes lawless backdrop of Alaska, The Blood of Patriots is the story of an ideology gone bloody in the distorted belief that murder is patriotic,” the website promises “It is the true story of how Fulton wrestled his demons and became an undercover confidential informant for the FBI, helping to bring down a militia whose charismatic leader was plotting to kill federal judges and their families and law enforcement officers.”
A bounty hunter, security guard and one-time owner of the now defunct Drop Zone military surplus store, Fulton played a key role in the prosecution of Fairbanks loudmouth Schaeffer Cox, the self-proclaimed head of something called the Alaska Peacemakers Militia. Cox was in 2013 sentenced to more than 25 years in prison for plotting the deaths of government officials.
Fulton helped obtain evidence that Cox and several co-defendants had hatched a so-called “2-for-1” plan to kill two judges or police offices for any militia member killed by authorities. No militia members were ever killed. Nor any judges or peace officers.
But law enforcement considered Cox a legitimate public threat. His attorney argued in court that Cox just shot his mouth off because he suffered from paranoid delusions. A bombastic, Constitution-thumbing figure, Cox did manage to make himself something of a cult figure.
There is today a website protesting his innocence and arguing he was framed.
“The real story never made it to the people of Alaska and, more importantly, to the jury. No one heard the truth of the government’s obsession with getting rid of Cox,” writes self-labeled investigative journalist Ron Lee at USObserver.com. “They never got to read the investigating special agent’s emails saying Cox was not a threat, and that he had no real ‘intention.’ The witness intimidation; the countless hours of audio recordings of Cox refusing to use violence; all were things the government skillfully covered up in order to get their man and paint the public perception that Cox was guilty, when in fact his only guilt was to speak out against a government that proved itself to be capable of entrapment.”
Lee claims Fulton was Cox’s chief entrapper, writing that “Fulton always claimed he had men and munitions ready to go and that Cox needed to get on board. Fulton made copies of recordings the government asserted did not exist and even recorded conversations with his handlers. He reportedly proved to be such an embarrassment to the government that they didn’t even call him as a witness. It has been reported that Fulton will be releasing a book of his exploits – which purportedly will be full of self-aggrandizing pomposity.”
Fulton clearly plans to offer a view counter to that of Lee in that book co-written with Anchorage’s Jeanne Devon, the founder of TheMudflats.net and the co-author of “Blind Allgience to Sarah Palin: A Memoir of Our Tumultuous Years”. The latter was written in cooperation with Ken Morris and former Palin aide Frank Bailey.
The pitch for “The Blood of the Patriots” offers no indication on whether or how much Fulton will get into the incident that really made him famous in Alaska, the assault on and handcuffing of journalist Tony Hopfinger in 2010.
Fulton was at the time providing “security” for the Miller campaign. When Hopfinger tried to follow Miller out of an Anchorage school to get an answer to the question of why the winner of the Alaska Republican primary had mysteriously left his job as a part-time attorney for the Fairbanks North Star Borough, Fulton and his security team jumped the Alaska Dispatch.com editor and cuffed him.
The incident, and Miller’s subsequent defense of Fulton’s behavior, blew up into a national story. Miller took a beating in the Alaska and national media from which he never recovered.
Having previously toppled incumbent Sen. Lisa Murkowski in the Republican primary, he lost to her by about 10,000 votes after an unprecedented write-in campaign in the general election. No incumbent senator in modern times had managed such a feat.
Long after the election, Los Angeles Times reporter Kim Murphy would raise questions about what Fulton, an undercover informant for the FBI, was doing getting involved in Alaska political campaigns.
Miller at that time told Murphy the school “meeting ‘absolutely’ was detrimental to his campaign.
“‘I’m a strong supporter of the 1st Amendment, and I had close friends that had been supporters of my campaign question, ‘Why would Joe Miller handcuff a journalist?’ For crying out loud, I wasn’t even in the building,’ Miller said. ‘It was utilized as a political weapon against us in the state.
“Miller said he is now troubled that Fulton, whose personal politics turn out to be not at all aligned with the far right, was injecting controversy into his campaign and was also working on the campaign of (Eddie) Burke, another right-wing candidate who lost – all during 2010, when he was a paid informant for the FBI.”
The question has always lingered as to whether Fulton was just doing his job of security on the night of the confrontation with Hopfinger, which is what Fulton claimed at the time, or engaged in some of that “badassery” he now plans to detail in his book.