Today we send out a very interesting and troubling essay published first in the book Everything You Know Is Wrong. Despite its obvious value, we could not find it on the Internet and had to scan the book. The pre-9/11 essay proves that the regime of the Patriot Act did not land from out of the blue, but was carefully prepared by ADL and its satellites, the ‘anti-hate’ organizations. There is a direct link from the Waco mass murder to Fallujah, from spying on anti-Zionists to spying on everybody, from watchdogs of the 1990s to the Patriot Act of the 2000s; the link is the ADL.
by CLETUS NELSON
Any example makes the point. For instance, when the Huns invaded Europe and one of their raiding parties came to a village it made absolute sense for the inhabitants to have prejudice against the Huns, enough to realize that they should fight or hide. Whether any individual Hun might not have been a bad person, it would have made good sense to hide the daughters of the clan. Every day we judge people at least in part by the groups they belong to. When we meet a Mormon we tend to believe he doesn’t drink alcohol, when we sell insurance we know that the average smoker will have a lot more chance of having heart or lung disease. When a neighborhood goes Black there is a significantly greater chance of criminality. You may not like these facts. You may be a Mormon who has a drink once in a while, or a smoker who doesn’t like to pay higher rates, or one of many African Americans who is not criminal, but like it or not, facts are facts, and groups affect society just as individuals do. If you ignore group reality you simply ignore reality itself.
There is nothing evil about an individual’s prejudice concerning African Americans that causes him to avoid walking in certain areas. It might mean the difference of whether he lives or dies. There is nothing evil about an African American having a prejudice about White people for any reason. Certainly Jews have preconceptions of Gentiles, and of Muslims and Palestinians in particular. They know that the average Muslim and Palestinian is likely to be anti-Israel. And Palestinians certainly have preconceptions or prejudices about Jews, that they are likely to be anti-Palestinian. Individuals differ, but remember groups, whether you define groups as organizations, corporations, races or nations — they rule the world. Not to be aware of group affiliation is tantamount to being completely defenseless, of walking in the jungle and not knowing the difference between a tiger and rabbit. You have a lot more chance to survive if you have a prejudice that the tiger is a predator and the rabbit is food.
All this being said, the interesting issue is not the fact that racial prejudice exists among all peoples, but the hypocritical usage of the term as a weapon against certain ethnic foes. The Jewish supremacists see awakened Gentiles as an implacable foe. So, through the power of their press and their watchdog groups they assign derogatory labels against those they oppose.
You see , you can understand racial differences and still respect people and their societies, not try to coerce or control them, harm them or suppress them. I think most White nationalists are that way. They don’t seek to be supremacists over anyone or suppress anyone. They simply want to preserve their own societies and live as they choose and not subject to other people’s control.
The Jewish supremacists are the real supremacists, Yet, they diabolically label their enemies as racist, haters, anti-Semites, and racially prejudiced, when in fact they practice the most virulent, and violent racism and human oppression known to mankind. Israel is an Apartheid State that has cruelly ethnically cleansed huge sections of land and put additional lands and millions of people under a brutal military occupation for decades. It jails and tortures tens of thousands, sends missiles and machine gun fire into neighborhoods of women and children, and somehow is still described as a democracy by the Jewish-dominated press! It segregates Jews and Arabs in schools, facilities, apartment buildings and neighborhoods and even whole towns! Yet, the proponents of Israel such as the ADL are busy finding targets of “racial hate” in the United States. And who are their targets, the very groups who oppose Jewish supremacism!
It reminds of my last race for governor of Louisiana. Once they realized that I would win a landslide of White voters, the great purveyors against racial “hate” were busy trying to stir up hate in every Black voter against Whites to motivate them to the polls. Day after day they showed pictures of lynched blacks (photos from the 1920s) as the inevitable consequence of letting those evil White folks elect David Duke governor. Our enemies aren’t enemies of hate, they use hate whenever they can to advance their cause — and nowadays it is all in the name of anti-hate!
Aside from the faulty first section on racial prejudice, the article is valuable –DD
by Cletus Nelson
Typically, these organizations reside in the upper echelon of the nonprofit public policy milieu, which presents an onerous problem as their financial existence is closely tethered to the rise and fall of ethnic intolerance, one cannot help but question the objectivity of these renowned political soothsayers. Moreover, the marked dislike these modern-day demagogues display toward the subjects of their research further erodes their facade of scholarly detachment. As political researcher Laird Wilcox remarks, “There is an anti-racism industry entrenched in the United States that has attracted bullying, moralizing fanatics, whose identity and livelihood depend upon growth and expansion of their particular kind of victimization.'”
While their passionate defenders will certainly object to such a charge by citing the threats posed by America’s expanding political fringe, such protests fail to address the questionable methodology and often politically motivated criteria used by these media-savvy experts to classify unconventional social and religious movements. As we shall soon see, one needn’t stockpile weapons or espouse reactionary beliefs to fall under the watchful eye of these formidable private surveillance networks. Indeed, imputing racist motives to alleged enemies of the State has become a notorious tactic among prominent watchdog groups such as the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith (ADL), the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and other purveyors of fear. To our detriment, this unchallenged “information disease”2 has unleashed an unprecedented expansion of State power. With this uncomfortable thought in mind, it is imperative that conscientious civil libertarians rethink the real threat pose by the extremists in our midst and closely examine watchdog tactics.
REASSESSING THE FAR RIGHT
Despite their similar agendas, each of these organizations has a different method of promoting its central message. Spokesmen for the Seattle-based Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity (NWCHD) consider themselves experts in youth-related topics and primarily focus on issues ranging from racist skinhead gangs to the controversial “Black Metal” subculture. The SPLC and the Atlanta-based Center for Democratic Renewal (CDR) adeptly play upon Northern stereotypes of the deep South with tabloid-style headlines decrying the allegedly fearsome motives lurking behind rural political movements. Mark Pitcavage, the chief researcher for the Militia Watchdog Website, adopts an intellectual tone and employs a rich academil argot to decry militia conspiracy theories and their supposedly racist subtext. Yet there is one unifying theme that permeates watch dog literature: “Violent “hate groups” are metastasizing at unprecedented levels.”
The motive behind this clever marketing strategy isn’t difficult to fathom: Combating the dark forces of “hate” has become a perpetual money-making machine. By issuing teeth-chattering prediction of impending racial terror, the more visible anti-racist groups gain access to an endless supply of lucrative foundation grants and stream of donations from terrified constituents. Struggling at the lower end of the watchdog spectrum is the NWCHD, which never theless boasts a yearly budget of some $600,000. Further up the scale is the ADL, whose annual expenditures exceed $30 million. However, for sheer wealth, few can match the SPLC, which enjoy combined assets of over $136 million, with a yearly take of nearly $40 million.
These substantial sums beg an important question: How big a threat is the far right? When viewed objectively, the rising diversity of the nation’s population coupled with public intolerance toward racial beliefs is greatly undermining the influence and popularity of organized racism. Even watchdog groups are coming to terms with this uncomfortable (yet reassuring) reality. “We are talking about a tiny number of Americans who are members of hate groups-I mean Infinitesimal,” SPLC spokesman Mark Potok conceded in a 1999 Associated Press article.
Potok’s assertion is echoed by Wilcox, who edits the wellresearched Guide to the American Right (now in its 24th edition) and Guide to the American Left (now in its 21st edition). Contradicting watchdog claims that hundreds of violent racist groups stalk the American political landscape, the Kansas academic asserts that “in terms of viable groups ie., groups that are objectively significant, are actually functioning and have more than a handful of real members.. .the actual figure is about 50.” Out of a national population which now exceeds 280 million, Wilcox estimates that “the Ku Klux Klan are down to about 3,000 people,” with an additional 1,500 – 2,000 members of organized fascist groups.”
By contrast, the SPLC (which is considered an irrefutable source by the mainstream press) lists over 600 “hate groups” on its Website. Yet when closely scrutinized, this authoritative directory is quite suspect. Little or no information is provided beyond the name of a purported racist group and the city in which it is located. With no contact information or mailing’address, who can verify these individuals or groups even exist? Having closely examined this data, Wilcox asserts that “a large number” of organizations included on the SPLC’s list “are either unconfirmed or consist of a single individual.”.
In some instances, watchdog groups will even contradict previous data in order to promulgate a culturally constructed “rise” in white nationalism. One such example is a 1999 report issued by the NWCHD entitled “Hate by State.” According to the widely publicized study, the state of Oregon is undergoing a “rise” in white nationalist activism substantiated by the presence of some thirteen hate groups. Among the groups listed are “patriot” folk singer Carl Klang (who apparently constitutes a one-man white supremacist group), the avowedly anti-racist Southern Oregon Militia (SaM), a record label, and other questionable entries. However, this alleged proliferation of racist beliefs in a state best known for its bottle-throwing anarchists and tie-dyed hippie subculture is at odds with data from the organization’s precursor, the Coalition for Human Dignity (CHD). The CHD issued a similar report in 1990 which documented some three-dozen well-organized “skinhead,” “Christian Identity,” “Christian Patriot,” and “Nazi” groups in the same locale.” Based on these numbers-from 36 to thirteen-it would appear that Oregon is witnessing a marked decline in far-right political activism.
Due to the underlying ethical considerations, few reporters would dare cite a study commissioned by the Philip Morris Company for an article discussing the health risks of smoking. Yet when otherwise well-meaning reporters regurgitate this type of tendentious watchdog research, their journalistic efforts are no less compromised. In some cases, the publication of unsubstantiated watchdog misinformation has enduring consequences. A 1996 media blitz conducted by the Center for Democratic Renewal (COR) provides a cautionary tale as to the perils of publicizing watchdog allegations.
ANATOMY OF A HOAX
It was a dramatic tale straight out of a John Grisham screenplay. In the spring of 1996, a team of investigators affiliated with the CDR crisscrossed the South in order to examine a troubling series of church fires. Despite the allegedly malevolent presence of hostile red necks, corrupt small-town sheriffs, and indifferent townspeople, the dedicated researchers pressed on. By summer, the disturbing truth was revealed: Since 1990, scores of African-American churches had been set aflame as part of a racist conspiracy. JoAnn Watson, CDR’s president, was unequivocal in denouncing the unspeakable attacks. “This is domestic terrorism,” she announced to the press. “It is not an isolated phenomenon. It’s an epidemic.”” This “epidemic” would later appear some 2,200 times in the popular press and become an operative metaphor for America’s growing racial disunity.
With the poll-conscious Clinton White House demanding immediate action, a full-scale task force was mobilized to catch the craven perpetrators behind this “conspiracy.” However, when the investigation was completed in 1997, it painted a far different picture than the sinister tableau depicted by the COR. “We have not seen hard evidence to support the theory of a nationwide conspiracy,” asserted Assistant Treasury Secretary James E. Johnson.” Indeed, it was found that the fires occurred against a “backdrop of widespread arson against houses of religion of all kinds, including white churches, mosques and synagogues.”” As skeptical reporters began to delve deeper into the facts, it would soon be revealed that the only “conspiracy” in evidence was hatched by the CDR and its allies.
Michael Fumento, a former attorney with the US Commission on Civil Rights and a notorious debunker of media myths, closely scrutinized the initial CDR report and found the document fraught with selective omissions and factual errors. After discussions with fire officials in several Southern states, Fumento learned that the CDR had “regularly ignored fires set by blacks and those that occurred in the early part of the decade, and labeled fires as arsons that were not – all in an apparent effort to make black church torchings appear to be an escalating phenomenon.”‘. Citing statistics from the National Fire Protection Association, Fumento noted that in actuality Americans were seeing a radical decline in the number of church arsons, from 1,420 in 1980 to just over 500 in 1994.
As the story unraveled, other publications began to question the CDR’s dubious claims. But the damage was done, and the profits were in: The anti-hate group and its affiliate, the National Council of Churches (NCC), secured a multimillion dollar windfall in donations. To this day, many still believe in this malicious urban myth which subsequently unleashed a series of copycat crimes by opportunistic racists. Therein lies the ultimate irony of this disturbing saga: By disseminating this ill-founded claim, the CDR spread terror among black churchgoers, fostered fear and resentment among varying racial groups, and actually contributed to an upsurge in racially-motivated violence toward African-American places of worship. “That which the Ku Klux Klan can no longer do, a group established to fight the Klan has done for them,” Fumento observed.
In the aftermath of this obvious hoax, the credibility of the press suffered little. Yet to discerning observers, this unsavory incident revealed the symbiotic relationship watchdog groups enjoy with sympathetic members of the media.
WHEN TRAGEDY STRIKES
The aforementioned sham illustrates the tendency among watchdog groups to divine racist subcurrents behind highly publicized events. Thus, when the Alfred P. Murrah building exploded in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on April 19, 1995, these high-profile nonprofits unleashed a sustained offensive against the nascent citizen militia movement. “We warned Attorney General Janet Reno six months before the Oklahoma City bombing that private militia groups posed a serious threat,” bragged SPLC founder Morris Dees in a selfaggrandizing fundraising letter.18 “Our Militia Task Force,” Dees continued, “has been able to provide critical information to federal and state agencies investigating the Oklahoma City Bombing.”
Few bothered to question the accuracy of this “critical information,” especially in light of the fact that militia groups have yet to be implicated in the 1995 blast. Indeed, following one of the most exhaustive investigations in FBI history, federal officials were unable to establish a direct link between citizen militias and the bombing plot. In fact, since 1999, FBI agents across the country have been involved in an innovative effort to build a trusting relationship with patriot and militia groups. “The idea we’re pushing is that it’s not a crime to be a member of the militia,” FBI agent Bill Crowley remarked to the Associated Press.” Among the agents taking part in the outreach program is Danny Defenbaugh, the former head of the Oklahoma City investigation. Nevertheless, in the wake of the OKC attack, the SPLC, ADL, and other groups, in concert with the media, waged a heated information war against allegedly racist patriot groups and their sympathizers.
With no shortage of experts available to validate the most lurid claims, reporters were uninterested in anyone willing to depart from their institutional bias against patriot groups. “The militias-whoever the fuck they are…are a ticking time bomb composed of paranoid lunatics,” remarked a reporter from the Washington Post seeking an interview with writer and publisher Adam Parfrey after the OKC bombing. When Parfrey offered a more balanced (and less hysterical) assessment of this evolving political phenomenon, his observations fell on deaf ears.
The ensuing anti-militia crusade would crescendo with the passage of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, a repressive statute which relaxed laws governing the use of electronic surveillance, expanded the State’s right to investigate politically suspect individuals or organizations, and implemented other Orwellian measures to ferret out alleged domestic terrorists.
In the years since this well-orchestrated campaign to demonize primarily law-abiding constitutional militias, watchdog groups have now come to embrace the federal government’s highly dubious “lone wolf” theory, which ascribes responsibility for the mass murder to convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh and his confederate Terry Nichols. However, a substantial body of evidence has surfaced which ties an armed, well-organized hate group known as the Aryan Republican Army (ARA) to the blast. “It is now believed the ARA financed and helped to stage the bombing,” reports Andrew Gumbel in a special investigation for the Independent of London.” The marked silence emanating from the watchdog camp in regards to this grave development would suggest that their initial preoccupation with uncovering a far-flung rightist conspiracy behind the blast was far from sincere.
Four years later, the Columbine High School mass-shooting provided yet another avenue for watchdog advocates to cynically exploit yet another inexplicable act of violence. Within weeks of the highschool shootings, the NWCHD began placing a racially-charged spin on the highly-publicized murders. Citing “evidence of Hitler worship as a component of their motives,” Coalition Research Director Robert Crawford inveighed in an editorial appearing in the Portland Oregonian that both Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris “were known to hate African-Americans and Hispanics and speak adoringly of Hitler.”” Crawford further alleged that the two teenage gunmen had been poisoned by “Neo-Nazi” music.
While the murder of African-American student Isaiah Sholes provides a thin veneer of justification for this sweeping (and sensationalistic) version of events, the argument falls apart under close scrutiny. If the Columbine killings were an act of racial terror, why were the vast majority of the victims white, suburban teens? Moreover, even if it is conceded that there was a modicum of racism lurking behind Harris and Klebold’s deadly attack on the Colorado school, it would seem their alleged “hate” wasn’t limited by the confines of racial identity.
A Time magazine analysis of a series of videotapes made by Klebold and Harris prior to their murderous spree depicts the two teens assailing every racial group on the face of the earth. This sustained verbal bombast displayed an “ecumenical” hatred that often bordered on the self-referential, as the two denigrated various minority groups, along with Christians, whites, and Jews.” There is also evidence which indicates that both Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had little interest in racism. One might even argue that Harris possessed the virulent anti-racism notorious among watchdog groups.
“Don’t let me catch you making fun of someone just becasue [sic] they are a different color because I will come and break your fucking legs,” the deceased shooter wrote on his Webpage prior to the killings.” After investigating the adolescent killers, Salon reporter Dave Cullen asserted, “The biggest myths about the tragedy have to do with the question of who Harris and Klebold were really targeting in their rampage. Jocks, African-Americans and Christians have been widely described as their chief targets. Not a scrap of evidence supports that conclusion.”” Further imperiling allegations of Nazi inclinations are Dylan Klebold’s Jewish background, which would certainly undermine any purported affinity with National Socialism.
Although a prolonged sociological autopsy has severely undercut allegations of racist intent behind this disturbing incident of mass murder, the NWCHD (and later the SPLC) continued to propagate the misguided notion that the perpetrators were part of a highly organized crypto-fascist “Black-Metal” subculture. Yet there is utterly no evidence to prove the two youths were even remotely connected with the “extreme music” scene. In fact, Harris and Klebold enjoyed the German electronic group KMFDM, who consider their creative efforts a “statement against war, oppression, fascism and violence against others.”‘. Unfortunately, these types of inconvenient facts have never proved an obstacle to watchdog propaganda efforts.
DEFENDERS OF THE REGIME
While these vigilant defenders of “tolerance” will typically concede that racism permeates every stratum of society, rarely do these staunchly pro-law enforcement, pro-government groups ever address instances of State-sanctioned racism. If they are looking for examples of racial injustice, they need only review the tragic effects of the “War on Drugs,” which has dealt a crippling blow to minority communities.
According to the Justice Policy Institute, the number of nonviolent offenders in American prisons has exploded due to the escalating Drug War. A recent study reports that the incarceration rate for African Americans has skyrocketed due to “increases in drug sentencing over the past two decades: At a bare minimum, 1.4 million African-America men – over 10 percent of the black male adult population – have lost the right to vote due to their brush with the criminal justice system’. To echo Fumento, even the most diabolical Klansman couldn’t have dreamed of a more repressive policy to disproportionately punish minorities!
Obviously, taking on moribund Klan groups or cynically hyping another racist scare offers greater rewards than dealing with uncomfortable topics which threaten the legitimacy of the Beltway power elite. Indeed, in many instances watchdog groups have aided and abetted abuses of State power. The 1993 paramilitary siege of the Mt. Carmel religious complex in Waco, Texas, offers substantial evidence of watchdog complicity.
According to a report from the Committee for Waco Justice, the ADL worked in concert with federal officials by providing “precise documentation” on the Davidian “cult” and “how it operated in the past.”” Although we can only speculate as to the nature of this intelligence, the inherent brutality of the initial raid conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and the subsequent tank assault which led to the tragic death of over six-dozen members of a multiracial spiritual community suggest that this questionable information was of an inflammatory nature.
The role of quasi-governmental watchdog groups didn’t cease once bloodthirsty ATF agents cravenly raised their flag above the smoldering Mt. Carmel complex. As Washington officials braced for Congressional hearings and the possibility of answering a number of difficult questions regarding the alleged “disappearance” of key pieces of evidence, watchdog groups stepped forward to wholeheartedly endorse the law enforcement debacle.
“I am more concerned with the victims of militia terrorists than with FBI or ATF excesses,” SPLC figurehead Morris Dees remarked glibly, while failing to articulate a single instance of militia-sponsored terrorism.'” Nevertheless, SPLC “experts” repeatedly attacked those willing to question the Justice Department’s factually untenable (yet media-sanctified) “mass suicide” theory. Mark Pitcavage of Militia Watchdog similarly assailed the allegedly sinister agenda of determined Waco investigators. “These guys have ulterior motives,” whined the pro-government activist to Salon magazine.” Tragically, few reporters bothered to question the “ulterior motives” of these well-connected Waco apologists who played a crucial role in the ensuing cover-up, which continues to shroud this unprecedented atrocity.
Five years later, the SPLC would wage a similar attack against those who attended the 1999 World Trade Organization demonstrations in Seattle, Washington. In its quarterly publication, Intelligence Report, the Alabama watchdog group made the stark allegation that the protests were thoroughly infiltrated by the “hard-edged soldiers of Neo-Fascism.” Providing utterly no credible evidence to substantiate this charge. the anonymous author asserted that the WTO protests represented a convergence of the far left and far right in America, made possible by the increasing willingness of avowed Nazi and racist groups to co-opt traditional leftist stances on issues such as economic inequality and global trade policy.
These well-calculated attacks display how watchdog groups have long departed from their once progressive beliefs in order to curry favor with the National Security State. The ADL has been at the forefront of this disquieting trend.
It has long been believed that controversial government counterinsurgency operations such as the FBI’s COINTELPRO program were disbanded during the brief era of reform which occurred in the wake of the Watergate scandals. While it is true that federal guidelines which curtailed government spying on political groups were adopted in the late 1970s, watchdog groups have allowed law enforcement to effectively sidestep these administrative prohibitions. Indeed, operatives for the ADL have played a key role in spying on suspected political dissidents from across the political spectrum.
“By the mid-1980s, the ADL was swapping files with hundreds of ‘official friends,’ the organization’s euphemism for US law enforcement and intelligence sources,” writes Robert I. Friedman in the Village Voice. The organization doesn’t limit itself to merely observing and identifying political dissidents-this human rights group frequently uses paid informants to infiltrate and gather information on various political factions.
In one instance during the 1980s, a Michigan ADL operative named James Mitchell Rosenberg penetrated the extreme right and became a leading member of the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups. This shadowy agent provocateur even gave racially inflammatory speeches at white nationalist rallies until another organization, People Against Racist Terror (PART), spoke out about his involvement, which “crossed the line from collecting information which is vital and necessary in dealing with violenceprone racists, to acting as an initiator of racist organizing and proponent of racist violence.”
Despite the progressive rhetoric which inundates ADL publications, the organization is no less dedicated to monitoring the other end of the political spectrum. The sheer scope of this counterintelligence effort was briefly brought to light in January 1993 when a San Francisco police investigation linked Roy Bullock, a self-admitted ADL spy, to Tom Gerard, an SFPD intelligence officer. Apparently Gerard had provided Bullock with access to confidential police files, and as the story unfolded, it was revealed that the seasoned ADL operative had subsequently compiled files on nearly 10,000 individuals and more than 950 political organizations. To the horror of the West Coast progressive community, it was learned that on behalf of the ADL, Bullock was covertly monitoring the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), and a surfeit of other left-leaning groups.’.
Yet one needn’t traffic in the political milieu to gain the attention of police-connected ADL officials. The organization’s adversarial and confrontational tactics leave anyone open to charges of race hatred and the possibility of arrest. In the fall of 1994, a Colorado ADL affiliate transformed a seemingly innocent neighborhood dispute into a scorched-earth campaign to jail and ruin a middle-class couple.
The escalating feud, which began over an alleged dog attack, reached its apex when William Quigley drove his car recklessly (and illegally) in a threatening manner toward his neighbor Candice Aronson. In retaliation, Mrs. Aronson and her husband, Mitchell, began recording the Quigleys’ cellular phone conversations by listening to a police scanner. In a highly emotional conversation in which Dorothy Quigley vented her frustrations over the dispute, she made a number of grossly insensitive remarks, such as her sadness that the Aronsons hadn’t been on a bus “blown up by terrorists.”
Although Mrs. Quigley immediately regretted making these statements and, in the same conversation, admitted that her comments were “sick,” the Aronsons grew alarmed and took steps to initiate legal proceedings against their neighbors.’. After contacting the ADL that October, the couple was encouraged by League officials to continue taping the phone calls (which is illegal under federal law). In December, the Aronsons filed a federal lawsuit against the Quigleys, and within days, the local District Attorney charged them with several counts of ethnic intimidation. As the controversy spun out of control, an ADL spokesman accused them of “perpetrating the worst anti-Semitic incident in the area since the slaying of Jewish talkshow host Alan Berg.”
However, there was little evidence to back up this hyperbole. After closely examining the evidence, Jefferson County D.A. David Thomas sheepishly concluded that the entire episode was “a basic garden-variety neighborhood dispute” and “the ethnic part of it came as an outgrowth, not a cause of it.” Indeed, this was far from a onesided affair. Reporter Eric Dexheimer notes that “both families volleyed verbal insults that would make a prison guard blush.” Nevertheless, the ill-conceived prosecution conducted “under pressure from the ADL” had dire results for the Quigleys, who were publicly accused of conducting a virulent anti-Semitic campaign against their neighbors:’
Facing an uncertain financial future with their reputations effectively ruined, the Quigleys launched their own legal offensive, which ironically charged the League with defamation and other offenses. In April 2000, a jury agreed, declaring that ADL statements at a news conference and on talk radio were both defamatory and “not substantially true.” They awarded the embattled husband and wife a judgement in excess of $10 million.”
Although the Quigleys enjoyed their proverbial day in court, how many average citizens could afford to retain counsel in order to defend themselves against such charges? Moreover, it is unlikely that this ephemeral moment of justice will curtail the extralegal surveillance efforts of dossier-compiling watchdog advocates. In fact, the SPLC still brags of its “unique computer database,” which is considered the “largest in the United States”” and contains flies on thousands of Americans accused in absentia of possessing political views deemed suspect. According to US News and World Report, on any given day “[f]ourteen researchers with the SPLC’s ‘Intelligence Project’ spend long hours in front of computers, crossfiling data from press reports, hate-group literature, and web sites.”
In essence, the SPLC constitutes a “virtual arm of the state.. .acting as an informant, a chronicler, and a clearinghouse for information to be placed at the disposal of federal agencies,” remarks anti-war activist Justin Raimondo. While smaller organizations such as the NWCHD may lack the elaborate and sophisticated surveillance apparatus of their wealthier peers, coalition members are not above attending rightist functions in order to take down license plate numbers and “photo document” alleged thought criminals for possible use by law enforcement.47
This disquieting nexus between watchdogs and the State has become so pervasive that spokesmen for other watchdog groups are beginning to register their dissent. “If you claim to be a broadbased human rights group you should not have a backdoor relationship with police,” comments John Foster “Chip” Berlet of Political Research Associates (PRA), a Massachusetts think tank which studies right-wing extremism”.
A THREAT TO FREEDOM?
You will find almost no reporting on these disturbing issues in the mainstream press. Why? Watchdog groups are extremely aggressive in pressuring members of the media to toe the official line. Indeed, those who dare deviate from scripted watchdog propaganda run the risk of offending this highly intolerant and politically powerful lobby. Nevertheless, remaining silent will only serve to embolden these determined enemies of freedom. While a vast segment of the population may find it difficult to find common cause with militias, gun owners, and even outright racists, history tells us that it is the opinions which many may find objectionable that most deserve protection under the US Constitution. However, so long as the public believes that we are besieged by church-burning “conspiracies,” anthrax-wielding militia terrorists, and metastasizing “hate groups,” Americans will remain under the iron heel of the watchdog nation.
1. Wilcox, Laird. The Watchdogs: A Close Look at Anti-Racist ‘Watchdog” Groups. Olathe, KS: Editorial Research Services, 1999: 3. 2. The writer’s use of this term is taken from Conway and Siegelman’s Snapping: America’s Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change. (Philadelphia & New York: JB Lippincot & Company, 1978: 154.) The condition is described as a “sustained altered state of awareness” resulting in “narrowed or reduced awareness.” A major symptom of this intellectually myopic state is the severe impairment of an “individual ability to question” -a cognitive lapse which has become prevalent among watchdog-friendly reporters! 3. ‘Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity Cutting Staff: Seattle Gay News On-Line 23 Feb 2001.cit., Wilcox: 26. 5. Better Business Bureau Philanthropic Advisory Service, Charity Reports;Dec 2000. The SPLC was rebuked by the Bureau for expending a mere 35 percent of its yearly take on actual program expenses. 6. Levinson, Arlene. “Hate Groups, Crimes Said Rare in the US.” Associated Press 8 July 1999.-7. Op cit., Wilcox: 49. 8. McCain, Robert Stacy. “Researcher Says Hate ‘Fringe’ Isn’t as Crowded as Claimed.” Washington Times 9 May 2000. 9. Op cit., Wilcox: 49. 10. Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity. “Hate by State.” 1999: 5-6. 11. Coalition for Human Dignity. “Organized White Supremacists in Oregon.” 1990: B. 12. “Rash of Church Fires Part of Racial Violence.” Catholic World News 29 March 1996. 13. Fumento, Michael. “The Great Black Church Burning Hoax.” consumeralert.org 9 July 1996. 14. Savage, David. “Probe Finds No Conspiracy in Church Arsons.” Los Angeles Times 9 June 1997. 15. Booth, William. “In Church Fires, a Pattern but No Conspiracy.” Washington Post 19 June 1996. 16. Op cit., Fumento. 17. Ibid. 18. SPLC fundraising letter dated 17 May 1995. 19. Hull, C. Bryson. “FBI Meets with Militia Groups.” Associated Press 12 July 1999. 20. Parfrey, Adam. Cult Rapture. Los Angeles: Feral House, 1995: 346. 21.Gumbel, Andrew. “McVeigh ‘Did Not Act Alone in Oklahoma Bombing.” Independent (London) 11 May 2001. 22. Crawford, Robert. “Nec-Nazi Background Music to School Massacre.” Oregonian (Portland) 13 May 1999. 23. Gibbs, Nancy, and Timothy Roche. “Special ReportlThe Columbine Tapes.” Time 20 Dec 1999. 24. Eric Harris’ Webpage [“HatePage”].. 25. Cullen, Dave.
“Inside the Columbine High Investigation.” Salon 23 Sept 1999. 26. Bryson, Wyatt. “Columbine High School Massacre-The Web Connection.” Rock Hill Herald (South Carolina) Online 21 April 1999. 27. Schiraldi, Vincent, Jason Ziedenberg, and John Irwin, PhD. “America’s One Million Non Violent Prisoners.” Justice Policy Institute 1999.. 28. “Poor Prescription: The Costs of Imprisoning Drug Offenders in the United States.” Justice Policy Institute 2000.. 29. Moore, Carol, et al. “The Massacre of the Branch Davidians: A Study of Government Violations of Rights, Excessive Force and Cover-Up.” Committee for Waco Justice 28 Jan 1994.30. Grigg, William Norman. “SPLC’s ‘Extremist Cash Cow.'” New American 10 June 1996. 31. Elder, Sean. “Great Balls of Fire.” Salon 9 Sept 1999. 32. “Neither Left Nor Right.” Intelligence Report Winter 2000. 33. Friedman, Robert I. “How the ADL Turned the Notion of Human Rights on Its Head, Spying on Progressives and Funneling Information to Law Enforcement.” Village Voice 11 May 1993. 34. Redden, Jim. Snitch Culture. Los Angeles: Feral House, 2001: 79. 35. Op cit., Friedman. 36. Op cit., Wilcox: 32. 37. Lane, George. “Charges of Bigotry Backfire.” Denver Post 29 April 2000. 38. Janofsky, Michael. “Spat Leads to Huge a Award Against the Anti-Defamation League.” New York Times 13 May 2000. 39.0p cit., Lane. 40. Dexheimer, Eric. “War of the Words: How an Eager DA Transformed a Neighborhood Spat Into a Headline Grabbing Hate Crime.” Westword Online 9 August 1995. .41. Op cit., Dexheimer. 42. Ibid. 43. Op cit., Lane. 44. SPLC mailing dated 7 Nov 1997. 45. Shapiro, Joseph P. “Hitting Before Hate Strikes.” US News & World Report 6 Sept 1999. 46. Raimondo, Justin. “Behind the Headlines.” Antiwar.com 3 Sept 1999. 47. Redden, Jim. “Good Guy Spies.” Hustler April 1994. 48. Op cit., Shapiro.