What Passes For Intelligence – SPLC Intelligence Report, Spring 2012
By Michael LeMieux
April 18, 2012
The spring “intelligence” report from the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has been released and as usual it has little to do with intelligence and more to do with fear mongering and misdirection. As an intelligence analyst I know what an intelligence report is and this is not that.
They start off with identifying what they call “Patriot” groups in the United States in 2011. Now in my 56 years in this country I always thought of myself as a Patriot. I have served in the military, went to war, was awarded the Purple Heart, swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, and always thought being a Patriot was a good thing.
Not these, ahem, intelligence analyst of the SPLC – they classify these groups as anti-government. Now don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of anti-government groups around but just because citizens are wishing to hold government accountable, which is their duty, is admirable and does not make them “anti-government.” Maybe anti-unlawful government.
So how does a group get on this prestigious list? Evidently not hard at all; I personally know of a number of these “groups” that have only just started and have done nothing so far, and I mean absolutely nothing. In fact one group, and I’ll get to them later, has a total of 3 people involved, have only had a handful of meetings and have set up a rudimentary web page – that’s it. They must be very dangerous and scary to the “intelligence” folks at the SPLC.
They say they derive their list from “field reports, Patriot publications, the Internet, law enforcement sources and news reports.” Wow, the internet – really? Hmmm. So they search the internet for any group that may identify themselves as patriots and question government. First of all who are we to question government? They would not do anything wrong, would they? I mean they wouldn’t do things like waste public funds on expensive junkets to Hawaii, and Las Vegas (GSA) on the taxpayers dime, or tell the American people lies to get us into wars (Gulf of Tonkin, etc), cause massive economic ruin (Fannie & Freddie), or pass laws that affect us and exempt themselves, etc, etc, etc. But I digress.
So let’s take a look at some of what the SPLC passes off as “intelligence” these days.
First is the “Constitution Party,” now that is something to be frightened of. And what does the Constitution Party say they stand for that can frighten the SPLC so much to add them to a list of potential ne’er-do-wells?
According to the party platform, a legally recognized political party by the way, they proclaim – “We declare the platform of the Constitution Party to be predicated on the principles of The Declaration of Independence, The Constitution of the United States and The Bill of Rights According to the original intent of the Founding Fathers, these founding documents are the foundation of our Liberty and the Supreme Law of the Land.”
What I find interesting is that a party that espouses a position of freedom, liberty, under a basis of law comes as a threat to the SPLC yet nowhere in there list will you find any of the various “Communist Party” organizations that admittedly want to overthrow our existing system. The communist party openly wish to limit freedom and expand government largess and self-admit to being militant but they do not make the SPLC list. There are a number of American Muslim “militias” that have openly stated their hatred for the American culture and government; they are not on the list. But if you call for law, the Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence to be your foundation then you must be up to no good, according to the SPLC.
How about the organization “Get Out Of Our House (GOOOH)?” Does that sound radical? GOOOH states: “It is a NON-PARTISAN plan to place citizen representatives on the ballot in 2012, ideally in the primary against the incumbent, competing for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The members of each district will have an honest opportunity to replace the career politicians…”
Here is an organization that works to get citizens involved in politics and especially those that will adhere to the Constitution and the founding principles of our country. Wow, that is really scary! Hmmm, I’m starting to see a theme here… but let’s look a bit further, shall we.
Uh Oh, a really scary group here – it’s the “Oath Keepers.” So what do the Oath Keepers stand for? Well, how about integrity of our elected officials, military personnel, police, and anyone that has sworn an oath to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” Wow, that is so scary I almost peed my pants. Not really, and out of fairness I will have to confess I know a bit about this group, I’m the President of the Nebraska Chapter of Oath Keepers and you know what? I will not apologize for being proud that I have lived up to my oath to support and defend the Constitution and all we ask is that our leaders do the same. But to the SPLC we need to be watched and placed on a scary list. Starting to see the common thread here? Let’s keep going.
The “Tenth Amendment Center” – for those that do not know, the Tenth Amendment is the one that says that any power not delegated to the federal government is reserved to the states and to the people. This was supposed to put the nail in the coffin of federal expansion of power by explicitly telling the federal government that they only have certain enumerated powers and all others belong to the states and the people.
Now the Tenth Amendment Center believes that the federal government should obey and abide by the Constitution and stay within those bounds. They state that the center: “Works to preserve and protect states’ rights and federalism through information and education.” What could be more harmful than information and education? Well, I guess if you’re the SPLC this group is really dangerous.
Next we have the “We the People” organization. We the people have been around for years and have ALWAYS worked within the law to get government to answer tough questions. You may have even heard of one of them, which was – “What law, specifically, in the code makes the average taxpayer liable for the income tax?” Now you might think that would be a rather funny thing to ask but do you realize in the past twenty years it has never been answered. They have petitioned the government many times, sent letters to nearly every congressman, posted large bounties in major national news media, and no one has been able to answer the question. Think that might be important to know? They won’t tell you and today you can be fined for even asking the question. How’s that for freedom.
Let’s look at the mission statement of the We the People organization to see what scares the SPLC so much; they state:
“The mission of the We The People organization is:
1. To protect, preserve and enhance the unalienable rights, liberties and freedoms of the people.
2. To teach people that under our system of governance all power comes from the people and all government is limited by our written constitutions.
3. To help people become better informed about the history and meaning of every provision of the Declaration of Independence and their State and federal constitutions.
4. To help people become better informed about what is really going on in government.
5. To help people become better informed about how to confront unconstitutional and illegal behavior by those wielding power in government at all levels.
6. To institutionalize vigilance by the ordinary, nonaligned citizen-voter-taxpayers”
Hmmm, let me see, rights, liberties, freedoms, constitution, becoming informed, confronting illegal behavior. These guys must be kooks. I bet they believe the Constitution is supposed to be followed by our government or something.
I’m going to step outside the common thread on this next one, only because I think this is a bit funny. They list as a dangerous, anti-government group that needs to watched as the notorious “eMilitary Manuals.” Really? I looked up their website and found that they are a business site that sells open source government books and manuals. They found a niche that people wanted and filled it. Wait a minute that sounds like capitalism. One of the very things the Constitution provided for, free commerce. Never mind this kind of sounds like it does follow along that common thread – oops I think I just gave it away. Anyway, let’s continue.
Here is a good one, the “Constitution Lobby of Nebraska.” You know what these radicals are trying to do? Well according to their website they state: “We will hold elected officials accountable, not just on election day, but every day, regardless of party affiliation and whether we voted for them. Individuals and small groups cannot prevail: it’s time for us to come together and do what we cannot do alone.”
What they plan on doing is assembling a group of constitutional lawyers and citizen lay-persons to watch over state and federal laws to determine if they align with state/federal constitutions and if not file petitions with the corresponding governments or bring legal action if necessary. Wow now that is really scary – using peaceful and lawful means to effect change. Remember earlier that I said I would point out an organization that has done nothing thus far? This is it – how do I know? I helped found it. We have only established the legal framework and filed for status with the government (still waiting), and have held only a few meetings so far. But we have made the big bad SPLC list without doing anything – I think maybe this SPLC “intelligence report” is looking more like a “report” and less of having any real intelligence.
Oh, wait a minute, that’s right the SPLC is in league with the unions which use strikes, intimidation, and violence to make changes. Maybe the rest of us are just a bit naïve and think that honor, truth, liberty, freedom, and keeping our oath means something.
I certainly do but I cannot attribute that to the SPLC based on the garbage they produce. They call this an “Intelligence Report” I would not, I would call this fear mongering, and self-serving to enlarge their target base. Remember it is THEIR mission to go against supposed hate groups and the more they can list the more they think they are needed.
You see I have been an intelligence analyst for nearly 20 years now, still am. I have given hundreds of REAL intelligence reports and I can tell you that this is by no stretch of the imagination an intelligence report. You see an intelligence report would back what they are saying with something that eludes the SPLC – facts – not just opinion or points of view.
Everything I have placed in this article can be found with a simple search on the internet. What really worries me is not that the SPLC publishes such unfounded misinformation; it is that the current administration and especially the Department of Homeland Security have a history of communication and sharing with the SPLC and that the SPLC is taken seriously by our government when so much of what they “report” is just plain wrong. The SPLC has been cited numerous times in state fusion center and DHS literature as being a credible source of their information. That, to me, is what is really scary.
And the thread that passes throughout this article that has garnered the ire of the SPLC? It is anyone one or any organization that stands for adherence to the Constitution as our founders intended it to be. What that tells me is the side of the Constitutional issue the SPLC appears to stand. But it might be asking a bit too much to have them add the SPLC to their own list.
© 2012 Michael LeMieux