Written by Alex Newman
The Obama administration’s increasingly controversial Justice Department, in partnership with the ultra-leftist Southern Poverty Law Center, announced the creation of a new czar position to focus on “domestic terrorism” — especially the alleged threat from Christians and Americans with “anti-government” views. While ostensibly created to serve as a coordination office overseeing domestic terror cases, critics and analysts are sounding the alarm, warning that the administration is plotting to go after its political opponents with the full force of the federal government.
The impetus for the Obama DOJ’s new focus on conservatives, libertarians, Christians, and others appears to be the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), widely viewed as an “anti-Christian hate group” and strongly criticized even by mainstream voices on the Left. Civil rights attorney and Southern Center for Human Rights President Stephen Bright, citing investigations and even a federal judge, lambasted SPLC founder Morris Dees as a “con man and fraud” who takes advantage of “naive, well-meaning people.”
Ironically, the SPLC was implicated in an actual domestic terrorism case, one of the few, just over two years ago. The attack involved a deranged homosexual activist, relying on the far-left group’s “hate” propaganda, who tried to massacre employees of the Family Research Council, a pro-family group falsely characterized as a “hate group” by the SPLC. “We’ve been pushing for something like this for quite a few years,” declared SPLC mouthpiece Mark Potok about the new domestic terror czar. “We feel like it’s very much a step forward, although we’ll have to see how it plays out.”
The announcement of the new domestic extremism czar position was made at George Washington University by Obama’s Assistant Attorney General for National Security John Carlin, a Harvard lawyer. “We need to make sure we have the mechanisms in place so that we can continue to remain just as focused on the domestic terrorism threat while addressing the international terrorism threat,” Carlin said in a question-and-answer session after his speech, which was co-hosted by the SPLC. “The new DT [Domestic Terror] Counsel will not only help ensure that DT cases are properly coordinated but will also play a key role in our headquarters-level efforts to identify trends to help shape our strategy, and to analyze legal gaps or enhancements required to ensure we can combat these threats.”
What bureaucrat might fill the position was not immediately clear. But when it comes to what the Obama administration is looking for, Carlin offered more details. “Homegrown violent extremists can be motivated by any viewpoint on the full spectrum of hate — anti-government views, racism, bigotry, anarchy and other despicable beliefs,” Carlin explained – without explaining how being opposed to government was hateful, or why people’s views should concern the federal government. “When it comes to hate and intolerance, no single ideology governs.” But if Carlin’s views on what constitutes “hate” and “anti-government” views are anything like the SPLC’s, Americans should expect Obama’s new terror czar to step up its escalating anti-constitutional attacks and intimidation against Christian groups, forces that stand for traditional (or biblical) marriage, pro-family organizations, pro-life groups, constitutionalist organizations, and more.
The SPLC specializes in smearing conservatives and Christians by, among other tactics, sandwiching peaceful activists between National Socialists (Nazis) and Ku Klux Klan groups. The group refers to the John Birch Society, for example, the parent organization of The New American Magazine, as “Chief among the Patriot groups,” with the word patriot, in SPLC-speak, used to connote something negative, namely “anti-government,” though the JBS is not anti-government in the slightest, only anti-lawless or -tyrannical government. The SPLC also demonizes as “hate groups” everything from mainstream pro-family organizations to voices that criticize radical Islamism. On top of that, the SPLC has been widely ridiculed for wildly inflating its lists of both “hate” groups and “patriot” groups, even listing defunct websites run by a single person or the “Granny Warriors” as targets in its outlandish propaganda materials.
But critics say it is the SPLC and its allies, in fact, that deserve more scrutiny — and not just because the group’s hate propaganda inspired terrorist Floyd Corkins to buy a gun and try to murder as many innocent employees of a mainstream pro-family group as possible, and then shove Chick-fil-A sandwiches into his victims’ mouths. In fact, the SPLC’s views are so radical that the mainstream American Family Association, with millions of supporters, labels it an “anti-Christian hate group,” and numerous prominent voices on the Left have denounced the SPLC as well. While the SPLC’s ramblings are occasionally taken seriously by anti-Christian bigots in government and the establishment media, most conservative and libertarian organizations and individuals consider it a badge of honor to be slandered by the SPLC. Still, its methodology has long been the subject of ridicule, and it has become increasingly marginalized as an extremist group among sensible Americans.
Despite the stench of the SPLC’s reputation — even prominent leftists have blasted the outfit and its founder as money-grubbing scam artists that bilk and terrorize donors while demonizing those whose views it disagrees with — Carlin had nothing but praise for the outfit. Groups like the SPLC, which has long been openly associated with communists, terrorists, and other radicals, “dedicate themselves to examining what the threat is, observing it, and reporting on it,” Carlin claimed, apparently with a straight face. Of course, in reality, the opposite is true, as even other arms of the Obama administration and growing swaths of the establishment media have slowly started to realize. “I can say, based on our briefings, that as I said in my opening remarks, we very much think that the domestic terrorism threat is a real and present threat that demands to be addressed in new, creative ways,” Carlin continued, adding that the “Southern Poverty Law Center and other groups in this space are very important.”
Ironically, Carlin also discredited much of his argument about anti-government activists by touting a debunked “study” claiming that alleged “right-wing extremists,” apparently hiding under every bed, have become a bigger threat to America than Islamic terrorists — many of whom have been armed and openly supported by the Obama administration, prompting even retired U.S. generals to argue that Obama had “switched sides” in the terror war. The propaganda “study” in question, produced by the statist George Soros-funded New America Foundation (no link to The New American Magazine), has been widely ridiculed as a pathetic attempt at propaganda on par with Obama administration efforts to demonize conservatives, libertarians, Ron Paul supporters, veterans, pro-life activists, liberty lovers, and more as potential terrorists and extremists in various official reports.
A report on “right-wing extremism” produced by Obama’s Department of Homeland Security warning of veterans and conservatives was eventually withdrawn after it went public. The DHS was subjected to merciless ridicule once the sources, many of which were known hoax websites, emerged. But other, similar propaganda continues to be pumped out, at taxpayer expense. And the New America report, while not directly affiliated with the administration, has been blasted for major flaws that provide evidence of deliberate manipulation to achieve the desired result — demonizing political opponents.
A recent article on Obama’s new czar hunting right-wing extremists by Leo Hohmann at WND, for example, pointed out that the New America study cited a mentally ill, drug-abusing, anti-Christian terrorist motivated by National Socialism as an example of “right-wing terrorism.” Other alleged examples of “right-wing terrorism” included a 2004 bank robbery, an armed home robbery in 2009, and a few non-political shootings of police. In all, the “study” managed to find or invent 48 victims of “right-wing terrorism” since the September 11 attacks killed 3,000 Americans. When it comes to Islamist terrorism, though, the “study” failed to include everything from Chattanooga shooter Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez’s recent attack that killed five U.S. servicemen to John Muhammad’s Washington, D.C., shooting spree that left 10 dead back in 2002. Despite being debunked, the pseudo-study was regurgitated by Carlin and some leftist media outlets without noting its obvious flaws.
Critics, though, are already warning that Obama’s new domestic terror czar is no joke. Bryan Fischer, writing on the pro-family One News Now site, blasted the president’s “abiding hostility to people of Christian faith” — as exemplified most recently by the new terror czar position and Obama’s apparent belief that Christians are a threat to national security. “If you are a sincerely devoted follower of Jesus Christ, your president believes you are a potential domestic terrorist,” Fischer wrote, pointing to Obama’s new domestic terror czar job and the statements made by Carlin and the SPLC. “And where, pray tell, does this threat come from? From the Muslim Brotherhood, which has a stated goal of exterminating Western civilization and sabotaging our miserable house from within? Nope. From ISIS, which is actively recruiting jihadists in all 50 states? Nope. Jihadists who are sneaking into the United States disguised as Syrian refugees? Nope.”
Blasting the “thoroughly discredited” SPLC, “which is so blatantly and maliciously biased against Christians that other parts of Obama’s administration – the FBI, the Pentagon, and the U.S. Army – are getting as far away from the SPLC as they can,” Fischer said Obama and his “minions” consider the Family Research Council and the American Family Association to be the “real threat.” He also noted that the SPLC’s “intelligence project director,” who teamed up with the DOJ, had admitted to a reporter that the SPLC classifies groups “on the basis of ideology.” “In other words, the SPLC will vilify groups because of what they believe, not because of what they do or because they have demonstrated any propensity toward violence,” Fischer noted, citing the SPLC operative’s own admission that the groups demonized by the SPLC are not targeted based on whether they are violent or not, but “on the basis of ideology.”
“Do we disagree with the homosexual lobby about homosexuality? Of course. Do we hate them? Absolutely not. Do we advocate violence against them? Never have, never will. We are simply determined to tell the moral, spiritual, and physical truth about non-normative sexual behavior,” Fischer continued, blasting the SPLC’s attacks on pro-family groups based on the far-left outfit’s own subjective hatred of what those groups say. “Bottom line: disagreement is not hatred, and the truth is not hate speech. Somebody needs to tell that to the president.” Of course, Obama already knows that, yet has demonstrated repeatedly his disdain for Christians — especially those who “bitterly” cling to their guns and Bibles.
Indeed, so outrageous and brazen has the administration’s anti-Christian bigotry become, that the Obama Defense Department was exposed teaching U.S. troops that Evangelical Christians, Catholics, and Orthodox Jews were “religious extremists” in the same category with Hamas and al-Qaeda. Just last week, Obama and the United Nations launched a global jihad against extremism, promising to stamp out “anti-Muslim bigotry” wherever it may be hiding. Also last week, Obama was again demonizing Christians, suggesting that the most devoted followers of Christ Jesus are actually xenophobes “suspicious of those not like them.”
In its final year in office, the Obama administration seems to be becoming a caricature of itself — an angry, petulant, paranoid, anti-American spectacle that would almost appear to be a comedy act if the implications for liberty and constitutional government were not so extreme.
Unsurprisingly, the new domestic terror czar announcement, and especially its links to the radical SPLC, has sparked a firestorm of outrage. However, the American people overwhelmingly elected Republicans to Congress so they could stop Obama and his “fundamental transformation” of America. A good place to start would be to examine the DOJ and its latest antics. If they are unconstitutional, or chill free speech in any way, they should be defunded immediately. If lawmakers find that the Justice Department is playing politics and demonizing, spying on, or threatening peaceful Americans for their political or religious views, Congress should start holding those responsible for the scheming accountable. Without congressional action, though, Americans can expect even more attacks on middle America in the coming months as Obama’s “fundamental transformation” reaches its climax.