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Meet the 'Patriots': SPLC lies and misleads (Bachmann, Al Garza, Joseph Farah, Taitz...)

If you trust the Southern Poverty Law Center to tell you the truth - and to be interested in getting the truth in the first place - please see the following as well as the other posts at the last link. The latest example of how you can't trust them comes from "Meet the 'Patriots'" (splcenter.org/get-informed/publications/the-patriots?page=0,0) which lies about at least two of the people on the list. They also show little interest in real journalism. (Note: there's also another possible lie by them here, and there are probably other lies on the list about people I'm not familiar with).

1. The SPLC falsely accuses Al Garza of the Patriots Coalition of wanting to "[keep] Mexicans out of his country" and refers to him being "[a]sked about the irony of a Mexican American leading efforts to prevent Mexicans from setting foot on American soil". Both of those imply that Garza doesn't want any Mexicans to come here, period. Yet, Garza's group is actually in the "illegal immigration bad, legal immigration good camp", and the quotes the SPLC attributes to him refer to the illegal variety of immigration. That runs counter to the SPLC's claims. See the following page (note: this is direct link to a shockwave movie): link; that says: "The mission of Patriots Coalition is to influence the national debate on border security and illegal immigration. We support reasonable and orderly legal immigration but oppose amnesty for those millions who are currently in our country illegally."

2. They discuss Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily and say that that site, 'spices up its "news" reporting with "WorldNetDaily Exclusive" articles like this March's "Girl Scouts Hiding Secret Sex Agenda?"' Now, go take a look at the article: link. Would you say that's an example of "spice", or do you think - even if you're on Planned Parenthood's side of the fence - that there might be some sort of story there? Why would the SPLC seek to minimize the concerns of parents about such issues? Why wouldn't they encourage some sort of follow-up?

Of Farah they also say:

"He is a leading fomenter of the baseless claim that President Obama was not born in Hawaii, but in Africa, and so is not qualified to be president. Farah has repeatedly demanded that Obama release a full-form birth certificate. "It'll plague Obama throughout his presidency," he said. "It'll be a nagging issue and a sore on his administration."

While there's an excellent chance that Obama was born in Hawaii, where he was born hasn't been definitively proven (see the Obama citizenship page). All the evidence so far provided is full of holes; the SPLC has no interest in trying to actually prove it, but instead simply smears those who have questions.

Their use of "fomenter" is certainly interesting, because as far as I know Farah has not said that he believes that Obama was born in Kenya. He's run articles about that, but his position is to demand the birth certificate and to ask whether Obama is eligible based on various possibilities (their article archives on this topic here). Many people might miss the word "fomenter" and think that Farah holds a position different from what he appears to hold.

3. Of Orly Taitz, they say:

As one judge wrote in dismissing one of Taitz's lawsuits: "Unlike Alice in Wonderland, simply saying something is so does not make it so."

Once again, the SPLC shows a great willingness to push the official line and a complete unwillingness to do anything remotely balanced. If they were interested in the latter, they would point out that the judge in question (Clay Land) showed a good deal of bias in that case, giving Obama the benefit of the doubt while not extending the same to Taitz. I don't have a high regard for Taitz, but even those who don't should support judges being impartial rather than showing favoritism.

The SPLC also says: "Taitz has called for an insurrection to remove the president", when in fact she didn't go that far. Before making such an outrageous claim, a reputable organization would be sure to have a clear, unambiguous statement backing it up. Instead, even TalkingPointsMemo was confused over what she meant. See "Orly Taitz Seems To Suggest Call To Arms Against Obama" in which they say: "It's not entirely clear what Taitz means here, though it does sound a lot like a call for armed militias to rally against the president." (link). This is the quote, aren't there other explanations besides the SPLC's claim?

Seeing targeted destruction of our economy, our security, dissipation of American jobs, massive corruption in the Government, Congress Department of Justice and Judiciary, it might be time to start rallies and protests using our second amendment right to bare arms and organise in militias.

4. Rep. Michelle Bachmann lucks out and is only called an "enabler" of the others on the list. Of her they say:

While some people might complain about answering Census questions, Bachmann sees a sinister plot hearkening back to World War II. "They used the U.S. Census information to round up the Japanese and put them in the internment camps," she said during an interview with Fox News' Glenn Beck last year. "Americans were told that they wouldn't have their information used against them. They did."

Whether Bachmann's fears are well-founded in this case or not, Census Bureau data was used in the case she describes and others (link). See also July 30, 2004's "Homeland Security Given Data on Arab-Americans" (link) from the scaremongers at the New York Times.

They also say:

The AmeriCorps community service program? There's much more to it. "The real concern is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward," Bachmann warned. Never mind that her son joined an AmeriCorps program.

You can hear the April 2009 audio where she said that here: peekURL.com/vghoc7w . The SPLC conveniently leaves off the last part of the quote:

"It's under the guise of -- quote -- volunteerism. But it's not volunteers at all. It's paying people to do work on behalf of government... I believe that there is a very strong chance that we will see that young people will be put into mandatory service. And the real concerns is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have to go to work in some of these politically correct forums."

Indeed, it's hard to imagine the Obama administration supporting programs that wouldn't be politically correct, and it's easy to imagine the Obama administration arranging programs so that they're more in line with the administration's agenda. Not to mention the fact that the bill in question originally included a provision to investigate mandatory public service (factcheck.org/2009/03/mandatory-public-service) and the November 2008 questions surrounding that issue.

The SPLC lists Glenn Beck, Ron Paul, and Andrew Napolitano as other enablers and has many others on their list; discussing the credibility of those entries is left as an exercise.

Sun, 04/18/2010 - 14:22 · Importance: 6