Why is the FBI missing the extremists in our midst? Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the organization consulted by the Department of Justice for information on extremists is in bed with them.
Evelyn Schlatter, the deputy director of research of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), was listed as a participant in the recent Left Forum conference, which featured an assortment of communists, 9/11 truthers, pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel activists, and other extremists. Schlatter was described as an expert on “right-wing political and social movements, gender, and sexuality.”
Schlatter should have some knowledge of left-wing political movements, especially since she rubbed elbows with some of their followers at the conference. Indeed, these far-left extremists are allies of the SPLC, which works directly with and advises the Obama Justice Department on hate groups and extremism. The FBI is under the jurisdiction of the Justice Department.
In the case of the Orlando terrorist attack on a gay nightclub, the SPLC has been careful to avoid discussing in any significant detail the killer’s devotion to radical Islam, including his regular attendance at a Mosque and the presence of a Koran, a Palestinian book, and other Islamic paraphernalia in his apartment. Instead, an article on the SPLC website described Omar Mateen as simply “a 29-year-old American citizen who worked as a security guard and had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State before the attack.” The article focused on the reactions of a few members of the “racist right” to homosexuals being targeted in the attack.
Fred Fleitz, senior vice president for policy and programs with the Center for Security Policy, says his organization was named by the SPLC as a “hate group” precisely because of “our work highlighting the threat from radical Islam.”
Denouncing the SPLC’s use of despicable tactics against leading conservatives, Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin (ret.) has said that the SPLC is “probably next to the Muslim Brotherhood the most evil group in America.” The Muslim Brotherhood functions as a front for terrorist organizations but is treated as a friendly Muslim group by the Obama administration. Indeed, national security reporter Bill Gertz reports that Obama has issued Presidential Study Directive-11, backing the Muslim Brotherhood.
As if the Justice Department needed more evidence of how the SPLC can’t be trusted to report on “extremists” in America, the SPLC’s Schlatter was joined at the Left Forum by pro-terrorist lawyer Lynne Stewart. Stewart participated in a panel titled, “Free Our Political Prisoners,” a reference to terrorists in prison. Stewart knows something about terrorism. As noted by former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, she was convicted for helping the Blind Sheikh run his Egyptian terrorist organization, al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya or “the Islamic Group,” from his high-security U.S. prison confinement. However, Stewart was freed from prison by the Obama administration on medical grounds.
The chairman of the panel featuring Stewart was Jennifer Meeropol of the Rosenberg Fund for Children, an organization named for the Soviet spies Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.
An advertisement in the conference program guide proclaimed, “Time to Take Down the Wall between the Left and the Truth Movement. No Justice or Peace without Truth.” This was an attempt to get more left-wingers on board the 9/11 truth movement, which claims U.S. government agents—not Muslim terrorists—were behind the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. A panel associated with this view argued that Islamophobia was responsible for blaming Muslims for the terrorist attacks.
Among the organizations joining with the Southern Poverty Law Center at the recent Left Forum in New York City were:
- The Freedom Road Socialist Organization, a self-declared Marxist-Leninist organization raided by the FBI in 2010 because of its links to the terrorist FARC in Colombia and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a Palestinian Marxist-Leninist terrorist group.
- The Progressive Labor Party, whose motto is “Fight For Communism.”
- Red Star Publishers, described as “a small publishing company dedicated to making Marxist-Leninist literature available in print format at low cost.” It is associated with the Party of Communists USA and US Friends of The Soviet People.
- Revolution Books, “A bookstore for a radically different world,” is associated with the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, headed by former SDS leader Bob Avakian.
- Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), the largest socialist organization in the United States, and principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International.
The opening plenary was titled, “Capitalism and Militarism—at Humanity’s Peril,” and was predictably covered by Russia Today (RT) in a story headlined, “‘Democracy in the US is a fraud’ Left Forum debates next steps for Sanders movement.” Speakers were:
- Medea Benjamin, an anti-Israel activist who co-founded Code Pink.
- Tariq Ali, a British Pakistani associated with the Marxist Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies, who co-wrote the screenplay for the Oliver Stone film glorifying Venezuelan Marxist ruler Hugo Chavez.
- Chris Hedges, a former New York Times reporter who holds the distinction of being so far left that he was booed and greeted with chants of “USA” when he delivered a graduation speech on “War and Empire” at Rockford College in Illinois.
Titles of panels at the conference included:
- The Proletariat is Still the Revolutionary Class.
- Tear Down the Prison Walls!
- Intifada in America: The History of the Palestine Left in the United States.
- A Dialogue on Israel and Palestine With Tariq Ali and Norman Finkelstein.
- Animal Liberation Strategies in the Face of Indifference and Repression.
- Bully Nation: How Militaristic Capitalism Creates A Bullying Society.
- One Year of the SYRIZA-ANEL Government in Greece: The Perspective of the Greek Communist Party (KKE).
- Silencing Dissent: False Accusations of Anti-Semitism Against Palestine Solidarity.
- Cuba—Political and Economic Reforms for 21st Century Socialism.
- Prison Abolition: A Movement Towards New Directions.
- Deconstructing Gender Identity Under Male Supremacy.
- Some Reflections on the Russian Revolution.
- A Call for Leninist Unity.
- Queer Immigrant Organizing for Liberation.
Fleitz notes that the SPLC has become “a far left group with one purpose: manufacturing material to slander conservatives for use by the news media and on the Internet.” This is indeed why The Washington Post and other news organizations use the group in the first place. But the media carefully avoid any discussion of the extremists in bed with the SPLC, proving the essential dishonesty of what passes for coverage of extremism in American society.
Until this approach changes, on the part of the government and the press, Islamists will continue to escape scrutiny and kill Americans.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at [email protected]