AFA, Freedom Watch Invent Fake Scandal

OneNewsNow, the “news” department of the American Family Association, has an article that invents a “scandal” out of thin air, first citing findings from a Freedom Watch FOIA request and then saying nothing whatsoever of any substance about what the documents they got showed.

Documents reveal close ties between the Department of Justice and the Southern Poverty Law Center, a group that describes several pro-family organizations as “hate groups.”

Information demonstrating the relationship surfaced from a Freedom of Information Act request by Judicial Watch, seeking to determine “what, if any, influence the SPLC’s branding of hate groups has had on government agencies.”

And after that, not one mention of those documents. Not a single quote from them. But they do present this lie:

Liberty Counsel founder Mat Staver tells OneNewsNow he is not surprised at the findings because “it’s what the administration has been relying upon for the so-called classification of hate groups.” He recalls that Secretary Janet Napolitano and her Department of Homeland Security developed a list of potential domestic terrorists, including such organizations as the American Family Association and the Family Research Council.

“At West Point, an individual now has come out and said that you need to look out for people who are Christians, those who are pro-life, veterans, those who believe in limited government, those who support the Second Amendment, because they could be potential domestic terrorists,” he adds.

Both are lies, of course. Neither the Department of Homeland Security or West Point has said that “people who are Christians” are a terrorist threat, nor is there even the slightest mention of the AFA or the FRC. What both reports did not, absolutely accurately, was that there has been a long pattern of anti-abortion violence in this country going back decades. Because there has been. But those are facts, to which these folks are allergic.

Back to Judicial Watch, which trumpets a whopping “nearly two dozen pages of emails” showing “questionable behavior” between DOJ personnel and the Southern Poverty Law Center. Why? Because the SPLC’s director, Morris Dees, was doing a diversity training seminar for one of the divisions at the agency. And the big bombshell they found in those emails was that they picked him up from the airport and took him to dinner.

The emails produced by the DOJ include correspondence between DOJ personnel planning the Diversity Training Event and SPLC personnel, including Dees:

  • May 3, 2012 email – “We would like to tape the [Morris Dees] remarks and, at the same time, out Morris real time on the DOJ system can watch from their desks. Is that okay with Morris?”
  • June 27, 2012 – “Let me know Morris’ air schedule so I can pick him up at airport and plan an evening for us if he stays over.”
  • July 11, 2012 – “I will be at National in my [REDACTED] in which he has ridden before … I can arrange dinner. If he has a preference in DC where he wants to eat … tell him to let me know his druthers.”
  • July 16, 2012 – “The AAG’s office want to take Morris out to lunch before the 1:30 pm July 31 remarks … I’d pick Morris up at his hotel at 11:30 am if that worked for him.”

Wow, they picked up someone doing a seminar at the agency up from the airport and bought him a couple meals. How terribly “questionable.”

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