AFA, Freedom Watch Invent Fake Scandal

AFA, Freedom Watch Invent Fake Scandal February 12, 2013

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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  • hexidecima

    golly, TrueChristians(tm) bearing false witness against others? Whodathunk?

  • Ya gotta give ’em credit for one thing, though. That’s a whole lotta work, generating a scandal out of absolutely nothing like that!

  • Randomfactor

    Presumably the reports “did note,” not “did not.”

  • Larry

    Wow! This may may out-benghazi the benghazi “scandal”. Good to know the AFA is on the case.

  • shouldbeworking

    The DoJ is spending taxpayers’ money paying for meals? Book the wastrels single rooms at Gitmo!

  • It really does sting the AFA to be (accurately) labeled a hate group, doesn’t it?

  • The most shocking thing about this e-mail is that it’s 2013 and someone in the DOJ is using the word druthers.

    Good word though, I think I’m going to have to start using it.

  • jameshanley

    I suspect that there’s a certain pride associated with thinking of themselves as being targeted that way. It proves how important they are. The worst thing for them is to simply be ignored.

  • tubi

    Can anyone tell me how to construct a FOIA request to determine how many dinners Don Wildmon has attended at the expense of members of Congress or other government agencies? Did anyone in the Bush DOJ or elsewhere pick any of these pinheads up at the airport and buy them a shrimp cocktail?

    I suspect questionable behavior.

  • Carolyn

    This is particularly hilarious because the SPLC has a history of SUING the government. They sued for women to get spousal benefits for women in the military in the 70’s, they are suing over DOMA right now. The government has no classification of “hate groups” although the SPLC does send out videos to local law enforcement on how to deal with particular groups. Their newest video, which is awesome, shows how to deal with people who claim to be sovereign citizens. The SPLC is a great liberal group with programming that is sometimes used publicly, I have worked on their behalf before, but they are definitely not “buddy buddy” with the Federal Government.