The Department of Defense, one of the agencies that your tax dollars help finance, consider you to be an extremist. That is the bottom line of a report released today by government watchdog Judicial Watch, which has obtained educational materials from the DOD that depict conservative organizations as “hate groups” and advise students to be aware that “many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place.”
One source repeatedly cited in the documents as a resource for identifying “hate groups” is itself a perpetrator of hateful rhetoric in the view of some. It is the leftwing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
The documents were obtained in response to a FOIA request filed on Apr. 8, 2013. Included in the 133 combined pages of lesson plans and PowerPoint slides is a January 2013 Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute “student guide” titled “Extremism.” The document says it is “for training purposes only” and that it is not to be used “on the job.” Highlights include:
- A definition of extremist as “a person who advocates the use of force or violence; advocates supremacist causes based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or national origin; or otherwise engages to illegally deprive individuals or groups of their civil rights.” All of those terms could easily be applied to the SPLC. In addition, the invidious document maintains that “nowadays, instead of dressing in sheets or publically espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place.”
- Under a section labeled “Extremist Ideologies,” the document states: “In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples.”
Other than a mention of 9/11 and the Sudan, there is no discussion of Islamic extremism.
In April 2013, following a terrorist shooting at the Family Research Council (FRC) headquarters that occurred the previous year, Judicial Watch filed multiple FOIA requests to determine what, if any, influence SPLC’s branding of hate groups had on government agencies. On its website, the SPLC has depicted FRC as a “hate group,” along with other such mainstream conservative organizations as the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, and Coral Ridge Ministries. At the time of the shooting, FRC president Tony Perkins accused the SPLC of sparking the shooting, saying the shooter “was given a license to shoot … by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center.”
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch reacted to the bombshell DOD document dump by stating:
The Obama administration has a nasty habit of equating basic conservative values with terrorism. And now, in a document full of claptrap, its Defense Department suggests that the Founding Fathers, and many conservative Americans, would not be welcome in today’s military. And it is striking that some the language in this new document echoes the IRS targeting language of conservative and Tea Party investigations. After reviewing this document, one can’t help but worry for the future and morale of our nation’s armed forces.
The revelations in these documents is just the latest example of impropriety within the Obama cabinet departments. Others include a cover-up by the State Department of a sex and prostitution investigation in June and, in July, the Department of Education blocked an investigation of illegal hiring practices.