Southern Poverty Law Center, Waco and conspiracy theorists
Clips from deja.com posts - 11-Sep-99
Koppel was scarcely alone. Here's a CBS broadcast of September 2: "For years now the disaster near Waco has been exhibit number one for many who have deep distrust of the American government. From conspiracy sites on the Internet to documentary films, Waco has provided a focus for those who see the government as the enemy. And now they say there is proof the government has been lying, reports CBS News Correspondent John Blackstone.
'This is just fodder for the conspiracy theorists,' says psychologist Margaret Singer. She says this is just what the militia movement needs to say we told you so....Many are certain to see this as government out of control. 'The anti-government movement, the militia, hate groups are absolutely going to get a boost out of this and I think it's really a tragedy for that reason,' said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center. At one time conspiracy theorists may have been viewed as eccentrics far out on the fringe, but then Timothy McVeigh drove a truck full of explosives to Oklahoma City and we all discovered just how dangerous it can be when people stop trusting the government."
-Deja post, 1999/09/10
} As with Koppel, the problem for these CBS broadcasters , and for the shrink, } Singer, and for Potok, from that fraudulent Dees outfit, is not one of } overweening and murderous government, but of potential sedition. Anything } that disturbs popular torpor is tactically inept. Accomplices in the great } and ongoing Cover-up of Everything that Really Matters -- the central mission } of the Fourth Estate, they tremble for Power, whenever Power is displayed in } an undignified or unappetising light. The film Waco, A New Revelation, whose } disclosures about the pyrotechnic devices CounterPunch reported many weeks } ago, has had the benign effect of discrediting the FBI and the Department of } Justice and its chieftain, but in the end it may permit the FBI to recoup, by } saying that the target of the pyrotechnic devices was just an outhouse and } that these same projectiles never struck the main building in which the } Branch Davidians were sheltered.
} As Dan Gifford, executive producer of the earlier Waco: The Rules of Engagement asserted on September 3, "No national news organization is saying } anything at all about the government's careful prepping of the Davidian } building to burn nor its machine-gunning of the Davidians in the burning } building that is so clearly shown in the FBI's own aerial surveillance video } that is included in Waco: The Rules of Engagement."
In this repellent passage, Koppel defines his career role as flack for state power. For him, the issue is not that an agency of government appears to have planned mass murder, exactly as the so-called "conspiracy nuts" first conjectured, then, proved. For him, the issue is the credibility of the state. For the liberal elite -- in whose ranks most so-called conservatives can be numbered -- this is always the issue. Koppel was scarcely alone. Here's a CBS broadcast of Sep. 2:
"For years now, the disaster near Waco has been exhibit No. 1 for many who have deep distrust of the American government. From conspiracy sites on the Internet to documentary films, Waco has provided a focus for those who see the government as the enemy. And now they say there is proof the government has been lying, reports CBS News Correspondent John Blackstone. "'This is just fodder for the conspiracy theorists,' says psychologist Margaret Singer. She says this is just what the militia movement needs to say, 'We told you so.' ... Many are certain to see this as government out of control.
"'The anti-government movement, the militia, hate groups are absolutely going to get a boost out of this, and I think it's really a tragedy for that reason,' said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center. At one time, conspiracy theorists may have been viewed as eccentrics far out on the fringe, but then, Timothy McVeigh drove a truck full of explosives to Oklahoma City, and we all discovered just how dangerous it can be when people stop trusting the government."
>>What hate crime legislation does
is elevates some victims to a status
>>more worthy of protection. Kind of like the ancient civilizations
>>that only fined you for assaulting a peasant, but took your life for
>That is not at all the case. Hate crimes laws are a remedy for unequal
>protection. Gay people are not protected equally under current law. The
>existing federal hate crimes law protects victims from assaults based hatred
>of their race, national origion and religion. Gay people are excluded. Here
>is the result, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. (excerpt)
That IS the case. There is no unequal protection for gays or any other minority: laws against murder, assault, etc. in no state that I am aware of contain exceptions that permit the perpertrator of a violent attack to go free if his victim is a minority.
What is needed is not more legislation, but greater enforcement of existing penal law.
University of Texas School of Law -- 3L
1998-99 Admin. Editor - The Review of Litigation
Yes, that is true. Morris Dees from the Southern Poverty Law Center caused the local KKK to go bankrupt on this basis. There can also be the allegation of conspiracy as well. The bottom line is, until the law is changed making individuals responsible for their own actions, regardless of their membership in a group or belief system, one should keep one's guard up.
On a related note, it would be quite amusing for someone to sue the Catholic church or the Pope for the multiple killings, sexual abuse, etc., propagated by its priests and assorted followers!
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Who Rules America
Subject: About "Waco: Terms of Engagement
Author: Holli Emore <email@example.com>
Don, you quoted [Siskel and] Ebert about the recent documentary, "Waco: Terms of Engagement." Allow me to quote extensively from the Spring 1998 "Intelligence Report" by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The film was nominated for a best-documentary Academy Award this year, and although it lost, it drew a series of rave reviews. "Two thumbs up," ruled Siskey & Ebert. "A doozy of an investigative expose," The New York Times concluded. "A serious documentary," said The Washington Post.
To no one's surprise the movie has been picked up and recirculated in a massive way by the antigovernment "Patriot" movement. It's been reviewed and advertised in the literature, Internet sites and radio programs of the extreme right. . . .
Gifford, a former television reporter, ignores a vast array of facts that don't fit into his theories of the events inTexas. He and his researcher, Michael McNulty - who's also been an investigator for Soldier of Fortune magazine and surviving Branch Davidians who've filed a civil suit - mischaracterize much of the evidence they do cite.
Lee Hancock, an investigative reporter with The Dallas Morning News, recently concluded that the documentary "didn't get many facts right." Unlike either Gifford or McNulty, Hancock covered both the Waco siege and the conspiracy trial of 11 survivors. She also relied on a review of court records, congressional hearings and government investigations.
The film, for instance, strongly implies that during the initial raid the ATF fired first at the Davidians inside the compound. It says nothing of court testimony from three journalists that the Davidians fired first. It ignores the mass of evidence that Davidian leader David Koresh knew of the imminent raid and prepared his followers for battle. . . It makes no reference to tapes recorded that morning of Davidians yelling about setting the fire and keeping it going, or to court testimony and physical evidence supporting that scenario.
Gifford says he didn't have time in the film to include such evidence.
U.S. Rep. Bill McCollum, R-Fla, chaired the Congressional hearings on the 1993 events in Waco. After reviewing some of the film's allegations. McCollum told Hancock that he found the documentary to be biased. "Am I concerned that this [film] encourages people to believe something that I think is patently untrue? Yes, I am concerned."
. . . "The truth was bad enough," Joe Turner, the attorney for one of the Davidians during the federal conspiracy trial, told Hancock. "Why not tell the truth?"
Here is more on their web site:
A couple more things:
1. A member of my immediate family was the innocent victim of a stakeout, chase and shooting by "bad cops" some years ago in North Carolina. She miraculously escaped unharmed, physically, that is. They held a gun to her head and fired it, but drunkenly missed. I am not partial to law enforcement.
2. I wrote you earlier this week that I was married to an INS agent, former Border Patrol, at one time. He is one of the "good cops." He is also a recovering crack addict and was a dealer for several years before going into law enforcement. He taught me to despise ATF.
There are no easy answers, and to me, carrying a gun is an easy answer, therefore doesn't really address the problem.
"That is the fear of the radical right
in this country, a fear of the federal government
acting as the spearhead of some massive global
conspiracy," says Mark Potok of the
Southern Poverty Law Center, a Birmingham,
Ala., group that monitors right-wing extremism.
"This will just add the Pentagon to
an already extremely long list of enemies."
Defense officials doubt they will be able to assuage diehards on the left or the right. "There is a lot of frenzy out there," says a senior Pentagon official. "Already people are beginning to look at this issue through the filter of their biases."
We are no longer clowns; we are scapegoats.
Aryan racial nationalists of any sort are
the last minority group in America, and indeed
throughout the Western world, who can legally
and legitimately be slandered, vilified,
abused, politically, economically, and socially
persecuted, imprisoned on fabricated charges,
assaulted and murdered not only with impunity
but in public, with tacit approval by the
authorities spiritual and temporal.
A whole multi-million dollar "monitoring" industry has sprung up, personified by the loathsome Morris Seligman Dees and his grotesquely misnamed Southern Poverty Law Center, which raises incredible sums of money every year by promising their donors that they are contributing to our destruction.
Horrifying and obscenely unconstitutional laws are being introduced in Congress every week in the name of combatting "domestic terrorism", the new code word for White dissent against America’s intolerable racial and economic situation. One of these bills, the brainchild of Rep. Charles Schumer (D.-Israel) for the first time introduced a legal procedure whereby Americans may be imprisoned for their thoughts, specifically "unseemly speculation and baseless conspiracy theories regarding the Federal government." This one didn't pass, but the fact that Schumer thought he could get away with it at all says something about the condition our society is in.
Subject: Entering A New Century
Since the Aug. 10 shooting, Jewish organizations have sponsored community meetings with law enforcement on security. In addition, the ADL has developed a security awareness video and distributed more than 500 handbooks, which are available on its Web site (http://www.adl.org).
The proportion of Americans admitting to anti-Semitic attitudes dropped from 20% in 1992 to 12% in 1998, said Marjan Keypour, Pacific Southwest regional assistant director of the Anti-Defamation League.
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that the number of white supremacist organizations has declined by almost half in the last three years.
LA Times, Synagogues Boost Security for Holiday Observances, September 10, 1999
More about the Southern Poverty Law Center
Conspiracies and Extremism - list at about.com
VALERIE SOLONAS & THE SCUM MANIFESTO