We had a server outage, and we're rebuilding the site. Most of the site features won't work. Thank you for your patience.
imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
latest news
best of news




A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List


IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Watchdog Nation

by Cletus Nelson Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2005 at 11:03 PM

Who's watching the watchers? How the ADL and SPLC have moved into goosestepping tandem with the FBI to observe the people..

Today we send out a very interesting and troubling essay published first in the book Everything You Know Is Wrong. Despite its obvious value, we could not find it on Internet and had to scan the book. The pre-9/11 essay proves that the regime of Patriot Act did not land out of blue, but was carefully prepared by ADL and its satellites, the 'anti-hate' organisations. There is a direct link from Waco mass murder to Falluja, from spying on anti-Zionists to spying on everybody, from watchdogs of 1990s to Patriot Act of 2000s; and this is ADL that is behind the link.


Introduction: Hating Those Who Hate

Racial prejudice, like most social pathologies, is an irrational social force that has dogged our species since the origins of tribal society. While we can study it, observe it, and decry it, the dynamics which compel a man to despise his neighbor seemingly defy the cold logic of scientific inquiry. Yet, in a well-intentioned effort to solve this intractable problem, we now define racism as a political malevolence fomented by a far-reaching conspiracy of cultural terrorists. The chief adherents of this widely accepted theory are a select body of "experts" who earn their livings by interpreting the sinister permutations of the far right. We call them "watchdog groups," and this small minority of powerful anti-racist advocacy groups unwittingly shapes our collective perception of organized racism and anti-government dissent.

Typically, these organizations reside in the upper echelon of the nonprofit public policy milieu, which presents an onerous problemas their financial existence is closely tethered to the rise and fall of ethnic intolerance, one cannot help but question the objectivity of these renowned political soothsayers. Moreover, the marked dislike these modern-day demagogues display toward the subjects of their research further erodes their fayade of scholarly detachment. As political researcher Laird Wilcox remarks, "There is an anti-racism industry entrenched in the United States that has attracted bullying, moralizing fanatics, whose identity and livelihood depend upon growth and expansion of their particular kind of victimization.'"

While their passionate defenders will certainly object to such a charge by citing the threats posed by America's expanding political fringe, such protests fail to address the questionable methodology and often politically motivated criteria used by these media-savvy experts to classify unconventional social and religious movements. As we shall soon see, one needn't stockpile weapons or espouse reactionary beliefs to fall under the watchful eye of these formidable private surveillance networks. Indeed, imputing racist motives to alleged enemies of the State has become a notorious tactic among prominent watchdog groups such as the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith (ADL), the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), and other purveyors of fear. To our detriment, this unchallenged "information disease"2 has unleashed an unprecedented expansion of State power. With this uncomfortable thought in mind, it is imperative that conscientious civil libertarians rethink the real threat pose by the extremists in our midst and closely examine watchdog tactics.


Despite their similar agendas, each of these organizations has a different method of promoting its central message. Spokesmen for the Seattle-based Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity (NWCHD) consider themselves experts in youth-related topics and primarily focus on issues ranging from racist skinhead gangs to the controversial "Black Metal" subculture. The SPLC and the Atlanta-based Center for Democratic Renewal (CDR) adeptly play upon Northern stereotypes of the deep South with tabloid-style headlines decrying the allegedly fearsome motives lurking behind rural political movements. Mark Pitcavage, the chief researcher for the Militia Watchdog Website, adopts an intellectual tone and employs a rich academil argot to decry militia conspiracy theories and their supposedly racist subtext. Yet there is one unifying theme that permeates watch dog literature: "Violent "hate groups" are metastasizing at unprecedented levels."

The motive behind this clever marketing strategy isn't difficult to fathom: Combating the dark forces of "hate" has become a perpetual money-making machine. By issuing teeth-chattering prediction of impending racial terror, the more visible anti-racist groups gain access to an endless supply of lucrative foundation grants and stream of donations from terrified constituents. Struggling at the lower end of the watchdog spectrum is the NWCHD, which never theless boasts a yearly budget of some $600,000. Further up the scale is the ADL, whose annual expenditures exceed $30 million. However, for sheer wealth, few can match the SPLC, which enjoy combined assets of over $136 million, with a yearly take of nearly $40 million.

These substantial sums beg an important question: How big a threat is the far right? When viewed objectively, the rising diversity of the nation's population coupled with public intolerance toward racial beliefs is greatly undermining the influence and popularity of organized racism. Even watchdog groups are coming to terms with this uncomfortable (yet reassuring) reality. "We are talking about a tiny number of Americans who are members of hate groups-I mean Infinitesimal," SPLC spokesman Mark Potok conceded in a 1999 Associated Press article.

Potok's assertion is echoed by Wilcox, who edits the wellresearched Guide to the American Right (now in its 24th edition) and Guide to the American Left (now in its 21st edition). Contradicting watchdog claims that hundreds of violent racist groups stalk the American political landscape, the Kansas academic asserts that "in terms of viable groups ie., groups that are objectively significant, are actually functioning and have more than a handful of real members.. .the actual figure is about 50." Out of a national population which now exceeds 280 million, Wilcox estimates that "the Ku Klux Klan are down to about 3,000 people," with an additional 1,500 - 2,000 members of organized fascist groups."

By contrast, the SPLC (which is considered an irrefutable source by the mainstream press) lists over 600 "hate groups" on its Website. Yet when closely scrutinized, this authoritative directory is quite suspect. Little or no information is provided beyond the name of a purported racist group and the city in which it is located. With no contact information or mailing'address, who can verify these individuals or groups even exist? Having closely examined this data, Wilcox asserts that "a large number" of organizations included on the SPLC's list "are either unconfirmed or consist of a single individual.".

In some instances, watchdog groups will even contradict previous data in order to promulgate a culturally constructed "rise" in white nationalism. One such example is a 1999 report issued by the NWCHD entitled "Hate by State." According to the widely publicized study, the state of Oregon is undergoing a "rise" in white nationalist activism substantiated by the presence of some thirteen hate groups. Among the groups listed are "patriot" folk singer Carl Klang (who apparently constitutes a one-man white supremacist group), the avowedly anti-racist Southern Oregon Militia (SaM), a record label, and other questionable entries. However, this alleged proliferation of racist beliefs in a state best known for its bottle-throwing anarchists and tie-dyed hippie subculture is at odds with data from the organization's precursor, the Coalition for Human Dignity (CHD). The CHD issued a similar report in 1990 which documented some three-dozen well-organized "skinhead," "Christian Identity," "Christian Patriot," and "Nazi" groups in the same locale." Based on these numbers-from 36 to thirteen-it would appear that Oregon is witnessing a marked decline in far-right political activism.

Due to the underlying ethical considerations, few reporters would dare cite a study commissioned by the Philip Morris Company for an article discussing the health risks of smoking. Yet when otherwise well-meaning reporters regurgitate this type of tendentious watchdog research, their journalistic efforts are no less compromised. In some cases, the publication of unsubstantiated watchdog misinformation has enduring consequences. A 1996 media blitz conducted by the Center for Democratic Renewal (COR) provides a cautionary tale as to the perils of publicizing watchdog allegations.


It was a dramatic tale straight out of a John Grisham screenplay. In the spring of 1996, a team of investigators affiliated with the CDR crisscrossed the South in order to examine a troubling series of church fires. Despite the allegedly malevolent presence of hostile red necks, corrupt small-town sheriffs, and indifferent townspeople, the dedicated researchers pressed on. By summer, the disturbing truth was revealed: Since 1990, scores of African-American churches had been set aflame as part of a racist conspiracy. JoAnn Watson, CDR's president, was unequivocal in denouncing the unspeakable attacks. "This is domestic terrorism," she announced to the press. "It is not an isolated phenomenon. It's an epidemic."" This "epidemic" would later appear some 2,200 times in the popular press and become an operative metaphor for America's growing racial disunity.

With the poll-conscious Clinton White House demanding immediate action, a full-scale task force was mobilized to catch the craven perpetrators behind this "conspiracy." However, when the investigation was completed in 1997, it painted a far different picture than the sinister tableau depicted by the COR. "We have not seen hard evidence to support the theory of a nationwide conspiracy," asserted Assistant Treasury Secretary James E. Johnson." Indeed, it was found that the fires occurred against a "backdrop of widespread arson against houses of religion of all kinds, including white churches, mosques and synagogues."" As skeptical reporters began to delve deeper into the facts, it would soon be revealed that the only "conspiracy" in evidence was hatched by the CDR and its allies.

Michael Fumento, a former attorney with the US Commission on Civil Rights and a notorious debunker of media myths, closely scrutinized the initial CDR report and found the document fraught with selective omissions and factual errors. After discussions with fire officials in several Southern states, Fumento learned that the CDR had "regularly ignored fires set by blacks and those that occurred in the early part of the decade, and labeled fires as arsons that were not - all in an apparent effort to make black church torchings appear to be an escalating phenomenon."'. Citing statistics from the National Fire Protection Association, Fumento noted that in actuality Americans were seeing a radical decline in the number of church arsons, from 1,420 in 1980 to just over 500 in 1994.

As the story unraveled, other publications began to question the CDR's dubious claims. But the damage was done, and the profits were in: The anti-hate group and its affiliate, the National Council of Churches (NCC), secured a multimillion dollar windfall in donations. To this day, many still believe in this malicious urban myth which subsequently unleashed a series of copycat crimes by opportunistic racists. Therein lies the ultimate irony of this disturbing saga: By disseminating this ill-founded claim, the CDR spread terror among black churchgoers, fostered fear and resentment among varying racial groups, and actually contributed to an upsurge in racially-motivated violence toward African-American places of worship. "That which the Ku Klux Klan can no longer do, a group established to fight the Klan has done for them," Fumento observed.

In the aftermath of this obvious hoax, the credibility of the press suffered little. Yet to discerning observers, this unsavory incident revealed the symbiotic relationship watchdog groups enjoy with sympathetic members of the media.


The aforementioned sham illustrates the tendency among watchdog groups to divine racist subcurrents behind highly publicized events. Thus, when the Alfred P. Murrah building exploded in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, on April 19, 1995, these high-profile nonprofits unleashed a sustained offensive against the nascent citizen militia movement. "We warned Attorney General Janet Reno six months before the Oklahoma City bombing that private militia groups posed a serious threat," bragged SPLC founder Morris Dees in a selfaggrandizing fundraising letter.18 "Our Militia Task Force," Dees continued, "has been able to provide critical information to federal and state agencies investigating the Oklahoma City Bombing."

Few bothered to question the accuracy of this "critical information," especially in light of the fact that militia groups have yet to be implicated in the 1995 blast. Indeed, following one of the most exhaustive investigations in FBI history, federal officials were unable to establish a direct link between citizen militias and the bombing plot. In fact, since 1999, FBI agents across the country have been involved in an innovative effort to build a trusting relationship with patriot and militia groups. "The idea we're pushing is that it's not a crime to be a member of the militia," FBI agent Bill Crowley remarked to the Associated Press." Among the agents taking part in the outreach program is Danny Defenbaugh, the former head of the Oklahoma City investigation. Nevertheless, in the wake of the OKC attack, the SPLC, ADL, and other groups, in concert with the media, waged a heated information war against allegedly racist patriot groups and their sympathizers.

With no shortage of experts available to validate the most lurid claims, reporters were uninterested in anyone willing to depart from their institutional bias against patriot groups. "The militias-whoever the fuck they are...are a ticking time bomb composed of paranoid lunatics," remarked a reporter from the Washington Post seeking an interview with writer and publisher Adam Parfrey after the OKC bombing. When Parfrey offered a more balanced (and less hysterical) assessment of this evolving political phenomenon, his observations fell on deaf ears.

The ensuing anti-militia crusade would crescendo with the passage of the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, a repressive statute which relaxed laws governing the use of electronic surveillance, expanded the State's right to investigate politically suspect individuals or organizations, and implemented other Orwellian measures to ferret out alleged domestic terrorists.

In the years since this well-orchestrated campaign to demonize primarily law-abiding constitutional militias, watchdog groups have now come to embrace the federal government's highly dubious "lone wolf" theory, which ascribes responsibility for the mass murder to convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh and his confederate Terry Nichols. However, a substantial body of evidence has surfaced which ties an armed, well-organized hate group known as the Aryan Republican Army (ARA) to the blast. "It is now believed the ARA financed and helped to stage the bombing," reports Andrew Gumbel in a special investigation for the Independent of London." The marked silence emanating from the watchdog camp in regards to this grave development would suggest that their initial preoccupation with uncovering a far-flung rightist conspiracy behind the blast was far from sincere.

Four years later, the Columbine High School mass-shooting provided yet another avenue for watchdog advocates to cynically exploit yet another inexplicable act of violence. Within weeks of the highschool shootings, the NWCHD began placing a racially-charged spin on the highly-publicized murders. Citing "evidence of Hitler worship as a component of their motives," Coalition Research Director Robert Crawford inveighed in an editorial appearing in the Portland Oregonian that both Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris "were known to hate African-Americans and Hispanics and speak adoringly of Hitler."" Crawford further alleged that the two teenage gunmen had been poisoned by "Neo-Nazi" music.

While the murder of African-American student Isaiah Sholes provides a thin veneer of justification for this sweeping (and sensationalistic) version of events, the argument falls apart under close scrutiny. If the Columbine killings were an act of racial terror, why were the vast majority of the victims white, suburban teens? Moreover, even if it is conceded that there was a modicum of racism lurking behind Harris and Klebold's deadly attack on the Colorado school, it would seem their alleged "hate" wasn't limited by the confines of racial identity.

A Time magazine analysis of a series of videotapes made by Klebold and Harris prior to their murderous spree depicts the two teens assailing every racial group on the face of the earth. This sustained verbal bombast displayed an "ecumenical" hatred that often bordered on the self-referential, as the two denigrated various minority groups, along with Christians, whites, and Jews." There is also evidence which indicates that both Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had little interest in racism. One might even argue that Harris possessed the virulent anti-racism notorious among watchdog groups.

"Don't let me catch you making fun of someone just becasue [sic] they are a different color because I will come and break your fucking legs," the deceased shooter wrote on his Webpage prior to the killings." After investigating the adolescent killers, Salon reporter Dave Cullen asserted, "The biggest myths about the tragedy have to do with the question of who Harris and Klebold were really targeting in their rampage. Jocks, African-Americans and Christians have been widely described as their chief targets. Not a scrap of evidence supports that conclusion."" Further imperiling allegations of Nazi inclinations are Dylan Klebold's Jewish background, which would certainly undermine any purported affinity with National Socialism.

Although a prolonged sociological autopsy has severely undercut allegations of racist intent behind this disturbing incident of mass murder, the NWCHD (and later the SPLC) continued to propagate the misguided notion that the perpetrators were part of a highly organized crypto-fascist "Black-Metal" subculture. Yet there is utterly no evidence to prove the two youths were even remotely connected with the "extreme music" scene. In fact, Harris and Klebold enjoyed the German electronic group KMFDM, who consider their creative efforts a "statement against war, oppression, fascism and violence against others."'. Unfortunately, these types of inconvenient facts have never proved an obstacle to watchdog propaganda efforts.


While these vigilant defenders of "tolerance" will typically concede that racism permeates every stratum of society, rarely do these staunchly pro-law enforcement, pro-government groups ever address instances of State-sanctioned racism. If they are looking for examples of racial injustice, they need only review the tragic effects of the "War on Drugs," which has dealt a crippling blow to minority communities.

According to the Justice Policy Institute, the number of nonviolent offenders in American prisons has exploded due to the escalating Drug War. A recent study reports that the incarceration rate for African Americans has skyrocketed due to "increases in drug sentencing over the past two decades: At a bare minimum, 1.4 million African-America men - over 10 percent of the black male adult population - have lost the right to vote due to their brush with the criminal justice system'. To echo Fumento, even the most diabolical Klansman couldn't have dreamed of a more repressive policy to disproportionately punish minorities!

Obviously, taking on moribund Klan groups or cynically hyping another racist scare offers greater rewards than dealing with uncomfortable topics which threaten the legitimacy of the Beltway power elite. Indeed, in many instances watchdog groups have aided and abetted abuses of State power. The 1993 paramilitary siege of the Mt. Carmel religious complex in Waco, Texas, offers substantial evidence of watchdog complicity.

According to a report from the Committee for Waco Justice, the ADL worked in concert with federal officials by providing "precise documentation" on the Davidian "cult" and "how it operated in the past."" Although we can only speculate as to the nature of this intelligence, the inherent brutality of the initial raid conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and the subsequent tank assault which led to the tragic death of over six-dozen members of a multiracial spiritual community suggest that this questionable information was of an inflammatory nature.

The role of quasi-governmental watchdog groups didn't cease once bloodthirsty ATF agents cravenly raised their flag above the smoldering Mt. Carmel complex. As Washington officials braced for Congressional hearings and the possibility of answering a number of difficult questions regarding the alleged "disappearance" of key pieces of evidence, watchdog groups stepped forward to wholeheartedly endorse the law enforcement debacle.

"I am more concerned with the victims of militia terrorists than with FBI or ATF excesses," SPLC figurehead Morris Dees remarked glibly, while failing to articulate a single instance of militia-sponsored terrorism.'" Nevertheless, SPLC "experts" repeatedly attacked those willing to question the Justice Department's factually untenable (yet media-sanctified) "mass suicide" theory. Mark Pitcavage of Militia Watchdog similarly assailed the allegedly sinister agenda of determined Waco investigators. "These guys have ulterior motives," whined the pro-government activist to Salon magazine." Tragically, few reporters bothered to question the "ulterior motives" of these well-connected Waco apologists who played a crucial role in the ensuing cover-up, which continues to shroud this unprecedented atrocity.

Five years later, the SPLC would wage a similar attack against those who attended the 1999 World Trade Organization demonstrations in Seattle, Washington. In its quarterly publication, Intelligence Report, the Alabama watchdog group made the stark allegation that the protests were thoroughly infiltrated by the "hard-edged soldiers of Neo-Fascism." Providing utterly no credible evidence to substantiate this charge. the anonymous author asserted that the WTO protests represented a convergence of the far left and far right in America, made possible by the increasing willingness of avowed Nazi and racist groups to co-opt traditional leftist stances on issues such as economic inequality and global trade policy.

These well-calculated attacks display how watchdog groups have long departed from their once progressive beliefs in order to curry favor with the National Security State. The ADL has been at the forefront of this disquieting trend.


It has long been believed that controversial government counterinsurgency operations such as the FBI's COINTELPRO program were disbanded during the brief era of reform which occurred in the wake of the Watergate scandals. While it is true that federal guidelines which curtailed government spying on political groups were adopted in the late 1970s, watchdog groups have allowed law enforcement to effectively sidestep these administrative prohibitions. Indeed, operatives for the ADL have played a key role in spying on suspected political dissidents from across the political spectrum.

"By the mid-1980s, the ADL was swapping files with hundreds of 'official friends,' the organization's euphemism for US law enforcement and intelligence sources," writes Robert I. Friedman in the Village Voice. The organization doesn't limit itself to merely observing and identifying political dissidents-this human rights group frequently uses paid informants to infiltrate and gather information on various political factions.

In one instance during the 1980s, a Michigan ADL operative named James Mitchell Rosenberg penetrated the extreme right and became a leading member of the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist groups. This shadowy agent provocateur even gave racially inflammatory speeches at white nationalist rallies until another organization, People Against Racist Terror (PART), spoke out about his involvement, which "crossed the line from collecting information which is vital and necessary in dealing with violenceprone racists, to acting as an initiator of racist organizing and proponent of racist violence."

Despite the progressive rhetoric which inundates ADL publications, the organization is no less dedicated to monitoring the other end of the political spectrum. The sheer scope of this counterintelligence effort was briefly brought to light in January 1993 when a San Francisco police investigation linked Roy Bullock, a self-admitted ADL spy, to Tom Gerard, an SFPD intelligence officer. Apparently Gerard had provided Bullock with access to confidential police files, and as the story unfolded, it was revealed that the seasoned ADL operative had subsequently compiled files on nearly 10,000 individuals and more than 950 political organizations. To the horror of the West Coast progressive community, it was learned that on behalf of the ADL, Bullock was covertly monitoring the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), and a surfeit of other left-leaning groups.'.

Yet one needn't traffic in the political milieu to gain the attention of police-connected ADL officials. The organization's adversarial and confrontational tactics leave anyone open to charges of race hatred and the possibility of arrest. In the fall of 1994, a Colorado ADL affiliate transformed a seemingly innocent neighborhood dispute into a scorched-earth campaign to jail and ruin a middle-class couple.

The escalating feud, which began over an alleged dog attack, reached its apex when William Quigley drove his car recklessly (and illegally) in a threatening manner toward his neighbor Candice Aronson. In retaliation, Mrs. Aronson and her husband, Mitchell, began recording the Quigleys' cellular phone conversations by listening to a police scanner. In a highly emotional conversation in which Dorothy Quigley vented her frustrations over the dispute, she made a number of grossly insensitive remarks, such as her sadness that the Aronsons hadn't been on a bus "blown up by terrorists."

Although Mrs. Quigley immediately regretted making these statements and, in the same conversation, admitted that her comments were "sick," the Aronsons grew alarmed and took steps to initiate legal proceedings against their neighbors.'. After contacting the ADL that October, the couple was encouraged by League officials to continue taping the phone calls (which is illegal under federal law). In December, the Aronsons filed a federal lawsuit against the Quigleys, and within days, the local District Attorney charged them with several counts of ethnic intimidation. As the controversy spun out of control, an ADL spokesman accused them of "perpetrating the worst anti-Semitic incident in the area since the slaying of Jewish talkshow host Alan Berg."

However, there was little evidence to back up this hyperbole. After closely examining the evidence, Jefferson County D.A. David Thomas sheepishly concluded that the entire episode was "a basic garden-variety neighborhood dispute" and "the ethnic part of it came as an outgrowth, not a cause of it." Indeed, this was far from a onesided affair. Reporter Eric Dexheimer notes that "both families volleyed verbal insults that would make a prison guard blush." Nevertheless, the ill-conceived prosecution conducted "under pressure from the ADL" had dire results for the Quigleys, who were publicly accused of conducting a virulent anti-Semitic campaign against their neighbors:'

Facing an uncertain financial future with their reputations effectively ruined, the Quigleys launched their own legal offensive, which ironically charged the League with defamation and other offenses. In April 2000, a jury agreed, declaring that ADL statements at a news conference and on talk radio were both defamatory and "not substantially true." They awarded the embattled husband and wife a judgement in excess of $10 million."

Although the Quigleys enjoyed their proverbial day in court, how many average citizens could afford to retain counsel in order to defend themselves against such charges? Moreover, it is unlikely that this ephemeral moment of justice will curtail the extralegal surveillance efforts of dossier-compiling watchdog advocates. In fact, the SPLC still brags of its "unique computer database," which is considered the "largest in the United States"" and contains flies on thousands of Americans accused in absentia of possessing political views deemed suspect. According to US News and World Report, on any given day "[f]ourteen researchers with the SPLC's 'Intelligence Project' spend long hours in front of computers, crossfiling data from press reports, hate-group literature, and web sites."

In essence, the SPLC constitutes a "virtual arm of the state.. .acting as an informant, a chronicler, and a clearinghouse for information to be placed at the disposal of federal agencies," remarks anti-war activist Justin Raimondo. While smaller organizations such as the NWCHD may lack the elaborate and sophisticated surveillance apparatus of their wealthier peers, coalition members are not above attending rightist functions in order to take down license plate numbers and "photo document" alleged thought criminals for possible use by law enforcement.47

This disquieting nexus between watchdogs and the State has become so pervasive that spokesmen for other watchdog groups are beginning to register their dissent. "If you claim to be a broadbased human rights group you should not have a backdoor relationship with police," comments John Foster "Chip" Berlet of Political Research Associates (PRA), a Massachusetts think tank which studies right-wing extremism".


You will find almost no reporting on these disturbing issues in the mainstream press. Why? Watchdog groups are extremely aggressive in pressuring members of the media to toe the official line. Indeed, those who dare deviate from scripted watchdog propaganda run the risk of offending this highly intolerant and politically powerful lobby. Nevertheless, remaining silent will only serve to embolden these determined enemies of freedom. While a vast segment of the population may find it difficult to find common cause with militias, gun owners, and even outright racists, history tells us that it is the opinions which many may find objectionable that most deserve protection under the US Constitution. However, so long as the public believes that we are besieged by church-burning "conspiracies," anthrax-wielding militia terrorists, and metastasizing "hate groups," Americans will remain under the iron heel of the watchdog nation.



1. Wilcox, Laird. The Watchdogs: A Close Look at Anti-Racist 'Watchdog" Groups. Olathe, KS: Editorial Research Services, 1999: 3. 2. The writer's use of this term is taken from Conway and Siegelman's Snapping: America's Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change. (Philadelphia & New York: JB Lippincot & Company, 1978: 154.) The condition is described as a "sustained altered state of awareness" resulting in "narrowed or reduced awareness." A major symptom of this intellectually myopic state is the severe impairment of an "individual ability to question" -a cognitive lapse which has become prevalent among watchdog-friendly reporters! 3. 'Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity Cutting Staff: Seattle Gay News On-Line 23 Feb 2001. . 4. Op. cit., Wilcox: 26. 5. Better Business Bureau Philanthropic Advisory Service, Charity Reports;Dec 2000 . The SPLC was rebuked by the Bureau for expending a mere 35 percent of its yearly take on actual program expenses. 6. Levinson, Arlene. "Hate Groups, Crimes Said Rare in the US." Associated Press 8 July 1999.-7. Op cit., Wilcox: 49. 8. McCain, Robert Stacy. "Researcher Says Hate 'Fringe' Isn't as Crowded as Claimed." Washington Times 9 May 2000. 9. Op cit., Wilcox: 49. 10. Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity. "Hate by State." 1999: 5-6. 11. Coalition for Human Dignity. "Organized White Supremacists in Oregon." 1990: B. 12. "Rash of Church Fires Part of Racial Violence." Catholic World News 29 March 1996. 13. Fumento, Michael. "The Great Black Church Burning Hoax." consumeralert.org 9 July 1996. 14. Savage, David. "Probe Finds No Conspiracy in Church Arsons." Los Angeles Times 9 June 1997. 15. Booth, William. "In Church Fires, a Pattern but No Conspiracy." Washington Post 19 June 1996. 16. Op cit., Fumento. 17. Ibid. 18. SPLC fundraising letter dated 17 May 1995. 19. Hull, C. Bryson. "FBI Meets with Militia Groups." Associated Press 12 July 1999. 20. Parfrey, Adam. Cult Rapture. Los Angeles: Feral House, 1995: 346. 21.Gumbel, Andrew. "McVeigh 'Did Not Act Alone in Oklahoma Bombing." Independent (London) 11 May 2001. 22. Crawford, Robert. "Nec-Nazi Background Music to School Massacre." Oregonian (Portland) 13 May 1999. 23. Gibbs, Nancy, and Timothy Roche. "Special ReportlThe Columbine Tapes." Time 20 Dec 1999. 24. Eric Harris' Webpage ["HatePage"]. <http://www.webone.com.au/-khat/Ericp.htm>. 25. Cullen, Dave.

"Inside the Columbine High Investigation." Salon 23 Sept 1999. 26. Bryson, Wyatt. "Columbine High School Massacre-The Web Connection." Rock Hill Herald (South Carolina) Online 21 April 1999. 27. Schiraldi, Vincent, Jason Ziedenberg, and John Irwin, PhD. "America's One Million Non Violent Prisoners." Justice Policy Institute 1999. . 28. "Poor Prescription: The Costs of Imprisoning Drug Offenders in the United States." Justice Policy Institute 2000. . 29. Moore, Carol, et al. "The Massacre of the Branch Davidians: A Study of Government Violations of Rights, Excessive Force and Cover-Up." Committee for Waco Justice 28 Jan 1994. 30. Grigg, William Norman. "SPLC's 'Extremist Cash Cow.'" New American 10 June 1996. 31. Elder, Sean. "Great Balls of Fire." Salon 9 Sept 1999. 32. "Neither Left Nor Right." Intelligence Report Winter 2000. 33. Friedman, Robert I. "How the ADL Turned the Notion of Human Rights on Its Head, Spying on Progressives and Funneling Information to Law Enforcement." Village Voice 11 May 1993. 34. Redden, Jim. Snitch Culture. Los Angeles: Feral House, 2001: 79. 35. Op cit., Friedman. 36. Op cit., Wilcox: 32. 37. Lane, George. "Charges of Bigotry Backfire." Denver Post 29 April 2000. 38. Janofsky, Michael. "Spat Leads to Huge a Award Against the Anti-Defamation League." New York Times 13 May 2000. 39.0p cit., Lane. 40. Dexheimer, Eric. "War of the Words: How an Eager DA Transformed a Neighborhood Spat Into a Headline Grabbing Hate Crime." Westword Online 9 August 1995. . 41. Op cit., Dexheimer. 42. Ibid. 43. Op cit., Lane. 44. SPLC mailing dated 7 Nov 1997. 45. Shapiro, Joseph P. "Hitting Before Hate Strikes." US News & World Report 6 Sept 1999. 46. Raimondo, Justin. "Behind the Headlines." Antiwar.com 3 Sept 1999. 47. Redden, Jim. "Good Guy Spies." Hustler April 1994. 48. Op cit., Shapiro.

Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments

Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 5 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
there is a very scary hate group out there more rational Thursday, Feb. 17, 2005 at 4:21 AM

Local News

Woolsey Fire: Worst News of 2018? J01 12:18AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 4:03AM

Oppose Environmentally-Harmful Development D10 3:58AM

OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center Presents Night for Hope O30 5:38PM

Marshall Tuck’s racist dog whistle O27 5:01AM

Marshall Tuck’s ethnocentrism contradicts Californian values O27 4:32AM

Contra Costa-Hawkins O25 3:48AM

Debunking Some Anti-Prop 10 Propaganda O12 6:56AM

Why Should California Choose De Leon Over Feinstein? O10 9:55PM

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News


Judge Delays Ruling on Puerto Rico Debt Deal White House Opposes Island's Food Assistance J18 6:04PM



Paraphysique de proxémie guerrière J18 7:59AM


FARCELONA 8.17.2017 J17 3:23PM



PR Debt Cancel, Judge Reviews Cofina Debt J16 9:04PM

Réseautage, fragmentation du capital J16 4:20PM

Paraphysique de manipulation mentale et sociale J15 9:51AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

The Global Justice Project and Human Survival: We're Badly Off Track J15 5:08AM

Markets as a Fetish, Globalization, and Dissent Management J14 1:03PM

State Debts - The Primal German Fear J13 5:09PM

Sans liberté, sans égalité, sans fraternité J13 8:09AM

From Progressive Neoliberalism to Trump - and Beyond J12 9:22PM

Copper Cures Cancer J11 1:42PM

Steven Taylor, Investor who Evicts J11 9:24AM

Du sectarisme, des sectes, des clans J11 8:10AM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen J10 6:34PM

Patrick Kilpatrick discusses and signs Dying for Living J09 11:51PM

SexActs vs Sexuality USA 2018 Invitations to Power Marriages without Affection J09 8:36PM

Changer de mentalité, changer de société J09 9:17AM

Teacher Strike? Time for Labor Studies J09 6:26AM

December 2018 Honduras Coup Update J08 10:12PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy