The “Domestic Terrorist Threat” in America: “Extremist” Publicity and Historical Reality

American FlagGlobal Research – by James F. Tracy

The Southern Poverty Law Center[1] is advising the US government of the alleged “domestic terror threat” posed by political conservatives, “conspiracy theorists,” and others skeptical of their government’s policies and behavior. A March 5, 2012 letterto the US Departments of Justice and Homeland Security points to the group’s recent report, “The Year in Hate and Extremism.” The study uses SPLC data to point to an almost one thousand percent upsurge in “militias and radical antigovernment groups … from 149 in 2008 to 1,360 in 2012.”  

The publicity has an ominous historical precedent. In October 1994 the SPLC’s “KlanWatch” program issued a similar warning to the federal government on the purported threat of militias and prompted a steady drumbeat of US newspaper reports.[2] Six months later on April 19, 1995 the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City was bombed. Such coverage set the national stage for the “domestic security threat” that would crystallize in Timothy McVeigh and subdue the growth of an increasingly popular movement. Shortly after the bombing SPLC director Morris Dees delivered the organization’s oft-repeated claim of how there had been a “gradual infiltration” of citizen militias “by neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups.”[3]

Twenty years later the organization continues to exercise significant credibility, particularly among major press outlets that unquestioningly accept its claims. Yet it casts such a wide net in the effort to catalog supposedly dangerous organizations that even groups such as “We Are Change”–a national association of activists whose main offense is insisting upon a genuine investigation into 9/11–is classified as a “hate group” and placed alongside a cartoonish array of white supremacist and neo-Nazi outfits.[4]

When the SPLC’s “The Patriot Movement Explodes” was released in March 2012 the New York Times carried a piece promoting the report by Times‘ Atlanta bureau chief Kim Severson.[5] When I contacted Severson to assess her understanding of the paper’s methodology she referred me to SPLC “Senior Research Fellow” Mark Potok. I felt that an explanation of such methods and contact information for the purportedly dangerous groups listed on the “Hate Map” were especially important since independent observes could not touch base with many listed groups to confirm their existence, inquire upon their motivations to “hate,” and thereby confirm the study’s findings. “We don’t make any special effort to collect that kind of information,” Potok wrote, “although we do sometimes have it … The groups for which we do not give a location beyond the state are groups that report only a ‘statewide’ chapter without giving any location. Generally, we know they’re active, but can’t prove exactly where they’re headquartered.”[6]

Potok further explained how some entities were included merely based on “Internet activities, including pages, forums, and, often, email groups.” Given the subjective criteria for what constitutes “hate” and the nontransparent ways in which the SPLC conducts its inquiries, just about any loose affiliation leaving some traces on the web may be designated as exhibiting “hate” and thus qualify for the list.

The uncertain soundness of the SPLC’s research methods leads to a more important question. To this day a majority of Americans believe Timothy McVeigh was the central agent force “4/19”—the Oklahoma City bombing. The SPLC has been a foremost proponent of this theory and the outlet predicates much of its work on this historical foundation.[7] If McVeigh was not the main force behind the event then we may at least tentatively conclude that the SPLC is one component of a larger propaganda effort with ulterior designs and objectives. In fact, the careful and voluminous research assembled in the Oklahoma Bombing Investigation Committee’s in-depth report suggests a far less clear-cut event than what has been imbued in popular memory.[8]

Longtime political researcher Peter Dale Scott recently acknowledged how an important documentary film helped him contextualize “4/19″ with the Kennedy assassination, 9/11 and a long term process of social and political destabilization. “The film ‘A Noble Lie,’ itself points to some striking similarities between the events of 1995 and of 2001,” Scott observes.

The most obvious is the alleged destruction of a steel-reinforced building by external forces (a truck bomb in the case of the Murrah Building in 1995, flying debris in the case of Building Seven in 2001). Experts in both cases have asserted that the buildings in fact could only have been brought down by cutting charges placed directly against the sustaining columns inside the building … [T]he response to Oklahoma City was the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, while the response to 9/11 was the first implementation of COG and the passage (after a false flag anthrax attack) of the Patriot Act.[9]

Indeed, in stark contrast to the SPLC’s extraordinary historical interpretation, A Noble Lie brings to life the Bombing Investigation Committee’s most significant findings—most of which were largely forgotten in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and the ensuing decade of illegal wars. For this reason it is the type of endeavor capable of treating America’s acute spell of historical amnesia that attests to the power of corporate media and their unquestioning focus on lavishly-funded myth weavers like the SPLC.

From President Kennedy’s assassination and Tonkin Gulf to 9/11, the Iraq War, and the more recent series of catastrophic mass shootings, the public’s ability to analyze significant events, perceive existential dangers and take meaningful action continues to atrophy. As the crisis of public opinion becomes progressively worse the possibility for recovering civil society also declines. “Fundamental deception damages the public’s ability to maintain a rational view of the world,” journalist and media scholar Ben Bagdikian notes. “Once a basic untruth is rooted, it blurs a society’s perception of reality and, consequently, the intelligence with which society reacts to events.”[10] A reversal of this trend involves a mass foray into what groups such as the SPLC would likely classify as “extremism”–namely the courage to interrogate the news stories we are encouraged to accept, grapple with historical reality, and recognize the crimes of figures and institutions we have been taught to revere.


[1] Criticism of the SPLC is not intended to suggest disagreement with much of what the organization stands for. Indeed, public perception of the SPLC as a bastion against racism and intolerance is a foremost reason why people overlook or recoil from critiquing its practices. “The SPLC and its founder, Morris Dees, earn money from donations fueled by its alarmist communications and from suing on behalf of the victims of hate crimes,” The Oklahoman aptly noted in a recent editorial. “The group’s name — which includes the words ‘poverty law center’ — is a clue to how far it’s strayed from helping the economically disadvantaged in the South. Why stray? Sensationalism sells. It brings in more money for SPLC and its wealthy founder.” “SPLC ‘Hate Group’ Listing Merits a Dose of Skepticism,” The Oklahoman, March 8, 2013.

[2] Bernard Shaw, “Poverty Group Warned Government About Survivalists,” CNN, April 21, 1995.

[3] Steve Lipsher, “The Radical Right,” Denver Post, January 22, 1995, A1; Brad Knickerbocker, “New Armed Militias Recruit Growing Membership in US,” Christian Science Monitor, April 3,1995, 1; Dennis B. Roddy, “Patriot Zealots Arm to Repel Unseen Forces,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 12, 1995, B1; Michelle Corum, Waylad Andrews and Michael Detmer, “Militia Group Aims to Protect Citizens’ Rights,” National Public Radio, February 5, 1995; Mark Potok, “’American Movement’ – Of Arms and Ideology / Militias Stepping Out From the Shadows,” USA Today, January 30, 1995, A7. [Mark Potok is presently the SPLC’s principal spokesperson.]
[4] While it is almost impossible to gauge how many of the SPLC’s “hate groups” are presently employed or contracted by the federal government, it’s worth noting that in the late 1970s a US Congressional investigation found that throughout the 1960s over one quarter of all Klan members were FBI agents or informants, with almost half of all Klan leadership posts occupied by FBI operatives. Paul Wolf et al, COINTELPRO: The Untold Story,Third World Traveler, September 1, 2001. Though a fictional account, the film Arlington Road (1999) provides an example of how federal authorities can compromise an individual, in this instance the character Oliver Lang played by Tim Robbins.

[5] Kim Severson, “Number of U.S. Hate Groups is Rising, Report Says,” New York Times, March 7, 2012.

[6] Mark Potok to James Tracy, April 12, 2012. In possession of author.

[7] “Terror on the Right: Plots, Conspiracies, and Racist Rampages Since Oklahoma City,” Southern Poverty Law Center, December 2012.

[8] Oklahoma Bombing Investigation Committee, Final Report on the Bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, April 19, 1995, Oklahoma City, 2001.

9 thoughts on “The “Domestic Terrorist Threat” in America: “Extremist” Publicity and Historical Reality

  1. ““We don’t make any special effort to collect that kind of information,” Potok wrote, “although we do sometimes have it … The groups for which we do not give a location beyond the state are groups that report only a ‘statewide’ chapter without giving any location. Generally, we know they’re active, but can’t prove exactly where they’re headquartered.”[6]

    Potok further explained how some entities were included merely based on “Internet activities, including pages, forums, and, often, email groups.” Given the subjective criteria for what constitutes “hate” and the nontransparent ways in which the SPLC conducts its inquiries, just about any loose affiliation leaving some traces on the web may be designated as exhibiting “hate” and thus qualify for the list.”

    Basically saying, “Just trust us because we are professionals and are working with the government and MSM. We know what we are doing and what is good for you and what is not. We are also trying to get rid of Free Speech and propose Internet censorship.”

    Spoken like a true Communist.

  2. These “Global Research” people have been around for at least a decade, and they’re still refusing to make the connection between current events and Zionism. That only leaves the options of them being incredibly stupid, or working for the Zionists, and in either case, they can’t be trusted.
    The mainstream media, the SPLC, the Fed, the “corporate elite”, and the U.S. government are all under the control of the same gang of crooks, and it’s essential that people make this connection before they can fully grasp what’s going on around them. The “Global Research” crew seems to be avoiding this elephant in the living room, so I’m writing them off as one of the enemies, because they’re obviously working to hide the truth of the matter.
    In the early days of the 9-11 truth movement, they were also trying to avoid the topic of massive explosions in the Twin Towers and instead were pushing the “intelligence failures” theory, so they have a long history of lying about what the truth is. They’re no better than Alex Jones or the Huffington Post. They’re Zionists pretending to be on our side, so beware of them, and be cautions about believing them.

    “better to have a known enemy than a pretended friend”

  3. Jolly Roger, you obviously didn’t read the article. Just type Zionism in their site search and your whole argument falls flat.

  4. Yeah, getting rid of the 1st. amendment is good for us. Who made you the spokes piece for all of society?.

  5. I sure wish somebody would do an investigation on the Pentagon fiasco. There is no way a jet could have plowed into it. the landing gear found among other “planted objects” was a ruse obviously. The wings would have mainly stayed intact, but separated, along with the tail assembly for the most part do to everyday physics.

    There were many light posts that were in the flight path that would have ripped the wings off “before” hitting the building. Plus, and the most relevant, no video in that there were mass amounts of cameras around this fortified behemoth, along with civilians all over the damn place. Nothing from the moment this supposed jet took off until it hit.

    Again, the flight path this supposed jet would have had to take in order for it to hit the building, would have had it hit many other objects such as light posts, before hitting the building ripping the wings off.

    We have numerous articles that were written here regarding this. The pentagon is hardly mentioned in that this was obviously a false flag. They have a hard time explaining it. See video below

    The pentagon was hit buy a disguised guided missile to look like a commercial airliner but it was much smaller. Paint and decals, plus wings. It fooled many but you can’t fool physics.

    So if you believe that this was a false flag, you are considered an enemy. Well, fine then. Come and get me you commie bastards.

    1. Hey Mark, I’ve never seen this video but it confirms my long-standing belief that it wasn’t a passenger airliner. Just like there will be no true investigation of the JFK, MLK, RFK assassinations, we will never get a real investigation of 911 until everyone involved are exposed.

    2. Speaking of the planes, I recently read the second edition of “Planes without Passengers” by Dean T. Hartwell. The first 7 points represent what I consider to be the best of his evidence in favor of the no-planes (and therefore no hijackers) argument:

      1) In November of 2003, investigator Gerard Holmgren, now deceased, announced that the Bureau of Transportation Statistics did not list flights 11 and 77 as flying on September 11, 2001. Oopsie! The BTS maintained that stance until retroactively changing it in 2004.

      2) Even more damning: The two planes that were officially listed as flying that day – flights 175 & 93 – were detected by their message signals (according to pilots for 9/11 truth,) AFTER they had supposedly crashed. The message system is called “ACARS, for Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System.” ACARS records put flight #175 hundreds of miles west of the WTC (in Pennsylvania) at the time of the alleged crash, 9:03am. The last ACARS communication for flight 175 was received at 9:23am over Pittsurgh, PA. Similarly, ACARS records put flight 93 over Champaign, Illinois, at 10:10am. Flight #93 was alleged to have crashed in Pennsylvania between 10:03-10:10am.

      3) There was no evidence proffered of any of the putative planes at any of the crash sites, despite the myriad of individually numbered (for easy id after a crash) plane parts.

      4) Similarly, no evidence was provided of any of the remains of any of the putative plane passengers at any of the crash sites. All we have is the gov’t word – no independent verification. And there was a decided lack of proper “chain of custody” for the evidence brought forth.

      5) Phone calls to relatives either not possible (no cell phone coverage at putative altitude, no airphones on at least one of the planes) or nonsensical (‘Mom? This is Mark Bingham…’ etc.). Witness reports of receipt of passenger calls contradicted by available phone records (e.g., Ted Olson’s report of wife Barbara’s calls).

      6) No passenger manifests or airport security video were produced to confirm that even one of the alleged hijackers was on any of the relevant flights that morning. All we have to support the idea of hijackers are the phony phone calls.

      7) Not one pilot of any of the “hijacked” planes took the few seconds to punch in a “hijacked” alarm signal code as they decidedly would done had they been hijacked. In one case, the cockpit had not even been breached (according to the official story), so the pilots certainly had time to punch in the code.
      Here are three more points to add to the mix:

      8) Video fakery (that ‘nose-out’ frame is especially damning). Here’s a link to some short videos posted on JF’s site:

      9) Simple physics – what would happen to real (non-virtual) airplanes hitting a steel building? They would be crushed on the outside of the building. End of story.

      10) More basic physics – the planes (or missiles) could not have flown at the putative speed (500mph) at that altitude. Not physically possible! (If I recall, the max speed at that altitude of the WTC “impacts” was 360mph for those models of planes.)

      What happened to the passengers? Not sure, but Hartwell has some good guesses. Anyway, as Sherlock Holmes “said” : “…when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth”. It’s not up to him or me or anyone else to pin down every detail – it’s enough to demolish the official story.

  6. OUTSTANDING, DOT! You are one of the few people I’ve come across who knows this information.

    Last summer I went to ConspiracyCon 2012, and the first speaker was Jim Fetzer. His presentation was on the planes that hit the Twin Towers, or rather, the lack thereof. He showed an excellent video in which you could see the plane entering the tower seamlessly, without causing even a crack, and the explosion didn’t occur until the tail of the plane disappeared into the building. It looked like a ghost plane. They were holograms. The week before I went to the conference, I came across a video on BIN that was shot from a news helicopter that day. You can see the side of the tower explode, but what you DON’T see is a plane hitting the building to cause the explosion. I just went back in my e-mail to get the link to that video, and here is what I got:

    The article is still there, but the video is gone. I went to the archives, but it wasn’t there either. I did, however, manage to find this video:

    Anyhow, I’m assuming that tptb erased the original helicopter news footage video from the internet, it was getting a ton of hits, and had I known how, I would have downloaded it to my hard drive for safekeeping. Too late now.

    Kudos, dot, great post.

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