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The Southern Poverty Law Center, scrubbed from a listing of resources on the FBI website, suggests it’s no big deal.
WND reported only a day ago that the FBI had scrubbed the SPLC from its listing for hate-crime “resources.” The move came more than a year after the SPLC was fingered by confessed domestic terrorist Floyd Lee Corkins II as the source of his information when he planned to murder staff members at a Christian organization.
WND reported late last year that the FBI was utilizing the SPLC as a “resource” on its web page regarding hate crimes. But the current page does not list the organization that came to the attention of authorities when Corkins attempted a mass murder at the Washington offices of Family Research Council.
In a report published at Breitbart, SPLC spokeswoman Heidi Beirich said she couldn’t shed a lot of light on the de-listing.
“All of the resource organizations were pulled, as you can see. The FRC claims we are behind domestic terrorism and that’s why the FBI took us down – I’m supposing that doesn’t relate to the ADL or anyone else that was up there,” she said.
The report said Beirich “provided no other confirmation her group has an ongoing relationship with the FBI.”
Corkins, a homosexual activist, told investigators after his arrest the SPLC was the source of his information when he wanted to target Christians. The SPLC publicly had labeled the FRC a “hate group” because of its biblical position on homosexuality.
After Corkins’ confession, he was sentenced by Chief U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts to 25 years in prison because, on Aug. 15, 2012, he walked into FRC headquarters and started to shoot with the intention of killing “as many people as I could.”
He managed to shoot and injure just one person, facilities manager Leo Johnson, who is credited with heroically stopping the attack
Corkins admitted he picked FRC because the organization was listed as an “anti-gay” hate group by the SPLC on its website.
FRC promotes traditional Judeo-Christian beliefs about the family and homosexuality, but SPLC claims the organization’s “real specialty is defaming gays and lesbians.”
Corkins, a former volunteer at an LGBT community center, pleaded guilty to terrorism.
The Washington Examiner pointed out the unannounced change, calling the move a “significant rejection of the influential legal group.”
“The webpage scrubbing, which also included eliminating the Anti-Defamation League, was not announced and came in the last month after 15 family groups pressed Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director James Comey to stop endorsing a group – SPLC – that inspired a recent case of domestic terrorism at the Family Research Council,” the Examiner reported.
It was talk radio icon Rush Limbaugh who cited the FBI’s de-listing on Thursday.
“The FBI has dumped the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate crimes resource,” he said.
He charged that SPLC spokesman Mark Potok “exists for one reason and that is to make false allegations about racism and sexism and bigotry and homophobia and hate crimes against standard ordinary run-of-the-mill” organizations.
Hear his comments:
"We commend the FBI for removing website links to the Southern Poverty Law Center, an organization that not only dispenses erroneous data but has been linked to domestic terrorism in federal court. We hope this means the FBI leadership will avoid any kind of partnership with the SPLC," Tony Perkins, FRC president, told Paul Dedard at the Washington Examiner.
"The Southern Poverty Law Center's mission to push anti-Christian propaganda is inconsistent with the mission of both the military and the FBI, which is to defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States," he added.
"Crimes of hatred and prejudice – from lynchings to cross burnings to vandalism of synagogues – are a sad fact of American history, but the term 'hate crime' did not enter the nation's vocabulary until the 1980s, when emerging hate groups like the Skinheads launched a wave of bias-related crime. The FBI began investigating what we now call hate crimes as far back as World War I, when the Ku Klux Klan first attracted our attention. Today, we remain dedicated to working with state and local partners to prevent the crimes and to bring to justice those who commit them," the FBI states on its website.
Where, under the headline "resources," the SPLC previously was listed, the list now includes "Shepard/Byrd Act Brochure, Justice Department Civil Rights Division, Justice Department Community Relations Service and Federal Civil Rights Statutes.
A video showed Corkins entered the FRC building and approached Johnson, and he then leaned over to place his backpack on the floor. When he straightened up, Corkins pointed a semi-automatic handgun directly at Johnson and fired. Despite being wounded in the arm, Johnson was able to subdue Corkins after a brief struggle.
Prosecutors said Johnson saved his own life, and probably many others, only because he immediately sensed something was wrong with Corkins. That hunch caused Johnson to get up from behind his desk, putting him in position to tackle the shooter soon after he drew his gun.
Prosecutors said Johnson has endured a long and slow recovery, including surgery on his arm, which will never be fully functioning again, and treatment for blood clots.
Johnson also told his shooter in court papers, "If you believe in God you should pray to him everyday because not only did God save my life that day, he saved yours, too."
Johnson was armed with a gun the day of the attack but told the court God told him not to shoot.
It was during an interview with the FBI that Corkins fingered the SPLC.
Asked by the FBI how he picked FRC to attack, Corkins stated, "It was a, uh, Southern Poverty Law, lists, uh, anti-gay groups. I found them online. I did a little bit of research, went to the website, stuff like that."
FRC said that when Corkins later pleaded guilty to a charge of domestic terrorism, SPLC "was connected in federal court in this first domestic terrorism conviction in Washington, D.C., under the post 9/11 law."
"Floyd Corkins admitted his intention to 'kill the people in the building and then smear a Chick-fil-A sandwich in their face,'" FRC explained. "The Southern Poverty Law Center has thus far refused to remove Family Research Council as a 'hate group' from its target map."
Lt. General Jerry Boykin (Ret.) Boykin, on the staff of the FRC, had suggested he would like the U.S. government and its agencies to discontinue using, citing or working with the SPLC. And he said the media should stop citing SPLC.
He continued: "We want the U.S. government to stop supporting … and using the SPLC. They're now connected to domestic terrorism."
Perkins previously said that the SPLC's statements about the FRC "gave license" to Corkins to attack.
"The Southern Poverty Law Center can no longer say that it is not a source for those bent on committing acts of violence," Perkins said at the time.
SPLC – a left-wing, nonprofit organization that describes itself as dedicated to fighting "bigotry" and monitoring domestic "hate groups" – keeps an eagle eye on tea-party, patriot, Christian, gun-rights and conservative organizations, often insisting they are fueled by racism and hatred, rather than politics or policy.
Earlier image from FBI site: